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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

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Viva Las Vegas 14~Weekender Recap

We brought kids. Yes we did. And we STILL had a blast...so I think that says a lot about this event. In spite of the fact that we were somewhat hindered by youngerns (i.e. no super late nights or 2am dancing), I still feel that the Tom Ingram's Rockabilly Weekend is getting better every year. The shopping alone was unequaled this time(though I was sadly unable to do much shopping of my own since we had to pay for my eleven year old's ticket and food) and it seemed that there were more vintage options than prior years. In spite of my limited budget, I had a blast helping my friends shop and trying things on. And I did come away with a few items. The music was not quite as promising this year, especially since Nick Curran had to bow out at the last minute due to illness, but with high energy acts like The Caezars and Los Strait Jackets-it was hard to complain too much in that department. The car show was better managed this year, I noticed, as were the three pool parties that really helped maintain a more relaxed environment.

Day 0-Travel Day:
We are big fans of arriving on Wednesday. Reason One: You tend to get a cheaper airfare and therefore can easily justify the heavily discounted room price for an extra night.
Reason Two: You can request your favorite view!

Our baby is currently almost 4 months old and I'll admit I had grave reservations about the idea of her flying. The flight from Nashville is 4 hours in length, non stop. She was not a happy flyer and screamed for a large majority of the trip. Thankfully, she stopped crying when we arrived at our destination and did not fuss much at all for the duration of our stay. Whew! Anyway, we arrived at our hotel around 7:30 pm and requested a view of the strip. The view did not disappoint and our room on the 13th floor was as nice as we've come to expect from this favorite hotel of ours. Normally, we'd take off for the Doubledown Saloon or Frankie's Tiki Room tonight, but since we had kids we settled for a late dinner at The Courtyard Cafe (The Orleans resident 24 hr eatery with better than average food). To bed.

Day One:Thursday

Outfit of the day: Freddies Overalls, Vans Oxfords, checked shirt by Old Navy
Hairstyle: Variation on Lauren's 'Bang Wave' tutorial from the Vintage Hairstyling Book

Since our son has never seen Las Vegas we made the sacrifice of taking him to the strip today. I am not a huge fan of the strip. I like Caesars and a few of the other beautiful hotels but I find the crowds annoying and very much prefer the off strip atmosphere. Still, food options are unbeatable at the Strip hotels so I had previously made reservations for a late lunch at Mon Ami Gabi (the Paris sidewalk cafe). We walked a long while, stopping at Sephora and the Forum Shops-snapping a few photos here and there.
I was pleased to discover that Bettie Page Clothing has a fabulous new shop at the Forum Shops and it was beautifully laid out. Didnt buy anything but loved getting my hands on a few of those lovely dresses I've been admiring. Lunch at Mon Ami Gabi was amazing and we thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine on the patio. Ruby Lu slept during the lunch so it was particularly relaxing and refreshing.

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to freshen up for the evening's events and acquire our wrist bands for the weekend.

Outfit of the Evening: Black Halter Dress with Pink Trim by Stop Staring
Black comfy ankle strap heels
Hairstyle/Makeup: Makeshift ponytail and Liz Taylor inspired Makeup

I discovered while getting myself ready that I had forgotten an important little bag of hairstyling tools and accessories, including my ponytail elastics and pin curl clips. So I created a makeshift ponytail w/ my leftover perming rod curls from the day's style. Necessity is the mother of invention and I had no choice but to use Side Combs for almost all my upswept hairstyles over the course of the weekend. Oh, and I did have bobby pins.

Thursday night, my good buddy Brooke (aka Miss Moose) arrived. It's her first Viva so somehow everything seemed even more exciting. I knew late nights were a no-go for me, a breast feeding mom, so we tried to cram as much fun into the early evening hours as we could. Shopping, as I've mentioned, was even better than it has been in years prior- particularly for vintage shopping. Moose was on cloud nine and I shopped vicariously through her. She found some stunning vintage pieces, taking advantage of the selection before the crowds picked through the offerings. We ate at TGI Fridays and went to bed relatively early.

Day Two: Friday

Outfit of the Day: Kitchen Print Skirt by Stop Staring
Black knit top by Venus Swimwear
Remix black wedge shoes bought last year

change to: Vintage Playsuit and Espadrilles from Sears
Hairstyle: Variation of 'Homemaker' Hairstyle from Lauren Rennells' Book (with Audrey II orchid from Belle Blossoms)

Having Moose around is like having a very tall doll to play hair and makeup with. We got fixed up in our daytime attire and went to brunch at the Courtyard Cafe again before getting some more shopping in. We met lots of friends there,including Doris MayDay and a great couple that we've been corresponding with over the past year

Both of us found a reasonably priced play suit at vintage vendors that were perfect for the afternoon's pool party.

So many fun people were hanging out around the pool that day, including several gals from the musical group 'The Satin Dollz'. They gave us an inpromptu acapella performance and we also met pin up beauty Bettina May, relaxing by the pool. After some quality time in the sun (and plenty of swimming time for my eleven year old), we grabbed some food court fare before heading back to the room to dress for the evening.

Outfit of the Evening: Black high waisted pants and pink satin top by Miss Hussy
Remix wedges
Hairstyle/Makeup: Variation on Snood Style Option One from Lauren's book with pink snood and double orchid from BB.
Makeup inspired by Xsparkage's (on Youtube) 'White Swan' look

It was back to the strip tonight, simply to see the Bellagio fountain show and to introduce Moose the sights. We didnt stay long. It was windy and wild, with quite a few annoying yay-hoos added into the mix. I was actually a little nervous having the kids out and about on the strip so we went back early. When we got back to the hotel, I went to bed with the kiddos and left my husband and friend to enjoy the late night performances without me. They got some great footage/photos and both of them seemed to be a bit infatuated w/ the charismatic 'Caezars' when they returned.

Day 3: Saturday
Outfit of the Day: Pink and White Gingham dress by Misery Boutique
black ankle strap heels
Hairstyle: Variation on 'Pin Up Girl' style from Lauren's book

Car Show Day! After waking to a white chocolate Starbucks mocha and unwinding my foam roller set, the baby decided to get a little cranky so my friend and I didnt get to the actual show until after 1pm.
We strolled the vendor circuit a bit (the car show was laid out much more conveniently this time and the cars and shops were separated) but it was pretty hot for the baby and we still hadnt had lunch. After clams and beer (Big Al's Oyster Bar-our one miserable dining experience since the service was snail-slow and the food sub par) we went back out to the show.

I was supposed to interview Heartbreaker Fashion but couldnt find the booth anywhere. Not sure how I overlooked them. But we had a great time taking pictures and enjoying a great performance by Jerry Lee Lewis before the show came to a close.

Outfit of the Evening: Thrifted flutter hemmed printed skirt
black 'Trixie' top from Heartbreaker
Remix Wedges
Hairstyle: Quick brush out and slapped on a black daisy from Belle Blossom due to time constraints

This was to be my 'girl's night out' and I really wanted to catch Don Juan Y Los Blancos at 8pm. We got back to our room at 7:50! You have never seen two girls get changed so quickly. At 8:15 we literally ran at top speed to the pub and sadly only caught the last two songs of their set. But we danced and enjoyed them nonetheless! After the band, we met my husband and kids upstairs and were able to enjoy all of Gizelle's set, which I really enjoyed since she hadnt shown the year before. A bit more shopping, some sushi for dinner, and we called it a night.

Day 4: Sunday
Outfit of the day: black custom swim suit from The Red Dolly on Etsy
sheer b/w floral bathing suit wrap/pareo from Ebay
black strappy sandals w/ floral accent from Spiegel
Hairstyle: mostly straight casual hairstyle due to wind/ accented with orchid bobby pins from BB.
sunglasses bought at Boss Vintage over the course of the weekend

Sunday was typically breezy to start, turning downright windy by the end of the Pool Party. The temperature was perfect however, and we were able to enjoy ourselves thoroughly.

Moose wore her new vintage suit and decided, on a whim, to enter the Vintage Swimsuit contest, sponsored by Vintage Suits by Mary. She was happily chosen for the top 20 and did a great job strutting around the stage as modestly as her bodacious body would allow. There were some amazing suits in the contest and Moose didnt win; but she got some great little prizes and enjoyed herself immensely. We ordered lunch at our lawn chairs and even though it was a bit too windy to enjoy the water, had a relaxing time. Ruby Lu slept most of the time and my son spent hours in the pool, getting all pruny.

Outfit of the Evening: Green knee length dress by Anne Klein
Shoes from Pin Up Girl Clothing

Hairstyle: Taissa Lada feather headband over straight hair

We barely made it to the Jive Contest to catch the final six couples. I got it all on video, thankfully, and was happy to see the winning couple finally take that prize. I've been watching them dance since my first Viva. After the contest, we spent some more time in the Vendor rooms, taking advantage of last minute sales and saying goodbye to friends. I met Viva's Pin Up-Lisa Love- who was disgustingly tiny and extremely sweet.

She agreed to be featured on my channel this year!

Several familiar faces could be seen shopping the last minute deals, actually. It's hard not to get a little 'star struck'. Since Ruby was sleeping well, we also got some dancing in during the Barrell House Boys so it was a great way to sign off for weekend. We ate dinner that evening at the newly managed Mexican style eatery called Coasta Cantina. The Orange Roughy tacos were amazing! After the late dinner, Brooke and I took the kids up to the room for candy and Jurassic Park while my husband got some last minute footage. We drank a little champagne and slept well that night, without any regrets about things we had missed.

Day 5-Departure Day
Our flight wasnt due to leave until after 6pm so we had some time to kill. I put on my trusty Freddies and covered my unstyled hair in a bandana. Isnt it these times that you see someone you really want to impress? haha. The Caezars are such pretty young things and they were all in the lobby when I checked out. So I jumped at the photo opp. Afterwards, we ate a last breakfast at the Courtyard Cafe before heading out to spend the afternoon at the pool and await our flight. The weather was beautiful and it was a perfect way to end our trip.

It was lovely to meet so many of my fellow bloggers this weekend, including The Kim Show, The Rockabilly Socialite, and Temperamental Broad-among others! I also ran into Lauren Rennells and got a copy of her fabulous new book to review for all of you!

Thankfully, Ruby was very well behaved all the way home and we got some much needed rest on the flight. Korn former band member Brian Welch was also on the flight, which was a little surreal. Wonder what he was doing in Vegas? Anyway, we were very happy to get home when we did and excited to do it all again next year-without kids.
Now pardon me while I go book my room.


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Prom Night

As I'm certain is the case with most of the beauty teachers on Youtube, I get my share of requests for 'prom looks'. Of course, for the typical American teenage girl, Prom Night is second only to their future wedding day when it comes to style. Little girls dream about it, gaze at the prom-going public wistfully, and anxiously await the day that will go down in photo history. I personally never had an interest in school dances. Most of my friends were older than I; the kids at school were merely 'acquaintances'. Therefore, I skipped my Prom. But I'll be the first to admit that from the time I was about 14 years old, I enjoyed going into the local 'formal-wear' shops with my buddy Heather, trying on dresses and twirling in front of the mirror. It was the thrill of the hunt, the anxiety of the fit, the glamour of something different.

Nowadays, it seems that the gals are growing up too fast. 'Prommy' types are seen from around March through May, catting around town in a stretch limo, sporting sequined slinky gowns and smokey eyes. Sultry, dramatic smokey eyes. I don't begrudge these gals their smokey looks certainly, but the thing that bothers me is how very 'adult' they will look in their Prom photos. So when I decided to do this prom look, I took that into account. Vintage style is my specialty, after all, so why not give the girls something else in the makeup department...something fresh, young, but still classically glamorous. I call it the 'anti-smokey eye'. Though retro style calls to mind a red lip, I opted for a deep pink which is more suitable to Shaina's age and isn't as likely to rub off unflatteringly, during the night.

For the hair, I chose to give my lovely model Shaina a side swept up do that still had a polished 1940's/50's appearance. It will work with just about any hair texture and is relatively simple to create, though it looks complex in photos. One thing I had to embrace is the fact that even though 'up dos' are typical for prom hairstyling, there is a solid reason for that. We've all seen those late-night prom patrons who opted to wear their hair loose...rarely does the style hold up. So an up do we created, but one that will be timeless and memorable in photos. It will remain soft-looking over the course of the night, and is blowzy enough in its construction so that if a few strands come loose, no harm-no foul. To accessorize the look, go with something that suits the gown of your choice. If you opt for a flower, make sure to choose something a bit more elegant-such as an orchid or rose.
Full list of Products Used:
On Face: Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
Revlon COlorstay Under-Eye Concealer
Too Faced Shadow Insurance
Cover Girl White Shimmer Shadow (name rubbed off)
Senna Cosmetics Natural Palette
Yogurt Eyeshadow by MAC
Satin Taupe Eye Shadow by MAC
Stila Eyeshadow in 'Kitten'
Ben Nye Cake Liner in Black
Loreal Clean Definition Telescopic in Very Black
Senna Cosmetics Lip Sync Duo in Paris Pink
Ardell 301 Lashes
Sigma Beauty-Blush in 'Some Girls'

Hair: Tre Semme Heat Tamer Spray
Aussie Sun Touched Shine Hairspray
Layrite Pomade
Orchid Clip from Belle Blossoms

Video Tutorial, featuring the music of the Ray Collins Hot Club:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Discovering My Vintage Style

Alot of people ask me if I enjoyed vintage style when I was a 'youngern'...you know, WAY back in the day. ;) Yes, I enjoyed it...but no, I didn't wear vintage clothing or even vintage STYLE clothing as a kid. For one thing, I didn't know HOW to shop for vintage things and I'll be the first to admit that I despised the smell of mothballs, so I avoided thrift shops. I had a huge display of classic film stars on my wall and I really loved their style...but as I've mentioned before, I never knew there was such a thing as retro reproduction clothing. My style was largely influenced by the fads of the days, supplemented with tailored things that my mom encouraged. Still, looking back through these old photos, I can see hints of my love for vintage style-misguided though my fashion choices may have been.

Circa 1987. Notice the hot pink and 'baby pants'? These were very popular, inspired by the movie 'Dirty Dancing'. If you look closely, you can also see the iridescent blue eyeshadow, worn all the way to the brow bone. You can thank Aziza and their mosaic eye shadows for that...every teenage girl had them.

Around 1990. I was really thrilled when a friend of mine loaned me this purple taffeta dress to wear dancing. About this time, the hair got very blonde, very 'hot-rolled', and very big. I was trying to do a Marylin Monroe thing...not quite successful.

1992. Still blonde, just a bit shorter. I loved this dress. Not sure why.

December of 1992. Visiting my cousin in Fl. Still blonde, and slightly more stylish than usual. I was finally getting into classic, tailored stuff at this point...as you will see, that soon goes horribly awry.

For those of my younger readers who weren't around to see the arrival of the beast called 'Seattle Grunge' in the early 1990's-the following fashion choices will be especially puzzling. I think it was the music...we all wanted to look dirty when we listened to it. But I plead my case by encouraging you to look up photos of Kate Moss during this time...even runway fashion was going through a slump.

The above photo was taken at a 'Celebration Station' (go-cart/game center) in 1993. It was taken as a joke. Notice the center parted long hair and Adidas shirt? I was also wearing mens' jeans, about 10 sizes too large.

Hiking in the mountains, 1994. Boyfriend's 'boggan, thrifted coat (At this point, I had long since gotten over my distaste for mothballs. The Goodwill was the ONLY place to shop...specifically in the mens' and little boys section. Tightly fitted tee shirts were a wardrobe staple as well as mens' work shirts w/ the sleeves cut off, worn over the top. If said work shirt was monogrammed w/ someone else's name, it was considered especially worthy.), flannel shirt, mens jeans, and Doc Martens.

April, 1995. This is my lingerie shower, just before my wedding. My hair was newly red, super long, and constantly in braids. I was 19. Baby doll dresses in plaid 'flannel-ish' prints were popular, as were knee socks and 'mary-janes'. I had finally gotten away from dressing like a man- in favor of a little girl.

May 1995. On my Honeymoon. Fitting that we went to Disney World for our wedding trip, no?

Over the next few years, I floundered about aimlessly, when it came to style. I remember owning a pair of bell-bottoms, lots of filmy peasant-style skirts, and several mid-rift baring tops. Towards the end of the nineties, my clothing was universally very fitted and sometimes not as modest as it should have been. For the duration, my hair was usually long and unstyled. Even on special occasions, it seems:

Suddenly, in 2000 (newly a mom) I remember finding a gorgeous Mandarin style dress in a glorious shade of royal blue. I loved the dress because it fit like a dream and reminded me of 'The King and I'. I felt so glamorous in it and wore chopsticks in my hair. I cut my hair to my shoulders and started styling it more often. I also sold Mary Kay at this time, so I was really beginning to experiment with makeup application:

In 2004, I discovered 'Stop Staring', and soon after that Pin Up Girl Clothing. A whole new world opened up to me. I guess I COULD have been the girl that searches out vintage clothing at thrift stores or online, but I never had much luck with that. Mainly due to my lack of patience. Therefore, retro-reproduction was my new best friend.

I placed a few orders and began to experiment with 'Bettie Bangs'. At first, they were all wrong...cut straight across instead of in a 'u' shape, as they should have been. But I was beginning to gain some confidence in my decision to sport a retro inspired look. Most of the time, I went w/ simple styles...side combs, loose waves, a ponytail...I also went platinum blonde, for the first time since I was about 16 years old.

I was definitely a late bloomer, when it came to discovering my style. But once I found it, I'm happy that I haven't done any back-sliding. I am very passionate about recreating the styles I've been watching in films, for my entire life.
I adore discovering ladies online who have the same passions as myself. And I am consistently inspired by all of you.

No, I didnt have it together at 17, like darlin' Miss Amethyst of the Pink Retro Powder Room. But I firmly believe that you should not EVER be ashamed of who you were, when it comes to style or anything else. Just make sure that from here on out, you got some idea of where you're going.