Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Perfect Vintage Eyebrow

This post has been requested of me by quite a few of you, so it is long overdue! I will say that I don't do tutorials mainly because I don't have a video camera. This was an experiment of sorts and a bit of a challenge. Its not easy taking pictures of myself while trying to do my own makeup!! Once I get more accustomed to it, and maybe set up a tripod, it will be easier.

This tutorial is going to be about achieving that perfect, arched brow. Lauren Bacall had wonderful eyebrows, and actually helped usher in the new shape. Until then the brows were more rounded in the 30s and more straight in the 20s. Her brows were unique. So much so that for her first studio test the makeup artist was yelled at for rounding them out. The studio wanted her as she was, arched brows and all!

Brows for me have always been important. They have changed with my evolving style and have gone through many versions. Naturally, I have thick, straight brows. I decided to shape them when a mean boy commented on how thick they were. I worked very hard at developing the arch that I have now. It took years of bad tweezing and regrowing. While working at Benefit I learned how to properly brow map and honestly it changed my life! My brows weren't horrible before. They just weren't right. Now they are one of my favorite features and I get compliments on them quite often (oddly I get a lot of these comments from men).

So I am going to share with you guys some of my eyebrow knowledge. Its all based off of the shape of the face so anyone can do it. If you are still nervous and unsure about finding the best shape for your face though I highly recommend getting your brows waxed professionally. Benefit has Brow Bars all over the world and for $20 they will brow map you, wax, and show you how to fill them in. After that just tweeze away the new growth to maintain your new, fabulous shape. Believe me it will be worth it!

Lets get started!! 
What you will need:

A rat tail comb or anything that is long and straight.
An eyebrow brush. This one is from Benefit.
An eyebrow pencil. This is NYX in Brown.
To fill in the brows you can use one or both of the following:
A colored eyebrow gel. This is Revlon's Brow Fantasy. One side is a mascara wand and the other is a pencil.
A wax/powder combo. This is Benefit's Brow Zings in #2

Not pictured:

On a side note, that pretty pin up girl is my grandma!

Step 1-Brow Mapping

Brow mapping is the art of mapping out your brow shape according to your face. This is the best way to give you well defined brows. Do not use a stencil!! They do not take into account the size of your nose or eyes. Take the time to actually brow map!!

What we are going to do is take the rat tail comb and place it against the nose, right along your nostril and in line with your tear duct. This will give you the starting point of your brow. Dab your eyebrow brush into your colored wax, or use your pencil, and make a mark right along the edge of the comb.

Next we are going to make a mark for where your arch should be. Keeping the comb against the edge of your nostril, angle it so that it goes through your pupil. You don't want it to be directly through the middle, but off to the outside just a bit.

Again, take your brush and make a mark.

Next we are going to mark where your eyebrow should end. Still keeping the comb against your nostril, angle it so that it lays against the outer corner of your eye. Make another mark with your brush.

Now we have three distinct marks along the brow. For some of you these marks will not be where you have eyebrow hair. That is ok. That just means that you need to stop tweezing in that area and let the hair fill in. I had to do this and it took almost 6 months for the hair to fill into this shape.

Next, I take my Revlon Brow Fantasy gel and brush it through the hair. This will fill in the shape a bit, allowing me to see what the brow will look like when it is done.

Step 2-Connect the dots.

An arched eyebrow is basically 4 straight lines connected together. I know I make that sound easy but it does take practice. Take your eyebrow pencil and make sure it is really sharp. Now just draw straight lines, connecting the marks you made together, outlining your brow. I stay really close to my actual hair so that I don't have really thick brows.

If you are uncomfortable with outlining your brows with a pencil, use the wax side of the Brow Zings. It is lighter and may be easier to control. It is also a little more natural looking. I use the pencil because I like the definition.

Now you have an outlined brow. As you can tell I did not go heavy handed on the tail. Once we fill it in it will look more defined.

For those of you that are doing this for the first time this will be a good time to tweeze away all the excess hair outside of your brow line. To clean it up and remove the lines we made from mapping just clean it up with some concealer.

Step 3-Filling them in.

For this step you will want to take your brush and dab it into the powder side of the Brow Zings. If you are  using a pencil just fill in with that. The great thing about using a brush is that it will blend out the lines you made with your pencil, giving it a more natural look.

For the inner edge of the brow simply make a straight angle and pull it across. That will give you a clean edge.

Once you have filled in your brow it should look something like this:

A filled in brow really livens up the face!

If you still have marks left over from mapping just clean up the edges with a  little concealer. 

Next you can add some highlight to your brow bone. This is especially nice to do when you are getting all dolled up to go out. A good product to use is Benefit's High Brow but you can use eye shadow too.

Add it along your brow bone. Then use a brush or your finger to blend it out.

The effect is subtle but it really makes your brows stand out. 

Now do the same to your other brow and finish the rest of your makeup.


Now you have perfect arched eyebrows!! This may take some practice and time but it worth it. Brows complete a look and really step it up to the next level. I don't leave home without them ;-)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Drool Worthy Shaheen Collection

If you love Shaheen dresses like I do, then you need to head over to Mar's blog Conventional Heretic. She is showing off her amazing collection and this is just the tip of the ice burg. She will be sharing more of her drool worthy pieces in the coming weeks. I for one am completely jealous!!

Keep em comin' Mar!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thrift Store Score

When I got off work yesterday I decided to stop by a couple of my favorite thrift stores just to see what they had and if I could find anything for my Etsy shop. I went to the first one and found a couple decent things. Nothing amazing. Then I went to my absolute favorite thrift store, which happens to be where I scored those 3 carved Bakelite bangles for $8 a few months back. I was perusing through the racks, picking out a few 70s-80s dresses for my shop. When I got near the end of the rack my eyes stopped on something spectacular: a black Hawaiian sarong dress.

It took a moment to sink in. I grabbed it to inspect it, of course fearful that someone would notice my glee and rip it out my hands. Silly vintage collector phobias! I looked at the dress up close. Black, brushed cotton with a bit of a sheen. Hand painted gold and white flowers. Gathered bust with boning and sarong skirt. The only thing wrong is that it lacked a label and had a plastic zipper. Besides that, it was obvious to me that this was indeed an actual vintage sarong dress.

Blurry photo of the dress.

You can see the sheen of the fabric.

It was hard to contain my delight. I was positively giddy. The price tag said $10 and the sales lady informed me that everything was 30% off. Perfect!! I finished shopping and gathered up all my other goodies and got rung up. After discount the dress cost me about $7.50 with tax.

When I got the dress home I tried it on. It fits, but is slightly too big in the bust. Also, the buttons on the halter straps are missing. These are easy fixes. There is also a small faded streak on the skirt that isn't too noticeable. Aside from those, and the plastic zipper, this dress is in amazing condition!

 Now came the task of determining what label the dress was. It's definitely not a Kamehameha so I compared it to my Shaheens. The gathered bust was close, but not the same. The painted flowers looked like something that Shaheen would have done so I went online to research further. 

I didn't find any Shaheens in that same print so I continued to look. Then I saw this:

Thats it! Thats my dress! Same print, same bust. Turns out I got an Elsie Krassas of Waikiki. She designed dresses from the 50s-80s. Chances are my dress is from the early 60s, which explains the zipper. I couldn't find too much info on her but did see some completed listings on Ebay where dresses similar to this one sold for almost $200 in 2011. That doesn't matter too much though because I am not selling this baby!!

This was a great find for me. I was going through my closet trying to get ideas for Viva and I realized that I don't have a lot of new dresses. This one is a great addition! I don't have a single black Hawaiian dress either which is an added bonus. I can't wait to rock this baby at Viva!!

Now I am going to go shopping for some gold confetti lucite jewelry to wear with it. I already have my gold confetti lucite purse and some gold Frederick's of Hollywood springolators to round out the outfit.


Friday, January 18, 2013

Going Bid Crazy

"Bid Crazy"

Mentally deranged, esp. as manifested in a wild or aggressive way while bidding on items on an auction based website like Ebay: "Jane went bid crazy on Ebay last night. Spent $500 on a vintage dress!!"

Every now and then I head over to and see if they have any hidden treasures in their auction. I haven't been on there in months! In fact, I don't know why I got the idea to look on there now. Fate? Maybe. Anyways, I was looking at their bracelets section when lo and behold I came across a lot of Bakelite bangles. Here is the main photo:

Do you see them??? Here's a better look:

That glorious beast is a clamper!! Not only is it carved but it has what appear to be tiny rhinestones or metal balls. Mmmhmmm.


I am pretty sure that this is an applejuice bangle with rhinestones. Fingers crossed!!

And the rest:

The green bangles on the top may be Bakelite. Not sure. I will have to test them. The rest in this lot don't appear to be much of anything.

Well, when I discovered this fabulous lot it had 30 minutes left with a high bid of $66. I knew it would go higher but figured I'd give it a try none the less. As the time ran out and the bids increased I kept bidding and kept getting outbid. With 10 seconds left I tried one more too-high-for-me bid, and 'Success!!' That's what flashed across the screen. Apparently I had won. Winning bid--$125.99.

I felt a little nauseous, I will be honest. I did not intend to spend so much money an an untested lot of Bakelite bangles (even though I know that clamper is Bakelite!!). I don't have the money right now to be spending so much on plastic (darn plastic!!!) but something came over me. I went bid crazy!!! Has that ever happened to you??? 

The last time I went this bid crazy was almost 10 years ago. It was over an amazing Shaheen dress. I was at work when the auction was ending. This was before Iphones so I was on the phone with my mother, instructing her to 'bid again', 'bid again', 'BID AGAIN'!!! As the price crept over $200 and I kept screaming 'bid again', my mother finally yelled back 'Holly are you crazy!!??' And I realized that I was. I was bid crazy. So I stopped cold turkey. Needless to say I did not win the fabulous Shaheen dress. 

I think it is safe to say that most vintage collectors go a little bid crazy every now and then. I want to hear your stories of a time you went bid crazy. What was the item; how much did you bid; did you win or lose; and if you won was the item worth what you paid? I also want to hear your thoughts about my latest bid crazy moment. Did I spend too much? Or did I do ok??

Comment away!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Memory Lane-Viva Las Vegas 11

Viva Las Vegas is exactly10 weeks away. It is crazy to think that it is literally just around the corner! I have so much to do!!! I will be doing a few Viva related posts leading up to it. This is the first one, and it is about a prior Viva. This is from Viva Las Vegas 11, which took place before my blog existed. With Viva 16 coming up I am getting pretty excited. I like to look back on these old events as a reminder at how much fun I had. I also like to see my old outfits and hairstyles, to decide what to do or not to do again.

The only Viva I have missed since I started going was #10. It was stupid not to go and I regretted it.
Viva #11 was still at the Gold Coast. In fact, it was the last year it was held there. Parts of the event were already being moved to the Orleans, like the pool party. I miss the Gold Coast. Even though it was smaller and more ghetto, the Viva's there have the fondest memories for me. This Viva was especially great because almost all of my friends that would go to Viva, did go to Viva. It was a great time. I will do my best at remembering all of the fun through photos. I am also going to pick apart my outfits and hair, mostly for myself.

Dinner at Firefly. It was Hawaiian themed for the OG's (Original Girls-Tina, Tara, Holly).
My blue Hawaiian dress cost me $25 on Ebay, back when one could still buy Hawaiians for that price. Its a no label dress but I love it.
My hair-I was still wearing my bangs down at this point, but was straying away from baby bangs.

Albuquerque is represented well here, along with a few Denver and Vegas people.

Downstairs in the Showroom, my favorite room.
More Hawaiians. I would like to also point out that both T's are wearing my jewelry :-)
I don't remember how much I paid for my navy sarong dress or where I got it. It is a Kamehameha.

Blurry photo of us strolling. I rarely ever stroll anymore, and only when I am super drunk.

E was in a foul mood all weekend so we tickled him to make him smile.

Shots and chips and salsa. Sometimes Tina has a good idea.

Booty dancing...

and booty grabbing...

...and more booty grabbing.

Tina, Tara, Beth, and me.

Seth got drunk too.

And he apparently found the chips and salsa.

We made our own pool party at the Gold Coast.
I have not worn this outfit since this Viva. I think I will dust it off for Viva 16. I do remember the skirt being quite tight, so hopefully it still fits!

This is one of my favorite photos. The graininess of it gives a real vintage look.

My black bathing suit I found at a thrift store. The crochet cover I got from Buffalo Exchange.
I like my hair better here. I always look better with it down.

Double fisting, Viva style-Beer and ice cream.

Dancing Lindy at Viva may get you dirty looks, but strolls are the best tempo for them!
This is one of my favorite vintage dresses. I got it on Ebay.

I just love this picture. Tina cracks me up.

Seth and Tara dancing jive.

Seth, Chris and Kris.
Chris is the first person I ever danced with. It must've looked funny because he is about a foot taller than me!

Dancing with e is always a pleasure.

Jiving with Seth.

At the car show with Beth.

Helping Tina out of her dress. Thats what friends are for!
Also, I am wearing the bulk of my bakelite here. I literally had like 4 bangles.

Photo shoot.

The OG's getting frisky.

Dancing with Dezi, in one of my favorite dresses. I got it from Boss vintage in Denver.

I didn't get the polka dot memo.
This is my Fred Perlberg dress that I love.

Besties on sunday. I do believe I gave Tara that purple Kamehameha. I found it at Buffalo Exchange for like $10 and it just did not flatter me! The waist was too long. With the going rate of Hawaiians these days maybe I should've kept it...

Ok, now I am really in the mood for Viva!! Are you???? Who all is going???

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