I’ve never understood why it’s so hard to find sports bras or tops that are flattering on large chested women. From my experience, all of the cute ones either only come in smaller sizes, or are impractical. What I do find is never actually supportive, though, like a sports bra should be, and I wind up having to wear two sports bras just to feel comfortable while exercising. This is suffocating and not at all ideal, especially when sweat starts to build up in crevices that should just not be sweating.
If I don’t go through the hassle of squeezing my chest into 2 sports bras at once, which is something that I think resembles a medieval corset, then I feel almost as if I’m being held back during my workout. It’s hard to push myself when I don’t really feel secure or comfortable. Not to be graphic, but if I’m going on a run or doing jumping jacks, the last thing I want to be thinking about is my boobs flopping around in every direction, basically an inch away from a wardrobe malfunction. Yet most of the time, that is all I can think about. Not to mention that all of that breast movement can also be downright painful during a workout. Frankly, it feels like my boobs are being torn right off my chest with every jump or swing.
As a result, my exercise routine just doesn’t last very long because I’m so tired of having to deal with my boobs. Sometimes I even find myself holding my breasts in my hands to stop them from bouncing while I’m jogging. But I shouldn’t have to do that. Girls with larger chests should be able to find sports bras, or any other top for that matter, that are flattering, trendy, and fits their chest just as much as the next girl.
But I also know that my big boobs are not going anywhere anytime soon. Neither are those narrow stereotypes of the ‘perfect’ female body that are the driving force of the fashion and athleisure industries. So, after a few years of dealing with this, I’ve come up with a few tips and tricks of my own for finding a sports bra that is comfortable, stylish, and that I trust to keep my chest in place and supported.
Our boobs deserve the best — AKA not to be smooshed — so I’ve always found it best for a sports bra to have some sort of light cupping on the inside. This ensures that our boobs have a designated place to go so as to limit movement.
Another thing that is key when looking for a sports bra is a strong and substantial bottom band. This acts like a shelf for our boobs to sit on and helps keep them in place during a high-intensity workout. When looking for a bottom band that offers maximum support, however, it’s important to take into consideration whether or not that band will rub or cause irritation in the area. Rubbing is not good. For this reason, I usually try to go wire-free when picking out a sports bra. Adjustable straps and a flexible under-band are always my go to for comfort and ensuring minimal bounce.
Another important aspect is the material that your sports bra is made of. Moisture-wicking or mesh materials are great for soaking up sweat and acting as a ventilator to keep you cool.
It’s time we start taking a stand and taking care of our boobs, because if we don’t, we could be doing more damage than we’d like to think.
For 23 years, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was a staple of the fashion world.
It featured the brand’s latest designs in lingerie and sleepwear, including a ridiculously priced ‘fantasy bra’, which was the show’s statement piece. The show was split into different segments, with themed outfits and models with perpetual smiles on their faces. A-list musicians played live and everyone looked like they were having the best time ever, with the show being broadcast internationally for everyone to join in on the fun.
For models, it was the highlight of their careers and their biggest dream come true. Some were known solely as Victoria’s Secret Angels while others used the opportunity as a stepping stone into the high-fashion world.
And while all of this is great, the brand has decided against having its annual extravaganza this year, according to veteran Angel Shanina Shaik.
In May, it was reported that the show would no longer be broadcast due to a decline in ratings and the chief executive of its parent company, L Brands, Leslie Wexner stated that the entire company would be re-branded and re-marketed.
So, has this been a long time coming?
Victoria’s Secret has most often been in the news in recent years for negative reasons, ranging from cultural appropriation, lack of cultural and body diversity in models, transphobia, racism in its stores, and unrealistic representations of the female body.
Model Karlie Kloss, who worked for the brand for two years, claimed her decision to leave was due to the message the brand sent out about what it means to be beautiful. The brand has been criticized for its lack of diversity in body shapes, as all its models seem to be the same shape and size from the legs to the bust, and in height and weight. The lack of diversity has been contrasted with Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty brand, which embraces women of all shapes and sizes in its campaigns and fashion shows, instead of being limited to one specific body type.
The 2018 Victoria’s Secret fashion show was marketed as being the ‘most diverse’ show ever, although this was only in regard to more than half of the 52 models being of black, Asian or Hispanic descent. None of these models were plus-size.
Many people have chosen to boycott the brand’s stores due to this lack of body diversity, with the maximum sizes available being XL (for panties) and D for most bra styles (DDD in chosen styles). This has resulted in the lingerie giant closing over 53 stores in North America due to lack of sales and competition with diverse brands such as Fenty and Aerie.
The stores themselves have had problems with racial discrimination in the past, where women of color have been kicked out and banned from entering certain stores after being wrongfully profiled for criminal behavior. While the company has apologized and the store in question underwent a personnel overhaul, these kinds of incidents shouldn’t even have happened with a brand that seems determined to portray itself as ‘diverse’.
But the entire diversity saga doesn’t end there. The chief of marketing for L Brands, Ed Razek, was criticized after he commented in 2018 that the reason why Victoria’s Secret hadn’t included transgender models was that they do not ‘belong’ in the fantasy of Victoria’s Secret. Razek also said there was no interest in ‘plus-size’ models in the same interview. An apology was subsequently issued via the company’s Instagram page, but no action was taken against Razek.
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
Marketing plays a large role in the themes that are presented each year at the shows, so it comes as no surprise that someone like Razek would make comments like the ones above, judging by the cultural appropriation and disrespect that the brand has passed off as lingerie themes. In 2010, one of the themes was ‘Wild Things’, and featured models covered in black body paint that represented indigenous body art, as well as with the majority of the designs being worn by dark-skinned models. The 2012 show had a theme that celebrated annual holidays and featured a white model dressed in Native American dress to represent Thanksgiving, something that was repeated during the 2017 show for the theme ‘Nomadic Adventures’, which also included looks featuring feathers, bright colors, and tribal prints and beads.
Despite Razek arguing that the reason why the company hasn’t evolved with the times after 42 years is that they are the most popular lingerie brand already and because they don’t want to be accused of pandering or copying, the backlash, controversy, and declining sales and viewership numbers say otherwise.
Razek resigned from his position this year, a few weeks after the company announced the first transgender model joining their line-up, Valentina Sampaio. The annual fashion show has been canceled and the entire Victoria’s Secret brand is undergoing an overhaul. Could this be what the brand needs to progress, or is it time for the Angels to hang up their wings permanently?
2018 was a tough year for many of us. There was a lot going on when it came to politics and world events. But in the world of beauty and fashion, there were some wins. There is a lot to be said about the state of diversity within fashion and beauty, like how it isn’t enough. But slowly we’re making strides towards more inclusivity across the board. It’s time to recap 2018 with 20 of the biggest moments in beauty and fashion in 2018:
The #MeToo movement, originally started by activist Tarana Burke, made its way to the red carpets when actors decided to wear black at the 2018 Golden Globes to show solidarity towards the movement. Some might say that the conversations surrounding it are long overdue, and others might find this kind of activism lazy. But it’s definitely brought the issue to the forefront in Hollywood.
When Meghan Markle announced her engagement to Prince Harry, she instantly became influential. Every item she wore—from the publicized engagement to her wedding dress and now to her maternity clothing — has led to sold out items. The media has dubbed it the Meghan Markle effect. Anything she wore produced an increased search for that brand. The Duchess of Sussex has impeccable style, and sometimes breaks royal protocol with her sense of fashion. Meghan had a fantastic year, and I’m sure the Meghan Markle effect isn’t going to die down anytime soon.
Diversity and inclusion is a BIG part of Rihanna’s Fenty brand. We saw it in her makeup line when she debuted 40 shades of foundation, which led to various makeup brands following suit. Now, Rihanna is killing the game with her lingerie line, Savage x Fenty. There’s something refreshing about seeing models of various sizes with stretch marks, love handles, abs, curves— all walking down the runway wearing the same lingerie. This, of course, differs from Victoria’s Secret CEO’s comments earlier this year claiming that plus-size and trans models weren’t on the runways because they don’t contribute to the “fantasy.” Rihanna is a sexually empowering individual. She wants ALL women to feel empowered in their sexuality. There is no fantasy with Savage x Fenty, it’s only the reality that everyone is and can feel sexy in lingerie. No exceptions.
Back in May, the GOAT Serena Williams wore a black Nike catsuit specifically designed for her to the 2018 French Open. The suit not only confirmed that Williams is, in fact, a superhero, it also provides compression that can protect her from the blood clots she’s been getting since she gave birth to her daughter. Despite the suit fulfilling medical needs, the French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli, banned the suit at next years French Open. But that catsuit will always live on in our hearts.
Beauty brands are still struggling with diversity, which is no surprise. But we did see some more diverse faces repping big brands this year: Ducki Thot, Ashley Graham,Naomi Campbell, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah and more. As always, we still have a long way to go.
There wasn’t a time when Trump, his family or those involved in the administration didn’t make the news. First Lady Melania Trump makes the news for her fashion style, but not in the best way. Melania visited a children’s detention center in Texas, wearing a green jacket that said “I Don’t Really Care. Do U?” Despite the fact that the jacket is ugly, it’s also insensitive. Hopefully, she’ll make smarter choices than her husband.
Virgil Abloh became the first Black Creative Director for Louis Vuitton’s menswear this past spring. He’s founded the brand Off-White, is friends with Kanye West and designed a “Queen Collection” for Serena Williams. While Black models have been steadily increasing, the number of Black designers are still very few. But Virgil isn’t just trying to a source of representation, he’s also using his fashion to bring awareness to humanitarian issues like immigration.
For fashion magazines, September was a good month. We had Beyoncé and Rihanna slaying for Vogue, Slick Woods showcasing her pregnant belly for Elle, Lupita Nyong’o on the cover of Porter and Zendaya killed with cat-eyeliner. These aren’t the only black women featured of course. September belonged to Black women with 12 of them gracing the covers of mainstream magazines. Black women are changing the face of beauty and have the industry shook. From Slick Woods pregnant belly to Beyoncé choosing a Black photographer for her Vogue shoot (the first in 126 years), to British Vogue’s first black editor-in-chief, Edward Enninful— it’s clear that Black women are determined to alter the beauty industry.
As mentioned before Savage x Fenty embodies diversity. Savage x Fenty closed out NYFW with an incredible show, but the highlight was model Slick Woods. Not only did she walk the runway pregnant wearing lingerie, but she was also IN LABOR. Women are strong as hell.
There’s a lot to be said about activism in the form of consumerism, but I can’t be upset with Colin Kaepernick for collaborating with Nike. Right-wing Nike customers were outraged and called for a boycott. They burned their shoes and cut their socks, while Nike became $6 billion dollars richer.
Clothing can be a powerful tool, especially for women. After Trump made a fool of himself on television while in a meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Nancy stepped out in a glorious red coat. The media dubbed it “Big Coat Energy” and it became so popular that the brand, Max Mara, decided to re-release it.
Skin Positivity activist, Em Ford teamed up with YouTube Creators for Change for the #Redefinepretty movement. In the video she directed, she shows the harmful psychological effects on those dealing with a skin condition and people’s reaction to them. The video did reveal something that I’m sure we already know: the industries definition of pretty doesn’t help our self-esteem.
In the fashion industry, the subject of fur has always indicted controversy. Whether your vegan or not, animals really shouldn’t be killed so you can wear a mink coat in the winter. Earlier this year several luxury brands have decided that they will no longer be using animal fur in their clothing. Not only is it more humane, but it will also lead to better sustainability.
This year’s New York Fashion Week was the most diverse it’s ever been. The runways featured 44.8% models of color. There was an increase in Black models, plus-size models, transgender & non-binary models and models of various ages. Brands like Savage x Fenty, Opening Ceremony, Chromat, Pyer Moss and Gypsy Sport promoted inclusivity.
Fenty Beauty’s social media marketing is on point. They released a 9 minute YouTube Video with the original HBIC, Tiffany Pollard aka New York. The video is a holiday gift guide so customers can figure out what to buy their grandmother, sister, or uncle for the holidays. The Queen of reality television’s commentary is hilarious and looks amazing in the products (She changes her lip color several times). This marketing campaign is a match made in heaven.
Being in a long-term relationship can cause intimacy to burn out. Creating space for a sexy evening can be a good way to turn up the heat. It could be an out of the ordinary date, reading poetry, taking a bath, or even wearing sexy lingerie. Lingerie can be pleasurable for both partners because not only does it look good, but it can make you feel good too. But why should those who are single miss out on all the fun?
If you’ve always wanted to try wearing a little lace, you don’t need to wait until you have a partner to please. Not only can it be a confidence booster but it can be a way to encourage a little self-love. If you’re feeling nervous or are overwhelmed by the choices, you could start with something simple like some nice underwear or a pretty bra.
In the world of lingerie, you are free to explore what makes you feel comfortable. There are an array of options to choose from like bodysuits, corsets, or garter belts.
But you might be wondering, what’s the point of wearing all of this if you’re the only one there to enjoy it?
Lingerie can help you reclaim your sexuality. Masturbation is frequently discussed when to comes to cis males. There seems to be this fog of shame and secretiveness that hangs over the world of female and nonbinary masturbation. You can blame that one on our patriarchal society’s intense focus on pleasing men and their desires. Enjoying your own sexuality is healthy and normal. Sexuality doesn’t always have to revolve around pleasing people during the act of sex. Lingerie can be an excellent way to titillate and excite in more ways than one.
Just wearing lacy duds under your regular clothing can be a novelty. Imagine heading off to work just wearing a t-shirt and jeans or office clothing, all the while wearing underwear that makes you look very sexy without anyone knowing. It’s almost like an inner confidence booster that’s your own little secret.
Lingerie can boost people’s self-esteem through boudoir photo shoots, a growing trend that involves being photographed in underwear. It’s a great way to try something new, make you feel beautiful and just have fun. There are many photographers that specialize in boudoir that offer a safe and comfortable environment. If you don’t view yourself as a model or don’t like being photographed, it can still be an enjoyable experience.
Photographers will often offer guidance and will work with you to find the most flattering images. If you want to get a little risque, you can do that, but if you just want some mildly sexy poses, you can also do that too. Yes, you’re putting yourself out there but it can be an intimate experience that helps you love your body more. It can also be a surprising and very romantic gift to share with your boo. Do your research and find out what works best for you.
If you’re not feeling a professional photo shoot, grab a camera and a friend or set up a self-timer and have your own!
Lingerie is about having fun so make sure you’re happy, comfortable, and feel good. Try something new on and see how it makes you feel. You might be surprised by how much you like it.
Liquid lipsticks have been the rave for a while now, and there’s a good reason for that. If you’re like me, and you need your caffeine fix every day (if not multiple times a day), you know what a pain touching up your lip color is. Despite using lipliners, blotting, using face powder, and almost every other technique Youtube beauty gurus had taught me, my coffee mug still ended up with more lipstick than my lips did, sigh.
Cue liquid lipsticks, and I’m in seventh heaven. I absolutely love love LOVE them. They’re long-lasting, they’re matte, and if you’ve got a good one, they will last longer than 24 hours (TRIED AND TESTED BY YOURS TRULY).
After a good dozen attempts and realizing they’re a whole different ballgame, here’s a list of steps that will take your lip color game to a whole new level and ensure you SLAY.
WE GOT YOU FAM.
1. Moisturize your lips – and EXFOLIATE THOSE BABIES
This is so SO important. If you don’t moisturize, you’ll have dry and chapped lips, and liquid lipstick will only amplify that. So, make sure you moisturize a few minutes before you apply it. This also prevents liquid lipstick from getting flaky.
PRO TIP: exfoliate to get all the dead skin off your lips before you moisturize it. An easy way is a DIY lip-scrub using brown sugar, honey, and coconut oil or olive oil.
2. Highlight your cupid’s bow
This highlights and defines the shape of your upper lips and enhances the cupid’s bow, giving your lips a more defined, fuller look.
3. Line your lips
Line your lips and fill them in. This is going to help so much when you apply the liquid lipstick because the shape is already defined. You can also play around and over-line them for a more pouty look, or keep it subtle and line them in the shape of your lips. I prefer the subtle look, and I cannot emphasize enough on what a difference this step makes. You don’t want to mess up your lips, and to remove the color + repeat the entire process.
Practice makes perfect, and after a few time, you’ll be able to finish this step up in no time.
4. Short strokes to finally apply the liquid lipstick
Make sure you use shorter strokes, and move from filling the top and bottom of your lips to the ends. If you’re over-lining to make your lips look bigger, make sure you do so with emphasis on the center of the upper and lower lips, and not at the corners of your lips. That way they look a lot more natural.
If you do mess up, concealer’s your best friend.
You don’t have to be an amateur to mess up your lipstick. Countless beauty gurus, including my fav Sazan Hendrix, have admitted that this is their go-to step. There’s always a slight up or down when it comes to applying liquid lipstick and there’s no shame in that. The beauty in makeup is there’s hardly anything you can’t fix, especially with a good concealer.
There is no such thing as too much highlighter. I repeat. NO highlighter is TOO much highlighter. Dab on a bit in the center of your lips, and look at how they dazzle. Huda Kattan uses this step in a lot of her videos and the result is stunning.
If you’ve never bought liquid lipsticks before, you’ve got a wide array of options: from drugstore products like Color pop (I RECOMMEND) and NYX Lingerie to the more pricier ones such as the Kylie Jenner lip kits and the Huda Beauty liquid lipsticks. If you want vegan-friendly options, Lime Crime Velvetines, Kat Von D, or Beauty Bakerie’s Lip Whips
Don’t be afraid to mix and match colors, and to try out different color combinations. Despite their longevity in terms of timing, liquid lipsticks are essentially lipsticks and you can funk out the colors with different mixes, until you’re satisfied with the final result.
These are 6 steps if you really want an all-round perfect look. It can seem daunting if its your first attempt, but, practice makes perfect. I know people who take 5 minutes in total for all these steps. I need calmness and a good amount of time when I’m getting ready, so I take around 9-10 minutes just for my lips. With a darker color, I prefer to go more subtle with the eyes, and so I just work on my brows and mascara. If I’m going for a lighter or a more nude shade, I like a winged liner with more contour and highlight.
Ultimately, it’s your look, and you decide how or what you want on your face.
Go own it.
You’re ready to take on the world, with longer lasting lip color.
1. Go to a lingerie store and have someone measure you.
You may not like what you’re about to hear but to get a truly proper fit you’ll have to get a fitting. Yes, this most likely will entail a virtual stranger with their hands up around your top-drawer business – the good news is, they are professionals and have been trained to a) do this correctly and b) make you feel as un-weird about it as possible.
Victoria’s Secret is an obvious place – because they’re probably one of the most visible brands on the planet – but you can find all sorts of good small businesses that can do the same thing for you. If you absolutely cannot reconcile yourself with the thought of someone all over your T’s, it is possible to do it at home yourself (but it may not be quite as accurate unless you’re really well-versed in tailoring or garment measurements).
Either way, the following will still apply.
2. Your attire will matter.
Wear a bra that you’re already comfortable in. Might be a long-shot, because how comfortable are they, really?
But one that’s already feeling pretty comfortable is already giving you a decent amount of support — it’s going to give the most accurate reflection of your size and what you need. Don’t wear a push-up bra or a sports bra — these styles might make you feel confident or comfy, but they’ll interfere with you getting a spot-on fitting. Wear outer clothes that are comfortable and not too thick or baggy if you can.
They can definitely measure you over your clothes if you want.
3. You can get fitted in a dressing room — or in the middle of the store.
Look, it’s already uncomfortable enough to have someone handling your dirty pillows in a mall. It’s not all that bad – they don’t need to cup your actual boobs in their actual hands – but even the thought of someone quickly using tape to take a few measurements may have you feeling weird about it. That’s okay.
They’re trained to do this fast and well, and a lot of the time they’re also trained to talk to you if you’re feeling insecure about anything – they might have a lot of the same insecurities that you do! We’re all in this together.
Usually, the salesperson will offer you a dressing room to be fitted in. Ah, that’s better, nice and private.
However, maybe you would feel less awkward if you weren’t in a confined space with a stranger? That’s fine, too. If you want to be in the middle of the storeroom floor you can do that! The world is yours.
Also, a top secret, hot af pro-tip: you DO NOT have to go in the dressing room, a lot of times the salesperson will try and persuade you into one so that they can then talk you into trying on a bra and getting you to buy it. This is your Salt Shakers’ circus – you call the shots.
4. Times you will want to definitely get a fitting:
Funny story: once at work with my work bestie and lifer, Lauren, she said, “God, you have such small boobs, haha, what are you like an A?” JOKE’S ON YOU BABY, I HAD JUST GOTTEN FITTED AND I WAS A 36C.
She’s like “Dude, no way, I’m a B.” Lauren’s packing a lot of punch up top.
I said, “Babe, you need to get measured because NO YOU ARE NOT.”
I convinced her and she ended up being a DD.
Yeah, this can actually happen to you. Has it been a few years (or never) since your last fitting? Has your bod gone through some big changes like weight loss or gain, pregnancy or nursing, traumatic injury or illness? Even changes in posture could affect your bra size because the band measurement can change.
5. If you’re going to do this yourself, keep these things in mind:
Like I said above, attire matters, don’t wear a push-up bra or a sports bra to measure yourself at home. Ya gotta get a measuring tape and you need to take two measurements — your band size and your cup size. To get your band size, measure yourself at the base of your breasts (beneath them) and against your ribcage. Use the bra that you’re wearing as an alignment guide across the back. To get your cup size, measure yourself across the fullest part of your breast — but loosely — then subtract your band measurement from your cup measurement.
From a pro: “Whatever number you end up with, each inch will represent a cup size. For example, if your band measurement is 36 and your cup measurement is 40, your cup size is D and you should look at 36D bras.”
Confused by that? I KNOW I AM.
So, that’s why pros are helpful because they know all the ins-and-outs of that, as well as being able to help you out if you’re between sizes or if you just can’t get comfortable in your “correct” size they can help you find your “sister size” (going down one band measurement and up one cup measurement).
6. Love your body, baby.
This last one is from me and it really has not much to do with getting a proper fit for a bra – I just don’t want anyone feeling bad about what they’re working with. Be nice to yourself – you’re beautiful any way you are!