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
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.
Have you ever had the feeling that you are doing EXACTLY what you were put on this Earth to do??
Well that’s how I feel about Pinup…………..I know that the whole ‘scene’ is super popular right now, and that’s great…..it keeps me in a job…….but once upon a time those obsessed with things from decades past, those that teamed red lipstick with false eyelashes IN PUBLIC, those that trawled op-shops for original glo-mesh clutches and nanna’s old girdles, were put on the FREAK shelf along with the Goth’s, emo’s and punks. Now we are awash with ‘Vintage Emporiums’ and ‘Retro Bazaars’, where you can pay through the nose for an old tea cup or save for a month to purchase a rotary telephone.
It hasn’t always been that way……… yet my love for the era from 1940 to 1969 has never wavered. I remember as a child, WISHING to dance in black and white movies, DREAMING of wearing red lipstick and fur, HOPING that one day I would grow up to be as glamorous as Judy Garland, as beautiful as Doris Day or as charming as Lucille Ball. I remember rather than reading magazines as a teenager, I much preferred to admire my grandmother’s old photo albums, meticulously studying the fashion, hairstyles and Make Up. I remember choosing the midday movie over cartoons, imagining myself as the leading lady opposite Gene Kelly or Elvis Presley. I would play my Grandfathers old Sammy Davis Jr records over and over, pretending I was one of his tap dancers, and put on shows in the lounge room to audiences of no one. My friends were not into such things, and I found myself struggle to fit in through my entire childhood and well into my teenage years.
For as long as I have been wearing Make Up (maybe 15 or 16 years old) I have worn black liquid winged eyeliner……ALWAYS. It was not in fashion then, and yet I saw it as the absolute image of beauty. People labelled me as ‘dramatic’ and ‘over the top’, yet I continued to do so…..it has just always felt RIGHT to me. As I grew older and into a career in Hair and Make Up, it was hard for me to comprehend that not everyone saw the beauty in vintage inspired styling, quite often I would have clients look at themselves in horror after I had transformed them into a Hollywood starlet of times past. It took me a long time to open my creative eyes to more modern styling and broaden my repertoire to include ‘now’ looks and stay in touch with the latest trends. I developed quite a reputation for myself and became a Hair and Make Up specialist…..I enjoyed it…….I wasn’t unhappy…..but it didn’t make me sparkle.
I have always known that Pinup existed……..I just had absolutely NO idea of how to get involved. Before the internet it was almost impossible to buy clothing unless you came across a gem in Vinnie’s, and for a girl that grew up on the Mornington Peninsula and never left, the world of pinup seemed forever out of my reach. For my 21st birthday, I decided I would have a girlfriend take photographs of me for my party invitations. I spent the morning setting my hair and applying my make up, and had her take head shots of me wrapped in a white feather boa……I had them printed in black and white and created an invitation to resemble an old playbill featuring me as the star attraction……..I guess that was my first ever Pinup shoot…….I had never had photos of myself that I liked...........but I LOVED these.
It was a LONG time between those first photographs, and me actually taking the step to become a ‘Pinup’…..almost 10 years!! But my infatuation for such things never calmed. I never really enjoyed shopping….I would spend hours dragging myself through store after store, looking for things that simply did not exist…….so I taught myself to sew…….now I would go shopping for fabric and create beautiful circle dresses……and THAT was when my issues with body image disappeared…..instead of feeling wrong for not fitting into the fashions that were available in stores, I felt BEAUTIFUL and for the first time the BEST version of ME I could be!!
People noticed the change in me and I guess it just sparked a chain reaction…….the more positive feedback I received the more confident I became in my own ‘look’ and I just ran with it!! I also discovered that there was a market for my skills in vintage styling……there were other women out there JUST LIKE ME……..maybe not committed to supporting the look on a daily basis, but certainly desiring to step back in time for a day in front of the camera, and they needed MY help……all those years of watching old movies and studying my Grandmothers photographs were about to pay off!! No one my age in my industry knew victory rolls or pompadours or marcel wave sets like I did…..and if they knew what they were hey CERTAINLY had no idea of how to achieve them, add to that the fact that I am also a Make Up artist that has a broader repertoire than a ‘smoky eye’ with a ‘nude lip’ and all the ingredients were there…….I HAD to find a way to make a career out of this!!
It was as if by magic, right around the time I had made the decision to really crack this market, I came across an add on Gumtree of all places, seeking models to pose pinup for a photographer that was trying to establish herself as a Pinup Photographer. At first I contacted her to offer her my services in the line of styling……without the right hair and Make Up, a Pinup shoot is not a Pinup shoot……..one thing led to another and I ended up modelling for her…….well that was it!! From then on I KNEW that this is what I NEEDED to be doing……for the next year I established myself as a Pinup model and grew my reputation for my skills in Vintage styling……….and all of THAT has lead me to THIS…………………..I am a self-employed vintage Hair and Make Up specialist, who owns her own full service Salon…………WHO WOULDDA BELIEVED IT!!!!!! I honestly believe that when you allow yourself to do whatever it is that truly makes you sparkle, the powers that be will allow everything to fall into place as it should……..There is not a single thing in the UNIVERSE that I can imagine enjoying more than this……unless of course I could co-star opposite Elvis with Anne Margaret???!!!!!!
Photo Credits: Photography - Derrierre by JLP, HMUA - Jessi Leigh's Hair and Make Up Artistry, Wardrobe - Handmade creations by yours truly!