Category Archives: Beauty/Hair

An Interview With The Miniature Perfume Shoppe

20140130-133720.jpgLove is in the air… it’ll soon be Valentine’s Day and what lady doesn’t like to be wooed by perfume? For this week’s interview I’m chatting to Leslie Ann and Allen Aaron White of the Texan based Miniature Perfume Shoppe – a perfume bottle shop and museum rolled into one. Leslie Ann White is the Founder and Owner of Miniature Perfume Shoppe. Her professional career of more than twenty five years in the cosmetics industry includes time spent as the Cosmetics Buyer for Foley’s (now Macy’s) Department Stores, and an Account Executive for Clinique Labs responsible for 24 accounts and $10M in annual sales. When not out on the hunt for the next great mini through either her travelling or surfing the web, most of Leslie Ann’s time is spent researching, processing, and professionally cleaning/restoring minis for Miniature Perfume Shoppe. As co-owner, Allen Aaron White (Leslie Ann’s husband), created the MPS website that launched online in 2009. With a varied and successful professional career that has included work as a retail manager, human resources executive, and ordained minister, Allen joined Miniature Perfume Shoppe full-time in 2011 where he currently serves as curator, photographer, and resident perfume historian.

A big welcome to you both, I adore your idea of a miniature perfume shop – it is the first & largest online store of its kind in the world devoted exclusively to the collector of miniature perfume bottles – where did you get your inspiration from?image
Leslie Ann : The inspiration for Miniature Perfume Shoppe began with a small sample bottle of Chanel No. 5. My mom had  just finished using a mini of her “signature” fragrance and asked me (I was thirteen and living in Scotland at the time) if I would like the empty bottle. Little did either one of us realize then that this would not only be the beginning of my personal miniature perfume bottle collection, but also my professional career in the cosmetic industry. Soon, I had two, then ten, then dozens of tiny perfume bottles. My collection continued to grow through the years (I still have that original bottle) with some of those minis ultimately becoming the first inventory for Miniature Perfume Shoppe. My personal collection today is less than a hundred bottles – mainly vintage Chanel minis – but being surrounded by literally thousands of minis every day, I feel a special connection with each and every one. It’s hard to let them go!
20140130-133731.jpgYou stock over 5,000 minis including limited editions,famous brand names, antique, vintage and new too.  What’s the oldest bottle you have, the rarest, the most extravagant, the priciest and the newest?
Allen: First launching with about a hundred bottles, Miniature Perfume Shoppe has since surpassed the 5,000 bottle mark (we currently have our eyes set on that 10,000 mini milestone.) Truth is, since we’re constantly searching for and buying minis from all over the world – individual bottles and entire collections – our inventory is constantly changing. With collectors in more than 35 countries our minis are often here today and gone tomorrow, and with hundreds of “new” minis arriving each week, every day is like Christmas around here. Through the years, some of the oldest (and rarest) minis we have had include miniatures from the mid-1800s, with quite a few regularly arriving from the 1920s such as a Grossmith Phul-Nana, Jaspy Myrodata, and a scarce La Mysteree by Lothaire. As for the most extravagant mini, well that is in the eye of the beholder, but it is hard to beat an Adrian Designs miniature or early Irice Czech glass bottle. Although most minis sell at our shoppe (on average) in the $10 – $25 price range, we also offer “Paris minis” as low as $2.95. Of course, scarcer, hard to find, discontinued miniatures in very good-to-mint condition sell for much, much more. The Priciest? A sealed Guerlain Shalimar “Umbrella” bottle from the 1950s, and a signed, numbered, Serge Lepage Botticelliana mini by Schiaparelli c1970s come to mind – each valued at around $200. We work hard to maintain as diverse a selection as possible with a mini for every taste and every pocketbook. As for the newest, well that depends on what arrives on any given day. Last week it was Wonderstruck by Taylor Swift and Flora from the Gucci Garden Collection.
20140130-133756.jpgTo date, what has been your most popular bottle requested?
Allen: There are some minis that are considered timeless and classic, usually because of either the bottle design or the fact that the fragrance has been discontinued or reformulated. Minis that we find very difficult to keep in stock (and usually sell within days of arriving) include: the original Shalimar, Lauren, Must de Cartier, Poison, and Anne Klein II.
What’s your most favourite perfume bottle?
Miniatures
Leslie Ann: Chanel No 5 from the 1920s-1930s
Allen: Champagne (with wire) by Yves Saint Laurent
 
Commercial
Both: Hedonist by Parfums Viktoria Minya, Paris
You also buy in bottles – have you any that you are particularly hoping to come across?
We are always on the lookout for very early Guerlain minis (especially Jickey and Shalimar) and early ornamental Czech glass minis – the older the better.
You’re a big supporter of the Institute of Art and Olfaction – every mini that is bought you make a donation to the Institute – plus you’ve made a donation of books for their perfume library.  How did you get involved with the Institute?
Allen: Since we first opened for business, we knew that at some point we wanted to partner with and financially support a worthy non-profit organization. That happened last year when we discovered the Institute for Art & Olfaction, based in Los Angeles. For us, it was love at first sight (or sniff) because in the IAO we found the best of all worlds: fragrance, art, and perfume education. When we learned they were trying to build a perfume library we jumped at the chance to help, so since their opening in January of 2013 we’ve supported the IAO monthly. We also donate 10% of any sale made with an IAO discount code. The Institute is involved in some of the most innovative, cutting-edge work being done in the perfume world today and we’re proud to play a mini part in their success.
20140130-133709.jpgThe Vintage Bottles are intended for display purposes and not for use as an everyday personal fragrance.  So, tell me, what is your perfume of choice for everyday wear?
Leslie Ann: Because our miniatures come from diverse people and places from all over the world, we seldom know for sure how a bottle has been cared for over the years. Ideally, minis are kept in a closed display case protected from light and extreme heat or cold, but we cannot always say that with absolute certainty. For that reason, we don’t guarantee that “the juice” in a bottle is still good or wearable. That said, often the perfume in a bottle may be perfectly fine – even after decades of sitting on a shelf, although more often than not some of the top notes have “gone off.”.  As for my personal perfume of choice? That’s easy. My “signature scent” at this time in my life is Hedonist by Viktoria Minya. I think it is the most beautiful, intoxicating perfume on the market today. In fact, I love it so much (and my husband loves it on me so much) that we now carry the line at Miniature Perfume Shoppe. But I also have a fragrance wardrobe that I can choose from based on the season or special occasion. Of course, I also have the luxury of being surrounded by thousands of minis and fragrances every day. Depending on my mood, I can wear just about any fragrance I want anytime I want.
You also sell very cute perfume pins/brooches – I love the Montana silver tone – what’s the most popular? What’s your personal favourite?
Leslie Ann: All of our perfume pins and brooches are adorable – that’s why they are so collectible (especially in Europe), but you’ll almost never find my favorite in stock. That’s because they sell as quickly as they come in – vintage sterling silver perfume pins by Judith Jack.
20140130-133805.jpgYou have a library/resource area too – a great idea – what sort of historical enquiries do you get?
Allen: There is no shortage of great books, websites, and blogs on perfume. Through the years we’ve tried to include links to some of the very best on our website. But we’re excited to have just launched a perfume project we’ve been working on for sometime – The Mini Museum. (www.TheMiniMuseum.com) Although our ultimate goal is to one day have a brick-and-mortar building for our collection (we’re looking at sites in Houston and Paris, Texas), our virtual museum and timeline provide a photograph, fragrance facts, and perfume history for “every” miniature perfume bottle in our collection. It’s still a work in progress, but we’re hoping over time it will become a great perfume resource not only for mini collectors, but lovers of fragrance as well.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
Leslie Ann: Less now, than when I was in the corporate world, I have always enjoyed wearing timeless, classic, tailored clothing and accessories. Generally, some of my favorites include: Clothing: Christian Dior & Talbot’s, Cosmetics: Clinique, Handbags: Gucci and Coach, Shoes: Clarke’s (casual) and Vaneli (dress), Watch: Gucci, Coach, Mondaine
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
Leslie Ann: With my many years in retail, I do very little shopping at department stores anymore, preferring to do almost all of my shopping online. Besides, the internet is open 24-7-365 and delivers right to my front door! However, Allen and I both love vintage so we really enjoy “going antiquing” (and mini hunting!)
 Boots or Shoes?
Leslie Ann: Always shoes, maybe an ankle  boot. I prefer comfort and simple elegance. For me, I find boots too constricting – like I can’t breathe, lol. Besides, more often than not here in Texas the boot of choice is the cowgirl variety. Definitely not me.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about the Miniature Perfume Shoppe
Miniature Perfume Shoppe
Spring, Texas 77388 USA (Near Houston)
 
 
(New) Instagram/Miniature_Perfume_Shoppe
Thank you both very much for chatting to me…I love perfume and have found your shop and museum really fascinating. Hedonist is the featured fragrance of the Miniature Perfume Shoppe this Valentines Day – so don’t forget to sniff out a bottle soon…
 
Linda  x
 
Photo credits:  Photos have been published with kind permission from Allen Aaron White and for the Hedonist photo, with kind permission from Parfums Viktoria Minya, Paris.
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An Interview With Sarah G Cosmetics

drama queen lipstickThis week I’m talking make up with the gorgeous Sarah, founder of cosmetic company Sarah G Cosmetics and make up artist extraordinaire! With many years experience in the cosmetic industry, Sarah has a strong knowledge of what women want when it comes to makeup which led her to create Sarah G Cosmetics an innovative,high quality brand. The brand’s theory tells us that makeup is ageless; it is one size fits all and should be attainable to all walks of women, bringing colour to skin of all colours. Sarah likes to keep the packaging understated and let the products do the talking. The products are manufactured in the USA using extremely sophisticated scientific and pharmaceutical technology. They are not tested on animals. The range consists of everything from primer to pencils and all other essentials combined with trend led seasonal products and innovative breakthrough products, keeping up with the ever competitive cosmetics market. Above all Sarah’s main ambition is simple, to make women feel beautiful.sarah g cosmetics shoot pallette

So, let us talk to the lady herself…welcome Sarah! What was the inspiration behind setting up Sarah G Cosmetics?

I decided to take a break from the cosmetics industry and go down the fashion route. I opened a ladies boutique, however a year in I realised how much I missed what I had now discovered was my true passion – makeup. I looked into stocking makeup within the boutique and the idea snowballed from there to create my own line. As much as I enjoyed my fashion jaunt I realised my heart was in makeup more than anything else and so I gave up my store, launched a website and began the journey with SGC.

Have you always wanted to be in the make up beauty industry?

Ever since I was in my teens I wanted to be a MUA. I got my first job with MAC and my determination to have a place in the cosmetic industry grew.

What make up products seem to be most popular currently?

blush palette openThe most popular products right now seem to be palettes, whether it be eyes, cheeks or face. The customer is getting more looks for their money and it enables them to experiment and create multiple looks from one product. By far my best seller is my Face Kit which contains 4 versatile shadows/highlight a contour/bronzer powder and a suit all blush, its gorgeous! Of course glitter is always popular for party season SGC has some pretty amazing ones!

I love your lip glosses! All the colours! What’s your favourite make up item from your range?

I have to say my favourite item from the range is my concealer palette, a must for gorgeous flawless skin, hand in hand with this a gorgeous blush can do wonders for your complexion, so I have to say my Baked Mineral Apricot Glow is a must for luminous skin.apricot moulin rouge

What do you think will be the dominating makeup colours this winter? 

The dominating shades for this season are browns, burgundys and plums for lips; for eyes, dramatic, graphic liner and full lashes are bang on trend.

What plans,if any, have you got to extend your range of products?  Any new products in the pipeline?

I am always looking to expand the line! For next season expect bold colours and skin perfecting products.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites?

Little MermaidSince most of my work involves a computer, my shopping is mainly done on line. I love Asos! The quality of their items are so good, I dont think I have bought anything from there and been dissappointed. I love a rifle through Primark also for seasonal trends.

What’s next on your clothes/shoe/ bag wish list?

Next on my wishlist for winter is a pair of dressy knee high boots, I havent seen any so far but I am thinking an old school vibe style in black patent…

Boots or Shoes?

Clue in the previous question… I am a boot girl! I just love boots, ankle, knee high, thigh high, I love them all! I feel like a good pair of boots will go with any outfit, dressy or casual.

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Sarah G Cosmetics

www.sarahgcosmetics.com 

https://twitter.com/SarahGCosmetics 

https://www.facebookcom/pages/Sarah-G-Cosmetics/162057843849505

Thanks for a fabulous natter Sarah…I love the fact that you are a fellow boot lover like myself!  I must say that your new eye palettes for this season, Sarah, are to die for … check them out peeps … bright jewel colours just ready for partying as well as the other delights Sarah has on her website!
Linda x
Photo Credits:  Photos have been published with kind permission from Sarah G Cosmetics.

 

 

 

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Reviving The 50s – An Interview With Amanda Moorhouse

This week I’d like to welcome the beautiful and talented Amanda Moorhouse, founder of Lipstick & Curls. Hi Amanda, introduce yourself and tell us what was the inspiration behind Lipstick & Curls:Amanda_Lipstick_and_Curls copy

Lipstick & Curls was born out of my love for the vintage look and my career as a hair & make up artist in the fashion industry. I studied hair & make up at the London College of fashion and then went down the usual route of assisting a established make up artist to learn my craft and make industry contacts. I assisted Illamasqua’s Alex Box for two years, whilst also working for a vintage inspired make up and hair retailer called Pout as their main stylist and product developer. For the last 15 years, I feel lucky to have maintained a career in hair & make up styling, a job that I still find stimulating and an area I continue to learn and grow in.

Whilst I had always loved watching old glamorous films I really found my passion for vintage whilst I was a student. There was the music of course but also the clothes. I’m sure partly due to student poverty I used to trawl the charity shops looking for interesting items and in those days it was easier to find some lovely vintage pieces. With these interests I began to research through old magazines and film clips looking for authentic period looks and incorporating them into my work.

Lipstick_and_Curls._7I founded Lipstick & Curls in 2009.with a team of two artists, this has now grown to a team of 15. Lipstick & Curls specialises in hair and make-up from the past and can transform you into a jazz era flapper girl, a golden era Hollywood starlet, a rock n roll pin-up or a Mad Men sex kitten. We pride ourselves on having a fully qualified team that are all part of the different strands of the vintage scene, rockabillies, 40’s enthusiasts, Mods, Northern soul enthusiasts etc. While all experts in vintage styling, they are able to create any look from a bygone period. 

What, in your opinion, has been the most popular styles and make up colours in recent seasons? 

 We continue o look to the past for our inspiration in style and fashion. Media also play s a huge role in our influences, and now more than ever with TV hit series such as, Madmen, Downtown Abbey, Boardwalk Empire, Mr Selfridge …and many, many more. This is reflected in fashion across the board and even in hair and make up styling. Women are wanting a more glamorous appearance and are requesting styles from the 20’s to the 60’s. We also see the music industry being heavily influenced by the vintage styles, vintage is really everywhere and in my opinion is here to stay!!

I love the “Pop Up Beauty Parlour” idea …. and judging by the sell outs so do a lot of ladies!! What service tends to be the most popular? And what is your favourite treat at a beauty parlour? Stephanie & Dale's Wedding

The pop up parlor is a great addition to an event! We have a few regulars at vintage fairs and festivals, and ladies can shop as well as getting beautified giving a complete experience. Most of our ladies choose our hair and make up package receiving a full vintage make over, this is our most popular service.

I find I spend most of my time making other ladies beautiful  however when I get the time I do enjoy a manicure and the odd massage, for me that is a real treat!

What’s your most favourite make up item in your collection?

Ooh that’s a difficult one! I am torn between my red lippy and my eyebrow pencil, it would have to be the brow liner.Lipstick_and_Curls_5

Congratulations on Lipstick & Curls  being the Winner of Best Vintage Hair & Make Up in the 2012 Vintage Awards. Have you any new ventures/ideas that you’re planning for 2013?

We are always looking at ways of pushing the company forward. Our new Lipstick & Curls take away has proven popular and is a mobile service that takes glamour to the home. Made popular in the 40’s and 50’s the mobile stylist gives the company a connection with the hair & make up artists of the past.

We have recently started an exciting new venture with a company we love the Vintage Patisserie. It is a hair and beauty academy and our aim is to teach the basics in vintage glamour so ladies can look amazing without a daily visit to a salon. It’s more than just teaching skills though and it will have that very distinct vintage patisserie experience with lots of delicious food and drink.

 In the next few months we are also launching our online shop. From my experience as a hair and makeup artist I have sourced together many of the products and companies that are invaluable to my kit. Many not available in this country at the moment.

Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?Lipstick_and_Curls_6

I love dressing up and have some loads of original clothes from the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s but I also have a 3 year old so tend to dress more casually at home in reproduction and keep the originals for work and going out. I have to say I live in my ‘Freddies’ jeans (a reproduction of a classic 1950’s pattern) While I have a passion for shoes and have a great collection, I am on my feet a lot, so wear a lot of flats. I am a huge fan of French Sole ballet pumps, Remix Sandals, Miss L Fire and Terry Smith saddle shoes.

Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?

Lipstick_and_Curls_2I’m a big fan of Vintage fairs, where they have the best original clothing dealers but also love to find bargains scourering the charity shops and car boots. Some favourite shops for Vintage are Radio Days in Waterloo and Blackout in Covent Garden. As for reproduction I love Freddies of Pinewood (http://www.freddiesofpinewood.co.uk) , Morellos (http://www.morellos.co.uk/) and What Katie Did (http://www.whatkatiedid.com/)

What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?

I have recently bought quite a special gold 1950’s wiggle dress and I am on the look out for the perfect pair of 1950’s healed mules to wear with it!

Boots or Shoes? 

Shoes! I wear a lot of skirts dresses and capris and a boot wouldn’t work with either really. I do love my vintage court shoes and even my repro sandals … even in the winter!

Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc

 

Info@lipstickandcurls.net

www.lipstickandcurls.net

https://www.facebook.com/LipstickandCurlsLtd

https://twitter.com/#!/lipstickcurls

http://pinterest.com/lipstickcurls/

 

Thanks Amanda!  I do like your idea of an online shop and I love the whole set up of Lipstick & Curls! I wish you continued success! 

Linda x

Photo Credits: Rhapsody Road; Claudia Rose Carter Photography; Steve Hart Photography; Tony Nylons; Nick Clements

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Metallica the Trend

Metallica …it hit the fashion runways in both 2011 and 2012 but didn’t make too much of an impression …then along comes 2013 and metallica comes alive for both men and women! This time the trend seems destined to stay throughout winter, spring and into summer – especially as Summer 2013 looks set to have the colour white as a main fashion colour – because, combined with white, golds and silvers enhance a tan quite unlike any other colour.  Back to winter and spring though – gold and silver combined with black and greys glamourise an everyday outfit and although the party season may be over for some, there is no reason not to strut your stuff at the local club in some sparkly wear. There’s nothing more sexy than throwing on a black leather biker jacket  over a little metallic number, adding some heels and your weekend is sorted.  This year though, metallic colours are not just limited to silver and gold – explore copper rose/coral (fab as a top teamed with khaki shorts or chinos), metallic beiges ( brightens up an “ageing” colour!) and oyster pink ( beautiful wedding alternative). It is not just sequins either – satin (a la 1970s/1980s), dyed leather,lurex knit, silk mix metallic materials, and even fine silk twill laminated with a thin layer of foil!  2013 most certainly has arrived in a bright and shimmery fashion!

Time for a chat – I’d like to welcome to the blog this week Alex from Seventh Circle Artworks … Hi Alex, introduce yourself:
Hi, I’m Alex Palmer, owner/designer/maker at Seventh Circle Artworks.
What made you want to pursue a career as a jewellery craftsman?
I studied sculpture and fine art at college and have played in various bands over the years, so combining the two creative elements seemed like a natural thing. I made my first piece for the US metal band Saint Vitus and sold all 25 limited edition rings in just one day on their merchandise stand at a Dutch festival. To be there with them, watch them play, and generally have a great weekend of rock n roll because I made some rings is about as much incentive as I need to want to do this professionally!
What has been the most unusual jewellery request you’ve had ?
Nothing too unusual as yet but its early days! I have made a ring for someone with the words “Life Is Too Short” engraved in large gothic style lettering around the outside. It was for a guy who had been going through treatment for cancer for the past year and wanted something to remind him that indeed, life IS too short, don’t waste a minute of it. Not unusual, but a beautiful piece to be asked to create.
What has been your favourite jewellery piece to date?
My favourite piece would have to be the celtic torc I made for the singer of Saint Vitus, Wino. We had talked for a year about it but finally confirmed it with only 2 weeks before he arrived for one day in London! That kind of piece would normally take around 6-8 weeks, but the pressure really helped me pull it off. From the hand carved wolf heads to the hand twisted silver wire torc itself, it’s the one piece I genuinely did not want to hand over to the client.
Where do you get your inspiration from when creating a jewellery piece?
If it’s a custom piece I like to find out something about the client first in order to get a grasp of where their inspiration comes from. For my own work, generally the darker things in life inspire me. Skulls, occult symbols etc. Music also has a big influence on my work. Depending on what kind of piece I am making I will listen to something like ACDC for the more rock n roll edge or maybe some doomier underground stuff like Amber Asylum to get that extra bit of atmosphere to the piece.
What style of jewellery would you like to try that you haven’t tried as yet?
I’d like to try designing jewellery with precious/semi-precious stones as the centre piece of the design. I am hopefully going to be working on a collaboration with French based Oblivion Jewellery next year which will fulfil that goal. We already spoke a few times online about ideas and we both come from a similar music related background so I’m quite excited about what we can come up with.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing ?
Haha!! Not something I usually get asked to be honest with you! Pretty old school rocker in that sense, denim and leather! I can always rely on my New Rock biker boots and Lee jeans without fail.  
Do you have any favourite shops or online sites ?
There is a great handmade leather stall in Camden market where I got a cool wristband from a few months ago. They are really interesting guys and happy to talk about what they do with you, and go the extra mile to make you something you want. There are a few stalls and shops like that in Camden, you just have to search for them.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
More band t-shirts I imagine! I’m a sucker for buying shirts at gigs.
Boots or Shoes? 
Boots without a doubt. They are comfortable, hardwearing and as a big 6ft guy they are chunky so suit me better than shoes. And because they simply rock!
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook etc
Thanks Alex…don’t forget to check out the fabulous Twins of Evil Torc Bangle and the Stone Dead Forever Skull Eternity Ring, as pictured – great ideas for Valentines Day!

Linda x

Picture Credits: Adam Hobden Photography; Marie GC Photography; Zuleika Fray;Alex Palmer

 

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An Evening of Burlesque and Boudoir

I’m so excited…I’m off to see a West End Burlesque Show and I can’t wait to indulge in the glamour of the occasion! Over the last 20 years or so, there has been a revival of burlesque shows on both sides of the Atlantic. This revival is known fondly as Neo-Burlesque and one of the best known performers is the immensely successful Dita von Teese, who began performing in 1992  – and in the last few years she has made cameo appearances in the Eurovision Song Contest;has been ambassador/spokesperson for MAC cosmetics (as part of a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign) alongside Debbie Harry, Eve and Lisa Marie Presley;has launched her own make up collection “Classics” in partnership with the German cosmetic brand Art Deco; and has launched her own range of lingerie – Australia being the country honoured with the first collection.

Corporate Burlesque Entertainment Booking Sukki Singapora

So what is burlesque? Burlesque is basically striptease with the emphasis on tease – think vintage glamour – feathers,corsets,seamed stockings and nipple tassels!! Although every burlesque performer has their own unique showstopper – Dita von Teese shows are influenced by musicals and films of the 1930s and 1940s – her signature show features a giant martini glass and her feather fan dance was inspired by burlesque dancer Sally Rand and featured the world’s largest feather fans, now on display in Hollywood’s Museum of Sex. In contrast, Sukki Singapora, performs an ultimate fusion of traditional burlesque and Bollywood Glamour.

image

Burlesque is a popular fancy dress theme, and as a hen/girly night idea there are dance schools, such as the Pink Kitten Dance School in Bristol, offering burlesque dancing classes where you and your girlfriends can learn to take off your clothes seductively …but don’t worry you don’t end up nude, you just wear lots of layers to practice in!! Boudoir photography often have a burlesque feel to the shots – probably because of the make up, corset ,hosiery and shoes worn …not forgetting the props!

Corsets,tutus or combined corset-tutu dresses are a must….there are plenty to choose from on the internet from specialist corset shops through to fancy dress outlets  – ebay offers a reasonable and good selection too.

Stockings- seamed black stockings, fishnets,hold ups or how about fishnet suspender tights.

Other props could include long gloves,either plain or black lace,gothic style; fascinators….the list is endless and best left to your imagination.  Don’t forget to check out the lingerie sections of catalogue companies such as La Redoute too!

Talented MUA Emma Brooks who has worked in the industry for over 15 years with MAC, and now is freelance, gave me some advice on getting that perfect Burlesque look:

Burlesque Make up is all about the sexy retro era, cat like eyes and a beautiful cupid’s bow shaped red lip. It’s what us make up artists like to call “Flicks and Lips”. Here are the key products to create the look:-

  • Skin – Flawless matte skin to begin, M.A.C  Studio Fix Fluid SPF15, using foundation slightly paler than your natural skin tone.  Powder on top with M.A.C Blot Powder. Apply M.A.C Pink Cult blusher to the apples of the cheeks.
  • Eyes – M.A.C. Bare Canvas paint blended from lash line up to brow bone. Blend a little M.A.C. vanilla eyeshadow all over the top. M.A.C. Blacktrack Fluidline applied with a M.A.C. 266 Angle Brush, to create a cat like perfect FLICK on the eye. Really emphasise and elongate the flick at the outer corner of the eye. Lashings of mascara and Dior Black show kohl pencil. M.A.C Fascinating White in water line of eye. M.A.C. spiked eyebrows to darken and emphasis brows. M.A.C.  12  false eyelashes.
  • Lips – M.A.C. Red lipliner pencil to create a fuller top lip and really emphasise the cupid’s bow. M.A.C Ruby Woo lipstick.
  • And lastly, not forgetting the essential beauty spot on cheekbone using M.A.C. Coffee eye kohl pencil.

So, now you’re ready to strut your stuff at the burlesque parties this season… and perhaps attend a show or two yourself! I was lucky enough to interview the extremely sweet, multi national burlesque artist (and model,vocalist & violinist) Sukki Singapora, for this week’s blog..

imageMultinational Burlesque Starlet and proud representative of Burlesque for Singapore, Sukki is one of the most exciting performers to emerge into the Neo-Burlesque Scene. She is the World’s first Professional Burlesque Performer to hail from the “tiny sunny island” of Singapore, capturing the imagination and heart of the nation [ChwennyLand, November 2011]. Using her native roots she has created signature fusion routines which mix Bollywood and oriental gyrations with tongue in cheek showgirl bump and grind.Her acts have been critically critically acclaimed in all the countries she’s performed, and has enabled her to share a stage with high profile celebrities such as UK TV Comedians Rufus Hound and Jason Manford. Little over a year into her career she founded The Singapore Burlesque Society, it’s main aim being to promote and support Burlesque in Singapore, and freedom of expression through the Art. Clearly a talented force making waves in the industry Sukki is also the mastermind behind sell-out revue The Singapore Burlesque Club.Her performances are as lavish and elaborate as her costumes, making this sultry and visually stunning performer not one to be missed.

Hi Sukki! Glad to have you on the blog! I know that every burlesque performer has their own style – and the costumes worn reflect that. Where do you get your inspiration from for the outfits? Custom made or designer etc? For me it’s about creating something individual, rather than simply slipping into something already designed. My inspiration comes from many things,my childhood,my heritage,and burlesque pioneers of the past such as Barbara Yung. it can take months of imagination and reinvention before the finished costume is created. Usually I have designers to help with the basic designs, and then I add and embellish them myself until they’re perfect. Wherever possible I like to start with the material from a sari so that every showpiece has a story to it which reflects my ethnicity.

imageFavourite stage outfit /shoes. At the moment my favourite stage outfit is the one for my “Introducing Miss Singapora Act.” I love the complexity of the beading, and the way it makes me feel. It took so many hours to complete. Often the most glamorous pieces do! And my favourite stage shoes… a vintage 1950’s pair of gold dancing heels. High enough to emphasise the seductiveness of a woman’s leg, but not too high so as she can’t move gracefully. I love the story that comes with dancing in her shoes, and what history they might hold.

Off stage, what outfits/shoes do you normally wear? Off stage, I enjoy wearing vintage. My favourite dresses at the moment are Chinese pieces from the 1940’s. I always like to make an effort, even when “off duty” and never leave the house without makeup! My favourite shoes depend of the occasion. Recently my muse has been Jeffrey Campbell. Definitely my first choice to feel playful and elegant in during the day!

Any advice for wannabe burlesque starlets ? In my experience, I’ve found that the best burlesque acts have a hint of something unique. Something which shows off your personality without trying too hard. Explore your own individualism, and keep practicing. Also avoid cliches when it comes to style. Try not to step on the stage in the head to toe catalogue of a “burlesque” outfit from a sex shop. You can never do too much customising!

Your routines must require a lot of energy as well as skill – what do you do to keep fit? To keep fit I think it’s as much about diet as about exercise. I have hourly intensive workout sessions with a personal trainer two times a week, and on top of that I make sure I rehearse routines every day, I try to eat many small meals throughout the day rather than waiting and eating huge portions, and prioritise proteins and vegetables. I avoid bread and dairy products, although I don’t cut them out completely. One day a week I allow myself to eat whatever I want – in some form or another that usually involves chocolate!
Boots or Shoes? Definitely shoes, and never without a platform or a heel!
Links eg website, twitter,Facebook etc so that readers can find you/or follow you etc
Have fun!
Linda x
Sukki Singapora photos: Photography by My Boudoir; MUA by Sarah Elliott; and corsetry by Kiku Boutique.
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To Tan Or Not to Tan…

That is the question on a lot of fair skinned ladies’ lips as summer arrives…and for those of all skin tones a further question may be, go bare legged or not ?!

I am fair,or,as I like to say, “interestingly pale”  – I do not tan naturally easily – although to be fair (LOL!), I am not really a “laze around sunbathing on a beach ” sort of person! The top half of my body does get a colour of a fashion ( ok, I go red!) but my legs remain lily white. I can remember having a successful tan whilst on holiday –  when I was in my late teens and I had obviously fallen asleep on the sun bed during the day after staying up all night dancing the night away! I can also remember having sunburnt eyelids – not very pleasant! What I can definitely recommend if you do tend to go red before tanning is to invest in some Rimmel Sunshimmer  – rub this bronzer onto the red patches as well as on your shoulders,arms,legs,chest and it acts as an after sun moisturiser and turns the red a nice glittery bronze colour !  Fabulous on your face too – gives a healthy tan colour ! Pack some into your suitcases!!!

Sunbeds are an option. I booked a course of sun bed sessions before I embarked on (another) teen holiday to Magaluf! However, I only lasted one session – I contracted chicken pox and that was that. I landed in Magaluf, pale and spotty…but not for long, thankfully! However, if you are not a person who can lie on a normal sun bed for at least 15 minutes before getting bored, then it probably isn’t a good idea!

About 15 years ago I had an all over tan treatment applied at a spa and unfortunately I turned a lovely shade of orange. Luckily, my holiday break that year was to the Lake District where I was able to wear long sleeves and trousers ! Nowadays, fake tans are more sophisticated and the orange look can be avoided.  Spray tanning at reputable salons and centres now produce flawless results – although not used myself, friends have recommended the LA Tanning company, Vita Liberata outlets and Fake Bake.

Alternatively, you could opt for the fake suntan cream and do your legs (and body) yourself. I currently use Body Shop’s Molten Bronze  – a dry body oil with a hint of natural fake tan – apply it every day and you will gradually build up a natural looking colour. For me, it just takes the edge off that lily white ! Johnson’s Holiday Tan and Dove also work in the same way. Facial wise, I’m currently using Leichner’s camera blend tinted moisturiser in “hints of beige”.  Not as heavy as traditional foundations but it gives a lovely flawless illuminated look – available in various “hints” for all skin tones.

For darker tans, and fans of TOWIE, try Lauren’s Way Glam Tan – you can see for yourself how good it is by looking at Lauren Goodger!  ( Lauren’s Way also do spray tans). Another recommendation is pHenomeal tanning mousse by Vita Liberata – this tan can last an astonishing 2-3 weeks – and is available in dark,medium and fair. The product has won the “Best Tanning Range” category in U Magazine’s beauty awards 2012/2013.

You could also boost your all over tan by sunbathing in “Tan Through Swimwear” – the swimsuits and bikinis have a built in SPF of around 6 , so it is recommended that suntan lotion of SPF 6 or higher should be used on areas not covered by the swimsuit. There is a large range on Amazon ; you could also check out the Tan Through website – they guarantee that their Cool Tan swimwear range are not see through when wet or dry. It could be just the thing to eliminate those “tan lines”!

If bare legs are not your scene or perhaps are not appropriate for the occasion, there are a range of tights to give you that just tanned and oiled look. The photo heading this blogpost is of Jonathan Aston Micronet Tights in Natural with Pretty Polly Naturals Oiled Tights in Slightly Sunkissed underneath. Believe me, they look and feel wonderful ! If you want to bare your just painted tootsies in a pair of sandals, don a pair of toeless tights – brilliant invention !!  For sexiness you can’t beat the  seamed retro hosiery  –  available in colours from nude to chocolate – these are great for darker skin tones or as an alternative to the usual black tights/stockings.

Now you’ve prepared your pins – look to have a pedicure, paint your nails a vibrant colour (I love corals!), find those TAN sandals and go, strut your stuff!

Linda x

Photo Credit: Adam Hobden

 

 

 

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Shades of Sauciness!

20120720-155001.jpgI don’t think there is a woman left in the UK who, if they haven’t read THE book, they’ve certainly heard about it ! Of course, I’m talking about Fifty Shades of Grey, the saucy novel by EL James.

Whilst opinions and reviews are divided, there is no doubt that the book has injected some “oomph” into the adult toy, lingerie, fashion,novelty and beauty markets and with a film being made, the future looks very bright indeed. So, whilst you are waiting for the film to be made and released, here are some fun FASHION (in a kind of fashion!) tips to help you create your own Mr Grey/ Anastasia Steele (or ‘Mrs Robinson’ !) scenario :

  • WAXING Mr Grey liked his ladies smooth and was very particular that they were waxed often. I must admit, I’ve tried home waxing kits ..what a disaster! Going to somebody who is properly qualified is the way to go to make the experience less messy and painful ! Or failing that, I highly recommend using Body Shop’s Africa Ximenia & Salt Scrub from the Spa Wisdom range as a “shaving cream/foam”, followed by your favourite body lotion and finished with an all over spraying of Body Shop’s Neroli Jasmin Body Mist. Mmmm….pure heaven.( www.thebodyshop.co.uk )
  • LINGERIE Stockings are a must …try Aristoc Sensuous 10 denier stockings or Leg Avenue’s Cuban Heel Stockings. Or if you fancy playing the part of “Mrs Robinson” instead…Leg Avenue’s 3 piece Halter Top, Flutter Skirt & G -string in Glamourous Red. All available at www.essexylegs.co.uk.
  • THE DRESS Nothing oozes classy sexiness than the Julieanne Dress from Agent Provocateur (www.agentprovocateur.com). In a silk and cotton cashmere mix material, this elegant dress has buttons from the neckline to just above the knee …so it’s up to you how much you reveal…
  • SHOES It has to be, without a doubt, Louboutins!!! www.christianlouboutin.com …well worth a window shop – the website itself just needs to be seen ! Also check out www.buyheels.co.uk – the heels are absolutely gorgeous! Or, really go to town, with the Pleaser Delight Lace-Up Platform Stilettoes, from www.lovehoney.co.uk ….. need I say more!
  • THE RED ROOM OF PAIN Totally optional, of course, BUT if you did want to redecorate your spare room, Homebase Home of Colour Matt/Silk Emulsion Paint in ” Show Stopper” would set the scene nicely for the walls,door & ceiling !! (www.homebase.co.uk). On the bed, go for the sensuous red satin bedding and pillows, from Agent Provocateur (www.agentprovocateur.com).
  • THE DRINK Pinot Grigio to start perhaps, and then progress to the champagne?? Sound good ?? Marks & Spencer are having a wine sale at the moment …. pick up a case of 6 bottles of the superb Louis Chaurey Champagne for £90 (www.marksandspencer.com).
  • THE TOYS Ann Summers reps (among others) are all helping ladies re-live the fantasies of Mr Grey and Anastasia Steele with amazing offers on bondage accessories,whips and other sensual products! (www.annsummers.com). You could also visit the “Grey Expectations Store” at www.tabooessentials.com …kits come with a grey satin sash ! Agent Provocateur (www.agentprovocateur.com) also offer a range of affordable eye masks as well as other such products, including a rather neat crystal whip …I’ll let you dwell on that!
  • DRESSING MR GREY Ladies, it’s no good preparing for this scenario without dressing your Mr Grey!!! Christian Grey sported ripped, button fly jeans for the encounters in the Red Room, so…check out the sexy Joe Brown’s Vintage Ripped Jeans (www.joebrowns.co.uk).
  • READY TO SLEEP There’s nothing that Christian Grey liked more than seeing Anastasia in a classic silk nightdress/chemise when out of the Red Room. Julianne’s “Samantha Chemise” – a classic silk chemise that’s carefully shaped to enhance and follow your curves. Available in black, cream or golden beige. (www.figleaves.com).
  • AND IF ALL THIS FAILS TO IMPRESS you could always bake some cakes and use the “50 Shades of Grey” edible cake toppers …a vast selection available on ebay (www.ebay.co.uk). As the saying goes, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach……

Laters,

Linda x

 

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Welcome to my Blog!

Hi! I’m Linda and a big welcome to my blog!

I’m currently running the Facebook group, Boots Shoes et Al , and this blog I hope will compliment the information, friendships and general discussions already being experienced in the group. With this blog I hope to share my passions for fashion, footwear,beauty,music,photography and socialising …!!! I will be chatting to some lovely people about their fashion passions; I will be delving into my make up bag and accessory drawer for product assessments; and, of course, I’ll be indulging in some truly fabulous boots and shoes conversations!

So, let’s get ready to rumble, come on in and join me !!!

Feel free to contact me via comments, Facebook or email.

Linda  x

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