Happy 2012!

Here's to a happy, healthy, and retro 2012!

Hi dolls! Here on the east coast of the U.S., we only have 6 and a half hours before it’s 2012. I’m here surrounded by awesome people and will be happily spending the ringing gin of the new year at home with them. Can’t really go out hard partying with a freshly cut open shoulder…but then again, I was never much of a party person to begin with 🙂

My new years resolutions for 2012 are nothing. I have learned that they are useless, and we are already stressed out enough with all of the technology and everything of modern life. But I have a model of how I would like 2012 to be for me. Of course, plans change, and life can throw you curveballs. If you can’t do everything, don’t stress! Just enjoy everyday and be as healthy and as happy as can be.

Here is my model for the new year:

  1. Get my makeup business and blog off the ground and more popular.
  2. Go back to school to get my RN or BSN (even though I already have my bachelors, but my goal is medical school, and small steps like that can help much more for that 🙂 )
  3. Eat healthier and try to workout more after my shoulder is fully rehabbed and mister doctor man gives me the okay. I have been on MyFitnessPal for a while now, and I have finally started getting some friends on there that are retro/vintage girls just like me. Having similar goals and similar interests makes it more fun and more motivating!
  4. Expand my wardrobe with more authentic vintage, vintage reproduction, and retro inspired clothing. I just started out with this lifestyle in early October, and although my closet has expanded quite well accordingly, I still have much more I would like to add!
  5. Start performing my songs that I have written, preferably in the Lower East Side.
  6. Try and be more patient.
  7. Be more glamorous everyday (which I have already started doing already!)

What are your models for the new year? I would also like to write more often for the blog, especially now that I am recovering and have more time. I have a whole list of ideas for posts that are two pages long, and counting! And of course, if any of you have any requests, please be sure to let me know!

Here’s to 2012!

Lovely Ladylike Lush Lusty Lingerie

Hi dolls! I hope everyone had a great and amazing holiday! My surgery went well, my surgeon found a rare tear of a ligament that makes up the capsule of your shoulder called a HAGL tear (Orthopaedics and medicine is another passion of mine too 🙂 )

Over the past few weeks, I have gotten extremely interested in retro and pinup lingerie. I have found a few great sites that offer amazing and beautiful lingerie, that I have personally bought from and found to be amazing.

Secrets in Lace Retro Lingerie – I recently bought a beautiful bullet bra and bullet bra pads, which they amazingly had in my size (36 DD – I figured I would size up with the pads). I tried it on (difficult to do with recent shoulder surgery and being majorly restricted in movement!), and it fit beautifully. It looked amazing on, and you can also take the bullet bra pads out for more of a softer “bullet” look. They also exclusively have the Bettie Page and Dita Von Teese lingerie lines, and might I say, I was DROOLING. I can’t wait to buy more!

Dollhouse Bettie – I recently bought a beautiful ’40s looking garter belt and backseam thigh high stockings to go with it. The prices are great, and everything is amazing looking. I can’t stop perusing! They also have authentic vintage lingerie from the ’30s through the ’60s, which are absolutely stunning. A must see!

Lingerie can make a huge difference in your look, especially for going for a vintage look. Bullet bras are definitely a very retro thing, as well as waist cinchers (Rago is particularly known to be the best for these – Secrets in Lace has quite a selection!). You would always see the Hollywood starlets with particularly small waists, and this was how they achieved this look. It’s great to also smooth out any belly pooches or little love handles you may have and form you into such a gorgeous vixen that men will be turning to stare!

Garter belts and thigh high stocking are also a necessity for the authentic retro look. Dollhouse Bettie had a ton of beautiful vintage belts, as did Secrets in Lace. Retro garter belts sat higher on the waist than the ones available now that are more modern, which sit more on the hips. There is no way to feel sexier than a garter belt and thigh high stockings with a back seam. I absolutely love the look and intend to wear it frequently 🙂

Pegnoirs and chemises are a great way to add some vintage sexy to your look. Have your hair curled like Rita Hayworth, wear some cute heels, and my goodness, you will be irresistible! I intend to buy a set soon, but as I have limited funds right now, it will have to wait for sometime in the future.

Vintage lingerie can really make a huge difference in your look, although you may not think it at first. But when you trry it, you will see! It really is the royal way to add that extra oomph to your retro/vintage look, and really makes you feel like you are living in the decade you were truly meant to live in!

The Importance of Eyebrows

Hi dolls!

My entry this week has to do with something that many ladies overlook nowadays, but can really make  huge difference in the look your are trying to achieve – eyebrows! Many women underestimate how a good and well-shaped brow can really bring your whole vintage look together and really authenticate it. Each decade has its own unique brow shape that defined the time and made its mark on the era. Some were more decadent, some more natural – but all very beautiful!

I decided to break down the eyebrow looks by decade, and give you a visual to show you a good example of the look of the time.

The 1920s

Clara Bow

As you can see from Clara Bow, the eyebrows of the ’20s were rather exaggerated and unnatural. Eyebrows tend to show your expressions the most on your face, and this look shows a more worried or pensive look. You don’t really need to pay attention to the exact shape of the brow, as you just need to make a ever so slightly curved line, pretty much straight from one side to the other. Do note, however, that the end of the brow extends past the natural end to the brow. The thickness pretty much stays the same for the entire length of the brow as well. All you really need to create this look is an eyebrow pencil drawn from end to end.

The 1930s 

Jean Harlow

Eyebrows of the ’30s really made a 180 and changed rather radically from the look a decade prior. No longer were the straight, low eyebrows of the ’20s the look to have – very high and very arched brows were the look to covet now. Jean Harlow is the icon to think of when it comes to this authentic 1930s look. This look almost a perfect half-circle, and I have often used Layrite pomade tubs as a guide in order to get the right look. I don’t do many ’30s looks often, but when I do, it’s helpful to have that as a guide 🙂 All you need is an eyebrow pencil and to just glide it smoothly across, up, and over to create this look. Be sure that the width of the brow is the same all the way across.

The 1940s

Rita Hayworth

Eyebrows of the 1940s were much more natural than in the ’30s. They were still curved, but more to the natural curve you were born with. You can also notice that the brows gradually decrease in thickness as it goes along from the middle of the face towards the end at the edge of the eye. They keyword in this look is “gradual” as well as “natural”. During World War Two it was seen as frivolous and unnecessary to have anything other than that. This is the eyebrow I do the most frequently. I just do a slight line with an eyebrow pencil to get the general shape down, and then I fill it with brow powder on a slanted brush in order to fill and set the shape. Make sure also that you use some type of brow gel in order to keep the hair in place, as manicured eyebrows are a very important part of this look. I actually use Layrite’s Super Hold Deluxe Pomade to keep my brows in check. Even though it is specifically used for “extreme” hairstyles such as mohawks and such (the regular deluxe pomade is best for us retro styling ladies :-), I have found it works very well to tame brow hairs when I had initially gotten this type, which is not the best for retro styling.

The 1950s

Marilyn Monroe

When I think ’50s glamour, I think of Marilyn Monroe (As you will know as this blog progresses – I love Miss Marilyn!). And the brows this gal had? Very ’50s. The look and fullness was still very much similar to the ’40s, but if you look closely between Rita and Marilyn, you can notice one major difference – the arch. In the ’40s, the arch was more slight and rounded; in the ’50s, the arch was more pointed and severe. I think this had something to do with the fact of the prosperity after the war years. America was booming, and Hollywood entered a new phase of the glamour it had always known back then. The economy was very good then, and more women tried new things and looks changed a bit as a result. No longer was there a need to really dial down looks because of the Depression or the War – now was the time to go for it and have fun! Take that attitude to heart when having these eyebrows. Whenever I sport this look, I divide my brows into two areas, separated right at the arch. I pencil in the first area towards the inner eye, then the outer area to taper out. This creates a better arch as a base for when you fill in your brows with powder and set it with your gel. The cat eye liner goes great with this look!

Whatever look you choose, be sure to remember how good eyebrows frame the face and highlight your features. Most nowadays underestimate the importance the eyebrows have on your total look, but as these ladies demonstrate, they can really make or break your look – especially in terms of a vintage/retro vibe. I would not hesitate labeling eyebrows as being of the same importance as red lips! Eyebrows are the undercover workers of beauty – you will not notice the wonders they do until you see it for yourself. Then after you will never want to go without, because you will certainly notice the huge difference they make!

*PLEASE NOTE*: I am going to be having shoulder surgery this Friday, so I may not be able to really make posts like this for about two or three weeks. I may post one more entry before my surgery, we shall see. Of course, I will absolutely try to post an entry if I am feeling up to it enough to type, but it is kind of tricky with shoulder surgery like I am having. I may post random things here and there, but rest assured, the time I am recovering will be spent invested in researching and coming up with new articles to post about. I just wanted to let all of you know what was going on so you don’t think I am abandoning the blog. I also wanted to wish everyone a great holiday and a happy new year!

Review: “If This Was Happiness” by Barbara Leaming

I recently just finished this book of Rita Hayworth’s life, and I must say it was a read I thoroughly enjoyed. This book is kind of hard to find, as it seems that only a few sellers carry it on Amazon, but I am sure you won’t be disappointed when you receive it. I began reading it and immediately was drawn in.

Starting from her early childhood, she was made to perform. She was crippled by servere shyness, but came out of her shell when dancing as she was made to with her father. Her father was also incestuous, and rarely ever cared for his daughter as he should have. Her mother was unable to deal with her life and how her family was, and as a consequence became a heavy drinker.

Her romantic exploits did not fare much better throughout her life, either. Married five times, she really never found the happiness and home life she had been craving since a young age. You can see a definite pattern in how her incest early in her life has an affect on her later relationships. Leaming takes a very analytical turn with this, and demonstrates rather well how the two are connected and how Rita exhibits the classic signs of abuse.

Leaming also shows us the very private torture and pain in Rita’s later years as she dealt with Alzheimer’s Disease that was undiagnosed until 1980, and even then was a little-known disease. She also had a tendency to drink, and much of Hollywood assumed it was this drinking that was to blame for her erratic behavior. Little did anyone know that she was suffering from a terrible disease that would claim her life on 14 May 1987, at the age of sixty eight.

I think this book is amazing at portraying Rita’s life in a humane way, and not nearly as glamourous as the life most people think she led. Leaming makes this book seem to be a study in psychology, and makes it very compelling and touching at that. I would highly recommend this book to read to any of the Old Hollywood lovers out there, as well as anyone interested in the vintage scene and how life can certainly be a lot different than what most may assume.

Retro Nails

Hi dolls! In the past few days, I have been writing down topics I wanted to post about, but one just popped up into my head yesterday after my own experience – NAILS! It is so often an overlooked part of the vintage look, but definitely a necessity if you want to achieve the full authentic taste. Most people assume vintage nails are just red with rounded tips, but there is much more to it than that.

Vintage nails from the ’30s and ’40s are actually quite different from what you may think. I just recently got my own nails done, as I have acrylics, and I wanted a real retro look. Do what was that look exactly? Here it is:

Notice the manicured tips and the half moon crescent base. This was very typical of the time back then (of course, minus the squared tips like I have, but I can’t really change the shape too much from what I had previously before having my vintage look. It’s a gradual process 🙂 . There was usually a color in between the two white areas, and that really depended on the fashions of the time and/or the season. Navy blue, pinks, rose, greens, amethyst, and mustard yellow were all popular colors for nails at the time. It was very common to see nails match accessories and clothing as well.

To initially achieve this look, I would suggest getting them done by a professional first. Tell or show your manicurist how you want your nails to be done, and make sure to watch with a keen eye how they do your nails. Notice the tools that are used, which steps are done in what order, and anything else you can think that may be important. After you get an idea of what needs to be done and how to do it, you can achieve the look yourself if you like by buying the necessary tools at a local drug store or beauty supply store. If you have a hard time achieving the half crescent look, you can buy tape/stickers to apply after the initial coat you put on of color (the base) after you have cut it into the desired size and shape you want. Be sure to apply a top coat afterwards to finish the look.

Just like with vintage hair, it may take you some time to achieve this look properly by yourself. If you don’t succeed at first, then try, try again! I know I got discouraged easily when I was starting out with my vintage styling initially, but I kept at it and now I tend to get my desired look in a relatively short period of time (depending on what specifically I do, of course). And naturally, if you have any questions, be sure to shoot me an e-mail, and I will answer to the best of my ability 🙂