The 12th Invest in ME Research Conference June, 2017, Part 2
MEMum presents the second article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME International Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Practical ways of looking nice

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by Calathea, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Having ME can profoundly affect how you present yourself in terms of clothing and such. Some people aren't bothered, some people are very much bothered and hate wearing tatty old pyjamas because they're all that's comfortable. So I thought it'd be nice to have a thread for talking about that and sharing tips. Here are some of mine.

    Bravado Body Silk Bras - these are amazing. They are maternity bras that are entirely stretchy, no underwire and none of the equivalent unyielding bits you get in softcup bras. The problems that affect me in terms of wearing bras are skin pain and also finding that conventional bras are too tight around the ribs when I lie down, because your ribcage expands when you are lying down. These come with a kit to transform them into ordinary bras rather than ones with drop-down cups, the neckline is reasonably low so you can wear lower-cut tops again, the support is pretty damned good, and they come in a nice variety of colours, including some good skin tones if you're white. They say they go up to an F cup, but they've left out DD so it's really an E cup. You can wear an F cup with them if you don't mind a bit of bulging out above them, they're still perfectly comfortable. I should really be a 30 back, I think, but I'm fine in the Small size, which is meant to go down to a 32 back. Although when I was trying on bras in Bravissimo, that poor sales woman kept on fetching different one and I always ended up saying ARGGH GET IT OFF ME IT HURTS, so it's a little hard to tell. The stretchiness means they will keep going through a fair bit of weight fluctuation, too. There are other maternity sleep bras out there too, but the Carriwell wasn't anywhere as comfortable. The Fertile Mind Superbra comes in only two sizes, fits a wider range of sizes, and is half the price, but offers less support, has a higher neckline, and the "nude" colour is greyish, more of a "zombie nude".

    Tunic tops turn out to be great for hiding a TENS machine if you have one clipped to the waistband of your trousers, and can feel a bit like wearing a dress without the hassle of wearing a dress. I'm an apple shape, long-legged and short-waisted I think, and they suit me nicely, with more cleavage than I've had from my other tops in years! I have some from Nomads clothing, it's nice soft organic cotton. I wish they did short-sleeved versions.

    The Chic Fashionista site is good for learning about what works with different body shapes, and generally fun to read. I find that it's really hard to get clothes that fit and suit me, so this saves me some time when I'm staring at photos of models online who look nothing like me and trying to figure out how the clothing they're wearing will look on me.

    If you are curvier, I find Curvety is great for eye candy and inspiration. The clothing tends to be pricier and more formal than what I'd wear. And at 4'11 and the healthy/overweight area of the BMI, I'm not anywhere near actual plus sizes. But the models look a lot more like me than the usual ones do, they have Substantial Bosoms for a start, so they help me figure out what shapes and lengths and so forth work. Plus it's really cheering to see gorgeous larger ladies looking confident and sexy, that's far too rare in the modelling industry. The models are a variety of sizes and shapes, and several are women of colour, which is good.

    Accessories - I don't often bother with jewellery these days, though I have some nice stuff for when I go out, including pretty things for my hair. I do have a massive scarf collection, which really cheers me up. It only takes a second to fling a scarf on when I'm going out, and I run cold so I need them for most of the year.

    Walking sticks - I'll take a proper photo of my walking stick collection some time, but meanwhile, here's a bad one. I think they're all still on sale in the UK if anyone wants links. Having pretty walking sticks is definitely cheering. Some have been enhanced with reflective strips, coloured ferrules, and one has a bike light and two hi-vis sections as well. I'm a bit anxious about not being run over, I cross the road slower than drivers expect, plus the ME affects my vision and I tend to trip over the end of my stick sometimes.

    I've blinged up my wheelchair a bit as well, mostly with practical things like bags and spoke reflectors, but I had fun getting blue hockey tape to put on the pushims, which makes them warmer, grippier and more colourful. The bagletts from the Healthy Back Bag (Ameribag) range can made great side bags that don't get in the way of the brakes. You can clip them on and off and also use them as lightweight handbags when they're off, although you have to figure out a way to attach clips to your wheelchair first. A lot of gaffer tape was involved with mine.

    I've not worn make-up in years, and frankly find that rather liberating, but it can be fun to play with, and I'm curious to hear other people's tips for keeping it manageable.

    I'm also interested in discussing the sociological and feminist aspects of all of this, of course!
     

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  2. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Here's a typical example of the Nomads Clothing tunics I was talking about. Empire line, flattering on me but less so on pear shapes, I hear. As I'm at least half a foot shorter than the model, it comes to mid-thigh and easily hides a TENS machine and trailing cables. You can wear plain jogging bottoms underneath and it still looks quite dressy, whereas I find that jogging bottoms plus a basic top looks only one step away from pyjamas, and I am thoroughly sick of the pyjama look. And since the redheaded model is a lovely-looking young woman but on the small-breasted side, I am happy to announce that you get nice cleavage with it! It's great to find something that is comfortable, pretty, practical in all the odd ways you need when you're ill (cotton rules), and makes your partner say, "Ooh, you look hot in that." I don't want to have to give up feeling sexy in order to have clothing that doesn't hurt.
     

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  3. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    Cool, @ Calathea !

    I don't know that any of my fashion or beauty advice is specific to ME, except the thing about using Urban Decay Primer Potion (no, I don't actually hold stock in the company.) A small, small amount of that under the eyes finished with a bare minerals powder makes me look like I once again belong to the land of the living. Same for applying a very pale or shiny powder to the inner corner of the eye - it makes one look far more awake and alert.

    -J
     
  4. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    I´ve found that several days´ worth of beard works wonders with the ladies I don´t meet.
     
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  5. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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  6. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    I'm a big scarf, soft pink lip butter and Bare Minerals concealer fan!. Totally lights up my face.
     
  7. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    My position on a bit of beard, at least with the blokes I've dated, has been that it looks sexy but the scratchiness feels awful. But that's purely about someone I'm going to be kissing! You get to pick your own facial hair!

    @JaimeS, I have just been playing with a bit of makeup to see if could do something simple on my way out to the doctor. Only my specs broke yesterday, so I'm wearing the grey tinted glasses and there was no way I could do eye makeup.

    The thing about a bit of makeup is that I have such uneven skin tone, by the time you include the shadows under my eyes, that I need to do quite a lot of foundation, and it doesn't stick under my eyes. And powder, which is odd, and last time I tried eye makeup, I think my eyes started hurting fairly soon. Still, I might get a friend to do a makeover on me some day, for the hell of it. And if doctors react well to a patient in dark glasses (still not sure about that, but I have fancier glasses these days and they look better), that at least that's less make up to do!
     
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  8. msf

    msf Senior Member

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    Yes, a bit of beard looks good, but when it starts covering your face...

    I bet I don´t even have a lot of testosterone, it´s probably just another faulty gene!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
  9. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    I love Nomads clothing. I bought a bunch of it back in the early '90's...funkily classic look, and it lasts *forever*. I still have a couple pieces I hope to fit back into soon. I've been thinking about buying more of it when I reach my goal weight so thanks for the reminder!
     
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  10. JaimeS

    JaimeS Senior Member

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    It took me until I had a full-time job before I realized that this was the way to go. Spend a little more, but have it a LOT longer. There is an amazing old-fashioned shop near where I am: old-fashioned in terms of service. It's a clothing store, but they always have coffee and chocolates for their customers, and on special occasions, champagne and sweets. They know your style, your name, your personal history, and can tell at the sweep of a glance what should fit you. You pay more there, but the clothing is gorgeous and doesn't fall apart by the fifth wash! (And the staff ensure you'll walk away with something that fits you and suits your coloring.)

    I'm glad you're playing around again! It is fun.

    MAC makeup may be composed of evil and baby's tears in terms of its chemistry, but it doesn't bother my eyes the way some other brands did when I was first purchasing things. And, as @Mij says, Bare Minerals is awesome stuff. It seems expensive but (probably because I really only do my eyes 99% of the time) one canister lasts literally years.

    As for 'sticking', I swear the Primer Potion will mean you use a lot less of other products, and it those products will then stay wherever you put them. :)

    -J
     
  11. whodathunkit

    whodathunkit Senior Member

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    I LOVE Bare Minerals, too! It's the most versatile, easy make-up I've ever used...you can go light for day or heavy for evening almost effortlessly. So easy to put on. I also developed this "trick" of just putting some of the foundation and that really light pink highlighter stuff in my regular moisturizer for a better "no make-up" look. It's like a tinted moisturizer but a little better.

    But sadly, I can't wear BM anymore because the bismuth oxychloride in it makes my face itch like mad. It was not bad at first but over a couple of years I gradually got sensitized to the point where I just couldn't tolerate it. Same thing happened to my mother and others I know. I'm planning to circle back around to it maybe next year, see if I've overcome the hypersensitivity. The hypersensitivity happened right around the time my health started getting really bad, so maybe it's just an immune issue. I sure would like to be able to use it again, as I'm approaching the point where I should be wearing some kind of make up on a regular basis, as long as it doesn't bother my face (got to the point where almost everything does, if I wear it daily). BM is very easy to use, that's for sure.

    Thanks for the tip on MAC. I may try some of their stuff. I have a MAC skunk brush and a couple other brushes but never really tried their other products.
     
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  12. Mij

    Mij Senior Member

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    @JaimeS I stopped wearing eye makeup years ago because of sensitivities, Bare Minerals is the only mascara that doesn't irritate my eyes.

    I love Korres lip butters too. No nasty stuff and smells and tastes very natural.
     
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  13. SOC

    SOC

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    I'll vote for Bare Minerals, too, if you choose to even up skin tone. It's easy and quick to put on and you can go from very light coverage to pretty heavy without changing product. I find one container lasts a long time, so the cost is not so bad as it seems at first.

    When I had more chemical sensitivities I couldn't tolerate most eye make-up, but the drug-store brand Almay gave me no trouble at all. They claim it's hypo-allergenic (whatever that means).

    I agree with @JaimeS, that if you want to quickly brighten your eyes, highlighting under the eyebrow and the inner corner of the eyes works well.
     
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  14. South

    South Senior Member

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    As for bras that don't dig in....

    I swear by these (and they are CHEAP!); the only drawback for some ladies is that they only come in medium or small sizes. However, their stretchiness is very forgiving for anyone with odd sizes, within the general range of medium or small.

    By Fruit of the Loom, and this style is only sold at Wal Mart for some reason. I'd gladly pay more for them, and support a small retailer, but I haven't found anything nearly as comfortable anywhere, no matter the cost.

    It's a tank-style sports bra, and 95% cotton (It breathes!!)

    Priceless for not digging in anywhere, and for ladies who can't tolerate non-breathable microfiber and other synthetic fabrics most bras are made of these days.

    They are only about $3.50 each, sold as a 3-pack for a total of around $10.

    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Fruit-of-the-Loom-Womens-3-Pk-Tank-Style-Sport-Bra/13997002
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2015
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  15. Snookum96

    Snookum96 Senior Member

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    I love bare minerals too! I don't wear makeup much anymore but it's one of the few that doesn't irritate my skin.

    I try to put jeans on, where I'm at its yoga or pyjama pants most of the tribe so jeans make me feel better. I also try to wear sort of form fitting clothing it makes me feel more human for some reason.

    edit: the occasional haircut works wonders for making my hair more manageable too
     
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  16. L'engle

    L'engle moogle

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    I use Gabriel face powder to cover my rosacea. It's a mineral formula that doesn't seem to irritate my skin and even leaves it in a bit better condition. I finally tried out an eyeshadow, which I haven't done in years because they all irritated my eyes. The pacifica brand seems to be not bad and goes on nicely.

    Since I have to dress conservatively due to both sun sensitivity and cold intolerance, I find a bit of make up helps me to feel better about myself.

    As for bras I'm on the small side too so a camisole or sports bra is good most of the time. I have an Elita that is padded and cotton without underwire that I also find pretty comfortable.

    These may all be Canadian brands, I don't know if you can get them elsewhere.
     
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  17. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Screenshot_2015-09-15-12-45-41.png
    only choice i have.
    sorry, my sense of humor .
     
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  18. ahimsa

    ahimsa Sick since 1990

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    @heapsreal - I loved that bag on the head photo! I laughed so hard!

    :D Thanks! :D
     
  19. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    Very handsome. It's a go-everywhere, do-anything sort of look. And available to anyone, since paper bags are so affordable!

    Those cotton bras look nice, although the range is too big over the back and probably too small in the cup for me. Which is apparently true of most bras, they do say 90% of women are in the wrong size bra. Is it stretchy over the ribcage at all? That's one of the things I really love about the Bravado ones, they're not doing the thing where it feels like someone has tied a wire around your ribs and pulled. But cotton is lovely. It turns out that Bravado do a few cotton ones as well, I hadn't realised. The Original range (different versions for different cup sizes, big size range) and the Sweet Pea (B to DD, only 34 to 36 for some reason). I have to wear natural fabrics for clothing next to my skin, but I'm OK with synthetic bras for some reason.

    The Bare Minerals range does look nice, and they don't use animal testing, but they do use animal ingredients everywhere and are pricey for something I'd probably never use. So not for me, I think. I really didn't like the grey (edit: I have no idea what word that was before autocorrect got to it. Feel? Look?) of foundation (Ecco Bella) on last night, especially not with powder too (Superdrug, can't remember the range name) . Does anyone know a nice vegan tinted moisturiser or something, available in the UK? I'm white, fairly pale, naturally a bit on the sallow side I think, but this would be for the more reddish or purpley bits of my face. My actual moisturiser is a solid oil one I make myself.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
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  20. Calathea

    Calathea Senior Member

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    (I edited the last comment a bit, if you've missed that.) And cheap, did I mention cheap? Green People do one but I am not spending 34 quid on something I'll only use a few times a year! Also WTF are sea fennel stem cells?!
     

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