Friday, February 24, 2012

Getting Ready for VLV 15!

In just under 40 days, VLV 15 will begin in Las Vegas, Nevada! I am so excited! This will be my second event and for those of you who are going as well, I would love to do a few meet-ups! The event is HUGE and meeting people by chance is pretty much impossible. Last year, I had the honor of running into Holly twice from Temperamental Broad blog!  I also wanted to meet Dolly (aka the Rockabilly Socialite), Kim Bombshell, and Barbara from Moxie Tonic! Alas, I did not have the chance. Therefore, a meet-up is a must!

Nevertheless, I am looking forward to April 5th for sure! I am now creating a packing list and in doing so, I am taking into consideration a few lessons I learned from last year.

Since last year's VLV was my first, I had NO idea what to expect and as a result, what to pack/wear. Even though I wear vintage every day and feel like I have a good grasp on what to wear for specific circumstances, I look back on a few outfits I wore and wish I could have done things differently.

For example, at the car show, I wore an ill-fitting, yellow cotton Old Navy peasant top with a 40s gingham skirt. The skirt was fine but the top (seen in the picture above) was too big and made me look frumpy. As I walked around the rows of cars, I felt my look was lackluster in comparison to the other girls. Their looks whether it was sexy cheetah print wiggle dress-hotness or 50s sun top and shorts-clad cuteness, I just wanted to change!!

But, this year, I plan to wear this 50s cotton-blend sarong dress I bought on Etsy for this year's car show:

This dress embodies the perfect fusion of vintage purist meets figure-flattering excellence!

In the evening, my circle dresses were appropriate but as I looked at the gals in their satin and sequin dresses, I felt a desire to spice up my wardrobe. Sure, my look was fine but I wanted more than "fine." I wanted "wow factor!!" So, this year I bought this beauty:
 I bought this dress before the holidays and wore it on a recent cruise but I am wearing it again for VLV evening!

When it came to shoes, I played it safe. I wore a lot of black shoes at night and wedges during the day but I left behind the epitome of vintage-awesomeness in my closet! My silver Polly of California shoes:
I bought these from Remix Vintage in 2008! They are so comfortable and look amazing with everything from dresses, pencil skirts to capri pants and rolled jeans!

Speaking of rolled jeans, I just ordered these blue denim pedal pushers from Freddies of Pinewood!
Last year, I wore my original indigo Freddies of Pinewood jeans when I went to the Neon Museum:
I love both styles of jeans but the pedal pusher style will be fabulous for late night dancing!

During the day at VLV, I plan to do a little shopping on the Strip (hello, MAC Pro Store and Sephora!) and visit the Neon Museum. So, if the weather is sunny and warm, I am going to wear sundresses like this one I bought in January:
Another must-visit I missed last VLV is Frankie's Tiki Room!

I plan to go to Frankie's this year for sure and if I am going to sip on tiki drinks, I am going to do it in vintage tiki style:
I bought this dress from FabGabs on last July and it is made from a lovely polished cotton!

In conclusion, I am going to have fun with my wardrobe and have fun at VLV! Regardless of clothing, the intent of VLV is to dance, meet other rockabillys, enjoy a few drinks, see the sights in Vegas, dance some more, shop the vendors, take in the auto show, and JUST HAVE FUN!

So, are you going? 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Random Things on A Friday Night

You know your life is exciting when your Friday night consists of brushing and playing with the cat, experimenting with the goodies from your latest MAC order, doing laundry, and watching reruns of your favorite show, RuPaul's Drag Race.

Despite my low-key activities, this chill evening is exactly what I needed to end a hectic work week! I am glad Big Daddy and I decided to stay in rather than go out. Instead of fighting DC traffic and waiting for a table, I finished my chores and learned some new makeup tricks from some gorgeous queens!! Manila Luzon is my favorite girl! Love her!

In the spirit of the evening, I would like to share some random things.

1. New sweater!
(Sorry for the blur) I bought this 50s salmon pink sweater on Etsy for $35.00 USD and it arrived yesterday! It looks and feels brand new! (I am also wearing my Freddies!)

Here is a close-up:
The cotton knit has fabulous square buttons and these pointelle squares all over it!

2. Gorgeous, new 50s-era wood and metal sconces:
I bought these lovelies last week at the Cold Habor Antique Mall in Mechanicsville, Virginia (approximately 10 minutes from my parents' house). I paid $22.40 USD for the pair. Talk about a great deal! The wood accents were in pristine condition but the metal centers were quite rusted. I repainted the metal with gold metallic paint and now they look brand new! These gals are now on display in my dining room!

3. A handmade starburst mirror for the bedroom:
I made this mirror after watching this fantastic video tutorial on YouTube:

I visited my local Michaels Craft store and bought everything I needed and within hours, I finished the mirror and hung it up!

4. This is a 50s Toastmaster toaster I got from Big Daddy for the Holidays. It makes amazing toast and looks perfect in my atomic kitchen!
5. A footed Haeger ceramic bowl:
I bought this as a Holiday gift for myself. I paid $20.00 USD! I was floored to find this gorgeous piece for such a wonderful price! It has no chips, crazing, or fleabites! I love the triangle-shaped cut-outs!

6. Big Daddy hanging out on the couch with his iPad:
Upon his return home (after a long day of meetings), Big Daddy changed out of his suit and tie into his loungewear. We ordered Mexican delivery and watched the cat play with her cat nip toy as the towels finished drying.

This weekend is a "three day weekend" due to the fact it's President's Day on Monday. Since Big Daddy and I are on the GSA Schedule, we get Monday off. I am going to make some resin pendants and run on my treadmill. I am also going to experiment further with my new MAC 275 brush and Cream Color Base (Virgin Isle).

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Date Night Look! (Updo Inspired by BerlinHairBaby's Youtube Tutorial)

(image from

Yesterday was Valentine's Day and even though I did not want anything, the husband (ie Big Daddy), took me out to dinner at Ruth's Chris. It was packed!  The food was too good and we ate too much but it was worth it! (I love their seafood and Big Daddy loves the steak!)

In preparation of our date, I wanted to do a different look this time. I usually do victory rolls or maybe a "hair down" look (now that it is growing out nicely) but last night I decided to do an updo I saw in a tutorial by BerlinHairBaby on Youtube.

I have watched several of her video tutorials and they are awesome! I love her thorough and in-depth instructions and she is a doll!!

To match my look, I wore a light aqua satin brocade bolero jacket my auntie bought in the UK for me, a black Stop Staring wiggle dress,  50s vintage black velvet stilettos, and a 50s-era Lisner parure set. The set is made with silvertone metal, blue rhinestones, and a aqua-colored lucite or plastic.

Here is the overall look:
Here is the front up-close:
Here is the back:
Here is a detail view of the necklace:
Here is my eye look for the evening:

Another view:
I am wearing Ardell brand lashes in "105."

I wish the "head to toe" picture came out but for some reason, my camera phone was making the images too dark! I looked like I was in dimly lit cave instead of my sitting room!

Nevertheless, here is the same style dress I wore:
(image courtesy of

This is the third time I have done this Betty Draper-inspired updo and each time, it becomes easier and easier to create! I am looking forward to trying more styles!

So, how was your Valentine's?

A Journey of Understanding My Makeup!

This is me in 1992. It was late August, a week before my senior year began. I was 17 and when it came to makeup, I had no clue! My brows were penciled in using a Maybelline pencil that was too orange-red for my skin and hair color, (and my technique was too heavy-handed), I did not wear the proper foundation shade,  my eyes were too-heavily lined, and if you look closely, you can see I have a "beauty mark" above my lip. It's true; I used my mom's Cover Girl brown eyeliner everyday to create that mark.  I was inspired by Cindy Crawford and yes, Madonna.

As a little girl, I would watch my older sister put on her blue eyeshadow quad by Aziza that she bought at the local drugstore. I was amazed with her mascara technique and with the frosty nude lipstick she wore. I so wanted to be like my older sister! Tan, blonde, and with makeup to die for. 

When my mother and father allowed me to start wearing makeup in 8th grade (albeit very minimal), I was so excited and yet so overwhelmed. I had no idea what colors to wear or how to apply them. I would read the beauty tips in "Teen"Magazine that would read like:

"Wear a brown mascara only on top lashes to open eyes."
"If lashes are darker in color, use a clear mascara for creating shape."
"Wear light concealer and an oil-absorbing pressed powder."
"Adorn the apples of cheeks with a blush color that mimics your natural blush."

For one, what the heck are the apples of my cheeks?! I have apples on my face?! Where!? Secondly, how would I know which shades of powder  and/or concealer would be appropriate? I only had the local drugstore and grocery store makeup brands at my disposal so opening the packaging to swatch colors was impossible. Even if I could "try before I buy," how could my 13/14 year-old self know what looked right? I mean, if I thought blue frost eyeshadow was hot, I would surely be hopeless in other areas!

As I got older, I learned what worked and what didn't work for me through trial and error.  After much practice, I started to do better eye looks, better blending techniques, apply false eyelashes, and do face contouring. When I was able to spend money on brands like MAC, Urban Decay, Giorgio Armani, Chanel, and Make Up For Ever, I invested in good quality lipsticks,  shadows, liners, foundations, and brushes. Let me tell you, a set of high calibre brushes is critical when it comes to better makeup application! 

So, here I am at almost 37 and I am still learning new makeup techniques and tricks! And I hope I never stop learning! For example, just two weeks ago I learned how to properly contour my nose! I have an average-sized nose but wow, it is amazing what a little contour powder and an angled brush can do! 

Nevertheless, here I am this past Saturday morning before going out with friends. At this point, I had just showered with a shower cap on to keep my hair dry (I was going to do rolls). Moreover, I had not even had my coffee yet!

This is me, with no makeup on. Can we say, "eugh!?"

But with a good knowledge of makeup technique paired knowing which colors best suit me, I can transform into this:

So, what makeup follies have you endured? What have you girls learned along the way?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Beauty Review! The Skincare Edition (lengthy!)

In the 20+ years I have been aware of the need to care for my skin properly, it seems like I have spent the entire time searching for the "holy grail" or "secret treasure" of products that will bestow glory and beauty. Whether it's the savage jungle of the drug store or the wild, untamed savannah of the department store beauty counter, my quest to find that perfect elixir continues.

On my journey, I have encountered ferocious beasts that ravage my skin! I have stumbled upon gentle creatures who bless my skin with a glow that would rival the moon!

I have invested time, comfort, and money for my skin. In this adventure of skincare, I have learned a few things: stick to the products that work, avoid the "flash in the pan" trends, and just because it's costs a penny, doesn't mean it will work! Also, on your quest you may have to tackle a few hurdles before striking it rich ("rich" meaning happy skin!)

Nevertheless, I would like to share with you my latest reviews for amazing products along with a product that left me with skin drier than the Sahara.

Let's start with the treasures!

Alba Botanica Sea Algae Enyzme Facial Scrub ($10.79 USD)
My skin is very sensitive so I really need to be careful when it comes to exfoliation. I normally exfoliate twice a week to help keep my oily skin clear and free of blackheads (if that's possible! Ha!) This scrub by Alba is amazing. It scrubs without irritation and its grains feel uniform and as a result, it polishes my skin evenly without scratching.

This scrub also has a little tingle as I scrub. This sensation is mild and not painful. I exfoliate in the shower and when I pat my skin dry, it feels smooth and soft. Like most scrubs, do not use them while using AHAs/BHAs nor immediately before or after facial waxing!

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion ($17.00 USD)
I found out about Mario Badescu's Drying Lotion from a fellow classmate in graduate school about 10 years ago. I have been using it off and on ever since.  However, as of last summer, I rediscovered it again at Ulta Beauty and have been applying it nightly to newly forming pimples.

The lotion has two parts, a clear, yellow-tinged liquid and a pink sediment that sits on the bottom. To properly use this lotion, you cannot shake it! The two layers are meant to stay separated! Simply insert a clean cotton swab into the pink layer and apply to acne after cleansing skin. Moreover, this product is intended to be worn overnight whilst sleeping.

The lotion is better-suited for drying out pimples before they get a chance to get bigger. I have discovered that this lotion works wonders on pimples that are just forming. However, on larger, full-blown acne, the lotion will help somewhat shrink them but the results are not as stellar as when breakouts are new. In the morning, be sure to cleanse the remains of the drying lotion off completely!

Elemis Daily Redness Relief ($79.00 USD)

I have been using Elemis products since I had my first cruise spa treatment back in October 2001. Elemis is a skincare line from the UK. Their products have a focus on essential oils and quality ingredients. The line is pricey but most of their products I have used (except for the Tri-Enzyme Range (too strong!) have proven their worth.

Elemis Daily Redness Relief is great for reducing redness, irritation caused by harsh skincare products, exposure from the cold, rosacea, and post-waxing redness.

I have rosacea on my cheeks. It is a heredity-based condition that can worsen with age if not properly treated. The rosacea looks like new pimples forming on my face that never seem to develop or go away. I hate it! This condition can get aggravated whenever I ski (cold exposure), eat spicy food, get sick, or use skincare that is too rough! My skin is also very sensitive so I need to take extra special care to keep it calm.

After cleansing my skin in the morning and at night, I apply a tiny amount of Elemis Daily Redness on my cheeks and chin. This lotion is light and feels smooth. It does not add moisture so if your skin is dry you will need to apply a moisturizer on top. Just be sure to wait 15-20 minutes before doing so to ensure the redness cream's effectiveness.

Even though this cream (1.7 ounces or 50 ml) is expensive, I only use a tiny amount so one tube will last a long time!

Avalon Organics Daily Moisturizer "Lavender Renewal and Vitality for Sensitive Skin" ($16.95 USD)

I discovered this lovely gal when I lived in the high country of Colorado for a couple of months back in late 2008. As I have stated previously, my skin is very oily and sensitive. In a most climates, I need only a mattifying cream like La Therapie Creme Control or Elemis Daily Shine Control. But, in the dry mountain air of the Colorado Rockies, even my greasy skin gets dry!

While shopping at a local pharmacy one day, I stumbled upon this lavender-scented cream and upon seeing "sensitive" written on the jar, I decided to give it a try. And I am so glad I did!! The cream is light and feels weightless on. The scent is gorgeous and not heavy or cloying! The cream truly smells like real lavender and not some perfumey, fake lavender rip off!

This moisturizer does not clog my pores and/or cause breakouts. I use only a small amount and I apply it in sections to prevent using too much. When I apply my foundation, my skin looks smooth and I see no dry patches.

The only thing I do not like about this is the packaging. I wish it came in a squeeze tube instead of a jar. I do not like putting my fingers in the cream. Even though I wash my hands before doing my skincare routine, I worry about sanitation. In addition, whenever I travel, the cream tends to get sloshed around in the jar. As a result, cream gets on the inside of the lid and I have to scoop it back into the container.

Now that I have reviewed these fabulous finds, the time has come to review  a product so sinister and sneaky it needs to be put on a no-fly list!

Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector B.B Cream in Light/Medium ($12.99 USD)

After reading about the recent "Beauty Balms" or "Blemish Balms" trend in skincare, I felt intrigued to try them. MAC Cosmetics has one and so does Clinique, Boscia, Boots, and Clarins. For those who do not know what a BB cream is, it is touted as a "all-in-one" skin perfector that offers hydration, skincare benefits, tinted moisturizer, and usually an SPF for protection.

On the Garnier website, they describe their BB cream as such:
"Garnier Skin Renew Miracle Skin Perfector is a miracle all-in-one product with immediate results you can see and feel. Skin is instantly airbrushed, beautifully smooth and even. Its light-weight and comfortable texture blends perfectly into skin. This all-in-one formula combines intense moisturizing skincare with Vitamin C + Mineral Pigments for instant miracle skin transformation: Evens skin's tone and complexion. Blurs imperfections (like blotchiness and fine lines). Boosts radiance. Moisturizes for 24-hours. Protects with SPF 15 UVA/UVB sunscreen against the harmful effects of the sun - the no. 1 cause of skin aging."

To start, the Garnier BB cream only comes in two shades; Light/Medium and Medium/Dark. I purchased the lighter shade and when I applied it to my cleansed skin, my face looked almost 'two foundation shades too dark.' Moreover, my skin had a slightly orange cast. Not good. However, if I applied the cream in small sections (one at a time), my skin looked more like its natural self.

For a week, I used this cream and it was great. All I had to do was simply cleanse my face and apply a pea-size amount of the cream, do my eye makeup, apply a little concealer where needed, set with powder, apply red lipstick, and go! My face looked flawless and smooth. When I used MAC Prep and Prime Finishing Powder, the slightly orange look was diffused away!

But while I was driving to my parents' house last weekend, my skin felt a little tight. I touched my face and felt a dry patch on my right cheek. Me? A Dry patch? Miss "Walking Oil Slick?!" Wha???????

When I looked in the mirror of my mother's powder room later that afternoon, I saw dry patches around the corners of my mouth and there was a field of flakes on my forehead! Honey, there were so many flakes on my face, the Corn Flakes in the kitchen pantry were feeling overshadowed and outdone!

Needless to say, I stopped using the BB cream and went back to my normal routine. My face is still a tiny bit dry but nothing like it was before. I am not sure what specifically caused my face to react but I know that I will never use that cream again. Maybe it will work better for someone else.

So, on your quest for skincare gold, what products have been good and/or bad for you girls?

FOTD Post! False Eyelashes for the Office? Yes, Why Not?

This is me, this morning before work. Makeup is done but I still have my dressing gown on! I gotta get dressed! Also, I want to apologize for the hair! It is in a claw clip because I have a hair appointment later today!

Without further ado, here is a breakdown of what cosmetics I am wearing:

On eyes:
Nars Pro-Prime Smudgeproof Eyeshadow Base
MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque on lower lids
MAC Shadows in Motif, Copperplate, Vanilla, and Crystal Avalanche
Urban Decay 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion (a solid black)
Ardell False Eyelashes ("Wispies)
Duo Adhesive (for applying lashes)
MAC Opulash Mascara in "Bad, Bad Black"
Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes Liner in 23L (on lower lash line)

On Brows:
My brows were tinted and waxed a couple of days ago but I am also wearing Anatasia Beverly Hills Brow Pen in "Universal Deep Shade" to give them a little extra definition.

On Skin:
Giorgio Armani Luminuous Silk Foundation in Shade 02
Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer in Shade 4
MAC Contour Powder in Bone Beige
MAC Mineralize Blush in Dainty
Giorgio Armani Lumious Silk Powder (to set everything)
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish in Porcelain Pink (applied on top of nose, cheeks, cupid's bow, and in center of forehead-to highlight)

On Lips:
Trish McEvoy "Flawless Lip"Primer
MAC Russian Red Lipstick
MAC Lip Pencil in Brick

On any given work day, I normally do not wear false eyelashes but this morning I felt inspired to wear them! I guess I was channeling my "inner diva!"  Here is how they look in the package:
And here is how they look upclose whilst on:
False eyelashes are amazing for nights out, photo shoots, special events, VLV and just because! They give eyes that "something extra" that our natural lashes may lack. My natural lashes are very fine and wispy but when I put falsies on, my lashes look full and lush!

Applying false eyelashes can seem like a daunting task at first but with some practice, they will become a snap! If you have no idea how to apply lashes, there are some amazing tutorials on YouTube. MAC Cosmetics used to have a great video tutorial on their site but it's no longer there.

I will do a lash tutorial for you all soon! I just need my husband's help taking pictures!

So, what makeup are you gals wearing today? And, how often do you wear false lashes?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Post Long Overdue

I know I have been away a LONG time. Combined with the holiday season, a vacation, an illness, and my father's health, life has been busy!

The holidays brought me a 50s vintage chrome toaster, a ceramic Haeger bowl, a new 50s hat, an espresso maker, a dressform for sewing, and new 50s nightgown. I hosted Christmas dinner and I ate too many latkes and sufganiyot!

 I went on a cruise to the Caribbean with the husband and the in-laws during the second week of January and got norovirus upon my return. The trip was fun and after I recovered from my illness, my size 4 capris were loose so that is a plus!

My father is doing better but for a while, his sleep apnea and cataract surgeries were causing him some trouble. Not only is my dad's eyesight better than before, he is getting a proper night's sleep!

Last week I bought my tickets for VLV 15 and I cannot wait! This will be my second VLV and I am so looking forward to it! My birthday takes place three days before Viva begins and I will be celebrating my 37th in Vegas! Talk about exciting!

Speaking of Viva, I hope to see some of you gals there! As VLV approaches, I would like to organize a meet-up with my fellow bloggers who are going to the event. VLV is huge and meeting people by chance is difficult!

Nevetheless, I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and a fabulous new year!

Very soon, I am going to post a few beauty product reviews, a "how to" tutorial for making hair flowers, and a "how to" tutorial for making resin pendants!  I also plan to do a new 300+follower giveaway!