All Around Best Homemade Cosmetic Recipe EVER!!!!!

Combine 1/2 cup each vegetable glycerine, distilled water( rose or floral water if you getting your fancy on), and pure aloe vera gel. Add one teaspoon liquid vitamin E( my sister said this is about 6 if you’re popping gel pills)also optional is a preservative.¬† What you have is a fabulous highly effective and super cheap eye makeup remover, makeup mixing medium( shadow to liner, dramatic cake eyeliner etc),wetting agent for other cosmetics( aspirin or clay face masks, etc) leave in hair moisturizer/detangler, wound wash,sunburn relief product, foot spray guards against bacteria/fungi and callouses if used regularly, facial toner for normal/dry skin, facial moisturizer for normal/oily skin, leather conditioner, and latex safe “love” lotion. There may be more I’m unaware of but I’ve used it with great success on all of the above. EXCEPT the last one ūüôā

Fresh Aloe Vera is needs to be kept refrigerated to retain all benefits. Small batches , refrigeration and the addition of the vitamin e should keep everything in order. I prefer to use stabilized aloe vera gel and adding a ready-to-use broad spectrum anti-microbial preservative so I can make bigger batches and keep in those vintage bottles I had to have.  I purchase mine(all ingredients in this article can be purchased as well) at from nature with love.

I’m a sucker for multi use products and for anything homemade so this is HG for me. I call it the mix. If you take the time to inform yourself on cosmetic ingredients and their indications, read labels, you’ll save your skin and wallet. Being an educated consumer ensures you from useless, ineffective¬† and/or over priced purchases.¬† I’m sure you well know this applies to all purchases as well.¬† Hopefully we will learn to harness our power as consumers and in turn force the cosmetic companies to stop overcharging and duping us.¬† Give us fairly priced, safe, high quality, effective products.Pipe dream, huh?


Yet Another 20 Best Budget Beauty Buys List

Is another best drugstore beauty buys list needed? Probably not, by now we’ve all figured out vaseline and aquaphor truly are multi-purpose and most homes have at lease one of the two in the bathroom. Yup Cetaphil is a super mild affordable cleanser. Dove soap is awesome.¬† No we probably can’t tell which sister used Suave hair products and which used salon. And who hasn’t figured out that wetnwild liners for lip, eye, and brow are arguably the best beauty deal ever? Aren’t Goody elastics about the top of the hair elastic line anyway? Yup we know baking soda can cleanse our hair, exfoliate our skin, mixed with hydrogen peroxide bleach our teeth and can sub for deodorant. Coconut oil is the shit for hair.This list will not include any of tried and true beauty editors throw together when they need to fill space.¬† The mags are great but cosmetic company’s pay their salary and the reader needs to be kept under the impression that in you get what you pay for.

Absolutely, Positively, a load of¬† hot stinkin BULLSHIT.¬† The beauty(fragrance included here) is one of if not the biggest perpetrator of paying more for the label.¬† Paying for celeb endorsments, limited editions, 206 shades being available even though ninety percent of it’s sales consist of probably 20 of those. In a drugstore line those 20 would be all that’s sold.¬† Seriously ladies check ingredient lists.¬† If you’re interested in knowing exactly how and how much they are bullshitting you please check out beauty and the bullshit. It’s a well written often hilarious blog written by the very lovely Rowena. An ex beauty industry she dishes some serious dirt.¬† The difference is she’s not a middle aged professor with washngo hair,¬† comfortable shoes and not wearing makeup. She’s young pretty and still has a love for beauty. Really if her blog doesn’t end up huge I’ll be a monkeys’ uncle. So while there’s overhyped claims, overpriced products and bullshit in beauty lets forget that and focus on those products that work well without a 1014% retail markup.¬† Please note since I couldn’t figure out how to display the list gallery style you’ll have to click on each photo for my choice explanation. Also I didn’t not include fragrance as just because personal taste is the end all be all there. While skin musk is long lasting and affordable if the scent of musk makes you sick, that’s no bargain.

Published in: on May 20, 2011 at 6:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Haven’t we all done this at least once? Marilyn Monroe Make Up

Marilyn was a genius with her makeup. Hers is probably the most imitated make up in the world .  I’ve done a bit of research and here’s what I think she did.

Face, creamy, opaque, set with loose powder.

Eyeshadow , sometimes white,sometimes a cream shade all over with  a darker shade of brown contouring the crease. Color was mostly matte, sometimes shimmery. I only had shimmery so this is what I used.

Eyeliners. Top, was dark brown liquid liner extended with a wing. Sometimes there is a very think gold line above this. On the bottom, pencil again dark brown, was applied at the base of the lower lashes. Also she did not connect this  bottom line to the top, she left a gap between the bottom line and the top. Sort of like parallel lines. In between the liner line was white, not sure if this was shadow or liner, I used shadow.

Eyelashes, Strip lash cut in half, applied to outed edge, not totally on lash line. More in sort of a straight line. This enhanced the heavy lidded ‚Äėbedroom eyes‚ÄĚ look she‚Äôs famous for. I didn‚Äôt do a fake lash in the pic, I think the glue is bad for your lashes, I only wear them on SUPER special occasions. Mascara on top, Sometimes she wore it on the bottom as well most often not.

Blush was natural pinky color applied to apples and blended.

Highlighter not sure what she used, probably eyeshadow, I used a shimmery loose white powder. Applied to temples tip of nose, cheekbones, and the little I call it divit above the cupids bow and the inner corner of eye.


It’s said she mixed three different reds plus gloss, I used one and gloss. she extended her line above her natural line a bit on the upper sides and bottom. She rounded the shape. Besides red, the color she wore most often was a medium creamy pink with no shimmer.  I actually prefer her in this color.

Eyebrows hers were typical of the time sort of squared in the beginning, a sharp arch. I believe she used a brow powder. Mine are much thinner,but I tried to get the same shape.  I used a taupe pencil, it was all I had.

Beauty mark of course, i did mine a bit smaller than hers and as my children pointed out to me, mine is on the wrong side.

You can check out my attempt after the jump (more…)

Published in: on October 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

How to get a good Middy haircut or baby or any you wish

This image is a little crooked but we can’t complain, just thank the wonderful gal who uploaded this gem of a book. Thank you wherever you are.¬† Okay so as you may know I attend cosmetology school. I’m also mildly obsessed with vintage hairstyles, fashion, and makeup.¬† I’m hoping that with the combination of my interests I could help someone out in obtaining the perfect haircut for recreating vintage looks. These tips could actually be used by anyone who wants a little help in communicating with a stylist. Lack of communication is the biggest hurdle in not getting the cut a client desires. The breakdown can be either in expression or listening. Second biggest problem I’ve seen is clients wanting a hairstyle not a cut. I don’t know how many times I see a client bring a photo of a hairstyle they’d like in and they have the same haircut as the picture is either styled different, or the cut is just shown on a woman with a different hair texture or fullness.¬† We have a book for clients to choose from, they choose a photo, we’ll try to show them a photo of the same haircut(book shows several women with the same cut) on a woman with similar hair too them. More often than not they’ll say yes but I like this cut better of something similar.¬† This problem is NOT exclusive to the clients. A classmate of mine wanted to go short. When we had a guest stylist he needed a model, she jumped at the chance. He only cut her hair. The next day she mentioned to me she was leaving early to get her hair done by her own stylist, showed me a picture of Halle Berry. She had the exact same cut! Halle has a natural curl, and she doesn’t. I said to her “You already have that cut, you just need to curl that way”. I also hear classmate who trained and know how to cut, have a hard time understanding what a client is asking for. The multiple name for cuts and angles etc can very easily mean one thing to a stylist and another to a client.

Okay so what can you do? Obviously a photo is a great help. If the photo is showing a cut highly styled, ask the stylist how to style the hair.¬† Any good stylist can give you any haircut regardless of period.¬† There are only four haircuts(without going into barbering for men). All haircuts whether it was the middy in 1940, or the Dorothy Hammil in the 1970’s, or todays “lob” are one of these four cuts or a combination of them.¬† Words and phrases that are direct and technical( you know them already, blunt cut, layered, angled, longer, shorter, etc) are much more helpful to your stylist than adjectives( feathery, lighter, swingy) that can be interpreted differently. Do you want a lot of slightly layered hair or a lot in the front less in the back? Where do you want your first layer to start? Where would you like to length to end? Bangs or no Bangs? If bangs coming to where? Do you want the ends or perimeter angled any way?¬† How deep of an angle? These are questions that if not asked you should give the answer to.

Okay so you want the Middy haircut. A picture of¬† glamour queen gorgeous set waves cascading behind her while never hurting may not be that helpful to the stylist. The hair was set to look smooth and wavy so layers while there aren’t clearly evident.¬† The middy is whats known today as a uniform layer cut, the top cut planar or square like a classic men’s cut not blended as we do now,¬† with a bit of an exaggerated U shape in back. Any hair pulled out would measure the same or very close to the same length. Classic Middy is 4 inches. So almost every head of hair is cut four inches. Also the top is cut planar or “square like a mans” (when explaining to stylist) Take a ruler and decide if you want to go this short. Then the perimiter is blended into a U. The Middy Plus is same haircut 4 1/2 inches, and on to what’s called the femme fatale which is 6 inches all over.¬† So for any of these haircuts of longer or shorter versions, you’d tell your stylist I want a uniform layer haircut blank inches all over, and blend the back into a U-shape.¬† Say you want Middy plus in front femme fatale in back. Tell them you want 4 1/2 inch layers in front 6 inch layers in back. Femme fatale in front, not so many layers in back? 6 inch layers in front, long layers in back, again u shaped perimeter. Of course if you want bangs, show them where you’d like them to end, and about how much hair you want to be bang.¬† These haircuts were not thinned so ask the stylist to use shears not a razor and unless you want otherwise, not to use thinning shears.¬† Also layer haircuts back then were cut horizontally. Today layer cuts are cut both vertically and horizontally. If you’d like your cut as authentic as possible ask your stylist if he/she could cut your layers horizontally. Explain your vintage look wishes as most stylists today believe vertical layers best.

Summary, using clear and concise language will help you get the haircut you want.


I think this post is a bit word heavy.¬† Here’s the cliff notes to get a Middy.

Ask for a uniform(technically not a uniform because with the square top and u shape but this is the start point) layer cut ___ inches long cut planar on top or square like a mans cut. Ask to have the perimeter blended into a U shape with a bit longer length in the nape area so that the longest length would be 1/2 (yours may be more) longer than the rest.

Ask your stylist if he or she will cut horizontal layers. Explaining your reasoning will help.

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm  Comments (4)  
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This is not a post about make up

So my fingers were crossed while typing that title, forgive me. Last week I did a post about wearing less makeup. I’m certainly not trying to critique anyone and of course it’s just my opinion. It had¬† to do with my personal view of what’s beautiful, which differs greatly than the beauty machine tells me. A perfectly made up face and hair are pretty and inspiring and I like to look yes but they’re not beautiful to me. Marilyn Monroe’s beauty fascinates me but more so in her slightly less than perfect photos. Hair messy, less makeup and posed. Even in the later ones with the heavy lidded bloodshot eyes, and such. I am touched by her. She was physically beautiful yes but part of¬† the fascination is seeing imperfection and relating to it. We are not perfect, our little imperfections inside and out are what makes us uniquely beautiful. I know I may sound really sappy and cliched right now but whatever.¬† So I have an entirely different opinion of beauty than the rarely attainable version shoved down my throat presented to me daily. There’s much to love about makeup and adornment is part of our nature. There’s also much to well not love. Besides the predatory advertising preying on our insecurities ,there’s¬† how it can become not only a crutch but a hinderance. It did for me anyway. When I was younger and wore a full perfect face everyday I felt like their were two me’s. The made up “on” me and the “real” me. Certain people were only allowed to see the “on”me. So while it was easy to seduce( not neccesarily sexually, just gain peoples interest) people in full peacock,smelling good, mode, it doesn’t make for successful relationships. I didn’t understand what I was doing wrong or even what I was doing until I entered a relationship with a man who forced me to let¬† go. He’d break into the bathroom and tell me I was pretty bare faced, he’d force me to go out in sweats with dirty slapped in a ponytail hair and talk with people. I will always love him for that and¬† million other things even though our relationship ended. I know I am not the only woman whose gone through something similar.I watched my neighbors and good friend’s daughter who is like a child of my own to me go through it. Thank goodness it’s over.

Oh yeah, this is/is not a post about makeup. Whenever I do a post with the word makeup I get morethantwo tons of views.¬† That intrigued me.I want to see what this title does. Is make up a simple common denominator for women? The human ritual of self adornment and whatnot. ¬† Made me think.¬† Then I read it was No Makeup Week.¬† Was that why I was thinking about make up so much? The universe vibes? I headed over to¬† read. I did miss participating, but there was so many great thoughts, it didn’t matter.¬† I don’t remember who wrote it or the exact wording but a smart gal questioned when makeup is no longer a choice.Please head over to Rabbit Writes and read about it if you haven’t already , maybe you’ll want to participate next year. I know I will.


Published in: on October 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm  Comments (3)  

The Great Sufate Debate

Okay so it’s not that great of a debate, but hey it rhymed.¬† Lately it seems you can’t go anywhere(anywhere with shampoo ads or beauty info) without hearing the phrase “sulfate-free”. There is also a movement of folks who not only avoid shampoo with sulfates, they avoid shampoo altogether.¬† These folks ( majority have curly hair in varying degrees, ) believe that the culprit of their hair woes-typically dry scalp and hair, frizz, breakage, etc was the fact that they cleansed their hair and scalp with shampoo.¬† Instead of conditioner, hair is cleansed with hair conditioner or a sulfate free shampoo. Hard to remove silicones are avoided.

What is a a sulfate? With regards to cosmetics and this discussion, it’s a surfactant detergent. Before detergents became widely available to the public, people washed their hair with soap. Soap cleans well but the ph level is mildly alkaline, hair’s(technically not a liquid) ph is mildly acidic.¬† Most folk used collected rain water(acidic) to wash, this sort of balanced it out,, they also boiled the soap with water, herbs, anything to lower the ph. These were early shampoos. In the 1930’s modern shampoo with synthetic detergents was introduced.¬† Considering the fact that more and more people were now using treated public water, I’m sure it was revolutionary(as revolutionary as a cosmetic can be).

With business being what it is, most makers of shampoo used the cheapest detergents they could(sulfates). Levels varied among brands. Ph levels as well. ¬† Upon hearing many mothers¬† still used soap to wash their child’s hair because shampoo stings the eyes, they came out with baby shampoo, which use¬† milder detergents than sulfates.¬† The beauty industry used the same formulation and marketed these products to women who colored or permed their hair as “non-stripping”.

So fast forward to today. We live a catch word crazed society.¬† A weight loss diet comes out claiming results if you cut out carbs, suddenly the mainstay of the worlds diet forever is bad for you.¬† Rumours fly around about this causes cancer, you should use this lotion it has “all natural” ingredients.

Okay so back to shampoo. more women than ever color their hair, use products that build up, heat style etc. In short we overwash and chemically and physically damage our hair.¬† Hair color that is labeled “permanent” fades. What can we do to keep our hair healthy, keep our color from fading?¬† Stop overwashing, overstyling,overprocessing our hair. That can’t be it, there’s no money to be made, and we need to look the models in the magazines.¬† It’s got to be the shampoo we’re using,¬† that’s it. The detergents in our shampoo are ruining our color and the health of our hair.

There have been NO studies to prove, hair color fades any less with sulfate free shampoos. Think of hair like a long pine cone type strand coated with shellac. Picture all the “brown’ color is inside.Say you want red pinecone instead of a brown.¬† You want a red pinecone, you need a chemical strong enough to break open the shellac, to “paint” the cone( yes you could just paint over the shellac, ride with me for a minute). So you now have a red pinecone. Trouble is when over time the rain and the elements(styling, products¬† etc) the red leeches out. Now with the pine cone, you’d just add another coat of shellac. You can’t do that with hair. The shellac is gone.¬† That color is going to come out eventually no matter what you do.

For the no poo gals who say but my hair has never looked better since I stopped shampooing. Or since I greatly cut down on shampooing”low-poo”. You’re probably right. But the problem wasn’t the shampoo, you washed too much. Secondly you’re taking conditioner and “cleansing” with it. This may be enough for you. It’s basically the same formula as cleansing¬† your face with cetaphil. This is enough for some people. If you’re happy with it, keep on. I bet watering your shampoo down a little so you’re forced to do more scrubbing and it rinses better and cutting way down on frequency would do the same thing. I also think the fact that you’re properly moisturizing, and cut out drying silicones, and heat styling has a lot to do with it.

I just think that for me and my daughters washing only when needed with an acid balanced shampoo is just fine for us. Tried co-washing(scrubbing with conditioner only) for us there was just too much product buildup and hair was left dull. Sulfate free shampoos seemed to leave hair rough,dull, and not as clean feeling.It’s all personal preference. There is skin under that hair, sweat and sebum glands, I apply products to my hair, my hair is subjected to the environment etc. It needs a thorough cleansing.¬† So are all these company’s now touting sulfate free shampoos, saying there other formulas with sulfate are somehow inferior, or bad for hair, or cause cancer? No, and neither are scientists.

If you don’t believe me check out my go to for the facts about cosmetics the beauty brains. As luck would have it when I went to get the link, the homepage article is about sulfates. They are scientists who state facts. They are not selling anything nor have hidden agendas.¬† Just the facts on chemicals. I an ingredient hound, not because I am looking for “all natural” or some other meaningless¬† reason. Cinnamon oil is natural and is an irritant if using too much. There are perfectly safe chemicals to use on your skin as well. I just like to know what I’m paying for, what is in a product that makes it work for me(or not) This saves money as you’re not buying the same product marketed five different way. Also I make soap and other cosmetics.

By the way check out the ad, still pretty solid advice.

Update: I just received an email from the folks over at the beauty brains with a 6 minute commercial about a book they’ve written. They book is designed to teach you the scoop about beauty products and save you money. Still a great site with great fact based beauty info.

Published in: on September 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Sleep in! Makeup in 5 Minutes!Look great in less time! Makeunder Makeup. Pretty Makeup

You may have seen this ad in a woman’s magazine of late.¬† I am going to go against popular vote here and say in my opinion every single model in the photo looks better before the makeup.They could all look better with a little makeup, sure and¬† I know I’m¬† probably in a very small minority here, but I feel a lot of women who wear makeup every day wear too much. Sure makeup can make you have perfectly contoured cheekbones, you can have a smoldering smoky eye, flawless looking skin, and a poppin glossed mouth. And wearing those looks you’re sure to hear compliments on your makeup. Everyday faces should take less than five minutes. The perfect amount of makeup should cause you to hear compliments such as you’ve got great skin, you’re eyes a such a pretty color etc.¬† Less is always more, ladies we hear it all the time. Most women wouldn’t be caught dead with too many accessories yet many will turn around and use 10 to twenty beauty products before heading out the door in the a.m. Why? Because we buy into the beauty magazine hype. Cleanse,exfoliate, moisturize, tone, prime, concealer, foundation, powder, shadow, liner, mascara, brow color, blush, highlighter, lip liner, lipstick lipgloss.¬† Let’s not even get started on hair and body. I’ve already done a post on how I streamlined skin care, I also think women should streamline cosmetics. Especially us seasoned ladies( I am40). Too much makeup ages anyone, for those of us who are actually a little aged this is a complete no-no.

I understand many women freak out at the though of facing the world without makeup and I get it. In fact I love makeup. It’s fun to buy and apply. It does make us look better and feel better. This is how I’ll put it.A glass of wine feels good and tastes good. But just because a glass of wine makes you feel good, three is not going to make¬† you feel great. It’s going to to dry you out and you’ll look like shit the next morning. Kind of like makeup does. We all have that friend or family member that shocked the shit out of us when we saw her with no makeup.¬† I NEVER want to be that woman. For everyday makeup I’d rather go bare than wear too much. To cut your morning time and look prettier, it’s easy, wear less makeup.

At LEAST 50% of your beauty routine should be good skin care. At least. If your skin is looking it’s best half the battle is won. Spend your money and time here.¬† That’s not to say you have quality skin care products have to be expensive, there are great drugstore brands. What I am saying is don’t scrimp here. Bare minimum you have to cleanse exfoliate and moisturize,¬† you need as thorough a cleanser as your skin can handle.On the other side of this you want the most gentle cleanser you can get away with. If you wear a lot or waterpoof eye makeup you may need an extra remover. Avon sells a fabulous remover for about $4. I have used it since I was a teenager.¬† You need exfoliation whether that be physical (washcloth,or an abrasive scrub) or chemical(aha and products with acids like lactic or glycolic). Your goal is to remove the top layer of skin, encouraging new skin cell turnover. You may also wish to use a toner, if they work for you. Some effective low cost options are witch hazel for normal or oily skin, to make a great toner for dry skin mix equal parts of glycerin with rosewater both can be found at health stores and some drugstores. Smells good too.

Next you need moisture. I know some gals who have oily skin think this is not needed but I disagree. A product that holds in moisture(water is moisture, not oil) and protects¬† is needed for all skin. You just need to find the right product gels are great even if it’s just aloe vera.If you have more mature skin, you need a heavier cream at night. If you need blemish treatment this should be applied at night as well.I know a great home made blemish mask recipe. You can use it as a spot treatment or all over your face for clean bright skin.

The formula is simple and basic. You crush an aspirin and mix with a tsp of lemon juice.  So if you are doing your whold face start with 2 aspirin and 2 tsp of juice.  You can apply just like that or add in products to make it spread easier. Aloe vera gel, honey,egg, yogurt, your favorite moisturizer are all good options. This mixture is basically making saliycic  acid which is the active ingredient in over the counter products.

Okay, I almost forgot this post was about makeup not skin care but seriously I cant stress enough how important good skin is to your look.¬† So for face makeup you basically want to use as little as you can get away with. Until recently I had been able to get away with only doing spot coverage when and where needed. Since turning 40 I need a little extra coverage. I still don’t do the entire face, mostly just around the nose and under the eyes.¬† Find as perfect a color match as possible and find the best formula for you.Apply as sparingly as you can. In order of importance and budget this area comes in right behind skin care. Don’t scrimp here. If you’ve been doing a whole face, try cutting back to spot coverage. Or try only powdering the t-zone. Whatever it is try a little less. We want clean natural looking skin. We only want to cover imperfections not create a blank canvas. BTW Freckles are not imperfections!

Next area of importance is brows. A clean, defined brow is the like the frame to a print. Whether you tweeze, thread, wax whatever, you need a good shape. If needed pay a professional and tweeze strays in between visits. Fill in bare spots or help define an arch  with a powder or pencil.  Find a perfect color match if in doubt go lighter in shade not darker. Blondes usually look best with taupe wetnwild and nyc both have great taupe pencils for .99 cents, brunettes need to figure if they need a warm or cool brown . Redheads always need a warm tone whether its light or dark.  There are very few people who can get away with a black eyebrow. Even if you are ravenhaired try dark brown. You may wish to use wax to hold them in place. Hair pomade works fine.

Eyeshadow is usually next for most women. Do you really need it? Try just patting a touch of concealer is you have visible veins. This trick works even better if the concealer is a bit darker than your skin tone. Use the rest of your summer tone concealer or get some use out of one that didn’t quite match. If you still feel too bare, what about a quick swipe of an all over color or bronzer applied with a brush blush?

Next is eyeliner. Can you live without it? If you’re doing a strong lip, btw super glossy is a strong look, think about balance. Just like clothes, you balance a billowy top with a skinny bottom and vice versa, I think you should apply the same concept to your makeup. A smoky or heavy cat eye and a strong lip is best left to Robert Palmer videos, the fashion runways and the 80’s. This fall is all about a red or plum lip. Yay for us vintage loving gals, we’ve never let it go. With that lip though you need to skip eyeliner during the day. If eyeliner is your thing, you need a nude lip. I love this 60’s Brigitte Bardot look, just a bit lighter. A swipe of eyeliner on top lids and a pink/beige lip slightly shiny lip. Sexy without trying too hard.

Curl your lashes. Decide if you really need mascara.Sometimes curling them brightens up the eyes enough It is for me. . I curl again midday to freshen up.¬† Okay so¬† I know mascara is the one product most women wear and won’t give up.¬† How about curling lashes and¬† applying one coat to the ends of lashes only.¬† You may find that’s enough, Or use a bit of wax(pomade) like I do. I use Murray’s Beeswax pomade. It has three ingredients. Petroleum, Beeswax and fragrance. Whatever fragrance they do use is barely noticeable and I believe its just bergamot oil. In any case I use it on my hair, eyebrows and lashes. It rocks and for $3 it’s a steal. You can find it, in the ethnic section of your grocery store, drugstore, Wal-mart and Target. This is and was the BEST pomade for vintage styles. Murray’s Pomades have been around since the 1920’s and for good reason, they work and they’re cheap. I prefer the beeswax formula as I have heavy hair and need a good hold. If you can’t find them locally they sell them online link after this awesome vintage ad.

Murrays Pomade

Okay if you’re still with me, onto the cheeks. Do you really need the blush? Again strong lip, bare face or Strong eye, nude lip. If doing neither a strong lip nor eye, try an all over color instead be a bit more liberal with your coloror a sunkissed look, dust lids, temples, apples of cheeks, tip of nose. Great look with a neutral gloss.

Highlighter if you choose.   Use an all over powder or cream highlighter or a light colored eyeshadow, even a very light  lip gloss if you like more sheen. Dot on cheekbones, tip of nose, brow bone,  even on temples and above top lip. Just use a very light touch and blend well.

Last but certainly not least are the lips.¬† Sticks,stain,glosses, liners. This is my desert island cosmetic.¬† And no matter how many times I hear it when I hear someone say I am not a lipstick person I am shocked. Not for the non cosmetic types of women like my hippieish cousin. I mean women who color their hair and style their hair, and like makeup. How can you like makeup and not LOVE lipstick.¬† No other cosmetic can even come close to accomplishing what lipstick does.¬† A face can go from plain to fierce with a few swipes of the perfect shade red lipstick. A good pink can brighten your complexion instantly. A glossy mouth adds instant sensuality. I am going to do a whole post on doing a good lip when I have time to take pictures but this is the short story.¬† Layering is the trick to great lips for many reasons. It can perfect the tone, the shape, the sheen level.¬† Whether you’re doing a matte, creamy,shimmery lip they all need a good base. Here’s a tip don’t use foundation as you may have read. Lips are a bit different than skin. If wearing a stain or gloss¬† apply straight from the package.If doing traditional lipstick fo try using a very light swipe of a long wearing nude lipstick it makes your lip last longer.¬† Then line your lips side to side on bottom then your cupid’s bow going out to the sides from the middle. Corner’s usually are where you need the most definition. Now apply your color.I always do better with two colors, never throw away a lipstick, just fix what you don’t like.¬† A shade that’s too light may be just the right shade needed to tone down a bright color. Beige is perfect for this. This may seem strange but the tiniest touch of black lipstick toughens up too sugary sweet shades for me.¬† I’m sure right now you have several lipsticks you aren’t wearing,¬† play around with them.If in doubt the most flattering natural shade for all one or two shades darker than your natural lip color. This can be warm or cool depending on skin tone.¬† If you’re adding gloss unless you’re under 25, try to avoid¬† frosty glosses. Apply to center of bottom lip, out. If you’re going for a just a gloss look of course apply all over your neutral base.

Okay I know this was a long ass post. Here’s the jist of it.¬† Makeup is great. It’s fun and enhances your looks. You’re beautiful. Makeup should showcase your beauty not create it. If you wear a lot of makeup ,unless you’re in show business, I guarantee you’ll look younger and prettier with less. Everyday makeup should take no more than five minutes.

Invest your time and money in having great healthy skin and hair. If you don’t believe me that you look prettier ask your husband, your kids, your friends to compare both looks.¬† If that’s not enough, when you have time apply your makeup outside on a sunny day. Or just study your face in the car mirror outside on a bright day after work.

Manicure and Deshine in under a minute at your desk!

I am one of those people who can’t keep a manicure. Between bathing a a four year old, dishes, shampooing clients my polish doesn’t last. Add to that I am really lazy about it.I abhor faux nails, so I usually go without polish or wear nude polish so the chips aren’t as noticable.But by doing this my finger tips were missing that enduring charm( great ad isn’t it)I was feeling a little charm deprived¬† so I went to off in search of liquid charm and¬† discovered Sally Hansen color quick nail pens. They are super portable, and dry insanely fast. I’ve found that if I keep a mini manicure kit and one of these in my purse I can give myself a good quick manicure at my desk in 30 seconds plus another 30 to dry. Seriously. I do one coat lasts the day, the nest day I just pop another coat on.Day 3 I remove and start over. I was buying individual wrapped remover pads but at 50 cents a pop that can add up. I’ve found by soaking cut up baby wipes in remover and storing in little ziploc baggies( at craft stores for jewelry) I can make about 50 for the price of just a few store bought. If you’re going for a vintage look, remember to leave the moons and tips bare when applying polish. For an indepth tutorial on an authentic vintage mani check out the fabulous vintage-manicure-real-one.html

I’ve also found that unbleached brown paper towels, the kind used to dry hands in public restrooms, cut into similar sized pieces and stored in the same baggies,¬† works just as good as any store bought oil blotting papers.¬† I even went super geeky and cut into circles so I could house mine¬† in a fabulous 1930’s compact I found.

Wait for your boss to go get coffee or the lavatory and get busy. You might even have time for a quick eyebrow tweeze.

Published in: on September 13, 2010 at 12:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s no Secret, you can make your own deodorant

I spent a lot of time as a child with a Nana who lived through the depression. She was one of five children in Bronx Irish Catholic family.¬† Waste not want not was a phrase heard at least once a day in her house. Seriously You were allowed one glass of juice at breakfast in a proper juice glass . Every bit of cloth was saved for making something else or a “cleaning rag”. The commercial said “A spoonful does a sink full” so you better not use more than a teaspoon of dishwashing detergent for those dishes.¬† Growing up around someone like this either rubs off on you and you carry on the same way or you rebel and vow never to cut open another toothpaste tube in your life when there’s a fresh tube below in the cabinet.¬† I am of the first type. My husband was amazed that I would choose to cut and use when I didn’t have too.¬† I was amazed that he left the water running while brushing his teeth. Or that he started the shower then walks to the linen closet to grab a towel and then takes off his clothes. Or that he opens a fresh bar of soap when there are one sometimes TWO half size bars in the shower. Or… what were we talking about again? Waste not want not, Waste not want not, do not call husband to bitch.

Okay so my Nana would not let you waste anything. Similarly if she was out of something, she wasn’t going to go out just to buy one thing, ridiculous.¬† Stomach ache and out of Pepto Bismol? A teaspoon of baking soda in warm water will take care of that. Both sides of the cut toothpaste tube scraped clean? The baking soda mixed with a splash of peroxide does an perfectly fine job. Out of deodorant? She had fix for that too.¬† Mix equal parts of baking soda and cornstarch well.¬† She added a bit of cinnamon oil but you could could use lavender, tea tree, basically you want an essential oil with antibacterial properties. Be careful if using cinnamon. Too much is a skin irritant.¬† Keep in a pot type container.¬† She used an old Mums cream deodorant container. Dip a clean damp washrag into the jar and apply to underarms.¬† While this recipe does work keep in mind that it is a deodorant not an antiperspirant. And if the word clinical is something you look for you will be disappointed.

Under the same clinical lines I also know a recipe for a simple antiperspirant. I also wanted to show that every home remedy and recipe I know does not involve baking soda. Again this won’t compare to super strength store bought but works and if all the cancer/aluminum stories worry you, this may work for you. In any case it does the job in a pinch.

Mix equal parts witch hazel, mineral water and aloe vera gel. 1/4 cup each is usually what I use . Add a tablespoon of vegetable glycerin and a few drops essential oils (again with antibacterial properties). You can put in any old spray bottle. Remember to shake before use.


How to Do Finger Waves & vintage hair setting recipes

Please excuse my sweaty face, I live in Georgia and it’s July. Also I was not wearing any makeup, thought just a little lipstick would do it. It didn’t.

Finger waves are probably my favorite vintage hairstyle.¬† I like mine 1920’s style, tight to the head and stiff which incidentally is the perfect hairstyle for coolest hat ever the cloche. I’m also In reading the vintage beauty blogs and site I’ve seen how a lot of girls seem to have more trouble with them than any other style with the possible exception of pin curls.¬† The act of winding hair into a curl is more familiar to modern women¬† than forming deep waves with a comb.¬† A pin curl set also leaves more room for error.

I learned to do both finger waves and pincurls in a vocational high school cosmetology program in the eighties. . Two ladies in their sixties ran the program and taught very old school. I believe the first styling method taught was finger waves as it teaches hair movement and dexterity. We used a “waving lotion” which came as a dry powder that we added water to. I’m not sure but I believe it was gelatin based. Jello is an old school setting lotion as well as flax seed. Lots of ladies use the flax seed recipe which is :

Flax Seed Setting Lotion

1 cup water

1 TABLESPOON whole flax seeds

Bring both to a boil. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Strain out the seeds(as many as possible)IMMEDIATELY or they’ll be nearly impossible to get out. Shelf life is about a week out, two if you refrigerate

Optional add-ins are essential oil for fragrance, aloe and/or  glycerin for added moisture. For super hold add a tsp of sugar to the boil.

Another authentic hair setting(and I swear I believe this was the powder we used in cosmetology) is unflavored unsweetened gelatin). We mixed with very hot water and were told by the instructors to water to a consistency we liked.¬† The basic formula started at one teaspoon to one cup. We shook up in applicator bottles with the pointed tips. If working on a more dry, coarse texture conditioner is mixed 50/50 with water to make up the cup needed.¬† Again you may want to add essential oils for fragrance and will last about a week.¬† Jello and kool-aid are both used as temporary color rinses so if you want to use a flavored packet go ahead. The sugar would only increase holding. I don’t know how strong the color would be as when used for dye the powder is mixed straight into conditioner and left on overnight. But it’s safe and temporary so you may want to try.¬† Vegan gelatin mix may also be used.

Okay so I know they’re are plenty of¬† message boards, site with instructions and certainly pdf files and books to purchase. Maybe one more is not needed.¬† But I look at it this way. How many times have you been told how to do something, been struggling, then another person explains it to you differently and you get it?¬† Hopefully it helps someone.

First off you should start with clean hair. Now I usually only shampoo(washing if for dishes as my instructors taught me) once a week.¬† My hair always looks better dirty and dirty hair works better for dry or heat styling, styles better as well. But for wet sets, I believe you need to completely break the bonds of your hair for best results. Don’t condition. Some of you may be freaking out thinking your hair will be out of control. It won’t. The point is to have your hair accept as much styling product as possible. You may use a moisturizing shampoo if you think you need it, some good, affordable options¬† are in the “ethnic” hair section. Try creme de nature by Revlon. Great Stuff. Since I only wash once a week and wear pomade I use a deep cleansing shampoo.¬† If you don’t want to switch shampoos, and think your hair needs more,and you’re using a store bought gel and not one above with added moisture, ¬† use one formulated to be extra moisturizing. Again the best are in the ethnic section.

If you’re going after soft, fluffy waves and are using setting lotion(lottabody) instead of gel, you may need hair clips.¬† A lot of girls use wave clamps which crimp the hair, not a true finger wave.¬† What you need are duck bill clips, sold at any beauty supply. These are just the long straight tapered end metal clips.

Your hair must be wet, Not damp, WET. You may want to have spray bottle with water nearby if you’re hair drys quickly.¬† Comb thoroughly with coarse end of a comb( standard styling comb) From scalp to ends, dragging the comb over the contours of¬† your scalp all around your head.

Make your side part deciding remembering you need to connect the first wave on the small side all the way around your head to the second wave on the big side. If you’re doing this in a mirror, the part should be shorter than you’re used to. See my picture above.

If¬† using a setting lotion saturate hair. Seriously saturate it. I think this is the biggest mistake women today make.¬† Todays products and styles usually demand for “a quarter or dime¬† size dallop” but finger waves require a lot of product. I use Queen Helen styling gel in the big tub and I just dip my comb right into the jar. Then I comb into the area I’m working on. Be generous with the gel, repeat to yourself, be generous with the gel.

Place your index finger right next to the part.Insert the comb coarse side into your hair directly below pressing the comb to your finger. Drag the hair forward about 1/2 inch on your forehead. Don’t lift the comb, but turn it down until flat. Without moving your index finger lay your middle on the comb. Press both fingers against your scalp, while combing the hair below back without dragging. . The purpose is too build up a ridge.¬† Now you should have a ridge and a c shaped section.

Now dip comb in gel again or apply more lotion. Place index finger at the bottom of the ridge and repeat the process in the opposite direction. This ridge should go up around your part continuing on to the small side of your hair to be ended pushed 1/2 on your face. Repeat the process remembering to add more product with each section As you are  going around your head  keep in mind that may have to adjust(lower) where you place your finger so that the waves look horizontal on your head. When I first learned I made that mistake. I would place my finger right below each ridge all the way around and all my waves were curved upwards. And I had way more than needed.

Continue all around the head. Gel, drag,press, comb back and down,repeat. Don’t be afraid of the curls, you are molding the hair, if a ridge looks to flat in a spot, push it up a bit. You will know if you need to insert the duck bill clips or not. I never need to because my hair is short, but for really long or fine hair they may be needed.

For the hair above your ear I like it  forward with a spit curl. If longer you may want to wind forward into a pin curl flat on face.

If working with long hair traditionally pin curls were set on the nape of neck. Remember to follow your pattern when deciding which way to wind. You could also set in rollers, braid hair in several braids to set in waves. Or tie in a loose scrunchy until waves are dry and then do in a bun.

If you want to keep your waves stiff and tight , spray with hair spay.¬† Sitting under a dryer is best, but if you can’t do that look over to see where you may need additional clips. Try to let the waves dry with out disturbing at all. Once set they will last several days if you use a mesh velcro hair wrap(sold in beauty supply stores) or tie a scarf on your head and of course the old standard sleep on¬† a silk pillowcase.

Freshen up with a spritz of water and comb lightly back in place. I always lift the wave on my forehead to wash my face too high and disturb it. I can comb it right back with a spritz of water, sometimes a dab of gel is needed. Light mist of hairspray and you’re looking swell, gal!

Published in: on July 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm  Comments (1)