Manolo for the Big Girl Fashion, Lifestyle, and Humor for the Plus Sized Woman.

May 4, 2011

Miss Plumcake’s Makeup Kit (travel edition)

Filed under: Makeup — Miss Plumcake @ 1:31 pm

Okay lambkins, just a quick one because I am about to catch a plane.

I’ve been doing a lot of traveling recently and if the official family motto of Clan Plumcake is Deus Juvat and the unofficial one is Psycho Killer Qu’est-ce Que C’est then the practical one must be Pack Light (yeah, if I had more than 20 minutes I would figure out how to say that in Latin, but I don’t.)

With that in mind I’d like to turn you on to what’s in my makeup kit when I travel.

MAC 217 Blending Brush — THE blending brush. Accept no substitutes.
MAC 266 Angled Brush — I like using an angled brush for eyeliners, and this one is my favorite.
Rimmel Colour Rush Quad in Smokey Noir — Or any other decent, inexpensive gray quad. I like grays because you can play with them for day or evening and don’t have to be too careful, which is handy if you’re applying on a plane, train or automobile (though ideally not while operating one)
Just Bitten Lip Stain –in Forbidden plus one other more intense color, usually Gothic
Physicians Formula Cream Liner Trio for Brown Eyes –Yes I have blue gray eyes but this interlocking trio comes with an emerald, black and indigo/violet liner. Excellent as standalone liners and can be smudged on as cream eyeshadow too.
L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara –I am CRAZY for this mascara. It doesn’t smudge or run. Because it tubes, when it does come off you can just brush it off your cheek. I’m not sure when double-layer mascara stopped sucking but this definitely doesn’t.
Milani Bee Rich Lip Gloss — I use this as a gloss but also a cream blush. Cheap too!

What do you take in your travel kit? Anything you won’t leave home without? Put it in the comments!

March 22, 2011

What Miss Plumcake is…

Hello my little bourbon biscuits, it’s Tuesday and while I am wandering about the hills and dales of the Emerald Isle with my two besties, I thought I’d take a minute and share with you an Irish-tinged edition of What Miss Plumcake is…

Reading: The Complete Short Stories of Oscar Wilde If all you know of Wilde are his pithy quotes and frothy plays (both of which are still highly recommended) you owe it to yourself to check out some of his no-foolin’ literatoor. Beautiful, tender and razor sharp, these are some of my favorite short stories. Half Daudet and half Kipling, it’s all brilliant.

Watching: The Commitments I was just learning to play the saxophone when this film about a bunch of misfits from Dublin and their dream of blue-eyed soul stardom came out and I fell in love. Even if you saw it years ago, rent it and be reminded what a great flick it is.

Hearing: U2 – Achtung Baby I’m just going to go ahead and say that the seventh studio album from Bono and the lads is the most important pop album of the 90’s.

Smelling: Vol de Nuit by Guerlain I’m wearing the vintage, which is even more heartbreakingly beautiful, this 1933 creation by Jacques Guerlain was an homage to Antoine Saint-Exupery (yes, the Little Prince guy) and his novel, Vol de Nuit. On me Vol de Nuit is a pale butter daffodil floating in a cup of softly spiced milk tea. Unusual comfort at its best.

Loving: Funnel-necked peacoat Until last week I didn’t have a coat. It doesn’t get very cold in Texas so usually I either wear my vintage blonde mink stole or my lynx stoller. However, I figured it would be a bit nippy here in Eire and I thought maybe it would behoove me to get some sort of outwear that didn’t once have a mother and a dream. I picked this up for a song from Lane Bryant and I just love it. I’ve never worn double-breasted before, but it looks great and is a fantastic spring coat. Word to the wise: apparently the buttons fall off easily. I reinforced mine before I left across the pond and haven’t had any problems at all.

Hating:  Stupid Giraffe-print Bag So when did this become attractive? Because this is not attractive. I’ve been seeing these things for YEARS and I just cannot TAKE it anymore. This is not a good bag! The original, which is Dooney and Bourke (and why would you even knock off Dooney and Bourke? That’s like knocking off Juicy Couture.) is bad but at least it’s potentially well-made. These are just AWFUL. So please. Stop buying them. They’re not hip, they’re not clever. They’re just dreadful.

Wanting: Let ‘Em Hang soccer boot shirt from Studs Up Football Club Oversharing time. I’m pretty good about being friends with my exes. One of my favorites played in Serie A for seven years and is an all around good egg. Obviously he was great looking (mama, as previously mentioned, does not do ugly)and we still see each other occasionally, but the only time I ever regret relegating him to the friend zone is when he walks around with his boots hung around his neck. Do I find the strung boots look hot because it is sexy on its own merit or is it a product of conditioning? The world may never know, but I do know this is a piece of class kit and it needs to go into Miss Plumcake’s personal collection with a quickness.

Buying: Revlon Hushed Blush nail color Why do I always forget Revlon makes great nail colors? It’s been a million years since I’ve bought anything but OPI or Essie, but I picked up this understated blushed rosewood color when I couldn’t find my beloved Kreme de la Kremlin and have been twitterpated ever since. Is the product as good as OPI? No, not really, but the color’s great and there’s no reason a well-applied manicure with Hushed Blush won’t last you a week.

March 11, 2011

You Asked For It: Review Revue Part Deux, Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm

Filed under: Makeup,Plumcake's Closet,Review Revue — Miss Plumcake @ 5:06 pm


Yesterday I did a review on the Revlon Just Bitten lipstain and devoted reader Lazydaisydays asked:

Any chance of a review of the various shades, and what types of coloring/complexions might be best served by each? Or any recommendations from others who have tried this brand? I’m AWFUL at picking colors for lip products, especially things like this which look a lot different on the lips vs. in the tube…and I suspect I’m not the only one who has this kind of trouble! Help?

Dearest Lazydaisydays,

Is there anything worse than lipstick remorse? Sure some would say genocide or stretch velvet, but I say NO. It’s hard enough finding a color you like and then you buy it and it’s totally different than how it looked in the store. Even when you try before you buy, it can be hard because cosmetic counter lighting is not the sort of light you’d find in your every day life. Unless of course you worked at a cosmetic counter or lived on the face of the sun. I hope the following review will be helpful!

Gin and Tonics,

Miss Plumcake

Passion – This is a Full On Pink and it looks just exactly like the visuals with Jessica Biel:

It does look like they layered the color pretty significantly, but I wouldn’t suggest buying this color unless you are willing to commit to a big unapologetic hot pink. It’s probably not going to be a neutral on anyone, but I think it would look most natural on someone who is a “spring”…I bet it would also look amazing on women with deep brown skin.

Lust – I thought Lust would be a deep easy-to-wear neutral, sort of a quasi-goth version of a nude lip, but on its own it’s surprisingly hard to carry off. The pen looks like a sort of mauved-out heathered cocoa, but it went a bit blue on my lips. I probably wouldn’t wear this alone, but I imagine it will see considerable service as an underlayer supporting a nude lipstick or gloss I want to make a little darker for evening. This would look great on women with deeper skin tones, but I think pale gals of any coloring might find this difficult to deploy worn as is.

Crave – More Big Pink, though much easier to wear than Passion. One of my favorite looks for day is a high-colored English rose thing, sort of Jane Austen meets the Fauvists and one layer of Crave on the lips works fantastically. I sketch it on and blend it a bit with my finger instead of lining the lip precisely, because you don’t want perfection. It also works well with an orange sherbet gloss on top if you want something a little more aggressive and chic.


Gothic – Like I said yesterday, this is a blue-red almost exactly reminiscent of the original Revlon red, the iconic Cherries in the Snow. It’s a toss up as to whether this or Flame is my new favorite red. The marker-style pen means getting that super-sharp, precise line that’s so necessary when you’re wearing a RED red lipstick is dead easy. This is definitely the better red for winter skin tones (who, let’s face it, wear the screaming reds best anyway.)

Flame – Pretty much the old formulation of Revlon’s OTHER legendary red, “Fire and Ice.” This is an orange-red and the only Just Bitten product that didn’t go on slightly bluer than the tube.

They’ve actually relaunched Fire and Ice but the formulation is way different than the original. Also, how AWFUL does Jessica Biel look in the visuals, especially as compared to the painfully fabulous Dorian Leigh? Seriously, WHAT were they thinking? (image and more reviews after the jump)

March 10, 2011

Review Revue: Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm

Filed under: Makeup — Miss Plumcake @ 5:28 pm

First an apology: It’s been All Crazy All The Time here at Stately Château Gâteau for the past two weeks and it’s not going to slow down until April but that’s no excuse! If Karl Lagerfeld can design for Chanel, Fendi AND his own house, then I should be able to post to you at least once a day. I mean granted I have a soul and he has a stable of minions who may or may not be winged monkeys and little blue dudes in hats, but still. I am truly sorry and I humbly repent.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m headed to Ireland next week with my two best friends. They will pack everything they’ve ever owned because they like to make me insane and then attempt to fit it in a car the size of a shoe box. And I’m not talking the nice spacious Lanvin ones, either.

Meanwhile, I’m taking this:

Which, not for nothin’ is beautiful Italian leather and on major sale at

I am a light packer. It’s one of my few redeeming qualities. This poses a slight problem in this situation because unlike the majority of vacations, which I take alone the way nature intended it, I’m going to be with two other people. Two other people who will have cameras.

This means I will need to Look Cute, because my two friends are just as good-looking and vain as I am and I refuse to be the one with the “great personality” in any and all photodocumentation.

So I have to bring makeup, but I need whatever I bring to be long lasting, comfortable and provide excellent bang for my packing-inch buck.

Enter: Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain+Balm

I have been searching for YEARS for the right lipstain.

What I want in a lipstain:

  • Color Payoff- I want intensity without sacrificing its sheer nature
  • Staying Power – I don’t want to it to chew off or melt if I put a lipgloss on top of it
  • Precision Application – a cheek stain is fine in a pot, for lips I want something more precise.
  • Buildability – if I want an intense color, I want to be able to build it up.
  • Weightlessness – It should feel like there’s nothing there and be non-drying

It’s a tall order, I understand. I keep trying and failing. Regardless of price point, there’s no joy in mudville.

I liked CoverGirl Outlast pretty well but I never felt the payoff was quite right, and the felt-tip applicator didn’t let the product flow evenly, so it was nigh on impossible to get an even coat. That’s not the end of the world when you’re using a neutral as a base for a lipcolor and gloss, but I wouldn’t trust it to wear it alone.

Then a few weeks ago on a whim, I picked up Revlon’s entry in the marker-style lipstains.

The line is small –10 shades– and they’re clearly trying to capitalize on the Sparkly Teen Vampire audience with names like Gothic, Midnight, Forbidden, Twilight and Frenzy.

I was looking to do a very specific dark sheer cupid-bow lip, so I picked up “Midnight” a sheer black cherry. I loved it so much I went back and bought every single color in the line.


Color Payoff:

Now THIS is how you do a non-neutral stain! With one layer it’s deep but sheer, clearly a stain, as if I’d fallen asleep with my face in a glass of Cabernet. Not that I’ve ever done that.  No really I haven’t. Shut up.

Staying Power:

Five stars for staying power. I actually fell asleep without taking off my lipstick last night, just to see how it would fare. I applied at 5 p.m., had an event, ate sushi, drank tea, ate some raspberry gelato brushed my teeth and woke up with an application that was only moderately worse for the wear.

Precision Application:

MUCH much better than Outlast from CoverGirl. It feels like nothing more nor less than taking a Sharpie to your lips.

I’m having an early eighties Debbie Harry lip moment right now so I need something precise for that severe, angular cupid’s bow (word to the wise: don’t try this unless it’s your natural lip shape. It will end in tears). I want it to be perfect, but in an artifice-for-artifice’s sake Warhol way. What I DON’T want is a velvety, perfect 1950’s lip.

I had a bit of trouble getting the application even at first with Midnight –the darkest color in the line– so I buffed the color a little with my ring finger and it evened out perfectly. All the other colors I’ve used applied evenly the first time, but I still buff because if I’m using an intense stain –especially if I’m doing it matte– I want that flawless finish.


Another big win. Last night I wanted to do a I’m Not Playing With You red lip. First I filled in the entire lip with one layer of Flame, a brilliant orange-red reminiscent of the old Fire and Ice before Revlon done lost their damn minds and changed the formulation and lined it with Gothic, a deep blue-red like Cherries in the Snow. Then I built up the color. Worked like a charm.


Finally, something touting itself as weightless that actually IS weightless. I don’t feel it on my lips at all, even if I don’t use the balm. It’s not drying, it’s not sticky, it’s not sitting ON my lips. It’s fantastic.


January 11, 2011

What Miss Plumcake is…

Filed under: Books,Cheap Thrills,Hermes,Makeup,Movies,Music,Perfume — Miss Plumcake @ 10:59 am

Reading: At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald Criminally under-appreciated, the Scottish fantasy author –arguably the first successful British fantasy author– influenced everyone from Mark Twain and J.R.R. Tolkein to C.S. Lewis, whose novel The Great Divorce features MacDonald as a character. Unfortunately, the man who served as Lewis Carroll’s mentor –fun fact: it was MacDonald who suggested Carroll submit his little book about a girl named Alice for publication– is virtually ignored. I’d read Lilith ages ago and grew up with Princess and the Goblin and Princess and the Curdie, but I’d missed At the Back of the North Wind until just recently. It’s Oliver Twist meets The Water-Babies, and heartbreakingly beautiful. Don’t miss it.

Watching: Casablanca I still don’t know if Elsa got on the plane, but I sure had a fun time watching it.

Hearing: Club Can’t Handle Me by Flo Rida feat. David Guetta What? Like fat white Episcopalian girls can’t like Flo Rida now? It’s a killer track! Also I would kill for his watch. ALSO also, I totally think he draws in his beard.

Smelling: Iris 39 from Le Labo I went on a little jaunt to Dallas on Saturday and Sunday to do a little shopping, see Andre and visit my brother who I’m beginning to suspect does not own any clothes without illustrated rhinocerosesses on them. The familial visit didn’t happen, the Andre visit was a train wreck, albeit a very poignant, elegant Alphonse Daudet/Guy de Maupassant-style train wreck, but the shopping, the shopping was good. Unlike Austin, Dallas has a proper Barney’s and proper Barney’s have proper fragrance counters, including Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle and Le Labo. I’m wearing Le Labo Iris 39 today and if you like your unflaggingly elegant iris with a little bit of filthy filthy sex, Iris 39 might be worth a go.

December 28, 2010

Five Great: Long-Lasting, Waterproof Products

Filed under: Five Great...,Makeup — Miss Plumcake @ 10:03 am

I don’t actually tend to wear a lot of makeup.

My skin ritual is pretty intense, especially with the blood of virgins being so hard to come by these days, but as far as daily cosmetic application goes, it pretty much begins and ends with me slapping on some lipgloss-type thing on my way to work.

Of course sometimes I get inspired by something on the catwalks or a new campaign and I adapt it for day, but for the most part any serious makeup application I do is for evening and generally doesn’t have to last more than four hours, which is why it doesn’t often occur to me to buy waterproof or “long-lasting” makeup.

Plus, and I don’t feel like I’m revealing the Ark of the Covenant here, but a lot of that 12 hour or supposedly waterproof stuff? Sucks.

The lip color is dry and flaky or it peels and is gross, the mascara is clumpy and impossible to remove without a wrecking permit and a half tub of Vaseline plus you blob it on your cheek anyway, and the eyeliner either peels or just doesn’t stay put.

BUT, what with the All Suffering All The Time theme we seem to have going at stately Chateau Gateau, it became clear that I needed at least a few products I could slap on my face and not think about for the rest of the day, even through massive crying jags. Thankfully I’ve found a handful of great products that not only can stand up to a tsunami of tears and ladylike dabbing of eyes, but also feel good on.

Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner
There are a lot of great gel eyeliners out there but generally Clinique’s Brush-On liner or MAC’s Fluidline are considered the gold standard by makeup artists. This is as good, if not better, than Clinique’s and on par with MAC, with the bonus of being longer lasting and more smudgeproof.

The application of this is a dream, creamy and featherlight with absolutely no drag so it’s perfect for beginners or folks whose hands aren’t steady enough to draw a classic line with a more traditional liquid liner. It comes with a surprisingly decent brush and I got a perfectly respectable line out of it, but obviously use a professional brush for even better results.

I did a thick 60’s winged line to get that classic cat-eyed look and it stayed on flawlessly and with minimal transfer (transfer is when your eyeliner leaves a half-moon on your upper lid from when you blink) through gales of tears, and when I woke up the next morning, having forgotten to wash my face, it would’ve needed only a slight touch up to be presentation ready. It also stays in place on the waterline and leaves a dark, intense line. 10/10

Maybelline The Falsies Waterproof Mascara

Having given myself a few months off of lash extensions to let my natural lashes grow (and I was getting slightly bored of the look and the way it limited my makeup choices) I’d relied on some freebie Sephora mascara. It’s nice enough but runs if you look at it funny.

Since Maybelline’s brand was launched when a young man saw his sister mixing Vaseline and coal dust to enhance her lashes it’s really not a surprise they’d have such a good collection of mascaras. It’s a wetter formula than I’m used to, and unlike most of the waterproof mascaras I’ve known, you don’t wait until the first coat is dry to build up product. I didn’t have any clumps and the payoff was satisfyingly intense, not so intense as they’d actually be confused with false lashes, but still pretty darn good.

It would definitely benefit from a lash curler beforehand and a good eyelash comb after –then it might look like a false lash treatment– but even just a regular application looked pretty great. It did take more than a few seconds to dry so it’s not one I’d put on in the car –not that you’d be doing that anyway– but the spoon-shaped brush worked like gangbusters on the lower lashes, where it built up product but didn’t create spikes or clumps. It smudged a little after about 8 hours of considerable tears and tissues, and in the morning they were a bit clumpy, but an eyelash comb and a little clean up under the eye would’ve made it as good as new. 8/10

Sally Hansen Prep & Perfect Lipcare

I don’t think it’ll surprise anyone when I say I’ve got a lot of mouth. I’ve got big lips with a dramatic cupid bow shape, so I have to be careful when it comes to what I put on my lips because when it goes wrong –peeling or balling or chewed off– it goes wrong in a big way. Also I’m a big baby and I hate hate hate the way most long-lasting lip products feel.

I picked this up a few days ago because it was 75% off (I hope this doesn’t mean they’re discontinuing it!) and I thought it couldn’t hurt to try. Basically it’s a sort of cream base your put on your lips before applying color. It’s supposed to even out the texture of your skin and lock in color, effectively making all lip color long-lasting. I didn’t really have high hopes.

I figured it was either going to be gross or ineffective or both. Surprisingly, it’s tremendous.

You apply a thin layer with a little doe foot wand and let it set for about 30 seconds. It doesn’t feel like you’ve put anything on, or maybe a very light coating of creme lipstick. Then just apply your normal lip color or gloss. That’s it. I’ve used it under a lipstain, a creme lipstick, a traditional light gloss and an intensely pigmented gloss and it’s worked brilliantly under all of them.

I wouldn’t go so far to say that it makes a gloss last twelve hours, but it significantly lengthened the lives of all the products, and when I ate and drank it faded more evenly instead of looking splotchy or chewed-off and leaving that horrible ring. I used it under a creme lipstick and topped it with a highly pigmented gloss and the look stayed put with zero feathering for well over 12 hours. 9/10

Makeup Forever Mist and Fix Spray

Not waterproof or long-lasting per se, but rather a fixative that lengthens the life of your makeup application. I think I’ve recommended this before and it does work wonderfully.

Just spritz it over your finished makeup, or once you’ve done your foundation and again after you’re finished. However, a while ago I started experimenting with using it as a solution, mixing it with powder shadows or pure pigment for a sort of wash of color either on its own or as a base for a deeper color application.

It’s pretty spendy and I’m not sure I’ll get through the entire big bottle any time soon, but there’s a small travel-size bottle available that would be worth every penny.

Makeup Forever Aqua Cream Eyeshadow

Oh this is great stuff. I’ve only used the eye products, but this stuff feels like nothing, doesn’t crease and doesn’t budge.

Plus you can layer it so if you just want a light wash of some neutral just to look polished but not painted, you can do that. But if you want to build up to an intense color, either using another layer of the product or a powder on top that’s easy too.

I really like the #12 soft copper when I’m either doing a statement lip and need something to balance my face without going full-on show girl or when I want to focus on a defined liner look as opposed to an all-over smokey eye.

It sets in about a minute so if you’re doing fancy blending, be quickish about it. I used this when I did my heavy black liner the other night and it stayed put all day. 10/10

December 22, 2010

‘Tis the Season for the Bollywood Hopeful

Filed under: Accessories,Makeup,Movies,Perfume,Tis the Season — Miss Plumcake @ 8:00 am

Bollywood/Hollywood – My favorite English-language Bollywood film. Not that Monsoon Wedding isn’t great, but I love the tongue-in-cheek portrayal of the traditional Indian family and the plucky –not helpless with a thin veneer of pluck– heroine. If Frank Capra directed modern-day bollyflicks, I think you’d get something like this.

Guerlain Terracotta Kajal Intense Indian Kohl – You can’t do South Asian Glam without kohl eyeliner and lots of it. Unfortunately, applying loose kohl powder is challenging to even the most seasoned paint-slinger. The application itself isn’t that hard, but controlling the fall down (the bits of powder left on your cheek) is messy business. Guerlain, whose kohl products are excellent, makes a cream kohl with the incredible intensity of a powder and it’s safe for use on the waterline.

Sandalwood Amber Sheet Spray
– As a lover of perfume and all things fragrant it’s no wonder I’m drawn to Indian culture. Everything, from the food to the temples to the clothes to the bedroom, is heavily –often gloriously– scented. Keep a sachet of cardamom pods in your pillows and spray your sheets with sandalwood and you’ll drift off to sleep (or whatever else you do in bed) like an Indian queen.

Linden Earrings from Kendra Scott – More is always more. These earrings –glam but still wearable without looking costumey– are the most.

Be sure to check back at the main ‘Tis the Season page to look back on profiles you’ve missed and look forward to ones that are soon to come!

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