• Beauty and Fashion

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 4 Regency Accessories and Festival Wrap-Up

    I’m on Instagram now, so I’ve been searching #JaneAustenFestival and finding lots of new costumers/historical fashion sewists to follow as well as some of the vendors. I will probably be featuring lots of articles here. I’ve been pinning tons of historical fashions lately too if you want to see my Pinterest board.

    Also, this blog post features a lovely selection of excellent photos of the stunning fashions at the festival.

    Here is the last of my shopping. A cotton print scarf and silk stockings from Burnley and Trowbridge. Two silk scarfs/shawls from 96 District Fabrics. A perfume vial from LBCC Historical (they carried several elegant styles), and a coral set (I’ve wanted one since I saw some in Williamsburg, again, harkening back to Felicity) from Design’s by Lady Anne.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 3, Regency Patterns and Planning for Next Year

    I’ve always loved historical fashion mainly pioneer (or prairie) girl with some Victorian and Colonial as a child; my knowledge stemmed from Little House and the American Girls, so the Regency period was an unknown time until I was introduced to Jane Austen. I sewed quite a bit for a child, but struggled to progress because of work-ethic and perfectionism problems.

    I’ve wanted to make a dress ever since the first time I attended the festival. I bought a beautiful silk antique sari, blue cotton velveteen, and various silk ribbons at the festivals. I still have these along with the silk ribbon flower kit my grandmother bought me the first year. But time, maturity, finances, knowledge, discipline, and will-power never came together. And now I’m not sure I really want to use the sari for a regency dress, but rather for something more timeless; however, I would like to incorporate the other items into my ensemble.

    I thought that I maybe could this year, and so I started researching and planning; I had to relinquish this idea out of practicality, but the planning has stood me in good stead. I had more purpose shopping and now planning for next year. I found three patterns that I had been looking at for quite a while plus a dress pattern that was featured in the style show. The rest of my patterns and materials as well as the actual construction, I can space out over the year.

    The stay pattern is Past Patterns #038 Transition Stay Pattern and is based on an American garment. The shift/chemise is Kannik’s Korner although I’m sure I technically could have drafted this myself, but the wonderful thing about all this patterns is all the historical background and techniques included in the instructions.

    The dress from Fig Leaf Patterns was new to me and is based on an American garment. While it is nice to try to find American garments, I’m not sure many people in my family would have worn them or worn them when they were at the height of fashion. I would like to do more research on what my ancestors would conceivably have worn, but I still want a fashionable regency dress as well.

    At the first Jane Austen festival, I first heard mentioned that very young unmarried ladies often wore white, so I’d been planning on a white dress as most accurate. I realized to my chagrin, that I wouldn’t really fall into the category of young (I’m Charlotte Lucas’s age, and she wore colors while the younger Lizzy and Jane wore whites, creams, and pastels), but I had trouble finding prints I wanted. A lot of the block prints are more Georgian and Colonial (I have my eye on one I want for a Poldark inspired gown; I love the gowns I see on Pinterest from that show, the slimmer silhouette). Anyhow, I don’t think I’m terribly too old although white is a bit boring. I definitely want plenty of trimming and color in my accessories. The fabric I bought from Regency Revisited.

    While I think I’d heard of Timely Tresses ages before, I first fixed on The Lucia pattern via this post because I’ve long loved Marianne and Lizzy’s hats of these styles the best of all the hats and bonnets in the movies.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Link Love: Historical Fashion

    I think that a post on historical fashion goes well with the month of Halloween. This is often the route for those of us not interested in ghoulish costumes. Last year my sisters and I dressed in the fashion of a decade of the last century for Halloween.

    My love of historical fashion began with an obsession with pioneers as a child. All thanks to The Little House Books and the computer game Oregon Trail, of course. I had sunbonnets, aprons, “calico” dresses, etc.. My sister and I had a few American Girl dolls, and we loved pouring over the American Girl catalog every time it came.

    Then came the Jane Austen period. I’d never known about the historical fashion period between the huge dresses of the Colonial and the Civil War eras. I was fascinated by all the costumes in the JA movies, and later, all the reproductions from bloggers and Jane Austen festival attendees.*

    While I don’t make historical clothing myself, I do still appreciate the work of others.
    Someone pinned Angela Clayton’s work on Pinterest, and I’ve been following her blog ever since. Her historical fashion work is stunning.

    Lily at Mode de Lis posts quite a bit of retro inspired clothing as well as a few Colonial and Regency dresses.

    I found this interesting video via another blogger’s link post. The re-enactors show all the layers and pieces an upper-class 18th-century woman wore. So many layers and tools for the correct form. And people pinned their clothes on!
    If you love pouring over and analyzing the historical costumes of period films, check out this archived blog.

    *Speaking of Jane Austen, I think I’d seen someone mention this game, but thought it was the board game I played years ago. After another blogger posted the link to this hilarious video of the LBD cast members playing the game, I realized it was a different and far more clever game.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    How I Became Interested in Green Beauty

    I remember playing with child make-up sets as a child. Travelgirl and I took ballet as kids, and we had to wear makeup for performances. Mom let us wear some Mary Kay lip-gloss and natural lipstick on occasion, but other than that we weren’t allowed to wear make-up (not that we asked, why buy makeup when you could buy other things?). I don’t remember ever particularly longing to do so.

    However, I developed moderate acne, and when I got my first job at 19, I started considering natural products to heal it. When I visited a local health food store, I noticed that the store had some mineral make-up on major sale. I bought loose powder eyeshadow and mascara then. I learned through trial and error, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. I look better in neutrals on my eyes.

    I took longer finding cosmetics for my skin because the plain powder doesn’t work well on me, most concealers were too thin, and I really don’t care for stuff on my actual face. I was more hit and miss on face cosmetics until I started wearing Cowgirl Dirt, but more products are available now, and I am going to branch out again.

    Green Beauty doesn’t have uniforms standards, and I tried to look at ingredients based on guidelines from The Green Beauty Guide and buy brands on a strict list I found on the Internet. My main source was Saffron Rouge which has since gone out of business. More recently I’ve purchased from Cowgirl Dirt and Pharmaca (they carry a lot of green beauty brands including Juice Beauty and Dr. Hauschka and have great deals).

    I’ve bought at least one product from these brands: Dr. Hauschka (multiple, I still use), Cowgirl Dirt (good far more green than most budget items), Juice Beauty (they’ve greatly expanded their offerings, but I don’t know if they’ve fixed the major issue with their mascara bottle that causes extreme waste of product and mess of application), Nvey Eco, Ilia, Inika, Lavera (I think, it might have been another L name), Honeybee Gardens, Mineral Fusion, Zuzu Luxe, Vapour (I sent back, but I’d probably try again; I should have gotten samples), Suki, EllaRoseMinerals (on Etsy), Alima Pure, Root Pretty, Jane Iredale.

    I have tons more products bookmarked to try, and I like hearing about new Green Beauty brands. If you like green beauty product what first sparked your interest? Do you have brand favorites or do you like to try new products and brands like me?

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Natural Bath and Body Products

    As with make-up (or anything really), I’m not brand loyal. I like to try new products even if I’m not dissatisfied. I’m pretty happy with Just Natural Skincare and Green Tidings, but I like trying new either for cost or luxury or simply variety. Some items, of course, I need to replace with more natural products. I’m also too addicted to Amazon; I need to branch out more, I want to get some items from Thrive Market.

    Face and Hair
    I get hair treatments, shampoo and conditioner, and body wash (I use it for my face also since I get the kids version as its probably more gentle) here. I’d like to try Klurskin products for my face.  I have Yarok mousse and spray (I don’t use much but need to have on hand . . . wait, I could be scrunching my short hair with mousse). I scrub my face every so often with baking soda.

    Body
    I’ve been using this deodorant for awhile, but I’d like to try some from this shop. I need to use up my ground apricot kernel that I use as a scrub; I also use olive oil and brown sugar for a scrub, and I’d like to buy a natural salt scrub. I have various not super green lotions and lip balms (EOS mostly) and use Kiss My Face for shave gel. I need to get back into using natural soaps also. I also want to try organic or natural cotton pads and liners, cotton balls, and q-tips.

    Teeth and Mouth
    I’ve been using conventional toothpaste for budget reasons, but most often lately I’ve used this toothpaste and this mouthwash. My flossing habits are almost non-existent but I do have plenty of this floss plus whatever I get from the dentist. I’d like to start using bamboo toothbrushes once I use up all my conventional ones.

    ~~~~~~~

    I’m a little too lax in skincare; I need to actually regularly use my masks, lotions, and scrubs. In addition to improving my diet (if I cannot do that not much else will matter), I want to be more proactive with my skin care. I want to follow the ten rules of Korean skincare from The Little Book of Skincare. I’d also like to get facials every once in awhile. I’d love to try some natural beauty boxes. I think I’m going to institute spa days on my winter bucket list (I’m scheduling this post per my usual routine). Here are some recipes that I’d like to try plus a whole list to choose from if you are more seriously into DIY.

    Rose and Coconut Lip Scrub

    Coconut and Sugar Manicure

    Humblebee and Me’s Recipe Index

    Sugar Scrub Cubs One and Two

    And yes, I can be a bit granola. But you know, balance people.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Beauty and Style Books, Part One: Cosmetics and Green Beauty

    Natural Beauty and DIY

    I own: The Green Beauty Guide
    . This was like the a natural beauty bible for me. I would like to a least look at Green Beauty Recipes.

    I love Humblebee and Me and so would be willing to purchase Make It Up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care without reading it first. These others I would borrow and read.

    Do-It-Yourself Herbal Medicine: Home-Crafted Remedies for Health and Beauty

    101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health and Home

    Make-Up

    For make up I own: Color Me Beautiful Make-up Guide. Again, I’m not sure that this will make the cut. It has more colors listed, but very small and I turn to the original far more often. I previously had a book by one of the make-up artists from what not to wear. I’m not sure I would buy a book for make-up, but I have several I plan to get from the library or request via interlibrary loan.

    Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro

    Making Faces

    Jemma Kidd Make-Up Master Class

    The Little Book of Skincare

    Makeup Is Art: Professional Techniques for Creating Original Looks

  • Beauty and Fashion

    My Natural Make-Up and Wishlist

    I really enjoy when others share their natural beauty options. I learn of more brands and am reminded of others which have improved. I started out with a discontinued brand from Rainbow Blossom and then branched out with recommendations from The Green Beauty Guide, a blog post I found via Google, and brands on Skin Botanica and the now out of business Saffron Rouge. 
    I’ve tried Dr. Hauschka, Suki, Alima Pure, Juice Beauty, Nvey Eco, Ilia Beauty, Vapour (I tested and returned, but did not use; I might try more samples), Honeybee Gardens, Cowgirl Dirt, Zuzu Luxe, EllaRose Minerals, and more. Some of these are only semi-natural (most of the less expensive ones, for example) and a lot are very expensive which is why I’ve bought more basics from Cowgirl Dirt than I have from any other brand. 
    I’m not brand loyal and because of this and expanding options, I will continue on my merry way of trying every brand I think is natural enough.
    Tools
    My large set (10 plus 1 extra I bought) I received a couple years ago from my grandmother, and my small set I bought for our big vacation in May. I prefer the smaller set, it takes up less space (half the number of brushes and shorter handles) and the brushes are softer. I think I might have harmed the larger set when I washed them (I need to research that). I feel ungrateful, but I’d really like to get rid of the large set. I don’t need that many brushes, and I can add as needed to the smaller set (I’d want a blush brush). 
    As for my other tools: I use dollar store sponges for my foundation right now, but I’d like to get a beauty blender type sponge; my pencil sharpeners do the job, but they seem to fall open easily; and I need replacement pads for my eyelash curler.
    Face and Cheeks
    I’ve been using Cowgirl Dirt for a couple years. I started out using their cream foundation and concealer (the later of which they’ve discontinued to my disappointment; only concealer that thick actually conceals, but thankfully I don’t need it as often) and switched to their liquid and BB cream when they put those out. I would like to try Juice Beauty’s expanded liquid foundation options and Vapour again at some point, but I just ordered more from Cowgirl Dirt (in addition to being less expensive, they have great sales). 
     My favorite concealer previously was Dr. Hauschka’s stick concealer which was amazingly expensive. If I felt I needed to make concealer (this recipe), I would put in in lip balm tube.
    My powders are Alima Pure (when I used used loose eyeshadow I bought more from this brand) except for the light jar which is EllaRoseMinerals (I don’t like this powder, but if you like tons of loose eyeshadow colors you should check this shop out). 
    My lip and cheek stain is an indie brand “Fat and the Moon” and was an impulse purchase when I bought my 70’s vintage dress (hopefully, I will feature that in the summer). It’s interesting; its more like tinted lip balm so its sticky on my cheeks. I want cream blush, so I won’t be buying this again. I want to try several RMS Beauty Products and have wanted to for a long time, but they are SO expensive and look greasy.
    Lips
    I think I’m too old for lip gloss, so I think I will use these up and then only buy lipstick. These are from Juice Beauty and Cowgirl Dirt. My lip liners (I cover my entire lip because both lipgloss and lipstick last under an hour if I don’t) are Dr. Hauschka, Cowgirl Dirt, and some other brand (maybe Zuzu Luxe?) that I bought at Earthfare but probably isn’t really super green.
    The back lipstick is from Juice Beauty and the front two are Dr. Hauschka. Lauren from Chic Ethique has mentioned a couple brands I want to try, Bite Beauty  and Red Apple. Both have SO many color choices.
    Eyes
    The eyeshadow palette set is from Dr. Hauschka. I bought it greatly discounted at Pharmaca or Beauty.com (I think the former, and I just found out the latter was bought and closed by Walgreens). This is definitely may favorite (of course I mostly used loose powder before). I prefer matte eyeshadows. If I cannot find less expensive I will repurchase. I might try Lily Lolo pressed shadows and perhaps Alima Pure.
     The eyeshadow on the left is cream eyeshadow from Cowgirl Dirt, and I don’t recommend it as I have to pull on my eyelid to put it on and the shade is warmer than it looks in the palette. The other eyeshadow is pressed powder from Cowgirl Dirt. I just ordered another (more matte) one.
    My eyeliners are Cowgirl Dirt and Dr. Hauschka. I want to try the gel and liquid liners from Root Pretty and find another pencil to try since Cowgirl Dirt pencils are more like crayons and melt off/smudge without touch really easily.
    I’ve cleared out tons of stuff over the years and have really brought my collection down. But I still want to use up or get rid of some of this stuff because I’m less than thrilled, have too much of the same. If I can cut down a little more and figure out how to give up my brushes (I will see if Mom and sisters want them), I should be able to fit everything including the brushes into my bag easily. 

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Easter Outfit Take 2

    I was working on my dress and remembered an idea from Pinterest. I would have loved to have a polka dot, but I found a lace top too late for Easter which ended up being fine as I finished the dress too late as well.

    I used Simplicity 1607. I had to alter the princess seams a bit to fit my small bust. The neckline gaped; I wonder if I adjust the shoulders (to fit my sloping shoulders) the neckline would gape less? I bought the lace top via Ebay. I love that I can make several different outfits out of this dress if I wanted.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Easter Outfit Take 1

    This was plan B. I had a polka dot strapless dress. I thought I needed to buy fabric, but, when moving projects, I found I could use pieces from a linen skirt I bought for a dollar years ago. I had to do quite a bit of rethinking, and I had to hand sew the final straps onto the dress to avoid taking the dress too far apart. Then I finally finished my lovely moonrise shawl which matched closely enough.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Style Icons

    I read and see so many people trying to imitate a few of Audrey Hepburn’s looks. All of the ones I can remember do not have the Winter coloring necessary for wearing black; read color experts, not everyone can wear black. Most do not have her body shape. Style icons look good oftentimes because at the very least, their clothes are tailored to them, but also because they have a signature style or wear their proper colors or styles.

    I think it is a good idea to look for inspiration, but do not limit yourself to style icons, look in movies, blogs, history books. Look for inspiration (for your body type, coloring, and style type) not imitation (this is what bothers me about those who wear vintage without modernizing it; they look in costume). Style icons are famous for their unique looks.

    I know I have mentioned this blog ad nauseam, but it really does have it all. Fit, body shape (more than the unrealistic four or so one usually sees listed) coloring, signature style, sheen versus texture, texture versus softness (for touch sensitive people), color contrast, value contrast, body proportions, capsule wardrobes, face shapes for hair styles and jewelry types, etc.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Business Fashion

    This is an important topic for me since I am trying to work my way into a more professional office environment and to pursue a graduate degree in business. Technically I am supposed to wear business casual, but that category has a great variety of definitions.

    I researched business and business casual dress in preparation. In my mind I wanted a bit softer colors, no suit coat, and more variety in blouse colors and styles but otherwise like business formal/professional. When I saw in actuality what others wore and what fit me and looked again online I relaxed this a bit out of wardrobe necessity. Neutral non-pencil skirts, a teal dress, a grey dress, sweaters.

    Oh, yes. Pants are not business formal/regular business or whatever you want to call it. . . . neither are dresses. Dark skirt-suits with white/light blouses and skirt hitting the knee, pantyhose, leather moderate heeled pumps with closed toes, and simple, classic jewelry is the outfit expected/required.
    And what I need to work toward . . . you know, dress like the job you want not the job you have.

    I want to wear pencil skirts and suits (I have gorgeous silk blend cocoa skirt-suit I bought consigned, but looks new which I want to have altered to fit) in softer colors (brown is not business formal nor is lighter grey) with silk blouses, silk knit tops perhaps. Keep dreaming, you will have to get the job you want first to pay for all that :/

    And oh, the pantyhose drama. You have to have it match your skin or it is extremely unprofessional and tacky. Also, you have to have a ton on hand because of runs. I have to order online to get pantyhose to both match my skin and not run easily. I tried wearing Berkshire 4415 which come in a variety of colors. They seem sturdier; obviously they will run if snagged, but they do not feel as fragile as some which seem to run if touched . . . or looked at! The downsize is that they are not super-stretchy; they are crisp and the feet are shaped and can pool a bit although I think they improved with washing. I gave up after I ruined all my pairs of this brand and switched to tights for the winter, but I will have to try again for spring. I think I will just have to be satisfied with only a couple wears.

    No make-up is almost as unprofessional as too much or tacky make-up. I usually wear foundation, powder, and mascara, sometimes light eyeliner. I have more difficulty with my hair. When I straighten it, the style can last several days, but the days that I do not use heat (trying to be gentle on my hair here; I already have a frizz problem, especially since I have to pull back my bangs since I am growing them out, again) I am hit or miss; I need to pick a few styles and stick with them. I feel like hair makes or breaks one’s look.

    I also am trying to minimize my preparation time without harming my look. I am just a pokey person in the morning, so I feel if I streamline my process a bit more, I could cut off some time.