Cosmetics & Style Gift Ideas

No matter if you’re looking for gift inspiration for someone or just feel like doing some window shopping, here’s some fun things to consider.

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12 Retro Style Outerwear Items

It’s getting cold and Game of Thrones Quotes are being thrown around again.

Translating a retro style into a winter friendly one is never easy, but way to do it is to invest in a good winter coat. Since winter coats are typically rather expensive, it’s typically a good idea to invest in one that will last a few years.

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Brand Review: Pleasure State

One of the things I rant about the most when it comes to first world problems is bras. I have an unusual size and it is borderline impossible to find something that fits me and impossible to find something that both fits and looks good. This is a pretty common problem from what I’ve heard.

It is my firm belief that underwear is just as important as other forms of clothes when it comes to comfort, confidence, and posture. A bad bra can ruin an entire look. In other words, underwear matters.

After trying on too many ill-fitting beige t-shirt bras and having “fitters” suggest the completely wrong size just to sell me something, I decided to stop hoping that regular stores would cater for my needs. Next I tried specialist stores. Why on earth bra makers think that slapping a mosquito net over a person’s breasts and creating a goddamn elastic corset for the ribcage that is so wide it goes halfway down the ribs equals support, I’ll never know.

After that failure, I turned to online stores. Yes, it’s risky but you have a higher chance of success with a store that at least carries your size. Plus, many have good return policies these days.

 

One of the online stores/brands I’m truly happy to have found is Pleasure State. I’ve purchased items from them several times and therefor feel comfortable reviewing the brand as a whole rather than a specific product. Naturally, I haven’t tried every single item they sell because that would be impossible.

Overview
Band size range: 8-16
Cup range: A-G
Styles: varied.
Sales: frequent discounts
Shipping: International, company based in Australia
Products: lingerie, garter belts, camisoles & chemises.

On range: Ideally, I would wear an 8H-I in these products, however since they don’t go up that high I end up purchasing the sister size 10G. I really wish they went up to an H rather than just a G, but it’s still a wider selection of sizes than you’ll see in most stores.

Selection: you can ask for their bras to be filtered by size. Currently, there are 14 products available in my size. These 14 bras are the ones I will use to describe the kind of items you can find for the more unusual sizes. Only two are soft cups with underwires, thank the gods. The rest are moulded.

Price: 50-100 dollars per product. The products are of good quality and the prices are pretty decent. It’s worth the money, but I’d recommend keeping an eye out for sales.

Colours: 3 are beige, 3 are white, 1 red, 2 blue, 1 black, 4 have more than one colour.

Styles: 2 soft cup, 8 are plunge bras (varied hight in the middle part), and 4 are balconette.

Matching underwear: available.

Delivery: very quick in metropolitan Australia, can’t say what it’s like in other areas. It appears they ship pretty much anywhere.

Pros: No goddamn high rise in between the cups that dig into your chest, seldom pokes me in the armpit, shoulder straps come in regular width for most bras instead of the goddamn seatbelts other bras come with, varied styles and colours available, quick delivery, frequent sales, looks great. It works well with a vintage style. They range from casual to rather fancy.

Cons: no padded options, all of them have 3 hooks (I strongly prefer two), only 2 out of 4 collections have bras that come in this specific size.

Retro Essentials: Last Minute Holiday Dresses

The holidays really are creeping up on us, and with less than a week to go there’s a chance anything you order online won’t make it to your front door on time. Therefor it is worth having a look at some mainstream stores to see if they can come to the rescue. Here’s 17 options from three pretty common stores.

Let’s have a look at what Target has to offer.
Firstly there’s this red strapless lace dress for about 50 dollars, available in sizes 6-20. It’s a classic fit that closely resembles some strapless numbers you’d find in rockabilly stores. With black heels and your hair up, you’ll easily be able to adapt this dress to your style. If you prefer longer dresses or a more casual fit, there’s this maxi dress available in navy or olive for the same price as the red dress. There’s also this strapless fit & flare dress in black and white available for 70 dollars.If you prefer something that’s classic, has sleeves, and a pattern that works all year around, try this black floral dress. If you’re a bit tired of all the christmas patterns but still want an elegant dress that’s classic and fit for the warmer seasons. Another dress that will work for almost any event is this polkadot dress with a discrete v-neck. If you’re like me and like anything that looks like a wrap dress, try this knee length mock wrap dress with 3/4 sleeves/

H&M may not be as readily available as Target, but since they’ve got a number of stores up it’s worth including them.
If you want something a little bit different, try this beaded kimono dress for 90 bucks. Want to try something really bold? This is a jumpsuit with a leopard print in light blue and pink. Perfect for anyone wishing to go all out rockabilly. Perhaps something simpler, like this classic white sleeveless dress for budget friendly 30 dollars. A classic option is anything off-the-shoulder, including this black long sleeved dress. There’s also this maxi halter neck with glittery fabric. Lastly, we have this satin number in a deep purple.

Forever New may be a bit pricey, but there does seem to be one in every mall and some of their clothes are quite nice. This v-neck black lace dress is a rather nice option for fancier gatherings, especially the kind that involves alcohol and music. A less extravagant option is this white dress with floral prints and a rather modest neckline. There’s this black off the shoulder dress that would have looked amazing on Bettie Page. This dress is also a classic style and the red works with the season.

Geek Themed Wish List

Ok, so I don’t celebrate Christmas. It’s just another “Video Games and Good Mead” day for me. Like Valentine’s Day. However, this doesn’t mean that I can’t create a wish list. If anyone of you feel like ever purchasing me a gift for whatever reason, this is a good place to start looking.

Geek Chic Cosmetics is one of my favourite brands.
Why? Because they create lotions and call them Buffalo Bill’s Skin Conditioning Lotion and Moisturise Me. The Buffalo Bill one apparently smells of chocolate and espresso. I want it.
I also want their Traces of Thedas set of solid scents. I don’t usually use perfume, but solid scents is something I haven’t tried for a while. They describe one of the products with the words “A good scent to wear while fist-fighting a grizzly bear.”. I may not be planning to fight a grizzly anytime soon, but this sounds promising.

ThinkGeek is the geek haven of the internet. I’ve spent more than a fair amount of money on their items. Their planetary glass set would make my kitchen a lot happier, and me. They also have a chemist’s spice rack that I adore. See I prefer to combine functionality with geekdom as opposed to having things like figurines. It’s the best of both worlds really. Not sure if I can convince people that this Potion Desk Lamp is very practical though. I’ll take pretty much any of their coffee mugs though. I’ve already bought a handful, but there’s no such thing as too many mugs. They also do great yoga pants. Just so you know.

More nerdy things I want: this Dragon Age hoodie, this Dragon Age dress, this Battle Nug Plushie (I swear I’m an adult),  these Monty Python Killer Rabbit Slippers (still an adult), this Skyrim Journal, this FFXII pendant, and this Pokemon Coffee Mug.

Rainy Day Retro

Not all days are sunshine and 35 degrees. Sometimes, the weather betrays us even here in Brisbane. This post is about what to wear on rainy days when you might want to wear something simple, comfortable, and pretty casual compared to what you usually wear. Rainy days is a phrase that has a bit of a dual meaning and I’ve noticed that days that are literally rainy and days that are metaphorically rainy tend to result in me wearing the same type of outfits. So perhaps it’s worth thinking of these outfits as “Bad Day Wear”.
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Retro Essentials: Transitioning to Summer

October was unusually hot this year and summer is peeking around the corner already. Now that the temperatures are climbing above 30, it’s going to feel less and less appealing to dress properly. While I’m not about to jump on the cut off jeans shorts, thongs, and glorified sports bra brigade, adjustments will need to be made. So let’s have a discussion about how we can translate the various retro styles into more summer friendly options.Read More »

The Vintage Tag

Questions in the tag
1) Who is your style icon?

I can’t say there’s one single icon that I have, but there’s a number of people I draw inspiration from. Dita von Teese is of course the queen of the burlesque revival and she does know how to dress. Veronica Lake is my spirit animal when it comes to hair. Peggy Carter is a fictional character I adore, same thing goes for Morticia Adams.
2) What’s your favorite way to get inspired? ( i.e. mags, catalogs, photo’s, YT, movies, books, the internet, etc).
Youtube and Pinterest are my primary sources, but it can be anything that catches my attention on any given day.
3) What’s your most used hair tool(s)?

My hair brush, I guess.
4) What’s your favorite hair tool/ gadget?
Assuming I don’t get away with mentioning my hair brush again, I’ll go with foam rollers.
5) Up-do, down, or half and half?
Anything goes, it depends on what I’m wearing and how much time I have.
wpid-20150624_105110.jpg6)Is vintage styling something you do daily, weekends only, or just special occasions?

I seldom do a full on vintage style but there’s almost always some elements of it in what I’m wearing.
7)Your favorite blush/ lipstick?
I’d probably advice you to have a look at some of my other posts and you’ll find it immediately since I can’t shut up about it. That lipstick will survive anything and look flawless far longer than the rest of you on a night out.
8) Let’s talk fashion: dress/skirt or pants? heels or flats?
Dresses all the way. I quite often hear my male friends talk about the tragedy that is having to wear pants all day, women’s fashion has found a solution to that and made it socially acceptable. Win.
I wear both heels and flats depending on what I’m doing and what I feel like wearing.
9) Homemade or off the rack?
I can’t sew, so off the rack it is.
10) do you swing dance?
Nope
11) Small subtle touches incorporated into everyday wear ( flavor of vintage, if you will) or all out extreme?
A flavour of vintage is a nice way of phrasing it.
12) Favourite perfume/ skincare? ( as ladies back then were very studious about their faces)
A fantastic cleansing powder from Fancl

13) What does the rest of the family think of your “style”?
I don’t really have a family.
14) Favourite accessory ( signature piece, hair accessory, bag, jewlery, gloves, stockings, shoes, pin, hat, belt, sweater, nail polish, lipstick, perfume, parisol, glasses, scarf… whew! did i forget anything)?
Wrap dresses and lipstick, it’s pretty much my uniform.

15) Do you find the vintage community warm and inviting, or cliquish and snooty? ( include your personal home state)
I can’t claim to know a lot of people, but the ones I’ve met have been nice.

16) What drew you to this style?
The simple elegance.

Retro Essentials: YouTubers

YouTube is a fantastic resource when it comes to vintage styles, makeup reviews, and pinup hair. If there’s something you’re looking for, chances are YouTube is where you’ll find it.
I thought I’d share videos from some of my favourite YouTubers when it comes to vanity related issues. These are all people that I’ve found reliable, genuine, and people who contribute something unique to my subscription feed.

Vintage

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Retro Essentials: Maxi Lengths (Currents)

wpid-20141228_193917.jpgCasual maxi dresses weren’t really a thing during the 1930’s-1950’s. You do see longer dresses and gowns for formal occasions, but for casual wear, it seemed lengths around the knee were more common. However, given Australia’s extreme weather, maxi dresses are some of the most wearable items you can have in a wardrobe. So let’s see if we can find a number of dresses that are both maxi and retro friendly.

Casual

For casual maxi dresses there’s always the basic retro patterns (stripes, polkadots, and florals), but I personally prefer dresses in one colour. This dress offers a relaxed shape with a fitted waist and a v-neck, combine it with a vintage belt and sandal wedges. Here’s an option that uses florals combined with a casual top which draws focus to the waist. This classic colour and relaxed fit looks like a good combination for a hot day, just add some nautical accessories. For a dress that you can wear over swimwear, I’d probably opt for this one.

Mid level

By mid level I mean going out for lunch with a group of friends, a somewhat casual date, or just an occasion where you would normally dress one or a few steps above your casual look. It’s elegant rather than casual but not as elaborate or eye catching as the formal options. Due to its elegant cut I’d put this blue dress with white stripes in the middle category rather than the casual one as it follows the body a bit more closely. This is one I’ve ordered but haven’t tried yet, the draping around the bust and the deep colour means that it looks more formal than causal but due to the fabric it ends up in this category. This classical black dress can be worn to almost any occasion and it looks very easy to dress up or down. Love the unusual prints from modern retro styles? This one has pineapples on it, which reminds me of the tropical prints common in retro dresses.

Formal
Formal includes a range of formal occasions, I’d say cocktail and above. One thing that can bring back the luxurious elegance we tend to associate with vintage formal wear is to use a fabric with metallic inlays as they look similar to embroidery. If you’re like me and prefer some sort of sleeve or straps, there’s the option of using a dress with lace as lace overlays don’t make the dress too warm and can still be used to create straps or sleeves. If you want to be a little daring, I’d go for a bold typical pinup pattern but a cut that’s traditionally formal. This black polkadot dress will certainly not be forgotten. This dress feels like a hybrid of the 1920’s and 1930’s and is a good option if you prefer a dress with sparkles. Out of all the dresses I’ve looked at for this post, this is probably the one with the most late 1940’s-1950’s resemblance due to the cut. This one is another option with a very vintage friendly cut.