review: ELF eyebrow kit

review: ELF eyebrow kit

I am a recent yet fervent devotee to the Power of the Almighty Brow. It’s not something you realize until you start going for it, but your eyebrows seriously set the stage for your whole face. This is especially true for pinup looks, where a strong yet shapely brow can really take you from “nice” to “WOWZA!” Hilariously enough, I spent most of my younger, blonder years obsessing over how DARK and BUSHY my brows were. And now I’m like “fill ‘er in, boys!”

For the past few months, I’ve just been filling in my brows lightly with eyeshadow, but I felt ready to take it to the next level…while preferably not entering a whole new level of spending. So I asked a bunch of ladies for their favorite drugstore brow product, and the response was all but unanimous: ELF brow gel.

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Here are my brows au naturale. You may notice that they are somewhat patchy, because I have a terrible habit of pulling at them when I’m stressed. They’re a little bit darker than my natural hair color, but obviously significantly lighter than my current violet tresses. (Sidenote: I mentioned this on Instagram, but does anyone else get suuuuper weirded out looking at photos of themselves without glasses on? Obviously I see myself without glasses in the mirror on a daily basis, but it’s just…much weirder in a photo.)

The $3 kit comes with a brow gel, a setting powder, and a tiny dual-ended brush to use with both of them. I debated between the shades “light” and “medium” for a while, and ended up going with light.

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I generally don’t use brushes included with a drugstore product (they never quite cut it), so I applied the brow gel with my Sonia Kashuk angle brush. I tried to focus on creating a nice dark, strong shape at the center to help shape the brow, then going lighter at the tail. My eyebrows are not perfectly even (whose are???) and I haven’t done any major shaping to them, so I just kind of tried to use my placement of  the gel to help emphasize the natural arch of my brows.

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The first time I used the product, I added the included setting powder on top, but I’ve found I actually prefer to use a bit of purple eyeshadow (Urban Decay’s “Vanity”) instead! It doesn’t give you “WHOA PURPLE BROWS,” but it’s a little bit darker/more dramatic and I like to think it helps tie everything together!

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And voila, add shadow, liner, and mascara, and those eyes are ready to go!

I’m so happy I picked up this eyebrow kit; I’ve been waffling for a long time about what to get for my brows (I know everyone and their mother loves Anastasia Beverly Hills), and it was great to have a nice, inexpensive product I could pick up and try out without feeling like I was making a huge commitment. The gel definitely holds up well (I’ve accidentally touched them a few times and come away with product on my fingers, but the brow itself looks fine), and it washes off easily with just a light cleanser. I definitely feel like my pinup game has been bumped up a few points now that I’m at least on the JV squad of Team Brow!

Do you do your brows? Are there any other minor changes that you think make a HUGE difference in your overall look?

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minnie mouse style

minnie mouse style

Minnie Mouse is having quite the style moment right now, but I’ve been a big fan of Ms. Mouse pretty much since birth. One of my very first stuffed animals was a Baby Minnie that my dad picked up on a business trip to Orlando just after I was born, and I’ve loved Minnie ever since! I just had to pick up a pair of Femme de Bloom’s Minnie Mouse cardigan clips, but I hadn’t had the perfect opportunity to wear them…yet…

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Is there anything more Minnie Mouse than polka dots? I wish I had a full polka dot dress (add to the list!), but this top did an admirable job of adding some dots to my life.

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I usually always wear my tops tucked into my skirts, but I wanted to get as much polka dot action as possible! I had initially planned to wear these clips on a black cardigan, but the red one let them stand out so much more.

And, best of all, after I’d decided to wear the Minnie Mouse clips, I glanced over at my dresser and saw…

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The adorable yellow Barbie shoe earrings that I won from fabiicakes in Miss Lark Bahar’s Instagram giveaway! What could be a more perfect addition to a Minnie themed outfit than a pair of vibrant yellow shoes?? I got so many compliments on these shoe earrings throughout the day and from ladies online – they’re so quirky and fun!

And, because I am nothing if not resourceful, I snagged a ribbon that had been wrapped around a box and used it in my hair! I really do need to get a proper variety of hair scarves but until then, I’ll make it work with what I got.

I absolutely love wearing a theme outfit like this…I’ve been thinking about doing a post more about closet cosplay/Disneybound sort of ideas and how to make those, so let me know if that’s something that you would be interested in seeing!

summer essentials: orange lipstick

summer essentials: orange lipstick

Like most pinup gals, I’m pretty loyal to my red lipstick. There’s nothing quite as fierce as a red lip, and that’s definitely what I’ll always come back to if I want to look and feel fabulous. But dig if you will a fun alternative that’s perfect for summer: orange!

Okay, some of these are red oranges but whatever! Still counts! A touch of orange is so bright and fun for summertime makeup. It brings a lot of warmth to your look, and don’t we all want to look beautiful and full of warmth and sun-kissed in summer? (Except without actually having any contact with the sun, if, like me, you are a beautiful pearlescent porcelain doll who goes up in flames at the slightest hint of UV radiation.)

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I’ve swatched the 3 oranges I keep in my lipstick drawer which, helpfully enough, are a nice journey across price and brand as well! First up is the orangest of the three and my drugstore orange, the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balm in Audacious.  This is my go-to for outdoor events and festivals when I want to just throw it into my bag for easy touch-ups throughout the day. It definitely doesn’t have the same kind of opaque coverage as a full on lipstick, but it’s very light on the lips, moisturizing, and has a delightfully minty scent.

Next, we have my personal favorite, MAC matte lipstick in So Chaud. This is a lovely reddish orange that goes on creamy as all get out and has a really impressive wear time. I usually choose So Chaud when I want to feel glamorous, but a little bit spunky too.

Finally, the newest addition is Urban Decay Revolution lipstick in Tilt. Now, the Revolution line has been discontinued and switched entirely to Vice, but Tilt is still part of that collection! I haven’t tried the Vice line, so I can’t speak to the formulation, but I’ve always found Urban Decay lipsticks to be very creamy. Since this one is new, it’s gotten a lot less wear than the other two, but I love how vibrant it is! (It’s looking a lot more on the red end of the spectrum in the photo above, but it definitely reads more like a true orange on my face.)

Do you ever stray from your classic red?

my first peasant blouse

my first peasant blouse

I have this weird thing about tops. The “thing” being that I don’t buy them. I’m not really sure why…I wear tops just as much as the average human, I’d say, but my eyes tend to slide past them when I’m doing my shopping. Since I realized that I had a closet full of skirts and very few tops to pair them with, I’ve made a concentrated effort to purchase more blouses, which brought me to finally picking up Pinup Girl Clothing’s iconic peasant blouse!

I’ve seen so many ladies gush about how perfect and life changing the peasant blouse was, and even more gush about how they didn’t really believe that the peasant blouse could be as perfect and life changing as all those other ladies said but it TOTALLY WAS. I wasn’t really sure what to think, but I figured it was worth a shot. I loved the pairing of the dark green peasant top with the yellow umbrellas Jenny, so when I picked up the skirt,  the peasant blouse just happened to fall into my cart (oops!).

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Blouse: Pinup Girl Clothing | Skirt: Pinup Girl Clothing | Belt: Dress Barn | Necklace: Spencer’s | Earrings: Local boutique

When I first tried it on, I have to admit I was a little bit meh. I will say that I’m much more used to blouses with…more flexible fabric, I guess? The peasant blouse won’t immediately mold to your curves quite like some other tops will, and it did bunch up a bit around my waist. The fit wasn’t exactly what I was dreaming of, but then I remembered my most trusty tip whenever something from Pinup Girl isn’t quite fitting the way that you hope: hoist those boobs up to Jesus.

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Where did these come from?

It’s true. PUG is definitely designed for busty types, and even being a rather busty lass myself, I find that a little extra oomph in the chesticle department never hurts. So I grabbed my trusty push-up bra, a few socks (this, ladies, is called class), and I was in business.

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I was off to see the RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons tour, so I was definitely ready to put it all out there. Truth be told, I kept getting distracted by my own cleavage all night, but that’s a good problem to have. Pairing this boobtastic peasant top with the fetish skirt definitely had me in a sassy mood all night (as you can probably tell by my modeling.)

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So, did it change my life? Not exactly. Is it fabulous? Yep. Will I be buying more? Definitely! This top is a great staple addition to any pinup gal’s wardrobe; the only downside is that (at least for me) there is definitely no way to make it work appropriate! But it’ll be great fun for other adventures.

Are you a peasant blouse devotee? Which color do you have your eye on next? (I’m waiting for the black and white stripes to drop!)

the power of purple (or: a brief history of my hair)

the power of purple (or: a brief history of my hair)

In order to know where we are, we must first understand where we’ve been.

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Like my mother before me, I was born blonde. I dyed my hair for the first time my junior year of college, just as I was starting to get into pinup/rockabilly style. A lot of the pinups I admired had gorgeous fire-engine red hair, and I wanted it for myself. And thus began the redhead years. I felt good as a redhead; I was generally assumed to have come by it naturally, which was nice. But I found myself yearning for something more. I bleached my “bangs,” because that felt like a fairly low-key method of hair rebellion. I had a white collar professional grown-up job by this point. One that was admittedly very welcoming of some of my more colorful wardrobe choices, but I feared that I had missed my chance for fantasy colors.

Enter last November. I wanted a change more than ever. I didn’t want to go blonde…I’d been blonde. But I didn’t think dark hair would suit me. Where else was there to go but to the funkier side of the spectrum? I became obsessed with silver and lavender hair. I slipped a “hypothetical” question about any restrictions on hair color to a senior staff member…and was told to go for it.

It feels weird to say that something as obviously unnatural as purple hair has made me feel more like my “real” self than anything else, but it’s true. I’m colorful and eccentric. My idea of glamour has always been just slightly off-kilter. Purple hair (for now) feels more natural than anything else ever has. It makes me feel beautiful and glamorous; it makes me feel like a real live princess when little girls shyly compliment me in public.

People who know me online are always surprised to hear that I’m actually quite shy in real life. I tend to be quiet and reserved, feeling things out before I open up. Shy people aren’t usually as flashy as I am, but not long after I dyed my hair, a friend said, “I think it’s very cool, like you’re showing people who you are when you don’t feel like you can talk to them.” And that resonated a lot with me. Pinup style and purple hair is totally how I tell the world who I am without ever having to say a word.

oh havana

oh havana

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Holy Havana, y’all!

The Havana Nights Dress is a dress that’s easy to overlook among the wide variety of tempting treats available from Pinup Girl Clothing. Sure, there’s some fervor over the rare cool and warm cabana stripes printed versions, but it’s not a flashy dress. It’s simple. It’s a workhorse. And that’s why I’m totally obsessed with it.

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I’ll admit that I had the Havana on my shopping list as a “should” buy. It wasn’t a fun new release or a colorful pattern. “I could wear that to work,” I said to myself. “It’ll be easy to wear in the winter.” (A very important consideration for pinups in the Great White North.) And all of that is true!

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But Havana? She’s more than simple…she’s effortless. By herself, I’m Audrey Hepburn. Totally chic without even trying.

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Havana isn’t a spotlight hog, though. She’s perfectly happy to work with others.

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This dress is perfect for work. The black version will literally go with anything. Any cardigan. Any belt. Any tights. Any brooch. Make her your canvas.

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The V-neck gives the dress some interest while still being appropriately covered up for corporate America. I have a million ideas for outfits to create with this dress…it’s going to be difficult to force myself to keep a respectable amount of time between wearings!

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For this first outing, I paired my Havana with a new cardigan from New York & Company. I absolutely love the beautiful corsage detailing – you don’t even have to pick a brooch!

Have you ever loved a dress more than you expected to?

you can stand under my umbrella

you can stand under my umbrella

I’ve been waiting for this one for a long time, kittens…

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Top: Kohl’s | Skirt: Pinup Girl Clothing | Brooch: Femme de Bloom | Necklace: Shop Ruche

I was very taken with the pink umbrellas Jenny skirt from the original Magic of Mary Blair collection, but I was disappointed to see that the color was much more of a salmon in real life. It just wasn’t right for me, no matter how much I loved those sweet little parasols. Luckily, this summer’s Mary Blair collection includes this beautiful recolored version: yellow umbrellas Jenny!

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It’s a beautiful, buttery pastel yellow in person, exactly the color I was hoping for! The touches of red and green in the skirt give you a lot of options for styling it, but I had to go with my personal favorite of black and white stripes for this maiden voyage!

The skirt fits true to size; I was a bit nervous, since there’s been a lot of discussion on the PUG Customer Lounge lately about size runs being off or pieces being mislabeled, but this is perfect. I’m usually able to squeeze myself into the Jenny skirts that run small, but it’s nice to have one that fits perfectly like this. It’s fitted without being tight.

I’m wearing the skirt today without any underskirt or crinoline underneath, which is how I usually wear my Jennys for work. I think it has a bit less “poof” factor than some of my other Jenny skirts, but still definitely has a pretty fullness without enhancement!

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Because umbrellas always make me think of Mary Poppins, I paired the skirt with my “Practically Perfect in Every Way” brooch. Add in my pearl earrings and lucky swallow necklace, a nice swipe of MAC So Chaud lipstick, and I was ready to go!

I can’t wait to get a few more pieces from this year’s Mary Blair collection…I have my eye on some planes and boats!