Monday, 28 January 2013

Make-up: 40s daytime look tutorial

Time to get a little bit Rita Hayworth with this latest tutorial post!

According to my book, Retro Makeup by Lauren Rennells, 'Rita Hayworth and actresses like her influenced the minimal makeup look of the 1940s. A natural beauty who required few changes in appearance, her sparkling eyes balanced by her slightly overdrawn lips made her what many consider to be one of the most beautiful film actresses of all time.'

What typified this look was neat, arched, elongated eyebrows in a natural colour, minimal eye make-up which emphasised the lashes, faint natural blush and, of course, brick red lips that have a full cupid's bow with a top lip a similar thickness to the bottom.

So, here we go...

Starting with the lovely make-up free base that I'm working with.


Product: Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation in Bone

My favourite foundation suits many mid-century looks for the flawless, creamy complexion it creates. On it went, with finger application.


Product: Urban Decay Brow Box in Beige Betty

I would have used an eyebrow pencil for this job, but I couldn't find one in the right colour anywhere so I fell back on my old favourite, the Urban Decay Brow Box. This creates quite a soft line and you may want a sharper one, for which I'd use a pencil. I've followed L's natural brow line and extend it slightly at the ends.


Product: Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes Contour Kit - Cocoa Shimmer

Very easy, simply sweep a warm eye shadow on the lower part of the upper eyelid and blend - I used my fingers for this which I always find easiest for blending.


Product: Collection 2000 Fast Stroke Liquid Eyeliner in Black

You want a very fine line of liquid eyeliner along the base of the eyelashes on the upper eyelid only - you're trying to make the lashes appear thicker not create a wing (that's more of a 50s thing!).


Product: Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black

Any mascara will do this job just fine - make sure you're using black to match the black eyeliner.

Cheeks and lips

Product: Cheeks - such an old blusher the details had rubbed off, but was a peachy-pink colour by Elizabeth Arden!

Product: Lipstick - Mac Lipstick in Chili (matte)

For the cheeks, apply either warm bronzer or a terracotta blusher below the cheek bone to contour the face.

For the lips, first use a pencil to mark out the shape of the lips - in this case I have rounded L's top lip to make a fuller cupid bow and more evenly match the size of her top lip with her bottom. I've then filled the lines out with a warm red matte lipstick.


40s make-up tutorial

Mac Chili Lipstick 40s tutorial

1940s day look makeup guide


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Sunday, 20 January 2013

Playing tailor: turning a playsuit into a dress (again)

It's January, the sales are on - so many pretty outfits going for cheaps. So, in my 'oh that's so cute and such a bargain' daze, I bought myself a playsuit again. It's really nice, but it doesn't really go with my huge post-Christmas face-stuffing thighs and arse. So, I decided to turn a playsuit into a dress (again!)

This is the original, from the Urban Outfitters sale for a bargain price of £15.

And this is my slightly altered version...

Here's how I did it...

1. Unpick the seams of the shorts section of the playsuit (the bit between your legs) up to the point that the seams are straight at front and back, so you've got two separate bits of material for front and back rather than one continuous short.

2. Starting with the front section - line the unpicked material up so that it is in a straight line (so it looks like a skirt would look) and pin. Repeat with the back.

3. You will probably now have some excess fabric hanging at the bottom of the 'skirt' from wear the shorts joined between the legs - fold this upwards under the skirt and line up front and back so the bottom of the skirt is even all around, cut off any excess that's folded up and pin. 

4. Iron the skirt.

5. Turn the skirt inside out and sew along the pinned areas front and back and round the bottom. Unpin and you're done.

The nice thing about the style of this playsuit/dress is that you could tuck it into a longer skirt and it would just look like a nice blouse.

Marie ♥

Friday, 18 January 2013

Outfit: winter walking

It's so very cold outside at the moment. What is a girl to do when she has a lovely weekend walk planned and it's 0 degrees outside? Layer her little heart out!

I took the idea for this post both from the need to look like I'd made an effort (while wanting to cover every inch of myself in a thick layer of fleece) and from my favourite blogger Ulrika posting about how she can wear summer dresses in winter with the right layering. Inspired, I took up a favourite summer skirt and tried the same!

So here's the skirt with a simple top and tights - not particularly warm just yet, even with the tights! (Here was its summer incarnation.)

Taking inspiration from Ulrika, I added a pair of shorts to help trap some warmth around the abdomen and then layered up with a thick pair of socks. Which both look ugly, but that's ok as they're not going to be on show... I've also added a fitted cardigan that I've tucked into my skirt - and here's a tip, a good, stretchy waist belt is your friend when trying to look like you have a shape under lots of layers. I noticed this was also something Gok talked about on episode 2 of his new series Style Secrets so it must be true.

Now the socks have disappeared (and in fact, I added some fluffy ankle socks) into boots - my boots are a little too big for me so this is also a neat trick to keep them on. And now a big pashmina-type shawl which is both thin but also very warm. I wrapped it around me like a granny shawl because I didn't actually want it on display.

And here's my coat - which has a nice big fur collar that stops the wind going down the back of my neck. This is a Miss Selfridge coat that was on sale last year, but they also sold it again this winter so it might still be lurking in some stores. Otherwise, Miss Selfridge are pretty good for fur collar coats!

And voila! Add some gloves and I'm toasty, more stylish than if I were wearing a big ol' fleece and ready for a cold walk by the River Cam!

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Sunday, 13 January 2013

Make-up: Boots No7 Stay Perfect lipstick in Classic Rose

Another pink lipstick review to add to my collection, this time a look at a classic dusky pink lipstick that's rather nice for daytime wear. Kind of Grace Kelly-esque. In some ways this is a similar shade to Rockalily Vintage Vixen but Classic Rose is slightly darker and is actually more matte.

So, here is a Boots No7 lipstick, Stay Perfect in shade Classic Rose.

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick Classic Rose

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick Classic Rose swatch

And here it is on...

Applied in full...

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick Classic Rose review

Applied more lightly...

Boots No7 Stay Perfect Lipstick Classic Rose review

As you can see, applied more lightly it looks quite natural - on me it's almost like a slightly darker version of my actual lip colour so rather flattering.

  • Lovely dusky pink shade
  • Has a vintage vibe as it is matte
  • Colour lasts well and wears quite evenly
  • Colour is buildable
  • Doesn't bleed
  • Can hardly notice you're wearing it
  • Good value for money at £9.50

  • Slightly drying
  • Texture can highlight imperfections on the lips
  • Strange blunt-shaped bullet means to get clean lines you may need a brush

All in all though, quite impressive for a lipstick under £10. It helps that I do like the colour, but if you didn't, to get a nice matte lipstick in another colour it may be worth checking the range out.

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Sunday, 6 January 2013

Outfit: just add scarf

A very short outfit post from me today, written while a tad sleepy and silly on a nice big dose of Cocodamol that is currently doping a rather spectacular headache that seems to be in my entire face. (Laptop brightness turned down to 'barely legible'...)

Anyway! Today, unusually for a Sunday lunchtime, I had to drag myself out of my loungewear and into something suitable for a coffee date. So pleased with my uncharacteristic day-of-rest effort was I that I even took a couple of photos to feed the blog - it has been looking a little hungry lately, after all.

Not a hugely inspiring outfit, but I liked the fact it became somewhat more stylish with the addition of a simple leopard print neck tie.

I'm often asked where I got these trousers from, being both high-waisted and coloured - they were £25 bargains from New Look, who are always my tip for year-round high-waisted trouserness.

And what else could a scarf want but a cropped leather biker jacket? Well, no, I don't know either! I sort of remind myself of a pile of autumn leaves in these colours, mind you.

Until next time!

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