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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

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Starlet Series Episode 1-1920

After the success of my initial Starlet Series,back when I first started filming tutorials for Youtube, I decided that I missed the challenge of recreating looks worn by my favorite Starlets in their heyday. My 'Diamonds and Dames' series is an all-request situation so it isn't something that necessarily caters to my own favorites. Therefore, I decided to revisit that original endeavor year-by-year, instead of decade-by-decade.

Choosing a film heroine from 1920 was relatively easy. The only film from that year that came to mind immediately was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the first successful movie of the 'horror' genre.

About the Film:

The story follows a young man named Francis as he tells a friend about some grisly and mysterious adventures he and his fiance' Jane experienced at a local fair. According to Francis, a man named Dr Caligari visited the fair to show the 'talents' of an ominous-looking 'somnambulist' (sleepwalker) named Cesare. In the exhibit, Cesare predicts the death of Francis' friend Alan, which comes true, beginning to rouse suspicions against he and the doctor.
Jane becomes the next intended victim, but is saved by the investigative efforts of Francis and the staff of a local asylum. The story culminates in what is one of the first 'twist' endings of cinema.

Robert Wiene directed the film, as well as more than 35 others between 1915 and 1938. This was his most acclaimed, though the film opened to booing and unimpressed audiences initially. The surrealistic mood of the film, coupled with the unexpected ending was something movie-goers did not understand or appreciate at first. However, after re-marketing the film as a horror film, German and other audiences began to respect and enjoy these changes. The story, written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer, was seen as something that provided the perfect collaboration between writer and director, using props and performances to create a dreamlike atmosphere. The sets were created from paper, much like a stage production, with shadows painted on the walls. Even today, the stark shapes and structures are impressive and memorable.

While I would normally rate films with a scale of 1-10, I don't feel that this film qualifies. It is not as much entertainment as it is historical art, to me, so I will simply state that it should definitely be seen if you have interest in film at all.

The Tutorial:
For my first episode of my newly revived Starlet Series, I decided to do an homage-look inspired by Jane of the film, as portrayed by actress Lil Dagover:

Although her look in the film varies by scene and according to her state of mind, I love the previous photo because it showcases an ethereal and strange beauty that was not really revisited in many films. Only her top lip is accentuated, to lend a forlorn quality to her face, the lashes are longer and fluttery (a fact I overlooked, actually, in my tutorial), and the hair is long and unstyled, in keeping with the trend of the earliest part of the decade.

Here is the youtube tutorial, followed by a written list of the products I used and an explanation of why. Enjoy!

The hair was pre-set with Hot Sticks and installed hair extensions by Tressmerize. The length should actually have been longer, but these were the longest I had. While not curling them would have resulted in a more authentic look, I felt that the whimsical aspect of the character needed the curls. However, the style can be done without them certainly, and with great effect. My top hair was parted in the middle and pin curled in opposite directions so that the root hair waved a bit before cascading into the curls. I wanted to incorporate a tiara into the final look, to be more directly indicative of the inspiration photo, but knew that I wouldn't get much personal use out of one, so chose not invest in one at this time, opting instead for a simple beaded headband from Claire's. The effect is similar but subdued. Drawing the widow's peak in was an afterthought but one I felt helped promote authenticity as well. And it was super easy to do!!

For makeup:

Primer: Clinique Moisture Surge

I use this as my primer due to my dry skin and the heavy coverage of my foundation, which needed a smooth base. For oily skin, use a perfecting base to give more of a velvet finish, if you wish. I love the Clarins Instant Smoothe Perfecting Touch makeup primer for filling in pores and lines too!

Foundation: Double Wear Foundation by Estee' Lauder

Although there is a bit of SPF in this product, the coverage is remarkable and legendary for brides and photo shoots. I don't know what makes it different but I'm an avid fan. My shade is Ecru, but there are a ton of shades to choose from and for lighter coverage there is a 'Light' option and also a super heavy coverage option that is similar in finish to Dermablend.

Concealers: Maybelline Concealer Stick in White, Cover Fx Concealer in Light

The white concealer makes a good highlight for photography as well as a great means to cover brows opaquely. The Cover FX is super heavy coverage with an emollient quality that makes it perfect for dry skin. It can crease a bit after application but covers splendidly.

Powder: Dermablend Original Setting Powder

The best setting powder ever. Hands down. The same quality as that HD stuff by Makeup Forever but really cheap, at 25.00 for quite a lot of product. It sets concealer, lipstick, eyeliner, whatever you need. And if you press your hands into it right afterward, all the original finish of the product comes right back. I adore it.

Eyeshadows: Although I mention the Toofaced and Naked palettes in this video, because that's what I used, I don't necessarily recommend any specific ones. I could just as easily used Wet N Wild or Nyx. Just make sure that you are using a good matte shadow, in both a charcoal gray, a taupe, and a warmer nude. Layering these colors will give that 'dusky' quality to the final black and white photos that simple grayscale won't do. Going back over the applied shades, layering the colors and blending, will also add that hazy look.

Lashes/ Mascara: The Lash Doubling Mascara by Clinique is my current favorite and it worked well for this look. I love the tapered wand since it makes it easier to do mistake-proof application to the lower and inner lashes. For falsies, go for longer whispy lashes like the Ardell Wispies, or maybe even some lower single lashes to get a more accurate look to the inspiration photo. This is the one area I wish I'd taken that extra step, instead of just grabbing my nearest natural lashes that had that sort of voluminous 1920's look to them. The lashes of Dagover were not really typical for the era and I should have embraced that.

Lipstick: I chose my old standby by Besame, which is old and has developed that crayon smell. I need to replace it. However, any dark burgundy or brown lipstick will work, as long as it is low-sheen. Make sure to set it with Dermablend powder though, to prevent it transferring to the blank bottom lip.

So that's that! Thanks again for watching and reading...I hope to be more active here in the future.


Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Nashville Boogie

When the weather gets cooler, most of the time my thoughts turn to the upcoming event that I've attended every year since 2006, the Rockabilly Weekender (also known as Viva Las Vegas) in Las Vegas Nevada. The cold and humidity of Tennessee pales into insignificance when I anticipate the rousing music, warm sunshine, and delicious scent of exhaust that permeates that enormous car show. However, due to scheduling conflicts in the coming year I wouldn't be able to attend until Saturday, which makes the trip impractical in many respects. I was appalled by this initially, especially since 2015 will be the 20th wedding anniversary year for my husband and I. The idea of NOT going to Viva for the first time in 9 years was unfathomable to me and I really did do as much figuring as possible to organize a way for us to make it. After all, The Sonics will be there (one of my favorite bands) as will our friends Hillbilly Casino, whom I've been trying to get on the Viva schedule for years...I am certain their inclusion this time is solely due to their own merit as a band but hey, I'm still sneaking part of the credit.

Sadly, figuring and researching was to no avail. VLV 2015 is not in our future. But I'm learning to deal with it and I'll tell you why:

The Nashville Boogie has arrived! (For a complete list of bands and scheduled events, be sure to click that link!)

I first learned about The Boogie early in the year, when I was still planning for this year's VLV. The idea of a Nashville Based vintage-style weekender celebrating some of the best music rooted in Tennessee as well as the culture surrounding it, was thrilling, but seemed too far in the distance to be a reality to me. However Jason Galaz, the brain behind this whole scheme, has proven himself to be a formidable and ambitious talent in the world of event planning, so it shouldn't have surprised me when the venue, band list, dates, and website popped up suddenly with cheeky confidence that couldn't fail to impress. Jason's first festival, Muddy Roots, has joined Bonaroo in being one of the world's best received events, with attendees from all over the globe and an extraordinarily loyal following. I try never to miss it myself, no matter how dirty and grungy I might be by the end. Americana music needed a celebratory occasion like this, and I suspect this was the driving motivation behind this newly conceived event as well. The Boogie is bent on paying tribute to the signature sounds of the 40's and 50's that Nashville was built upon, and will showcase talent from around the country that represents those sounds today. I'm sure an invitation to this event has proven to be a breath of fresh air for many of them, and I'm certain it will prove to be one that lays the groundwork for future success in the years to come.

The venue, The Gaylord Opryland Hotel, is legendary in these parts.

One of the south's grand hotels,with seemingly infinite square footage, there will undoubtedly be ample space to host a event of this size, even considering its entirely indoor status. Hosting an outdoor festival of this type in Tennessee is simply not practical considering the unpredictable weather, so a luxury locale like this one will definitely help soften that reality. Discounted rates on the beautiful rooms, enormous meeting spaces to accommodate the fashion and car shows, as well as 17 acclaimed restaurants will also provide plenty of impetus to book and book quickly. In addition, the adjoining Opry Mills Mall contains a huge multi-screen movie theater, more restaurants, and plenty of outlet priced shopping. Music Valley Drive is walking distance from the resort as well, and boasts a few of the area's principal music-related attractions. The General Jackson showboat is docked close by and hosts a nightly dinner cruise, if that idea holds appeal for you. (If gambling is your thing, there's no casino around, but there IS the Grand Ol' Opry House where full price weekend show tickets could yield either a great pay-off of a performance or something akin to a total bust. No matter, the Boogie will have plenty of quality music to enjoy, regardless. ;-)

For those of you hankering for a great photo op, you could'nt really do much better than the Opryland Hotel. The heart of the resort features several grandiose conservatories, showcasing lush and gorgeously maintained plant life all year round. There are indoor canals with guided boat tours, elaborate fountains, and full-on waterfalls to provide a refreshing backdrop to your selfies.

I, for one, am excited to see how the event plays out and how the hotel staff responds to the vintage enthusiasts and rockabilly fans who will likely dominate the resort for a few days. There is so much promise, so much potential, so few drawbacks to the total prospect! I look forward to attending, helping promote in any way I can, enjoying the festivities so close to home, and generally helping The Nashville Boogie be all it can be.

Here's hoping that all of you will get your tickets quickly and join me in May!

Til Then,
So Long, Dearies!


This post and others like it are made possible due to the kindess of my loyal sponsors, such as Glory Days Magazine. Glory Days is a vintage
lifestyle magazine heralding from New Zealand, where classic glamour and love for Rockabilly culture is still alive and well. Please click the link on the right and support Glory Days and all magazines like it, without whose readers events like The Boogie could slip past us all. We are a community and we need YOU in order to grow!