OPI “Glitter Off” Base Coat Review Part 2

First Day: I arrived at work, took off my glove, and discovered a good sized chip in my left pointer finger. All I did that morning was make breakfast, crochet, and practise a little tap.

I started to close the store at the end of my shift, only to notice a gigantic chip on my right pointer finger! And being an inexperienced blogger, I forgot to take a picture before fixing it. Apologies!

So far, the damage for day one is minimal. Nothing abnormal, aside from those two dings. I repaired the chips and went to bed.

Second Day: I got average wear this day, nothing significant happened and I only suffered average tipwear. I stuck a row of “I Snow You Love Me” by OPI sequins down my ring fingers to jazz them up a bit.

Third Day: Abnormally extreme tipwear on my left pointer and index fingers, this day, but normal tipwear everywhere else. I do find glitter polishes to often break apart in pieces, instead of even rubbed-off wear like a normal polish.  These rough edges tend to grab everything I touch in the most annoying way.

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Day three. I NEVER get extreme tipwear like this!

Verdict:  I removed the polish by the recommended means; that is, chipping it off using a tool and my other nails.  And while it took a moment to figure out a technique for removal, I have to say it left my nails a bit sore and achy, and I had a very slight (and I mean VERY slight) amount of damage to the surface of the nail plate.  Nothing that a quick run over with my buffer couldn’t fix.  The base coat was pretty adhesive, and it probably took me as much time to remove it this way as the glitters usually do to remove via acetone or polish remover.  I think I will try two coats of the product next time, before I relegate it to the never-use-again drawer.

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The aftermath.

I also ended up wiping a bit of nail polish remover over my nails anyways, to remove any clingy bits.

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OPI “Glitter Off” Base Coat Review Part 1

I know this isn’t technically vintage, but we can argue that mid-century ladies had a strong fondness for lacquered fingernails, and frankly so do I.

I ran into the supplier on Saturday to grab some acetone, as I was en route to remove a friend’s acrylic nails, and while paying I noticed a small OPI display of “Glitter Off” natural nail base coat. I was intrigued, and went home to research the product. (Who doesn’t hate glitter polish for its painfully time-consuming and work-intensive removal?) Shockingly, I discovered nothing but press releases! Quick as a bunny I flew back to grab a bottle, so I could test it out.

The instructions on the attached mini-booklet are deceptively simple. “Apply a thin coat; dry completely; apply polish. To remove, gently push and peel it all off.” Now, because I like to wear my polish for three to four days at a time, I am proceeding with an ever so slightly tweaked application. I polished the base coat with a tiny bit of room before hitting my cuticle. The polish is ever so slightly back from that edge. And my topcoat will be over everything, including that bare nail. Hopefully this will seal in the edges until I am actually ready to peel.

So far, everything has proceeded as normal.  No issues with application, nor with the addition of the colour or topcoat.  Dry time of the base on its own is minimal, only a few minutes.  And it doesn’t seem to have affected dry time for the rest of the layers.  Two coats of the polish shade, and the top coat I used was Lumos.

Glitter Off Demo

I even drew a picture to illustrate the adjusted technique.

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Totally polish free. Yes they are a bit yellow.

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The base coat dries clear, but looks like this initially. It has almost no odor at all, but for a faint ‘Elmers Glue’ like hint.

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All done! This colour is China Glaze “Some Like it Haute”. (I bought nearly everything from this collection. I am sure it is obvious why. <3) This colour is AWFUL to remove, which is why I seldom wear it.

This product was not sent for review.  Stay tuned for a future post: The Outcome!

The First (of many) Posts About Lipstick

It’s no secret that I love my lipstick. Most of the time I wear red, but I wear some shade of lipstick even on the days I am just not feeling like being so bold. My face is incomplete without adding a bit of oomph to my mouth.

And of course no vintage lady is complete without a swipe of lipstick!

It is true that finding the red for you can be a long and difficult journey. I am blessed with a complexion that turns everything very pink, so I have to be careful when picking my shade. Almost always, drugstore reds are way too pink on me, or are painfully bright, and they make me look like I’m trying too hard. I have searched long and hard for the red lipstick most flattering to me, and I always end up falling back on it. It’s the right depth of tone, is true blue enough, and is a gorgeous matte texture. I am so comfortable in it, it feels like me every time I put it on. Wondering which it is, yet? Oh yes, the tried-and-true Russian Red by MAC.

I discovered the amazingness that is Russian Red, while surfing the interwebs. I commented on a photograph of a modern pin-up woman whose colouring was similar to mine, asking about what lipstick she was using. To my surprise, she answered me, and told me her colour. And I haven’t turned back since.

Now of course, I know this particular shade is one of the most popular in the vintage circles. Both for colour and for texture. It is hard to find a good matte lipstick, or even one with enough pigment in it to be solidly opaque in one swipe.

For daytime, to help give me a bit of a more wearable shine, I usually top my layer of Russian Red with Maybelline’s Red Revival. It tends to bleed a bit when I wear it by itself, but it makes the matte undercoat more comfortable for all day wear.

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If I feel like changing the tones a bit, I can; maybe I’m wearing a coral shirt, or I am headed to burlesque show and want to be a touch more vintage in the face. It’s easy enough to top Russian Red with some Coral Queen by Rimmel, or Retro Red by NYC to change the look but still maintain the flattering undertone.
The fun thing about red lipstick is that it instantly dresses up your look. Even if you are barely wearing any makeup at all, perfect bright red lips make it look like you really worked really hard to look so beautiful.

A coworker commented to me, a shirt while ago, very casually, how she’d like to try wearing red lipstick. It took everything I had not to start squealing at her excitedly, and to start spewing information on her. I tried to take it easy, and to just let her know I was available to go shopping with, should she desire. For I have a foolproof way to determine which shades look best on an individual’s skin tone. Really, it’s foolproof. No knowledge of skin undertones or brand names required!

Usually the makeup counters have the best selection of textures, when it comes to strong shades. Most of the time, drugstore lines reduce production costs by keeping pigment saturation low in their products. But there are lots of gems if you’re willing to look for them, and YES there is a red lipstick for you out there somewhere! You just need to get up the gumption to look for it. It is unlikely the perfect colour will just fall into your lap effortlessly.

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First things first, to my Super Easy Red Lipstick Selection Technique; roll up your sleeve. Now, find your favourite shades and place a nice firm stroke of each of them up your arm. (Have a friend help keep track of which is which, or jot them down. Try reddish colours you wouldn’t normally be attracted to, like brownish ones or orangey ones. Very quickly, you’ll be able to see which lipsticks you like, and don’t like.  Because that’s really all that matters, in the end; whether or not YOU think it looks good on YOU.

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Left to Right: MAC Girl About Town, Rimmel Ballistic*, Rimmel Coral Queen, Maybelline Red Revival, MAC Russian Red

That’s all there is to it! Try a few different product lines, as some have preferable textures and intensities to others. And if you have a bad reaction to product, please do not be afraid to return it! Both makeup counters and drugstores usually have great return policies. When in doubt, ASK!

Miss White in the Lounge with the Pipe?

Last night I attended the ‘“Clue”, the Burlesque Play’, put on by Sweet Tooth Events. And HOT DAMN what a performance! I do love a strong theme, and this has got to be the most cohesive burlesque show I’ve seen yet. It was a seamless melding of charming strip show and play; the characters (for the most part!) stayed on stage in the background before and after their numbers, and even took the time to mingle in-character with the audience, during both show time and intermission.

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I love how this show really embodied the playfulness I have come to expect from burlesque. It is so much more than just a ‘strip show’. All the performers were having a good time, there were many smiles and coy little wiggles to be had from everybody on stage. Also, a little live music sung by Lalani Electrica was a very welcome surprise!
To any other attendees, yes, I was the person shrieking my head off at the front table. My poor voice is suffering, today. And my inner fangirl squealed very loudly in my head when Goldie Luxe addressed me by name during the intermission; I can’t believe I replied to her so straight faced! Sadly I put my money on the wrong character for the villain, but I was still tickled with the outcome. No spoilers from me, everybody! All I will say is that I am thankful the hospital was able to admit me so quickly… *wink*

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This show especially had a potent vintage flavour. The background music pre-show was fabulous, I found myself saying to my husband with almost every song “oh I love this one!” All 30s and 40s tunes, not too low key, not too high tempo. More than one costume featured layers of fringe, and several of the ladies were decked out with seamed stockings.

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Betty Grable’s famous legs!

Opening the show was the spectacular Professor Plum, played by Poke-A-Hotness, with her fabulous legs and fabulous attitude.

Betty Kreuger as Miss White surprised me with her effective hiding place for her pipe, and I had my eye on her the whole show, as she titillatingly tidied in the background.

This is my first time seeing Sturner Stud perform, and he was not disappointing as Mr Green! Perhaps his mimed pleasures in that length of rope were drawn from some real life experiences…

EyeCandy herself was slinky and Scarlet indeed. Usually I am not a fan of Marilyn based performances (I have a possessive sort of passion, and usually impersonations are not up to snuff,) but her diamonds routine was adorable, with a cute little surprise under her pillow.

Lalani Electrica as Miss Peacock was divinely in-character all night, and in fact did not have to strip down at all…

…Bad Cop Naughty Ninja did it all for her! She certainly showed a love of the good old-fashioned strip search.

Good Cop Tiger Goddess was adorably innocent with her themed stockings and even more fondness for the strip searching.

I was so surprised by Tsavourite as Server 2, she made her acrobatics look so easy, and I was amazed to see her keeping her cool on that small stage.

Server 1 was played by Goldie Luxe, and played very well, too. I could watch her pull her gloves off all night, she seems to know so many different ways!

Charming Vexi La Rue delighted us as Colonel Mustard; I wouldn’t want to meet her in a dark alley with a wrench. (I’m not sure what she would want to do with it! Meow!)

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As usual, I forgot my camera at home, so I have no photographs of myself, or of the show. Next time I promise I will get some picture proof of attendance. I wasn’t really decked out anyways, this time, and dressed myself fairly modestly.

I’m not usually one to keep mementos from shows, (at least not longer than a week,) but this time we won the door prize, and it will find a place of honour on my wall, as soon as I find a good frame!

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Vintage Inspired Resolutions

It has been a wonderful end to the year for me. A few nights ago, my mother and her husband treated my husband and I to the Xmas pantomime at the Bailey Theatre. We go every year, and this year’s performance was just as charming and fun as all the preceding years.

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It’s still a bit strange, living in Nanaimo after spending six years in Victoria. Even though we’ve been back for a year , I am still surprised to recognise familiar names and faces in unexpected places. And I’m beginning to feel my age too, as the young lion in the show turns out to be the son of the younger sister of someone I went to high school with. But I like living in Nanaimo, partly for that familiarity. I definitely think I belong here.

* * *
On to the goal making! See, I told myself I wasn’t going to resolve anymore. These kind of resolutions get forgotten so quickly, no matter how important the wish or confident the resolver. But I still think it’s important to have goals.

 

1. Acquisitions: Things I would like to have to support and improve my vintage look. A crinoline, a genuine Bakelite bangle, a few more charming novelty brooches, a vintage style purse, and of course HATS. Here are a few pics of my favourite shapes, today.

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2. Making things: I have a huge length of beautifully patterned fabric for a circle skirt, which will need to be made this year, and I also have a hat base that I plan to deconstruct and trim for a fantastic springtime “Easter” hat.

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“Isn’t this blank magazine fascinating, Myrtle?”

(Lamest proposal ever, but Judy and Fred sure are wonderful together.)
3. I want to host an afternoon tea party this year! Complete with miniature edibles, bouquets of flowers, gloves, and great conversations. No cell phones allowed!

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“Do you see what Ethel has on her head?”
“Appalling!”

4. Feel free to laugh at this one, but I want to shop at the grocery store once per week. I have a bad habit of getting off work, then running to the grocery store to buy dinner fixings, and then ending up purchasing a frozen pizza because making something is too much thought and effort. I want to be able to plan meals for a week, and shop once!

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5. Obligatory health goal: I can (and will!) go down at least three dress sizes, in 2014. This is a multi-part goal. Firstly, I want to eat more real food, and less pre-packaged “food –like” products.  I love the ideas behind the Paleo Diet, and would like to incorporate a lot of them into my life.

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Second, I want to decrease my sugar intake.  I think I will make a point of not eating any sweets that I haven’t made myself.  In keeping to this rule, I will stop buying handfuls of candy, and start putting effort into curbing that sweet tooth.  If I have to make it, not only will I appreciate it more, but it will take more effort and be worth it.  ALSO, I will curb my after-dinner sweet craving with yummy tea.  David’s Tea makes an incredible rooibos blend called Crème Brûlée (not to be confused with the Crème Caramel) that adequately satisfies that craving.
And lastly I will find a way to add another workout to my week; currently I am doing three workouts a week, and one hour long vigorous tap class.

These guys are only missing bow ties and collars.

I will probably add another goal or two in the upcoming few days, but for now I think this is a reasonable, and even achievable list.  Except for those 80s short shorts.  That may be a bit extreme, even for me.

Obligatory Xmas Post

Well, it’s no secret that I do not care for the “Holiday Season”. (In fact, this year I have decided that the term “Holiday Season” is insulting also, seeing as only government workers and bank employees actually GET a holiday.) But I don’t want to run off on an angry tirade.
I want to talk about nail polish.
So, the best thing about Xmas, is being able to wear my glaringly green nail polishes without fear of raised eyebrows. Running in Circles by China Glaze is one of the prettiest greens I’ve ever encountered. And as usual, China Glaze does a fabulous glitter formula polish. The application is perfect, and totally opaque in two coats.
Admittedly, while at the gym for Monday’s class, I glimpsed my hand wrapped around a weight and was a bit taken aback with how appallingly loud this colour is.

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So I shall end this small but seasonally appropriate post with a favourite actress of mine, Jane Powell.

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A trip to the Tea Farm

I have been dreaming of a place like this for years.  And all of a sudden, POOF here they are!  I discovered I had a day off—actually with my husband, for a change.  So I dragged him off to the Tea Farm in Cowichan Valley.

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You could call me an “avid tea drinker.”  I have a fairly large tea pot, 1.5L, and I drink at least one pot of tea a day.  More often, two pots a day.  Which means I spend a lot of time in the bathroom also, but I digress.  To me, a cup of tea is a warm hug at the end of the day.  I could no more imagine life without tea, than I could imagine life without nail polish.  Usually my favourites include samplings from David’s Tea; I am insane for Glitter and Gold, and Coco Chai Rooibos; and I have discovered Tea Desire’s beautiful Buddha Bamboo is the most delicious way to enjoy a summer evening.  However, I am always on the lookout for new tea.  And ever since I discovered the Tea Farm, here on the Island, I have been curious and excited.

I love what they are trying to do; in a few years, the tea plants they are cultivating will be mature enough to begin harvesting.  It is very likely we will one day have locally grown TEA!  It was a special thrill to see the tea plants on their hillside, as you drive into the farm.

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The cottage itself is delightful.  It’s a tiny little wood hut, on a lovely piece of farmland, not too far off the beaten trail.  All dusted with snow, with a bit of smoke floating out of the chimney, it was a winter oasis of magic.  I am so serious, it is MAGIC.  I was surprised we didn’t see a unicorn in the field.  (Probably a bit too chilly for him.)

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My husband and I had our tea served in this lovely little pot, and sipped it out of beautiful antique Russian tea cup holders.  I wanted us to try one of their blends, as this is something the venue prides itself on.  We agreed upon Cowichan Caravan Tea, and it was delectably smoky and dark.  We indulged with a slice of chocolate cake; it was truly a beautiful compliment.

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One of the perks of the location, is in the resident artist.  Margit makes teapots and clay dishware.  And I have to say, I was blown away with the artistry of her craft!  It was a shame we picked a day when she was all but sold out, only two teapots for sale (and that’s one of the biggest reasons for our visit!) but it was a small nick in an otherwise amazing first visit.

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We DID have the opportunity to examine the spectacular giant teapot on display, however.  I was stunned to discover it was completely glazed on the inside and functional.  This gorgeous thing was at least three feet tall.  I am now convinced I need to own one of Margit’s amazing masterpieces. Just look at the detail along the inside of the lid!

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Beauty and function and local craftsmanship. Perfect!

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Wow!

Upon arriving at home, I quickly brewed up my purchase for the day; a nice big pot of Rooster.  (I have a thing for spiced teas, if you didn’t notice.)  And it was a perfect end to a lovely day.  Thank you, Tea Farm folks!  You will see me again for sure!

‘Tis the Season for Parties

The season of partying is upon us! Most of the time, social get-togethers are easy to navigate. But I still observe plenty of party fouls even at the fanciest of events. Here’s a few things to keep in mind, from getting ready, to actual attendance.

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Dress up! Remember, if you’re the best dressed, you set the tone for the party. And if you look fantastic, you’ll be less inclined to worry about what you could have worn instead.

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Ann Miller in “On the Town”

If it’s a costume or a theme party, you can NOT “just skip” the theme. The hosts have put a lot of thought and effort into this party, and it will be disrespectful to brush-off their endeavors so lightly. Head to the dollar store, and grab a few items to create a costume. You don’t have to go full throttle, but you do have to make some sort of attempt.

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This costume is nothing but a hat. And attitude.

Always bring a homemade dish to a potluck. If you refuse to cook, at least cut your own veggies for the veggie platter. (It’s cheaper, too!)  Xmas parties are a great time to show off your favourite go-to party dish. Even if you’re the devilled egg girl (like me!) people will be impressed and grateful for a hand crafted yummy. Make a point of being really good at creating at least ONE party dish. Practise!  Find something you love, and learn to make it quickly and well. My mother makes these squares that are impossibly delicious, and she has to bring an extra box to the party for the host, just so the rest of the guests even get some.

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Have something fun to talk about! Spend a few minutes considering the recent events of your life, and decide on something to say when someone asks you ‘what’s new?’ Because they will, and it’s a huge conversation killer when you reply: “Nothing.”

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Ava Gardner

Please don’t drink yourself stupid. Especially if it’s a work party! Have two drinks, and then stop to evaluate how loudly you are screaming answers to casual questions. Being the drunk everyone talks about the next day is never a nice position to be in.

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“Beer goes very well with beer. MORE BEER!”

Try one of everything! But don’t eat the entire plate. You want to be able to respond “yes!” when Susie Jane asks you the next day if you tried her spiced prune wheels. (“I’m on this diet where I don’t eat rehydrated seasoned fruit right now,” is a terrible answer to that question.)

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For the love of Pete, PLEASE leave your phone in your purse. And turn the ringer off! It is never appropriate to be “socializing” in person and also be texting on your phone. It’s one thing to whip out the portable Google to verify a term in a game of Cards Against Humanity, it’s entirely another to be talking to a good friend, while staring at a tiny phone screen and typing to another. It is truly pathetic to see so many people forgoing actual social contact, for digital aloofness.

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And while I’m on the subject, turn your ringer to vibrate please. It’s okay if YOU know you’re popular, but you don’t need to interrupt every conversation with constant ringtones to prove your social status.

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You hate so-and-so’s girlfriend, but she’s at the party, and you see her spy you from across the room and head your way. Don’t be a jerk and run away! Smile, exchange a few words, then develop a sudden need to powder your nose so you can escape the conversation graciously. It never hurts to be polite.

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And lastly, tuck a set of “Cards Against Humanity” in your car. ‘Cause you never know!  This game will liven up any party.

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Damsels of Burlesque

I feel a bit isolated here on the Island; there aren’t a lot of people dressing outside the norm, and it doesn’t seem as though there are many folks interested in vintage.  It is a very casual lifestyle out here.  I take it upon myself to find reasons to dress up, every day.  And every get-together I attend is an excuse to dress up even more!  Life is too short to wear yoga pants and a T-shirt all the time.

In my search for other weirdoes like me, I have been drawn to the art of Burlesque.  There are two troupes (that I know of!) here in Nanaimo, and another in Parksville.  I attended my first show in September, and was blown away by the magic.  The “Suit and Tie Affair” put on by “Naughty and Spice” was fabulous!  These performers were having a blast.  And it was such an unusual crowd in attendance.  I knew I would make some friends there; and indeed I met Ruby Kitten and Bumpin’ Blossoms, two of the ladies from the Parksville troupe, “The Damsels in DisDress”.

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Tonight I brought a few friends with me, to “An Evening of Burlesque” put on by the lovely “Damsels in DisDress”.  This was one of those events I had to dress up EXTRA fancy for…especially as my wedding dress is beginning to fit poorly through the hips.  This was very probably the last time I would be able to wear it.  (We will see; surely there will be a Christmas cocktail party I can flaunt it at!)

The show was incredible!  There were so many more performances than I was expecting.  Well, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I promise you I got more than whatever it was!  I am sad that I left my camera at home, especially as the host announced that photographs were welcome; just no flash.  So no pictures of either the event or myself.  Except for my nails.

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Happy Anniversary! and Got the Blues for Red, both by OPI

The ladies are self-described as “a classic-style Vaudeville Burlesque Troupe”, and that statement couldn’t be closer to the truth.  There was more performance than nudity, at this strip show!  Every act was well thought out and charmingly executed, and I felt like the tiny smatterings of vulgarity were a spice to the evening rather than an overpowering musk.

There was live music for several of the acts to bump to, sweet and suggestive original songs sung by the adorable Miss Candy Apples, and Jemma Riot’s enormous “Lucille Ball” eyes.  I couldn’t get enough of the group performances by the Damsels themselves; it was really fun to see more than one performer in an act.  It was amazing to see performers from the other end of the Island, coming to support this group in their first big show.  I love how close knit this community is.   (Indeed, I recognised several ladies from the Nanaimo troupes in the audience, also!)

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Miss Candy Apples

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The opening act; a silhouette show.

 

All in all it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.  I will absolutely be rushing to see another show by the Damsels, the next time around.  And so should anybody else, here on the Island!

Rosie’s ‘Do

Alright other vintage and rockabilly ladies! This is a shoutout for help. I am working hard to build a new me, at the gym, three times a week. The only problem is, I hate ruining the set I struggled so hard to create! I need some help figuring out what is the best thing to do with my hair, while working out. (Because if I’m not sweaty and nasty by the end of my session, I’m not doing a good enough job!) Currently, this is what I look like at the gym. If you need to laugh, it is fully justified.

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BAM!

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I have amassed a small collection of “Rosie the Riveter” patterned bandanas so I don’t look as dopey as I would in a flowery scarf.  BUT I still get my fair share of strange looks.  Under that sexy piece of gym headwear, I have loosely pin-curled my hair up again; as if I were to go to bed.  In fact, I go home, shower, (shower-capped, of course!) and pretty much hit the hay with my head still bundled up the same.
In doing research on vintage workout wear, I discovered a problem. Photographs taken in gyms and during activity, during the 30s, 40s, and 50s, are shots taken for magazines and publicity. So every lady is made up, hairstyled, and often wearing heels! Even during brief research, I only found one photograph of a woman with a sensible hairdo.

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It appears that in schools, at least, girls in the 1950s and 1960s were given a gym uniform by the school. I love this concept; not only is it equalizing, but it takes the fuss out of dressing for athletics. You just hop into your issued-playsuit, and out onto the field.
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And while the Bomb Girls wore their “turbans” on the job, the scarf was more there for protection from the chemicals than from sweat.

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The Bomb Girls

As a fun tidbit I found while researching this subject, I discovered a fantastic 1950s fitness guru, Jack LaLanne! There are episodes of his show on Youtube!  He was the first TV fitness guru, and his show demonstrated easy ways for the housewife to stay fit, in her home, in her spare time.  But even after viewing some of his show, I can’t help but feel like the gym is somewhere you would never EVER find a lady.  Ever.  So the problem I am dealing with, is one that didn’t really exist until (informally) the 1960s, and (formally) the 1970s.  And by the 70s, no young and hip person bothered setting their hair anyways.

Does anybody else out there have a good solution to preserve their set, while being active? This is something that has been challenging me for some time now.

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Original caption: “From the mid-1950s to the early 1970s, women had to appear as ladylike as possible, even when doing something as traditionally masculine as working out with weights. This girl is doing a seated press with respectably heavy weight, but her high heels and helmetlike hairdo are like fig leaves preserving her femininity.”

i wish i could look this good working out!

I wish I looked this good on one of these machines!

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Seems a bit too easy to be effective, doesn’t it. Maybe I’ll just stick with Dr. Ho’s machine…

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1940s yoga? Although the high heels are (thankfully) missing, their hair seems a bit high-maintenance for a good workout.

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Marilyn was a huge fan of yoga, and practiced it for most of her adult life.

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This 1930s era lady makes me want to burst out laughing. Her outfit, her lipstick, her heels!

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Two fashionable ladies in the 1920s demonstrate a modern treadmill.

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