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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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Cutting Your Own 'Bettie' Bangs...

There is nothing worse than deciding you want the classic Bettie Page style u-shaped bangs and being unable to get your stylist to cut it. I went through a series of awful 'fringes' before someone finally got it right and when I look back on photos of me w/ a 'bad bang-job', I still get irritated. The Bettie Bangs are u-shaped, not straight accross as they may appear to be and almost always, they are nipped under w/ a flat or curling iron to achieve that traditional look.

Through trial and error (lots of error), I have finally discovered the best way to get your perfect 'Bettie'. Cut them yourself! Below are some the steps I take to achieve the bangs I want. I like to have versatility so I tend to go a bit longer w/ my bangs but if you want them shorter, just take some more hair off.

You will need:
Hair Cutting Shears (For goodness sake DON'T use paper cutting scissors or meat shears, people! I bought a good quality pair of shears at Wal mart for about eight dollars. They are FROMM brand but not as pricey as some of their professional grade shears that you can find at Sally's. If you can spring for the more expensive ones, it will be a worthy investment. So I recommend it)

Hair Gel (For taming down fly-aways that you don't want to get in the way as you work)

A fine toothed rat tailed comb (for sectioning off the part you want to cut and combing out any snarls)

A ponytail elastic (if your hair is long)

A magnifying mirror (a good choice so you can see clearly...also make sure you are working in well lit area)

Step one: Using your comb, section off the ammount of hair you want to be your fringe-paying careful attention to symmetry as you do so. Slick back the remainder of your hair w/ gel and a ponytail holder, so as to avoid its getting in your way as you work. Make sure hair is combed flat and is completely dry since wet hair will have a tendency to draw up and leave you w/ bangs shorter than you want.

Step two: Cut the hair straight accross at first, using your eyebrows as a guide and again, keeping in mind that you will probably be nipping them under, which will make them appear even shorter. I cut mine to just beneath my eyebrows initially.

Step three: Now, take a gander at that center point of your bangs, right between the brows. Taking one side of your straight fringe, cut *down* to that point. Eyeball where the end of your bangs hits, in relation to your ear, so that you have a good idea of where the other side should end as well. You can make the U as severe or as subtle as you like. Some people make a guide out of a paper plate or even use a bowl to get their perfect curve. Some gals opt for a straight up 'V' instead of a 'U' shape. Discover what works best for you.

Step Four: Now, cut *up* to the other side of the curve from the center point. Always err on the side of caution and keep the bangs longer than you want them initially. You can take away but you *can't* 'add to', after all. After you have a good shape going, take away miniscule ammounts of hair to perfect that shape.

If your hand is unsteady or you feel that your bangs are not to your liking, remember that curling them under can be very forgiving and there is always next time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Down to the Underwire

There is alot to be said for gorgeous undies. They 'lift' more on a woman than the obvious...they lift her spirits too, and make her feel 'put together'. When you are wearing beautiful 'foundation garments', your clothes fit better and you are likely to have better posture. Vintage clothing especially, needs to have the proper undergarments worn beneath them to achieve that traditional 'hour glass' figure that women so desired. If you did not have womanly curves, these items served to give you those curves and if you had a little too much 'extra', they also helped in that department.

While vintage clothing can be a wonderful investment, the same cannot be said of vintage undergarments...heh heh. Therefore, companies like the following ones, are lifesavers for 'dame-fashion'-addicts.

1. My Bay Jo (mybabyjo.com)-

My Baby Jo is one stop shopping for retro inspired clothing. They also have a great selection of undergarments, accessories, and hats. The pictured waist-cincher is a glorious investment and makes all fourties/fifties style dresses look their best. Plus, it's very reasonably priced. In the 'skivvies' deparment, they also carry traditional stockings, bullet bras, and corselettes in a variety of colors.

2. What Katie Did (www.whatkatiedid.com)-

This UK based vintage inspired lingerie company has some of the best quality items of this type anywhere. The stockings fit wonderfully and the shapewear is not only extremely high quality but comes in a great variety of styles. They carry saucy little bra/knicker sets like the one above and also some of the most gorgeously detailed corsets you can find.

3. Isabella Corsetry (www.corsetmaker.com)-

I first discovered this company at Viva Las Vegas in 2008. They had some of the prettiest oriental underbust corsets I'd ever seen and the styling options they presented, such as wearing it over a favorite dress, were new to me. I love the idea of wearing these beauties out and about town, but in a modest fashion that still has a measure of class. Though a good quality corset will set you back a few bucks, it is a worthy investment indeed.

4. Faire Frou Frou (www.fairefroufrou.com)-A new discovery courtesy of Amy B of Askmemakeup (on youtube). This site is full of decadent and indulgent bra and panty sets as well as nightgowns, bustiers, and hosiery. Some of the designs are quite pricey but truly beautiful and unique.

There are many other companies along these lines out there but these are the ones I am currently most excited about. Needless to say, I won't be shopping Frederick's again. ;-)

Friday, July 17, 2009

The 'Middy' Haircut

The Middy Haircut was a staple of the 1940's. It was an economical haircut that spoke of the times and the country's adaptation to the wartime cause. Ivan Anderson, a prominent hairstylist for Warner Brothers Studios, was the creator of the cut. He realized the need for a haircut that provided a good basis for the elaborate hairstyles of the time, without showing disregard for the war effort and the world's need for simplicity. Thus 'the middy' was born. It is a layered cut that creates a rounded shape and a proper showcase for the curled sets that were so indicative of Hollywood Glamour in the 40's.

My hair has lately been in a modified middy, which means it doesnt follow a diagram to the letter, but it does work for the vintage hairstyles I love. I usually just tell my stylist to cut my hair the same length all over...sometimes seven, sometimes ten inch layers. However, today I decided to put my trusty scissor-girl to the test by actually giving her a vintage middy diagram and putting her to work. She did a fantastic job. I opted for the "middy-long" which is six inches at its longest point (the lowest nape area) and isn't 'long' at all. But it will look great w/ many of the shorter vintage styles I've been trying to replicate.

So those of you who eye these diagrams and feel they look too complicated....or those who take the diagram to a stylist who says that is 'impossible'...DON'T BELIEVE IT. According to the owner of the small-town Salon I visited, this is standard 'beauty-school' stuff and anyone who WANTS to, can do it.

The middy is still going strong!