Friday, July 30, 2010

Vintage Movie Fun! "The Day The Earth Stood Still"

When the husband and I turned on the TV this morning to catch up on the day's headlines, our TiVo was recording the 1951 classic, "The Day the Earth Stood Still." It was directed by Robert Wise and featured Michael Rennie as the 'spaceman' Klaatu who masqueraded as "Carpenter" and Patricia Neal as war widow, single mother, and Washington, DC secretary Helen Benson. Even Francis Bavier, known later as "Aunt Bee" on the "Andy Griffith Show" makes an appearance as the landlady/boarder. The movie was shot on location in Washington and I love watching it not only for the fashion, but to see how much DC has changed.

The story is a compelling tale warning mankind against the ills of violence and war. Spaceman Klaatu and his gigantic robot servant, Gort, land one day in the middle of the city and the world it set alight with wonder, curiosity, and panic. Klaatu comes with an important message and he needs to get the world leaders together in one place so he can deliver his words of caution. Can Klaatu do it? Will he get through to the human race? Watch and see!

I also love this movie (and most classics) for the hair and fashion! The clothing in this movie, particularly that of Helen (Neal) represents the late fashion of the 40s and early 50s well. For the majority of the film, Helen is seen wearing a dark, solid-colored rayon dress with a white point collar. The dress also boasts a self belt. I also adore Helen's white day gloves, sleek black handbag, red lips, and Middy hairstyle. As the husband and I ate our breakfast, he looked over at me and said, "Hey, that your hair!" I was so flattered.

So, if you are in need of a great sci-fi classic with a great story, then this is the movie for you!

The Makeup Post-Beauty in The Daily Vintage Girl's Life

As a self-confessed makeup addict, I admit there are very few times when I am not wearing my standard red-lipstick look. During the work week, I will apply light-colored, nude eyeshadow (like MAC's Orb or Yogurt), mascara, eyebrow marker, foundation, blush, lipstick, powder. I will do a smoky eye (using MAC's Scene and Print shadows) or a cat eye liner look for special events like going out to a fancy dinner, evening wedding, or cocktail party.

During the weekends, however, I keep it basic. I wear just mascara, SPF 15 MAC Mineralize, blush, lipstick, and powder. No matter what the day holds, casual or elegant, I always wear the basics and red lipstick! If my skin was not blotchy (I have early signs of Rosacea and some acne), I would just wear mascara, powder, and lipstick on the weekends. I know it sounds silly but I cannot go without my red lips! It just doesn't "feel" right. However, if I am running or working out, then no makeup for this gal. Not even red lipstick. I will just wear a tinted lip balm like Korres. If I am running outside on a sunny day, I will put on my pink Nike baseball hat and some high SPF like Waterbabies. But I have seen ladies at my gym working up a good sweat wearing full makeup! How does their skin breathe?!

When I go to my in-laws pool, to the beach, or ski in Colorado, I will put on a SPF or SPF foundation, waterproof mascara, and red matte lipstick. That is it! MAC Mineralize or NYC Color Pressed Powder Foundation SPF 12 for ski days are wonderful. When it comes to the beach or the pool, I will put on Waterbabies sun block and a thin veil of NYC Color SPF foundation using a MAC 150 brush. The foundation powder gives me a nice veil of color that evens out my skintone and covers any acne or Rosacea. It also maintains the SPF on my skin. If I will be in the water a lot, I will skip the mascara altogether and just wear my matte lips!

And, as always, I always take off my makeup and wash my face before going to bed. I use Pond's Cold Cream first and then wash my face with my cleanser. Pond's is the best and it is super cheap! I once read the official makeup and beauty regime for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPL) and one of the instructions stated that the girls should use their cold cream to remove any makeup and grime and then tissue off. Afterwards, they used soap and water to remove any traces of cream.

So, how often do you wear makeup and do you have varying degrees of makeup application?

Cheap Red Lipstick Find! Dupe for MAC

I have been on the hunt for a true, blue-based matte red. I have a preference bright, blue-base reds, especially MAC's Glam and Ruby Woo. However, MAC discontinued Glam and even though I love Ruby Woo, it is so dry on my lips! I feel like I have 'desert lips' when I am wearing it. I recently bought Make Up For Ever's #205 lipstick in the hopes of finding a dupe for my beloved Glam but the #205 is more of a darker berry red, yet it's still in the bright category. I like the Make Up For Ever but it is not close enough in color to what I am looking for.

So, last night after work, as I was browsing in the cosmetics section at my local Walgreens, I spied Wet N' Wild's Mega Last Lipcolor. The lipstick retails for $3.99 USD. The two shades that caught my eye were 910D and 911D. I realized I had 910D (I lost it in my car somewhere) and even though I liked the color, it is very similar to the Revlon color "Love that Red" (a bright warm red with a touch of pinky coral) that I already wear. As a result, I opted for the blue-toned 911D.

This morning, I painstakingly peeled off the clear plastic overwrap (and ended up chipping a nail) and removed the clear lid from the shiny black tube. The lipstick has a slanted tip. It reminded me of the shape of MAC Mattene. I swirled up the lipstick and swatched it on the back of my hand:

Notice the pink tones? This 911D not only has a great matte texture, it is very close dupe of Glam and Ruby Woo. Now, I have to say that 911D is more like Ruby Woo. Glam had way more pink. Glam was more like a red-based pink than a pink-based red. Ruby Woo is a true blue red with a touch of pink and overall, I have to say that the Wet N' Wild seems to embody both MAC shades. Basically, if I had to describe the color, it would be like if Glam and Ruby Woo "had a baby."

I am impressed with this lipstick. It has a wonderful matte texture. The color feels good on my lips and it lasts all day without drying. I do need to touch up occasionally but not too much. The color is bright and the tone is perfect for me. I have to give Wet N' Wild a big kudos for this product for sure. And for $3.99, a girl cannot go wrong!

Here is me wearing 911D Mega Last Lipcolor:

So, if you girls are looking for an inexpensive, red matte lipstick, give Mega Last a try!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Vintage Poll With Questionnaire!

So, it's question time, girls! I am getting to know lots of you wonderful vintage gals and I would like to know:

1. What inspired you to go vintage?
2. How long have you been living the vintage life?
3. Does your family/friends support your vintage living?

Here are my answers:

1. I fell in love with vintage in the 7th grade. My sister worked for a vintage store in college and when she brought home her wares, I fell in love. Also, my dad always had loved and played big band and 50s music. I heard "Tuxedo Junction" and I was hooked. I continue to wear vintage for these reasons and now because vintage shapes and designs flatter me better than modern clothing.

2. I have been wearing vintage off and on since high school (I know I mentioned this and if I am repeating myself, I apologize!) and I have been in vintage daily for 4 years.

3. I will not be "all drama" about this one. My husband's family are awesome and supportive and/or they don't care really. My parents, however, get embarrassed when I wear vintage, especially when we go out in public. I have no idea why. You would think they would appreciate the fact I am wearing their "generation" but alas, no. I often "tone it down" when I go visit Mom and Dad. It is a little frustrating and confusing sometimes.

So, I would love to hear your stories and views!

The Faces of Me

After posting about the different levels of being vintage, I wanted to show some examples of my different "selves."

Here is 18 year old me (on the far left):

(Look at my eyebrows! Who was I trying to channel? Joan Crawford!? Can we say "cosmetic intervention" or what!

Here is college ROTC me with my-then fiance/future husband:

(Here is something funny: look carefully on my face, I actually put on a fake beauty mark with a brown eyeliner! HAHAHAAHAHA! I did this for several years and then I realized how stupid I was! I finally got a tattooed beauty mark (it looks so real my mom thought it was real!) on my right cheek in 2008. My good friend and tattoo artist did it! She made it with different shades of color for depth and realism!)

This is me just before a VNV Nation show last July:

(My hair was actually cut into a short black bob. The rest is a headband wig!)

This is me last night after running 3 and 1/2 miles:

Running is an addiction for me now. I love it. I still cannot believe there was a time when the mere thought of walking was too much for me! Running clears my head, helps me relax, and it is a great way to rock out on the iPod! (I am wearing an old Cure shirt from college in this photo. It is so thin now! But 15 years ago, I used to wear it with a short plaid skirt, black tights, and combat boots to class. I was into Adrienne Rich and taking women's studies then. What a badass I thought I was! lol!)

No matter what what unfolds in the day for me, I am always going to be vintage!

Another Cat Post- Time for Bed!

This post is inspired by the cat comments today! I am truly enjoying your cat stories! I also love talking to other cat/pet people like myself. Not only am I a vintage nut, I am a crazy cat lady as well.

I am the proud "human mommy" to my furbaby, Misty, a 14 year-old blue cream persian. I think she is just 'a sweetie with a touch of brat' but she will correct me and say she is actually a "highly-regarded sushi expert, professional bed hog, and all-around queen bee of the world."

Here is Misty at bed time, telling me to move:

After getting her special spot on the bed, it is time to say goodnight (so sorry I am not wearing makeup in this one! Barf!):

Misty says, "Turn off the lights! I am done with you people for today! Until tomorrow! Good night, please!"

And tomorrow, Misty will begin yet another hectic day of basking in sunbeams and controlling foot traffic on the stairs.

Weird Cat Photo of the Day! B-Movie Monster Kitty!

Some how my 14 year-old fur baby ended looking like a B-movie creature in this photo! And to think all this time, I had a space alien monster living in my house! I guess she is just waiting for the right time to tell her race when to begin their invasion of Earth!

Need Help! Bettie Page Bangs or Not To Bettie Bangs!

This was me last night before I went to bed. After my 3.5 mile run on my beloved treadmill, I decided to curl my hair with rollers instead of pin curl clips. Because my hair is on the shorter side, I have a difficult time pin curling wet hair. I can pin curl it more successfully when it is dry. So, used velcro curlers last night in the hopes of having a good curled set in the morning and instead I got this:

This is me this morning! The front part of my hair was so uncooperative! I tried doing a forward roll with curlers to try to do a faux bang look, but the result was pure disaster. I had to part my hair in the middle, re-wet the front and just pin the sides.
Despite the fact that the rest of my hair curls well, the front, ie bangs/fringe, is just rude! I had Bettie Page bangs before and they were so easy. I just blew dry and flattened with my ceramic iron and I was done. Now, I find myself frustrated. I am also finding myself taking too much time getting ready for work in the morning because of this. Here I am in 2007 with Bettie bangs:

This is a style I found and I think this is what I may want if I do get bangs again:

So, I know I am asking a lot of your girls but, should I just say "forget about it" and get Bettie bangs again? Do you girls think Bettie bangs with a Middy would work? I saw a late 40s education short recently and the teacher featured in it (it was about kids keeping tidy and neat) had a longer Middy with bangs. I am not sure. There is a part of me that wants the quickness but I feel like I am being lazy! lol

My Thanks and Apprecation

This post is inspired yesterday's post discussing the level of "vintageness" in my life. I have really been touched by all your thoughts, comments, and support. I have also been enjoying you girls sharing a little bit of yourselves with me. Moreover, I have been learning so many great things from you girls! I mean everything from vintage haircuts, jewerly, hot rollers, sewing, knitting, makeup to housewares!

In the couple of months I have been blogging, I cannot tell you what a privilege it has been for me to meet you girls. It is amazing to know there are other vintage enthusiasts out there like myself. In a world of khaki pants, crocs, and blue jeans, it is such a comfort that not all is lost! We vintage girls decorate our homes in atomic flare, pin curl our hair, wear platform wedges, look gorgeous in red lipstick, lust after bakelite, dance to Rockabilly, and are always on the hunt for that perfect vintage dress (for a good price).

Again, I want to express my biggest thanks and appreciation to all of you!

Tara/Lady Betty

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What is Your "Vintage Saturation" Level?

This is me and Mark Jackson of VNV Nation! This was my second show (first at the (9:30 in DC and this second venue was in Towson, MD)! When I met Mark after the show, I was so starstruck that I am sure I came across like a totally dork!

Anyway, it always amazes that because I wear vintage clothes people assume that I must be "all out vintage." You know, I must like nothing but vintage music, cars, movies and TV shows, and so on. For a while, I wished I could have lived back in the 40s and 50s, but I have come to realize that I do not want to live in the past. I wear and appreciate vintage clothing and accessories every day. I have vintage hair. I want a 40s truck and like Rockabilly and swing music. I love pre-war and early 50s fashion. I love the classiness and grace of vintage ladies but overall, I am happy to be alive now. I love vintage for its look and energy but I am not an aspiring time traveler.

There are times when I wear a gothabilly style or an all out goth look for VNV shows. I love EBM, darkwave, and power noise music. I also love the Cure, Skinny Puppy, Dead Kennedys, Bikini Kill, Depeche Mode, Sisters of Mercy, Echo and the Bunnymen, Black Sheep, Public Enemy, and De La Soul. Right now as I type this, I am listening to Front Line Assembly on my iPod. Like I said, I love Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash yet I cannot stand doo wop. If I hear Frankie and The Belmonts or Fabian (eugh) on my satellite radio, I turn it off.

And unlike most vintage ladies of yesterday's past, I have tattoos and I have white blond chunks in my hair. At one time, I had hot pink hair and I still wore vintage. Just because I wear 40s rayon dresses does not mean I have to listen to Benny Goodman and dance the foxtrot. Some days I do the "goth two step" listening to Razed in Black's re-mix of Switchblade Symphony's "Dollhouse" as I make dinner in my atomic kitchen.

One guy asked me if I was like the 40s and 50s ladies who had dinner on the table every night when her husband got home and ironed his shirts. Excuse me? Yes, I make dinner and take care of my husband because I love him, not because I am some stereotype of a Stepford wife. This girl loves her man but she can quote Sylvia Plath and Adrienne Rich on a dime.

So, I have my own way of being a vintage girl. What is your way? What is the level of vintage in your daily life?

My Hair Obsession- A Tale of Loss and Recovery

Meet one of the products in my "hair beautification arsenal." This product was once a shameful secret, now it is a priceless "lifesaver."

When I was five years old, I met my maternal grandmother and I was confused why she had "spider webs on her head." What I didn't understand was that my grandmother had a form of Alopecia. Her hair was very thin and wispy and to a five-year old, it resembled spider webs. My mother had very thick black hair for most of her life. When she entered her thirties, she began to lose volume very slowly and by the time she was 43, her hair was visibly thin. Now, at 35, it is my turn. Unlike my grandmother, my mother, and her sisters, I have Rogaine and I started it early.

In 2008, my hair down to my shoulders. I loved it long. I really did. However, when I was in Northern California for business in May of that year, I noticed that my hair was beginning to look stringy and lanky. It wasn't thick like it was when I got married 12 years before. My hair was always been fine, but now it was thinning too. Great. I cried. I decided my hair would "thicken up" if I got a shorter cut. I had my stylist, Corry, cut my hair into a chin-length bob.

For a while, my hair seemed thicker. This was especially the case when I had it colored platinum blond with black underneath. Then I had it colored black and pink, then all black. Despite my attempts to color my hair blues away, my hair was still thinning. I really noticed the lack of volume kick in when my hair was black. In July 2009, I went off the Pill after being on it for 15 years, and then real drama started. My hair was falling out. Most people will lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day. I decided to collect my shed hair and count it at the end of the day. I had to stop after 250. I cried. I cried hard.

One day, I realized the crying and coloring were over. I went to my dermatologist and told her about my family history with hair thinning and the fact I went off hormones. She said the hair loss due to a hormone imbalance was to be expected and in most cases temporary. However, because I had been losing volume over time due to an inescapable heredity, I needed to start Women's Rogaine now. Let me tell you, when I heard my doctor udder the words "you are losing your hair," I thought I was going to lose it. I teared up a little but I kept myself composed.

I went to the grocery store after my appointment and bought my first bottle of Rogaine. I quickly shuffled to the checkout and hoped the lady at the register wouldn't notice my shame. Nothing happened and I was just given my receipt and a friendly smile.

I began Rogaine in September 2009 and after a couple of months of continous use (1 ml in a dropper applied twice a day), my hair continued to fall out. I felt frustrated, angry, and sad. I found myself looking at women with envy who had thick stresses. I realized I was getting obsessed and stressed out about my hair. It was all I seemed to think about. At one point, I almost threw the Rogaine out but my mom told me not to stop and that it would take time.

As the early winter and spring of 2010 progressed, I noticed my hair was no longer coming out in heaps in the shower. My stylist noticed too. He said my hair felt thicker. I was elated.

Now, here it is late July. I have been using Rogaine for almost 11 months. I feel like my hair is like its old self again. I have not had hair this thick since I was in my early 20s. I have to keep using the product for the rest of my life and that is okay. I am willing to use "suck it up" to have hair.

I know that in the scheme of things, hair is not a big deal. At the end of the day, if hair is the only thing I have to worry about, I should consider myself lucky. It silly how insecure I am be over something as simple as hair but I have to admit I am happier Rogaine is working for me. I am overjoyed I have decent hair to cut and style.

So, for all you ladies out there in the same boat as me, if you are worried about hair loss, go see a dermatologist.

Love and Hate of Lip Color

This is me, wearing Nars' Jungle Red lipstick. This color has really become a favorite of mine and I wear it often.

Yesterday, I decided to wear a bright fuchsia pink, ie MAC's Show Orchid. I have not worn this color in a long time. The last time I put it on, I had black hair and I could pull this color off wonderfully. Now that my hair is back to its natural red state (albeit with a blond streak), colors like Show Orchid do not flatter at all. I saw the pic showing me wearing this shade in my Middy hair post and I almost took it down! Yucky!

Regardless of my vintage look, I think I look better in bold, bright reds. I can also pull off corals, peaches, and salmon pinks. I will reserve the magentas, burgundys, purples, and fuchsias for when I wear my black Bettie Page wig at VNV shows.

So, what colors do you love? Which ones can you live without?

My Latest Vintage Buys

After making an honest effort to be "good," my vintage obsession took over and defeated my futile resolve. This past week, I bought a two bags, a yellow bakelite spacer, an 80s (50s style) Hawaiian sundress, a 1950s blue nylon nightie (looks never worn) and a cream, wool cardigan from the late 50s/early 60s that still had the original tags on it!

I estimate that I spent about $140.00 USD for everything combined. Considering that I got six different items, I am quite pleased. In many cases, I can spend $140 on a pair of shoes, a vintage cocktail dress, or a Stop Staring stretch garbardine dress.

Despite my thrifty buys, I got my hair cut and re-colored last Friday (about $120), so I now I REALLY NEED to be good!

SO, without further ado, here are my purchases:

1950s, black wicker hinge bag bought off Etsy. It really feels solid and sturdy! It is roomy too! I can put all my day's essentials inside without compromising the bag's ability to close properly. Other than a few "age spots" and two, tiny spots inside the bag where the stitching is loose, it is lovely!

I got this 80s Hawaiian sundress off Etsy. It is done in a 50s style. The back is smocked and the shoulder straps have buttons for adjustment. The colors are super vibrant and the fabric is lightweight! This dress is flawless!
Here is an upclose view of the bodice:

A 1950s/early 60s cream wool cardigan. The tags are still on! I love the collar! I bought this off Etsy. (Etsy has proved to be amazing for vintage finds! I cannot even remember the last time I bought anything vintage from eBay!)

A light blue nylon and lace nightie from the 50s I got off Etsy! This nightie seems to have never been worn at all. The fabric is soft and the lace felt new and stiff. The inside tag is even unwrinkled and smooth!

A cream beaded handbag I found at Iron Horse Antiques in Manassas, Virginia (literally 15 minutes from my house). The interior of the bag is white and crisp! There are no stains or fabric issues! All beads are present and chip-free! I honesty think this bag was never used. I found it wedged next to a fur wrap (barf) and so the bag had a few stray fur hairs on it but other than that, it is mint! I am guessing the bag is either 50s or 60s. I cannot put much in it without making it looked "stuffed" so I will use it as a "going out" bag.

A yellow bakelite spacer. I bought this for about 20 USD at Iron Horse Antiques. The spacer has the usual scratches and light patina that is customary for bakelite. I also did the "friction test" and I could smell the typical "chemical" scent that comes from rubbing the surface. I want to start collecting more bakelite, but wow, it can be super expensive!

I did see a cute pair of vintage cat eye sunglasses on Etsy today. Even though I have a couple of pairs, I always seem to want more. I recently had a white pair break on me. Again, I need to be more frugal and pass on the sunglasses this time around. I have spent enough! (at least for now!)

Monday, July 26, 2010

My New "Middy Cut!"

On Friday, I had my long-awaited hair appointment with my stylist, Corry. Not only did I need to refreshen my hair color and blond highlight chunk, my hair's layers needed to be trimmed. As I posted previously, I had a Baby cut which is basically cut in 4 inch and 3 inch layers. My bangs were also cut 4 inches long.

During this last appointment, however, my hair was cut into a Middy which is 4 inches and 3 and 3/4 inches long. Like the Baby, the sides by the ears are 3 inches. My hair length is really not much different but the middle of the curved layer, my hair is 3/4 inch longer. However, unlike my previous salon visit, my bangs were trimmed only slightly with the intent to grow them two inches longer. I want to be able to do reverse rolls, pompadours, and faux bangs better. In my opinion, 4 inches is a little too short for the front.

Next time, I want to be able to do a slightly longer Middy Plus, with the center part of the layer being over 4 and 1/2 inches, maybe 4 and 3/4 or 5 inches. It is my goal to have a real Femme Fatale by the year's end.

Here is my hair on Saturday, the day after my cut:

I know, I look tired. Earlier in that day, I did a little yardwork outside and it got to be over 100 degrees! My poor plants were dying! Nevetheless, this style was done with a blow dry and curling iron the day before by my stylist. On Saturday, I simply applied a little dry shampoo and re-curled with my ceramic iron.

Here is another view of my hair today:

I am at my desk at work. Again, what's up with the tired look? Also, I am not liking me in MAC's Show Orchid. I think I look better in reds. Anyway, this style was done with pin curls on damp hair.

I am very happy I am finally "in the know" that having a proper vintage cut is vital for vintage styling! Also, my hair curls and holds a set so much better.

I am still having issues with pin curls on wet hair but I know I will get it eventually.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vintage Knits Catalog

This is a print taken from a knits catalog. I am guessing it is from the 1950s. As an avid skier and vintage girl, I love this! Even though modern ski clothing is waterproof, more durable, and warmer than its vintage predecessors, the vintage wins in the style category! I wish ski companies had reproduction clothing designs!

However, when it comes to choosing vintage skiis over modern ones, I would pick the contemporary versions, hands down! My dad grew up skiing in the 40s and 50s and he told me that most older skiis were extremely long, thin planks of wood coated with candle wax on the bottom (for slide). The tops were adorned with small metal parts and leather straps for the feet!

30 Things About Me

I have decided to a post sharing a little bit about myself and I hope I can learn a little bit about you girls too.

1. I was born Tara, 35 years ago, in Richmond, Virginia.

2. My favorite food is sushi or Indian cuisine. (Too hard to pick!)

3. My favorite cocktail is a dry, Belvedere Martini.

4. I am extremely afraid of spiders and snakes.

5. My favorite color is hot pink.

6. My favorite lipstick shade is MAC's Lady Danger.

7. I have been with the same wonderful man for 16 years.

8. I cannot parallel park to save my life.

9. I speak two languages other than English.

10. My childhood crushes were Bruce Willis from Moonlighting and Ricky from Silver Spoons.

11. I have wanted a mint green and white '57 Belair since I was 16.

12. I have been wearing vintage on and off since high school but I have been wearing it daily since 2006.

13. I prefer to wear styles from the early 40s to the late 50s.

14. I wish people dressed more elegantly.

15. I love shoes, especially 40s wedges and platforms!

16. I am very clumsy.

17. I have been wearing red lipstick since I was 17. The very first shade I ever bought was "Sumptuous Bronze" Velvet Touch Lipstick by Revlon (a deep, frosty red with a copper undertone).

18. I have 7 tattoos.

19. Rudeness drives me crazy!

20. I collect hippo-themed stuff.

21. I love Fiestaware!

22. I love snowy winter and hot summers.

23. I have tinnitus.

24. I am left-handed.

25. My favorite ice cream is rocky road.

26. I love bakelite and moonglow jewelry.

27. I can't dance!

28. I always cry at the end of "Strictly Ballroom."

29. My favorite movie is "Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

30. I have the same best friend since 1988!

MAC Glitter Eye Look Tutorial

This is a tutorial for creating sparkly eye looks for a special event, a night on the town, or anytime you want! The mediums I use are MAC Pro Eyeliner Mixing Medium and MAC Pro Glitter. In order to purchase Pro products from MAC, one has to have an account. If you are a model, makeup artist, or photographer; you can get an application either online at or at any MAC free-standing store. It costs $35.00 to first join the program and then you need to pay the same amount only once a year to renew. You will not only get access to Pro products, you will get 30% off most MAC items (not including Viva Glam products or special, promotional products).

If you do not have access to MAC Pro products, you can purchase glitters from LA Splash (available at most Ulta locations and cost $6.99 USD) or glitters from Make Up For Ever (available at Sephora for $13.00 USD). Also, you are going to need a gel formula mixing medium intended for eyes like Illamasqua's Sealing Gel (available at Sephora online for $15.00 USD).

Now, you can also buy 'pre-mixed' eye glitter gel if you are new to the world of makeup and glitter use. Urban Decay makes a glitter eyeliner that comes in a tube with a brush wand attached. This product has glitter suspended in a gel formula that can be applied as a liner or on the eyelid. The Urban Decay product costs $18.00 USD and comes in 11 glitter shades ranging from hot pink, silver, black iridescent, purple, lime green, gold, beige, to aqua blue. Remember, if you want to stick to a vintage, 40s look, select glitters in the gold, beige, opal, or light pink range. If you want to do a 50s/early 60s look, lighter shades or green and blue are fantastic.

Here is something very important you need to know: Glitters MUST be applied properly and with the proper mixing mediums! If you try to apply glitter on your eyes without an eye-safe gel, you can cause SERIOUS eye irritation! Also, if you use the method below, you will reduce the risk of glitter getting into your eyes.

Here is what you are going to need:

Fine Glitter like MAC, LA Splash, Make Up For Ever or Urban Decay Glitter liner
Mixing medium like MAC Mixing medium for Eyeliner or Illamasqua Sealing Gel
A small, flat eyebrush like MAC's 242
Makeup cleasing wipes
A hairdryer

The glitter I am using is MAC Pro's Reflects Transparent Pink:

I open my mixing medium eyeliner gel and I squeeze out a half of a pea-size dot on the back of my clean hand:

Using my MAC 242 brush, I dip my brush into the glitter and pick up a small amount. Then, I mix this glitter with the gel on the back of my hand:

I then swipe a small amount of the glitter-gel mixture with my brush:

And, then I apply to my lower lid using a gentle pat-motion. The result should look something like this:

I repeat this process on my other eye and then I close my eyes and dry using a back and forth motion with my hair dryer on a low, cool setting.
When I am done, this is how it looks:

If you prefer to use the Urban Decay glitter eyeliner, simply apply on your lids using a flat brush like the 242. You will need to dry with the hair dryer to help prevent any transfer to the upper lid area.

When the time comes to take your glitter eye makeup off, I find that Pond's Cold Cream or MAC's Cleanse Off Oil are both good. Simply close your eye and apply the cream or oil in a downward motion. Use a warm, damp washcloth to remove any traces of glitter, eye makeup, and cream/oil. Again do this in a downward motion.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cute Kitty Pic of the Day

This is Misty, the 14 year-old persian, lounging on the stairs at the end of a lazy afternoon. What a charmed life! Oh, to bask in the glow of a warm sunbeam and have your human masters wait on you hand and foot!

Admiring Our Creativity

In the couple of months I have been blogging, I have not only being writing and sharing my views, I have been reading and learning a lot from you lovely vintage girls! Some of you are seamstresses, knitters, bakers, cooks, writers, makeup artists, artists, business owners, and professionals! Despite our different backgrounds, what unites us all is our love of vintage and living a vintage life! And that those things in themselves take a lot of creativity. Whether we use our creativity in decorating our homes or dressing in our vintage wares, creating vintage hairstyles, or doing vintage makeup looks, what we do requires much thought and care. Thus, we all tap into our artistic side in some way every day.

There have been a few occasions while I have been wearing vintage and strangers come up to me and ask if I am "dressed up for a special event" or if I am an artist. Even though I am a writer and business owner by profession, I am an artist. I specialize in acrylics, colored pencil, and clay sculpture.

Colored pencil on paper. Hibiscus and plumeria flowers.

Acrylic on canvas. This is a painting honoring my lost friend and tattoo artist, Kauri Tiyme. She was born in Arizona and she always told me the desert at night was one of her favorite memories. Kauri was also a Doctor Who fan so I added the blue Tardis to show that she is 'off on an adventure across the universe' with the Doctor.

I also make resin jewelry and make beaded accessories. Lately, I have been trying to teach myself how to sew! I bought a little handheld Singer sewing machine to "get my feet wet" and to get accustomed to working on a machine instead of just a needle and thread.

I know a lot of you vintage girls sew and knit, and oh boy, I would do anything to learn each skill! I see so many vintage clothing patterns out there and I am so inspired to make my own vintage dresses but I am afraid of the sewing machine! My sweet hubby bought be a Singer a few years ago and it was only about a month ago that I actually took the machine out of its box and flipped through the manual. The manual alone is imposing! It is more like a novel rather than a guide book! I also have a book on knitting that a friend loaned me. I recently glossed over the book and like the Singer guide, I felt my head reeling! I had no idea there are so many types of stitches, loops, and yarns! The only knowledge I have of knitting is remembering watching my aunts knit intricate cardigans while my dad drove them to Washington, DC for a day of museum tours. They made knitting look so effortless!

Whether I am putting together a vintage outfit, styling my hair in rolls, decorating my atomic kitchen, or painting, I am celebrating my creativity! I hope all of you never lose sight of your own unique talents! May each day be blessed with imagination and wonder!

What's in A Name? Honoring All "Bettys!"

Here is one of the famous "Bettys," Betty Grable. I just love her look, her iconic style, and her energy. She was just truly beautiful and talented. Betty was a singer, dancer, model, and actress. One my favorite images of her was of course her famous pin-up photo! I also loved her work in "My Blue Heaven."

Bettie Page. I just love her! Her hair, her beauty, and her willingness to embrace her femininity without fear. Like Betty Grable, Bettie Page was one *the* classic pin-ups of the 20th century. While Betty Grable's image was that of the cute girl-next-door, Bettie was the naughty mistress with the leather whip and the jungle queen looking fierce in a leopard bathing suit. Betty flirted with the camera while Bettie made it her servant.

Betty Friedan was an American author, activist, and feminist. Her famed work, "The Feminine Mystique" spoke of girls going to college not to earn a degree, but rather to solely find a husband. The book also bore witness to the notion that women not only wanted to be homemakers but breadwinners too. When I was in middle school, I discovered Friedan's masterpiece and it echoed my own budding feminist ideals. My mother has always been an inspiration to me. When I was going into my teen years, she stressed an importance on getting an education, getting a job, and being independent. Along with my mother's encouragement, Betty Friedan's message was the gospel I longed for and it helped shape the woman I am today.

This is me, Tara, in 1992. I was 17 and about to begin my senior year of high school. I still cannot believe 18 years have gone by since this photo was taken on that hot August day.

I am Tara and I am a "Betty." When I started my vintage modeling portfolio, I wanted to pick a moniker that invoked a vintage and yet timeless sense of femininity. To me, the name "Betty" is threefold: Betty, the pin up next door, Bettie, the beautiful and brave, and Betty, the intelligent and feminist.

When I did photo shoots and participated in fashion and hair shows, I went under "Betty Mystique." I felt "mystique" was fitting because it not only honored the work of Betty Friedan, it also reflected my view that a woman's beauty should be a bit of a mystery. The part of our charm was how a part of us is hidden and not 'all out for the world to see.' WE are in control.

So, whether I am "Betty" or "Tara." I am me when all is said and done. I will always honor myself and all women in my life. Whether we are the girl next door, the pin up girl, the inspirer, the philosopher, the feminist, or just the girl making dinner, we are all amazing. And in our own way, we are all "Bettys!"