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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hiatus and Hairdos (With a Side of Panic Attacks)



So here I am after a long hiatus and I feel I owe you all a bit of an explanation.

First, let's talk a bit about hair. My hair needs a trim and I need to color it again because lord knows it is growing fast and I need to touch up my roots, but I did bang out a tutorial a few weeks ago showcasing my new favorite hairstyle inspired by the lovely Joanne Woodward and her side swept bangs. She wore this style in varied ways throughout her life and I love how it translates to different hair lengths.


In 'The Long, Hot Summer', you may recall that she had her bangs at their shortest stage; they were barely whispy baby hairs at her hairline. But they worked so well for her character and her own personality. I've opted to take on the side swept bang in order to work with my natural cowlick and I gotta say, I'm into it.

So the style in this newest video is the way I've translated her style to my own head. I used foam rollers for this one, but I'm just as likely to use Rockin Rollers, Pin Curls, or even Hot Sticks.



So that's that. Thanks to the great Si Cranstoun for still supporting my channel and allowing me to use his wonderful music!

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So now for the more personal stuff...why I've been missing as far as weekly posts go. You can still find me regularly on Facebook and Instagram, but let's suffice it to say that things have been HECTIC in Ashley-World lately.

Not only am I homeschooling, working full time, and trying to manage an online presence (lol...that's just a joke. I hardly put any time into it compared to others), but I am also planning a move. And if any of you have ever tried to procure a residence from a considerable distance, arrange a job transfer, AND still live your daily life with some success, it is NO easy task!

I've always had stress, but I feel like I've done a good job managing it and I'm a pretty routined person that accomplishes a lot. But suddenly, last month, things sort of came to head when I had my first actual PANIC ATTACK. I was driving when it happened and yada yada yada ( to make a long story short) paramedics were called because I literally thought I was dying. For me, it came as blurred vision, a feeling that I wasn't getting any oxygen, and freezing-cold extremities. I was unsure what it was at the time, which contributed to the feeling I was having, and the paramedics suggested anxiety. I didnt buy it. I felt like I was handling everything just fine and after all, it literally came out of nowhere. I recovered shortly, went home, and went about my business with a bit of a hangover. ('Hangover' really is the best way to describe it, if any of you have ever dealt with this. It renders you a little hopeless, like you have failed, and it becomes difficult to 'even out' again.)
The next night, I tried to drive to the store and it happened again...a much worse case that ended at the ER. This time, I 'bought it'. Obviously, only something psychological could strike in so sinister a way at such an inconvenient time. Medication was prescribed for episodes and I'm happy to report that I rarely have had to use them since. Having an understanding of the situation has helped me considerably and I now feel more in tuned with my body and my mind. Let me say though, that if you have stress and anxiety and you don't listen to your body, I can see how you could easily have a break down. This is true physical stuff, no matter what some may think. Much like depression, panic attacks and anxiety need your understanding and your consideration, not your derision or skepticism.

I won't say more at this time on the subject. But needless to say, I know I have to focus on important stuff first and view my tutorials as a hobby, not an obligation, which is and always been what they actually are. You may not see me as regularly or as much for now, but I am certain that once things settle down again you will again be treated to weekly videos from me. This is a passion of mine that won't die, no matter how old I get or how many others are cranking out similar stuff.

Thanks again for your patience and support...

xxoo,
Ashley



Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Sadie Series: Gothic Brides


When you image-search the term 'Gothic Bride', there is a very clear depiction that prevails. White skin, hair dyed 'Black No.1', snowy bosoms struggling to escape from black corset cocoons, and deep red lips easily overshadow other visions of the style. But there are so many different directions one can take this idea. Victorian brides, like the one pictured, also speak the language of Gothic Romance, as do vampiresque mermaid gowns and drippy cobwebs of ivory lace. So the term can call to mind many dramatic styles that mesh and intermingle into one cohesive look. Fans of Jane Eyre, for instance, may see themselves in more of a demure gown that mimics the style of the heroine but also pays homage to the lunacy of Blanche (Ooo, I kinda dig that) in their vision.

In my mind, one gown has always reigned supreme as the be-all-end-all of 'Gothic Gowns'. This 1950's Dior masterpiece is what inspired my tutorial and truly inspires me in just about every other way as well...



With that in mind, the hair and makeup I came up with for this installment of my vintage bridal series is something that would suit a variety of looks that are not specific to any one era.
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HAIR:

The hair in this tutorial is very simple. I didnt really intend it to be, but as it came about, I decided that it needed to be. I'll be doing a Victorial bridal style soon, which will likely involve a more elaborate coiffure, so I didnt want to distract from the drama of the accessories and such by over-complicating the hair style. Therefore simple side combs, an easy pompadour, and the application of a faux ponytail is all that is required to achieve it.
My hair accessories are from Vintage Box 1947 and Taissa Lada Designs. My faux ponytail extension is by Irresistible Me.



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MAKEUP:

For the makeup, the secret is layering and blending the eyeshadows so that there is a very diffused smokey look to the eyes. This seems to come off really well in photographs, particularly in black and white shots. The lips are dark, of course, but not black or purple. These colors tend to make the teeth look a bit yellow if you should so happen to offer a toothy grin on the happiest day of your life. Skin is pale and has a satin-matte finish and a subtle highlight. Brows are darker and a bit more arched. Blush is bare to minimal.

Below is the tutorial, followed by a product list, if you'd like to know what I used. I do not believe that product choices are important here...you have unlimited options in this regard and can just use this as a loose reference if you wish.



Products Used:
Clinique Moisture Surge
Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Base
LORAC Behind the Scenes Eyeshadow Primer
Urban Decay, Original Naked Palette
Nyx Jumbo Pencil in 'Black Bean'
Wet n'Wild Pop Art Collection Shadow Palette in Three's a Party
Clinique Pretty Easy Lining Pen in Black
Clarins Supra Volume Mascara in Black
Ardell 105 Glamour Lashes
Napoleon Perdis China Doll Foundation-Shade 2B
Napoleon Perdis Mosaic Blushing Powder
Mary Kay liquid lip color-Discontinued product


So Long, Dearies!
Xoxo,
Ashley


Friday, October 21, 2016

Movies That Shaped My Style: The Women (1939)


Movies have always been my chief inspiration, when it comes to style. And there are a few films that I can truly say 'shaped' my taste in that regard. I thought it might be worthwhile to include a few words about those films occasionally here and on my Youtube Channel.

The one that is foremost in my mind is 1939's The Women, directed by George Cukor.

It's one of those movies that I enjoyed as a kid, because I always like the fashionable aspect of it and the witty one-liners. As an adult, I also identify with the female empowerment of it, although some might disagree with that notion. I personally feel that it taught some valuable lessons about humility, endurance, and hope.

The Movie:

Synopsis:
Mary Haines (Norma Shearer) is a society lady who leads what many feel to be a 'charmed life'. She is known in her community as one of the upper class 'elite' and seems from the outset to have it all..the perfect marriage, the perfect daughter, lots of friends, and scads of money. However, when catty gal-pal Sylvia Fowler (Rosalind Russell) hears a nasty rumor involving Mr Haines, Mary's friends suddenly seem all too glad to see her fall from grace. As the rumors circulate, build, and gain momentum-Mary must decide if her pride is more important than her marriage, and whether preserving her dignity is worth the loss of all she holds dear.

The story is simple, and one we've seen played out many times since...but never in quite this way. The black and white cinematography is crisp and stylish, focusing on details only women will truly appreciate. No men are present anywhere in the film; we don't even hear their voices or see them walking on the street. This little touch provides a mood and atmosphere that isn't obvious at first, but eventually proves to be the most important aspect of the story-telling itself. We begin to see how this priviledged world looked through the eyes of its females, and how modern society at the time influenced their behavior. The interior sets are painstakingly specific, drawing attention to the tastes and attitudes of each leading lady, and the full-color fashion show at a pivotal point in the story provides an even more impressive landscape to stage the scene.

The cast could not have been chosen better. Rosalind Russell is comically evil; Joan Crawford purrs and claws her way across the screen with a subtlety that I never knew she possessed; Paulette Goddard provides the sexy spunk that really set the standard for similar roles of the time. Supporting performances by Lucille Watson as Mary's wise and understanding mother, Virginia Weidler as the heart-broken little Mary, and Phyllis Povah as Sylvia's simple-minded side-kick are also standout, bringing the screenplay brilliantly to life. Although Joan Fontaine's portrayal is syrupy-sweet at times, and the story could potentially wear a little thin due to the fact that the second 'act' is a pretty drastic change of pace, this is a movie that never fails to improve with repeat viewings.

My rating: 10/10

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Fashionistically-speaking, this is one of the world's best. The designs by Adrian are memorable, to say the least, and really showcase the avant-garde look of his creations without overshadowing the players. Specific looks will always stand out to me. This blouse, for instance, worn by Sylvia during an early scene in the film, broadcasts without words her personal style and demeanor.


Adrian's designs were a great mix of new and classic. They brought to the forefront of fashion a kooky mentality that was a welcome respite from the stern drama of the 1930's.

In The Women, Adrian paid special attention to the characters he was dressing, making sure to give them an elegant feel without forgetting that sex-appeal and comedy were also key players.


He reserved his more bold designs in the film for the spectacular full-color fashion show, which boasted ensembles suitable for both day and evening events.


This beach jacket could be irresistible or off-putting, depending on who you are. It features a realistic human hand at the closure- holding a rose, no less.


Make sure to look up more of Adrian Greenburg's luscious designs, which are quintessential fashion examples of the decade. His life was relatively short, but he made a solid mark on Hollywood and the fashion world, as well as an undeniable impression on my own style choices and love of all-things-novelty.

Til Next Time...
XXOO,
Ashley



Monday, October 3, 2016

Fabulous Faux Ponytails!


Ever since I can remember, I have loved the look of a big, fake ponytail. Elvis movies were full of them; my mom LIVED in faux hair pieces in the 60's! They're just the sassiest thing! So my fine, thin hair was definitely not going to ever be capable of giving me the look I wanted in a ponytail.

Enter the Irresistible Me Ponytail Extension!

I first introduced this little item to you long ago, when I was still a blonde. The video still stands and you can still use it, as well as the rest of the videos in that playlist, showcasing all the fabulous retro ways to use this hairpiece!

After I had my hair cut into a pixie last year, I knew it would be some time before I could revisit this sort of piece, so I'm very excited to be back on the 'faux pony'! My hair is now almost shoulder-length and ready for action!

My ponytail was blonde, so I made the decision to color it to match my red, as opposed to trying to match it with one of their existing titian shades. Which was a good choice, as it turns out, because I've since discovered that the reds they offer are no where near my current color. The color I use is the Loreal Feria 'Power Copper' with the color booster. The problem with this color is that it fades pretty quickly on my own hair, so for a time, I've had to wash my ponytail extension every time I wash my hair, so they'll fade at the same rate. A headache. One of the only cons to being a redhead though, so I'll take it.

Now, the tail is the purrr-fect shade of bombshell red, so I'm not complaining.

I also gave it a good whack, since I was bored with the super long heaviness of it. Now, I'm wearing it ALL the time because it's more comfy!


Anyway, that's about it for this entry, other than the link below of course. Clickety-click on the play button and you will see this baby in action as well as hear some handy-dandy tips for applying it!
Oh! And remember that if you use the following link (also in the info bar of the video, on Youtube), you'll get a discount AND be helping me out!!
http://bit.ly/IM_Hair219




Til' next time

So Long, Dearies!

xoxo,
Ashley


Friday, September 9, 2016

A Tale of Two Tutorials


It was 'Styling as Usual' on Lisa Freemont Street for the last two weeks. That really just means it was a 'return to formula' and I was able to add to some existing series I have going on my channel.

Occasionally, I revisit a tutorial I've done in the past and call it a 'Street Repeat'. Since last week's tutorial was also based on the following Classic Pin Up Art piece, it qualified as both a repeat and an addition to that series. This Pearl Frush lady is just everything, and I love her one upswept little Victory Roll near her face.

Since I have bangs, I found a way to somewhat mimic that upswept look while hiding my fringe and I liked the final product!

The original version of this style, from all the way back in 2009, is still on Youtube and I'll go ahead and link it here as well. For fun, I used the same spunky little Squirrel Nut Zippers tune in my recreation. It's such a good one! Hopefully the lighting and instruction in the new one is easier to follow, but using both together could be helpful as well.

Original Tutorial:


New Tutorial:


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The second tutorial was an installment for my Diamonds & Dames series, which is an all-request series on my channel. You can visit the entire playlist, which started all the way back in 2009, here.

For this most recent episode, I used a request I received for the center-parted softly waved style worn by Donna Reed in From Here to Eternity and catered it to shorter hair. The result was just a semblance of the original style but still very much a 1950's option. It's such a simple look to achieve that I hardly feel it cam be termed a tutorial. So let's just call it a 'styling option' for short hair. Ha!


As far as the movie goes, I'm not a huge fan of this one. I feel it was mostly overrated and none of the characters really resonated with me. That said, the performance by Donna Reed was decent, albeit melodramatic even for the era, and who can forget that oceanside make-out session? It's been years since I've seen it, so I won't mess with trying to rate it accurately...strictly going on memory, I'd probably be scoring it a solid 7/10 based on the direction and some of the performances, in spite of its inability to connect with me.


And here is the tutorial for the Donna Reed inspired style...short and sweet and accompanied by a lovely little Eddie Fisher tune from the year the film was released. Enjoy!



So that was what was up the last couple of weeks. I'm currently settling my kid into K12 home school and planning a move back to middle Tennessee so I don't have as much time on my hands. I'll definitely be around though. You'll see me.

xoxo,
Ashley


Friday, August 26, 2016

Sponsor Salute: Miss Poppywear & the 'Vanessa' Dress

Yay for sponsors!

A few months ago, a site out of the Netherlands called Miss Poppywear contacted me about advertising here on my page. I was hesitant at first, since the site was not written in English (although there IS a little drop-down option in the top right corner that I later discovered and which magically converts the whole site into English-Voila!), but quickly got over that when I saw the great selection they had. There is so much good stuff to offer in this little online shop! Separates and dresses and hats-oh my!

But's let talk a little about this dress, shall we?

I picked this dress from their site on my own, and they kindly sent it to me for review. It's by the brand Lindy-Bop (a brand I've also come to love for their amazing childrens' clothing), and featured candy stripes, a little belt, and a flattering gathered bust that really appealed to the 1950's fan in me.


When I received the dress and tried it on, I was really impressed by the quality. Although it's not vintage-authentic in its construction, meaning it does include some lycra-stretch fabric for a more modern fit, it is very well made and showcases a sturdy lining as well. I always try my garments on initially without any shape wear, mainly to gage the 'actual' fit, and even without my handy-dandy under-duds, it zipped easily. It was very comfortable and needed very little pulling or tugging to make it sit correctly. Initially the bust area was a little big, something I'm used to since I am not the most proportionate of gals, but tacking down the extra fabric helped significantly with that little detail.

The fabric is a lovely shade of pink and white stripe, not too bubble-gummy but also not too deep, and the cotton chosen for the bust fabric blends with it beautifully. The belt is a patent material and really neither here nor there, to be honest but I think I may try it with a black belt eventually, to give the dress a little additional 'oomph' at the waist line.

The back of the dress is one of my favorite things about it. Instead of taking the predictable route, there is the added interest of the lovely pointed collar at the neckline which really helps highlight the classic feel of the narrow stripe. The fit at the rear is also very nice, since I feel it flatters that area without adding too much attention to it. Whew! Another nice feature is the graduated wide straps that finish in a cap sleeve for maximum bra coverage!


For the photo shoot, I did indeed wear my trusty Rago waist nipper for a little extra curve-appeal, and also some added security. I feel that from the front and side, the proportions are appropriately consistent and I am more than happy to wear this one out and about for afternoon or evening summer events.


For our hot and humid Memphis weather, I opted to pair the dress with a casual up-do, a gorgeous flower clip from Belle Blossoms, my pink peep-toe pumps by Remix Vintage, and an ever-important paper parasol that I purchased a few VLV's ago. I felt classic and cool-always a nice combo.


I am honored that Miss Poppywear wanted to advertise with me and hope that all of you will visit the site, linked here in this entry AND to the left in my sponsor column. Shipping is reasonable and questions are readily answered, but if you have any queries about either, you can always post a comment below and I will also do my best to help you.

So Long, Dearies!

All photos taken by uber-talented local artist, Jerry Plunk of Plunk Kreativ, at Overton Park, Memphis Tn. Plunk Kreativ is also linked to your right.


Thursday, July 28, 2016

Vintage Hair Problems: Rolling the Back of Your Head


I get a lot of Vintage Style questions via email and on social media and usually the questions are pretty easy to answer in writing, with just a few words. Occasionally however, one arises that I feel a video would better serve to answer. This one, for instance:

How do I roll the back of my head?

Because I tend to roll my hair without a back view at all, I sometimes take it for granted that it's something everyone does. I know there are some girls who firmly believe in precision in this regard, using a mirror and a rat-tail comb to delicately part and curl the back of their head to perfection. And certainly vintage styling books show very specific placement for the back of the head, being geared towards the professional crowd as they are. But I do think most people don't give it a lot of thought or effort. Or at least, I think most ladies would prefer not to have to take that much time setting their hair at night.

If you are that latter gal, this video is for you! This is how I set my hair in the back and yes, I show you the messy results as well as the actual style that comes from the process. It doesn't have to be a thoughtful procedure unless you want it to be...and if you do, I salute you. But if you don't...join me and the other ladies who enjoy sitting in a tv-lit room watching Stephen Colbert as we haphazardly throw our hair up for the night!

xoxo,
Ashley