Goodness me, here's another Monday around the corner! I've managed to fit some relaxation time into this weekend, so I'm not doing too badly, really. The bento the children are having tomorrow features a snakey friend, cut from cheddar cheese using the second of my cutters from the set I mentioned in my Rabbit in Egypt post. Unfortunately, my rabbit cutter seems to have been mislaid in the kitchen, because I can't find it at all. Hopefully the bunny will turn up during the week as things get moved about. This lunch consists of feta, garlic and herb pasta parcels, topped with sliced tomato and cheese snake (green eye made from a green sprinkle), with spinach leaves and a wedge of honey and oat ciabatta bread. In the fruit layer are chopped and stoned plums, strawberries and green grapes.
We have some home improvements going on at the moment, and that feels quite good. Work on our late 1800s cottage, much ruined by the onslaught of decades of bad taste (wood chip wallpaper, umpteen layers of gloss on everything to just begin the list), has been very slow. However, the downstairs has finally been put into a fairly attractive state in the past year with many original features brought out and plastering work done. Upstairs is next, with our daughter's bedroom top priority on the list to give her a lovely new environment of her own before she starts secondary school. These plans being put into action have meant much sorting, stacking and throwing away of things on my part. I have almost completely rid the walls of the many layers of wallpaper and a plasterer is due to come over this week to give us advice on fixing a region of dodgy wall. I must remember to get a photo of some of the earliest layers of wallpaper before I strip it away, because I have got down to a tatty but pretty hand printed wallpaper in a duck egg blue with pink roses. I'd like to record it while it's still about.
Speaking of recording things... I'm now going to attempt my first blog post about how my 1940s vintage restyle is coming along. I'll start with some product reviews.
Bentovintage! But not about vintage bento I'm afraid (although I am considering an attempt at combining the two interests now and then). As 2011 was rolling in I decided that it was time for a personal restyle, since 2010 had brought me a few woes towards it's close and sometimes a change is as good as a rest, so they say. At least, I think I've got that right. My New Year resolutions were as follows:
1. Embrace 1940s vintage
2. Maintain a Vegan diet
3. Be spookier
To explain the second resolution, I have been vegetarian since late childhood and have discovered I am allergic to dairy. Veganism is the most sensible way forward for me, if done properly. As for the third resolution, well... that speaks for itself. Be spookier, right!? So far I am very pleased with myself. I have managed to achieve all three resolutions and kept them going for almost a whole month now.
My first move in discovering the 1940s look was to bleach my vividly pink hair (Atomic Pink by Special Effects) into an extremely pale cupcake pink. I am aiming for white blonde in time by using the Virgin Snow Toner by Manic Panic, which I have already applied after bleaching to take the last of my pink down to the very pale cupcake pink I now have. Going completely blonde is going to require at least one more chemical treatment, but I won't be attempting that for a little while. Intensive conditioning is the way forward first.
The very next day after bleaching I went in to my regular hairdresser with a set of vintage hairdressing plans that got me some odd looks and a lot of confusion. After some gentle persuasion that I really did want to have the cut exactly as the design stated, my hairdresser got stuck in. I have ended up with what I am happy to say is a great 1940s Middy cut. I love it. I have naturally curly hair so when left natural without product I've been told it takes on quite a Marilyn Monroe shape! That is her hair, not all of her... What I've been doing is setting it in old fashioned rollers after washing so that I have a more uniform curl. I find it stays 'set' for at least three days, which takes me nicely to my next hair wash. Easy peasy!
So next it had to be makeup. I found some good information online about authentic forties makeup but have had to adapt it to my personal taste. I'm extremely pale skinned so there is no way on this earth I can get away with any orangey foundation tones. I have been using small amounts of Max Factor Panstick in 'fair' which gives me just the right vintage matte base. It works for the effect I want, but it's quite a heavy foundation so might give too much of an 'unreal' look for some preferences. Unreal works for me (see New Year's Resolution No.3).
Now, as for eyeshadow and liner, I needed a small colour range which I could wear consistently each day and wouldn't take too long to apply. For a 'pinup' style makeup look I discovered I would need a white/natural/cream eyeshadow and a dark colour such as grey or even black to team it with. The pale colour covers the whole lid and then the dark colour is shaded in from the outer edge of the eye and blended half way in. The effect is a shadowy look to the outer upper lid with the pale colour making the eyes look wide and fresh. The eye shadows are finished off with a sweep of liquid liner on the upper lid that ends in a kick that comes out as far as the crease and then as much mascara as you dare. I wear a red lipstick with a matching liner that I got from the Rimmel range, but there are plenty of good reds out there. That's all there is to it for a day to day look but I'm sure I'll try something more complex when I have an evening out (helloooo, in need of an evening out here!).
The eyeshadows I've been using are:
GOSH Metallic Rose, which I have found to be a great quality powder that lasts all day just as fresh as it was put on. I've used the white and grey shades to do the look I've just described, but I've also used the pale pink instead of the white or as well as the white and it looks lovely. I bought this in a sale for 3.70 GBP but it usually retails at around 8.00GBP. GOSH is one of the more expensive brands on the High Street. I've also used the shadows in this 'FACE' makeup palette by Topshop called Black Orchid.
Another lovely quality set which gives the desired effect. So far I have only used the white and black eyeshadows, a little of the lip gloss and a dab of the blush. The quality of the packaging is nice and it feels very sturdy. The wide mirror is great if you're going to carry the palette as a compact or as your sole makeup supply for a trip. I picked it up in the sale for 3.00GBP but this palette usually retails at 15.00GBP.
The last product I want to mention that I've used in creating my vintage look is Jolen powder bleach. It comes in a little box that retails for around 4.00GBP or a larger box at around twice the price. From what I've found the smaller box will last you for a VERY long time though since you need very little of the product for the purpose I used it for - eyebrow bleaching. The product is specifically for facial hair. It comes with a pot of cream, a pot of powder, a spatula and a small plastic mixing card to mix it on. It does the job and it does the job without irritating the skin, so I can heartily recommend it.
That's it for now dolls and dames! I hope I haven't bored you with the details too much and that some of you out there found my Bentovintage ranting a little bit interesting. If not, you've now got that little warning banner that will come up after the bento post and before the vintage section. As a disclaimer, I bought the products mentioned here with my own money and the opinions stated here are entirely my own.