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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, January 12, 2018

The Starlet Series Episode 5: 1924 'He Who Gets Slapped'

For my 5th episode of the all-new Starlet Series, I opted to recreate the look Norma Shearer wears in the 1924 film, He Who Gets Slapped. The film was a popular one of the year, and stars a very young Shearer, John Gilbert, and Lon Chaney. Norma was in her very early 20's when this was made, and it was an important one for her career, solidifying her as a leading lady for years to come.

The movie is very difficult to find, and I honestly only saw it once, years ago on Turner Classic Movies. So I don't feel like I can rely on my memory enough to adequately review it. I remember Norma being pretty and precocious, Lon being a formidable presence, and some kind of surreal circus ending. But below is a quick synopsis for your information:

Paul Beaumont (Chaney) is a scientist on the verge of a breakthrough concerning the origin of mankind. When he reaches a pivotal point in his research, he approaches his sponsor Baron Regnard, to advise him of his intentions to present his findings to the Academy of the Sciences. Through trickery, the Baron acquires the research papers and claims the credit and Paul's own wife for himself, thus banishing Beaumont to the realms of pariah in the scientific community. Five years later, Beaumont is now working as a circus clown, and has fallen in love with a beautiful young horseback rider Consuelo (Shearer), the daughter of an impoverished count. Though Consuelo is inlove with fellow circus performer Bezano (played by John Gilbert), the count insists that she marry a rich man to save the family. He presents Baron Regnard as a new suitor, which devastates Paul and Bezano both. Beaumont goes to great lengths to prevent the folly of this marriage, resulting in a bittersweet conclusion for the three main players.

The Style:

Norma Shearer has long naturally curly hair in the film, though most stills appear as though she is wearing a bob. She actually has her hair pinned up at the nape, which made it an excellent choice for my current hair length.

The makeup is likewise deceiving, appearing at first to be a natural makeup common to youthful stars of the day, but upon closer examination includes a dramatic downturned shadow at the outer corner.

For this look, I used full coverage foundation, neutral shadows, and red lips to create a wearable 20's look that gives a solid impression of the era but without an overly harsh appearance. Below is a list of the products I used; where the brand or product is not necessarily recommended, any substitute will suffice.

Products Used:
Foundation: Beyond Perfecting by Clinique in the shade 01 Linen
Eyebrow Pencil: Brunette Pencil from Color Pop Cosmetics
Dermablend Original Setting Powder
Cheeks: Benetint Liquid
Eyeshadow: Teddy Bear Quad by Clinique
Clarins Waterproof Eyeliner-Brown
Mascara: High Impact mascara by Clinique in Black
Lips: Colour Pop Ultra Liquid Matte in Love Bug and Creeper

For the hair, I mimicked Norma's natural curls by rolling my hair all over in very small permanant waving rods. I used a very small amount of setting lotion to prepare the hair. Too much product would have made the curls difficult to shape. That said, a thorough brush out did most of the work.

My video tutorial is embedded below. Enjoy, and as always let me know if you have any questions.

So long, Dearies!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Tutorial-Rita Hayworth Waves Variation

In the bygone days of Freemont Street, I did a tutorial for a 'Rita' style that used hot rollers. It was my first video and really got me interested in recreating these looks for my hair type.
Over the years, I've done a few more, most of which have been deleted for whatever reason, and this one remains the best since it does utilize the traditional pin curling technique for the style:

But I thought I'd revisit it using rollers since these tend to be more handy for some gals and can still lend a pretty authentic attitude to the look. This time, I created a similar 'bombshell' style on my straight (too long), unwashed (2nd day) hair, using only the following products/tools:

1. medium sized foam rollers
2. a few bendy rollers
3. a diluted mix of lotta body setting lotion
4. a Denman styling brush
5. one bobbie pin and a couple of duckbill clips

Starting on second day hair (or clean, if you wish), part the hair on whichever side you wish and begin rolling sections downward, keeping away from the crown section. On the two sections closest to the face on the heavy side of the part, roll upward. Using bendable rollers on the uppermost sections ensures less effort preventing 'dents' from the standard foam roller clips. Brush thoroughly, shaping with hands as you go, spray in place, and you're done!

Til Next Time,
So Long, Dearies!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Diamonds and Dames Does: Lina Aysgarth

It's been too long since I've visited my favorite Youtube series. This is the new entry to the Diamonds & Dames 'All Request' series, where I somewhat recreate styles from the golden age of the silver screen. This look has been on my list since forever ago and it's a very simple one to do for even longer hair. My own hair is about four inches shorter than Joan Fontaine's was in the film, 1941's Hitchcock thriller called Suspicion, and it still looks fine with shorter hair as well. Since the movie took place in the early part of the decade, it was'nt really a 'faux pas' yet for ladies to grow longer locks, and this is a great representation of era-specific hair that also retains some length. For this style, I chose to use larger pin curls but larger foam rollers or a hot set could also work, depending on your climate and hair type. Don't expect it to turn out the same way twice.

A little about the movie...

Suspicion (1941)

Lina McLaidlaw is a conservative English lass with a not-so-conservative bank roll. She has been unlucky in love until she meets gambler and charmer, Johnnie Aysgarth on a train. Quickly, the two fall in love and marry but soon Johnnie's style of living begins to give Lina adequate cause for concern as he can't seem to find a consistent line of work that doesn't require taking major chances. As time passes, she begins to suspect he is also capable of much darker things and to fear for her life.

On the tails of her game-changing role in Hitchcock's hit from the previous year, Rebecca, Joan Fontaine slips easily into this part. Her Lina is smart and capable, but also loyal and sweet. Cary Grant is uncharacteristically serious in the role of Johnnie but still maintains his charming aloofness and easily pulls the viewer into his plight. Although this movie is not the masterpiece of cinematography that Rebecca was, it still stands strong among other Hitchcock classics. This may be the more relatable story as well, since it really does dwell more on the relationship between the leads than the plot itself, drawing on thrills only where absolutely necessary.

My rating: 8/10


The Tutorial:

For the style, as I mentioned, I used large pin curls all over, using no particular setting pattern. I would typically use side combs for these partial updos but in this case, the combs seemed out of keeping with the casual look of her styles. They seemed like an afterthought, created by a busy lady with little passion for coiffure. Therefore I didn't plan this style at all, creating it on the fly as it appears that Lina would have done.

After removing the pin curl clips, I simply brushed out the set and freely arranged the sides up and over a bit, allowing it to fall loosely over the pins and hide them. You can almost see my thought process in the embedded video, as I make it up.

For a simple and elegant updo, similar the the ones worn by Joan Fontaine's character on her days and evenings out, simply add a rat (You can purchase these at a local beauty supply shop or on Amazon. Some have a snap on the end so they can be turned into a bun form as well. Those are my favorites.) at the nape of the neck, over the hair, gather hair around it and pin loosely in place.

Joan has a lot of curly hair so naturally our look will be quite different. To get a closer look with straight hair, try rolling the top of your head on medium foam rollers instead of large and working with the natural texture you create by playing with volume. Teasing straighter hair will tend to look a bit matronly with this style, which is why I kept mine mainly free of volume.

Here is the video tutorial, as promised, and please keep your Diamonds and Dames requests coming!!

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Nashville Boogie - My Must-See List of Performers

So it's been a little stretch since I've blogged about anything at all. Let's remedy that, shall we? For almost three months we lived in limbo, waiting in Memphis surrounded by boxes, in and out of hotel rooms and storage lockers, until finally we moved into our new home here in rural Tennessee. For all of that time, I didnt really think much about Viva Las Vegas (which I missed this year) or about The Nashville Boogie, focusing instead on getting my family settled in. Now, we are starting to approach a quieter state and the excitement for the Boogie has really started to creep into my daily routine. Of course I'm excited for the Fashion Show, the shopping, the Car Show, and all of the luxury fun at the Opryland Hotel...but more than anything else, I'm looking forward to enjoying some of the great great music this year's event has to offer!

Most of you know and love some of the major acts...Wanda Jackson, Lee Rocker, The Sonics, The Blasters, Asleep at the Wheel etc. Deke Dickerson and Big Sandy are VLV Staples and Rockabilly enthusiasts wouldn't find any music event complete without them. But I thought I'd share here some of the artists I MOST look forward to at the upcoming Weekender and a few words as to why.

First and foremost...the act I'm most looking forward to-the one I've been anxiously awaiting for a few years now- is The Country Side of Harmonica Sam. There is something insanely surreal about the Swedes and their grasp of Americana music; I've said this before (The Green Line Travelers are another very talented Swedish band playing the event). But I feel like this project of Harmonica Sam's (hitherto known to me only as a Blues/Boogie Woogie artist in the vein of Jerry Lee Lewis) is one of the most successful endeavors of its type in many moons. It is so spontaneously brilliant, so achingly authentic, so wonderfully contagious...I just can't get enough. So yeah, I'd say this is the number one draw for me this year.

I've already mentioned Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, and yeah-I never feel cheated when I see them live. But this time will be a special occasion since Big Sandy is going to be performing alternatively as 'The Country Side of Big Sandy'. Having seen him so many times, it will be refreshing to see this different and exciting approach!

Jittery Jack is another 'can't-miss' for me. An enthusiastic blend of blues and Rockabilly, he typically plays the VERY late night spot at VLV, so I sometimes miss his set due to one unforeseen occurrence or another. Not this year. I will be front-row-center for his high energy performance!

If you, like me, are a fan of 1960's era garage rock, The Woggles will be right up your alley! I am slightly worried about the venue where they're playing since last year there were a few sound issues. But I am definitely not hesitant enough to pass them up. 7pm Saturday, that's where I'll be!

Anyone who has followed my Youtube channel for any length of time knows that I absolutely LOVE The Planet Rockers! They're legendary musicians and performers that I do NOT miss if they play anywhere around. So it's a no-brainer that I will be at the Nashville Palace to enjoy their Thursday set! They also happen to be my six year old daughter's favorite band, so yeah-I'm gonna sneak her in too.

Gizzelle is an artist I've been following since VLV 10, when her song 'For You' was on the compilation album of that year. I fell for her immediately and bought everything I could find by her at the time. After using her music in a few of my videos, I received countless questions asking me who this phenomenal voice belonged to and WHERE it could be found to purchase! She has only gotten better over the years and a live performance of her's will stay with you for a long while.

Yes, that's my list. And no, it's not a long one. There are many other acts I plan to see, make no mistake. I don't miss Hillbilly Casino, Jack Rabbit Slim, or Joshua Headley when I have a chance to see them. The Psycho Devilles and the Rhythm Shakers always deliver as well. But there are a few performances, namely the ones above, that I feel especially excited to see. So I thought they deserved a little blog-time of their own. Even if you can't make the Boogie, definitely consider catching any of these acts when they visit your town or hey, just make yourself a playlist on YouTube. I'm sure you'll end up just as much a fan as I am.

Til Next Time,
So Long, Dearies!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hiatus and Hairdos (With a Side of Panic Attacks)

So here I am after a long hiatus and I feel I owe you all a bit of an explanation.

First, let's talk a bit about hair. My hair needs a trim and I need to color it again because lord knows it is growing fast and I need to touch up my roots, but I did bang out a tutorial a few weeks ago showcasing my new favorite hairstyle inspired by the lovely Joanne Woodward and her side swept bangs. She wore this style in varied ways throughout her life and I love how it translates to different hair lengths.

In 'The Long, Hot Summer', you may recall that she had her bangs at their shortest stage; they were barely whispy baby hairs at her hairline. But they worked so well for her character and her own personality. I've opted to take on the side swept bang in order to work with my natural cowlick and I gotta say, I'm into it.

So the style in this newest video is the way I've translated her style to my own head. I used foam rollers for this one, but I'm just as likely to use Rockin Rollers, Pin Curls, or even Hot Sticks.

So that's that. Thanks to the great Si Cranstoun for still supporting my channel and allowing me to use his wonderful music!


So now for the more personal stuff...why I've been missing as far as weekly posts go. You can still find me regularly on Facebook and Instagram, but let's suffice it to say that things have been HECTIC in Ashley-World lately.

Not only am I homeschooling, working full time, and trying to manage an online presence (lol...that's just a joke. I hardly put any time into it compared to others), but I am also planning a move. And if any of you have ever tried to procure a residence from a considerable distance, arrange a job transfer, AND still live your daily life with some success, it is NO easy task!

I've always had stress, but I feel like I've done a good job managing it and I'm a pretty routined person that accomplishes a lot. But suddenly, last month, things sort of came to head when I had my first actual PANIC ATTACK. I was driving when it happened and yada yada yada ( to make a long story short) paramedics were called because I literally thought I was dying. For me, it came as blurred vision, a feeling that I wasn't getting any oxygen, and freezing-cold extremities. I was unsure what it was at the time, which contributed to the feeling I was having, and the paramedics suggested anxiety. I didnt buy it. I felt like I was handling everything just fine and after all, it literally came out of nowhere. I recovered shortly, went home, and went about my business with a bit of a hangover. ('Hangover' really is the best way to describe it, if any of you have ever dealt with this. It renders you a little hopeless, like you have failed, and it becomes difficult to 'even out' again.)
The next night, I tried to drive to the store and it happened again...a much worse case that ended at the ER. This time, I 'bought it'. Obviously, only something psychological could strike in so sinister a way at such an inconvenient time. Medication was prescribed for episodes and I'm happy to report that I rarely have had to use them since. Having an understanding of the situation has helped me considerably and I now feel more in tuned with my body and my mind. Let me say though, that if you have stress and anxiety and you don't listen to your body, I can see how you could easily have a break down. This is true physical stuff, no matter what some may think. Much like depression, panic attacks and anxiety need your understanding and your consideration, not your derision or skepticism.

I won't say more at this time on the subject. But needless to say, I know I have to focus on important stuff first and view my tutorials as a hobby, not an obligation, which is and always been what they actually are. You may not see me as regularly or as much for now, but I am certain that once things settle down again you will again be treated to weekly videos from me. This is a passion of mine that won't die, no matter how old I get or how many others are cranking out similar stuff.

Thanks again for your patience and support...


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Sadie Series: Gothic Brides

When you image-search the term 'Gothic Bride', there is a very clear depiction that prevails. White skin, hair dyed 'Black No.1', snowy bosoms struggling to escape from black corset cocoons, and deep red lips easily overshadow other visions of the style. But there are so many different directions one can take this idea. Victorian brides, like the one pictured, also speak the language of Gothic Romance, as do vampiresque mermaid gowns and drippy cobwebs of ivory lace. So the term can call to mind many dramatic styles that mesh and intermingle into one cohesive look. Fans of Jane Eyre, for instance, may see themselves in more of a demure gown that mimics the style of the heroine but also pays homage to the lunacy of Blanche (Ooo, I kinda dig that) in their vision.

In my mind, one gown has always reigned supreme as the be-all-end-all of 'Gothic Gowns'. This 1950's Dior masterpiece is what inspired my tutorial and truly inspires me in just about every other way as well...

With that in mind, the hair and makeup I came up with for this installment of my vintage bridal series is something that would suit a variety of looks that are not specific to any one era.


The hair in this tutorial is very simple. I didnt really intend it to be, but as it came about, I decided that it needed to be. I'll be doing a Victorial bridal style soon, which will likely involve a more elaborate coiffure, so I didnt want to distract from the drama of the accessories and such by over-complicating the hair style. Therefore simple side combs, an easy pompadour, and the application of a faux ponytail is all that is required to achieve it.
My hair accessories are from Vintage Box 1947 and Taissa Lada Designs. My faux ponytail extension is by Irresistible Me.


For the makeup, the secret is layering and blending the eyeshadows so that there is a very diffused smokey look to the eyes. This seems to come off really well in photographs, particularly in black and white shots. The lips are dark, of course, but not black or purple. These colors tend to make the teeth look a bit yellow if you should so happen to offer a toothy grin on the happiest day of your life. Skin is pale and has a satin-matte finish and a subtle highlight. Brows are darker and a bit more arched. Blush is bare to minimal.

Below is the tutorial, followed by a product list, if you'd like to know what I used. I do not believe that product choices are important here...you have unlimited options in this regard and can just use this as a loose reference if you wish.

Products Used:
Clinique Moisture Surge
Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Base
LORAC Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer
Urban Decay, Original Naked Palette
Nyx Jumbo Pencil in 'Black Bean'
Wet n'Wild Pop Art Collection Shadow Palette in Three's a Party
Clinique Pretty Easy Lining Pen in Black
Clarins Supra Volume Mascara in Black
Ardell 105 Glamour Lashes
Napoleon Perdis China Doll Foundation-Shade 2B
Napoleon Perdis Mosaic Blushing Powder
Mary Kay liquid lip color-Discontinued product

So Long, Dearies!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Movies That Shaped My Style: The Women (1939)

Movies have always been my chief inspiration, when it comes to style. And there are a few films that I can truly say 'shaped' my taste in that regard. I thought it might be worthwhile to include a few words about those films occasionally here and on my Youtube Channel.

The one that is foremost in my mind is 1939's The Women, directed by George Cukor.

It's one of those movies that I enjoyed as a kid, because I always like the fashionable aspect of it and the witty one-liners. As an adult, I also identify with the female empowerment of it, although some might disagree with that notion. I personally feel that it taught some valuable lessons about humility, endurance, and hope.

The Movie:

Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) is a society lady who leads what many feel to be a 'charmed life'. She is known in her community as one of the upper class 'elite' and seems from the outset to have it all..the perfect marriage, the perfect daughter, lots of friends, and scads of money. However, when catty gal-pal Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell) hears a nasty rumor involving Mr Haines, Mary's friends suddenly seem all too glad to see her fall from grace. As the rumors circulate, build, and gain momentum-Mary must decide if her pride is more important than her marriage, and whether preserving her dignity is worth the loss of all she holds dear.

The story is simple, and one we've seen played out many times since...but never in quite this way. The black and white cinematography is crisp and stylish, focusing on details only women will truly appreciate. No men are present anywhere in the film; we don't even hear their voices or see them walking on the street. This little touch provides a mood and atmosphere that isn't obvious at first, but eventually proves to be the most important aspect of the story-telling itself. We begin to see how this priviledged world looked through the eyes of its females, and how modern society at the time influenced their behavior. The interior sets are painstakingly specific, drawing attention to the tastes and attitudes of each leading lady, and the full-color fashion show at a pivotal point in the story provides an even more impressive landscape to stage the scene.

The cast could not have been chosen better. Rosalind Russell is comically evil; Joan Crawford purrs and claws her way across the screen with a subtlety that I never knew she possessed; Paulette Goddard provides the sexy spunk that really set the standard for similar roles of the time. Supporting performances by Lucille Watson as Mary's wise and understanding mother, Virginia Weidler as the heart-broken little Mary, and Phyllis Povah as Sylvia's simple-minded side-kick are also standout, bringing the screenplay brilliantly to life. Although Joan Fontaine's portrayal is syrupy-sweet at times, and the story could potentially wear a little thin due to the fact that the second 'act' is a pretty drastic change of pace, this is a movie that never fails to improve with repeat viewings.

My rating: 10/10


Fashionistically-speaking, this is one of the world's best. The designs by Adrian are memorable, to say the least, and really showcase the avant-garde look of his creations without overshadowing the players. Specific looks will always stand out to me. This blouse, for instance, worn by Sylvia during an early scene in the film, broadcasts without words her personal style and demeanor.

Adrian's designs were a great mix of new and classic. They brought to the forefront of fashion a kooky mentality that was a welcome respite from the stern drama of the 1930's.

In The Women, Adrian paid special attention to the characters he was dressing, making sure to give them an elegant feel without forgetting that sex-appeal and comedy were also key players.

He reserved his more bold designs in the film for the spectacular full-color fashion show, which boasted ensembles suitable for both day and evening events.

This beach jacket could be irresistible or off-putting, depending on who you are. It features a realistic human hand at the closure- holding a rose, no less.

Make sure to look up more of Adrian Greenburg's luscious designs, which are quintessential fashion examples of the decade. His life was relatively short, but he made a solid mark on Hollywood and the fashion world, as well as an undeniable impression on my own style choices and love of all-things-novelty.

Til Next Time...