9.02.2014

Halloween is coming...

So Labor Day has passed…

That means it is time to put away my white shoes…

And it means that…


And since I just wasted my entire morning pinning Halloween stuff… thought I would get a blog post out it.

See all my favorite Halloween things I've collected on Pinterest here...

8.25.2014

Modern Vintage Beauty Pageants

1922 Beauty Pageant
courtesy www.Shorpy.com

I've been thinking about the newer phenomena of the vintage beauty pageant. We just wrapped up the Denver Modernism Show here and we Denverites have a new reigning Miss Modernism, Honey Touche. (That's her burlesque name)

The Miss Modernism pageant works much like a typical beauty pageant. I actually was a judge for this pageant a few years ago and we were put to the task to rate the ladies on 1) Attire/Hair/Makeup as it represented the time period that mid-century modern was popular, 2) Question/Answer, and 3) Talent. What I like about this pageant is that the Modernism movement covered a very long time period from the early 1930s well into the 1960s, so the pageant contestants have lots of decade looks to work with. We've had contestants and winners in 40s garb, 50s, 60s, all over the place.

Here's a picture of all the winners so far together and a picture of all of this year's contestants…a fabulous array of tastes and styles. I'd like to give every one of the contestants a sash for being amazing.



And I got to thinking, what are some of the other pageants here in the states and abroad that are dedicated to the retro girl? I know there are few vintage swimsuit competitions and of course the Palm Springs Miss Modernism, but am I missing something really special that it is in your home town?

Please comment on this post and tell me about your local pageant!

8.15.2014

1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…Lipstick

This is a great little article with tips for reshaping your lips and some cute insight into Victorian lip color   problem solvers. Enjoy!



Lines for Pretty Lips
Full, ripe, lovely lips and a sweet mouth characterize the truly feminine woman!

When I was a pig-tailed eight-year-old, my Grandmother took me to the photographer to have my picture taken. As the little man fumed and stewed, trying to get a respectable likeness for the family album, my grandmother whispered urgently, "Say 'p-e-e-ach' while Mr. Hardesty is taking your picture!" This, it seems, was to give me the little rose-bud mouth which then-vanishing Victorians considered both beautiful and refined.

Oh yes, before the easy glamour of modern lipsticks, women had their little tricks: saying "peach"; biting their lips together hard just before entering a roomful of friends (this reddened lips prettily): licking cinnamon red-hots and allowing a bit of rosy stickiness to cling to the lips. They were very concerned with how they used their mouths. We should be, too, even though we know a dozen quick make-up tricks with a lipstick.

There are many little things which can make or mar lip loveliness. Have you ever, while waiting for someone in a hotel lobby, for instance, studied slyly the faces of the passers-by? There is the girl who smiles happily up at her date- her mouth is a pretty curve of vivid red, with a perceptible up-tilt to the corners. (Her date smiles back at her!)

Obviously a pickle-puss is the woman whose thin lips press more and more tightly together as she watches the minute hand of the clock. He won't be charmed to see her unless she relaxes that mouth. (A little corrective make-up is in order, too.)

Then there's the girl who pulls her lips in unsightly lines as she give emphasis to something she's saying in a too-loud voice. There's no point in adding to the list -  you have seen mouths in action often enough to know that people love to watch a sweet mouth (and "people", means especially men) while they shy away from unlovely voices, disfiguring mannerisms or mouths shaped by disagreeable dispositions. Watch yourself, or tell your very-dearest friend (feminine) to call to your attention any mouth mannerisms which need correction.

We'll take it for granted that you haven't any bad habits like that. You therefore deserve a beautiful bright red lipstick with which to camouflage any little imperfection of size or shape and make your lips full, ripe, and lovely.

Select your lipstick, first of all, to harmonize with clothing. Second in importance is your complexion and hair color. Since red-heads stopped fearing pink, there are no complexion-color taboos left. It's a wonderful relief. Imagine the poor russet-topped darling who found green nauseating and was attacked by it each time she entered a clothing department. Color has been emancipated, and red-heads with it.

You really need a variety of shades of lipsticks. What difference does it make, budget-wise, whether one lipstick at a time lasts three months, or a collection of four indifferent reds lasts a year? Your lipstick for evening, under artificial light, should be brighter and stronger than the one you would use in the office in the day-time. Your navy dress wouldn't look well with an orange-red lipstick, nor would you combine jungle-green with blue-red.

Learn to use a lipstick brush. It eliminates ragged edges; gives your mouth natural-looking curves and helps give you the lush, colorful mouth of a very feminine woman. Practice on the back of your hand- or a piece of paper- in order to get the feel of it. In applying lipstick with a brush, work the brush into your lipstick, saturating the bristles generously. See that your mouth is dry, otherwise you'll find it a frustrating experience.

When you apply lipstick to your left upper lip, start at the left corner of the upper lip and stroke toward center. For the right upper lip, start at the center of your lip and brush downward to the corner and inward. Then press your lips together. This gives you an outline to follow on your lower lip.

When you do your lower lip, work from the left corner downward to the center; then from the center upward to the right corner.

To effect a flattering lift, separating upper and lower lips, moisten a cotton applicator with powder foundation. Apply at corners of mouth, working inward towards the inside of the mouth.

For correcting smudges, covering mistakes and effecting a beautiful outline, do this: Using cotton applicator or clean brush moistened with foundation, apply carefully to outside of lip-line.

On the opposite page you will see drawings of lips which need a bit of improvement. That can be done with lipstick. You'll see a grey, dotted region. That is the natural shape of the lips, all of which would normally be covered with lipstick. To correct lip shapes, draw a new lip-line with lipstick as indicated by the black part of each drawing. Grey areas beyond corrected lip-line should be toned down with foundation to cut down on the size of the lip.


8.07.2014

1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…blush

And now on to rouge circa 1952. 

I really enjoyed this article, but let me put it into perspective a little. When the writer refers to rouge, she doesn't specify unfortunately what colors should be used, so you have to do a little guessing game. Blushers at this time could be anywhere from pink to lavender to red. I don't think that the writer intended the use of very strong colors for creating the contour, but again she doesn't specifically write that.


If you want to go for an authentic look, but not be overly made up, here are my suggestions. If you'd like to contour your face using shading, a dull lavender or pink or peach depending on your skin tone is appropriate. Women also purchased a darker face powder and used it much like we use bronzer today. Use brighter colors on the areas you want to accentuate like the apples of your cheeks.

It also seems that there may be a little misunderstanding between the writer and whomever drew the pictures for the article, which I'm sure came after the writing. The pictures are not entirely accurate to where the placement of the shading should be, so be sure to pay careful attention more to what the author says as opposed to the shading in the drawings. I feel like that happens a lot in old beauty articles…the drawings seem a little off from the description.



The Soft Glow of Rouge
Rouge can camouflage face shape, add sparkle to the eyes and make you prettier.

The glamour girl of 1952-more than any of her previous sisters-knows how to use rouge to achieve the glow of vitality and vibrant good health. She's neither the fragile creature of the Nineties, whose pallor called out for a transfusion or a load of vitamin pills, not is she the Charleston-stepping belle of the Twenties, whose cheeks were two huge, unflattering patches of red. Today's glamour maiden applies rouge with finesse.

You know how flattering rouge can be if it is used delicately. It can lengthen or shorten faces, add sparkle to eyes and give the complexion a fresh, young look. You probably need it-most of us do.

You have your choice of four kinds of rouge-cream, dry, liquid and stick. Of these, the first two are the best known.

Cream rouge is probably easiest to apply artistically because it is touched on over your foundation, before powdering. The rouge mingles with just enough of the foundation to facilitate easy blending.

When you put on cream rouge, touch the rouge lightly with the cushion of your middle finger. Press against your cheek, in three dots to form a triangle when blended away. Study the drawings of face shapes given at the right, to determine the most flattering location for the dots. Experiment a bit, in a good light, to see where your rouge looks prettiest. You can of instance, suggest hollows in too round cheeks by skipping the cheekbone  and dropping the rouge to the center of the cheek in a narrow splash. A long chin can be shortened by just the faintest bit of red at its tip. The long nose seems shorter with a flick of rouge at the tip, if covered with dark foundation.

In applying liquid rouge, use a piece of cotton so the color will not stain hands. When using stick rouge, apply and spread in stick form, using fingers only to finish the blending. The stick applicator usually acts  as a spreader and just a whisk of your finger is necessary to settle it in the right areas.

Use the puff applicator which comes with dry rouge. Dry rouge goes on over powder and is especially useful in making any little corrections or additions to a lightly-done application of cream rouge.

As we have already pointed out, at the right are drawings showing where rouge should go on faces of different shapes. Study them and your own face. You can be prettier when you wear your rouge in the correct areas: For a long face try applying your rouge high, bathed over the cheek bones. This should help cut the length of your face and broaden it. It might also be wise to tip the chin with a little rouge if the chin is unduly long. For a square face apply the rouge low and toward the fringe of your cheek outline. Apply it in a half-moon shape with the rounded edge turned toward the cheek to give it softer rounder contours.

For a diamond shaped face put the rouge over the cheek bones in a wide triangle. This will permit a higher area of highlight toward the bottom of the face  where the bone structure is narrow and will tend to fill it in with the illusion of curving contour.

For a round face apply your rouge in long vertical strokes that will help to lengthen the face by illusion.

For an oval face put the rouge directly over the cheek bones covering the complete protrusion of the cheek bone.






8.04.2014

1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…eyebrows

Here is another installment of 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine. We are now on to eyebrows. I personally feel that eyebrows are one of the most important parts of a makeup routine. Shaped and filled correctly, they can make you look younger, happier, more put together. Left alone or done poorly, they can make you look sad, angry, even sick. Please ladies, if you do not bother with any other beauty routine because you are tired or in a hurry, please do not neglect your eyebrows!

The article doesn't say that. That is how I honestly feel. But on to what 1952 and Ms. Mary Brown thinks you should do to your eyebrows. 



Give Your Eyes A Lift
Your eyes can look larger and farther apart if your brows are skillfully shaped and pencilled.

"She raised one shapely eyebrow and considered him coolly before replying." That's the kind of thing you come across in your reading now and then. Doesn't it make you realize that people are always noticing eyebrows? It is likely, too, that our heroine had calculated, to the last hair, how wide or narrow her brows were to be to lend distinctive beauty to her face. Eyes can look larger and farther apart if brows are discreetly tweezed; the complexion creamier in contrast with delicately pencilled arches. Re-shaping eyebrows is one of those beauty tricks which doesn't cost more than the price of a pair of tweezers and a long-lasting eyebrow pencil.

If you want to experiment with your brows to see what shape best fits your face, blot out the brows you have with foundation, using an applicator of cotton to help the last traces disappear. Then begin to play; beauty experiments are fun. Draw in the lines you think you would like to have, but always feather them, Don't draw a hard line that couldn't possibly look like a natural eyebrow. Try a natural arch, a V-shape, a straight across pattern, or one that slants toward the temples if you long for the slightly exotic. Elongate them-shorten them-raise them-lower them, all without plucking out a single hair.The results during your experiments might be a little shaggy, but it will give you the general idea of how you would look with some other eyebrow style.

The average girl approaches her eyebrow problems with just one implement usually, her tweezers. Sometimes, however, there's a special problem, such as heavy, long brows. More women than you guess have brows that are too long and there problems are not eliminated by tweezing them out wholesale. A hair-cut is indicated; First brush the brows upward with an eyebrow or water-softened mascara brush. Then clip the brows that extend beyond the natural brow line at top. When you brush them after that, you will find that they sit neither up or down, but are in a delightfully arched position that is not changed by there growing in. They'll grow back, of course, but you can trim them again when they need it. This cutting doesn't make the eyebrows grow longer. After you have clipped the hairs which extend beyond the top edge of your brows, pluck out, with your tweezers, any stray hairs below your brows or over the bridge of the nose.

Darken the brows with a pencil, if necessary. Light, little hair-length strokes, just as though penciling in single hairs, give a natural effect.



According to the article, the most flattering eyebrow shapes for face shapes went as follows. I have added the tidbits of actresses to give you readers a better understanding of what the face shapes with the eyebrow shape look like in lifelike form.

If a face is long, eyebrows straight across give appearance if width illustrated by Cathy Downs.


An upside-down V-shape is usually flattering on a broad or square face illustrated by Jane Russell.



While the ideal oval looks well with eyebrows of any shape, a delicate arch is best illustrated by Joan Weldon.


If the oval face has almond-shaped eyes, however, brows slanting to the temple are most becoming illustrated by Elana Eden.


8.01.2014

1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…eye shadow

And this is why I spend way too much time on Ebay…to find little gems like this, a 1952 special edition magazine with everything a woman needs to know to make herself a feminine beauty, from posture to nail care to making your voice more pleasing.


Today I share with you Shadow Your Eyes Beautiful, by Mary Brown. You'll find the entire article at the end of this blog posting, but I wanted to share some key points that give you some insight into what make-up was at this time. I go into depth in Retro Makeup quite a bit, but here is a quick review.

Eye shadow was simple. The heavy crease shadow effect that we do today, although very flattering, didn't come into regular use until the 1960s. The '60s were revolutionary in so many and that included cosmetic application. From about the 1920s through the 1950s, eye shadow was more of a color enhancing highlight you added to just above the upper lash line.

Also you'll note in the article that she does not mention eye shadow brushes, also not really in heavy use at the time. The eye shadow was either applied directly on to the lid or you used your finger to dab it above your lashes. This makes perfect sense since brushes are meant to be used for precision application and eye shadow was not quite a precision sport at the time, more of a wash across the lid.

And of course let's not forget what we were all in it for or so the magazines would make us believe is the most important reason for all of this beauty hassle…"You'll know you're getting results when he says, 'I never realized you had such beautiful eyes!" 




Enough of my make-up geekdom. Here's the full article. :)

Shadow Your Eyes Beautiful
by Mary Brown

"The light that lies in a woman's eyes" is even more dazzling if just a trace of make-up is used to add size and color to her eyes.

One of the most tricky beauty accessories is your eye shadow. Used as delicately as the brush of a butterfly's wing, it gives depth and sparkle to your eyes, and intensifies the color, the wide-eyed, little-girl look which can be so fetching. Applied with mad abandon (as it so frequently is) it makes the prettiest girl look like the face on the barroom floor! Too much eye shadow can shorten the distance between your brow and eye line, which isn't flattering, and, (horrors!) it can make your eyes look old and tired.

Some make-up is entitled to look like make-up. Lipstick, for instance. Eye make-up, like rouge, must be used almost imperceptibly to make you more beautiful. You might marvel that such a tiny amount can make such a big difference in your looks, but any excess of these two types of cosmetics defeats the purpose.

Eye shadow should be used in a fan-like line just over the lashes, extending about one-eighth of an inch from lash line toward brow line. This gives the lashes a delightful sooty frame when they are lowered and gives the eyes a color lift when they are raised.

Eye shadow is an elastic accessory because it can be work to match the shade of your eyes or the color of your costume. If you are green-eyed, the jade shades or blue greens or blue grays or sapphire blues are delightful. It is incredible just what that lick of color above your lashes does to the tone and expression of your eyes. If you are blue-eyed, there is a Dutch blue, a smokey blue or an amethyst that is enchanting. Amethyst is delightful with brown eyes too. But just because your eyes are green doesn't mean you must wear jade, or because they are brown it doesn't mean you must spread only chocolate colored shadow on your lids. The shadow you use may complement your clothing, may match or harmonize with it, or it may match your eyes, your hopes. Deep, beautiful tones of sapphire blue in your costume would almost cry for sapphire blue eye shadow, even on a green or brown eye miss.

You can change your eye shadow as often as you change your dress. You'll find exquisite shades in the new eye shadow stick. In pencil form, it's soft and creamy, a joy to use because it spreads so smoothly.

Do you know some of the effects you can achieve with eye shadow? If you eyes tend to bulge a little, cover your entire upper eyelid, up to the eye-brow line, with shadow. Makes eyes look more deeply set. On the other hand, if your eyes look too deeply set, bring the foundation you use on your face, right on over the lids. That stunt will lighten the color of the eye-lid and bring the eye forward. Shadow on the outer halves of the lids makes the eyes look farther apart/ On the contrary, shadow on the inner half pulls them closer together, but who wants that?

The second step in acquiring large and lovely orbs is lining your eyes with an eyebrow pencil which matches your mascara/ With a well-pointed pencil, run a line along the base of your lashes, linking them together with color. Try a tiny eighth-inch dash, upturned, at the outer corner of each eye if you like that slightly theatrical effect.

If you're very lucky you may have have been born with long, dark, fringy eyelashes. Otherwise, reach for your mascara and eye-lash curler. With mascara, you can give "body" to lashes, so that they perk up in a flirtatious manner. If your lashes are short and faded, black, brown or blue mascara to the very tips makes them look twice as long. Curled upward, with an eyelash curler, your lashes loo that much more feminine and your eyes larger.

When you want your lashes to appear thicker put powder on them before applying mascara. If you want them to be completely devastating, put on another coat of mascara when the first one has dried.

Don't use mascara on the lower lashes usually. If lower lashes are really bleached out or colorless, a faint tip with your mascara brush is all they need. As a make-up rule, however, it is best to keep mascara off the lower lashes because it can smudge into dark circles under your eyes no matter how careful you try to be, and dark circles are just what you want to eliminate.

If you have dark lashes and don't really need the help of mascara, use a speck of eye cream to give lashes a silky look.

The youthful look of upswept lashes is easy to achieve. You do need a lash curler. Simply place the rubber bow of the curler over the lashes and squeeze the handles together; hold it that way while you count to twenty-five. When released, your lashes will curl upward in the most intriguing fashion.

Mascara concentrated on the outer half of your upper lashes makes your eyes look bigger and further apart.

In applying mascara, put your middle finger at a point just under the end of your eyebrow and pull the skin back slightly. This will make a fan of the lashes and it's much easier to apply mascara without having lashes stick together. If you can hold the brush lengthwise during most of the application, it will give even greater security in separating the lashes.

Like any other art, eye make-up takes a little practice and experimentation. You'll know you're getting results when he says, "I never realized you had such beautiful eyes!"

7.28.2014

Hooray for the Retro Cheerleader!!!

I wish I knew a cheerleader who liked vintage right now because I would scoop these right up. I was spending way too much time on Ebay, as I often do, and I came across these vintage hair clips up for auction. I love that they are shaped like vintage pennants and would be so cute for a pep rally.











7.18.2014

Lablache Face Powder 1911


Lablache Face Powder

The Woman Beautiful
who owes her clear, fair complexion to Lablache, anticipates with pleasure the social functions of winter. No boudoir equipment can be complete without Lablache, the great beautifier, invisible though adherent, Lablache complexions retain that smooth, velvety appearance of youth and refinement. Its delicate fragrance is always a delight.

Refuse substitutes. They may be dangerous. Flesh, White, Pink or Cream, 50c. a box, of druggists or by mail. Send 10c. for sample box.

Ben Levy CO.
French Perfumers Dept E
125 Kingston St., Boston, Mass.



And I love that today's technology allows me to go to the address on old advertisements and see what it looks like now. It pleases me to know that in the building in this google image 100 years ago there was a cosmetics company devoted to classic beauty.

125 Kingston St. 
Historical home to Lablache Face Powder

7.16.2014

Lessons in Fabulous Vintage Beauty Learned from Marion Cotillard

French Actress Marion Cotillard is so chic in my opinion. Her classic face and effortless, minimalist retro style are easy to mimic which makes her a fabulous modern vintage icon. She just does such a great job of nailing vintage in a contemporary world.

I feel like I can google her and find inspiration on how to wear my hair a different way everyday of the month. Here are just 3 of the many vintage chic lessons you can learn from her.

1. MIX UP THE VOLUME DISTRIBUTION OF YOUR CURLS FOR ASSYMETRY

Nothing makes me feel sexier than having my hair up away from my ear and neck. This look of volume curl on the side and swooping hair away from the ear is a great form to feel like your hair is up, but not too formal. Styles like this have been worn by many actresses of the past including Jane Russell and Julie Adams.


2. USE A CLIP IN HAIR EXTENSION TO CREATE A HAIR HEADBAND EFFECT

Such a simple accent, this hair headband effect is still impactful. You could easily do this no matter your hair length with a slim strip of hair extensions. It would need to be 22-24 inches long to reach around your whole head, so be sure to check the measurement first.

I think this would even be cool with a fun color strip. My hair is red, so a pink or black strip could be an interesting effect. If you have black hair, maybe use a lime green or deep purple hair strip. And if your hair is brown or blonde pastels could look great like lavender or pale blue. Sally Beauty Supply...here I come!





3. A DRESS THAT LOOKS LIKE A MID CENTURY MODERN PAINTING

Marion Cotillard looks like a walking piece of mid century modern art in this Christian Dior Resort 2014 dress. It reminds me of a cross between a Clyfford Stills and Piet Mondrian painting. The bouffant bump on top is the perfect clean lined hairstyle to go with the clean lines of the dress too. Bravo Marion, or your stylist, or who ever it was that said, "You should wear this."

She doesn't make it too complicated. It doesn't need to be. A couple of throwback hints in her hair and a Dior dress and she's instant simple retro.



7.07.2014

We need cuter salon capes.

I think I bought this little number on Ebay. It was a few years back, so it is hard for me to remember. But I love this vintage pink poodle salon shampoo cape and I wish I had more capes like this.



Coming across vintage salon capes isn't easy. We hairstylists put these capes through a lot of stress and stains. Time wasn't good to them either. The old plastic discolors and deteriorates over the years. I was lucky to find this one. I also don't really have any intention of every actually using it on a client. I'm clumsy and could picture myself dropping red hair color on this and then I'd be really sad.


So I put myself on a little mission first to find cute capes available today. I didn't find anything that really made me go wow. I found these 2 cute styling capes from Betty Dane.



But other than that I was a little disappointed that with so many companies doing retro that there weren't more options. So I had an idea! The little pink poodle shampoo cape I have is a very similar fabric to a shower curtain. What if I took a shower curtains and using a contemporary cape to make a pattern and made my own cute styling cape?

Sourpuss Clothing has this amazing shower curtain that could make a cute retro barber cape.


This is another Sourpuss shower curtain, but it is discontinued and I found it here on Ebay.


And then there is this adorable collage of Marilyn pictures shower curtain. These would all make great capes!