Saturday, 11 August 2012

I am moving to Tumblr!

Well, after two false starts I've decided that blogging is not for me. I've started a Tumblr, so if you'd like regular helpings of mid-Century loveliness - hair, makeup, fashion, and a whole load of other things - plus more, you are welcome to join me! Find me here!

I will probably delete this blog, so hop over now and follow me if you're interested!


Friday, 27 July 2012

99p well spent! (Unexpected eBay bargains)

Don't you just love it when an online purchase ends up being *so* much better than you'd expected?

Don't you love it even more when said purchase set you back the princely sum of 99p?

I just got this blouse and skirt together from eBay:

Granted, they don't look like much on the hanger, and even when I had won them I was sceptical- I had been looking for a camel-coloured autumn skirt, and thought that this A-line corduroy number might be a nice change from my usual (pencil skirts or full circle skirts) - but I immediately reprimanded myself; price regardless, I really don't need any more unwanted, unflattering impulse buys cluttering my overstuffed wardrobe!

What a lovely surprise then, to find that both the skirt and the blouse (which I hadn't wanted, particularly) are not just 'good for the price', but really quite lovely!

 The skirt that I had expected to be dull, heavy and utterly granny-like fits like a dream and is lovely and swingy! Best of all- I have *so* many accessories that complement it perfectly, from handbags and shoes to scarves and belts- I can see it now with my 60s tortoishell vinyl belt and 50s-style leopard print neckscarf, with a cute sweater of course!

Like the skirt, the blouse is a perfect fit, but best of all, it's a dead ringer for a blouse I saw in a 1950s magazine recently! If it weren't for the M&S label and the seam finishes I would have probably thought it was vintage! Check out the sweet rounded collar, gathered shoulders, and adorable loop fastening (with little pearly buttons!):

As if that weren't awesome enough, the fabric feels and looks very much like the rayon and cotton blends that my genuine vintage blouses are made from (though it is a poly/viscose mix). It has the classic boxy shape too, and it's great to finally have a white blouse that doesn't look like a uniform or office wear!

A wonderful find on both counts, don't you think? Have you had any unexpected eBay successes recently?

Stay tuned for pics of my two most recent finds: two pairs of vintage 50s cats' eyes sunglasses- my first ever vintage sunnies!


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

More stuff for sale!

Vintage and retro bargains galore for sale on my eBay!

I'm having a second clearout! Lots of rockabilly, retro and vintage items from my personal stash! Auctions end Sunday! Including:

This gorgeous vintage-inspired polka dot dress!

Beautiful 1950s vintage Jonathan Logan dress!

Mint condition 80s vintage pillbox hat, with polka dot veil and satin bow!

Adorable 80s-does-50s vintage pink dress!

Sweet gingham rockabilly tie blouse! (more blouses listed)

Lovely 80s-does-40s vintage dress, with rose corsage!

Beautiful ivory shift dress!

Darling 30s-40s style dress in dusty pink!

Classic white cotton retro 50s sundress!  

All this and more for sale here! Take a look and please share! Thanks and happy bidding!


Monday, 25 June 2012

MUA makeup review: Primer, Contour Pen, Eyeshadow and more!

* edited to add - MUA's website seems to be down right now, so try clicking here in the meantime to check out their products - sorry! *

I'll admit it: I'm a cheapskate when it comes to makeup. My only real splurge is the two products I rely upon the most: lipstick (Mac's Ruby Woo) and foundation (Revlon Colorstay), and at around £15 every few months they're hardly breaking the bank. Yes, I like a bargain, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the most bargainous brand of all: MUA!

Their products may be ridiculously cheap - everything's priced at £1.00, apart from their 'Pro' range, where the most you'll shell out is (gasp!) £4.00 - but do some Googling and you'll find that quite a few of their offerings are, well, really quite good!

Three of their products in particular are so good, in fact, that I use them every single day for my 50s makeup look: their Matte Eyeshadow, their Eye Primer, and their 3-in-1 Contour Pen, plus a few others that I keep handy! Read on for my mini-reviews of these fabulous yet affordable wonders!

First up: Matte Eyeshadow in shade 17.

I use this matte eyeshadow pretty much every day and it's quickly become one of my staples! MUA have gotten good press for the quality, blendability and pigmentation of their eyeshadows and this one is no exception. It's a matte light beige that comes up almost skintone on my fairish skin. It's the perfect neutral shade to use as a base for brighter colours, or just on its own. The pot (palette? what do you call it?) is surprisingly big- it's lasted me a good few months. Highly recommended and just £1!

Next, something I often use with the eyeshadow: the Eye Primer!

It used to be the case, it seems, that primers were the preserve of high-end makeup brands - so naturally, being a tightwad, I had never used them! Until I came across this gem! It claims to provide a smooth base for your eyeshadow and prevent creasing, and at £2.50 it was definitely worth a shot!

And what a discovery! Even long-lasting eyeshadows would crease on my ridiculously oily lids well before the end of the day- no more the case with this fantastic product! It's a creamy paste with a lipgloss-style wand that you apply to your lids and blend, then apply your shadow over the top! Et voila- no-budge eyeshadow through heat, sweat and oil. I especially love it for shimmery shades. Like the eyeshadow it has lasted through months of daily use. Get it now, girlies! :)

I also recommend their Face Primer- does what it says on the tin and lasts forever!

Now for my third daily staple: the 3-in-1 Contour Pen in Dark Brown!

A big secret of my Fifties makeup look is a barely-there line of dark-brown - not black - pencil eyeliner right along my lower lash line (not on the waterline). I've often found this hard to do and keep neat with a regular kohl pencil but this nifty piece of kit makes it easy, for just £1.50! It's a twist-up crayon-style liner with a flat, angled tip that makes lining your eyes a piece of cake- so much easier than using a normal pencil! It's also a decent brown colour - not orange, red or purple-toned like some other cheap liners, and whilst its staying power isn't fantastic, I have never found any pencil liner that hasn't faded on my oily skin by the end of the day. Again, it lasts for ages, and unlike other crayons I've used, has never broken, which is quite something! So ingenious that I can't believe there aren't more like this!

Honorable mentions also go to the following - I might not use them every day, but I like to have them on hand for when I want a bit of glitz!

Glitter Eyeliner in Shade 2 (clear with gold glitter)

and Liquid Eyeliner in Shade 3 (metallic bronze), just £1 each! Apparently, one of Marilyn Monroe's makeup secrets was a fine line of gold liner above her darker liner on her top lash line. I like to do the same with one or the other of these and have always received compliments! Super-flattering on blue-eyes!

MUA is available at Superdrug and via their website, and they ship internationally for those outside the UK!

Have you tried these or any other MUA products? Will you be giving any of my recommendations a whirl? What do you think?


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Attention all vintage-lovers: stuff for sale!

I'm finally having a massive wardrobe clearout and listing on eBay, starting today!Over the coming weeks, I will be listing tons of vintage and vintage-inspired loveliness, including:

a 1950s Jonathan Logan yellow sundress! Find it HERE!

a 1950s pink day  dress! Find it HERE!

a 1930s or 40s cream hat! Find it HERE!

a beautiful reverse carved lucite earring and pendant set - probably 50s! Coming soon!

a new with tags 40s/50s-styled cream wiggle dress! Find it HERE!

a sweet 60s or 70s embroidered dressing gown/robe with a definite 40s/50s feel! Find it HERE!

and loads of retro and vintage-inspired modern stuff,  including dresses, skirts, shorts, tops, accessories, bras and bikinis- the lot!

Check it all out HERE! and please share with anyone who might be interested! :)

Thanks and happy bidding!


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Thoughts on Butterick Retro B5708

My first sewing-related post!

In my last post I mentioned that I had recently started learning to sew, with the help of my wonderful and very talented Mum (she made her wedding suit, y'know). My first two projects - a 1959 cropped blouse and a 1963 sundress - went really well, especially considering I'd only been sewing two weeks (!) and hopefully I'll get some photos up at some point (chronology is going out the window, I think). A few days ago I eagerly started on my latest: Butterick Retro B5708, a lovely full skirted dress from 1953, with four charming ways to wear the neckline, thanks to the sweet little shoulder ties! After procuring some crisp white cotton from the amazing Fabric Land (don't be put off by the naff website and lack of online ordering- they're pretty good), I was all set to go!

Rated 'Easy', I didn't think I'd be punching above my weight, especially as my last dress came out so well, but quite frankly, this has been a pain in the arse (if I can be so indelicate). As you can see from the picture above, the bodice is quite unusual, made from three seperate pieces sewn together along a v-shaped main seam- and that's where the problems started. Even after painstakingly getting them to match up without bunching, and matching front and back, when I tried on the dress after putting in the zipper today, the bodice still wasn't sitting right. Cue intervention by Mum...

Hopefully it'll be done by tomorrow, and I'll be glad to see it finished, that's for sure! I know it'll look lovely on, especially with my new petticoat (post to come later)- I just wish it hadn't been quite so stressful to make! I wouldn't discourage anyone from using this pattern, as it is lovely, but just be aware it's definitely *not* for beginners, despite what the envelope says...

I'm quaking in my vintage peep-toes about the other Retro pattern I've got lined up, rated 'average' (gulp). Anyone tried B5556?

Saturday, 2 June 2012

A long overdue update (and a bit of an overhaul)...

Howdy folks,

I started this blog way back in the beginning of the year with high hopes and good intentions - but school, and life in general, took over, and it quickly languished. :(

Over the next few months I hope to be finally putting in the kind of effort I had wanted to... posting regularly, reading, enjoying and commenting on other lovely vintage-themed blogs, AND (drumroll...dum dum dum...) documenting my newfound love of sewing! Yes, just recently I have been learning to sew- vintage, of course! So I hope to use my blog as a way of documenting, amongst other things, my work-in-progress, finished garments, vintage pattern and notion collection, and general ramblings themed around my love of all things  mid-twentieth C!

Let's hope I keep to my resolutions this time! Toodle-pip til next time!

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

New discovery: dusting powder!

Sorry I haven't updated for a while- lots of exciting vintage-y things to ramble about!

First off, though: in need of some frivolous yet inexpensive vintage-style pampering, I bought myself my first ever pot of dusting powder from  The Witches' Spindle on Etsy. (The scents are organized alphabetically, so have a browse through and see what you fancy). I bought 'Inspire' -Rose and Sandalwood - and it didn't disappoint! It leaves a delicate frangrance and lovely silky-smooth feeling; plus, I feel ever so glamorous dusting myself with a big fluffy powder puff every morning- which is included with the pots! I'm even going to buy a spare one to apply my face powder with!

Even though dusting powder - or its somewhat less glamorous incarnation, talcum powder - seems to have a bit of a reputation as something your granny uses, I think it's a fabulous way to add subtle scent, and feel silky soft! And who doesn't want to be smooth, soft and fragrant?!

I can't wait to try more scents- let me know if you do! (Lilac and Lavender and Jasmine, Rose and Patchouli are next on my list!)


Friday, 10 February 2012

Pretty in pink- my first oufit post!

...except it doesn't have me in. Sorry guys.

I'm hopefully off for a day out tomorrow, and I'm planning to wear this delightful vintage 50s pink dress, which I just got in the mail today via Etsy!

Pink nylon chiffon neckscarf adds a classic 50s touch!

Close-up of the sweet floral embroidery!

Planning to accessorize with these- can't decide which earrings yet. Goldtone pink rhinestone and enamel flowers, or delicate little enamel roses? Pearlized pink bangle found in charity shop for 99p, could it be lucite...?

I'll be topping it all off with my faithful white accessories! White wicker basket bag, possibly vintage 50s or 60s, with lucite handle. White leather vintage 80s pumps and a white vinyl belt from a beloved but long-gone modern sundress to finish!

Close-up of the bag's gorgeous white pearly lucite frame and handle!

Can't wait to wear this tomorrow! Ta-ra!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Etsy woes...

Okay, I really just need to vent about this...

Don't get me wrong, I love Etsy. Since I discovered it six months ago it has furnished me with a vintage wardrobe I only could have dreamed of a year or so ago, when I started dressing vintage. But my experiences with my latest crop of purchases have left me with a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.

Take, for instance, the 'iced pink' day dress that turned out to be codespeak for 'faded half pink and half white'; the vintage bonnet dryer that despite being unused, smelt so horrible as to dissuade me from using it altogether; the skirt that had no fastener (which the seller 'missed', despite it being on a mannequin in the photos... hmm). Or, worst of all, the two blouses I bought- one of which had a large stain, which, by the looks of things, isn't going to come out, and the other one is so sun-damaged that some parts are a completely different color than the rest.

This is already frustrating enough, but what really made me blow my top was the frankly poor customer service I received (though only in two cases, thankfully). It's so tempting to name names, but, that would be rather mean of me, so...

One seller refused to give me even a partial refund without me sending the top back to her, despite the fact that a) I did actually like the blouse, and b) I would have to pay my own shipping costs. The other seller was downright rude when I contacted her, and though she insisted the pictures made the discoloration clear, was bascially kicking sand over the fact that she had sold me the shirt knowing that the hadn't made the fault clear, which, as far as I'm concerned, is dishonesty.

It's not even about price, in my opinion. If I paid $5 for something, does that mean I'm happy to write off the fact that it has a significant stain/hole/tear/smell that I was not made aware of before I bought it? To me, it's about sellers being 110% transparent about what they're selling, especially if they have draconian return policies...

Anyway, rant over for now. Maybe it's a sign that I need to stop shopping...


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Candy (wo)man- my new 50s rainbow dress!

I just had to share this, my very latest acquisition via Etsy!
This gorgeous marbled rainbow colored dress is like nothing I've ever seen before! At first I thought it was an 80s-does-50s dress because of the bright colors and unusual print, but no, it appears to be the real deal! I don't think it's a plain dress that's been dyed, either- the marbling is too neat. In any case, it's just gorgeous- so incredibly unusual and such beautiful colors! And look very closely, you'll see a dainty white flower print over the top!

As usual, it'll be a teensy bit big on top (oh the woes of being pear-shaped!), and I do wish it hadn't been hemmed, but as we vintage lovers know, the search for the perfect-fitting, unaltered, mint-condition vintage wardrobe is a futile one (or at least a very expensive one).

Thinking I'll wear these earrings with it (vintage 80s-but-looks-50s-or-60s Sarah Coventry goldtone and glass AB):

I love how they look different colors in different lights- I thought the pinks, yellows and blues in the earrings would look great with the dress. Either that or go for cheap 'n' cheerful with white plastic beads

Can't wait to get my little rainbow package! Ta-ra!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Hello, and welcome!

Is there anybody out there? This is my first ever blog, and my first ever post!

The title says it all. I'm a twenty-something student and vintage clothing and lifestyle fanatic, and this is my blog. Welcome!

A bit about me:

The 1950s have always fascinated me. At age 7 or 8 I was in love with Elvis (no joke, ask my parents!). Around the same time I found rock 'n' roll via my Dad's music collection. A few years later my Mum took me to see Grease. A decade down the line and I'm (finally) something of a walking time-machine. Hence my 'name'- yes, I have actually been referred to as 'That 50s Girl'. It's the music I listen to, the movies I watch, the clothes I wear, my hair, makeup, and much more.

I'm not going to lie- I started this blog primarily as a showcase for my vintage and vintage-inspired wardrobe, which is not such a bad thing- I think it's an inbuilt female trait to want to display and share your purchases! But, occasionally you might get me rambling about something less frivolous. When I have time, inbetween writing papers, trying to sleep and eat simultaneously, and figuring out how to do an alternating pincurl set.

Well, I'll sign off for now- and please, if you like what you read, comment! Share! Discuss! Ta-ra for now!