Viva Las Vegas 17: Pre-Game Tips & Tricks

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As some of you may know via my Facebook page, I will be making the pilgrimage to Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend for the first time since 2012. I am beyond excited, and I will get to spend some good QT with my main gal and maid of honour Nicole! I am sure I will have a much better time having her with me and we can totally enjoy ourselves 🙂

Seeing as Viva is only a little over a month away (!), I wanted to give everyone a good pre-game list to refer to regardless of whether it is your first time or you are a seasoned VLV vet.

Let’s get started!

1. Don’t Overpack
I know this seems like a pretty basic tenet, but any gal who has been to Viva previously knows this is impossible. You need a day dress for each day, an evening dress for each nightly event, accessories for each outfit, shoes, undergarments, and more. One can simply not afford to look less than fab! But this also means you’re risking having a veritable army of suitcases to lug with you. This may not be so bad if you are driving for a couple of hours, but for someone like yours truly who is flying from NYC to Las Vegas, it’s a logistical nightmare. Luckily, the military taught this girl how to pack and be efficient with space. I know how to roll clothing to make the most use if my space and to not get many wrinkles. It may be painful to have to leave those vintage 1940s wedges that match perfectly with your vintage New Look wrap dress for a pair that is more comfortable and can go with two or three dresses (albeit not perfectly), but you will be glad you did. Which leads me to…

2. Be prepared to leave some suitcase wiggle room

The main lesson I learned at Viva my first go? You’ll be shopping. If you’re not shopping, you’re not living the full Viva experience! And seeing as such, you’re going to be bringing those goodies home, n’est-ce pas? You’ll be needing room for those, darlings! I have heard numerous occurrences of girls having to go and buy another suitcase just to get their spoils home. And you know what another suitcase usually means – checked bag fees! Why deal with that crap? Even better, have a flattened/expandable bag tucked inside your main one for such an issue. Then take it as a carry on. Voilà – problem solved!

3. Heels may look nice…but OW!

Some of you may know I have chronic pain in my left foot from nerve damage in a condition called RSD (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy). Because of this, I rarely wear heels. My husband couldn’t care less (he’s about an inch shorter than me), but sometimes a woman just wants to feel sexy and gorgeous in her heels! Well, Viva may not be that place. You will be doing a LOT of walking (and dancing!). If you slap those 4″ on at 8 AM for a day lasting until 3 AM, you won’t make it that far without being in horrendous pain. Nearly everything at Viva requires walking or movement of some sort. You don’t want to spoil your awesome trip because of some stupid foot pain and only remember the grief those blisters gave you, right? Go with those flats or a sturdy pair of wedges and rock what the man above gave you, girl!

4. Looking to see some pastie-adorned ladies? Be prepared for lines

I remember my very first day at VLV 15 – my first 45 minutes at the Orleans was spent waiting in line…one that ran and wove nearly the whole length of the casino. Why? I had to see the burlesque showcase! But that line though 😦 I am a New Yorker, we notoriously despise lines. I grumped my way to the front and got my tickets, but I know it would have been a little easier to prepare for that line mentally prior to actually being in it. I never even tried to get tickets for the burlesque competition. It would have given me agita.

6. The “main” days of Viva are always Friday and Saturday

I always prefer to arrive on Thursday, rather than Wednesday sometime. If you look at the schedule here, you can see there aren’t really many big deal events going on Thursday or Sunday (well, I see Kim Lenz on Thursday night, sooo…there can be an exception or two 😉 ). So take the time to dance, meet up with friends you aren’t hanging with the whole time, or go see what the rest of Vegas has to offer (it’s amazing – trust me, I lived there for over two years!). Maximize your time to however you please!

7. Did you notice I left out 5?

Just seeing if y’all are paying attention 😛

8. Wear as much authentic vintage as possible if you want to look unique

I can’t stress this enough. My first go at Viva I brought a lot of Bettie Page dresses. And for each dress I saw at least three other girls nearby wearing the same one. That’s a shitty feeling, honestly. I now know much better than to do that again. And luckily my vintage dress collection has grown so much since then, so I have a lot of unique pieces I can wear when I go. As much as I absolutely love Pinup Girl Clothing and Bettie Page, I would never dream of bringing dresses or clothing there unless they were basics. There is just way too much of a chance of running in to other girls with the same exact outfit. Try and bring your most fabulous and most original pieces to Viva – it will be worth it! You’ll be the only fab girl wearing that one of a kind fab outfit 🙂

9. Be sure to have FUN!

A lot of women seem to think of Viva as some sort of huge competition with everyone else. I HATE that. I go to enjoy it, not to compare myself with everyone else. I am there to shop, enjoy my friends, listen to music, check out awesome cars, and just generally rock out and have a good time. Why stress yourself out trying to compete? You will only remember that and not the awesome show that Imelda May gave at the car show! And what kind of fun is that?

 

What tips and tricks do any of you all have out there for fellow Viva goers?

 

Vote for My Next Bettie Bang Hair Colour!

Hello hello to all my lovely readers. I have really been trying to force myself to write a bunch of posts lately and take some snaps of my huge thrifting trip (yet again, I know) yesterday but I have just been feeling as low as your can nearly get because I do believe I am coming down with the flu that has been going around. Lucky me! And ironic indeed as well as just my luck, as I was unable to receive a flu shot recently because I was taking a special steroid for the pinched nerve/herniated disc in my neck and getting vaccines during the course of that treatment is a no-no. So I missed out and intended to get one this week, but here we are. What impeccable timing.

Anywhos, on to the topic at hand – hair! I have been itching to yet again change my hair colour on my Bettie bangs and am just torn between two wonderful colours. Since I just cannot bring myself to a decision, I am opening up that decision to you! I have entered a poll below for all of you to easily vote on what colour you would think would look best and prefer to see next on my Bettie bangs. I have the black hair besides so keep that in mind too!

Here are the options:

Atomic Turquoise

Atomic Turquoise

Hot Pink

Hot Pink

Go for it and let me know.

Thank you all for your help!

The “Me” Sessions (Jodie King Photography) – Street Scenes

Here is the last batch of pictures from my photo shoot with Jodie King Photography. These happen to be my personal favourites of the entire shoot, with the mix of the city street background, the afternoon sun, and the vintage styling. I am usually very critical of pictures that are taken of me, but all of the pictures here I love. It was a fabulous shoot all around!

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The “Me” Sessions (Jodie King Photography) – Balcony

Today is part two of my series of shots from my photo shoot with Jodie King Photography. We decided to take it outside, this time on the balcony, and got some great shots as a result of this mixed with the afternoon sun.

The last part of the series will be tomorrow – check back!

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The “Me” Sessions (Jodie King Photography) – White Background

Well dolls, I finally did it – I had my very own photo shoot with Jodie King Photography! I just couldn’t resist when the suggestion was made to me to model myself, and I did all of my own makeup, hair, styling, and of course – modelling!

There are three looks/styles in this series, and I will begin with my white background poses of my photos. Stay tuned over the next couple of days for the rest in my series – I assure you, they only get more impressive as time goes on!

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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!