Miss Imelda May

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I am sure some of you already know about her, but this post is for those of you who don’t – all about Imelda May. She is a rockabilly revival artist from Ireland, and I just adore her. I have heard so much about her over the time I have researched and read into the vintage and rockabilly lifestyle, but I never really went for a true listen until recently on iTunes. And wow, was I blown away! Her talent is just amazing – she has such a great voice – gritty at times, as well as sexual and sensual when the mood calls for it. The album that really launched her to more of her fame status is called “Love Tattoo”, and is much worth checking out. She is most famous for her two songs off of that album, entitled “Big Bad Handsome Man” and “Johnny Got a Boom Boom”. And, I assure you, after hearing those two songs, you will be hooked.

I think I spent over $10 or so on iTunes the other day just going crazy buying all of these songs I loved from her Love Tattoo (2008) and Mayhem (2011) albums. I have been listening to them non-stop. I also recommend the title track off of her latest album, as it has a great beat and just a general good sound. She travels around in the U.S. sometimes, but I just recently checked her U.S. site, and there are no recent upcoming dates posted (well, none at all. actually!). I hope there will be soon, because I would love to see her performing live.

I hope that I opened a few peoples eyes to the magical music that Miss Imelda makes, and that you will check into it. She has quite the cult following on the retro/rockabilly scene besides the authentic rockabilly from years gone by, so it’s worth a peak!

Review: Vintage Life Magazine vs. Pinup Magazine

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Hi dolls – today I am doing a comparative review of two magazines: Vintage Life and Pinup. I have a print subscription to Vintage Life, and I recently bought myself a digital subscription of Pinup. Immediately I noticed some huge differences that I wanted to let all of you know about.

Vintage Life has many more articles and such dedicated to authentic vintage living, beauty, fashion, and what have you. There are many contributors such as Lisa Freemont Street and Betty Bee that offer their expertise and help, whether it be with hair or DIY projects. Also, Vintage Life is the first magazine in which I have actually looked at and thoroughly inspected the advertisements in it. They are all of particular interest, and has helped me to find great new places for clothes and amazing new blogs and other websites. I read every issue from cover to cover, and every article has something of interest for any lover of vintage.

The Pinup magazine offers something different. I expected it to be similar, but perhaps a bit more rockabilly in nature than authentically vintage. There is an article section all about people’s tattoos, and most of the magazine is dedicated to pinup photography. There is not much else other than that – nothing really about clothes, makeup, music, or the like. I was slightly disappointed about this, since I thought there would be more of that, but with a more rockabilly perspective. There is some great photography though, some that are great inspirations for looks to do with makeup and hair.

All in all, both Vintage Life and The Pinup offer individual things, but overall I much prefer Vintage Life for my particular interests and studies. If you prefer more of a cheesecake pinup magazine that is more based on photography, then The Pinup is for you. I am more of a vintage purist with sometimes a rockabilly twist, and Vintage Life caters to that just perfectly. I would recommend it to all of my readers. If you can’t afford the £67 ($104.29) for the print edition, you can subscribe digitally for £14.99 ($23.36) and have all of the back issues available at your disposal as well!

Necessary Tools for Great Vintage Makeup – Part Two

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Hi dolls!

Here is part two of my installment on necessary vintage makeup and tools. No introduction needed really, so let’s get started!

White Shadow Pencil

This is great for a lot of reasons. It helps to highlight your brow bone as well as the inner corners of your eyes to give you a more well-rested and awake look. You can also use this pencil to line the inside of your water line (lower lash line) to give you a more wide-eyed look which was very popular amongst Hollywood starlets and pinup girls. I use NYX pencil in Milk.

Rouge/Blush

Of course us vintage loving ladies need some nice colour on our cheeks! There are certain ways to apply rouge to achieve a vintage look based on a specific decade, but in general you blend into your cheekbones, using them as a guide as you blend up and outward toward your hairline. It is preferable to use a rosy or peach red blush for retro looks. I personally use a rouge, which is more of an authentic technique. Once I found Bésame’s rouge, I knew it would be the only one I would ever desire using 🙂

Eyebrow Pencil

I could not write this post and forget something as important as this! You will need to this to create the shape of your brow that you would like to achieve as well as fill in possible sparse areas. Be sure to get a colour that is about a shade lighter than your natural hair colour; getting the same colour as your hair will only make your eyebrows look entirely too severe and take away from your entire look. You will be adding a brow powder later to finish, anyway – so no worries!

Brow Powder

There are companies that have products specifically marketed as “brow powder”, but you don’t need that at all. Have I confused you yet? Well, stay with me on this – such “brow powder” is really nothing more than reassigned eye shadow. Do you have eye shadow in a colour about the same as your brow pencil? Then you are set! Just use your slanted eye brush to fill in your brows with it and to blend everything to a nice beautiful, natural finish.

Liquid Eyeliner

I love liquid eyeliner – it is all I ever really use for lining my eyes. You can create so many looks because of the liner tip (I prefer felt tip), from a thin barely there line to something more dramatic with a cat’s eye wing tip. The only colour you need is – what else – black! I use Maybelline’s Lash Stiletto because the tip is a decent length where you have a lot of versatility and the liner stays on a while, offering nice deep colour. This is essentially for rockabilly looks and to have a nice authentic vintage sex appeal.

Regular Pencil Eyeliner

I sometimes use pencil liner for a more demure look, and more often use some colour when I utilize this option (although of course I still have black as well!). I have navy blue and emerald green to make the colour pop in my eyes, since I have eyes with both colours in them. You can also use pencil liner for day and liquid for evening if you’d prefer.

Lengthening Mascara

Although it was nice to have volume in your lashes, the “gotta have it” quality in your mascara for retro makeup is length, length, length, and more length! I use the lengthening mascara again from Maybelline’s Lash Stilleto line. I also use Lancome’s Hypnôse mascara as well. Long luxurious lashes are something you will see on any Old Hollywood starlet. When you have nice long lashes, your eyes are automatically made bigger and brightened, making your eyes “pop”. Who wouldn’t want that? These ladies had it right! They don’t call it classic for nothing 🙂

False Eyelashes

No respectable starlet went to any event without a nice pair of false eyelashes on. It helps amplify your length as well as volume – the glamour, oh my! I bought a decent box of 6 pairs of Amazon for about $3, so it isn’t difficult to find some decent ones for a good price. I know She Uemera has some nice lashes (some rather, um, interesting…), but they are ridiculously expensive. You don’t need to shell out that type of money, trust me. You are mostly paying for a name there. But be sure to get some decent eyelash glue, please! Duo is the best brand in my personal opinion. You can find their glue at your local drugstore.

Eyelash Curler

Again, this is not something you need to put out big bucks for. They all do the same thing, so grab a cheap one at a local drugstore. I usually curl before and after applying mascara, just for some added oomph. Curl them in a pulsing hold, not a continuous hold – it helps to curl them better. It’s just another way to brighten and blow up those beautiful eyes!

Lip Liner

Since you will now be a lipstick aficionado, you must now also become a lip liner aficionado. This creates a “frame” for the lipstick to stay in, and helps maintain your colour better from fading. Lip liner is also imperative to drawing those lip lines and shapes of the era you desire. Every era from the ’20s through the ’60s had a special lip shape that was en vogue and sexy at the time (I will write a post about this in the near future), and lip liner helps to give you that general shape to fill with your lipstick. I use Bésame’s dual lip liner. I think all y’all know how much I love Bésame, so that’s all I have to say on that 😉

Lipstick

One of the most important parts of your makeup look will be red lipstick. It can intimidate some women, but wearing it just oozes classic sex appeal and confidence. This is an area where I would recommend not being cheap. A good quality red lipstick is very much worth it, and can really make or break your look. Of course, you know what I am going to say here, but it is so true, and it took me forever to find a really great lipstick – Bésame is the gold standard for us vintage loving ladies (and most ladies, it should be!) in terms of lipstick. They have a wide variety of red shades (as well as pinks, corals, browns, et cetera), so you should be able to find at least a couple of shades for you. The colour is very well pigmented and moisturizing, so using a lip brush will get you a little bit to go a long way, which makes the lipstick last forever! And the customer service has been fabulous to me. I know I go on about them (and no, I don’t get paid to plug them!), but honestly they are such a great company with great products – you won’t regret a purchase from them.

Finishing Powder

I never realized how much of a difference this would make until I used it! It really helps to set your makeup in place and soaks up any oil so that you will have a flawless and matte look. Just lightly brush all over your face, and then you are all set with your makeup! I can really notice a difference from when I use it compared to when I don’t.

And that’s about it! I know it may seem like a lot, but when you actually use all of these things, it doesn’t take that long. But it certainly looks fabulous!

In the past few days, with the support of my good friend Bunny Moreno, I have officially decided that I will dip my toes into the YouTube tutorial pool. I have a few ideas floating around in my head as to what my first video (my pilot, I guess you could say…? 😉 ) should be, so hopefully I will narrow it down in the next few days. When I finally do go for it, I will be sure to post it here for all of you to check out!

Necessary Tools for Great Vintage Makeup – Part One

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Hi dolls – sorry it has been a bit since I wrote last, I have just been ill recently with some sort of stomach bug or flu that has really taken me for a ride. I am finally starting to recover a bit, so numero uno on my to do list was to post for all of my fantastic readers!

Today’s post is the second part of my “Necessities” series – this time all about makeup. There are certain tools and products that are needed to help create an authentic vintage look like we are trying to achieve. Some are obvious; others, not so much. But never fear, that is why I am here! Sit back, relax, and take stock of what you currently own, and make a list of what you need to get.

Ready? Go!

Foundation Perfecting Base

You know how all of your favourite Hollywood starlets always had perfect skin, with seemingly no flaws? A foundation base will smooth out your skin and make it the perfect blank canvas to showcase your gorgeousness in all of its glory. My personal favourite to use is Smashbox’s perfecting base – it has tons of vitamins and minerals to help your skin in the longer term, and I find this base makes for the best results.

Concealer (Skin tone, Green, and Yellow)

Concealer is commonly used, but more often than not, too many people do not know how to properly use it or know the exact colours to use and where. I offered three basic colours for you to use, as I find they are the easiest to use and offer the best results. Yellow is used to cover under eye circles/darkness, and green is used to counter any redness you may have of your skin, as it is opposite of red on the colour wheel and would therefore be rather effective at neutralizing this undesirable tone. I use skin tone colours to cover any blemishes or anything of the like. I use concealers by either Physician’s Formula or NYX.

Liquid Foundation

Foundation is of course necessary, but why liquid, you ask? I prefer liquid to other forms of foundation due to the fact that its liquid-y nature makes it ideal to create more of a silky and airbrushed feel to your skin. Having as near perfect skin as you can is an essential ingredient to the vintage or pinup look. I use Revlon’s ColorStay foundation, because it offers great coverage with a matte finish, and I found a shade that matches my skin – amazing! 😉

Stippling Brush

This is the soulmate to the liquid foundation for flawless, airbrushed skin. You may scoff at the idea of a brush mattering that much, but trust me – beauty artists know the differences a brush can make! There is a certain way to use it to create that airbrushed effect through, where you speedily dab/dot the brush all over your face with the foundation on it until everything is blended in and no visible lines are showing. There are many tutorials on YouTube about how to properly “stipple”. I use a brush by a company called bdellium.

Eyeshadow Base

Don’t you hate those creases you get only a few hours after you put your eyeshadow on? Or are you having problems being able to blend or have any decent colour appear from your shadow? My prescription for you is some good eyeshadow base. Not only will it even out the natural colour of your lids (from veins, darker spots, et cetera), but it will get your shadow to work at its maximum level as well as stay put all day. Be sure to gently dab/pat it all over your eyelid, and keep your eyes closed for a minute or so to ensure it dries properly and completely. If not, then there was no point to even applying the base. I have oily lids, so without a base my shadow will last a maximum of maybe 45 minutes before almost entirely creased and smudged. I recommend Urban Decay’s Primer Potion.

Eyeshadow Palette

Every girl needs some choices. We like to have these choices 24/7, so it goes with makeup as well. That is why I believe every vintage going girl needs a good makeup palette that offers something for every mood and whim. I personally have two palettes, not just for my business, but also because I love myself some variety too! You can find tons of decent palettes on Amazon, which is where both of mine are from. They also have blushes, concealers, glosses, and more in them. I have the Coastal Scents’ 78 Palette (which is what I would recommend to start with) and NYX’s Beauty Box, although that is really for my business.

Makeup Brush Set

In the final check on the list for today’s partial post, I could not properly execute any of my makeup looks without a good brush in my hand, really. As I had mentioned beforehand in regards to the stippling foundation brush (I separated the two because 99.9% of brush sets do not include a stippling brush), brushes can make a big difference in helping you to achieve the looks you desire. Not all brushes are created equal. MAC brushes are the status quo for good brushes, but there are other good ones out there that I have found to be of nearly the same quality and much less pricey. I have a 13 piece brush set from Shany Cosmetics that I ordered from Amazon for less than $20 or $25. Brushes that I would not budge on requiring are: concealer brush, lash/brow brush, eyeliner brush (very thin tip), slanted eyeliner brush (angled shape – I use this for applying brow powder), blush brush, blending eyeshadow brush (bigger in that it seems as if the bristles are a bit bigger/more plentiful), regular eyeshadow brush (precision work, such as adding shadow in the crease), and a powder brush. Be sure to clean your brushes every week! Help them to help you.

Part Two of this post will be up as soon as possible, so keep your eyes peeled!

Necessary Tools for Great Vintage Hair

Hi dolls!

Today I decided to do a post on the necessary tools and tricks for achieving great vintage hair. I have learned a lot over the years, and take very good care of my hair. And in my time of doing vintage hair, I have found a few tools to be necessary in order to get the look you desire.

Hot Rollers

Hot rollers are great at getting a lose and gorgeous curl in your hair, like Rita Hayworth or Veronica Lake. It also helps at molding your hair to do easy and defined victory rolls, bumper bangs, and the like. Make sure to buy a good set though! Read the reviews before you buy. I have a set by Hot Tools Professional that have been great so far. But before you take them out, make sure they are completely cool first! And I usually blow my hair dry beforehand using a curling mousse to help define and enhance the curl more.

Hair Dryer

I think this is a pretty obvious one 🙂 To be used to both hot and cold sets prior to rolling. I consider ionic dryers to be the best, as they add shine to your hair and don’t cause as much heat damage.

Curl Enhancing Mousse

This helps as a great base to start any of your styles. Apply to wet hair and blow dry, and you are ready to begin styling! Tresemmé has great mousse.

Heat Protecting Spray

This will protect your hair from heat damage, and as we all know, heat is probably the worst thing for your hair. I use Tresemmé’s spray, which can be found in drug stores for about $6. I take sections of my hair, spray some of it on, finger comb it through a bit, then roll my hair.

Cold Set Rollers

This is the single most important thing to getting an authentic vintage look. I have been using sponse/foam rollers, but soon I will be making my own pillow rollers, which I prefer. You rarely roll to what is called “on base” (all the way to the scalp), unless told to do so. Most of the time you roll to about ear level in order to achieve the look where the crown is flat. Women did this so that they could wear hats without fudging up their hair. Going out with a hat was seen as a necessity!

Setting Lotion

This is something you will need to use in order to do your cold sets. It will help to hold the curl and keep its shape. I prefer to use Lottabody Professional Setting Lotion. Please see my tutorial on how to do a cold set for thorough directions on how to use it to set your hair.

Scarf/Hair Cap

This is in order to keep your curlers in the right places when you are doing other things you need to do or are sleeping. It protects the hair also when you are out on a windy day, it’s raining, or you just want a little vintage glamour mystery 🙂

Rat Tail Comb

This is great for dividing your hair into sections to roll or style, as well as tease and do finishing touches on your style. Super helpful!

Plastic Bristle Brush

This is perfect for combing out your curls into a great vintage set. You may need to brush for a little bit in order to defrizz enough. It’s also great for shaping your curls by brushing against your hand.

Bobby Pins

This is an absolute must to hold your styles in place! For most shapes and styles you will need to use at least a few bobby pins. But also be cautious – some bobby pins do not hold as well as others! I have found Goody to have decent pins.

Hairspray

Of course this is a no brainer! It helps to hold your hair where it needs to be held, and can work well at prepping your hair as well.

Hair Rat

This will be needed to create bumper bangs and many styles of the like. Get one as close to your own hair colour as you can. I have a black hair rat, and it works very well. You can find them for pretty cheap on Amazon.

Layrite

Layrite is an amazing pomade that I use consistently. It holds your hair without looking greasy and leaves a wonderful shine. Smells amazing too! All us rockabilly/vintage/retro people use it, it is very well known. Definitely worth the investment! Click on the banner on the sidebar to check it out and see more great products from Hawleywood’s.

 

These are the basics that I can think of to list to start off your vintage styling correctly. Of course you can accessorize with snoods, hair flowers, bandanas, scarves, hair combs, and things of the like. Check out some classic movies and think of how the hair might have been styled, and try to recreate it. It may take some time to really get the hang of it like I did, but once you do it will be very natural to you.

Just remember – practice, practice, practice!

Meet You in Vegas…

 Hi dolls!

I just have some great news that I wanted to share with you – I will be going to the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender this April! This will be my first VLV, and I have been way too excited beyond words to go since I initially got into the vintage/rockabilly style. It has everything any retro enthusiast could ever hope to have under one roof – rockabilly music, dancing, great shopping, vintage cars, retro bowling, burlesque – I could go on and on. Making the trip just was not really in the cards for me or my boyfriend recently, so I was really hoping to make it in 2013. Disappointing, but I tried to hold on to the fact that I could go in 2013. Well, I don’t know what happened today, but my boyfriend made all of the plans for us to go, from flight to hotel room to tickets, and got it all in the span of about 45 minutes! I was so excited I could barely speak. He was talking about going to Disney World in the next few months with his family’s Disney Vacation Club points, which is something he really wanted to do, as he loves anything Disney. He knows that Disney is not really my thing (I find it a little too “fantasy” for me), and he said he wanted to do something I wanted to do as well, and started planning for Viva. I couldn’t believe it! We are going to be there for the entire time, minus a few early events on the Thursday because my boyfriend has classes later in the afternoon that he does not want to miss (He is going for his second bachelor’s in computer science), and that’s fine. But after that, we are there the whole weekend. We will be staying close by – no rental car needed 🙂

All I need to do is save my money so I can (of course!) have some decent spending money while over there. I also plan on bringing a huge box of my business cards to network with other bloggers, retailers, and rockabilly/vintage enthusiasts. And naturally, I will be taking pictures and reporting on everything straight from Viva. I want to give you such great reporting that you feel like you are there as well!

April seems too far away, but it is working its way here. It is 89 days until Viva Las Vegas – I will be counting down every day!

My Oh My Miss Marilyn

Hi dolls! I have been noticing a lot of people have been visiting from search engines and have searched for the term “marilyn monroe style/makep” in some way or another. That gave me an idea to write a post about how to achieve her look, both from makeup to clothing to hair.

Let’s start, shall we?

Makeup

Marilyn’s makeup placed an emphasis mainly on her lips and eyebrows, and a subtlety in her eyes and cheeks. Clear skin is imperative, so be sure to use a concealer, foundation, and finishing powder. I use a stippling brush to get that airbrush effect, and it works well!

For the eyes, I always start out with an eyeshadow base. A look this glamourous cannot be ruined by creased eyeshadow! Tap the primer on your entire eyelid, and wait for it to dry. Then apply your base color, which should be a light/nude/bone color, to your entire lid, from eyelash line to brow bone. Next, take a champagne color shadow and use that on your brow bone (which is slightly above your crease). Be sure to blend, blend, blend! You want smooth, natural and gorgeous eyes, and no harsh lines are allowed. After this, take a deeper matte brown color and uses that in your crease. You know what’s next – blend, blend, blend! Next, use some black liquid eyeliner and trace a thing line from the inner corner of your eye to the outer edge. While that dries, use a brow pencil a shade lighter than your natural color and trace a shape that is more pointed at the arch, and gradually tapers in thickness towards the end. Refer to the above picture for a visual. Then take an eyeshadow closer to your natural color and fill in your eyebrows to set and officially shape them. Afterwards, use the liquid liner again, and using the angle of the outer corner of your eye to the tip of your eyebrow, trace a slight cat’s eye, almost like a flick. While that is drying, use some peachy rose blush on the apples of your cheekbones and spreading to the rest of your cheekbones. Add slight color to your nose, as well. Take an eyelash curler and curl your lashes to the count of 10, then add a coat of lengthening mascara. If you have or can get false eyelashes, but them in half, and glue the outer portion of them on the outer ends of your lashes. Coat in lengthening mascara again, and curl to 10 once more. Use a brown eyebrow pencil for your beauty mark (if you wish), and you can choose where you would like it to be – Marilyn moved it several places. Afterwards, set with a finishing powder, and you are all set!

Hair

Unfortunately, I am unable to do any type of hair styling right now due to post-operative restraints on my shoulder, so for now, I will post a video tutorial from one of the girls I learned the most about retro hair and makeup from, Lisa Freemont Street:

It may take a while to get used to doing this look in the way she achieves it, but trust me, this is the authentic way to get Marilyn’s look. The placement, direction, and angle of the curls you are making are all very important to this look, as is with any vintage style. Think you just throw some curlers on haphazardly and go? Think again, sorry! 😛

When I am recovered enough to do so, I will do hair tutorials myself. I will either take pictures of every step along the way, or I will do a video if I have the chance. If any of you out there have a preference, please be sure to let me know, as I like to please my people! 🙂

Style

Marilyn’s style can be best described as classic but sexy at the same time. Look at pictures of her, and take notes of the lines and details of what she wore. Back then, things were more matched together and purposeful than they are today. Keep that in mind as you try to pick out items to wear that are “Marilyn-esque”. But always be sure it is body hugging! PLEASE know the difference between body hugging and tight – tight is something that just plain doesn’t fit; body hugging is something that fits you to a tee, and shows off all of your best assets.

This is too tight:

Notice how her breasts are pressed down upon by the dress, as well as it bunching up at her waist and hips – classic signs of a dress that is a wee bit too tight or perhaps ill-tailored. It makes her look much heavier than she actually is and does no justice to any of her assets.

Let’s a a lesson from Marilyn’s book, both in a formal and casual setting:

Formal

Casual

As you can see, all of the clothing she wears looks like as if it had specifically made just for her. How can you achieve this? The first – and best – way is to get your clothing tailored. It is not as expensive as most may think, and most dry cleaners offer this service in their shops as well as other areas. It is well worth the few extra dollars out of your pocket in order to look like a million, don’t you think? Also, a key is to also be sure to know your true size. I cannot emphasize this enough. I know how most women are – if they can squeeze their hips and butt into a size 8 and barely be able to breathe as opposed to being comfortable and well-fitted in a size 10, you all will do it. Just because you can squeeze into a size 8 doesn’t mean you should! That actually will make you look bigger and more ill proportioned than thin and taut. That girl in the yellow dress was trying to do just this, and it didn’t work out so well for her, did it?

Also, notice the classic lines and styles that Marilyn wears. You will never really see her wearing any of the latest fads or trends at the time. Most of her favorite colors were timeless – khaki, white, black, and red. Nice pedal pushers/cigarette pants with a boat neck 3/4 sleeve shirt or turtleneck is a great way to go casual. Also, a bullet bra will gave you an amazing ’50s look like she had wearing more casual shirts and things. Like I had mentioned a few posts ago, Secrets in Lace has great bullet bras for this, and I just wore the one I have from them yesterday! Some nice flats finish off the look well. You can also wear some mary jane pumps if you would like to sex things up a bit for the daytime.

For more glamourous or formal occasions, Marilyn was known for that being her time to shine (of course, she was known for her great beauty anytime, but particularly at formal events – she would pull out all of the stops!). Dresses the emphasized her hourglass shape were always the go-to – think belted dresses, wrap dresses, or anything along that line. Also note that if she were to expose most of her legs as the center of attention, she would cover up her bust for the most part. If her bust was more front and center, she most often had a longer length gown. Please keep that in mind in order to keep that Marilyn “classic sexiness” from going overboard and becoming too much. And of course, what would a Marilyn evening look be without a great pair of heels?

All in all, it is not that difficult to try to achieve Marilyn Monroe’s look as many think it is. The hair may take some time for those who are not accustomed to doing vintage styles and pin curls already, but with practice comes experience and knowledge. Not only will you gain her look, but surely you will gain her charisma and energy as well. Good luck!