Monday, December 9, 2013

Sparkle, Tara, Sparkle!! My First Whirling Turban!

(Image courtesy of Whirling

For the longest time, I have pined for my very own Whirling Turban dress.  After spending several months browsing the website and then seeing a few of the dresses in person at this year's Viva, my obsession was firmly cemented.  I HAD to have one. A few weeks ago, I decided to 'take the plunge' and finally buy my first dress.  Yes, I said "first."  Anyone who has the honor and privilege of owning a Whirling Turban usually gets another.  Like Lays' brand potato chips, "you just can't have one."

The dress I purchased is a two-piece sarong dress with a detachable strap.  The fabric is a gorgeous blue silver metallic lurex type material that just sparkles and shines.  I have NEVER seen anything like it.  Moreover, the fabric has a lovely weight to it.  It is not too heavy or too thin.  The details are stunning and the measurements are perfect for my body shape.

As soon as the dress arrived, I immediately tried it on.  The fit was incredible.  Even though the dress was expensive, let me tell you, it is SO SO SO worth it!  Talk about an investment!  I can see myself wearing this dress for years and years to come!

I bought the dress for my company's annual holiday party.  The party took place on Saturday, the 7th of December at the Hyatt Regency in Reston, Virginia.  Big Daddy, aka el hub, wore a vintage-style black tuxedo.  I, of course, wore my Whirling Turban dress!  I paired it with vintage rhinestone jewelry, my silver Pollys, and one of my lucite bags.

Here is Big Daddy (isn't he just dreamy?!):

And here is my look:

I had a great time at the party (even though my entree, grilled salmon, was not good)!  I had a couple of vodka tonics and a glass of wine. (Party time!)  Everyone was complimenting my dress!  I felt so amazing!  When the night was over, I was sad to take the dress off and change into my pjs.  Nevertheless, we have a 10-day family cruise coming up over Christmas and I am going to wear my dress again for sure!!

So, for anyone contemplating whether or not to buy a Whirling Turban, all I can say is, do it!!  You will not regret it!  Now, if you decide to buy a dress of your own, please take some advice from me: when selecting your dress, please go on your measurements!  Do not guess!  These dresses are made to fit your body and hug your curves!  If you have any questions regarding fit, please ask!  The people at Whirling Turban are very helpful when it comes to answering questions!  They are quick to answer e-mail and very friendly to do business with.  My overall Whirling Turban experience was above and beyond any expectations! 

I am so happy with my dress, I went ahead and ordered another last night!

Now, I will have two Whirling Turban dresses for my cruise!  Because this cruise is 10 days long, there are four formal nights and you know a girl has to look her best! ;)

Again, if you are considering buying a Whirling Turban,  you must!   The quality, the detailing, the materials, and the customer service are simply wonderful!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Tales from a Lazy Saturday (Veteran's Day weekend)

This past weekend was truly a lazy one!  As a government contractor, I was fortunate enough to enjoy a "three day weekend" due to the fact Monday, November the 11th, was Veteran's Day.  Most local, state, and federal government employees and contractors have federal holidays off.  These days include, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and Veteran's Day.  Banks and the postal service are closed as well.

Nevertheless, thanks to a longer weekend, the husband (aka Big Daddy) and I decided to stay home, relax, do laundry, make dinner, and enjoy a cocktail (or two!).

Just for fun, here are the highlights from our lazy Saturday!
I woke up early.  Even though I wanted to sleep in, my body was up thanks to my daily schedule.  Instead of falling back into my cozy bed, I got up, made coffee, had a lovely breakfast with Big Daddy, and hung out with 'le cat.'

After breakfast, I watched "Stalag 17" as I worked on my vintage clothing "fix/repair" pile.  Once in a while, you gotta fix those popped seams, falling hems, and loose buttons!

By the time it was lunch (well, 2 pm), I finally spruced myself up and did my hair!

Now that it is fall and going into winter, it is time to pair bobby socks with my beloved Re-Mix wedges!

I intended to make dinner at home but Big Daddy's mother (aka Mammaleh), invited us over.  We had cocktails, steak on the grill (shrimp for me), and a salad.

To end the night, we came home and Big Daddy retreated to the deck and enjoyed his beloved, vintage pipe and had a scotch.

Since it was Veteran's Day weekend and Big Daddy is a veteran (almost 10 years US Army Infantry), I wanted him to have a few super-chill, relaxed days off!  I am proud of him and his service to this great nation!

And for all of you who have served, I want to say "thank you" for your esteemed service and dedication.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Vintage Reproduction Atomic Ceramic Cats! (Royal Dux)

Over a month ago, I found an amazing pair of vintage repro ceramic cats done in the "Royal Dux" style on Etsy.  I have been looking for a real Dux set for a long time and when happen to find a couple of pairs, they were very expensive or had damage.

The "Royal Dux" company, originally known as "Duxer Porzellanmanufaktur," was founded in Czechoslovakia in 1860 by Eduard Eichler.  This brand is known for its distinctive seal, or "pink triangle:"

Royal Dux created vases, figurines, and ornate sculptures.  The designs ranged from art nouveau opulence to modern simplicity.  The modern cat design became very popular in the 50s and early 60s.  Here are a a few examples of authentic originals:

I would LOVE to get my paws on these cats!  But, as I stated earlier, these Dux cats are usually very pricey and often difficult to find!

Despite being unable to track down the Royal Dux atomic kitties of my MCM dreams, I found a seller on Etsy who makes faithful reproductions using vintage molds!

Here is the pair I purchased:
And here is how they look on my mantle in my den/TV room:

The cats measure 4.5 inches tall and are 5.5 inches long.  The colors are bold, bright orange and vivid teal blue.  I love the fact the cats were glazed in complimentary colors!  Total opposites on the color wheel!  The result is an intense pop of color on my otherwise boring white-painted, brick mantle!

I am very happy with my new repro cats!  They are perfect.  However, if I ever stumble upon a real Royal Dux cat or cats when I am antiquing, I may grab them (especially if the price and/or condition is right).

So, if you are looking for a little bit of atomic pottery for your MCM abode, you have to give Desert Arts Pottery on Etsy a look!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Two New Products from Besame Cosmetics!

Ever since I discovered Besame Cosmetics four years ago, I have been totally hooked on their gorgeous, vintage packaging and amazing product line!  Whether it's their intensely-pigmented lipsticks or their smashing foundation, Besame nailed it when it comes to combining vintage aesthetic with product quality and performance!

Besame Cosmetics is based in Glendale, California and is lead by the amazing Gabriela Herandez and her husband, Fergus.  I have had the pleasure of speaking with them both over the phone (questions regarding orders or products) and not only are they very nice, their adoration and dedication to their work is incredible.  Simply put, when it comes to customer service and quality, I cannot recommend Besame Cosmetics enough!

Less than two weeks ago, I received my most recent order from Besame.  I purchased the brand new lipstick shade in "American Beauty" and the re-formulated, re-released Besame Souffle Foundation in the shade "Bisque."

Let's start with the lipstick!  According to the Besame website, the Classic Color Lipstick in "American Beauty" (.12 ounces, $22 USD) is a faithful reproduction of a popular lipstick shade from 1945.  And let me tell you, this lipstick is indeed a 'beauty' of a shade!  It is a vibrant cranberry-red with a pink-blue undertone.  The color itself falls between the bright "Besame Red" and the lush, darker cherry-toned red, "Cherry Red."  Imagine if "Besame Red" and "Cherry Red" had a baby.  The result would be "American Beauty." 

In addition, for those of you familiar with Make Up For Ever's Rouge Artist Intense Lipstick in #45 (available at Sephora and for $19 USD), that color and the "American Beauty" are very similar, if not the same shade.  For further reference, MAC's lip pencil in "Cherry" is a perfect match!

And as for all of my other Besame shades, "American Beauty" boasts a strong color payoff with a semi-matte finish that clings to the lips without drying, bleeding, or feathering!

Here is me wearing the lipstick:
As I stated, I also bought the re-issued Besame Souffle Foundation (.56 ounces for $38.00) in shade "Bisque."  "Bisque" is the lightest shade in the range (there are 5 shades total).  For reference, I am a MAC NW15, a Giorgio Armani 02, a Bobbi Brown Porcelain, and in most brands I am considered an "Ivory." I have oily and sensitive skin that is neutral yet leans pink.  This "Bisque" shade is absolutely perfect for my skintone!

Besame had a previous version of this foundation that had a creamy, whipped consistency.  It came is a jar container that was discontinued and then re-released in a squeeze tube.  The tube version of the foundation was phased out and is now back it its original jar form.  This new foundation is a firm, concealer-like texture that is very smooth and pigmented.  A little product goes a long way!  I use a wedge sponge for application and the foundation goes on like a dream.

Further, this foundation is not only different in texture, it features a new, skincare ingredient called "Collageneer."

Besame describes Collageener on its website as follows:

"Collageneer®, a patented active ingredient derived from Lupin seed coatings, has the ability not only to increase the synthesis of type I collagen (the most abundant collagen, which diminishes with age), but also to promote production of a high quality collagen that gives the skin its firmness and elasticity.

This extraordinary foundation provides outstanding coverage with a light and silky smooth texture for a flawless face. Can be used for full coverage as foundation or concealer.

Available in 5 shades, packaged in vintage style cream glass jars. Fragrance-Free, Paraben-Free."

Here is me wearing both the lipstick and foundation:

 I have been wearing the Souffle Foundation daily since I received it and it has not caused any breakouts or irritations!  I use a blot sheets to maintain my look throughout the day and I have not experienced any caking or oxidation (turns orange).  I simply love this stuff!

In addition, today I tried a new method of foundation application I saw on RuPaul's Drag Race last night.  (They are replaying Season 1 on Logo on Monday nights).  Nevertheless, I noticed one of the drag queens using a hair dryer on her potted, full-coverage foundation to sheer it out.  This morning, used my hair dryer on my foundation for 10-15 seconds.  I let the surface get a little shiny and I stopped.  I then applied with a sponge and wow! The result was just smooth, smooth, SMOOTH!!  My skin looks even better!

So, if you are looking for a pretty berry red and/or a new foundation, you have to give Besame's "American Beauty" lipstick and re-released Besame Souffle Foundation a try! 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Great Link for Help With Measuring Vintage Eyewear (The Optometrist Attic!)

After posting about my new vintage eye wear the other day, a fellow blogger and friend of mine asked me how to measure vintage frames.  She wears modern frames and wants a vintage pair but in many cases the frames she buys (particularly online) are too big or too small. Being able to decipher all those numbers can be tricky but I have found an AMAZING website that will help you determine your correct size!

I buy most of my frames online (Etsy and eBay). I occasionally find frames at various flea markets, antique malls, and at events like Viva (Allyn Scura is pure cat eye heaven). After wearing vintage glasses for 15 years, I am familiar with my measurements. However, if you are not sure about how to measure, just visit the link above and I bet you this site will help you find that vintage pair that fits like a dream!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

New MCM Wares for My Ever-Updating, Rockabilly Abode! (Oh, and Vintage Eyewear Too!)

This past Saturday, my sister and I went to Southeast DC to visit the District Flea Market.

The day was sunny but the air was crisp with a windy autumn bite.  I wore my Freddies of Pinewood classic indigo jeans, a 50s camp shirt, and a red 49er jacket.  I thought about wearing a housedress with tights but jeans seemed like a better, more logical (and warmer) choice.

As we grabbed a hot coffee, we browsed several booths containing vintage records, hi-fis, books,  prints, art, clothes (mostly 60s-80s but I did spot a cute 50s patio set with gold ric rac but it had holes), jewelry, wall scones, lighting, mirrors, melmac, shabby chic furniture, vintage eyewear, and mid-century furniture.  In addition to the shopping vendors, the District Flea also boasts food vendors. 

Now, I admit that I went to this market with a few doubts.  I was not expecting to walk away with anything.  I was hoping to see the vintage eyewear booth and maybe stumble upon some bakelite, but my hopes were reserved.  However, my doubts were soon proven wrong when I found two Lane two-tiered end tables in gorgeous condition.  I was floored.  The tables only had minor stratches (nothing Scott's Liquid Gold couldn't fix!) and the seller wanted $250 for the pair.  I recently spotted similar tables on eBay for $500 or so.  I took notice of the tables and decided to think about it.  After a few sips of coffee and some brief hemming and hawing, I went back and told the gentleman, "You have a deal."

While I was coming down from my "end table high," my sister and I found the vintage eyewear booth.  I was in total acetate, cateye, and aluminum heaven.  I tried on a few pairs of various colors and styles and then found the pair I wanted: a 50s silver aluminum modified cateye frame for $55.  The hinges needed to be cleaned but overall, they were perfect.

I already own four pairs of vintage frames that have been fit with my prescription: a solid black cateye, a clear acetate and soft gold cateye, a pale blue and clear acetate cateye, and lastly a black, brushed silver, and clear acetate cateye.  In addition, I have three pairs of vintage sunglasses also fitted with my near-sighted/astigmatism prescription.  I am addicted to vintage frames. Yes, it's true.  I am not ashamed.

Here are my new frames:

After returning home from the flea market, I placed the two Lane tables in their spots in my living room.  I treated each table with the Liquid Gold and then let them cure.  Then, I accompanied Big Daddy to his barber appointment, we had lunch, and we went to my local optician to have my frames fit with my prescription.  I love them!  There is nothing like a great pair of vintage cateye glasses!  I used to despise the fact I needed to wear glasses (modern frames are typically boring to me)  but once I discovered vintage frames, I am happy to wear glasses again!  It is just another way to accessorize and accent my daily vintage style!

So, overall, this weekend was a huge success!  I got some pretty new frames to wear and my home is continuing to be updated in proper, mid-century style!

What are your newest vintage treasures?

More Body Art!

It has been a while since I blogged anything! In my absence, I have been working, running more, visiting family, Halloween came and went, and I had more body art done!  The last tattoo I had was a bright pink peony cover-up done in late August.  As I was finalizing my payment and tip after my peony was finished, I made another appointment with my artist, Liaa Walter!

I have been getting tattooed by Liaa (who is super sweet and amazingly talented) for just over a year.  I love her work and getting tattooed by her feels more like two friends chatting and hanging out rather than sitting in a chair and getting poked with needles.

On the late morning of Halloween, I ventured from the suburbs of Northern Virginia into Northeast Washington, DC.  Despite the fact I left my house super early, I ended up arriving to the shop 15 minutes late.  The DC Metro was seemingly running slower than normal. (It is always running slow but this day it was especially lagging behind schedule). 

As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by Meredith (shop maven, front desk authority, and all around great gal) who directed me up the third floor where Liaa was preparing her work station.  At this point, I was feeling a bit nervous and stressing a bit about the pain.  The back is not an easy spot to get tattooed.  The spine and nerve endings can make things a bit tough. However, I came prepared!  I had Vitamin Water Zero and my beloved Kashi granola bars to keep me hydrated and glucose levels up during the procedure. 

Before Liaa began the actual tattoo, she drew a freehand cherry tree branch and blossoms to join a celtic design I have in the middle of my upper back.  In addition, Liaa connected the new branch segment to an existing cherry tree branch on my left arm/shoulder I had done in 2007. 

Here is a little background: In 2000, I had a Celtic triskele dragon design created.  It was my second tattoo.  I was 25.  I recall the actual tattoo process was not pleasant.  Instead of breathing slowly in and out, I held my breath and as a result, I almost passed out.  Moreover, I remember not eating beforehand.  Let tell you, eating a proper, balanced meal 1-2 hours before a tattoo session is VITAL.  If you go dehydrated and hungry, you WILL be miserable. 

Nevertheless, 13 years after my dragons were done, I noticed the design looked like a faded mess and a bit like "peel and stick."  "Peel and stick" means the tattoo looked like a floating sticker.  It appeared to be disconnected from my other tattoos.  

After Liaa finished drawing out my new design, I took a quick look in the mirror, loved it, and then we began the session.  The pain was not as intense as I anticipated.  However, the previous session on my lower back (my peony), that was rough. Wow.  The total work took about an hour and a half and this is what it looks like now:

 I am so happy with my updated and refreshed art!  In January, Liaa is going to add a couple of snowflakes to the piece.  I cannot wait! 


Friday, October 4, 2013

The Hair Chronicles! -A new look in a unknown world

It is has been exactly a month to the day since my last blog post.  In the time I been away from blogging, I have continued to work, got another cold, then allergies, and family visits. In addition, I have also got a new hair cut.  The story behind it is peppered with a variety of ups and downs.

As some of you may know, I began to grow out my Bettie bangs into an angled style. I started this process in August. Despite my initial hesitation to let go of my once-heralded look, I got the cut and felt great. I was ready for a change! However, this elation was soon eclipsed by the news that my stylist of one year, a stylist who was finally becoming accustomed to my hair, told me she was moving out of state in late September. I was sad. I am happy she is finding her bliss in her new home and new life, but damn it! My hair has needs! So, the quest to find a new stylist began.

In late September, I discovered a new salon in my area.  The website looked great and the vibe was hip, edgy.  I made my appointment for a stylist who seemed to have a good grasp of vintage styles.  On the day of my appointment, I was nervous (silly, I know) and excited. I arrived on time and after over 15 minute wait, I was sent back to get a root touch up and a couple of foils on my emerging blond highlight in my growing bangs.

After color, the stylist cut a section of hair behind my bangs. The overall look appeared to form a deep, wide triangle in my hairline. Because I wanted to grow out my bangs to do a "suicide roll" and/or a side-swept look, I needed a more dramatic bang line. The stylist also cut a couple of inches of my ends to help my wet sets shape better during home styling. Needless to say, I felt great. I found "vintage hair heaven" but alas, something was amiss in hair world and I couldn't quite put my finger on it.

Upon the completion of my mystical hair experience, I made my way over to the reception desk to check out. Then I heard, "That will be $155.00 today, please." What? What now? $155.00 for a basic highlight foil in my bangs, a cut, and root-touch up? My old salon was $105!! How much is full color gonna cost?! Good lord. I walked out there feeling both magical and in shock. My  hair was "Breck Girl" glowing but my wallet was crying and shaking in a corner, like it was just mugged in Central Park circa 1977.

A couple of days later, I washed my hair and when I was combing it out after my shower, I noticed several places where my roots were not touched up at all. I have natural light auburn roots (level 7) and my color is blue black (level 1). The contrast was really evident. Not only was I overcharged, my roots were patchy and uneven. I was pissed.

In spite of the fact I want perfection (especially for that price), I am reasonable. I do not expect me and a new stylist to be "on the same page" the very first visit, but I at least expect my color to be done correctly. Needless to say, I will not be going back there.

But, this story may have a happy ending! One of my friends who blogs, is an amazing seamstress, talented knitter, loves vintage, adores makeup, and is an awesome fun gal, is actually a board certified stylist in the next state.  She is very knowledgeable with vintage hair and how to create the looks I seek.

Even though my hair is okay for now and I am without a stylist at the moment, I am able to do a couple of new looks, apres-Bettie bangs:

The first look is with my bangs rolled back and the second is as they are styled forward in a side-swept look. As the months progress, I cannot wait to see what new styles I can create!

So, do you have any hair "she-mergencies?"

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Learning to Let Go of My Bettie Bangs

For the last 6+ years, I have had "Bettie bangs."  There was, however, a brief period in 2010 when I tried to grow my bangs out in the hopes of achieving more styling variety.  Alas, my feeble attempts to "stay strong" and resist the charms of Bettie bangs eventually fell victim to my stylist's shears.  Before I could say, "I am trying something new," the Bettie bangs emerged victorious.

Despite my love/hate/love relationship with my bangs, I have decided to grow them out this time, for real.  There will be no wavering!  My mind is made up.   I realize that it's not that I "hate" my Bettie bangs, but I am ready for a change. 

In late July, my stylist, Jesi, cut and shaped my bangs into the beginnings of a side-swept bang.  I want to be able to wear them like this (albeit a little longer):

I also would like the option of rolling my bangs back so I can do styles like this:

As of right now, I can do a reverse roll, although it's small:

In the last 6 weeks that I had my Bettie bangs re-shaped, they are still on the short side.  The side-angle look is becoming more and more evident but I realize I will not have full effect/length until probably the end of the year or later.

In the interim, I have purchased a side-swept bang clip-in from Hairdo on the days I want a side-bang look:
The clip-in is easy to use and is washable.  I shampoo, rinse, and air-dry.  The piece is made with synthetic hair so do not curl with heat or it will melt!

Here is me with the clip-in:

I am excited about the prospect of my bangs growing out!  After 6 years of the "same old, same old," I am looking forward to a new look! 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

New Tattoos!

Tattoos!  Whether you have them or not and whether you like them or not, tattoos are a fixture in the rockabilly/vintage culture.  Despite the fact that mainstream society still hesitant to accept body art, I have never felt more proud to collect and display my tattoos! 

One morning in late May 2000, I woke up and decided I wanted a tattoo.  I was 25 years old and about to start graduate school.  I was the antithesis of the impulsive 18 year-old hellbent on getting drunk and "getting inked."  I was a married, mild-mannered travel agent with a mortgage who was eager to earn a Master's Degree in Spanish.  By the end of the day, I had a simple black star tattoo on my lower left back/upper hip.  The entire piece took 10 minutes and was the size of a quarter.  I loved it.  A couple of months later, I found myself getting another tattoo, a Celtic design that was larger, boasted some color, and located on my upper back, between my shoulders.  That piece was a bit more painful and as a result, I told myself I was "done" with tattoos.   Less than a year later, I had a black line moon tattoo on my lower right leg/ankle.  So much for "being done."

Regardless of my suburban and professional life,  I continued to get more tattoos.  I am not sure if my fascination with tattoos stems from being an artist but there is just something about body art that enchants me. Nevertheless, as I ventured further into the world of ink, I transitioned from small, basic black outline pieces to large, full-color designs.  Whenever I completed a tattoo session, I thought, "that's it. This time I am done." Nope.  Not by a long shot.

In early 2007, I was preparing for my annual Colorado ski trip 2008 and I had this idea that it would be "cool" for me to get a half-sleeve cherry blossom and snowflake tattoo.  I thought there's no better way to capture my love of Colorado than getting tattooed in Colorado.  With this burning scheme in my head, I called a tattoo studio in Breckenridge and made an appointment for the last full day I was in town. 

On the morning of my appointment, I woke up feeling a nervousness I never experienced.  All of the tattoos I sat for previously were small and quick.  This tattoo, however, would be the first "big piece."  I took a few deep breaths and told myself I could do it.  Later that afternoon, I met my artist, Kauri Tiyme, and after filling out necessary paperwork, I sat in her chair and the next five and a half hours flew by!  When Kauri was done, I had a masterpiece on my skin.  I felt amazing.  I had the privilege of sitting in Kauri's chair for five more sessions, continuing in late summer of 2007 and ending on the 24th of September 2008.  Sadly, on the 22nd of October, 2008, Kauri was killed.  In the wake of Kauri's untimely and unfair death, I did not get tattooed for four years.  I couldn't.  I felt like if I got another tattoo, I would be cheapening Kauri's memory.

However, a year ago, I had a talk with a good friend of Kauri's and she told me that Kauri would have wanted me to move on and that the process of getting tattooed again could be a way to "let go" of the sorrow I was harboring for so long. 

In October 2012, I sat for beautiful alpine forget-me-not floral and starburst tattoo with artist Liaa Walter of Cirque Du Rouge Tattoo studio in Washington, D.C.  I had the piece done on my inner left forearm.  After our session was over, I felt a cleansing and lifting that I cannot describe.  Words will never do it justice. 

Since last fall, Liaa has touched up a couple of tattoos and created two lovely pieces for me.  In May, I had my father's words added to a flower tattoo I had done in 2006 and then fixed by Kauri in 2008.

As some of you may recall, my father has Alzheimer's and as a result, he is not able to write much anymore.  This tattoo was created by tracing my dad's words he wrote to me in a letter on my 18th birthday.  A couple of years ago, I found the letter whilst sorting through storage bins in my closet.  This letter is one of my prized possessions and I can so happy Liaa captured the little subtleties and nuances of my father's once beautiful handwriting. 

And just last week, Liaa covered up my very first tattoo, the ugly star, with this gorgeous peony bowl of beauty flower:

I sat for this tattoo for nearly two hours.  Let me tell you, it hurt. It hurt like hell.  Due to the proximity of my spine, the nerve-endings are very sensitive because they branch out from the vertebrae. Thus, this was one painful piece.  Despite the "ow factor," I am simply overjoyed with the stunning outcome!  Moreover, in late October, on the afternoon of Halloween to be exact, I am going back to Liaa so she can touch up my Celtic design and add more to it.  That tattoo is going to be a bit "squirrely," but I know I will endure.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

"Girl World" Strikes at the Makeup Counter

First and foremost, I would like to apologize for my absence!  This summer has been chock-full of travel, work, a vicious cold, sick kitties, and more work.  Nevertheless, now that life is seemingly 'back to normal' (what is "normal" anyway?), I am anxious to jump back into blogging!

With that said, I would like to address the post at hand: Girl World.  What exactly is "Girl World" you ask?  Let me explain.  Girl World is what I deem the subtle nuances, behaviors, and that energies that occur between women.  When we are young, we learn quickly what sly glances signify and how whispers literally speak volumes.  Moreover, we become familiar with the way a girlfriend can say "I'm fine" but we know she's is not.  With a few questions along with that look that says, "Girl, I am here fore you. You can lean on me," she's confiding in you.

As we age, we develop a sixth sense that heralds a power that can be used for "good and evil." This sixth sense so-to-speak can be an amazing tool to reach out and connect with the other women in our lives. However, this same element can be utilized for sinister intents like spreading gossip, being catty, and basically talking smack to bring down your fellow sisters-in-arms.

To the outside world, the delicate and elusive forces at play go unnoticed. A snicker accompanied by a fast glance can often be construed as mere happenstance but in Girl World, it's a crushing cacophony of alienation and shame.  We know they are talking about us.  We feel it.  In Girl World, we have a language all our own and we know it.

So, let me tell you how Girl World came to "strike" at Macy's Impulse Beauty in Boca Raton Town Center in Boca Raton, Florida.  In early June, I went to Boca Raton to visit family and one day, I went to the Inglot counter for some needed products.  As I approached the counter, I noticed a sales associate sitting in a chair at the adjacent Benefit counter.  She sneered at me and turned to other employees and loudly stated, "I am NOT helping her."  I was shocked. What? Did she just say that out loud?  She knows I can hear, right?  Wow.  Just Wow. 

After a deep breath and not wanting to get upset, I proceeded to browse at the various eyeshadows, pencils, and lipsticks.  Within a few minutes, the Inglot sales associate came over and assisted me with my purchase.  I ended up buying stuff because I wanted it but I really wanted to walk away and deny them the satisfaction of that sale.  In addition, as the Inglot associate rang up my final purchase at the register, I overheard hushed voices saying, "Oh my god! I know! Her dress! Ha ha ha!!"  The sales associate at the register was trying hard to keep a straight face as her colleagues carried on like bitchy teenage wannabes.  I could tell she was in on the joke at my expense yet I did not have the chutzpah to say anything.  Dammit.  I feel like my makeup lust made me into a sitting duck, gossip fodder, and basically a sucker.  I walked away and went back to my in-laws, feeling shitty.

When I returned home to D.C., I immediately filed a complaint with Macy's regarding my experience.  I will tell you this, despite my cosmetic addiction and admiration for Inglot, I will NEVER EVER set foot in that Macy's again. 

Even though I took the high road, I so wanted to tell those women to "**** Off!"  I wanted to say, "Hey bitches!  I know you are throwing shade at me! Cancel the sale! Where the **** is your supervisor?!" But, I didn't.   I walked away.  Was my lady-like demeanor and handling of the situation not the right way to conduct myself?  I think I have more to lose if I "lose my cool."  How do I navigate Girl World while holding my head high?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Hukilau 2013! Part 1 (Friday)

(Image courtesy of the Hukilau and

In June, Big Daddy (aka my husband) went to South Florida to visit his family, enjoy the sights, go boating with the fam, and to participate in the Hukilau 2013. The Hukilau is a tiki-themed event that takes place at the Sheraton Yankee Clipper and Mai-Kai Polynesian Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.

The event started Thursday, the 6th of June and ended Sunday, the 9th. Big Daddy and I wanted to do the entire event but to due our procrasination and not getting full event tickets in time, we only got tickets for Friday night, aka the Main Event. These tickets, or wristbands (ala VLV) were 40 dollars each.

After enjoying a day at the antique mall and shopping at the Inglot counter at Macy's, Big Daddy and I got ready for the Hukilau. It was pouring rain and I was so afraid my hair was going to be ruined. Leave it to my trusty Bed Head Hard Head Hairspray to save the night! That whole week was pretty much a "wash out." The very first tropical storm of the year, Andrea, was brushing past and heading north over the area. Moreover, South Florida's rainy season was in full effect. According my Florida native husband, the rainy season takes place from May to September.

As we left Big Daddy's parents' house, the rain was crazy. The traffic on Interstate 95 was nuts too! Despite these inconveniences, we finally made it to the Yankee Clipper in Fort Lauderdale. I wish I got a picture of the hotel itself! It actually looks like a ship! We quickly checked in, got our wristbands, were given a sample of rum (yes, please!) and had a quick bite to eat in the Mexican restaurant, Dos Caminos.

After dinner, we made our way up to the Main Event area and saw a few bands, had some tiki drinks, and met some great people. I even had the surprise and pleasure bumping into and talking with Gabriella, a fellow vintage blogger! She was so nice and always so wonderfully dressed!! Here is her amazing blog:

The first photo below shows the entrance to the Hukilau and check-in area and the rest are of the Main Event and vendor areas:

(Apparently, having a few tiki drinks made me think taking this picture was a good idea.)
After the Main Event bands were done, Big Daddy and I headed to the vendor area and browsed the booths. I bought a hot pink and white lace peignoir set and Big Daddy got real puffer fish lamp for our tiki bar at home! His light is similar to this:

As we finished our purchases and chatting with some great people, we saw the Disasternauts come into the room and they began to play. They are AWESOME! And their "monkey guys in NASA suits" antics were a riot!

Around midnight, Big Daddy and I decided to head back to his parents' house in Boca, which was only 15-20 minutes north of the Yankee Clipper. As we drove home towards Federal Highway, the storms over the ocean were producing amazing lightning! The bright, intense bolts lit up the thunderhead clouds hovering over the black ocean, creating a scene that was just incredible!

Overall, the night was a blast! I am so glad Big Daddy and I were able participate in the event! If you ever get a chance, you must do the Hukilau!

The next post will be Part 2, which features Saturday's event at the Mai Kai. I will post it soon!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Lipstick Review: Lipstick Queen Lipsticks in Red Sinner and Scarlet Sinner

Yesterday, I met my sister and niece for a day of shopping at Tyson's Corner Center, located in Tyson's Corner, Virginia. Tyson's is part of the Northern Virginia/DC Metro area.

During our fun day out, I went to MAC Cosmetics for a few basics and we browsed the stores and had a lovely lunch at La Sandia (a new, upscale take on classic Tex-Mex cuisine). We ordered table-side guacamole and dined on enchiladas, black beans, and tortilla soup.

After lunch, we made our way to the makeup counters in Bloomingdale's. I saw a few things that peaked my interest but I decided I didn't need anything. As we were leaving, I spotted something that caught my eye and lo and behold, there it was! Lipstick Queen!!!!

I have wanted to try Lipstick Queen lipsticks for a long time but no store carried them in the DC area. I have read countless online reviews that detail the quality, pigment, and color. One review said Lipstick Queen "Sinner" lipsticks are "not for the faint of heart" or the "shy." Well, you got my attention!

Nevertheless, you can imagine my joy and excitement when I saw the pretty colors just packed with pigment. According to the sales associate and Lipstick Queen packaging, these lipsticks boast 90% pigment and after trying on "Red Sinner," they were not foolin' around! These lipsticks mean business!

After swatching a few colors, I decided to buy "Red Sinner" and "Scarlet Red Sinner." (Lipsticks retail for 20.00 USD each).
Red Sinner is on the left and Scarlet Red Sinner is on the right. Red Sinner is a neutral bright red that leans slightly cool. The color is similar to Besame Cosmetics, "Besame Red" lipstick. The lipstick goes on opaque with one swipe. The texture is very smooth and rich. These are touted as matte but they have a little creaminess and feel very soft. Moreover, despite the matte description, they are not drying at all. Not one iota.

Here is me wearing Red Sinner:
The other color I purchased, Scarlet Red Sinner, is a berry red. It has a little bit of a claret undertone. The shade reminds me of a lighter, brighter version of Besame lipstick in "Cherry." MAC lip pencil in "Beet" pairs well. Beet is a touch darker than Scarlet Red Sinner.

Me wearing Scarlet Red Sinner:
Another thing I want to mention is how Lipstick Queen classifies their lipsticks. The full pigmented version is called "Sinner" and the more sheer, less pigmented formula is called "Saint." Many of the shades have a light and full-bodied version of each other.

So, how do these lipsticks compare with Julie Hewett? Besame? MAC? I think these lipsticks have more pigment than both Besame and Julie Hewett but only slightly more. The texture is heavier than Julie Hewett and Besame and as a result, the lipstick lasts much longer throughout the day and survives eating and drinking better.

However, when I compare Lipstick Queen to MAC, Lipstick Queen wins out hands down. I am usually a MAC girl but in the last few years, small companies like Julie Hewett, Besame, and Lipstick Queen are out-pacing MAC in spades. For example, I recently purchased RiRi Woo (a retro matte) from the "Rihanna loves MAC" Collection and as much as I love the color, the formula is so dry. It literally tugs at my lips when I apply it. In addition, the texture dries my lips out. I find that I can only wear MAC's Retro Matte lipsticks (ie Ruby Woo and RiRi Woo) for a few hours at a time (ie date night).

Overall, I am pleased as punch with my two Lipstick Queen purchases! If I didn't already have a huge cache of lipsticks on my vanity, I would go out right now and buy more shades. I cannot rave enough about them!