Monday, October 29, 2007

On Cosmetics and Skincare Products

You've probably heard many times about how your face is like an artist's blank canvas, and really it's true. Despite their talent, Hedy Lamarr, Clara Bow and Lana Turner might not have gotten far if they hadn't put their best face forward. A well-done face is arguably the most important part of being a pinup, and so without further ado, these are a few of my favorite things.

(Disclaimer. I am not getting paid to recommend any products or any company. If that ever changes, you'll know about it, but for now, you're going to have to trust me that my check is NOT in the mail. Though by this point it should be.)


Healthy skin is the base for any well made-up face, and it's also key to a sense of confidence--which, as anyone will tell you, is a major factor in sex appeal (not to mention general happiness). I have not been blessed with naturally beautiful skin--mine is dry, extremely fair, burns easily, breaks out easily--but my best friend in getting it into shape has been Mario Badescu. At first the number of products they have may be intimidating, but the staff is very knowledgeable and helpful both in person and on the phone. The first time I looked I thought Mario Badescu was terribly expensive, but compare their cost to what you'll find in drugstores and at department store makeup counters, and you'll find that ounce for ounce, Mario Badescu is almost always the best deal. Not only do Mario Badescu products actually work, but they're also never tested on animals.

Even so, possibly the best thing you can do for your skin is to stay out of the sun. You should also quit smoking.


My favorite lipstick comes from Besame Cosmetics. The thing that sets their lipstick apart is the richness of the color and the smoothness. Their cherry red lipstick looks good on pretty much anyone looking for a knockout red, and the red velvet shade is subtle enough for the office but still alluring. Their eyeshadows are also a favorite. I particularly love Besame's vanity case, which is basically an entire makeup kit in one gold compact for only $75--you won't need anything else. However, for some unknown reason, the vanity cases have been discontinued and the last ones can only be bought online. Customer service tells me they're coming up with something similar in time for the holidays, though I've yet to see it.

In other odds and ends, I like the play sticks by Benefit Cosmetics as my foundation, which go from a lovely cream-to-powder finish. Translucent powder is essential to the matte look of a classic glamour girl, and I recommend Clinique in this case. A generous package of 1.2 ounces for $18.50 also gives you a fresh brush. I'm not a particular devotee of any mascara, but my black liquid eyeliner comes from Sephora. It stays put and it's only $10, rivalling most drugstore eyeliners which don't hold nearly as well. Finally, all good things must come to an end, and for that Sephora also makes a simple, inexpensive and remarkably quick eye makeup remover.

Techniques are an entirely different post, but in the meantime, take a look at some of my links. I also recommend Dita Von Teese's book, Burlesque and the Art of the Teese/Fetish and the Art of the Teese. She breaks everything down decade by decade, so whether you want Clara Bow or Betty Grable, you're set.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Getting into it

I had been wearing a corset regularly for quite some time when my mom said to me, "Do you know how long women fought to get out of those things?" After a moment I replied, "Do you know how long I've fought to get into one of these things?"

I've been interested in tightlacing at least since I saw Hattie McDaniel tighten up Vivien Leigh in Gone with the Wind. Beyond that, I've always admired the classic pinup styles of women like those painted by Gil Elvgren and used nowadays as humor by Anne Taintor . Their allure and coy, (sometimes) innocent faces have never failed to inspire me and inform my sense of style. Not only that, classic pinups timeless, defying fads and trends that are in one year and out the next. In the many conversations I've had with others about pinups, beauty and the definition of sexy, not one person of any age (or gender) has been able to claim that a Vargas girl does nothing for them.

As I became more and more immersed in emulating classic pinups, sexiness became more about hinting that I might have a secret, and if you happen to be around at the right time, I might give you a peek. Classic pinup style has nothing to do with your ass hanging out of your shorts, but has more to do with the sprinkler that just blew up your skirt. What's a girl to do? Gather everything she's learned about classic pinup style and put it in one spot.
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Pinup Tales by Kitty du Vert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.