Neat 'n' Busy curler caddy

I picked this up at a flea market, mostly because I love the name. Neat-n-Busy. The words the '50s and '60s used to advertise to women make me giggle a little. I almost feel slightly patronized by it, like the woman who uses it is a busy little bee making herself beautiful and not much else. It makes me think of Betty Draper in Mad Men when her dad tells her in her dream, "You're a house cat. You're very important and you have little to do."

But I'm probably reading too much into it… :) I love the caddy anyway and can't wait to fill it. I'm probably actually going to use it in my sewing room.


Don't forget small business Saturday, November 29th

We all have lots to do and as Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Cyber Monday and all the other days creep up on us, don't forget Small Business Saturday this year. Support your favorite small businesses while you are spending this holiday season. 


It's officially done. It's officially off to the printer. I am officially celebrating!

I have been thinking about writing this book for about 4 years and I am very excited to say that it is finished and in the hands of my book printer.

The title is 
A Step-by-Step Guide to Styling Classic Hairstyles for Any Special Occasion 
including Weddings, Proms, and Formal Events

I am so excited about this book! It was such hard work, but I am so happy with the way it turned out and I can't wait to get it back from the printer next month.

I was working frantically to finish it in time that if anyone wanted to ask for it for Christmas, it would be available. So I am taking pre-orders right now. There is a button on HRSTBooks.com store page. I am suppose to have it back from the printer the week of December 8th.

You can order it now and it will ship as soon as we have it in our hands, or you can keep an eye on the blog and I will let you know when we have it. If you want to know right away, you can sign up on the top right of this blog to get Bobby Pin Blog in your email inbox.

I'm so tired right now that this post will probably seem a little out of sorts, but my brain is mush at the moment and I am lacking the ability to form complete thoughts. :)


The perfect vintage girl stocking stuffer

I'm trying to get the word out quickly. Anyone who follows Tarte's special release items knows they go fast…and I mean fast. I blogged about their True Blood palette a few years ago and it had pretty much disappeared off the shelves before I could get the blog entry up.

So I am getting ahead of the curve, hopefully, so you ladies can get this information to the people that count and you can find this lovely item in your stocking or in a Hanukkah box or Kwanzaa gift or whatever Saturnalia based holiday you will joyously be celebrating next month.

This is Tarte's holiday eyelash curler, the Ladies Who Lash Limited-Edition Picture Perfect Eyelash CurlerA friend of mine who works as a sales consultant handed this over to me when I saw her last and I almost kissed her. I have a lot of girlie vintage-y things on my vanity, but never have I had an eyelash curler so gorgeous as this. The handle is encrusted in pearl-like beauty.

Like I said, Tarte's special release items go fast, so make sure you tell whomever, "no dilly-dally." Visit Tartecosmetics.com to get the eyelash curler along with a tube of their deluxe lights, camera, lashes™ 4-in-1 mascara in a set. Yay holidays!!!


My Fall Color…Oxblood

I just got home from an end of the season camping trip with my LUPEC ladies at the fabulous Starlight Classic Campground and it is raining outside and the first tree in my new front yard had started to turn yellow. I am in a very Fall mood and can't wait to see the stages my new yard changes into as the next couple of months go by.

And I always start dreaming about what I am going to wear for Fall when this change happens. I am trying to loose a few pounds, so I am not going shopping just yet, but something I can do right away is buy some new makeup for the season. I think I am going to go with Oxblood this Fall…


A 1931 Letter from Paris describing beauty trends

Paris, France, April 10, 1931 from Modern Beauty Shop

Chers amis:
     Le printemps has come to Paris and with it, glorious sunshine. Sunshine being rare in this fascinating city all the Parisiennes are now sporting new hats.
     Somebody famous once said that Spring to a woman just meant going out to buy a new hat, but I find this year in Paris one must hie herself to a hairdresser for a new coiffure as well. The relation of hair to hat and hat to hair is very important over here since everybody is wearing plain little caps way back, in fact almost off the head, so that hair literally trims the chapeaux.

     Most of the chic women are wearing very fine veils just over the hair that is showing. These are fastened under the hats, which means that coiffures can now create individual and intricate styles since the veil protects one's curls besides adding that much sought-after halo de mystere.
     Coiffeurs just back from Cannes have told me about the latest style trend adopted by les elegantes. Resort styles are usually a forecast of the mode, and after snooping excitedly around Cannes for the last week their impressions confirm mine of Paris.
     Longer hair is shorter now and thinning has become a greater art than ever. The top layer of hair is untouched and the locks beneath carefully "massacred" so that the count our remains unspoiled. Always, however, the hair is left long enough to soften the neckline with curls of bouclettes.
     Although styles are more intricate now owing to the role they play in relation to the mode, coiffeurs here insist on chic simplicity and above all say that the head must look small.

     Many jolie femmes are parting their hair in the center, showing the ears slightly, and then sweeping the back in new arrangements off the neck. This is especially becoming to classic beauties wishing to accentuate their type to go with the period gowns of today.

     For the evening women are wearing real jewel ornaments in their hair to accentuate and individualize certain lines of their coiffure. The ornament that I have sketched is very novel and can serve several purposes. The clips are detachable and can be used several ways alone…the chain can be fastened together and worn as a bracelet. The three pieces together can be used as a regal diadem, either on top or in back to outline the shape of the head.
     Monsieur Simon describes the famous European beauty contest held recently at Cannes as a bouquet de charm! All these beautiful demoiselles wore medium long hair except Miss France, who wore her's frankly short.

     The jury, composed of artists, writers and so on from all the leading countries of Europe, chose Miss France as the most beautiful and gave her the title of Miss Europe. With such a winner one can say that the mode for 1931 will be definitely shorter.

     I dashed up to Antoine's knowing if there is anything new in Paris he is sure to be one of the first tp feature it. His cosmetic line is more important than ever and the smart containers are proof of his ideas. The boxes and bottles follow the color scheme of his shop, which is a striking black, white and silver combination. The colors are used in severe but smart manner. I sketched two of the smaller items, a box of mascara, black and silver lined in silver, and bleu d'argent eyeshadow notable for its tricky container. The box pivots under the cover and is made of a composition that looks like onyx and ivory. Frivolous, but practical.


Modern Vintage Beauty Pageants

1922 Beauty Pageant
courtesy www.Shorpy.com

I've been thinking about the newer phenomena of the vintage beauty pageant. We just wrapped up the Denver Modernism Show here and we Denverites have a new reigning Miss Modernism, Honey Touche. (That's her burlesque name)

The Miss Modernism pageant works much like a typical beauty pageant. I actually was a judge for this pageant a few years ago and we were put to the task to rate the ladies on 1) Attire/Hair/Makeup as it represented the time period that mid-century modern was popular, 2) Question/Answer, and 3) Talent. What I like about this pageant is that the Modernism movement covered a very long time period from the early 1930s well into the 1960s, so the pageant contestants have lots of decade looks to work with. We've had contestants and winners in 40s garb, 50s, 60s, all over the place.

Here's a picture of all the winners so far together and a picture of all of this year's contestants…a fabulous array of tastes and styles. I'd like to give every one of the contestants a sash for being amazing.

And I got to thinking, what are some of the other pageants here in the states and abroad that are dedicated to the retro girl? I know there are few vintage swimsuit competitions and of course the Palm Springs Miss Modernism, but am I missing something really special that it is in your home town?

Please comment on this post and tell me about your local pageant!


1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…Lipstick

This is a great little article with tips for reshaping your lips and some cute insight into Victorian lip color   problem solvers. Enjoy!

Lines for Pretty Lips
Full, ripe, lovely lips and a sweet mouth characterize the truly feminine woman!

When I was a pig-tailed eight-year-old, my Grandmother took me to the photographer to have my picture taken. As the little man fumed and stewed, trying to get a respectable likeness for the family album, my grandmother whispered urgently, "Say 'p-e-e-ach' while Mr. Hardesty is taking your picture!" This, it seems, was to give me the little rose-bud mouth which then-vanishing Victorians considered both beautiful and refined.

Oh yes, before the easy glamour of modern lipsticks, women had their little tricks: saying "peach"; biting their lips together hard just before entering a roomful of friends (this reddened lips prettily): licking cinnamon red-hots and allowing a bit of rosy stickiness to cling to the lips. They were very concerned with how they used their mouths. We should be, too, even though we know a dozen quick make-up tricks with a lipstick.

There are many little things which can make or mar lip loveliness. Have you ever, while waiting for someone in a hotel lobby, for instance, studied slyly the faces of the passers-by? There is the girl who smiles happily up at her date- her mouth is a pretty curve of vivid red, with a perceptible up-tilt to the corners. (Her date smiles back at her!)

Obviously a pickle-puss is the woman whose thin lips press more and more tightly together as she watches the minute hand of the clock. He won't be charmed to see her unless she relaxes that mouth. (A little corrective make-up is in order, too.)

Then there's the girl who pulls her lips in unsightly lines as she give emphasis to something she's saying in a too-loud voice. There's no point in adding to the list -  you have seen mouths in action often enough to know that people love to watch a sweet mouth (and "people", means especially men) while they shy away from unlovely voices, disfiguring mannerisms or mouths shaped by disagreeable dispositions. Watch yourself, or tell your very-dearest friend (feminine) to call to your attention any mouth mannerisms which need correction.

We'll take it for granted that you haven't any bad habits like that. You therefore deserve a beautiful bright red lipstick with which to camouflage any little imperfection of size or shape and make your lips full, ripe, and lovely.

Select your lipstick, first of all, to harmonize with clothing. Second in importance is your complexion and hair color. Since red-heads stopped fearing pink, there are no complexion-color taboos left. It's a wonderful relief. Imagine the poor russet-topped darling who found green nauseating and was attacked by it each time she entered a clothing department. Color has been emancipated, and red-heads with it.

You really need a variety of shades of lipsticks. What difference does it make, budget-wise, whether one lipstick at a time lasts three months, or a collection of four indifferent reds lasts a year? Your lipstick for evening, under artificial light, should be brighter and stronger than the one you would use in the office in the day-time. Your navy dress wouldn't look well with an orange-red lipstick, nor would you combine jungle-green with blue-red.

Learn to use a lipstick brush. It eliminates ragged edges; gives your mouth natural-looking curves and helps give you the lush, colorful mouth of a very feminine woman. Practice on the back of your hand- or a piece of paper- in order to get the feel of it. In applying lipstick with a brush, work the brush into your lipstick, saturating the bristles generously. See that your mouth is dry, otherwise you'll find it a frustrating experience.

When you apply lipstick to your left upper lip, start at the left corner of the upper lip and stroke toward center. For the right upper lip, start at the center of your lip and brush downward to the corner and inward. Then press your lips together. This gives you an outline to follow on your lower lip.

When you do your lower lip, work from the left corner downward to the center; then from the center upward to the right corner.

To effect a flattering lift, separating upper and lower lips, moisten a cotton applicator with powder foundation. Apply at corners of mouth, working inward towards the inside of the mouth.

For correcting smudges, covering mistakes and effecting a beautiful outline, do this: Using cotton applicator or clean brush moistened with foundation, apply carefully to outside of lip-line.

On the opposite page you will see drawings of lips which need a bit of improvement. That can be done with lipstick. You'll see a grey, dotted region. That is the natural shape of the lips, all of which would normally be covered with lipstick. To correct lip shapes, draw a new lip-line with lipstick as indicated by the black part of each drawing. Grey areas beyond corrected lip-line should be toned down with foundation to cut down on the size of the lip.


1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…blush

And now on to rouge circa 1952. 

I really enjoyed this article, but let me put it into perspective a little. When the writer refers to rouge, she doesn't specify unfortunately what colors should be used, so you have to do a little guessing game. Blushers at this time could be anywhere from pink to lavender to red. I don't think that the writer intended the use of very strong colors for creating the contour, but again she doesn't specifically write that.

If you want to go for an authentic look, but not be overly made up, here are my suggestions. If you'd like to contour your face using shading, a dull lavender or pink or peach depending on your skin tone is appropriate. Women also purchased a darker face powder and used it much like we use bronzer today. Use brighter colors on the areas you want to accentuate like the apples of your cheeks.

It also seems that there may be a little misunderstanding between the writer and whomever drew the pictures for the article, which I'm sure came after the writing. The pictures are not entirely accurate to where the placement of the shading should be, so be sure to pay careful attention more to what the author says as opposed to the shading in the drawings. I feel like that happens a lot in old beauty articles…the drawings seem a little off from the description.

The Soft Glow of Rouge
Rouge can camouflage face shape, add sparkle to the eyes and make you prettier.

The glamour girl of 1952-more than any of her previous sisters-knows how to use rouge to achieve the glow of vitality and vibrant good health. She's neither the fragile creature of the Nineties, whose pallor called out for a transfusion or a load of vitamin pills, not is she the Charleston-stepping belle of the Twenties, whose cheeks were two huge, unflattering patches of red. Today's glamour maiden applies rouge with finesse.

You know how flattering rouge can be if it is used delicately. It can lengthen or shorten faces, add sparkle to eyes and give the complexion a fresh, young look. You probably need it-most of us do.

You have your choice of four kinds of rouge-cream, dry, liquid and stick. Of these, the first two are the best known.

Cream rouge is probably easiest to apply artistically because it is touched on over your foundation, before powdering. The rouge mingles with just enough of the foundation to facilitate easy blending.

When you put on cream rouge, touch the rouge lightly with the cushion of your middle finger. Press against your cheek, in three dots to form a triangle when blended away. Study the drawings of face shapes given at the right, to determine the most flattering location for the dots. Experiment a bit, in a good light, to see where your rouge looks prettiest. You can of instance, suggest hollows in too round cheeks by skipping the cheekbone  and dropping the rouge to the center of the cheek in a narrow splash. A long chin can be shortened by just the faintest bit of red at its tip. The long nose seems shorter with a flick of rouge at the tip, if covered with dark foundation.

In applying liquid rouge, use a piece of cotton so the color will not stain hands. When using stick rouge, apply and spread in stick form, using fingers only to finish the blending. The stick applicator usually acts  as a spreader and just a whisk of your finger is necessary to settle it in the right areas.

Use the puff applicator which comes with dry rouge. Dry rouge goes on over powder and is especially useful in making any little corrections or additions to a lightly-done application of cream rouge.

As we have already pointed out, at the right are drawings showing where rouge should go on faces of different shapes. Study them and your own face. You can be prettier when you wear your rouge in the correct areas: For a long face try applying your rouge high, bathed over the cheek bones. This should help cut the length of your face and broaden it. It might also be wise to tip the chin with a little rouge if the chin is unduly long. For a square face apply the rouge low and toward the fringe of your cheek outline. Apply it in a half-moon shape with the rounded edge turned toward the cheek to give it softer rounder contours.

For a diamond shaped face put the rouge over the cheek bones in a wide triangle. This will permit a higher area of highlight toward the bottom of the face  where the bone structure is narrow and will tend to fill it in with the illusion of curving contour.

For a round face apply your rouge in long vertical strokes that will help to lengthen the face by illusion.

For an oval face put the rouge directly over the cheek bones covering the complete protrusion of the cheek bone.


1952 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine, Today's lesson…eyebrows

Here is another installment of 1,000 Hints Beauty Magazine. We are now on to eyebrows. I personally feel that eyebrows are one of the most important parts of a makeup routine. Shaped and filled correctly, they can make you look younger, happier, more put together. Left alone or done poorly, they can make you look sad, angry, even sick. Please ladies, if you do not bother with any other beauty routine because you are tired or in a hurry, please do not neglect your eyebrows!

The article doesn't say that. That is how I honestly feel. But on to what 1952 and Ms. Mary Brown thinks you should do to your eyebrows. 

Give Your Eyes A Lift
Your eyes can look larger and farther apart if your brows are skillfully shaped and pencilled.

"She raised one shapely eyebrow and considered him coolly before replying." That's the kind of thing you come across in your reading now and then. Doesn't it make you realize that people are always noticing eyebrows? It is likely, too, that our heroine had calculated, to the last hair, how wide or narrow her brows were to be to lend distinctive beauty to her face. Eyes can look larger and farther apart if brows are discreetly tweezed; the complexion creamier in contrast with delicately pencilled arches. Re-shaping eyebrows is one of those beauty tricks which doesn't cost more than the price of a pair of tweezers and a long-lasting eyebrow pencil.

If you want to experiment with your brows to see what shape best fits your face, blot out the brows you have with foundation, using an applicator of cotton to help the last traces disappear. Then begin to play; beauty experiments are fun. Draw in the lines you think you would like to have, but always feather them, Don't draw a hard line that couldn't possibly look like a natural eyebrow. Try a natural arch, a V-shape, a straight across pattern, or one that slants toward the temples if you long for the slightly exotic. Elongate them-shorten them-raise them-lower them, all without plucking out a single hair.The results during your experiments might be a little shaggy, but it will give you the general idea of how you would look with some other eyebrow style.

The average girl approaches her eyebrow problems with just one implement usually, her tweezers. Sometimes, however, there's a special problem, such as heavy, long brows. More women than you guess have brows that are too long and there problems are not eliminated by tweezing them out wholesale. A hair-cut is indicated; First brush the brows upward with an eyebrow or water-softened mascara brush. Then clip the brows that extend beyond the natural brow line at top. When you brush them after that, you will find that they sit neither up or down, but are in a delightfully arched position that is not changed by there growing in. They'll grow back, of course, but you can trim them again when they need it. This cutting doesn't make the eyebrows grow longer. After you have clipped the hairs which extend beyond the top edge of your brows, pluck out, with your tweezers, any stray hairs below your brows or over the bridge of the nose.

Darken the brows with a pencil, if necessary. Light, little hair-length strokes, just as though penciling in single hairs, give a natural effect.

According to the article, the most flattering eyebrow shapes for face shapes went as follows. I have added the tidbits of actresses to give you readers a better understanding of what the face shapes with the eyebrow shape look like in lifelike form.

If a face is long, eyebrows straight across give appearance if width illustrated by Cathy Downs.

An upside-down V-shape is usually flattering on a broad or square face illustrated by Jane Russell.

While the ideal oval looks well with eyebrows of any shape, a delicate arch is best illustrated by Joan Weldon.

If the oval face has almond-shaped eyes, however, brows slanting to the temple are most becoming illustrated by Elana Eden.