Posts Categorized: this week i love

This Week I Love …

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crystal deodorant. YES IT’S TRUE I DO.

So the claims that aluminum content in antiperspirants causes cancer are somewhat overblown, but as this fabulous Hairpin post aptly points out, “rubbing a body-function-altering chemical into a crevice of my body every morning” might not be the best idea. And aside from aluminum,  you’ve got parabens. Studies are still in process and of course I expect you all to make your own decisions, but I’ve been experimenting with natural deodorant solutions for some time and since I know from Twitter and Facebook discussions that this topic is of interest, I thought I’d share my findings.

A bit about my skin and body chemistry

I have sensitive, fussy skin all over my everything, though my pits are relatively hardy. No breakouts or rashes from any deodorants I’ve tried, natural or unnatural. (Or supernatural.) I am naturally both sweaty and smelly, and even an hour without some sort of underarm product will lead to a locker-room-y odor. That said, I do not sweat through my clothes unless it is beastly hot and do not smell strongly unless I’ve worked out hardcore. Just sharing this to give you a baseline of comparison. If you don’t tend to sweat/smell, some of what failed for me may be perfect for you. If you sweat/smell more, my favorite find might not be strong enough for your needs/preferences.

What I tried

  • Trinknitty made me some of this stuff. It just plain didn’t help my stank that much, and definitely didn’t curb sweating.
  • Weleda Citrus Deodorant Spray: Man, I’m a sucker for citrus scents and this stuff smells amazing. It only does that, however, when I am sitting stock-still in a cool room. I still spray it in my pits sometimes just so I can walk around smelling orange-y. For five minutes.
  • Several Tom’s of Maine solid/sticks. My armpits LAUGHED SO HARD at these.
  • Same for two now-discontinued Body Shop options.

Why I love the crystal stuff

  • So we’re clear, I’m using the Crystal Essence roll-on pictured above. Can’t say it smells super lavender-y, but I’m OK with that. I remember trying the Crystal stick stuff ages ago, and it didn’t work AT ALL for me.
  • I hate to say this, but wiping a cream into my pits with my fingers? Not my favorite. The roll-on format is quick and easy to apply.
  • I can get it at the grocery store. Or the drug store.
  • It doesn’t cost a bundle. Around $5.
  • For me, it works. Unless it’s unbearably humid and I’m jogging,* I don’t sweat a ton and I don’t smell at all. And for the record, when it IS unbearably humid, when I’m about to hit the gym for a serious workout, or when I know I’ll be super nervous (TV and press appearances, etc.) I switch back to a traditional deo/antiperspirant. I love my crystal, but it doesn’t work 100% of the time.

Brands I’ve yet to try

  • Soapwalla gets RAVE reviews from everyone I’ve talked to.
  • Kiss My Face has gotten a few thumbs up from friends and colleagues, but I haven’t sampled it yet.

And there are many, many more options out there, including concoctions you can make at home so you can be absolutely certain they’re totally natural. I’m delighted to have found a formula that works with my unique body chemistry, but, of course, there’s no guarantee it’ll work with yours. I tried the other options because trusted sources stated that those formulas worked fabulously. And for some people, I’m sure they do! As with as any cleansing or cosmetics routine, I can only say this works for me, not that it will work for all.

Naturally (PUN!), I’d love to hear from all of you about your deodorant preferences. Anyone else seeking natural options that work well? Which brands and scents have you tried? Made any from scratch? Do you feel like the various studies about aluminum, parabens, and other potentially harmful ingredients are conclusive enough to make regular deo and antiperspirants feel perfectly safe? Or do you sweat/smell enough that nothing natural will ever work and you’d rather just stick to the products that do? Share your thoughts and resources in the comments!

* OK, OK, I don’t jog. Walking quickly? Walking quickly away from someone who makes me nervous?

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This Week I Love …

slouchy pants

… slouchy pants.

Oh, how times have changed. Poke through the archive and you’ll find several pants rants from years past, in which I railed against all forms of trousers as miserable devices of torture that fought my body shape. And I’ll tell you this: I still loathe low-rise everything and can’t really do mid-rise either, so my pant options are still extremely limited. I still hate MOST pants, but the ones that I love, I love to bits.

And I’m amazed to find that the soft, slouchy pant has become a favorite style over the past few months. And I don’t just mean pleated and pegged or low-slung boyfriend or drop-crotch, I mean just about all relaxed pant silhouettes from Grechen’s arty casual pair to Une Femme’s office-friendly dressy pair. No matter your age, size, shape, or style, there just might be a slouchy pair out there that will make your heart go pitter-pat. Maybe one of these?

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Eileen Fisher Slouchy Ankle Pant – $138

This is the pair you see above in the first and third photos. And yes, that’s a lot of money for a pair of pants. And yes, I think they were totally worth it. Besides being well-made and ridiculously comfortable, this pair has a relaxed elegance that many slouchers lack. These are a mid-weight jersey so likely won’t be warm enough for MN winter wear, but I’m wearing the heck out of them now! Also in petite and plus sizes. If the price is just too rich, these are similar and less costly.

asos slouchy plus size pant

ASOS CURVE Pant With Elastic Cuff – $53.32

Most of the slouchy pairs I found were black, so I was delighted to find this navy pair in the ASOS Curve line. The elastic cuff may seem casual, but paired with a blouse and heels as they are here, I think these could work for more creative and casual offices. Available in sizes 14- 24. Also in peacock blue.

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LOFT Fluid Ankle Pant – $69.50

These look a bit odd with the heather gray tee, but would be so sharp with a black tee and blazer, or a crisp white button-front. These are ankle length but lack the elastic cuff that many slouchy pants feature, which means they will work for the office and for weekend. Available in sizes 00 – 14. Also in petite 4 -18 and a handful of tall sizes. These guys must be selling fast.

slouchy olive pants

Tinley Road Amelia Leather Trim Pant – $79

The leather is faux if you’re wondering, and if you’re not a fan of that detail an untucked sweater or blouse would cover it right up. This style has the slouchy shape but a slightly wider, less tapered leg for a looser overall fit. Available in XS – XL. Also comes in black with black trim.

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Land’s End Woven Track Pants – $89

They’re dressed down here, but that black and white geometric print could quite easily dress up. Imagine these with a red blouse and black patent pumps or flats. Sassy and fun. Available in sizes 16W – 24W. Also in regular and petite sizes. Don’t dig the print? These are also in regular, petite, and plus sizes in a rich navy blue.

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J.Crew Turner Pant – $73.50
with code SHOPFORFALL

That zipper detail is killing me. If these weren’t low rise, I’d be all over them. And I adore how they’re styled here with a kicky leopard pump and graphic tee. Badass perfection. Available in this red as well as purple, blue, black, and navy in sizes 00 -16, including some petite sizes. If you aren’t a fan of the zippers, J.Crew also offers this pant in four office-friendly colors.

I know this style doesn’t appeal to everyone! I will say, though, that it may just take some getting used to; Once your eye has adjusted to the slouchy silhouette, you may warm to the shape and style. But for now, what are your thoughts? Big fan? Curious but cautious? Never in a million? Let us know in the comments!

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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This Week I Love …

aimee-mann

… Aimee Mann.

I consider myself a lapsed musician. I sang from age five with my family, did countless choirs and musical theater productions throughout school, was music director of my college a-cappella group, and fronted several bands. It’s been a long time since I wrote a new song or sang for a crowd, but I’ve done both. For ages. And Aimee Mann has been one of my musical heros since I first heard “Whatever” back in middle school. The clincher for me? There’s a lyric on that album that goes, “And she’s got the river down which I sold her.” Grammatically correct songwriting is my kryptonite. Helps, too, that Mann writes great hooks and amazing story songs, has a uniquely earnest and plaintive voice, and consistently releases albums that are beautifully produced, engaging to hear, and gobs of fun to sing along to.

She was also hilarious on Portlandia. And Buffy. And in The Big Lebowski. My guess is she’s a very clever, fun, ridiculously smart person.

I never gave much thought to Mann’s style until I saw her in concert when she toured for “Lost in Space.” During that time, she mostly dressed like this:

AIMEE_MANN_TIES_VESTS

one | two | three

I loved her take on menswear chic, and I certainly admired her choice to be extremely covered-up in an era that focuses on cleavage and exposure and super-sexy-see-through outfits. Like most people, Mann’s style has shifted quite a bit over time but she’s always struck me as someone who is comfortable in her own skin and makes style choices based on her own preferences. Sure, her looks follow the trends to some extent, but she always looks a little edgy and rebellious, a little tough, and definitely more laid-back than uptight.

aimee mann style

one (album cover, 1993) | two (2012) | three (2006) | four (2014) | five (album cover, 2000)

I love a little mindless dance pop as much as the next person, but when I want to think and feel I’m more likely to reach for an Aimee Mann album. She explores everything from May-December romances, to the links between charisma and narcissism, to the paralysis of depression, to our fascination with bad boys and bad choices. I admire her so much for writing insightful, funny love songs and perhaps even more for writing incisive, emotional, unusual songs about how complicated and trying it can be to be a human. She’s a gifted musician and lyricist, a woman who seems to dress primarily for her own self-expression and pleasure, and I sincerely hope I can cook her a spaghetti dinner someday.

Anyone else an Aimee Mann fan? From Til Tuesday times, or more recent? Have you heard her new collaboration with Ted Leo?

Top image source

**Disclosure: Actions you take from the hyperlinks within this blog post may yield commissions for alreadypretty.com. See Already Pretty’s disclosure statement for more details.

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