Wednesday, 22 March 2017

1960s Dolly Eye Makeup Tutorial

Something that always seems to spark the most attention is my mod style eye makeup, and it's something I'm frequently questioned about. With the right tools, it's really a very simple style to achieve and doesn't take me very long at all - I probably spend a total of 5 minutes on my eye makeup so it's completely achievable for everyday wear. And I do wear this eye makeup for everyday, whether I'm going somewhere special or just to Aldi, and it perplexes me why people find this unusual. Why not have fun everyday?

I thought I'd show you step by step just how easy it is to achieve this style!

You will need:
✿ A black eye shadow (or brown if you're not feeling as bold)
✿ A white eye shadow
✿ An eye shadow a few shades lighter than your skin tone
✿ Black eyeliner
✿ Eyeliner brushes, as pictured below. Mine are by Barry M and Real Techniques (the slanted Barry M one is my favourite). The brushes really are the key to achieving this look, people often use brushes that are far too thick and wonder why it isn't working! I once read that girls of the day would  use fine artists paintbrushes to achieve the right look, which goes to show just how important it is.

First, apply the eye shadow that's a few shades lighter than your skin tone to brighten your eyelids and set any primer if you've used one. Apply the white eye shadow on top of this. This will give a brightened look to your eyelids without it being stark white. You could also use blue à la Twiggy, or green was also popular.

Next use your preferred eyeliner to simply line your eyes. Don't exaggerate the cat eye as it's not the focus, just extend your natural lash line.

At this point using a fine liner brush, I like to map out my cut crease with a brown eye shadow. This way if you mess up, brown is much easier to remove than if you went straight in with the black. Follow the shape of your eyeliner above your natural crease, making sure they don't meet at the outer corner. You want to be able to see the line when your eyes are open as the point of the look is to create the illusion of large dolly eyes.

Go over the brown with the black (or if you prefer to use brown, just smarten it up) using the slanted brush. Next, smudge the line upwards to blend it, ensuring you keep the underside of the line crisp. I'll often go over this a few times, smudging upwards then going back over the line to strengthen it. Don't worry if it doesn't look perfectly smudged out just yet, mine often looks a mess at this stage!

Taking a fluffy brush, go back into the eye shadow a few shades lighter than your natural skin tone and blend out the smudged upper line.

Next apply kohl on to your lower lash line - not the waterline as this will shrink your eyes. If you want something on your waterline, use a white or nude pencil. If you want a true Twiggy look, draw lower eyelashes on instead. I prefer to just line my eyes and use plenty of mascara as my eyes water so much it only lasts about 20 minutes!

If you wanted to use false eyelashes they're perfectly period accurate - Twiggy is said to have worn three at a time so go nuts! I personally dislike them so I prefer to just use copious amounts of a lengthening mascara.

The focus should be your eyes, so keep the rest of your makeup neutral (including eyebrows, they should look natural not the focus of your face like current trend). For lipstick, a '60s dollybird would wear a pinky toned nude - I like L'Oreal 235 which is what I'm wearing in these photos.

After that, you're done! That wasn't too hard, was it? I also filmed a get ready with me you can see below putting it all on in case that helps a little better. Like with everything, it just takes practice. It can pay to take some time to yourself when you don't have to go anywhere and just play with your make up, trying to create looks for yourself. That's how I learn best. Remember makeup is about self expression and creativity, there's no such thing as right and wrong so don't be afraid of it!

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

These boots are made for walkin'

This dress was my latest me made project. I'd been saving this crimplene for the perfect project, I hate to feel like I'm wasting vintage fabric because it's so finite (wasting and destroying vintage in general is my biggest pet peeve, I don't understand how people don't realise that this stuff is limited quantities so treat it respectfully. Anyway, tangent!) I kind of like this dress, and I kind of feel a bit disappointed with it at the same time which is a bummer. But I often feel like that after sewing projects, then after they've been in my closet for a while I'm able to appreciate them more.

I did a little pattern frankensteining on this dress, just on the sleeves. The dress pattern had elasticated balloon sleeves, but I liked the shape of these with the additional frill on the end and smocked cuff which were on another pattern. I'd never done smocking before, and honestly don't think I'd ever do it again, it was such a PITA and didn't even really come out like it was supposed to. The collar ended up a bit different too, as the white crimplene was so much heavier than the purple crimplene. It was supposed to be more of a dagger shirt collar, but the weight made the collar just lie flat so I embraced it and altered the neckline. I think it's the sleeves that are the biggest annoyance to me, especially as the frill at the end keeps flipping inside out. But it's easily fixed, I'd just need to unpick all of my smocking and add elastic to make it a balloon sleeve.

I bought these boots when I last went to Bristol. After going to Judy's I took a little wander further into the city than I usually go in search of an art shop, and there ended up being a vintage shop right opposite that I couldn't help but wander in to. I've never sought out the vintage shops in Bristol before, and entering this store confirmed my suspicions. It's all the same kind of tat sold in places like Brick Lane, and I mean actual tat with minimal real vintage. Secondhand converse, cast off jeans, more plaid shirts than anyone could ever look through. They'd even marked brands you can find in the likes of New Look as "vintage".

However tucked away on the sale rail, I did see these boots and I was smitten immediately. I've been looking at white mod boots online a lot lately, and finding these felt like serendipity. I haven't been able to identify their age, the label is "Richard Draper" which has apparently been around since 1937 and is still going strong. The Cuban shaped heel and contrast piping makes me think they're probably 1980s? But honestly I couldn't care less if they're not '60s, they look the part and that's all that matters! All of my other vintage boots are suede which isn't the best choice for rainy England, and so I've been after a pair of leather boots for the longest time. These also have sheepskin lining, so I'm not only cosy but feel like I'm walking on clouds.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

The big black smoke

Everything 1960s vintage

Last week I decided to take a little day trip into London. London has a comforting familiarity to me as it's where I'm from. I didn't have any plans, which I think can sometimes be the best way to take a trip, to just go where the fancy takes you.

I spent the morning around Camden, weaving my way in and out of record and vintage stores and browsing trinkets on stalls in the Stables. Camden is a bit of a tourist trap, but it holds a lot of nostalgia for me as it's where I used to always hang out with my friends, and because it was a weekday it wasn't too busy.

Leaving empty handed, I headed to Soho and spent the rest of the day wandering through the streets until I'd done a big full circle. I started at Berwick Street which has a few record shops worth a visit. I rarely leave empty handed, and today was no exception. There are often rare pressings available, but you'll not find any bargains (I don't think you'd find bargains in any record store in London, hence I like living in the countryside where they're £1!) They also sell quite a wide selection of bootlegs, and that's what I usually buy. I found Saint Tropez, a live recording by Pink Floyd; As A Matter Of Fact It's All Dark which is demos and alternative takes from Dark Side Of The Moon; and A Ladder To The Stars which is BBC sessions by Queen.

I wanted to visit Lazy Oaf and Monki which are over by Carnaby Street. I know Carnaby Street is often seen as some kind of "mecca" for vintage lovers, but it's really nothing special, just the usual high street stores that you can find most other places. No boutiques left I'm afraid!

If I'm near Oxford Street, I can't resist popping into Topshop, it's my weakness and where I spent most of my money! I may as well make the most of that student discount! I was particularly taken with the shoes, finding two pairs that I'm absolutely in love with. I've had a bit of a shoe overhaul recently, and gotten rid of about 80% of my collection that was either gathering dust or no longer inspiring me so I could justify buying a couple of new pairs.

I love these galaxy print platform trainers, they go perfectly with my casual clothes and will look so cute with ankle socks in the spring. My old Converse finally gave up last year after 12 years of use, so these fill that gap perfectly. I also love how they go with the sequined Skinny Dip backpack I got too.

I ummed and ahhed over these lovely gold boots, but they're probably the thing I'm most pleased with and I couldn't stop getting them out to admire on the train on the way home. They were in the sale, and they're made of the most buttery soft leather imaginable. Wearing them feels like I'm just wearing a pair of socks, they're so comfortable. And I love their '60s design, they're a direct replica of metallic boots that were available at the time.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Recent Acquisitions

I wanted to share the vintage knick knacks I've been picking up over the past week to add to my collections.

Firstly, I attended Judy's Affordable Vintage Fair in Bristol this past Sunday. I've been to a few Judy's Vintage fairs now, and I really feel I prefer the offerings in Lincoln overall, but I certainly found some lovely things! I was ever so pleased that everything fit me too, as I tried nothing on and was wrapped up in my big Afghan coat so holding things up to myself wasn't very helpful. I guess I know my body better than I realise, as I've certainly felt the disappointment before of finding the perfect thing only to not be able to pull up the zip!

First is this gingham mod shift dress, with the tie attached. I just adore the colours of this, and I've long admired the mod look of pairing traditionally male items of clothing with dresses, I even remember writing an entire post about it when my blog was still Oh! Darling. I've never had the confidence to just pair a random tie with a random dress before though, so I love that this comes preselected for me to achieve the look effortlessly. I was worried that this dress would be too small, but to my utter delight it fits! The lining is a bit too small over my hips so I can't pull it down all the way, but the dress fits me with room to spare which is odd! Upon closer inspection I noticed that at some point over the past 50 years some lovely person has very carefully hand-stitched to let the bust out an inch which I'm very grateful for! Unfortunately I don't have the boyish figure of Twiggy so I definitely needed that extra room.

Next is this citrusy crimplene dress which I was worried would be too big but fits just right. I kept looking at it and leaving it, but the fab colours would play on my mind so I'd go admire it again and leave it again. Just as I was about to leave I had that feeling in my gut that I'd regret it if I didn't buy it, so went back yet again this time to take it with me. The stall holder must have thought I was nuts going back and forth so often! I'm so glad I went back for it though, it's become my favourite of the lot.

Lastly this folk '70s midi skirt. I just love the floral pattern on the fabric and the lace trim along the bottom tier. This will be perfect for a casual outfit during the height of summer with a folk style top and my platform sandals.

I also managed to pick up a few records I've been after for a long time now. Opel now completes my little Syd Barrett collection so I was very happy to finally find it. I don't have any of the compilations of his work that have been released, but I don't really feel I need them now I have this as well as The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. I also finally picked up a copy of Ogden's Nut Gone Flake by Small Faces. This is probably my favourite of their albums, and whilst I have seen it before it's often terribly overpriced so when I saw this one I knew it had to be mine. Of course I had to make sure I got one of the originals with the round cover.

I also picked up this book from the charity shop which is exciting. It was sitting on display on the top shelf, and I almost overlooked it as you can bet as big of a fan as I am of Stephen King that I've already read The Bachman Books. If you haven't read this particular collection, I highly recommend it as it contains my all time favourite Stephen King story, The Long Walk. So I was ready to dismiss this find, until I noticed that it had not three books listed on the cover, but four. It contains the novella Rage, which has been long out of print. Rage is said to be the first novel King ever wrote back in 1965, and was first published in 1977. It's about a school shooting, long before school shootings were ever a real thing, and is said to have inspired many of the school shootings that happened in the US throughout the 80s and 90s. King himself had the book withdrawn as he was so horrified that his horror novel had come to life. So it's quite a difficult book to get hold of, and one that I'm curious to read with all of the somber history surrounding it.

And what a note to end the post on! I hope you've all had a lovely week, and let me know if you've found any goodies recently, I'd love to hear!

Monday, 30 January 2017

Preloved Vintage Kilo Sale

Yesterday I traveled into Bristol which is a few towns over from me to visit Preloved's vintage kilo sale. I'd never been to a vintage kilo sale before, but I knew the premise of it and that they're supposed to be excellent value. But from everything I'd ever seen of them, they appeared to be more "hipster vintage" than the kind of clothing people interested in vintage lifestyles would want to wear; by which I mean lots of denim and check shirts and stuff from the '80s. However I'd heard a good review of Preloved, so decided to go along and I'm so glad that I did!

Everything cost £15 per kilo and my total came to £43 which was 2.8 kilos. You're given a large plastic bag to fill as you go in, and they weigh it on your way out, so it's very easy to just throw things in your bag without knowing how much it totals but I feel I did really well! I definitely got a little carried away and bought a couple of things that are questionable, but I'm in the process of accomplishing one of my dreams and opening a vintage store so I'm not too bothered as it just means it's stock!

Before I show what I bought, I thought I'd just share a few tips about going to one of these sales in case you're considering it.

  • Wear a bag that will leave your arms completely free. I wore a backpack, something that goes across your body would also be good. You're going to be rummaging through a lot of stuff and carrying all of the goodies you want to buy so you won't want your handbag getting in the way!
  • It doesn't matter what time you go, there aren't any benefits to being an early bird. They continue to add things throughout the entire day, so it's not a case of all the good things will be gone by the end (however it's probably not a good idea to go just before closing, still keep it reasonable!)
  • You can go up to the people at the scales and ask them how much you've collected before you're ready to pay and then go back and get some more/put stuff back, that's perfectly OK. 
  • If you see something you're on the fence about, grab it and inspect it later, if you put it back it might be gone before you've blinked! If you change your mind on something, there are dedicated bins around the room to put things you want to discard (and these are also worth checking!)
  • Everything is split up according to item. Dresses are most important to me, so I made sure I checked the dress rail first and most thoroughly. Try and be strategic about your hunting.
  • Check the condition of the item before you buy it, inside as well as out! Especially if you're not a seamstress! A few of the items were damaged in some way, some as little as needing a hem being stitched back into place. One dress I saw had a silk lining which was completely moth eaten and falling apart beyond repair, yet looked fine from the outside so check, check, check
  • There are changing rooms, so you don't have to take a risk with everything you buy if you can be bothered! However I was bundled up under a lot of layers so I didn't take advantage of that.

Now onto the goodies!

This darling pink dolly dress was one of the very first things I saw, and my favourite of all of my purchases. It fits me to perfection, and it's made of a light cotton that will be so perfect for humid summer days. The white crimplene dress is too small, which I guessed it might be but couldn't bare to leave it behind. It needs a few repairs so I'll fix it up to it's former glory before passing it on.

This purple maxi dress fits like a dream, and is made from a thin crimplene so it's nice and comfortable and I just love the patterning. These next three chiffon dresses are the things that I consider questionable and where I think I got carried away! In my frenzy the pink one looked OK and like it might be nice and floaty and I liked the pattern of the fabric. It is definitely floaty, but not my thing at all so it will be passed on.

I bought this dress as I was impressed with these magnificent sleeves, and I liked the blue colour but I'm not yet decided if it'll be staying with me.

Again my love of sleeves made me weak! I saw this magnificent purple and magenta bishop sleeve poking out of the rail and it's another thing I wasn't sure of from the off, but decided to go for in my frenzy. I just find chiffon dresses a little too fussy for my personal liking, but hopefully I can find them good homes!

I loved this mod crimplene jacket, I thought it'd be perfect come spring when I want to wear lighter layers but unfortunately it's a bit too big so might get passed on. I could easily take it in to make it fit, but I feel bad doing that when I know larger sized vintage items are so highly sought after and plus sized girls already feel excluded from vintage. I'd rather it go on to a better home just as it is.

This cotton blouse is another favourite and will be perfect come summer time paired with a mod a-line skirt. The buttons on the back are surprisingly easy to manage as you only need to undo the first one near the neck.

I love a good shirt as they're so versatile, and this floral one with it's dagger collar is just my style. I've been dreaming of a Welsh tapestry vest for a while but unfortunately this one turned out to be too big, so it will be passed on.

And lastly the swimsuit is just perfect! I don't think it's ever been worn as it still has it's protective plastic stitched across the gusset which is a nice extra as I admit the idea of second hand swimwear makes me a little squeamish. However I find it really difficult to buy modern swimwear as it's far too skimpy for my taste. Not that I'm prudish, I just have areas of my body that I'm conscious of particularly my tummy and thighs as I'm a pear shaped girl and I'd just rather be covered. Even if you find swimwear that is high waisted, it still comes with high legs leaving all of my thigh on show. I love these vintage swimsuits from the late '50s/early '60s as they have a little inbuilt skirt so you're completely covered to below the crotch whilst still looking very feminine. They also have a full inbuilt bra to keep the girls firmly in place. The cups in this bra are very pointy and bullet shaped, not a style I've tried before but I have to say it looks very flattering in the swimsuit and keeps everything perky! I love the patterning and it's exactly my size, so it felt like absolute fate that it should be mine.

Have you ever had any luck at a vintage kilo sale? I'd love to hear your stories!

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Free to play alone with time

I haven't been drawing an awful lot lately, the negatives of being an art student is having barely any time to draw for yourself. And when I have had time, I've felt more inclined to sew instead. But I have drawn two portraits recently.

I wanted to draw Nick Mason as it was his 73rd birthday yesterday and as he's one of my favourite members of Pink Floyd I wanted draw something to both commemorate it and to have something to post on social media. I've been trying to simplify my portraits lately back like I used to. I've gotten into the habit of only drawing intricately detailed larger scale portraits which has made me feel intimidated to draw just when I feel like as I'm sure you can imagine they take several hours. I drew Nick in about 4 hours which is much better! It's exciting as it means my options for portraits opens up as if I'm drawing more simplified then I don't need massive HQ photographs to draw from. I'm just really excited to draw more throughout 2017 as I don't feel I did even almost enough last year.

Last month in December I also drew Rick Wright. This is one of those intricately detailed drawings I mentioned, I love how they come out but they just take too long! I had planned on doing one for each of Pink Floyd, but I'm not so sure now as I don't want to pressure myself with promises my heart is no longer into.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Such is the silence o'er royal Camelot

I just love this dress. I found it on Etsy, and my first thought was “it’s beautiful, but when would I wear it?”. Then I checked myself and remembered that I don’t need an occasion to wear what the hell I want and bought it immediately.

dress and shoes - 1960s vintage // necklace - Topshop sale
It’s handmade from the ‘60s and in just wonderful condition. Whenever I buy handmade vintage items, I can’t help but wonder if one day my own handmade clothes will fall into the hands of someone who loves them? It’s quite exhilarating to think that could happen and although it feels unlikely to me, I bet it would of felt unlikely to these girls in the ‘60s who just wanted a dress like they saw in the boutiques but without the price tag and had no idea their creations would live on.

This particular dress is modelled after the medieval revival in the late ‘60s, a fashion movement I absolutely adore. Most of the clothing I've featured below was designed by The Fool, a Dutch design and music collective who like their name suggests were hugely inspired by imagery from the tarot. They're one of my most favourite designers of the era.

Of course much of this was toned down for the everyday dolly, but elements of the style such as lace up bodices, brightly coloured tights, huge balloon, bishop, Juliette and bell sleeves and opulent brocade and velvet fabrics became hugely popular.

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