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 ‘bedroom eyes” look she’s famous for. I didn’t 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  

A little Inspiration from 1960

When people hear 1960’s hairstyles most people first think of long hippy hair, afros, and bouffants. Early 60’s hair is a lot like 1950’s hair.  It’s a fun and easy vintage look to do, and works really  well, if you’re growing out shorter layers.  These are fairly easy styles to do your self. A roller set, a rat tail comb for back combing, and hair spray. 

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Bumpits welcome.

Hair is how you comb it …?…what does that even mean?

Published in: on October 14, 2010 at 8:58 am  Comments (3)  
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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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Authentic 1920’s Hair and Makeup how to or flapper hair and makeup if you must

I know the first flick doesn’t really showcase period hair and makeup exceptionally well I simply love it.


I dressing as a flapper this Halloween. Cliched and overdone I know but I have an amazing 20’s dress that’s perfection for the look.  My life is such that I rarely get occasion to wear it, so I’m taking it whereI can get it. My bosses are kind of Halloween freaks, its a big deal at my company, there’s even cash prizes to be won.And the opportunity to wear thigh high silk stockings and a garter to work?I’m in. Quick note, in order to keep from looking like a tramp shoes need to be a solid looking. T-strap preferred, heel no higher than 2 or 3 inches.

Though I’m fairly well studied in period styles, I decided to check the net for some how to’s and such. Believe me when I tell you there’s not a lot of useful info out there. Most guides are not authentic(false lashes,hello-they were not available) , in addition to not being authentic, so many were waay overdone. Three shades of blue eyeshadow, I don’t think so. Or the women just ended up looking a bit too costumey and clownish. No thank you.

Quick and easy is hair.  Of course with my hair length I’m doing fingerwaves. You could also buy the cheap generic “flapper” costume wig. Not all women, not all flappers even, wore finger waves or had bobbed hair for that matter. The first image above give awesome authentic hair ideas outside of the old headband with feather. Several look fairly easy to make. Image numbers 7 and 12 show easy options for long hair.  Be sure to use shine product. 1920’s hair was rarely natural.  It was super shiny, often plastered to the head with product think Josephine Baker, if you want to be wowed,watch the entire video. It is phenomenal.  Spit curls always welcome.

On to the makeup…..


Greasepaint type foundation and powder were all that were available. I don’t want to be that authentic. What’s needed is an opaque creamy base. Flawless and pale is the look. Dust with loose powder to set.


Rouge was red toned. Shades of berry, rose, or coral are all appropriate. Creme is more authentic, but use what you have or use lipstick as so many women did. Resist your urge to blend up and out. Color should be applied to the apples only, sometimes applied in an obvious circle and left alone. It’s kind of cute.


Super thin even to the point of shaved off, penciled on brows was a popular look.  But not everyone wore them.Louise Brooks wore a much more natural brow. If you want the thin brow look you could buy silicone makeup to hide your brows. Or easy and cheaper.. Apply a coat of childrens glue stick over your natural brows. Let dry. Cover with concealer and powder. Draw a very thin line sloping downwards. You could also use a bought stencil. Elf cosmetics sells a set for $1.


Eyeshadow.  Frequently used was just the kohl eyeliner smudged over entire lid with petroleum jelly. Grays and browns were used mostly, although green and turquoise were available as well.  What’s most important is using ONE color only. You can apply to lid only or blend all the up to brows either look is authentic.


This is super easy. Eyes are rimmed both top and bottom. This can be as thin or thick as you like, both are authentic.Also used was shadow as liner, or smudging the kohl, like a smoky eye today. No winged corners though.


Falsies were not used. Mascara was available only in wax based cake form. This is one area, I say go the modern way. Apply your favorite mascara to both  top and bottom lashes.


Please refrain from the urge to do a cartoonish strong bow, no corners look. It’s rarely attractive and I see few pictures of anyone wearing it in a serious manner. It worked for Clara Bow and a few others, that about it.  Just as authentic and certainly more attractive is a highly defined cupid bow and a thinner elongated shape. Matte color only.Red preferred.  Not that red is the only authentic color but come on, pounce whenever you can on the chance to do a fierce redvamp lip.

Beauty Mark

Optional but how fun is it to wear. Picture a triangle with one corner being the tip of your nose the other the corner of your lip. The third corner is where your beauty mark should go. I’m totally kidding, I read that somewhere, Draw one wherever you like.

Update: if you look at photos of film stars and such of women in the 1920’s they really aren’t wearing as much makeup as they’re depicted now.

Pretty Girls Vintage Photos

Sigh, this photo is absolute perfection. While this photo is of a pretty girl back in the day she was a model. I much more enjoy looking at vintage photos of regular girls.

Here is a link to a site you may have heard of Shorpys, the pretty girls gallery. My absolute favorites are the Bathing beauty pageants with just regular girls.

Check out the lovely ladies here

Published in: on September 17, 2010 at 2:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

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.


Vintage Hairdressing-Waving

Heres some great waving instructions

I am returning to beauty school after a 20 year break. I was a beauty school dropout……sing it if you want to.

Anyway, I am returning to school because I always hated that I didn’t complete what I started. And so that I may contribute in preserving the dying art of hairdressing. Oh yes it is, trims, foils and blowouts are not hairdressing. Hopefully I’ll get to pursue a career, although I don’t know how many salons will hire a 40year old recent grad. We shall see.

Enjoy the pics.

Published in: on July 21, 2010 at 1:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

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)  

I got scribed!

Fashions of the 20\’s

I found this site scribed with tons of books that have been scanned online. I am currently reading this.

Yesterday I read this

1940\’s hairstyles I am not really into 40’s hairstyles right now, my hair is short and I have more of a 20’s bob but I love the looks.

This site is the shit. You can just search a topic and tons of books come up.

I am off to read some more will post later.

Published in: on July 8, 2010 at 9:11 am  Leave a Comment