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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, February 23, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday~The Home Facial

When the budget doesn't allow us to make a visit to our local salon for a facial, dropping 75.00 or more in the process, it's time to get creative. You don't have to go to an esthetician to have soft and rejuvenated skin; you can achieve very similar results at home! I have been doing this same at-home facial since I was about 13 years old, when I found it in a beauty magazine. I have changed it very little over the years, though my skin is much drier than it was in my teen years. It works for all skin types and since most of the 'ingredients' are natural, it costs very little (and you can use the leftovers for a snack!).

You will need:

A nice fluffy towel
A soft washcloth
A large saucepan or pot
About four chamomile tea bags
coconut or sweet almond oil
ground almonds
plain yogurt
moisturizer of your choice

Step One: Cleansing Massage
Using coconut or almond oil (the coconut oil usually comes in a solidified form and will need to be softened in the microwave first), apply to your face using gentle circular motions. Massage around the eye sockets in a circle, using the knuckles to place pressure at the inner brow, where stress resides. Use your index and ring finger together to make gentle up and down motions at the forehead. Again, use your knuckles to massage in circular motions from the outer nose to the corners of the mouth, and along the cheekbones. Gently stroke upward on the neck, to prevent sagging, using the side of your hands. Remove the excess oil with a warm wet washcloth.

Step Two: Chamomile Steam:

Place 4 cups of water into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and immediately insert 4 chamomile tea bags. Allow to steep for 10-15 minutes and then promptly place the pot on a table. With a towel over your head, inhale the aroma for about 10 minutes. Your face should perspire in a pleasant way. Rinse your face well with lukewarm water and pat dry. Reserve cooled tea.

Step Three: Exfoliate

Put about two tablespoons of finely ground almonds into a bowl. Add enough honey to make a paste. Apply to the skin in upward and outward motions. Then soak two cotton balls in the cooled chamomile brew and place them over your eyes (to counteract puffiness) while you lay down and relax for about ten more minutes. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Step Four: Soothing Yogurt Mask

Taking plain yogurt straight from the refrigerator, apply to skin generously. Allow it to penetrate and refresh your face for about 10 minutes while you lie down with your feet up. Rinse with warm water.

Step Five: Moisturize
Finish the facial by moisturizing, using your favorite cream. I am partial to Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream.

Your skin should now fill refreshed, rejuvenated, soft, and supple. Congratulations on time well spent and money well saved!

Video version of this tutorial below:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Movie Review Monday~ Australia (2008)

Starring: Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman
Directed By: Baz Luhrman

Baz Luhrman is , in my opinion, one of the most ingenious directors working today. I adore his style, the chaos with which he opens each film and the subtle, almost imperceptible way he slows down the pace of the film in order to tell a good story. Australia was marketed as a 'sweeping romantic epic' and the trailers made it appear very traditional indeed. However, it's evident in the first five minutes of the movie that it is not a traditional romantic period drama, at least, not one from THIS century.

The actual story opens w/ the voice of the film's narrator-a small half white, half native boy named Nullah, and one of the movie's central characters. His voice is instantly mesmerizing and I felt provided a great basis for the tale to wind around. Nicole Kidman portrays Lady Sarah Ashley, an English aristocrat who is called to Australia by her husband to assist in running their huge cattle property-which is currently being threatened by neighboring cattle-man and ranch-owner, King Carney. Upon her arrival, she is greeted by the sad sight of her dead husband lying prostrate on a table, presumably murdered by Aborigine Chief, King George. Determined to save her property from takeover, she enlists the services of Drover (Hugh Jackman)-a hot-tempered, super sexy, beautifully tanned cattle driver with a chip on his shoulder. She also discovers that with her property, she has inherited several Aborigine helpers, one of which is the narrator of our story-the halfbreed boy, Nullah. As Sarah and Drover work to save the property, a task that involves driving thousands of cattle across the outback, they fall in love and develop parental feelings for the recently orphaned Nallah. The advent of the Japanese invasion during WW2 causes lots of turmoil and inevitable separations but 'love conquers all', as they say, and I'll just leave it at that.

Anyone who goes into this not being familiar w/ Baz Luhrman's directing style may find the first frantic 15 minutes of the movie a bit off-putting. It is almost cartoonish in its execution, over-the-top and silly at times. Nicole Kidman's stiff english accent and Jackman's 'crikey's' and 'g'dyes' seem ridiculously stereotypical and contrived. Nullah's traditional Aborigine-English 'speak' may also confuse many. The gorgeous vistas of Australia are a saving grace however, as are the enhanced colors of the scenery and costumes. I feel that Luhrman was making a brave attempt to recreate the 'technicolor' feel of great old epics like 'Gone With The Wind' or 'Raintree County' and in this he was largely successful. The cinematography is unrealistically gorgeous, almost like a set, and those panoramic images coupled with the lilting score do provide one with an experience very like those grand old Hollywood pictures. The dialogue is also very indicative of those older films and plays out as 'hit or miss' in this case. Love scenes are schmaltzy and overly dramatic (great kisses though) and the heartstring tugging is woefully apparent in turn. But whether those are 'faults' or 'perks' are really up to the viewer. I got it. But I didn't always 'buy it', if that makes sense.

On a personal level, I wish Baz had been just a bit more consistent in achieving his vision. Some of the brutal quality of the war scenes and one scene in particular that involves a character being 'trampled' by a runaway herd of cattle were out of keeping with the dreamy atmosphere that prevailed during the rest of the film. If Old Hollywood were what he was after, I think he should have stayed there, instead of bringing us abruptly back to the 'now' of film making with a dose of grisly realism. Also, while I loved the inclusion of "Somewhere Over The Rainbow", especially during one key scene that is Kidman's best of the film, I felt it was featured far too often. The constant reminders of the tune caused it to lose much of its initial appeal. Some of the scenes of 'love and loss' were also overplayed.

So the direction had it's moments and it's missteps. As far as the acting goes, I initially though Kidman was miscast but after seeing the movie, she was a good choice. Her performance is endearing after the first few uncomfortable moments and she warms to the role nicely. Jackman is a charming (and physically impressive)leading man who happens to also be a heck of an actor. The chemistry between the leads was palpable...though I'll admit I really wanted to see Wolverine's claws come out a few times, just for the heck of it. The love scenes would have been even better...heh heh. The supporting cast were more physically memorable (some great and camera friendly faces there) than for their acting ability in this film, with the exception of Brandon Walters who plays the boy Nullah and easily runs away with the movie's best performance. I was left with a better (if cinematically contrived) understanding of the Aborigine people and their ways as well as a deeper admiration for the beauty of the Australian landscape.

My rating: 7/10

Style Factor: As mentioned, the style of this movie is one of its best features. Catherine Martin's designs screamed 'Old Hollywood' to me, maintaining a period accuracy and elegance throughout. Much like the sweeping epics of the 50's, the few gritty moments never interrupt the pure and 'clean' look of the costuming...sweat and dirt appear to be painfully placed into the folds of the garments for added allure, not realism. Kidman's flattering hairstyle is very similar to the one she wore in The Others...it suits her.

Style Score: 8

Sunday, February 21, 2010


As most facebook users know, doppelgangers were the big topic a few weeks ago, where a huge percentage of users posted as their profile picture, the celebrity they are most often told that they favor. Being a huge fan of classic cinema, it has always bugged me that I get the same contemporary comparisons:

For me, these are the ones I get pretty often:

I see it I guess.

I wish...haha.

These two, I got alot when I was younger:

and this one, which I have to admit was SPOT-ON when I was in my stringy haired grunge phase, as a teen:

I've even had the great misfortune of being compared to these two gems:


Anyway, one of my facebook fans made my day by stating that I reminded them of the lovely Googie Withers and I actually kinda see it:

She favors the general appearance of the women in my family, especially w/ that small top lip and pouty bottom lip. I also see it in the cheekbones. So I just thought I'd share because in my eyes, its leaps and bounds preferable to Sandra Bernhard. *chuckle* I'll take it. ;)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ahoy, Mateys!

I am the first to admit when I missed the 'boat', so to speak. In this case, I made the following video a bit prematurely:

Alot of you may remember the video...it featured my favorite places to shop for retro inspired swimwear and shoes. I just discovered, however, another great online store specializing in playsuits and swimwear that are perfect for vintage loving gals. I saw an ad for Vintage Suits by Mary on the Viva Las Vegas website just this past week. I was immediately drawn to the sailor inspired playsuit above as well as the darling floral patterns of her authentically styled sarong swimwear.

In addition to those lovely little pieces, there are other options on the site-including adorable retro inspired aprons and even an option for embellishing your own current swimsuit to make it extra special! Just send your favorite suit to Mary and she will use her talented fingers along with some rhinestones or beading and give it just the proper amount of 'oomph'!

Vintage Suits by Mary are set to show at the 'VLV Fashion Show' on April 2nd, and she also has a fan page on facebook. I'm looking forward to taking full advantage of both opportunites to keep up with whatever is next for this exciting shop.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

February Pin Up Peek~ Doris MayDay

Iam starting a new feature for my channel, in video slideshow form, entitled 'Pin Up Peek'. This will be a once a month installment, visiting some of my favorite 'modern' pin up girls on the scene. Unfortunately, too many of them are not well known and in my opinion, they thoroughly outshine all their 'high fashion' peers. Dita Von Teese may be the world's favorite 'mainstream' vintage doll, but there are so many lovely gals out there that are representing the Retro lifestyle.

So please, lets give a nod to those glamorous ladies and their glorious curves!

To start, I give you the goddess that is Doris MayDay:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Movie Review Monday:
Giant (1956)
Directed By: George Stevens
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean

Recently, I finished reading the Edna Ferber novel that this movie was based upon (rather loosely based, as it turns out) and since this is one of the few instances where the movie surpasses the book, I felt the urge to review the film...one of my all-time favorites.

Giant is a 'giant' of a movie, no doubt about it. It's a long one, clocking in at just under four hours, and tells the epic tale of one family as it crosses two generations and experiences significant and monumental changes in its dynamic. It's a monster of a movie for more reasons than run-time, though. Sets are virtually non-existent and the majority of the film is shot in wide (we're talkin' wiiiiide) cinemascope, to encompass the enormity of its main star...Texas. While we experience the romance, trials, and perseverence of the Benedict family, we also are greeted with gigantic vistas of the rolling Texas prairies, thousands of heads of cattle, and extravagant clouds of dust.
The story is as expansive as Texas itself. It follows the rocky but totally believeable love affair between Eastern-bred Leslie (played by Liz Taylor in one of her best performances) and Jordan "Bic" Benedict-a tall, dark and handsome rancher from the Lone-Star State. Rock Hudson was born to play this roll and does so w/ perfection, clenching that 'rock' hard jaw when his stubborn sense of pride calls for it, and languidly strolling through his vast acreage like a man who truly feels that it is part of his soul. After a trip East to purchase a prize-winning stallion, Jordan Benedict meets Leslie Lynnton who captures his fancy with her sharp wit and beautiful face. A whirlwind weekend marries them far too quickly, and Leslie is not prepared for the responsiblities facing her as Bic's wife and the lady of "Benedict"-half a million acres of ranchland. During her first few days, she meets the 'cast of characters' associated with this little drama, including surly ranch-hand Jett Rink, whose sheer animosity for Jordan is only bested by his blind desire for riches. Over the years, the Benedicts become a family unit- adding three youngns to the mix -and despite their differences and troubles, the couple remains steadfastly inlove. But this is far more than a love story...it tells the important story of racial prejudice, relates the futility of materialism, and gives an interesting account of the struggle ranchers waged against the biggest enemy they ever faced-oil. The latter half of the story focuses on the second generation and the choices they make, as well as the continuing lives of our three main characters.

George Stevens did a brilliant job with the direction. The characters (including the supporting players) are extremely well rounded and given plenty of screen time. We feel that by the end of the film, we have experienced a true story and developed a relationship with these people. The broad landscapes do not take away from the fact that this is still a human drama and the story is very personable, despite that huge stage. The performances are all excellent, but of course James Dean (as Jett Rink) will likely leave the largest impact. It was, after all, his final film and he proved beyond a doubt with this one (aging 25 years during the film) that he was an incredible actor. It's a meaty role w/ lots of oppurtunities for scene-stealing and scenery-chewing. I also love the wonderful handling of the elements and the stark contrast between the lovely green hills of Virginia and the broad expanse of the Texas landscape. The sock-you-in-the face blasts of heat, the drifting tumbleweeds, that gigantic monstrosity of a house stuck flat in the middle of nowhwere, and its wonderful transformation over the years under the tender care of its Eastern mistress are all exciting things to experience. Carol Baker as young Luz, an almost unrecognizable Dennis Hopper as Jordy, Sal Mineo as the beautiful Angel Obregon, and great character-actors like Jane Withers and Chill Wills, round out an already righteous cast.
I can't help but feel a special affinity for the movie because the relationship between the two leads reminds me so much of my own romance. I see pieces of my husband and I in those two characters, and the way the film handles the evolution of their marriage over that 'breathless quarter of a century' is dear to my heart.
So I guess it's too late to condense this rambling review by saying: I love this movie. It's a perfect example of what an epic film should be.

*note* The dvd runs over four hours and has lots of extra footage. I haven't seen it so this review is based only on the cinematic version (though I'm sure even w/ the extra time it suffers very little)

My Rating: 10/10

Style Factor: Marjorie Best's costuming in this film is faultless. From Leslie's breezy Eastern attire to Carol Baker's 'deadly' Starlight White Evening Dress, there is always something gorgeous to look upon. A few of the hairstyles worn by 'extras' in this film, are particularly noteworthy. Check out the crowd at the airport or in the ballroom.

Style factor: 8/10

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winner of the 'Musical' Themed Contest:

Congratulations are in order for the winner of the Musical Themed contest, sponsored by Sigma Makeup. The winner was the lovely mylulu2,a talented freelance makeup artist from Calfornia. Lulu turned in three entries and all were equally appealing, featuring gorgeous hair and make inspired by her three favorite musicals. Though many others turned in wonderful and creative looks, her looks stood out not only because of the sheer quality of her work, but also the very entertaining videos she constructed.

Lulu also has tutorials available on her own youtube channel, mostly made up of very easy-to-follow photo slideshows, in the same style as her contest entries. I invite everyone to check out her channel and subscribe.

2nd place and 3rd place prizes went to the lovely 'misscassycakes' for her three musical themed entries, and to'macyisaspy' for her darling 'Oompa Loompa' look.

Congrats again, to all the winners!

Friday, February 5, 2010

But Did You ALSO Know??

Most of you know me from my youtube Channel. I feel like I have tried very hard from the beginning to keep that channel as professional as possible...not to lose sight of my initial goal in starting it, and to keep as much of my personal life out of it as I could so as to not turn it into a 'ranting Vlog' or a forum for debate. However, every so often, I think it's a good idea to let my viewers and readers in on a few aspects of my life/personality, that might not come through in my videos or typical blog entries.

So here are a few random facts about me, that may or may not have been evident before.

1.Shaak Ti Is Hot.
Sure, you know that I love Classic Films. But did you also know that I am an enormous Star Wars geek? I have been watching the films since I was a child, and since my only sibling was a brother, I played w/ my fair share of Star Wars action figures. I have three boys so this fascination for all things Jedi has only increased over the years. Show me just about any character from the Star Wars galaxy and I can name what star system they inhabited. I also know the names of every member of the final Jedi Council. Yep, I'm a geek. In addition to my Star Wars passion, I also loved a variety of 'boy-targeted' cartoons growing up. My favorites were SilverHawks, ThunderCats, and Transformers. But I didnt really care for the recent movie creations of the latter. I naturally lean towards Super Hero films and stories also, though I've never read a Marvel or D.C. comic all the way through. I love to watch a 'hero' develop their powers...which is why I loved the first season of 'Heroes', but then lost interest. Incidentally, I hate Star Trek. But I loved the new movie. I know...a conundrum.

2. To Kill a Tomboy
Sure, I'm the glamour fiend now. But when I was a kid, I was a veritable Scout
Finch. I didnt really start to revel in the feminine side of things until I was around 13 and I started wearing makeup with a vengeance. I went thru a period of very large 80's and early 90's hair as well as a grunge phase, when I was about 18.
After I married, I began the slow and steady trend towards glamour, only discovering vintage inspired reproduction clothing in about 2003 or 2004. Since then, I haven't looked back, since I finally had an outlet for all that fashion related frustration that was building up during my 90 odd viewings of To Catch a Thief.

3.Drink Me.
I am addicted to this stuff:

Other than the Coke Zero and the morning cup o' joe (lots and lots of coffeemate), I drink just water and when I'm in the mood for an alcoholic beverage, I'm a 'beer' girl. I especially like Asian varieties. But I do enjoy sparkling wine as well.

I love fine dining and I watch Food Network daily. But sometimes a gal just needs a Little Debbie and a bag of cheetos.

5.A Glutton for Punishment
You all know I have three boys. But did you know I had all three of them naturally, without any anesthetic, and that I barely made it to the hospital with the last one? 45 minutes of labor which could also be termed 45 minutes of sheer torture. I also feel better during my 2nd trimester than at any other time, even when I'm not 'multiplying'.

6.I'm a New World Samurai, but a Redneck Nonetheless.
Lastly, you guys know that I love Rockabilly, Psychobilly, Punk, Americana, and Showtunes. But did you know that my all-time favorite band is 'Clutch'? I am a sucker for raw, aggressive rock n' roll that also happens to have brilliant lyrics. I've seen Clutch countless times, and I plan to always support them when they are anywhere near my town.

Heavy thick guitar has always soothed me and I actually fell asleep on the floor at a 'Melvins' concert once. But Clutch makes me happy and I always smile when I sing along.

Anyway, that's all for now. This came off as very self indulgent, I know. But maybe I'll post more random facts as this blog progresses.

Later Tater...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pretty Perfect

She had me at the thumbnail. I believe her name is Natalya but on Youtube, she is known as Filthy Gorgeous Makeup. How can you NOT love that user name? Anyway, her looks are always glamourously feminine but this one is just about PERFECT, in my book. It is a pristine Pin Up Look featuring a lovely milky lid and just a hint of shimmer in the crease and beneath the eye, to open it up. This is what I strive to accomplish on evenings out; just look at that impeccable winged liner! I'd probably vamp it up a bit with a berry lipstick, but the look can go for day or evening-especially when you alter the blush and lip color accordingly.

And this is why I started visiting the beauty guru community on Youtube.