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Monthly Archives: March 2016

Retro Glam: Your Three Beauty Essentials

We all know one of the key elements to achieve the ultimate vintage look is the perfect winged liner, rosy cheeks and cherry red lips…but what about those of us that are not at all skilled in makeup application? I have always envied the ladies that seem to have a natural talent in this regard, since I was completely clueless even in my late 20’s. Over the past few years, I have gradually learned the pinup basics with lots of patience and most importantly…PRACTICE! I strongly believe that the key to the perfect vintage look is finding the ideal beauty products to fine tune your skills. When a cosmetics line strictly designed for the vintage dame in mind recently launched online…I was super excited to sample Le Keux Cosmetics products in hopes of finding great staples to add to my beauty regime.

There are three beauty essentials to achieve the perfect vintage pinup look:

  • Fierce Eyebrows
  • Bold Winged Eyeliner
  • Cherry Red Lips

With those fundamentals in mind, I could not resist Le Keux Cosmetics’s Secret Weapon Brow & Liner Paint, Black Cadillac Eye Liner, and Whistle Bait Lip Paint.

IMG_7651 IMG_7661Le Keux Cosmetics was founded in the United Kingdom by Lynsey Le Keux in partnership with Creative Director Diablo Rose. This dynamic duo listened to the needs of their customers and used their vast experience in the beauty industry to create bespoke formulas that also looked elegant on display. Never have I seen such exquisitely designed beauty products that I want to proudly display on my vanity and not hide away in the black hole of my makeup drawer. The outside packaging embodies the glamour of the 1940’s-1960’s showcasing the charming beauty pots with lovely vintage pinups and simple product instructions. Each beauty pot is designed like dazzling crystals in gorgeous shades of translucent blue and pink. It is easy to see that these ladies know how to woo their clientele with elegant packaging but now the true test was how well the product formulas performed on application.

Before&After

Click on Photo to Zoom

Secret Weapon Eye Liner & Brow Paint ~ £12.95

The Le Keux Cosmetics Secret Weapon Eye Liner & Brow Paint is designed for a range of colours from soft blondes to dark bold browns, or in my case…a fiery redhead. Now I will have to admit, the brow paint was the most intimidating of the three products simply because I have only ever used a brow powder to define and fill my eyebrows. Since less is always better when you are using a new beauty product for the first time, I slowly and sparingly applied the brow paint with a brush to gradually build up my brows. The Secret Weapon Brown Paint went on so effortlessly creating the appearance of very full natural yet fierce vintage eyebrow. My husband normally doesn’t comment or even notice my eyebrows but he quickly remarked the major change in the definition saying it made a striking difference in my facial appearance. I honestly cannot get over how easy the brow paint was to use and happy to replace my go to powder in a heartbeat. Diablo Rose created an extremely helpful and simple YouTube tutorial on how to create the perfect pinup brow, watch it HERE.

IMG_7614 IMG_7626 IMG_7616Black Cadillac Eye Liner Paint ~ £12.95

When I first opened the Black Cadillac Eye Liner Paint, I was expecting a very creamy gel eyeliner but was surprised to see it was a very dry formula that needs to be activated by swirling the application brush for a minimum of 30 seconds. This step is absolutely necessary to soften and thoroughly coat the brush. (This was the big mistake I made initially and I truly thought something was wrong with the consistency) Since the formula is very opaque and meant to be built upon as you line your eyes, I would recommend using a fine brush like the Le Keux dual Lip & Eye Liner Brush. The Black Cadillac Eye Liner Paint took a bit of getting acclimated to create a strong and crisp winged line since I have been using a very liquid formula for a while. The Le Keux Eye Liner Paint is wonderful for beginners to seasoned beauty experts due to its very opaque texture that doesn’t bleed all over like a liquid and allows you to line your eyes gradually by building the weight of your line. The formula did not flake throughout the day and please bear in mind that all makeup reacts differently depending on your skin type. Seeing as I have very dry skin, I would much prefer a liner that is a bit oily to remain moisturizing over drying and flaking off.  For more helpful application tips, be sure to watch Diablo Rose’s perfect winged eyeliner tutorial HERE.

IMG_7619 IMG_7620Whistle Bait Lip Paint ~ £12.95

Is it frowned upon to wanting to devour your lipstick? Le Keux Cosmetics’ Lip Paints smell like a fruity heaven and are very alluring for delicious kisses. They go on as silky smooth lipgloss with the Le Keux dual Lip & Eye Liner Brush; allowing for full all over control and creating a precisely defined cupids bow. It is so easy to apply with a few brush strokes to layer for a bold cherry lip. The formula has extremely high pigmentation that is non drying (just like a gloss) and holds strong for all day wear with a quick occasional touch up. With any red pigment, it is always best to use a lip primer to avoid the dreaded colour bleed or feathering around the outer area of the lips. After a long 8 hour day wearing Whistle Bait Lip Paint, I was thrilled to not experience any drying, flaking or colour bleed. If you are looking for that perfect shade of pinup red lips, Whistle Bait is hands down going instantly become a go-to staple just like it has for me. The convenient pots design allows you to use it to the very last drop, there’s no needs to waste any of your favorite lipstick anymore.  If you’re looking for simple way to achieve the perfect pinup pout, make sure to check out Diablo’s tutorial HERE.

IMG_7642 IMG_7646What I love most about Le Keux Cosmetics, is that they are designed for the every day pinups like you and me. They are extremely highly pigmented and most importantly…simple to use even for all skill levels. Le Keux Cosmetics’ formulas are Paraben Free and Cruelty Free; a beauty line made by two incredibly talented women with a love for vintage glamour that truly know what their customers want.

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Categories: All Posts, Beauty | Tags: , , , , | 4 Comments

Capturing Your Holy Grail

Have you ever dreamed of owning the most luxurious dress you ever laid eyes on, only to continuously deny that inner desire with a million and one excuses? “You’re too curvy & short, that style won’t suit you, it is too expensive, where will you wear it, …” Suddenly one by one, each excuse slowly disappears and after four long years you find yourself faced with the ultimate decision…do you dare seize your Holy Grail? YES!!! My only regret is that I did not take the plunge long ago to purchase the Dita Von Teese Bon Bon Maxi Dress from Tatyana.

Available in sizes 4-10 ~ MSRP $578 on sale for $144.50

IMG_7522 IMG_7490It would appear that the sizing in the Dita Von Teese Clothing line is rather inconsistent with the size charts. The limited online reviews make it rather confusing as some say they followed the charts with no issue meanwhile others state they were really inaccurate. Luckily with the recent 50% off sale at Tatyana, there was a plethora of ladies that scooped up the Bon Bon Maxi Dress who were eager to share helpful sizing tips with the rest of us. Based on my measurements (36-27-39) the size chart indicates that I should be size 8, but thanks to the latest customer feedback I ordered a size 6. The overall consensus was to order down as the Bon Bon Maxi Dress ran one size big with ample stretch in the hips but none in the waist. Although I waited for four long years to actually purchase this dress, the anticipation for it to arrive was rather bitter sweet. The first time I tried the Bon Bon Maxi Dress, I was completely unaware of all of the inner structure that needed to be adjusted in order for the maxi skirt to drape flawlessly on the body. There is a built in bra strap to fasten along with a thick inner lining in the upper bodice that must be smoothed out, something I completely missed and was baffled why the waist was all bunched up. Once I had that all finally in place, I was instantly in awe with how the Bon Bon Maxi Dress fit me effortlessly and hugs my curves in all the right places. The Bon Bon Maxi Dress features a 1930’s silhouette made from silk crepe de chine, a subtle sweetheart bodice, stretch velvet straps, velvet belt, lined bodice, and inner grosgrain waistband, with back zipper closure. The stunning silk print features bold red flowers, illustrated with Dita Von Teese’s signature and her signature half-moon manicure. At 5′-4″ tall, the skirt drapes to the floor wearing 3″ heels.

IMG_7530 IMG_7519The very first time I saw the Dita Von Teese Bon Bon Maxi Dress in person was at the Bettie Page Store (now Tatyana) at the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas in 2012. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that it would fit me (no, I did not venture to try it on) or afford the $578 price tag but that did not stop me from daydreaming. It was one of those treasures that always lingered in the back of my mind but it simply wasn’t meant to be.  Fast forward four years when Tatyana had an incredible sale, the stars finally aligned. With years of anticipation, the Bon Bon Maxi Dress did not disappoint one bit. Normally I steer clear of all maxi style dresses as they always make my body look ten times bigger than it is and just plain frumpy on me. That is why I believe there is truly something magical in the Bon Bon Maxi Dress as it fits my body as it was handmade for me and requires ZERO shapewear or specialty undergarments. As I mentioned earlier, the well structured inner workings really make the dress drape and hug the body effortlessly. The silk crepe de chine is so luxurious with ample stretch yet not too delicate that you fear wearing it out. The unique colour combination with the soft blue and cherry red truly makes this a a statement piece wherever you go.

IMG_7493 IMG_7509When wearing such bold and unique novelty prints such as the Bon Bon Maxi Dress, I would shy away from wearing any accessories unless it were subtle accents such as matching earrings or a bracelet. By pure luck, my bold red hair coordinates perfectly with the red accents in the print. I chose to simply pair the maxi with my cherry red Madden Girl Pumps. For cooler days, I would pair it with a simple and sleek red bolero.

IMG_7504 IMG_7501The more I discover about the remarkably talented Dita Von Teese..the more I adore her; sharing her gifts is empowering women around the globe. Capturing your Holy Grail is such an overwhelming feeling of pure bliss. With the Bon Bon Maxi Dress being such an spectacular jaw dropping success, I could not resist also scooping up Dita Von Teese’s Follow Me Dress also on clearance at Tatyana.

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The Promise of Spring’s Arrival

With the temperatures slowly climbling up, I cannot help being overjoyed at the thought of Spring around the corner. Spring is the official kick off of dress and skirt season for many of us that live in colder climates with bitter long winters. Long before the hints of warmer days hit, I am eagerly shopping the new Spring/Summer collections from our favorite designers. With a total weakness for all things floral, I was on cloud nine when Unique Vintage released the 1950s Blue Watercolor Floral June Swing Dress.

Available in sizes XS-XL ~MSRP $98USD

IMG_7427For those of you not familiar with Unique Vintage brand sizing, they use a universal chart for all their designs and often include the size worn by the model with her measurements. In my experience, I find their sizing to run more on the generous side and typically size down since I am in between a Small and Medium. In comparison, the size Small should fit 34” bust (mine 36”), waist 26” (mine 27”) and there is still ample room for comfort despite exceeding the maximum recommended measurements. When the 1950s Blue Watercolor Floral June Swing Dress arrived, I was in total reverence of how striking the bold blue floral print truly was in person. As I suspected, the fit is as I am accustomed to with UV and there was no need to worry about sizing down. I can easily wear my favorite strapless bra and not have to be concerned about too much cleavage. The waist is actually a bit loose on me but thankfully this a very simple alteration for my seamstress to adjust. The 1950s Blue Watercolor Floral June Swing Dress features a sweetheart neckline with décolletage enhancing center pleats that can be worn strapless or with the included straps, a nipped in waist with full circle skirt, soft inner lining, nifty hidden pockets and back zipper closure. At 5’-4” tall, the skirt falls a few inches below the knees.

IMG_7415 IMG_7414There is no doubt in my mind that the 1950s Blue Watercolor Floral June Swing Dress embodies the true splendor of Spring. The watercolour floral print is soft yet it makes such a bold statement due to its undeniable beauty. Blue is not a colour that I tend to gravitate towards lately but I am so glad that I went against my wardrobe instincts because it does look phenomenal with red hair. I really love the pleating in the bodice as it gives the bust line a more defined shape and creates subtle focal point. Having the option of wearing a dress two different ways is such a great feature to have; I can go strapless for those more elegant occasions or attach the straps for work and add a cardigan or bolero. There is no need to worry about transparency with white background when paired nude undergarments, the fabric is amazing quality and is very substantial in weight. This will surely be one of my go dresses all summer long since it’s perfect to dress up or down for just about any occasion.

IMG_7417 IMG_7428I can certainly see that the options for accessorizing the 1950s Blue Watercolor Floral June Swing Dress are endless and so fun to showcase your personal style. Seeing as I am a diehard 50’s lover, I chose to pair it with a vintage white beaded necklace, a thin white belt and my BAIT blue peep toe wedges for a pop of colour. With the skirt being a very full circle, I truly loved how adding a petticoat really showcased the beauty of watercolour floral print wonderfully.

IMG_7424 IMG_7422Unique Vintage not only created a breathtaking floral masterpiece but they did so at a very affordable price for the budget conscious shopper. With clothing prices constantly rising, it is getting harder and harder to find quality vintage inspired swing dresses for under $100. The 1950s Blue Watercolor Floral June Swing Dress is a limited edition print so make sure to grab your size before they sell out forever!

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Bombshell Winter Fashions

It seems like I have been searching for a bombshell knitted wiggle dress forever after selling my Bettie Page Beverly Knitted Dress after some significant weight loss. Sadly the Beverly was long discontinued and no other vintage reproduction brands were making anything remotely similar. The vintage equivalents seem to always be too large in size therefore I have simply succumbed to the realization that it just wasn’t meant to be. Just recently while innocently browsing the new releases by Le Palais Vintage by Winny, I immediately spotted a fabulous knitted wiggle dress with the most gorgeous scarf collar design. For weeks I kept going back and forth to the dress trying to justify paying that much to ship a parcel from overseas but I just could not pull the trigger. It was not until I discovered that the magnificent Dita Von Teese was coming to Toronto in February for her book signing and special performance, that I immediately knew the Le Palais Vintage Retro Scarf Collar Tight Knitting Dress was exactly the most perfect outfit for the occasion.

Available in sizes S-L ~ MSRP $104.99USD

IMG_7162 IMG_7106With Le Palais Vintage being based out of China, the sizing runs very small in comparison to what we are accustomed to here in North America. Miss Winny herself is extremely petite, therefore it is no surprise that her designs follow suit. The size charts are in centimeters and not inches, therefore you will need to use a handy online conversion tool to find the right size. Based on my measurements, bust 36″, waist 26-27″, hips 38-39″ I fell in line with the size Medium but my hips were borderline a Large. After contacting the team at Le Palais Vintage, they strongly recommended to order the size Medium as there is a generous amount of stretch in the knit. I made sure to place my order well in advance for the big event since shipping from China can take upwards of a month to arrive. To my surprise, the dress shipped within a week and was on my doorstep merely 3 days later! This really made me feel much better for spending $25 to ship one dress after all. My Le Palais Vintage order arrived in a lovely blue floral box, with my dress safely packaged in a water tight zip lock bag and a little extra gift…a reusable tote bag! I could not take the suspense any longer, I immediately tried the knitted dress and was so relieved that it fit wonderfully. The shoulders were on point, the lack of visible waist seam allowed the transition from my short torso to hips appear flawless and the length was spot on. The Retro Scarf Collar Tight Knitting Dress features the most exquisite faux scarf collar detail, long sleeves, a curve hugging pencil skirt with rear slit and back zipper closure. The knitted fabric is extremely soft, not scratchy even on my sensitive skin and stretches molding to your body. At 5′-4″ tall, the skirt falls just above the knees.

IMG_7136 IMG_7160Now let’s be honest here…I too wondered if Winny’s designs would only look that incredible on her and be a total fail for someone that is much curvier in size. This is primarily the reason why I never placed an order since the launch of her line; I loved so many of her designs but was simply too afraid to risk such an expensive mistake if it didn’t work out. All those doubts quickly subsided when I ordered the Retro Scarf Collar Tight Knitting Dress, it was everything I had wanted in a bombshell winter knitted dress and was unable to find for so long. The detail that I adore most is the unique scarf collar that is conveniently designed to slide into the pre-made cut on the one side and finish off with a large brooch. One thing that had me concerned initially was that the dress was completely unlined unlike my Bettie Page dress and I was scared of it being transparent when the knit was stretched over my hourglass figure. To my surprise, the knitted material is very thick and did not become translucent even when stretched but I still chose to pair it with black stockings to be safe. For a wiggle style, I found this dress to be one of the most comfortable ones yet due to the curve hugging yet forgiving knitted fabric. There is no doubt that this dress is made for the colder temperatures as the plush knitted fabric will keep you very warm indeed. Needless to say, I was on cloud nine when Miss Dita Von Teese told me that she loved my dress when I met her at the book signing!!! That was the highest form of fashion endorsement from the queen herself!

IMG_7145 IMG_7142When it came to accessorizing the Retro Scarf Collar Tight Knitting Dress, I was really inspired with Miss Winny’s choice of styling. I purchased two large vintage inspired brooches on Etsy and dug out a pair of vintage black gloves that were given to me by my mother in law. Mastering the right placement for the scarf collar took a bit of adjusting before attaching the rhinestone brooch. I recommend standing in front of a mirror to figure out what looks best for positioning and use the brooch to secure the scarf in place. Once all that was done to my liking, I added a basic black thin belt, black sheer stockings and black round toe pumps to complete the bombshell look Winny created.

dita Dita2 Dita1Winny is a pinup fashion icon recognized for her beauty and style around the globe. It is no secret that Le Palais Vintage by Winny is designed for the more petite ladies and will not be suitable for all shapes or sizes but we can always hope that they will expand their offerings in the future. If you happen to see a design that you want, do not wait too long as their sizes sell out quickly and they rarely get restocked. A word of caution as a seasoned online shopper,  there are a lot of knock off companies that use Winny’s stock design photos online therefore the only two places you can buy authentic Le Palais Vintage clothing is from their Ebay Store (International) or from their online store Taobao.com (China only).

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