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After discovering my actual bra size I though it was time to start a bra series on my YouTube channel. The first question I get is how do bra sizes work.

I’ve stepped away from the Victoria’s Secret measuring methodology, no longer adding 4-5 inches to the band and measuring across the chest on a random diagonal angle that has nothing to do with the actual bust. I suggest you check out my bra fitting experience video if you have no idea what I’m talking about.

I also briefly cover inconsistencies across brands and different countries. Just because you wear a 32G in Natori, it does not mean you wear a 32G in Freya. You would be surprised at how many sales associates at specialty bra shops in Montreal didn’t know this. I couldn’t believe, a novice like myself, was educating them on that matter.

How do Bra Sizes Work?
  • the number indicates the band measurement in cm or inches, depending on the country, it goes up in increments of 2 inches or 5cm
  • the letter signifies the difference in cup and band measurement, in other words, there is no need to gasp at DD+ measurement (as this is actually very common)
  • the band should be snug because it holds 80% of your breast weight and works to anchor your bust and provides lift
  • your bra should stay put, even when you straps aren’t on
  • if your straps have a two-finger tension, they should never slip off your shoulders
Letters, Numbers and Cup Sizes Explained UK bra sizes

5” difference between band and cup = DD
6” difference between band and cup = E
7” difference between band and cup = F
8” difference between band and cup = FF
9” difference between band and cup = G
10” difference between band and cup = GG
11” difference between band and cup = H
12” difference between band and cup = HH
13” difference between band and cup = J
14” difference between band and cup = JJ
15″ difference between band and cup = K

Notice how UK sizing doesn’t do double E and it skips I.

US bra sizes (sort of)

5” difference between band and cup = DD/E
6” difference between band and cup = DDD/F
7” difference between band and cup = G
8” difference between band and cup = H
9” difference between band and cup = I
10” difference between band and cup = J
11” difference between band and cup = K
12” difference between band and cup = L
13” difference between band and cup = M
14” difference between band and cup = N
15″ difference between band and cup = O

Notice how US sizing differs because it stops using double letters at D, it doesn’t skip I, and more confusingly it does not always begin this way in the 5″ plus range. Good luck with that, I’ve had fun trying to figure out why.

EU bra sizes

5” difference between band and cup = E
6” difference between band and cup = F
7” difference between band and cup = G
8” difference between band and cup = H
9” difference between band and cup = J
10” difference between band and cup = K
11” difference between band and cup = L
12” difference between band and cup = M
13” difference between band and cup = N
14” difference between band and cup = O
15″ difference between band and cup = P

The EU version is similar to the US, except they don’t play around at the beginning of the DD+ range. Please note this does not include Polish or FR sizing, furthermore, brands like Empreinte work differently.

Different methods to getting your bra measurement
  • Measure your rib cage, underneath the bust and then round the number up to an even number if the measurement is odd
  • Measure your overbust, the measuring tape should lay firmly across the fullest part of your breast without pressing down on your tissue and should be paralell to the floor.
  • These steps give you a STARTING point to finding the right bra
Here’s an example of how you would get a measurement from these variables.

31” underbust with 37” overbust (round up to 32″)
37” – 32” makes a 5” inch difference

The measurements indicate a 32DD.

How Bra Size Works | Bra Series Ep.1 - YouTube

Some things to consider

In theory, the volume of a 30F should always be the same from one bra to another, but that’s simply not the case. Bra size is not standardized across the board.

Bra sizes are not indicative of how wide or narrow the wires are, nor the height or debt of a cup on any given bra. Cup height makes a huge difference for women who are short, have short torsos and/or for women who have short rooted breasts. Yes, root height is a thing. There are even more examples of breast shape which influence fit.

Band accuracy is hard to determine since different companies and countries have different standards. Fabrics have different stretch ability and thickness, all of which influences the fit of the band and cup. Furthermore, some brands use band measurement to denote the furthest it can stretch, others vary.

Fit, to a certain degree is subjective. For instance, someone with a lot of soft tissue around their rib cage might find it more comfortable to size down in band size while someone who has a boney-rib cage will find they prefer a stretchier band because there’s not enough cushion to protect from the wire pressing against the body uncomfortably. This is where people adopt sister sizes, for example, they may choose to wear either 30G or 32F depending on the bra in question.

That’s why measuring is just a starting point. Pick up multiple sizes from different brands and in varied styles to find what works best for you. Viola, you’ve been converted to bravangelism!

How do you know if your bra fits correctly? I’ll let you know in my next video!

xx

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I went for a bra fitting early October where I found out I was a 32F rather than the 34C I had been wearing for over 5 years. I wasn’t entirely confident enough to start ordering online (spoiler alert: online shopping is your best bet).

I heard it was common to change sizes after the first couple of months of wearing the right bra size. To add to that uncertainty, DD+ sizes are not standardized everywhere – different brands and different countries use different sizing scales. It is all very confusing.

Before ordering anything online, I visited multiple lingerie shops in Montreal and tried on loads of bras. There aren’t many stores that carry above DDD+ and many of them do not carry band sizes smaller than 32″.

I’m early in my journey, but I know this much from reading and running around bra shopping in Montreal. Here’s what’s out there.

Lingerie DEBra 5686 Monkland Ave, Montreal, QC H4A 1E4

I got my bra fitting here by a Bra-fit Specialist. I got sized from scratch, but you can get it done wearing your bra, if you prefer. You have to make an appoint before you go, it’s easy and free. If you are able to choose, pick the older sales associate(s) there to help you.

Once we figured out my size, which was a 32F US, I proceeded to try on 10+ bras. Ultimately, I picked the Fitfully Yours Smooth Molded Sweetheart in black for $68 CAD. They say you shouldn’t pick a molded bra in the beginning, but it’s the type of bra I wear most.

They carry Chantelle, Anita, Prima Donna, Wacoal, Panache, Freya, Cleo, Elomi, Fit Fully Yours, Fantasie, Goddess, Lise Charmel, Rosa Faia and perhaps more, they also carry swimwear.

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A post shared by Alexa Lowe (@alexalikes) on Oct 19, 2018 at 8:20am PDT

Lingerie Courval 4861 Sherbrooke St W, Westmount, QC H3Z 1G9

I’ve chatted a lot with one of the SAs there, I should probably know her name. They carry a small selection of multiple brands including Empreinte, Wacoal, Chantelle, Prima Donna, Natori, Marie Jo and more. Their service is great and you can ask them to call you when something new comes in or keep your size on hold. They carry a number of silk pieces, very pricey, but 100% silk – what can you do?!

Collange Deux Inc 1379 Greene Ave, Westmount, QC H3Z 2A5

Find beautiful silk robes and slips along with Gossard, Empreinte and more. The shop is nice and the staff are approachable. However, they don’t carry anything smaller than 32″ but will order items for you in the appropriate size on the condition that you purchase! Tricky. On a positive note, they sell the Empreinte Cassiopée for $187 instead of $202 CAD. It’s not much.

They told me there aren’t enough women demanding 30″ bands or less to merit them carrying such sizes, however the associates at Deuxième Peau (see below) told me they often sell out of 30″ bands. I think it boils down to the clientele in Westmount.

Ainsi Soit-Elle Westmount Square,4112 Saint-Catherine St, Westmount, QC H3Z 2S4

When I visited, they had a few bras for 30% off, included in the promotion was the Karolina strapless bra by Corin. Unfortunately, they didn’t have my size or any bands under 32″. The associate informed me that they usually carry 30″ bands, so I will definitely revisit. They carry Passionata, Aubade, Simone Pérèle, Prima Donna and Corin amongst others.

Underworld Place Ville Marie, 1 Place Ville Marie, Montreal, QC H3B 3Y1

A small shop with the most Empreinte I’ve seen in one place in Montreal. They carry Empreinte, Simone Pérèle and Chantelle to name a few. I bought my Cassiopée here after debating between the 32E and 30F (the brand runs very deep in the cups).

The SAs are nice and the shop is well organized. On the positive, they have a full rack of sales items in the front oragnized by size. There aren’t any crazy discounts, but it’s a luxury to be able to buy something you can try on first when you’re off the regular bra matrix. A negative, they do exchanges, no returns, even with store tags and receipt.

Lilianne Lingerie Complexe Desjardins, 150 Saint-Catherine St W, Montreal, QC H5B 1E4

They carry a small selection of pieces from Simone Pérèle, Chantelle, Wacoal, Corin, Passionata, and Triumph along with loungewear and swimwear. They frequently do small sales of 10%-20% off particular brands at a time.

I was most interested in the fact that they carry a few bras from Corin, which is a Polish brand. Eastern European women tend to be busty and Corin definitely caters to the fuller bust market. In other words, my medium to small bust should be no problemo. Althought the staff mistaken told me that Corin only made bras upto G, when a quick google search told me otherwise. They just didn’t have it in stock.

La Brise du Sud, 3955 St Denis St, Montreal, QC H2W 2M4

They don’t carry anything smaller than 32″ but they have a great selection of Prima Donna, Simone Pérèle, Passionata, Marie Jo, Fantasie, Aubade and much more. I explained to the SA that I fit more comfortably in a 30G than a 32F (EU) now, because my underbust has shrunk down from a 31.5″ to 30.25″.

The SA, very patient and kind to help, brought me everything she thought was small for a 32″ band and I tried them on, but a lot of those bands felt more comfortable on the tightest or middle hook. I wasn’t going to spend $100+ on a bra I knew would stretch out in a few wears.

She wasn’t pushy, but I think it’s best you steer clear of that place unless you are 32″ and above or if you want to see a particular style/brand bra in person. Even trying on a sister size can help determine whether you might want to order online in a different size.

Deuxième Peau, 4457 St Denis St, Montreal, QC H2J 2L2

A few blocks down from Le Brise du Sud, this small shop in a semi basement that looks dingy and run down inside but actually carries decent bras. I had to ask the SA for sizes and things that weren’t on the sales floor.

They carry Aubade, Corin, Passionata, Prima Donna and an array of European brands. They will also order stock for you with no pressure to buy. I’ve requested the Virginia by Corin in 30G or H (it is made a tad snug). They called me a month later, but I’ve been stalking sales online.

Other places to do bra shopping in Montreal:
  • Workingirls fine lingerie – 1001 Rue Lenoir suite a-110
  • Lyla Collection Inc – 400 Avenue Laurier O
  • Perle D’Eau Douce Lingerie – 6337 St Hubert St
  • Bas-Tique Fine Lingerie – 6848 St Hubert St
  • CHANGE Lingerie – Place Montreal Trust
  • Boutique Anne-Marie / Brassiere Splendide Inc  – 6648 St Hubert St (32A to 50DDD)
  • Ainsi Soit-Elle – Promenades Cathedrale – CLOSED DOWN, google has not updated.
  • Coquines et Câlines  – 5654 Monkland Ave – PERMANENTLY CLOSED

Also worth mentioning, I snagged a discontinued 32G Wacoal bra which fits pretty snug for a 32″ at Winners in Montreal Trust for $20 CAD. I’ve also spotted this model there for $19 CAD and I’ve been on the hunt to add a couple of decent inexpensive bras to my rotation so that I don’t wear through my new/expensive bras too quickly.

I just placed an order on Ebay for an Empreinte set and I intend to venture into online shopping for lingerie, because the stores in Montreal simply aren’t cutting it.  I also plan to incorportate a couple of lingerie shop visits into my iternerary the next time I travel to Europe.

Where do you buy your bras? Have you been fitted? Are you part of the 10% of women wearing the right size?

This post contains affiliate(s) links.

xx

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There are 5 products on sale at Sephora right now that I’m eyeing and I thought I would share these amazing deals. I have not shopped for makeup in a long while. However, the release of Fenty Beauty by Rihanna and the new Soft Glam palette by Anatasia Beverly Hills have tempted me to scroll through Sephora’s site. Window shopping does not harm anyone right? I really do not need new makeup, but that’s never stopped me before. Here’s a round up of products from Sephora brand, Too Faced, Anatasia Beverly Hills, Urban Decay and Make Up For Ever.

SEPHORA FAVORITES Give Me Some Nude Lip
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Get spring’s nude-ist edition to Give Me Some Lip™! for $17 instead of $34. Perfect for any neutral lip lover with a selection of liquid lipsticks, gloss, lipstick, and a lip plumper, not only will you find your personal perfect nude shade, but you can feel free to experiment with different formulas.

This set contains:
– 0.07 oz/ 2 mL Buxom Full-On Lip Polish in Sugar
– 0.05 oz/ 1.5 g Hourglass Girl Lip Stylo in Futurist
– 0.05 oz/ 1.7 g NARS Lipstick in Orgasm
– 0.17 oz/ 5 mL Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Pigment in Mauve Wife
– 0.034 oz/ 1 mL tarte tarteist quick dry matte lip paint in exposed
– 0.16 oz/ 4.7 mL Urban Decay Vice Special Effects in Fever

TOO FACED The Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette
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The Chocolate Bar Eyeshadow Palette is a sweetly tempting array of 16 matte and shimmer shadows scented with real chocolate. It is especially irresistible now that it has goen from $59 to $30, in other words, it’s 50% off! This cult favourite beauty product has an assortment of chocolate-inspired shades were formulated using real cocoa powder. The packaging immulates a chocolate bar tin, the rich selection of the perfect browns, neutrals, and little pops of color appeal to every candy lover.

This set contains:
– 0.03 oz/ 0.85 g x 14 Eyeshadows in Gilded Ganache, Milk Chocolate, Black Forrest Truffle, Triple Fudge, Salted Caramel, Marzipan, Semi-Sweet, Strawberry Bon Bon, Candied Violet, Amaretto, Hazelnut, Crème Brulee, Haute Chocolate, Cherry Cordial
– 0.1 oz/ 2.8 g x 2 Eyeshadows in White Chocolate, Champagne Truffle
– How To Glamour Guide

URBAN DECAY UD x Kristen Leanne Beauty Beam Highlighter Palette
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The Naked Ultimate Basics Eyeshadow Palette is also on sale, but with mixed reviews and the died-down hype Urban Decay has had on their eyeshadow palettes over the years, I would say that’s a pass. Instead, consideder the limited-edition highlight palette from the UD x Kristen Leanne collection which has rave reviews. The highlighter palette has gone from $45 to $22.50. Wear the golden shades individually, or cocktail two or three for a custom glowy effect.

This set contains:
– 3 x Highlighter in Soft Rose (gold pearl), White (gold pearl), Warm Golden Pearl

ANASTASIA BEVERLY HILLS Blush Kit
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You’ve heard of their Contour Kit and Glow kit, but what about the Blush Kit? From $39 to $27, you get a set of four full-pigment blushes for buildable intensity with a seamless finish. This kit offers four finely milled formula offers seamless blending and features buildable, full-pigment coverage.

This set contains:
– 4 x 0.17 oz/ 4.7 g Blushes in Vegas (matte corduroy brown), Dusk (satin brown taupe), Chocolate (satin warm copper brown), Blackberry (deep berry)

MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Palette Volume 4 – Shadows
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Artist Palette Volume 4 contains nine groundbreaking Artist Shadow formulas in must-have matte shades. This palette is ideal for neutral to dramatic smokey eye looks. They boast ultrafine pigments so that each matte shade leaves a smooth, even finish. The paskaging isn’t anything exciting, but nine highly pigmented and finely milled pigments for $29 instead of $52 is more than just a great deal.

This palette contains:
– 9 x 0.04 oz Eyeshadow in Black (M-100), Grey Brown (M-620), Chalk (M-126), Wine (M-842), Antique Pink (M-806), Dark Purple Taupe (M-546), Prussian Blue (M-240), Milk Tea (M-536) and Eggshell (M-530)
– Illustrated step-by-step application tips

Which of these 5 products on sale at Sephora right now would you consider picking up? Or is there something else that has caught your eye?

This post contains affiliate links.

xx

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The Pixi Beauty MatteLast Liquid Lip claims to provide full-on colour, all day wear while hydrating. These are the winner of the Cosmopolitan beauty Awards of the UK in 2017.

Big claims for matte liquid lipstick, which as beauty lovers know, are usually quite drying, sometimes cracking and uncomfortable to wear. Furthermore, many lip products break down with food and drink, along with wear throughout the day.

The shades I’m swatching in the video below:

PIXI BEAUTY MatteLast Liquid Lip
PIXI BEAUTY MatteLast Liquid | Lip Swatches - YouTube
Product Details
  • Extremely longwearing & comfortable, infused with rosehip oil
  • Quickly sets to a matte veil while leaving lips hydrated
  • Colours are universally flattering and wearable
  • Colour applies smoothly and uniformly in a single stroke
  • Unique Pixi Petal applicator provides even and precise application
  • Not tested on animals
  • Paraben free
How-To Apply
  • Prep: Gently exfoliate lips to smooth and condition
  • Apply: Outline lips with the point of the applicator. Apply a thin layer to clean bare lips, allowing colour to set.
My thoughts on the PIXI BEAUTY MatteLast Liquid Lip

I reach for them often when I go to work. They are comfortable and longwearing and are lightly scented with rose hip oil, one of the moisturising ingredients.

I sometimes carry a gloss to top them after I’ve worn them for a few hours and they have started to fade. The shades are flattering. My personal favourites are Really Rose and Matte Beige.

The only shade I did not receive, which I’m not sure is a UK exclusive, is Prettiest Pink.

I’m obliged to wear neutrals, pinks and reds for my airline job and I like a product that stays in place and is flattering as I’m speaking with passengers on a daily basis. I tend to look for lip products that are long-wearing or lip staining and do not fade on the corners of the mouth. Uncomfortable formulas that crack or make my lips feel tight are pet-peeves of mine.

Have you tried the PIXI BEAUTY MatteLast Liquid Lip?

This post contains PR sample(s) sent for editorial consideration.

xx

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