I am fortunate to keep the company of many artists.
Often those artists and I develop friendships through making beautiful things together. One artist I am particularly fond of is Suzanne Phoenix, whom I have made much art with. Last year, a picture we made together was selected to be a part of the Loud and Luminous exhibition at Contact Sheet gallery in St Leonards, Sydney.
Suzanne was asked to give an artists talk about the photograph of me that was selected, and the audience response to her talk was so positive and eager to learn more about our relationship, that she decided to create a photo story of the relationship that led to creating the exhibited photograph.
I was so moved by Suzanne's words. Some of the pictures in her story I had never even seen before......I didn't even know they existed, and to see them along with the story from her perspective was such a special experience for me that I have decided to use those same photographs, and make a photo story from my perspective as a heartfelt reply and thank you to Suzanne's work. You can see Suzanne's photo story here
The first 3 photographs were taken at the first ever Hear No Evil Feast that I ever attended in June 2016. I wasn't sure I would be able to attend the event right up until the last minute, as I was in the middle of my first round of fertility treatment, and wasn't sure if I would be pregnant or not for the show. Not to say that I couldn't attend the show if I was pregnant, but the menu for the banquet hall included things I wouldn't be able to eat and of course drinking would have been off the cards, and I was nervous about attracting unwanted attention to my situation. Three days before the show, the treatment failed and I made the decision to attend. I hadn't really thought about an outfit for the event, being so pre occupied with my treatment, and managed to throw together a look from an old show costume, a corset and a terribly cheap dress I'd bought on ebay. I was determined to have a good time, despite the events of the week, and once I got dressed and ready I was feeling fabulous. The hormones I'd been taking for the fertility treatment had left me bloated and swollen, but I honestly don't remember even thinking about what my body looked like that night. I just felt really beautiful and quite proud.
A corset is not the wisest choice to wear to a sit down dinner, and I was going to enjoy my steak god dammit, so when sitting at the table became too uncomfortable for me, I got up and ate my steak standing. I had never met Suzanne before, and wouldn't have even known what she looked like. She observed me from across the table and made these first photographs of me, which until now, I'd never seen.
Sparked by how I felt about myself on the night of Hear No Evil, I had a burning desire to improve the relationship I had with my body. I had always hated it, and punished myself often for the physical space I took up. I had noticed a small shift in social attitudes towards fat bodies, and was presented with the crazy notion that I didn't actually have to hate myself....I could exist in my fat body and not only love it, but see it as beautiful. I wanted to be an example for others, especially the children I so yearned for, that body positivity is not a luxury only afforded to the slender.
I attended an open casting for Melbourne Fashion Week Plus. A runway of local and International plus size designers, and to my genuine surprise and utter delight I was cast.
By this stage I was a fan of Suzanne's work, having seen many pictures she had made of my brother, but was not aware she would be photographing the runway.
The experience for me was challenging, I was incredibly confronted by many things and it was a real mission for me to get through the show. I doubted myself, and questioned if I deserved to be there. I doubted whether I was beautiful enough to be walking alongside actual 'models' and really punished myself terribly.
One designer I was walking for gave me permission to be myself. Sprinkle, of Sprinkle Emporium, saw something in me that she wanted in her runway, and encouraged me to do my thing. Hers was the third of four collections I was walking for and was by far my favourite. I had been terrified on my first two trips down the runway, but something changed in me by the time I was ready to walk for Sprinkle, I'm not sure if it was because of how beautiful I felt in her designs or the penny just dropped, but the moment I stepped out on that runway I was on fire. I felt like I had the attention of every single person in the room and I was LIVING for it!! The energy in the room exploded and suddenly it sounded like we were at a rock concert, people were screaming and cheering and I was milking it for everything it was worth.
The show was in July of 2016, and I did not know Suzanne would be there. There were lots of photographs from lots of different photographers to look at after that event, and I was instantly in love with the ones taken by Suzanne. I knew right then that I was on to something with this desire of mine to help others be kinder to their bodies, and I decided the only way to get that message across was to lead by example.
The next time I saw Suzanne, was actually the first time we properly met and spoke in person! We had spoken on facebook quite a bit after the runway pictures were released, but never actually met in real life until the following year when we all came together again for Hear No Evil Feast 2017.
I was so thrilled to finally meet this person that had SEEN me, I was excited to hug her and thank her in person for the beautiful art she creates.
My life had changed a lot in the 12 months since the last show, and I was quietly working on myself around the clock. I'd just finished another round of fertility treatment with devastating results, and knew in my heart that big change needed to occur in my world. I knew at the time what the change needed to be, and was working myself up to it. My marriage was stagnant, and as much as I wanted to make it work, I had made the promise to myself to be firm about what I needed from it, and if those needs weren't met, that it was time to let it go.
The performance from the Hear No Evil cast that year was SHATTERING. I knew in that moment that I needed to be creating more. I wanted to be creating art like this, and promised myself that I would. Little did I know at the time, that the following year, I would join the cast.
This particular evening was a really reflective one for me. Life changing realizations occurred like fireworks in my mind throughout the evening, and it seems that Suzanne was there to capture all of them.
After that night, I promised myself to stop diluting myself for the comfort of those around me. In particular, my husband at the time. The work I had put in with my relationship with my body had well and truly paid off and I was loving the shit out of myself. I was confident. I knew exactly what I wanted out of life. I also knew exactly what was standing in my way of getting it.
My brother Anthony, fronted a rock band called He Cries Diamonds and their next gig was in July of 2017. My husband never attended events with me that my brother performed at, but being that this was a live band upstairs at the Tote, I persuaded him to join me by way of our shared passion for rock'n'roll. I invited my youngest brother and his partner as well, and along with my mum we made a fun family night of it.
The outfit I had decided to wear that night was a different choice for me. I'd not usually been comfortable enough to show off so much of my body in public, but like I said, I'd done the work and it paid off. It seems like a silly thing to bring up, but the challenge for me was not in the outfit choice itself, but my husbands reaction to it. He was outwardly unimpressed with my decision to wear short shorts in public, and I was so aware of it. He would never say directly, but had ways of letting me know of his disapproval. In the past, those ways were effective in that I would have doubted myself and changed instantly, but not on this night. I knew what I wanted to wear. I knew I looked hot. I knew he wasn't happy about it. I DIDN'T FUCKING CARE.
I partied that night, I drank more than I needed to and was loud and raucous as Suzanne described. I rocked out to my little brothers band, and I DID NOT want to go home.
The pictures Suzanne made of me that night, are of my first steps to getting the life I wanted. A life free of disapproval and control.
In October of 2017 I hosted a fundraiser for Beyond Blue. I called it JESSIPALOOZA and called on the generosity and talent of the many musos I'm fortunate to know. My marriage had ended a month or so before the event, and I distracted myself from the sadness I was feeling about that with producing this show.
Suzanne had never seen me perform before that night. Other than the runway the previous year which was totally out of my element at the time, she'd never seen me do my thing.
I had fronted rock bands for the past 15 years of my life, and this one gig was like a highlights reel of that career. I produced and organised the entire event myself at the same time that my marriage of nearly 10 years ended. It was a lot. But I was so certain of who I was in that time that nothing seemed like too much. Nothing was too overwhelming, I had no fear of failing, I had no fear PERIOD.
From that gig, I continued to kick goals.
In December of 2017 I launched a campaign on my Instagram called #besomebodyyouwishsomeonewasforyou
The concept was to encourage people to break the cycle in the negative thought processes they were raised with. My example, was that if I had seen images of a woman like myself when I was growing up, how different my life would have turned out!! Every day for the month of December, I posted images of myself and my body, and talked about the things we are conditioned to think in society, vs how I feel about it in reality. I discussed the importance of being kinder to ourselves so that the children in our lives don't grow up with the same negative thought processes that we did, and urged people to join the revolution and post pictures and stories of their own.
I decided that I wanted the final image to be powerful. I wanted to collaborate with someone that believed in the message I was trying to send. I also wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone, and the only person I felt safe to do that with was Suzanne.
The day we shot these images was the day we became friends for life. In fact, it was when we shifted from friends, to family. We spoke of our life experiences, and learned many things about one another. We saw and heard each other, and through that soul connection, we created art.
Suzanne is the mastermind behind the project "What Does International Women's Day Mean To You?"
She began in 2012, and I had been well aware of this work for the last couple of years. In 2018, Suzanne emailed me and asked if I would be interested in being involved, and my honest reply was that I thought she'd emailed me by mistake! I genuinely believed that she'd sent me the email by accident, intended for someone else, and when I finally absorbed what she was asking me to be a part of I was elated!
OF COURSE I wanted to be involved!!! The project required me to make a portrait with Suzanne, and to answer the question "What Does International Women's Day Mean To Me?" My answer?? "Teaching our daughters to expect more from life than we did. Teaching our sons to encourage that. Openly showing love for a body society has conditioned me to hate. Visibly being comfortable in my difference. Unashamedly living my best life."
We took the shots in a back alley car park behind Smith st in Collingwood. I didn't put together a LOOK as I ordinarily would have, just a very casual skirt and tank top, and I remember wearing no underwear. I was in the strongest place I have ever been. I was untouchable. I didn't feel the need to hide behind anything and wanted my portrait to just be of me. I love these pictures. The genuine happiness in every shot brings back wonderful memories.
I'm fairly sure the shot Suzanne used was the first one we took......regardless we snapped for not even 5 minutes, I was silly, funny, content, and Suzanne had what she needed.
In June of 2018 I lived my dream of joining the cast of Hear No Evil Feast.
This was next level for me. In the space of 12 months I had identified what I wanted out of life, put in the work to achieve it, removed the things in my life that were standing in my way and here I was holding the hands of performers I WORSHIPPED as a member of their cast.
I was newly, madly, and incredibly in love. It was unexpected and it was WONDERFUL. I felt like I had everything I wanted in that moment.
I pushed my boundaries and stepped out of my comfort zone with my performance. I didn't go as far I wanted to but I was well on my way.
Soon after Hear No Evil I was asked to join the cast of Seen and Heard. I was THRILLED and incredibly excited to work with these beautiful humans. The line up was my brother Agent Cleave and I, along with angels Dandrogyny, Pancetta Love, absolute GODDESS Frankie Valentine along side and under the direction of the beautiful Becky Lou. I had not ever worked with Becky before but was a HUGE fan of hers, and was so excited to have the opportunity to work with her on this project.
I wanted to use this opportunity to tell a part of my story that I'd not spoken much about. I stripped back the funny showgirl and told the story of how I built the relationship I had with myself and my body, and the things I had to sacrifice in order to achieve that.
It was raw, it was honest, and I admitted some things that evening that I had never spoken of to anyone. I shared my deepest darkest secrets to a room full of strangers. I remember being quite sad that none of my friends had come to see that show. The content I created was so important to me, and I was so proud of what we had created collectively that I really wanted the people I care about to be in the audience.
Suzanne sat in the front row, and captured it all. My nervous energy, my hesitation to share my secrets, my will to overcome that hesitation and most importantly for me, the special relationship I have with my brother. I'd always been aware of the adoration I have for him, but on this evening, Suzanne captured the playfulness we share and the adoration he has for me, which was an incredible turning point for me in our relationship. Among those magical shots, was the shot she entered to be a part of Loud and Luminous, which led us to here.
Hear No Evil BBQ was an interesting one. The cracks in my romantic relationship were well and truly visible, and as a result cracks in my relationship with myself had well and truly started to show. I was struggling with the concept of knowing who I was and where I fit in in the world, and was grateful for the opportunity to create with artists I so respected.
I wanted to do more than sing. I felt I had so many important things to say, and the desire to say them at Hear No Evil BBQ was strong.
I knew that I wanted to push my boundaries with my body because I had started to hate it again, and I made the decision to strip nude in my performance. This was a first time for me, having never even taken a class in burlesque, but I was adamant it was what I needed to feel confident about my body. I wanted my performance to be about consent, and safety and that it is every woman's birthright to have both, so I combined what I know- my voice, with the unknown - stripping, to create a piece that communicated that.
In Melbourne, two days before the show, we had just experienced yet another woman murdered in the streets and I was RAGING. I was so ANGRY that this had happened again. The night before the show during our dress rehearsal, I was approached by 3 men as I was loading a crate of equipment into my car. They saw me cross the street alone and approached me in the dark. I was aware of their presence before they were aware of me, and knew to get inside safely I would need to be charming. I flirted with them long enough to get safely behind the gate, and once they realised I no longer wished to converse with them, their energy changed to aggression and I went inside. They yelled at me as I walked away that they knew which car was mine, and proceeded to do to it what I suspect they wanted to do to me.......kick the shit out of it.
I was FURIOUS. FURIOUS that I couldn't cross a road by myself at night without experiencing that behavior from a man. I decided then and there to channel that fury. To use the anger from the couple of days before and pour it into my performance.
As I waited in the wings for my cue to begin, I realised that the lead gutarist for my number was not on stage. Goddess Lillikoi Kaos was left to rot on stage after a particularly raw performance, as her cue to leave and mine to begin were in the hands of the same person, and he disrespected both of us by not showing up.
After what seemed like 20 minutes, he arrived onstage and the show continued. I was so enraged that my performance felt like it was over in 5 seconds. I used that rage, that anger, that fury to demand respect. I used my voice and wailed. I used my body to command. I stood defiant, naked and exhausted.
After that performance, I had so much more to say.
Suzanne was deservedly growing momentum with her WDIWDMTY project, and had asked me to MC the event that was surrounding the launch of the 2019 portraits. I of course was THRILLED to be involved again, and saw the event as the perfect opportunity to speak about the things I felt so passionately towards.
I was so nervous. So frightened of doing the wrong thing. My confidence had deteriorated at this point so much that I questioned absolutely everything about myself. I knew that I believed the things I wanted to say, but was unsure if I was the right person to say them. I was a shell of the person I had been 12 months earlier and so desperately wanted to find my way back.
My love for Suzanne, and my respect for her work was enough for me to follow through though, and I closed my speech with my boobs out and a mic drop.
These are the only photographs NOT taken by Suzanne in this story. They are courtesy of Matto Lucas.
It takes a skilled photographer to take a great photograph, but it takes a deep connection, trust and understanding between two humans to create art. Suzanne and I have that and I am enamored of her ability to capture the soul behind the star. I am grateful for the body of work we have created together, and excited for the art we will make together in the future, but mostly, I am grateful for the relationship we have built to be able to make such magic together.
Read Suzannes original photo story here
It's been quite some time since I blogged.
The truth is, life has been A LOT since my last post.
When I started this blog, my intention was to create cute content, share outfit inspiration, review my favourite brands and post handy how to's in regards to hair and make up. It was cute, it was kinda fun, but these days I need to unload.
I'm fairly positive to say that NO ONE reads this blog anymore, nor does anyone really follow the facebook page it's attached to, so I've decided to use this blog as a way to try to put down some of the shit I'm carrying........because it is heavy, and life is HARD and the truth is, I am not coping.
Almost 2 years ago, I made a decision to change my life for the better. I had been married for almost 8 years and things hadn't been working for a long time. I allowed myself for the first time in my life, to put my own needs first, and put the topic of a break up on the table in the hope of being able to really address the things not working in our relationship. I wanted him to fight for me. I wanted to know that the passion and commitment I felt for the relationship was reciprocated. I needed to see that the other half of this partnership was as dedicated as I was to making things work.
We had certainly had our fair share of struggle, but I believe in working shit out not running away, and hoped to be able to work together to come to a stronger, happier place.
I was firm in what I needed for that to happen though, and when it was clear that my needs were being refused, I walked away.
A relationship of almost 10 years ends, and I didn't even take one day off to cry about it. At the time I honestly didn't feel like I needed to, and on top of that, being self employed I didn't have the luxury of being able to. The home and lifestyle we shared together wasn't going to pay for itself, and after he decided to move out, the entire financial responsibility of our relationship was mine.
Fortunately, I was running a very successful business, all on my own and I had the means to look after myself financially. I had played along with the illusion that he took care of me financially because it was an insecurity of his, so when we split, common opinion was that he walked away and left me everything, but the truth was it was all mine. I had earned and paid for every single dollar of it. Further to that, when I say he left me everything, yes I had a rented house full of furniture and a car, but I also had the entire responsibility of paying off the debt that we shared. That house full of furniture and new car was all in my name and every single cent that had been put towards it was earned and paid for by me.
As much as the added financial burden was pressure, it was nothing in comparison to the freedom I felt being free of that relationship. I had done A LOT of work on the relationship I had with myself and was in the strongest place I had ever been. I was 35, single, with no children, but I was so excited for the future. I was excited to fall in love again, to FEEL loved, to live my life the way I wanted to live it without the weight of someone elses constant disapproval.
I continued to run my business and was kicking goals. Here I was affording a dual income lifestyle on a single income I was earning all by myself. I LOVED living alone, I LOVED how capable I felt. I LOVED every day.
Without warning, and without looking for it, I fell in love.
Love like I had never experienced before. Love so intense, that I felt like it was the first time because nothing I had experienced before then even came close to this feeling.
Little did I know at the time, that this love would go on to DESTROY me.
The next 18 months of my life bought me to where I am today. And today, I don't want to do it anymore. I am tired of the constant effort it takes to put one foot in front of the other. I am tired of the constant struggle it is to get out of bed every single day. I am tired of crying myself to sleep and I am tired of waking up sad. I am tired of pretending to be cheerful to make people less uncomfortable around me, and I am fucking tired of hearing that everything happens for a fucking reason!!!!!
This is not how this story was supposed to end. There is not someone better waiting just around the corner for me. I don't want anyone else!!! My heart is broken in the most irreparable way and I don't know how to keep going.
When I met the love of my life, it was confronting, It was confronting to feel so much for someone so quickly but because I was in such a strong independent capable place I just went with it. I knew that she wasn't at the same stage in life as I was and likely not ready for the things I was wanting to make a move on, so although I knew what I felt for her was more real than anything I'd ever experienced, I wasn't really forthcoming in making plans with her because I didn't want to be an unnecessary pressure for her. It put me in a shitty place though, because it gave me the opportunity to start putting her needs and her comfort as a priority over my own, and that was the beginning of a cycle that I found impossible to break. Once that dynamic between us had established itself, it just continued that way. Her insecurities and feelings were always a priority over mine and over time, that unbalance just chipped away at everything that made me great.
I wanted to constantly prove to her how important she was to me. She had a lot of insecurities surrounding our relationship, and although I was displaying no behaviors to spark them, I just wanted to make it better for her. I wanted her to not be afraid, I wanted her to know how much she meant to me, so I left everything behind and moved across the state to be with her. I left my home, my family, my friends, my life and I walked away from the business I had set up and successfully run for the last 10 years of my life. I left it all for love and I have not one single regret about that.
The cycle of really awful things occurring, and me making it ok continued, and as it continued I fell deeper and deeper and deeper in love with her, and unfortunately less and less and less in love with myself until finally I found myself in a place where I am now. A fucking doormat.
We promised each other everything. We sat at the top of a Ferris wheel and proclaimed our love for each other, we vowed in that moment at what seemed like the top of the world to never EVER give up on each other. We promised each other forever, happily ever after and to grow old together. We looked deep into each others eyes and made a promise to do WHATEVER IT TAKES to fix what was broken between us to be able to live the life we both deserve and the love that we both so clearly felt for one another. In that moment I BELIEVED! I believed that everything was going to be ok, I believed that all the hurdles along the way were all part of the road that led us to here. I could see our future, our happiness, I could see forever.
Less than two months later, she left.
And I don't know how to let go x
Next on the list to review is the Vixen Pencil Skirt in powder pink, the troublemaker top in black and white stripes, and the bad girl crop top in pink and white stripes.
*Disclaimer* I am in no way affiliated with Vixen by Micheline Pitt or its owners. This is an account of my own personal opinions and experiences, and I have accepted no payment or compensation for my views.
Here I've teamed the Vixen Pencil Skirt in powder pink, with the troublemaker top in black and white stripes, and then accessorised with a pair of pink sparkle Big Betty hoops from Miz Smitten Kitten.
The Troublemaker top, will no doubt go down as one of my all time favourite tops in the history of tops.........I've already ordered the same one in leopard print, and will likely collect them as they are released in different colourways.
The fabric on this baby is just lucious!! A beautiful weight stretch knit, that is double faced on the front, so not only do you get a smooth seamless look, but there is no chance of seeing through it at all, which is a common concern for me as generally when a top is stretched over my ample bossom, it gives the world a lovely view of what I've got goin on underneath.
Sleeve length and top length is perfect, and the neckline is scooped and sexy without being so low that I have to fidget with it to cover my bra.
A must have casual staple, that washes up like brand new, and goes with everything from a cute pencil skirt as pictured, to a pair of knockout jeans, cute shorts, full skirt or even under dungarees.....the options are ENDLESS!!
The Vixen Pencil Skirt in powder pink is limited edition, so if you love it, get on it quick, before it's sold out!!
I saw these on the website, and didn't not like them, but didn't have an undying urge to own one straight away, so didn't order in my initial purchase. Months later I was shopping in Lana-Rose Fashion in Ballarat, and having one of those days where you try on everything in the store, and came across this skirt. They didn't have it in my size (2XL) but I took the XL into the change room anyway, never expecting for a second to be able to get into it and low and behold, the skirt not only zipped up, but looked KILLER on and I just had to have it there and then!!
Now this skirt fits firmer than I'm used to, but the fit I get from sizing down is knockout!! The way it perfectly fits my waist instead of gaping like most pencil skirts do. The way it hugs my butt and magically makes it seem perkier??!! The way it doesn't pull across my hips at all, as though it has been made to measure.......I just can't say enough!!
Made from a gorgeous stretch cotton sateen, that has enough stretch to perfect the fit, but not too much so it remains firm like a pencil skirt should be. It has almost a sheen to the fabric, not so much to look at but to the touch, which is oh so luxurious. Lined in an equally as luxurious stretch charmeuse, this skirt slides on like a cheeky dream, and the silkiness of the lining prevents it from riding up.
If there is a downfall, its that I cant really wear a garterbelt and stockings underneath, as the indents show through, which could be easily fixed by sizing up to a less painted on fit..........but gosh I love how painted on looks!! Problem solved with seamed panty hose instead of stockings.
Another way to wear this beauty, is to incarnate Barbie herself!! Which brings me to the bad girl crop top in pink and white stripes.
Now, don't get me wrong.....I'm a bopo kinda gal, so I don't avoid crop tops because fat girls shouldn't wear them. I avoid crop tops because with my ample bossom, a crop top can sometimes look a little xxx on me, because it's not long enough to cover the girls.......cropped is fine, but barely covering nipple is another matter!
The bad girl crop makes me feel...........well it makes me feel like a BAD GIRL!!!! But wrapped up in Barbies super sweet clothing, which is totally my asthetic. The fabric is super stretchy, allowing it to mould to the curves of your body, which is great for an hourglass figure like mine.
I love the little high neck, and cap sleeve detail, and the way it sits perfectly at the top of a vixen pencil skirt.
My only drawback, is nothing to do with the top and everything to do with my choice in shapewear. I like to wear high waist shapers that I tuck up under my bra, to create a smooth finish to fitted clothing, lower than my bra line creates an over spill just under my bra and over the band of the shaper, so tucking it up just creates the silhouette I prefer. This type of shapewear is fine if you are all covered up, but in the instance of a crop top, there is always a chance of a cheeky torso flash, or in my case a shapewear flash.......I'm yet to work out a solution to this conundrum but will keep you posted with my progress!
All three pieces a MASSIVE thumbs up from me!! See how I've styled them differently below and don't forget to subscribe to keep up to date!!
So by now y'all know I LOVE fashion, and love to express my own personal style. Today I'm going to give you a rundown on the collection of items I've purchased from Vixen by Michelline Pitt, what I liked, what I LOVED and what I thought about the items in general.
*Disclaimer* I am in no way affiliated with Vixen by Micheline Pitt or its owners. This is an account of my own personal opinions and experiences, and I have accepted no payment or compensation for my views.
Let's start with the troublemaker wiggle dress in black.
This dress for me was love at first sight......as soon as I saw images of it on Instagram, I knew I NEEDED it in my life!! I ordered it in black and also in leopard and waited their arrival with great anticipation!!
The fabric is absolutely TO DIE FOR. Such beautiful quality dense knit, with plenty of stretch. The kind of fabric that washes up like brand new every time, and is warm enough to wear in winter, yet not too warm to wear in the warmer months. A strong sturdy zip closure in the back makes getting into this baby a breeze, and the matching belt adds the perfect amount of detail without being too much.
Sleeve length is perfect on me, as is the length of the dress itself. I stand at 176cms and often find the length of wiggle dresses and skirts to be a little short for my preference, but this sits easily below my knee without needing to constantly hitch it down.
What surprised me was the fit. I expected that this design would be an absolute no brainer for my shape, but when I tried mine on, wasn't struck with the overwhelming love I expected I would be. It took me a little while to work out what it was, but after a little while hanging in my wardrobe with countless hopeful try on's, I realised I actually could have done with the size down. Sizing is surprisingly generous with this dress, and although I followed the size chart on the Vixen website, due to the stretch in the fabric, to get the jaw dropping fit that you see in the pictures, I realistically needed an XL instead of the 2XL I ordered.
This is sooooooo not the end of the world!! And the more I tried this baby on, the deeper in love I fell with how it felt on my body.........I just know now, that when I go to buy the same dress in Red (you know I will!!) To order a size down for a knockout fit.
Pretty much all of the above applies to the troublemaker wiggle in Leopard Print!
The fabric is slightly different in the leopard, still just as beautiful but not quite as dense, making the fit even less firm than the black. I absolutely need the size down in the leopard.
The matching leopard belt doesn't do it for me though, I LOVE it in the pictures from Vixen, but it just doesn't translate on my body, so I swap it out for the black one, and even mix and match the leopard belt on the black dress sometimes!
Overall, there's nothing not to like about these dresses!! For sure I ordered the wrong size, but that's the gamble of online shopping!! Now I know better, you better believe I won't make the same mistake again!
Honestly, this is the easiest dress in the world to wear! The weight of the fabric combined with the cut of the garment makes it as comfy as a pair of PJ's whilst looking absolutely SMOKIN hot!! The long sleeves make it an easy choice when its cold out, and its a number that can go from casual to classy with as little as a change of shoes.
Thumbs up from me!
For more Vixen by Micheline Pitt reviews, check back next week, where I'll be talking about the Vixen pencil skirt, bad girl crop top, and troublemaker top........don't forget to SUBSCRIBE to keep up to date with all things Jessi Leigh xx
All images courtesy of Elgar Images
HMUA Jessi Leigh's Hair & Make Up Artistry
This is a question I've asked myself alot lately.
In fact, it's one I've asked myself my WHOLE life.
When I was a kid, like, a little kid, all I ever wanted was for people to like me. I would go out of my way to be liked. It seemed, at least to me anyway, that I had to try so much harder than anyone else to make friends. I think realistically, it's a trait that I've not ever grown out of. I STILL really want people to like me!!
What I remember of primary school, is mainly my relationships with my teachers. I had friends here and there, but not anyone that stuck around year to year. I started dance classes when I was about 7 or 8, and same thing, I remember my teachers, my costumes, the songs I performed at the concert and even some of the choreography, but not really having any friends in the class...in fact I don't remember anyone from my class. I remember girls from other classes that I went to school with, but no one from my dance class.
I'm sure it was evident to my mum from much earlier, but as far as remembering the first time I realised it, I think it was definately Primary school that I knew I loved performing. The thrill of being onstage, the applause, perhaps the feeling of being liked is what attracted me, but from as early as the nativity play at kindy, I can remember thinking this performing thing is for me!!
In primary school, I LOVED music class!! I had many different teachers over the years, and I remember ALL of them. One teacher, Miss Mitchell, would teach us songs from the 50's and 60's, and I can remember loosing my mind with excitement every week when it was time for her class.......I would totally zone out everyone else in the room and sing those songs at the top of my 8 year old lungs!! To this day I still remember all the words to Teen Angel, He's a Rebel, and Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow because of that class.
There werent a huge amount of opportunities to perform at my primary school, but I took every one I got! School Choir, Christmas concerts, school assembly's, there was even a talent quest held in the gymnasium at lunchtime once where students were encouraged to develop acts to enter. Kids grouped together and performed dance routines, re-enacted television commercials, even impersonated teachers an staged classroom scenes. I so desperately wanted to enter, but being that I didn't really have any friends, and wasn't invited into the other kids acts, I decided to do one on my own. I was a big fan of the Comedy Company and I re-enacted a skit from their weekly TV show. It was a massive flop I'm sure, but I do remember loving getting on stage in front of everyone.
High School was much the same. I did make friends with a girl in year 7 that I continued a friendship with right through to aduldhood. She was very popular, I was not, but our opposites attracted and we were wonderful friends. As we got older, we spent less and less time together at school as she became more and more popular, and I became more and more interested in Drama and performing, so at school I would hang out with the Drama crowd, and she would hang out with the popular crowd, then on weekends we would be joined at the hip.
In High School, I again pounced on every opportunity I got to perform. I auditiond for the School Production every single year I was there, I was an active, enthusiastic member of my Drama class, I sang in choirs, at schoool assembly's, even spending my lunchtimes putting together other performance opportunities with other like minded students.
I still didn't really have an idea of where I fit in in the world, as Drama was such a tiny small part of the school I went to. It was never pushed as an option in life more of a hobby, so as much as I adored it, I still felt like there was something else I was supposed to be doing.
When I was 11 or 12, my mum saw an ad in the local paper for auditions for a production with the local theatre group. I had no idea such a thing existed, but was of course more than keen to give it a try!! I auditioned, got cast and that was the beginning of my long time love affair with community theatre.
I did shows regularly throughout my school years, and for the first time in my existence I felt as though I BELONGED. Here were a group of misfit kids, all incredibly talented, that were likely all the loners at school. We would come together on weekends to rehearse, and I think I can speak for all of us when I say, that from after school Friday through to after rehearsals on Sunday afternoon, we all felt invinceable!! I HAD FRIENDS!!!!!!! ACTUAL FRIENDS!!!!!!! People LIKED me!!!! I had never felt more normal in my whole life.
This community meant everything tome, STILL means everything to me.
I started school quite young, so by the time I was finished I was only 16. I had NO IDEA of what I wanted to do in life other than get married and have babies. And at 16 this was a LONG way off, so had to find something to do in the meantime.
I threw myself into theatre.
I auditioned for EVERYTHING!!! I'd start rehearsing for shows before I'd finished performing for others. In my mind, there was absolutely nothing else that I wanted to do. The friendships that I'd made through theatre grew stronger as we all grew up together, and if I could have lived in that crazy colourful little imaginary world forever, I absolutely would have.
Reality however, is a bitch, and I needed to start making an income to support myself. Mine was not a situation where I could kick back and leave it to my parents. So at 17 I started working full time and by 20 had stumbled into a Hairdressing apprenticeship.
Hairdressing = working late nights and weekends.
Community Theartre = rehearsing nights and weekends
Something had to give, and being that one paid my bills and the other didn't, theatre had to go.
As much as it broke my heart to step away from performing, I think I always knew deep down that it wouldn't be forever, and because I now had real friends, stopping doing shows didn't mean I would loose conact with them....or so I thought!
I worked HARD during the 4 years of my apprenticeship, and although I wasn't performing anymore, I still maintained some strong friendships with the old crew and would party with them whenever I could.
Even from the beginning of my carreer, I never saw myself being a Hairdresser forever, yet had no other inclination of what I wanted to do with my life other than be a wife and a mum.
I started auditioning for shows again, as I had now changed employers and was working for someone that encouraged me to perform, and fell straight back into the fantasy land of Community Theatre. I performed as regularly as I could with different companies, and made new and real friendships, each as unique and full of love as the last. There were romances too, mostly fleeting but one in particular I will never forget.
Mine is a career however, that prevents me from doing one show after the next. The nature of Hairdressing is that performing at particular times of the year for me is impossible, and I could only audition for shows sporadically.
I needed more.
The thrill of performing had really and truly taken a hold on my soul, and treadding the boards once every couple of years just wasn't cutting it for me. I needed to do something else.
One of my closest friends and greatest role models in life, encouraged, fed and nurtured my love for rock music. By the time I was 23 I was ready to try my hand at being a Rockstar.
I sang in cover bands for most of my 20's and even into my 30's and loved absolutely every single second of it. Of course there was heartache involved. Bands would break up, or no longer want me to front them, people would devlop stronger feelings than necessary for one another, but I always managed to find my feet. Just as the door for one band would close, another would open up.
One band in particular, I sang with for a number of years. I made and maintained real, true, loving friendships with my bandmates. They had my back, and I had theirs. We were the very best of friends. My time onstage with that band is some of the greatest time in my life and I will be forever grateful for it. Although our popularity was limited to one venue, within the confines of that venue I felt like a GOD. A Rockstar in every sense of the word. The person I became when I stepped onstage with that band, was the absolute BEST version of me I had ever seen!! I had confidence, I had pride, I had a room full of people screaming my name. I had purpose, I BELONGED!!!
Being so content in my rockstar world opened up other doors that had seemed to this point to be slammed shut. I met and married my Husband, and all of my bandmates were in attendance. I continued to play with them, untill I got that feeling again...I wanted more.
I wanted children, a family of my own. For as long as I could remember I had always known I wanted to be a mother, and after a while of trying, I was convinced that it was my rockstar lifestyle that was standing in the way of my biggest dream coming true. I left the band, the band I adored, but being that our bond was so strong we remained friends for a long time after that.
For a long time I threw myself in to trying to start a family. It consumed my entire world. It got to a point where I didn't even know who I was anymore. I realised that I was no good as a mother if I was no good to myself, I needed an outlet....I needed more.
I had never in my life ever considered the possibility of moddeling. Always being a bigger girl than most, I would hear things like "You could be a supermodel if you lost weight" or "you have such a pretty face for a big girl" There was just never visible role models for the plus size community like there are now. Moddeling for me was like hairdressing.....I stumbled into it, but I'm so glad I did! It has given me a confidence I never thought possible, a true love for my body and what it prvides me. Moddeling has strengthened my mind, my outlook on life and on the whole, made me a better person than I was without it, because not only has it changed my mind and perceptions on body image, it has helped me to change others minds and perceptions as well. Moddeling has helped me to have a voice in a world that wants to keep us quiet.
My moddeling experience started in Pinup. When I discovered a community of women that had the same love and admiration for fashions of the 40's and 50's I felt like I had finally found my home!!! I felt like I belonged!! I threw myself into every aspect of the community from pageants to festivals and I loved it. I loved the voice that Pinup gave me, the message that I could send, but again, I wanted more.
I think the biggest hurdle I have with myself is that I hate to feel boxed in. I'm not only a Pinup. I'm not only a Rockstar. One day when I finally have children, I will not only be a mother.
I am all of those things.
All of them and more, and no doubt I will add a few more to the lst once my time is through! Already in the last 12 months I can add Blogger, and this year hopefully vlogger to the list.
I guess the answer to the question I've always asked myself, Where in the WORLD do I fit in?????? Is lots of places!! I am ALL of those things and so much more!! I am most comfortable when I am least contained, and yes, I can love each facet of who I am equally without neglecting another. The more I embrece the many different parts of me, the better I am as a whole and right now that is enough.
I AM ENOUGH... And so are you xx
What a year!!!!!
Probably the fastest passing year I ever recall. They say years go much faster the older you get, but MAN!! 2016 was like LIGHTENING!!
For alot of people, 2016 was AWFUL!!! I'd be lying if I said I didn't experience my own challenges. In fact I faced ALOT of shit in 2016.
There were good times though, in fact, there were GREAT times. And I think sometimes when you experience alot of pain in a year, it's hard to remember the good stuff, so for this wrap up, I'll start with the bad and say goodbye to it, then finish with the good, celebrate it, be grateful for it, and attract more of it into my 2017.
For me, 2016 was a year of heartache.
Being a personality who is so open to love in all of its forms, I think alot of the time I feel so much more for people than they feel for me. Romantic relationships aside, I have real LOVE for my friends. Deep love. True Love. Fierce love.
Because of that love, and how real it is for me, when frienships fail, or simply cease to exist, I experience great loss. Deep, dark hurt in my heart. Hurt that affects my physical as well as my emotoinal.
2016 for me, seemed to be the year of ended friendhips, and the most ridiculous part of it was that in almost all cases, there was no event that sparked the end. Not a crossed word, not a misunderstanding, not even a conversation. Simply a case of one day we were friends, and the next day we weren't.
Now of course, a situation like this takes a while for the people involved to realise what is going on, and in my case it took some time for me to realise people that I treated as a priority in my world, didn't even treat me as an option in theirs.
A nasty pill to swallow for anyone, and unfortunately one I endured on numerous occasions this past year. The snowball effect of all these occasions with different people, left me cautious, and even suspicious of people and their intentions towards me. I let this experience turn me from being an open hearted welcomer of love, into a suspicious loner, afraid of the hurt love was sure to bring.
I am still cautious. I am still wary. I am still terrified of experiencing this kind of heartache again, and again. But I will not let the behaviour of others, change who I am as a person. I will continue to love, honestly, openly and intensly.
Another dificulty of 2016 was my journey to becoming a mother. My struggle is not something I like to talk about at all, so I won't go into great detail, but for 7 years, my husband and I have been trying to start a family to no avail. This past year we began the exciting yet harrowing path of IVF. To this point it has not been an expierience that I have any fond memories of, but with the help of complitentary medicine and therapists, I have great hope hat 2017 will provide me with a different story to tell.
The creative world experienced incredible loss in 2016. Of course any person dying is a sad time, and I don't claim that celebrity death is more important than any other. I do think though, that when a person of celebrity, who has touched, inspired, and been so giving of their creativity, passes away, deep community loss is felt. We usually experience it once or twice a year, but 2016 was a doozie!!
From pain, comes growth.......
As dark as times got for me, I am fortunate to have surfaced on the other side, and that is because 2016 provided some wonderful things aswell!!
I launched this very website and blog!! I will admit my posting schedule has not been what I had hoped it would be at the beginning of the year, but the fact that I still have excitement for it and the drive to take it further tells me its not quite a failure yet!
I set and smashed goals for myself on social media, with my followers on facebook reaching a whopping 16,500 before the years end. This year is now just a case of working out what to do with such an audience......I've got a few things up my sleeve!!
I taught my final year of students with Creations School of Dance. I watched children that 4 years ago could not enter my class room without severe anxiety, become leaders of not only themselves, but of other students around them. I experienced 11 year olds with the elloquence and heart of adults, pour out their love and appreciation, and I felt truly truly LOVED. I will miss my students terribly, but am proud of myself for putting my own needs first. The extra time not teaching will allow me in my personal endeavours is priceless.
I auditioned, was cast, and walked my very first catwalk for Melbourne Fashion Week Plus. This was an exciting, challenging, exhausting and exhillerating few days, and I could not be prouder of what I achieved personally, as well as what the entire team achieved socially. Being a part of social change is such an incredible feeling, I definitely found a new love and desire to do more in this area.
I grew my businesses to a point, where I can proudly say, I am 100% self employed!! My salon and my accessories label, provide me with enough income now that I need not look elsewhere for extra work. I have HUGE plans for the future of both businesses, and am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to grow them to this point. I am proud, I am exhausted, but I am determined to take them both further........LOOK OUT WORLD!!!
Lastly, I have kept my heart open enough, to be able to make some new friends. Making friends can be difficult at any time in life, but as an adult I think it is particulary tricky. Especially when you seem to the rest of the world to have it all together, but secretly are struggling with some of the realest hurt and heartache the universe has ever thrown at you. I hope to grow these friendships, and through them establish strong, honest connections with like minded humans. Because when all else fails.......
ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE!!
I recently posted on my Facebook page encouraging my followers to 'Ask Jessi'...........ask me anything really! Questions about Pinup, Questions about shopping, music, my experiences, my opinions, whatever it is that they were dying to know.
The questions were surprisingly similar from everyone that responded, so here is the condensed answer.
How do you get started in Pinup?????
In the way of pinup modelling, the reality is ANYONE can do it!! Yes....ANYONE!! Just book yourself a photo shoot with a photographer you admire and BAM youre a pinup! A lot of girls create a 'stage' name for their Pinup persona, I don't have one personally, I was born Jessi Leigh, but I LOVE some of the cute names girls come up with. Play around with different combinations and find one that suits you and your personality best.
Research your photographer before booking and make sure they offer the things that are important to you. Some will include hair and make up in their package price, some don't, others will offer you hard copy prints, and some will offer you digital.
It all depends on what you want to use the photos for? If its to treat yourself to a wonderful experience, then hard copy is great. If you are wanting to submit to magazines for publication, then youll need digital, but youll also need the photographers written consent to have the pictures published. These are all things you need to research and establish BEFORE your shoot. There's no point going into a shoot with one expectation, without discussing this with your photographer first.
There is no money in pinup, none at all, and even if eventually you are fortunate enough to land yourself a job that pays money, by the time you factor in hair and make up and what your wardrobe costs you (if you've started building it already, you know exactly what i mean!! ) and the years of hard work you have put into building your persona, paying photographers to build your portfolio to a point where people know who you are and want to pay you, you really never see any financial reward. Even the most famous pinups, have day jobs, and the ones that are making enough money to survive are generally the ones that can offer a service OTHER than posing for pictures, usually classes in something like hair and make up, so not actually making any money from pinup modelling itself. Yes, their pinup persona and public visibility make their services more popular and increase the amount of clients wanting to pay for their services, but they are still making an income from providing a service OTHER than posing for pictures.
There are a handful of girls around claiming to be 'professional pinup models' which is cute, and good for them, but by definition, 'professional' means "engaged in a specified activity as one's main paid occupation rather than as amateur" By all means, you can, and should have a professional attitude towards whatever you do in life, and conduct yourself in a professional manner when attending events and photo shoots. A professional attitude though, does not make you a professional, and until such time that your main income stems from Pinup Modelling, the harsh reality is, that like for the rest of us, Pinup is a hobby.
Its super fun, and super rewarding but it really is a hobby and nothing more. The more popular you become, and the more of a name you make for yourself, it can become a full time job to manage. Creating and updating websites, blogs, and social media platforms is time consuming and at times intense, but the only way to grow your popularity is to commit to it wholeheartedly. Although the numbers of followers on my Facebook page is far beyond anything I ever imagined, it has not come about easily. Hours and hours spent updating, answering and acknowledging my followers, creating interesting content and documenting most of my life is a HUGE job that absorbs a lot of my time, but it doesn't pay ANY of my bills!! I make my living from being a full time HMUA. I am fortunate to have a skillset that I can use in conjunction with my hobby, but I never forget where my financial security comes from.
The short answer is the only way to get started is to get started........book that photoshoot!!!!!! And then if you love it, come book a class in hair and makeup with me!
Firstly, let me begin by saying that I wear make up because I LOVE MAKE UP!!! I love to create, and make up is just another medium for me, like an artist paints a picture, I paint my face.
Using make up I can express different feelings, moods, and even personalities within myself. I do not however, wear makeup to cover things I dislike about myself. Make up is not a mask for me, nor do I use it to feel better about myself. I love my face with or without it, and have no shame in the world seeing me fresh faced. I use make up as a tool of self expression and an outlet to exercise my creativity.
There is nothing 'natural' about my style, and in turn nothing 'natural' about the way I wear my makeup, so this may not be the tutorial for you....... If you are interested in learning how to achieve a 'natural look' post your requests in the comments below and I will do my best to fulfil them.
If full coverage glamour is your cup of tea........ENJOY!!
Step 1. Prepare your base
Read my last post on skincare to prepare your skin for perfect make up application every time. A fresh, well looked after face will make your job so much easier!
Always start with a clean, freshly moisturized face, depending on your skin type you may like to use a primer. Sometimes I use them, sometimes I don't, but my favourite at the moment is Velvet Veil from Miss Kiss Vintage
After priming, apply your foundation. Depending on what foundation you select will obviously determine what tools you use to apply. Some are better suited to sponges, some brushes, and some are even designed to activate with the heat of your fingertips. For the purpose of this tutorial, I am using Revlon Colourstay Foundation in Ivory, applied with a foundation brush.
Pour a small amount of foundation onto the back of your hand and load up your brush. Apply dots of foundation to cheeks, nose, forehead and chin, and then blend out these dots using your brush to cover your whole face. Cover lips and eyes and be sure to blend foundation into hairline and past jawline.
Then using a powder brush or Kabuki, powder your whole face (I'm using Revlon Colourstay Powder in Pale) to set your foundation. You may also like to give an all over dust of translucent at this point.
If you have areas needing concealing (blemishes, dark circles under eyes or uneven skin tone) apply concealer to these areas and blend out using your fingertips or a small concealer brush. Another coat of translucent powder will set the concealer.
Step 2. Brows
Brows, in my opinion, can make or break a face!! I am blessed with relatively full brows, however I still pencil them in! Full sparse or non-existent, I'm a firm believer in filling them in to some extent as it creates a wonderful frame for the rest of your face. I personally prefer to use a pencil, however there are a plethora of different options available from gels, to powders to stencils!
If you are using a pencil like me (I've used one by Models Prefer available at Priceline), be sure to sharpen it every time, a sharp pencil will give you a precise result whereas a dull edge will result in less than impressive brows, and nobody has time for that!
Begin by outlining the shape you wish to achieve. I like to begin at the base of my brow and follow the natural line, extending the tail out slightly. I then create the arch by extending the line from the top of my brow out past the natural hairs and curving around to meet the base line, if this sounds confusing here is what I mean.
Once you are happy with the shape of your brows, fill in the gaps with your pencil (or powder) keeping away from your natural brows, and then using an angled brush, blend the pencil out through the natural brows to soften the intensity of the guideline you have drawn. Use a small concealer brush with a dab of concealer to sharpen up your edges and once happy give another dust of translucent powder to set everything in place.
Step 3. Eyeshadow
Feel free to skip this step and go right to the liquid liner for an 'everyday' pinup look.
Begin by applying highlighter to your brow bone and across your entire lid, I used Miss Kiss Vintage's illuminator applied with a sponge tip applicator.
Then using a mid brown (I've used Brown Matte from Miss Kiss Vintage) and a sponge tip applicator, apply to the lower lash line and the crease of your eye, starting at the outer corner and finishing 3/4 of the way in.
Take a fluffy brush and run it back and fourth over the harsh edges of the brown to blend it out, it should look like this.
Then take a darker shadow (I used Truffle from Miss Kiss Vintage) and a flat eye shadow brush, and apply again to the crease starting from the outside corner, but this time only work it up 1/2 way.
Using a smaller fluffy brush, blend out the harsh edge.
Step 5. Liquid Liner
The thorn in a lot of peoples sides, however a very necessary part of the pinup look. My favourite has always been Face of Australia Liquid Eyeliner in Black. There are hundreds of options available and it really is personal preference and what you are comfortable with.
The trick to perfect liquid liner is, there is no trick!! Practice makes perfect I'm afraid. I have been wearing black winged liquid liner since the first time I ever wore makeup so have got it down to a fine art now, but honestly it's one of those things you just get better at the more you do it. I like to hold a compact mirror up close to my eye and slightly below it, so I am looking down into the mirror, which stretches out my eyelid for smooth application. I start at the flick, some people start from the corner, again its what ever works for you! So, I work with the line of the bottom of my eye and extend that line continuing the same angle outwards, removing pressure on the brush towards the end to create a tapered flick. I then draw a kind of triangle from my lash line out to meet the flick, and fill in the centre of it. Then from the inner corner of my eye, I taper a line out to sit flush with the wing, and finish by lightly smoothing out any bumps in the line by filling in any wiggles in the line with the very tip of the brush.
An angled brush dipped in the tiniest amount of black shadow run along the bottom lash line from the outside corner to 1/4 of the way in will nicely finish your liner.
Step 6. Mascara
As I have very fair, long , thick natural lashes, I need to wear mascara even if I plan to wear false lashes, as my luscious blonde lashes look silly on the underside of my jet black falsies! If you have naturally dark lashes, feel free to skip the mascara if you wear false lashes, or in turn, feel free to skip the false lashes if you get the desired result using only mascara. I, never one to do anything by halves, always wear both!!
Apply mascara to your top lashes, concentrating on the lashes closest to your nose, these lashes need a good coating of mascara as they are what will blend into your false lashes should you choose to wear them.
I am in constant re-evaluation as to weather or not to apply mascara to my bottom lashes, up to you entirely whether you do or don't. Mine are naturally very long so without mascara, I find I achieve more of a doe-eyed look and with mascara maybe I feel like it closes up my eyes a little bit? Either way, for this tutorial I have applied mascara to my bottom lashes on the outside corners only.
Lash application is another practice makes perfect situation, however here are some handy hints to de-mystify the situation a little.
* False lashes should not come all the way in to the inside corner of your eye, this will close the eye up and camouflage all the hard work you have put in to your eye shadow.
* Trim your strip lashes from the outside edge to properly fit the width of your eye, ideally the lash should come 3/4 of the way in to the corner of your eye and blend into your natural lashes.
* Apply the glue to the edge of your false lashes, not your eye. Then blow on the glue for 10 seconds or so to encourage the glue to get tacky, this will help the lash to grab straight away rather than slide around on your eye.
*I like to use a pair of tweezers to apply my lashes looking down into the mirror of a handheld compact, this way your eyes are open, but lowered enough to be able to see where to attach the lash.
* Place the edge of the strip lash as close to your lash line as possible attaching the centre first, then using the pointy end of the tweezers to attach the outer then inner corners.
*Using the end of a make up brush or the blunt end of your tweezers, poke the entire lash line to fuse the lash in place.
In this picture I am wearing Miss Kiss Vintage human hair lashes in Screen Siren.
Step 7. Contour
There is a whole lot of buzz around the art of contour at the moment. Some people LOVE it, and some people HATE it. Also, like everything in the land of make up, there are a million different degrees of contour as well as a boat load of products available to achieve your desired result.
I guess you could say my taste for contour sits about mid range. I absolutely appreciate the artistry in good contour, and the incredible transformations one can achieve when skilled at the craft. The thing with contour though, is that everyone's face is different, and no one method is going to work for every shape face...remember this people!!
When contouring my own face, there is not really much about the structure of my face that I wish to change, so for me a bit of bronzer dusted diagonally from the top of my ear to almost the corner of my mouth accentuates my cheekbones enough that I'm done. A quick swipe of coral shimmer highlighter from the Body Shop across the apples of my cheeks, gives me a bit of colour in my face without looking rosy, and if I'm feeling particularly fancy a swish of golden glow illuminator from Miss Kiss Vintage across the height of my cheekbones and the bow of my top lip.
Step 8. Lips
Lips can be broken into a few steps depending on the look you wish to achieve, but for this tutorial its a straight forward two step process.
Lip liner can be a wonderful tool for altering your pout without the need for invasive procedures, lining slightly outside your natural lip line with a slightly darker pencil than your lipstick or gloss can give you the illusion of a much fuller pout, but be careful not to go over board. A line pencilled in too far from your lips natural edge can be very obvious!
I was blessed with a naturally pouty kisser, and for this reason simply line my lips natural shape, if anything, I line on the inside edge rather than the outside to save may natural lips from looking TOO full. Put simply, I use lip liner as a guide to 'colour in' with my lipstick. Like with your eyebrow pencil, be sure to sharpen your lip liner before you begin, to ensure a crisp sharp line to work from. I have used MAC lip pencil in Cherry.
Then, all that's left is to fill in the space you've outlined with colour!
Lipstick has made a massive comeback in the last few years, with an entire rainbow of possibilities. This, for someone like me is both wonderful and devastating at the same time.....I could literally go broke from my lipstick addiction!!
Due to being lazy, I have a huge LOVE for matte glosses. The idea that once my make up is done, I don't need to re-apply my lipstick throughout the day excites me no end, and also my nature is to greet everyone I see with a kiss, so not branding everyone with an imprint of my pout is another huge plus!
I encourage you to experiment with different colours when choosing a lipstick for the pinup look. Red is not your only option, and I often parade a brightly painted pout in all kind of colours like pinks, purples and my personal favourite, orange.
When talking traditional though, a pinup's best friend is her red lipstick, and I am a firm believer that there is a shade out there for everyone, so if you haven't found yours yet....KEEP LOOKING!!
Here I've used my tried and true never fail RED VELVET velvetiness from Lime Crime.
And there you have it!! Pinup make up in 8'ish easy (once you get the hang of it) steps!!
I love, love, LOVE reading your feedback, so please direct all comments and questions to the Comments section below. I'll get back to you all as soon as I can.
Till next time
Its no secret that I like to wear A LOT of makeup...
A LOT of the time!!
And wearing so much makeup, so often, can create HAVOC with my skin, So here, for your information is my tried and true routine for clear, healthy, glowing skin for perfect make up application every time!
Step 1. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!!
What you put IN your body is always far more important than what you put ON your body. All the lotions and potions in the world will do no good if your insides are not hydrated and nourished. Amp up the H2o intake every single day, and incorporate green juice into your diet, at least once a week for a nutrient boost, that will have your insides (and your outsides) sparkling. I like to throw a bit of green apple, celery, cucumber, zucchini, kale, and lemon into the juicer and then add that juice to a high powered blender with some spinach and fresh mint and blitz until smooth. This can be stored in air tight mason jars in the fridge for up to a week or frozen in ice cube trays to put into smoothies.
Step 2. Never EVER wear your make up to bed!
Now I like to party like the best of them, and I know there are times when after a big night out the LAST thing you can be bothered with is washing your face...but believe me...IT IS SO IMPORTANT and SO WORTH IT!! If you can't stand the thought of a full cleanse, tone and moisturize, that's fine, but PLEASE!! Get that gunk off you face before you slumber, you, your face (and your pillowcases) will be glad you did! It is as simple as rubbing a small amount of coconut oil (food grade and organic is best, if you can't put it IN you, don't put it ON you) all over your face, your eyes, lips, brows, EVERYWHERE!! Massage this wonderful stuff into all the little crevices of your face for about a minute. Then wet a face washer (flannel or wash cloth, depending on what you call it where you are from!) with water as hot as you can stand from the tap. Wring out as much water as you can and cover your face with the hot, steamy cloth. This really is like heaven! A steam bath for your face!! Leave it there for 30 seconds or so, and then wipe away all of the coconut oil, you will see that all of your make up comes with it! Rinse and repeat this process at least once, the warmth of the cloth will draw out the oil from your face, which will have attached itself to any dirt squatting in your pores, clearing your skin of any unwelcome critters.
After this step you are welcome to proceed with the tone and moisturizing steps, but if you are just to spent from dancing the night away, you will be fine to jump fresh faced, into bed now! The difference in the way you feel getting into bed, as well as how you wake up is HUGE with a freshly cleansed face.
Step 3. Tone baby, TONE!!
Over the years, I have tried MANY different skincare products. Some cheap, some expensive, but none as effective as the one I'm about to share with you now...APPLE CIDER VINEGAR!!!!! Not neat!!!! Please don't put that stuff undiluted on your face!! But a dilution of 1 part ACV to 4 parts water will do the trick nicely. You will need the organic kind (found at your local health food shop) with the 'MOTHER' still in it (this will be clearly marked on the label) I like to use BRAGGS Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Make up a bottle (glass is best) of the 1:4 part dilution, and with a cotton pad, swipe this miracle potion all over your freshly cleansed face, avoiding your eyes. Concentrate on any problem areas (blackheads/acne) as this will help clear away any nasty bacteria playing house in your pores. Feel free to swipe it right down your neck and across your décolletage and over any pesky ingrown hairs you may have from waxing, since using this potion on ingrown's, I now have NONE!!
Step 4. Mmmmm Mmmmm Moisturize!!
The imperative ingredient to radiant skin is MOISTURE!! I've already covered the importance of moisture from the inside (up that H2o intake PRONTO!!) and moisture from the outside is equally important. Over the years I have tried a myriad of different moisturizers and spent plenty of money in the process. My favourite for a long time was Clinique's dramatically different Moisturizing Lotion, in fact I used their entire 3 step program for many years, but in the last couple of years I noticed my skin not responding to the way I was treating it anymore, so I LISTENED to my body and made the change.
I found with age, my skin has become much dryer than I was used to (having suffered terrible acne in my teens and early twenties) and even quite flaky in areas. With a bit of thought I made the connection that treating my skin with products that cleared out my overly oily acne prone skin in my 20's was too astringent for my now relatively normal skin type in my 30's. Over clearing this skin led to dryness, which I, in turn, over moisturized, this then resulted in pesky milia around my eyes.
After researching different options and trying and LOVING the methods I have shared with you today, I was still in need of a replacement moisturizer, which honestly, was the trickiest thing to find. I have always recommended Moo Goo products to my clients that suffer with sensitive scalps and psoriasis, and decided to take my own advice and try their moisturizer........BOY, am I GLAD I DID!! I use their FULL CREAM face and body lotion as a daily moisturizer on my face, as well as all over my body. I just adore it!! Not only does it give me the result I'm after, which I would happily part with the big bucks for, it comes in a huge pump pack that lasts for AGES and is ridiculously affordable! At less than a quarter of the price of my previous moisturizer, I can't help but feel like I have won the skincare lottery with this wonderful product. I have also found it to be a godsend for treating sunburn and my husband even finds relief from chafe and heat rash. I get mine from my local health food shop, check out their website for stockists near you www.moogoo.com.au
Step 5. Sleep
Seems like a bit of a no brainer right?? I honestly can't place enough importance on this issue though! Your skin is not a robot, it cannot produce miracles, all the fancy lotions and potions in the world won't work if you aren't properly rested, the same way the best, most expensive concealers and foundations in the world wont cover up over tired eyes. I get that we live in a busy society, I understand it is a normal thing for one to over commit. I guess I'm just posing the question of what is more important to you? If the answer is perfect skin, then get your tush into bed at a reasonable hour (make up free of course!) and enjoy some well deserved zzzzzzz's.
Obviously, like everything in life, we are all different and what works for me, won't necessarily work for you, some skin is oilier or dryer than others and we all have different areas of concern. The best way to find the perfect skin care regimen for YOU is through trial and error, and don't expect the same routine to work forever. As you age, so does your skin, and it requires different things, you can't expect to treat your 35 year old skin with the same routine and products that you used on your 20 year old skin, my point? LISTEN to your body, it will tell you when something needs to change.
Further to that, try not to stress about your skin. I know its hard, believe me, but one of the biggest contributing factors to troubled skin is stress levels. If you are experiencing a high stress situation and your skin is suffering from it, be kind to yourself and rest assured that with time, this will pass. Stressing over your skin in a time when you are already stressed out will only exacerbate the problem and then its just a vicious cycle.
As a human being, I am often made aware of other peoples opinion of my body.
We ALL are.
It seems it is socially acceptable to make comment on one another's physical fluctuations as though it is our business to do so.
What's worse, is that as human beings, we are programmed to feel flattered, complimented, even delighted at the mention that we may have lost weight.
The idea that we have changed in physical mass since the last time we were in someone's company, should be a gigantically rewarding statement. Weather we have been trying to change that mass or not.
It seems that above appearing healthy, radiant, happy or strong, we place the most importance on the size of a persons body.
Without knowing whether or not the person has been trying to loose weight, we openly comment on their bodies with the intent that this observation will be a welcome one.
You have no business to make comment on my weight.
I have no business to make comment on your weight.
Yet, from young children we are taught that loosing weight is desirable to putting on weight. That slim is better than fat. That telling someone they have lost weight is a compliment, but telling someone they have put on weight is a put down and something we must never say. When really, both are just observations of physical mass.
Why is it that one is so celebrated, whilst the other is taboo?
Making comment on someone else's weight above any other defining feature , lessens the importance of those features.
Is loosing weight more important than appearing happy? Is it more important than exuding confidence? Is the size of a persons body more important than the size of their heart or the knowledge in their brain?
NO!!! Yet we are more inclined to make comment on a persons body than to compliment them on their wisdom, happiness courage or confidence.
The truth is, the majority of the time, we have no idea how one another feels about our bodies, so don't be too quick to assume that a weight loss observation will be a welcome one. For me, hearing that I look like I have lost weight is equal to hearing I have curly hair......It is a physical observation of my appearance that I have neutral feelings about, it may be the truth, however I have no positive nor negative feelings attached to that truth. Weight loss is no great achievement for me, as I am happy and proud of my body regardless of its physical mass.
Next time you go to compliment someone's weight loss, stop to think for a second...is their weight really the best thing about them?
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