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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Retrospec'd -The Elizabeth Dress and Why You Need It

I first discovered Retrospec'd a few years ago at Viva Las Vegas. I was doing behind-the-scenes event coverage for Miss L Fire and the gals from Retrospec'd were wearing that brand's shoes during the show. It was a blast making the video, but most importantly, I discovered a brand I'd never known about and whose quality I can vouch for first hand! These dresses are spectacular, gorgeously made, and universally flattering. They also make menswear and the guys walked the runway as well, which made the whole show very picturesque and polished.

So anyway, two years have passed and I still hadn't bought myself a Retrospec'd frock. Not sure why. I think I just felt like I couldn't decide, mainly. I knew I wanted one of their pastoral landscape prints but there were so many beauties to choose from that I couldn't make up my mind. Then, the Gay Pari made its entrance and baby, I was SOLD. This print just titillated me for so many reasons. I love the color scheme, the subject matter, the placement on the dresses. And the Elizabeth dress, in this print, made me SWOON. I knew the Elizabeth was probably the style I'd choose anyway, but I had another print in mind until this one came along. And I'm so glad it did!

The package arrived one afternoon when I was at work so I was on pins and needles until I got home. When I saw it, I'll admit to being pretty confused. It was so slim and lightweight; it seemed like there had to just be a blouse in there! It seemed that such a feather-light full circle skirted dress would be very thin and skimpy. Thankfully, when I removed it from the packaging I was thrilled to see that the fabric was gorgeous, and actually felt much more substantial than I would think possible at the price point. It has a subtle sheen and the colors are even more vibrant than they appeared in pictures!

The style looks exactly as the pictured frocks on the website, and when I tried it on, I was over-the-moon to see how well it fit! Mine is the size 10, which accommodates me with absolutely no hitches. The top fits flatteringly over the bust and includes some gathering that accentuates the curve of the busom, but it doesn't gap open at all, something that really impressed me for the surplice style neckline it features.

The waist fits smoothly and neatly when I'm not in firm support garments, but when I am, it doesn't look bunchy or 'off'. More points!

I always wear a petticoat beneath my circle skirts, and the style of this one is perfect for that since it falls smoothly over the extra lift. I was comfortable and confident the entire night.

To sum up, I'll just say that this dress is more than I ever anticipated ( as I should have expected from my first hand view of them at the show) but also has proven to be one of the best I've ever owned.

I guess it goes without saying that purchasing from Retrospec'd in the future is a no-brainer!!

All pictures taken by Jerry Plunk of Plunk Kreativ, Memphis Tn. Shot on location in Downtown Memphis at the Cotton Exchange Building.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Strivectin Hair Care

When I started this blog, I always intended to populate it with more product reviews and I really enjoy giving my opinion on stuff. But these have fallen by the wayside lately, mainly because other than my brand specific posts, I haven't been motivated to say much about anything.

Strivectin hair care though-that's a horse of a different color.

I have some history with Strivectin. When I first started working the cosmetics department, I tried almost everything they offered. Some stuff impressed me (the retinol cream is really gentle and mild, but also sorta works) and some not so much (the tightening cream makes me red and itchy). Their key patented ingredient is the NIA-114 complex, which they tout as the star of their products and they stick it in everything. What is it? They're super vague on the website but when you Google it, it takes you to a not-as-easily-accessible page with this description:

NIA-114™ is the patented molecule found in StriVectin-SD® products. With its unique micronutrient delivery system, NIA-114™ penetrates the skin, delivers Niacin to the skin cells and enables healing from within to promote healthier, more beautiful looking skin.

Just as its name suggests, NIA-114™ is delivered from Niacin. Many are familiar with the oral form of Niacin, a water-soluble micronutrient found in a number of commonly eaten foods. As a nutritional supplements, Niacin aids in cholesterol reduction and energy metabolism. More recently, a topical form of it has emerged as a key factor in helping the skin protect and repair itself from sun damage and aging.


Sounds okay, I guess. I don't really care as long as it works and doesn't irritate my skin, but whatever.

So yeah, NIA-114 is in the haircare too, for whatever that's worth. I don't know that it really makes a difference and the REALLY interesting thing is that the hair products don't seem to be on the official website yet at all. They're being sold at Ulta, Sephora, Dillard's and the like, but it's almost as though the company isn't claiming them until they see how they're received.

Where they're being sold, they're being marketed with this terminology:
Strivectin Hair Color Care Shampoo with patented NIA-114 + CHROMALAST PROTEIN COMPLEX.

That's for the Color Care option, but there are two other formulas as well that I've not tried yet. One is for volume and the other is a replenishing/restoring variety that is supposed to help stimulate new hair growth for thinning hair.

So now, let's discuss a few key factors about the Strivectin Color Care products I've tried.


The shampoo is thick, yellowish, and glossy. A little goes a long way. It's free of sulfates and parabens, like all my favorite haircare products. The fragrance is light, clean, and exhilarating, with no clingy perfumes or residue. The lather is luxuriant, unlike a lot of sulfate free shampoos...so that's a big win for me. I will say that it does make my hair feel sort of dry and matted after rinsing, although there's no doubt that it's clean because it also easily passes the 'squeak' test. Once the conditioner is applied, however, that straw-ish feel goes away completely and my hair feels super soft and supple.

The conditioner is very very thick, creamy white, and my sample bottle needed to be squeezed in order to get it out. A little also goes a long way though and like I said, it rinses into a clean but very soft feel.

The booster is light, like a gel, pale yellow in color and hardly noticeable on the hair. It's supposed to remain on the hair for 3 minutes as you bathe or whatever, then rinsed.


After drying, my hair has never felt better, honestly. It's got a bouncy soft feel that has no hint of residue and styles beautifully. I've gone three days after washing and no greasy feel has developed, even after styling products have built up at the roots. I do apply a little cornstarch baby powder at the roots in the morning, to freshen it up, but it really does feel cleaner longer. My hair color hasn't faded significantly since I started using it but I don't know that I really care about that aspect of it all that much, because my hair feels just THAT good. The booster is not really a repurchase for me as of yet; I really haven't noticed it brightening my color much and think putting a little Manic Panic or Punky Color into my conditioner would still do a better job for color longevity.


All in all, I'm utterly thrilled with this product and if I can't afford the 25.00 price tag every time, I will at least switch this up with my current drugstore products. NIA-114 or not, my hair does feel stronger and more resilient so I'm willing to give that stuff some credit. You can purchase the sampler kit, like I got, before you buy the full sized stuff so that makes it a win-win anyway. Do I recommend it? Heck. Yeah.

My Rating: 10/10 (and as always, if that changes, I'll let you know.)

Til' next time, so long dearies!