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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn


Friday, July 15, 2016

The Country Broad & the City Broad- A YouTube Collaboration

I first ran across Lolita Haze quite a few years ago when I was a visitor of the forums called The Fedora Lounge. She had such a great attitude and such a handle on her own vintage style, that I began following her blog and youtube uploads with interest. Since then, we've both been super busy ladies and I actually lost track of her for a while.
I'm happy to see that she's back on youtube delivering more great platinum hairstyles with effortless rolls and plenty of pow!

When she approached me recently for a collaboration idea, I was stumped at first. It's hard to remain creative and vintage-authentic at the same time anyway, so adding someone else's style into the mix can be challenging. Then she mentioned a 'Country hairstyle/City Hairstyle' collab, and that really hit home...I loved the idea of doing a tongue-in-cheek revamp of the age-old 'Country Mouse & City Mouse' fable! I would be the Country broad, since I'm southern born and raise, and Lolita would do a vintage take on a City Broad.

For a few days I browsed the inter-webs in search of some photo-inspiration, and realized that I wanted to keep it simple...closer to what a typical country gal from the south might have actually done to her hair in the heat of summer. Usually there would have been a wet-set involved, to combat humidity, and flowers would have been plucked and perhaps woven into a chain for adornment. So the following look was born, and quite literally created 'on the fly'. It came out a little more bridal than I expected, which I didn't mind at all, and also even a little Petticoat Junction? I can see it with overalls and a gingham top but it would pair just as easily with an eyelet slip dress. I wore this with pride the day I did it though, because it felt completely organic to me. A bit sloppy maybe, but hey, who needs perfection?


I hope you enjoy the following tutorial as well..and please don't forget to check out Lolita's Video too, which will be linked in the info bar.


So Long, Dearies!!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Starlet Series Episode 4: 1923


So far, all of the movies I've paid homage to in this resurrected series of mine, are dramatic films. This time, I decided to use a look featured in one of the decade's most pivotal silent comedies: Safety Last!, starring Harold Lloyd and his real-life leading lady, Mildred Davis. I had only seen those famous iconic images of Lloyd dangling from a clock tower until now, so I was happy to see that the film is available on a variety of streaming options and in relatively good quality. I'm so glad I gave it a watch!


About the Film:

The story is very simple. Harold Lloyd portrays 'the boy', in this one. Names aren't needed, nor are they missed. The boy travels to the big city to seek his fortune, and thus procure the hand of his lady-love back at home. While he is highly ambitious, he doesn't quite manage to make said 'fortune', and instead lives hand to mouth, scraping together earnings from a thankless job at a local department store. Since he exaggerates his success in his letters to home, sending expensive gifts and making dishonest claims about his position at the store, the girl he loves decides to make a journey to the city as well, so they can go ahead and be married. Faced with her presence, the boy must decide how to quickly obtain the funds needed, and comes up with a publicity stunt that would result in a huge paycheck for him, as well as increased business for the store. Chaos and hilarity ensue.

In spite of the fact that the story is very basic, there are moments of comedic timing here that will rival anything ever filmed. The moments at the department store, during sale days, when the ladies ransack the dress goods for a good deal will still resonate with retail workers today. Both Lloyd and Davis shine on screen, separately and as a couple. While I still prefer the acrobatic charm of Buster Keaton, I can completely understand the appeal of Harold's 'every-man' persona. The tousled hair, black framed rims, and lanky frame all combine to create a presence that was much-needed during a time of dark and brooding screen heroes. Davis is a breath of fresh air as well, sacrificing glamour and icy sentimentality in favor of girl-next-door simplicity. Her expressions, fashions, and simple attire likely spoke to the ladies of that generation in a way that was attainable and identifiable for them. The climax of this film did not fail to impress, especially when one considers the amount of preparation and skillful stunt-work that would have been involved in such a feat. For what it is, it is hard to imagine it being improved upon even in light of today's technical advances.

My Rating: 10/10
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The Tutorial:

My inspiration for the look in this video was actually based on a head shot of Davis at the time. I liked the above photo because her curls are still very apparent, and the big beautiful white flower really sets off her hair length and texture.

The trick with this hairstyle is to mimic the look of natural curls, in spite of my stick-straight, fine hair. If you've already got curly hair, simply placing your hair in pin curls while damp and brushing through the newly structured curls until the frizz has abated will give you a similar look. For longer hair, just pin up the length into a faux bob.

I first set it overnight in the smallest foam rollers I had. I parted my hair on the side and sprayed each section with a diluted solution of Lottobody setting lotion before rolling it up.
End papers will also come in handy if you have layered ends. The results of this set are some serious frizzy curls and will be super intimidating at first. HAVE NO FEAR. You can brush past the frizz if you have a good brush and some patience. Forming the curls into waves will be a bit of a process (it actually took me about 20 minutes)but it will be worthwhile when you finish.

The makeup I did was the easiest option for 20's makeup yet. It's a wearable version more consistent with the every day look that makeup novices of the day would have done. After all, makeup was really new to the general public and folks like Mildred Davis made a natural, fresh look not only en vogue, but also highly attainable!

See the video for techniques and application tips, but below is a list of the actual products I used in this tutorial. Some are discontinued so I didn't include those. Just find something with the same general look.

Products Used:

Face:
Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch (primer) by Clarins
Beyond Perfecting Foundation by Clinique in the color 'Alabaster'

Brows:
Mac eyeshadow in Soft Brown

Eyes:
Napoleon Perdis Prismatic Eyeshadow Quad #4
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in 'Trooper'
Lancome Hypnose 'Doll Eyes' Mascara, black

Lips:
Rimmel Lip Liner in 'Spice'
Loreal Lipstick in Cinnamon Toast

Floral Hair Clip: Belle Blossoms



Sunday, July 3, 2016

Jane Jetson Gets the 'Animated Angels' Treatment...Again!


So not so long ago, in a comparatively kidless house, I did a Jane Jetson look for my Animated Angels series. The look was scatterbrained and bad quality, but I still dug it. However the powers-that-be in copyright-land, decided it could not stay on Youtube. The look now only exists in a few random photos from several several years ago.

Time has passed, hair has shortened, and I have decided to recreate a 'Jane' look for the series. The video quality is still not ideal when it comes to makeup, but this series is still one of my favorites because I feel so much more like I have 'free reign' when it comes to the look I want to achieve. My 'Bad Minnie' will have to be next!

That said, this week's video is for those of you who wish to channel the matriarch of the Jetson clan, without going full-on costume.


Starting with Makeup:

The makeup in this look is inspired by the early sixties, when bold opaque colors were used in high fashion all over the tear duct area, and fake bottom lashes were often drawn onto the model. Twiggy-lashes were all the rage and I decided to do them for this look, on a much more subdued scale. The top lashes are also big, long, sixties-inspired ones that flare out at the end. Mine are Ardells but dang it, if I didn't throw the box away! Anyway, any sort of spikey fluttery lash should work brilliantly. Otherwise, the application and techniques are pretty standard.


Foundation notes: I'm wearing my favorite Clarins True Radiance foundation in this video, with only Clinique Moisture Surge as a primer. Both can be pricey but the finish should be subtle and you can use whichever you prefer. The blush and highlighter I used is neither here nor there...but I do recommend in the video that you get the Nyx Strobing palette for highlighting since it's the BEST one I've tried!!

Eyeshadow notes: The eyeshadow palette I'm using is by Stila and it was in a purple cardboard packaging. The name of the palette was 'In the Moment', but it's since been discontinued. The colors are great though, so if you can find one anywhere, I highly recommend it. If not, no worries...you can use anything that you like. Just keep in mind that frosty eyeshadows do tend to be more reliable from the drugstore than matte ones. Just a sad fact.

Eyeliner notes: Okay, ya'll know that I'm not going to recommend you skimp when it comes to Eyeliner. The Pretty Easy Lining pen by Clinique is still my favorite since the Kat Von D Tattoo Liner...and it's cheaper! Draws thick and thin lines equally well and lasts FOREVER!

Lip Color Notes: The Soft Matte Lip Cream by Nyx in the color, 'London, is my all-time favorite nude shade, so get it! It's only 6.00 and it feels and smells great...sort of a no-brainer. The liner is also fantastic...hot mocha by Napoleon Perdis. It's not available in the US though, from what I understand, so find something similar that registers as a cool nude on your skin tone. The silvery lip gloss is by MAC and it's a discontinued shade called Flurry of Fun. Find anything with a bluish hieroglyphic glitter in it and you'll be golden...or...errr...silver-en?

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Hair Notes: As you know, I live in Memphis Tennessee...which is a LITERAL hot-bed of humid stickiness in the summer time. Although I used my Remington Tight Curls for the purpose of this tutorial, it's absolutely NOT recommended for my climate and I'm not sure why I did it. Laziness, I guess. That said, stick with your foam rollers or pin curls for humid climates and follow the same process. If you're in a low-humidity environment, use a curling iron, hot rollers, whatever...knock yourself out!

Hair Product notes: Always use a heat protectant without alcohol and a good hairspray. I'm loving my Sebastion Shaper Plus hairspray for helping fight humidity during our sticky late weather!

So that's about it....make sure to check the video link below for the full tutorial AND outfit suggestions from companies that I feel have options that perfectly encapsulate that whimsical space-age style!

So long, Dearies!


Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Nashville Boogie 2016



It has been more than a month since my return from the 2nd annual Nashville Boogie, and I feel it's time I said a few words about it. Now that the newness and the thrill has faded, it seems easier to give an honest review based on my memory of the highlights and the lowlights (or does that just apply to hair?).

This year, the Nashville Boogie took place between May 12-15 at the luxurious Gaylord Opryland Hotel and we all had very high hopes for it. The line up was incredible, and based on last year's success, it was by far 'the event' I wanted to attend in 2016. So did it measure up?

In a word, YES!



Simply put, I was very upset that I had to choose my event this year. My budget didn't allow for me to go to both VLV and the Boogie, and so we conscientiously booked rooms at both and waited for the band list to be announced. Although I like many of the bands that played Viva Las Vegas this year, the Boogie line-up was on a whole other level. Great international acts like Marcel Bontempi and the Go-Getters, as well as excellent artists in the states, like James Intveld and The Planet Rockers couldn't be denied. Although I knew I would miss my dear friends from the west coast, whom I only ever get to see at Viva, I knew that making the local choice this year was a much more responsible plan.


If you saw my Weekender Recap from last year, you know that the venue is a very big plus in this case. The Opryland Hotel is a legendary hotel of the south, being one of the largest non-gaming facilities in the world, and offers a whole world of options in terms of entertainment. While the food is still expensive, we made better choices this time, like eating our big meal of the day during lunch, so as to take advantage of the better pricing during that time. Wasabi, the asian eatery located with 'outdoor' seating in one of the hotel's three, lush conservatories, was especially yummy, as was the Jack Daniels Pub, which offers a lot of upscale comfort food. The cheesy grits were especially delectable at 11:30pm!



The bands we most looked forward to were staggered throughout Friday and Saturday, so we decided to sit out Thursday and spend that time with our kids, who had traveled to the area with us. We left them with family Friday morning and headed to the Opryland Resort just in time to check in and head to the main event venue for The Doel Brothers, one of my favorite acts of the weekend. The Doel Brothers hail from the UK and offer up some of the best traditional country that I've seen in a long time.
From that point on, the weekend was a rush of running back and forth to the Nashville Palace, where many of our favorite traditional acts were booked. We did a pretty good job hoofing it though, since we saw almost everyone we wanted to. Also, there was plenty of room to dance and cavort and people-watch to our hearts' content.

As far as negatives, there were very few. It was a bit of a walk from the main hotel to the principal venue, and the weather did get a bit chilly sometimes, but honestly who cares about a little stroll when Deke Dickerson is being backed by The Reverend Horton Heat!? I sure don't! And yeah, maybe the sound wasn't the best in one of the other showrooms, and maybe the cars were not as plentiful, but that was easily balanced by the abundance of great vintage shopping, a fabulous western couture fashion show, and the chance to see Chris Issak at the Grand Ol' Opry! So I certainly won't complain.

Let's just say, the Nashville Boogie is definitely shaping up to one of the best vintage themed festivals in the world, and there couldn't possibly be a better place for it than the birth state of so many great musical genres. So in my opinion, it's here to stay!

Give the following video a look-see, for a few more photos and a taste of some of the entertainment we enjoyed over the weekend.
Tim Next Time...
So Long, Dearies!






Friday, June 17, 2016

Using Foam Rollers in Vintage Styles


So many people have asked me to do another tutorial in 'real-time' of myself rolling my hair into a foam roller setting. I guess I sometimes forget that even the basics aren't so basic to those who are just starting out.

Therefore, I created the following tutorial, which is a bit lengthy and chatty, but which really tries to do just that...walk you through the basics of the foam roller set.

In it, we'll discuss a few of the following Frequently Asked Questions, which I will also answer in the most simple way here, but I do hope you'll also watch the demonstration since it's pretty important to the final process:

1. Why foam rollers instead of a curling iron? In southern United States humidity, as in many other tropical and humid parts of the world, a heated set just doesn't cut it...especially on straight hair. Foam rollers are one of several overnight sets I depend on to give myself that retro vibe without having to work too hard. It takes me about 15 minutes to roll up a haphazard set (about 20 to be more precise) and literally 5 minutes to style my hair after I unroll it the next morning. Now I don't do super complex styles for every day (or really ever) so this is the easiest thing I can do to my hair while still keeping it healthy!


2. Is a setting pattern important for every day hairstyles?
Probably not. You'll find that rolling you hair a certain way will likely become your favorite when it comes to the final outcome. But a 'setting pattern' is not necessary for a basic every day style.

3.Do I roll hair wet or dry? I see people do both! As a rule, towel-dried, straight-out-of-the-shower wet hair will be more trouble than it's worth! Not only is the hair more delicate when it's wet, thus risking breakage when you lay down to sleep on the rollers, but it most likely WON'T dry by morning, especially if your hair is wet! Even for the thinnest hair, I recommend starting with dried hair, prepped with a styling lotion, and spraying each section damp before you roll it, concentrating on the ends.

4. What setting lotion do I use? My all time favorite setting lotion was the Sahag Sculpt Mousse, which has been discontinued. Try to find a similar foam mousse that is good for crushable styling (get recommendations from your stylist perhaps) or go with the old standards: Motions Foaming Wrap Lotion and Lottabody Setting Lotion, both available at beauty supply shops. The former is more moisturizing so keep that in mind, and the latter has to be diluted and can sometimes make the hair a little 'crunchy' so use it sparingly.

5. How tightly Do I wind the curl? Pretty tightly! Start at the end of the hair, wrap the ends first. Then tightly roll upwards to the scalp before claiming in place. A tight roll guarantees that the curl will keep its shape as the foam base relaxes and the hair dries.

6. Do I protect the curls as I sleep? With what? I use a chiffon hair scarf OR a hair net interchangeably. The net has more 'give' but also holds nicely and won't slip. So it's probably the best choice. It's also a good option for protection other roller sets. Not a good option for pin curls,however, since the clips will likely tear the net.

Other questions and concerns are discussed in the following embedded video. Thanks so much for sticking around, Dearies!!


xoxo,
Ashley


Friday, June 10, 2016

Belle Blossoms Giveaway!



My friend Heather, at Belle Blossoms, has had a busy few years. Not only was she baking a baby (twice) for the majority of the time, but she still kept adding gorgeousness to her site!

As you know, Belle Blossoms has been a supporter of mine since WAY back...I'm talkin' 2009-sh. So I'm always happy when she sends me new stuff to review and demands that I give some of it to you guys as well! This time, the selection is out of this world. Lots of beautiful extravagant blossoms and don't forget those Grip Tuth side combs and fascinators! She's also just stocking some nylon head scarves for ya'll! So make sure you check out the site here, as well as visit the video embedded below so you can enter to win some of these babies for yourselves!

Giveaway is open to everyone and rules are posted in the info bar of the video. And if you decide to go ahead and purchase you also have the added perk of a 20% discount if you use coupon code LFS16! It's a win-win, so knock yourselves out!





Sunday, April 17, 2016

Retrospec'd -The Elizabeth Dress and Why You Need It



I first discovered Retrospec'd a few years ago at Viva Las Vegas. I was doing behind-the-scenes event coverage for Miss L Fire and the gals from Retrospec'd were wearing that brand's shoes during the show. It was a blast making the video, but most importantly, I discovered a brand I'd never known about and whose quality I can vouch for first hand! These dresses are spectacular, gorgeously made, and universally flattering. They also make menswear and the guys walked the runway as well, which made the whole show very picturesque and polished.


So anyway, two years have passed and I still hadn't bought myself a Retrospec'd frock. Not sure why. I think I just felt like I couldn't decide, mainly. I knew I wanted one of their pastoral landscape prints but there were so many beauties to choose from that I couldn't make up my mind. Then, the Gay Pari made its entrance and baby, I was SOLD. This print just titillated me for so many reasons. I love the color scheme, the subject matter, the placement on the dresses. And the Elizabeth dress, in this print, made me SWOON. I knew the Elizabeth was probably the style I'd choose anyway, but I had another print in mind until this one came along. And I'm so glad it did!

The package arrived one afternoon when I was at work so I was on pins and needles until I got home. When I saw it, I'll admit to being pretty confused. It was so slim and lightweight; it seemed like there had to just be a blouse in there! It seemed that such a feather-light full circle skirted dress would be very thin and skimpy. Thankfully, when I removed it from the packaging I was thrilled to see that the fabric was gorgeous, and actually felt much more substantial than I would think possible at the price point. It has a subtle sheen and the colors are even more vibrant than they appeared in pictures!

The style looks exactly as the pictured frocks on the website, and when I tried it on, I was over-the-moon to see how well it fit! Mine is the size 10, which accommodates me with absolutely no hitches. The top fits flatteringly over the bust and includes some gathering that accentuates the curve of the busom, but it doesn't gap open at all, something that really impressed me for the surplice style neckline it features.


The waist fits smoothly and neatly when I'm not in firm support garments, but when I am, it doesn't look bunchy or 'off'. More points!


I always wear a petticoat beneath my circle skirts, and the style of this one is perfect for that since it falls smoothly over the extra lift. I was comfortable and confident the entire night.

To sum up, I'll just say that this dress is more than I ever anticipated ( as I should have expected from my first hand view of them at the show) but also has proven to be one of the best I've ever owned.


I guess it goes without saying that purchasing from Retrospec'd in the future is a no-brainer!!
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All pictures taken by Jerry Plunk of Plunk Kreativ, Memphis Tn. Shot on location in Downtown Memphis at the Cotton Exchange Building.