Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Vintage style: get Marilyn's waist... sort of

While I was supposed to be buying tupperware the other day, I came across a range of lingerie that UK chain TK Maxx are currently selling (as you do) - although I believe these are US imports originally - Marilyn Monroe Intimates.

Being TK Maxx, it was all pretty cheap. And being me, I'm once again a sucker for a Marilyn gimmick (I'm looking at you, Mac). I grabbed a leopard print nightwear set and two items of shapewear - both of which also involved some kind of leopard print. Clearly Marilyn = leopards.

It's a good idea - Marilyn was famous for her hourglass figure after all... but how well do they work and if you stumble across the range, should you buy?

Shaping brief 2-pack (leopard and black)

Marilyn waist rating: 2/5


Left: normal | Right: with briefs

These are satiny, firm and relatively comfortable. They give a nice hip-waist curve - you can definitely see my waist is better defined on the right. They hold your tummy in a bit, although one always hopes for more... However, one word: VPL. You can even see the bit where it's digging in a the top of my thigh, let alone the disturbing rear view that I've spared you all from here. When the whole point is to wear these underneath tight clothing, I'm left scratching my head a bit about what use they are. Although I do have a particularly tight pair of high-waisted jeans...

Hi-waist shaping brief

Marilyn waist rating: 3/5


Left: normal | Right: with briefs

Lovely unusual blue-grey leopard print fabric - nice. Sits above the waist - great, hate when you get cut in half by these things. These grew on me after I'd worn them all day and realised just how comfy they are. At first I thought they weren't doing much good, they are so much softer and stretchier than the other pair - but they do seem to hold everything in a bit better than it manages itself, without such obvious VPL (although still a little at the back). I do think on the right my shape is just that bit tighter - but it's not the drastic results you hope for and that I have achieved with other, much less attractive shapewear.

I think my adventures with this range does help to confirm my suspicions about an unwritten law there seems to be for shapewear. The more unattractive it is, the better it does its job - and these are both just that bit too pretty. If you want something that will hoist you in and without VPL, you're looking at some fetching body-sock crossed with cycling short contraptions probably. I like these for relatively comfortable middle grounds that I wouldn't be completely ashamed to show another human being.

So perhaps while you don't quite get the shape of Marilyn's waist, yours can at least be as well dressed!

CiCi x

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Make-up: great glamorous Gatsbys! 20s tutorial

Forgive me for jumping on the Gatsby bandwagon, but I'd been planning this one for a while...

A simple how-to for a classy 20s face, this is based on a tutorial in one of my favourite coffee-table type books, Retro Makeup, on their Anita Page look.


Here's L before - we've just used her usual foundation to create a more even base.


Product: Rimmel Professional Eyebrow Pencil in 002 Hazel

Eyebrows in the 20s were commonly thin and long and coloured in with either a black or brown pencil. The thickness was equal the entire brow length and there's no obvious peak. Simple enough to do on L with a brown pencil as she's blonde.


Product: Lancome Ombre Subtile Duo palette - nude shadow

Sweep a nude shadow over the entire lid.

Product: Karen Millen Eye Colour Powder in Cappuccino 249

Now use a mid brown shadow and start high on the inner section of the eyelid and then gradually drop in height toward the outer corner of the eyelid. 

I felt I could use a bit more drama here, so I deepened the brown with a black shadow lightly over the top. Apparently this unusual concentration of shadow on the inner eye was to give Anita a more childlike and innocent appearance.

Product: No7 Stay Perfect Palette in Twilight - black shadow

Products: Karen Millen Eye Colour Powder in Cappuccino 249; Benefit They're Real Mascara in black

A coat of mascara on the top lashes and your mid brown shadow smudged under the lash line on the lower eyelid.


Product: No7 Blush Cream in Romantic

A pinky-red blusher over the apples of the cheeks blended well.


Products: Wet n Wild Megaslicks in Crystal Clear; Rockalily Lipstick in Hot Rod Red

According to my book, lip gloss first appeared in the late 1920s and much older than that was the idea of lip staining. To get a stain look today the book advises that you apply clear lipgloss first and then paint your lipstick over the top for sheerer coverage.

The lip shape of the 20s was thin with women under-drawing to stop them from looking too round and wide. L naturally has lovely big full lips, so I drew both lines inside her natural lipline, also taking a leaf from the 20s look of centering the colour away from the outer corners.

And here is the full look!

Looking a bit too modern still? Try these...

1920s makeup tutorial

Great Gatsby makeup

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Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Outfit: wedding guest outfit - wiggle #1

Because I've lost the post I was going to put up today (sincere thanks go to Blogger and my camera for joint sabotage), here's a quick and dirty outfit post from the first of two weddings I have on May's agenda.

For #1 I wore a wiggle-style dress from Hell Bunny's new summer range ('Rosalie') that I have to say, was one of those that was perfect from the second I put it on. The cut, the colours, the fabric... love!

Absolutely no stretch whatsoever though, so a word of warning if you're considering it. Check measurements! Great dress for the price.

And because sometimes I do leave my room, here are two shots where you can actually see me somewhere else - which in this case was a fab wedding I was a +1 at.

The first shot is of the beautiful back of this dress... which is one of the best things about it, if not the best! (And check out the awesome background dancing!)

© Danielle Benbow www.daniellebenbow.co.uk

Thanks to the wedding photographer, Danielle, for allowing me to use this lovely photo on my blog. And if you like looking at photos of weddings, the rest are here.

And now a much poorer-quality photo demonstrating a neckline shot. Which is actually more of cleavage shot, so I hope you like that kind of thing. Excuse the random man in the background... this is what happens when you leave the house!

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Monday, 20 May 2013

A fond and sad farewell...

Sad news for both me and the blog... Marie is bowing out after our first year to dedicate her time to setting up a small business. Anyone who writes a blog will know that if you let it it will creep into your every day life and sometimes the pressure of it is a bit too much! Not what you need if you want to focus your efforts elsewhere...

This blog originally started out as her idea and I, rather reluctantly at the time it must be said, agreed to join as co-writer contributing bits and pieces of my fashion and make-up knowledge to give a rounded picture of all things a bit kitsch. What I never expected was how much I would enjoy the process of coming up with post concepts and sharing my ideas with anyone who happens to stumble across them. My enthusiasm has unwittingly taken the blog firmly in the direction of vintage style... Which is where it will continue to head under my rule!

I will never be a crafter, thrifter or baker like Marie - I am a spender and an eater where pretty things and food are concerned. But if you are any of the former, here are Marie's top 3 posts to enjoy.

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

Bake: gooey chocolate cranberry brownies

For the love of craft: jam jars

Marie may well be back in the future as a guest blogger, but from now on it's just little ol' me. The name of the blog will likely stay the same, but there may be a few more visual changes to come over the next month as I fully embrace the fashion/beauty blogging world...

Bye for now, Marie 

CiCi x

Monday, 13 May 2013

Outfit: high-waisted jeans & Hasbeens

Firstly, forgive me while I try out this year's birthday present - a new camera..! Quality of my photos on here about to drastically improve. Unfortunately not a lot I can do about the stupid poses.

This outfit consisted of some old and almost-forgotten favourites (thanks, incredibly long Winter) - a pair of high-waisted jeans and my beloved Swedish Hasbeens (Braided Sky Highs). It also features a £5 top from Primark 3 years ago that even though it's threatening to fall apart I still love, and a £7 bolero that was from H&M around the same time. The jeans are Miss Selfridge - which is my tip always for good high-waisted UK high street jeans.

A story of some Hasbeens...
My Swedish Hasbeens were once pink like this... I wanted the neutral ones, but it was the pink ones that got knocked down to half price in the Office sale last year so I didn't complain. However, if you want your Hasbeens to keep their colour, they recommend you oil the leather up. I didn't do this to see what happened... and voila, they've now faded to a nude colour! 

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Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Vintage style: patterned capris

We've had some lovely warm, Spring-time weather recently and I've gone a little bit crazy buying summer clothes. Top of my hit list was more capris - but this time, I was dreaming of colour... and then I stumbled on some marvelous high-waisted 50s-style peach capris with a palm tree print. I thought the palm trees were a nice alternative to flowers - and have a sort of tropical pin-up vibe about them.

Motel Jodie Skinny Crop Pant in Pink Palm Leaf Print

Fortunately, after being out of stock for months, looks like they're back.

Apologies for slightly unfocused photo...

Despite being quite a thin cotton, something to do with the shape and fit really sucks you in - producing a nice shapely rear!

Which is good when you spent most of the bank holiday weekend eating using the excuse that it was your birthday...

Caught in the act!

CiCi x

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Outfit: denim jacket (finally jumping on the bandwagon)

I have no excuse for not owning a denim jacket before now, other than I always assumed I'd never get one to fit and that they wouldn't suit me. I also don't know why I suddenly changed my mind, other than the need for another lightweight jacket option for Spring... and coming across this one from Macy's new Marilyn Monroe clothing range (how I WISH I could teleport to the US to snap it all up!)

Macy's Marilyn Monroe denim jacket

Luckily, if there's something I'm good at, it's finding clothing dupes and I came across this one from New Look at the bargain price of £17.99. New Look have got a tonne of cheap denim jackets at the moment, so they're well worth a look - including a mint green one I really don't think I'll be able to resist much longer!

I thought it would be a nice way to 'man up' a more girly outfit - which you can read as having an excuse to finally wear the knitted bow in my hair that Marie made for me :)

Marilyn style denim jacket

Spot the bow...

... there it is!

And a bonus shot of Marilyn looking very fetching in her own denim jacket!

Marilyn crop denim jacket

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