Monday, 27 June 2011

Beauty find - Salux Bath Cloth

I'm a lazy person - a lazy blogger, late sleeper, domestic slattern - and so I'm always looking for the easy way to do things.  I write my blog posts in my lunch break at work, bathe at night so I can get up later and clean during the ad breaks.  Yep - lazy but clever...

One of the things I'm usually far too lazy to do is exfoliation.  I know it is important, it makes your skin feel smoother and look healthier and all that jazz.  Who wants their body to be grey and rough - not me.  Most exfoliants don't work for me though- products with granules need rinsing out of the bath (ugh), body brushing adds a whole new step to your routine (blah), those shower puff things are all suds and no action (meh), those glove things - it takes ages to get them on and my cats seem to think they are fish and steal them out the bath (hah!) and loofahs, don't remind me of the dank odour of a slowly rotting loofah (gag).

As a result I'd given up on the whole exfoliating business for a while, I've been single for 18 months or so and frankly couldn't be bothered with that level of upkeep if no one was going to marvel at the after effects of all that work.  Then I stumbled upon the recommendations section of Makeupalley and saw the rave reviews on this product - the Salux Bath cloth.  The Alley is rarely wrong and I decided to give the Salux cloth a go.

I ordered mine from eBay, all suppliers seem to ship from overseas and so I was surprised when my cloths arrived within the week.  Brilliant service.  The cloths themselves are long and fairly narrow and made of a similar stuff to those exfoliating mitts but in a much more user friendly towel form.  They come in a variety of colours and while apparently they come in two weaves they feel the same to me - both devilish rough!

I was scared to try these at first, they are rather vicious feeling things, but after lathering up with one in a long hot bath, I have to say I am sold.  They are rough but not too rough, easy to use either balled up or stretched out - enabling you to get to every hard to reach bit of your back.  They dry quickly, are cheap, long lasting and hygienic and, frankly, make my skin feel absolutely incredible.  I've been stroking my arms in admiration all day as a result.  Vain, moi?

So, I'm back to my smooth and glowing best.  All I need now is someone else to stroke me....any volunteers?  ;-)

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Old Movie Madness: The Divorcee (1930)

I'm fairly new to Norma Shearer, she isn't an actress I've ever felt particularly drawn to and so this was an experiment for me.

The Divorcee is the story of Jerri Bernard and Ted Martin - a well to do society couple. Opening on their engagement the film starts with both celebration and tragedy as one of Jerry's spurned lovers drinks too much and causes a car accident in which one of their female friends is horribly disfigured.

Fast forward to their third anniversary and the golden couple seem as happy as ever until Ted's sour faced mistress crashes their party. Hurt and embarassed, Jerry cannot forgive Ted his indiscretion and attempts to even up the playing field with a one night dalliance while Ted is away on a business trip.

On his return she tells him that she has "settled the odds" and, in classic "one rule for the goose and another for the gander" mode, Ted flies off the handle and cannot forgive her for the very act he claimed was "meaningless" on his side.  Men, eh!

They divorce and Jerri loses herself in a whirlwind of short lived affairs with unsuitable men, reaching her lowest point when she rekindles her affair with her former lover, now married to the woman he disfigured in the car crash.   At her emotional rock bottom Jerri realises that she still loves Ted and and returns to him to try and rebuild their relationship.

The film is visually beautiful, if you can get over the very odd face of the male lead (Chester Morris, playing Ted) but hey - that is just personal opinion.  Ms Shearer's gowns are by the incredibly talented "Adrian" and she looks stunning in them all. 

As with many early talking pictures the acting style is very theatrical, and you do occasionally feel you are watching a stage play, however Shearer's deft touch relieves this somewhat.  I'm not convinced by Shearer in the role however - she seems a bit of a cold fish to be out carousing with various playboys.  Her husband, the producer, himself had doubts and she had to work hard to steal the role out from under Joan Crawford (and if the stories about Joan are true that is literal ;-)  ).  She won an award for the part though, and to give her credit she does act her socks off.

This is a pre-code flick, dealing with the later taboo subject of sex outside marriage, here, a woman exercises her sexuality without being damned for it and the film is worth watching for this alone.

The movie is available on youtube, if you don't mind watching it in parts.  I say go for it!  Part one is linked below.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Giveaway winner!

And the winner is:

Miss Meetah!

Please send me your address (have sent you a quick tweet so you can message me that way) and I'll get the tights out to you this week.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Old Movie Madness: The Major and the Minor (1942)

This is one of those films that doesn't translate well to the modern mindset, it really is sweet and funny but I found my 21st century brain jarring with negative connotations at the storyline.  More on that later.

Ginger Rogers, one of my favourite actresses, plays Susan Applegate; a young lady trying her luck in the Big Apple and failing.  She finally snaps after a customer expects her to offer more than just a scalp massage and decides to head home Iowa.  Through all her time in New York she has made sure to save her exact train fare but unfortunately the fares have gone up during this time and she can't afford to get home.

Susan is a determined girl though, Ginger specialises in the plucky young woman role, and racks her brain to think of a way to get out of the city.  She decides the only way is to try and convince the ticket salesman that she is under age and so she hitches up her skirt, rips the trimmings off her hat and scrubs off her makeup.  she finally manages to get a ticket and gets onto the train but the inspectors are suspicious and she hides from them in a train compartment.

The compartment is occupied by Major Philip Kirby who takes pity on Susan (now going by the name of Su-Su), who convinces him that she is just 12 years old and in need of help.  He lets her stay in his compartment in the spare bed. 

Unfortunately her plans for getting home are scuppered when the train tracks flood but, happy to be stuck with the charming Major she decides to reveal her true identity to him.  Yet again though, poor Susan is a victim of circumstance, as the Major's fiancee Pamela walks into the cabin and sees her there and, assuming her feela has been cheating on her, storms out.

The Major is still convinced that Su-su is just a child and so, to prove to his future wife that nothing untoward happened he decides to take Su-su home with him to the army school where they live.  Susan has to stay with Pamela's younger sister and is soon rumbled, but her roommate agrees to help her in her deception in exchange for some help in scuppering the Pamela's plans to tie the Major down.

Following much hilarity as the boys at the school all fall for the glamorous 12 year old Susan is finally unmasked and Pamela forces her to leave before she can tell Philip that she loves him. 

Later Philip comes to visit young Su-su at her home on his way to active duty and she finally lets him know how she feels.

There are a lot of reasons why this should not work, the delectable Ms Rogers is far to old to pass for a 12 year old for one thing and, to modern eyes, the Major's willingness to share his bedroom with an unknown child is hard to understand.  Ginger manages to charm us through it all though, in her usual jolly way.

The rest of the cast are pretty good too.  Diana Lynn, playing Pamela's intelligent and very grown up younger sister is a a star turn, with a natural flair for comedy.  Rita Johnson as Pamela is just annoying enough for the audience to dislike without them wondering why the Major proposed to her in the first place and the cast of Cadets at the school are all charming in their own precocious way.

I really wasn't keen on Ray Milland's Major though, I just couldn't see why Susan would be so interested in him.  Fine, he is fairly good looking in a bland way, and very kind to waifs and strays but he has no sexual presence whatsoever.  Still, it is a '42 film and also I guess it would be distinctly odd if he was playing a sexual character given his intimacy with this strange child.

I have to say that the Major's attraction to this child did make me feel a little uncomfortable.  There were moments where you could see that he felt drawn to her despite thinking her just 12 years old, and to my not so innocent 2011 eyes this did not sit well.

Still, if you can suspend you disbelief at Ginger looking 12 and bury your modern suspicions, then it really is a charming little movie.  I think it is all available on YouTube but for now - here's the trailer:

Friday, 17 June 2011

kunst and fahrt

Well hello there!

Sorry I've been quiet for a bit, but I've not been around.  I was sent to Germany on a very unglamorous business trip but managed to return unscathed.  Actually, it wasn't the location that was unglamorous but more the hotel.  The NH Hotel on the Altmarkt in Dresden's old town is supposed to be lovely, but sadly it just wasn't for me.  I'm a light sleeper and its location right near a church meant that I was awoken every 15 minutes throughout the night on each of my three nights stay.  As a result all of my grand plans for writing blog posts on my quiet evenings were scuppered by extreme tiredness.  And lets not go into the noise from drunks outside or...shudder....the pubic hair on my clean towel.

Dresden itself is beautiful, a real mix of the old and the new where striking modern architecture abuts the classical but in a way that somehow just seems right.  Unfortunately work commitments kept me busy in the day and so I didn't get to visit the museums, so instead I made a different cultural foray - into the world of German food. 

I'm the kind of girl that likes good solid food - meat, potatoes, bread (I'll eat salad but only out of a sense of duty) - and so German cookery is right up my street.  During my three nights I managed to gorge myself on as much of it as possible.  Also, as should expected I suppose, almost every dish was pork based - casseroles, kebabs, sausages.  I had ham with breakfast, sausage for lunch and schnitzel for dinner.

On my last night though, I tried to find something non pork based for a main meal, and luckily the ridiculously posh hotel restaurant was serving duck with crackling kumquats and leek and potato foam. Sounds great huh? Success I thought - but they brought me a free starter to taste.  You guessed it, pork.  Oh and the crackling kumquats -, fruit covered in popping candy.  Yes, popping candy.  This was molecular cookery apparently - Heston bloody Blumenthal as a lot to answer for...give me a plain old currywurst any day.

I also spent a good amount of time sniggering to myself about funny words.  My two favourites being "kunst" and "fahrt" - my very favourite being "dampfschiffahrt." Teehee.

I have no idea what it means and I don't really want to.  It might ruin the magic.  I know, childish huh? 

Anyway - instead of pictures of the city here are pictures of things I ate:

 Pork in kebab form!

 Pork in currywurst form!

 A (hopefully) non pork based cake!


 Unexpected pork based starter

Non pork based main meal - see that round thing? deep fried mashed veg.
See that crispy looking stuff?  Popping-fucking-candy.

I did enjoy my time though, and almost all my food.  Now I'm back in London a getting ready to lose my new pork belly.

I'll be back on Sunday with the result of the tights giveaway and I have lots of reviews - both film and product based for you all.

Ooh, I forgot the last thing!

The saddest sandwich in the world, courtesy of the kind people at Lufthansa:

Don't cry for him, poor tiny little thing.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Great Tights Test and an associated giveaway!

 Things 'round here have been getting kind seamy....

Say what you like about how sexy a girdle and stockings makes you feel, sometimes we all need a bit of a break.  Some mornings I just can't bear the idea of spending my 8 hour working day gussied up in a girdle with my suspender straps digging into my legs and I'd also rather save my vintage nylons for more worthy occasions.  Luckily. we live in a time where we have some options...

There are a few manufacturers making seamed tights, a great alternative for winter warming (I know, hardly seasonal) or for those days where you want to wear a frock but can't face being constricted. But which to choose?  Which give the most accurate vintage look without laddering at the first hurdle.  I won't be hurdling though - can you imagine if I tested these by running the hurdles.  Lummy!

Well, luckily for you I decided I’d go out there and test run some of the more widely available seamed tights; and thanks to the kind people at Pamela Mann, Stockings HQ and What Katie Did I had quite the selection to get through!

I rated these on colour, seam quality, durability on wearing and washing and then rolled this into an overall score.

For colour I was looking for something slightly darker than a pale skin tone.  I have personally never found a pair of actual vintage nylons that are as pale as my skin, often they fall between a rose pink to a tan shade.

I also wanted something that looked like it had real seams, rather than just a knit in line and ideally I wanted nude on nude seams rather than contrast.  Personally, while I’m happy to wear contrast in the evening, I don’t really feel these are correct for a daytime look.  Someone please tell me if I’m wrong here – I am happy to stand corrected (with my seams on straight too!)

For durability I considered how long they lasted without ladders and holes and also how they survived washing – both by hand and in the machine (come on, while it isn’t recommended I bet we have all done it from time to time).  

So, with no further ado, and in reverse order of preference:

6) Silky Seamer:

Colour: the nude/nude is very pale, not really a vintage shade at all.  also nude/black, black and black/red.
Seam: Just knit into the fabric so not very realistic looking
Durability on wearing: ripped on first putting them on (darn my vintage-style pointy nails) so I wasn't too impressed.
Durability on washing: fine handwashed but when machine washed they emerged as a little tangled ball
Price: very cheap at only £4.49
Stockist: Stockings HQ
Verdict: Poor quality, just what I expected from the price.  Might be good if you only wear these to events where your nylons would likely get trashed anyway – clubs, dance classes etc or if you just need some seams to complete a fancy dress look.  Certainly no good for a real period look and still fairly pricey for what you actually get.

5) Pamela Mann

Colour: Very pale again - 10 denier too - I tested the nude seam but several other colorways are available.        
Seam: knit in and no very realistic looking but better than the Silky Seamer.
Durability on wearing: better than the Silky seamers but did snag easily.
Durability on washing: survived handwashing perfectly.  A few areas of snagging after a machine wash
Price: £5.99 so not too bad.
Stockist: Amazon
Verdict: A pretty good basic, not really realistic looking but will last a few wears without falling apart.

4) Jonathon Aston vintage legs

Colour: Again, far too pale for my tastes, I again tried the nude/nude.  The basic style are 15 denier.
Seam: Again a knit in look but slightly better than the Pamela Mann.
Durability on wearing: No ladders or snags on the day I wore them aside from at the toe.  I was wearing peep toe shoes and the toe wore right through.
Durability on washing:  fine by hand only a roughening of texture in the machine.
Price: £5.25
Stockist: Stockings HQ
Verdict: Not bad at all, definitely a good day to day option, just a shame they rubbed at the peep toe.

3) Cervin Seduction Couture

Colour: a light main colour with a darker brown seam - gazelle/chocolate
Seam: this resembled a real seam but was still a contrast nude/chocolate look really
Durability on wearing: excellent, no holes or snags on the all day and evening wear I put them through
Durability on washing: came out perfect by hand but did roughen, (not ladder) with a machine wash
Price: The most costly at £14.25
Stockist: Stockings HQ
Verdict: These felt expensive and luxurious - with Lycra for added cling, I could almost smell the cash as I put them on.  The texture was a little more like vintage stockings too.  Sadly the colour wasn’t quite right and for the money I’d have liked something a bit more accurate.  Still, as a product they are lovely and the look is not bad at all.

2) Pretty Polly nylons

Colour: dark brown but looks lighter on with a sherry seam.  10 denier.
Seam:Still too dark for the colour of the tights really but a good realistic look
Durability on wearing: Excellent – I really liked these on but again worse through at the toe.
Durability on washing: excellent – came out unscathed from both hand and machine wash!
Price: Good for the price at £5.25
Stockist: Stockings HQ

1) What Katie Did - retro seamed tights

Colour: A good, very slight tan coloured nude/nude was tested.  Also available in black/black and nude/black
Seam: Not actually stitched in but the most realistic looking tested
Durability on wearing: Great, lasted well. enough Lycra for a good stretch too.
Durability on washing: Again, lasted well, but did snag a little from a machine wash
Price: £8.50 for nude/nude and £10 for nude/black
Stockist: What Katie Did
Verdict: Unsurprisingly the favourite comes from the vintage specialist, the best colour, texture and fit.  Just a shame they are £8.50 a pair.

 So, overall I'm a fan of the What Katie Did version with the Pretty Polly Nylons coming a very close second, only hampered by the too dark seam.

Can you recommend some nude/nude seamed tights for me to try?

And now for the giveaway!  This is what you really wanted, after all.

  • Pamela Mann nude/nude seamed stockings - one size
  • What Katie Did nude/black seamed tights - M/L
  • Seamer tights nude/nude - medium
  • Grosvenor stockings - unseamed - medium
That is around £20 worth of hosiery for you!

To enter please comment on this post with your view on whether seamed tights are OK or just cheating?  ;-)

An extra entry to the draw for each of the below - please add an extra comment for each method used:

A tweet about the giveaway including a link to my blog (follow me @LisaSmuts)
A facebook post about it, with link included
A blog post about it, with link included

I'll be drawing the winner on 18 June so watch the blog for the announcement and to claim your prize!

Monday, 6 June 2011

Old movie Madness: Red Headed Woman (1932)

A film with a screenplay by Anita Loos (author of Gentlemen Prefer blondes, no less). 

This film is a joy, a camped up over-acted, Pre-Code joy.  Harlow plays the red headed woman of the title, covering her trademark blonde do with a red wig.  Her character is Lilian ("Lil" or "Red") Andrews, an utterly mercenary sort who uses sex as currency in her attempt to cross from the wrong side of the tracks to the right one, and doesn't care who she hurts along the way.

The film opens with Harlow, as "Red" draped across a chaise and with a cheeky wink she makes reference to Loos' novel with the line “So gentlemen prefer blondes, do they?” setting the tone for this racy romp.

Red lives with her best friend Sally, played by the ever wonderful Una Merkel, and together they ply their charms on seemingly unsuspecting chaps left right and centre.  Red has set her sights on the boss and makes a very deliberate play for him, collecting his post and dropping it off at his house when his wife is in.  She offers to work late and take dictation and when  Mr Bill Legendre is distracted by her shapely legs as she unsubtly hitches up her skirt, she decides to tell him that she loves him. Mr Legendre valiantly fights back but when he sees that she has his photograph clipped to her garter he gives in and soon the pair are discovered kissing by Bill's wife, Irene.

Bill adores Irene, his first love, and tries to persuade Red to leave town and leave him alone but she will have none of it, becoming a full time stalker, following him to restaurants and finally turning up drunk and barging into his house.  Irene finally has enough and leaves Bill, giving clever Red the perfect chance to get her claws into him as he is down.  They live the high life, drunk on booze and sex, and she manages to persuade him to marry her.

Unfortunately marriage to a rich man doesn't bring our Red the glamour and social acceptance she imagined. Bill's friends do not want to associate with her and remain loyal to Irene.  Red finally snaps when she realises that she has been deliberately left off the invitation list for a party and she forces herself into the path of the wealthy Charles Gaerste, a family friend of the Legendre's.  Not knowing her identity, the mature Mr Gaerste falls for her fiery charms and takes her home.  Red threatens Mr Gaerste with exposure of a very different kind unless he helps launch her into society, and out of fear for his reputation he tries his best to get his friends to accept her.

Sadly this fails and the people she so wants to impress just mock her.  Red decides she has to leave town and thrilled to be rid of her Bill sends her to New York.  Once there she launches a full scale assault of Mr Gaerste - it is a miracle his heart held out really.  She intends to marry him, a plan Bill is more than happy to support as he wants Irene back.

Unfortunately it all unravels for Red; Gaerste sees through her and, enraged, she attempts murder.  Failing at that she agrees to leave for good with a particularly good looking chauffeur.  When we last see her she is in the company of an elderly man with her chauffeur pal driving them from the racecourse.  We can only assume she is continuing to exploit men for money and has found herself a handsome accomplice.

Harlow's performance in this movie has received a lot of praise, and it is certainly worth it.  At first look I felt her acting rather wooden, but I realised this was deliberate - Red is an emotionless creature who exists only for herself and this comes over in Harlow's cold style and the very fake crying scenes.  She really does well to make such a one dimensional girl seem interesting, she is fascinating to watch, especially when she turns on her wheedling baby voice to extract what she wants from the men around her.  Another gem is Una Merkel, who always brings a sparkle to a movie and is the voice of reason to all of Red's aspirations.

The weak point is really the story - are we to believe that all these men are so weak and blind as to fall for Red's obvious tricks?  I tend to credit chaps with more intelligence than that, but then I'm hugely out of practise.  Next time I'm on a date I'm going to try a baby voice and see if I end up wed!

This was one of the Pre-Code movies thought to have spurred on the implementation of the Production Code.  Harlow's "Red" was a promiscuous character: a marriage wrecker, having pre marital sex, committing adultery and even, gasp, appearing in public intoxicated and trying to kill a man.  Despite this she effectively gets off scot -free - living an easy life with a man she loves and fleecing old gents out of their dough quite happily. 

What a scandal!

This isn't a serious movie, it isn't making a point, but neither is it a comedy.  Harlow is excellent in an over the top way and it is well worth seeing just to see her light up the screen with her baby face.  Thoroughly enjoyable.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

A happy Saturday's thrifting.

'Ello lovelies.

Just a quick post to show you all the purchases I made this weekend.  I'm not supposed to be buying anything new but I got carried away by the bargains I found...oops!  I guess there is truth in the adage - old habits die hard.

My first purchase was a fantastic book of vogue covers - just stunning and only £1!

I also picked up a dinky little slip in a dark, dark green bri-nylon.  I'm not sure it fits yet, as I've just washed it.  It really is a cutie though.

Then my friend and I ventured afield to South London (for me, that is a long way) and we found a stall selling tops for £1 each.  so naturally I bought five.  The first three pass for 50's pretty well.  The other two, well, I'm not sure what came over me, and I won't show them here.  Oops!

I also picked ip a pretty little vintage evening purse:

And finally I found the most delicious little cruet set, 30's if I'm not mistaken.  It needs stoppers and a little spoon but I'm sure I can whittle some corks and find a spoon somewhere!

All this for £16.  Oh yeah, I know how to shop!  I just wish I could learn how to be a little more conservative with it!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Double the vintage - an amazing find!

I love knitting patterns, I really do, more than is really reasonable for someone who only started knitting about a year ago.  I think my obsessive hoarding of knitting patterns is bordering on scary and frankly, if I spent as much time knitting as I do sourcing and buying patterns, then I'd have a fabulous wardrobe instead of 4 unfinished projects looking at me wanly.

Anyway - enough of my spending related guilt.  The item I have to show you today was an absolute steal at just £2.99 on eBay.  It screamed 70's from the photograph which can only explain why noone else bid on it.  Noone else bid on it twice in fact, as the first time I missed it due to an eBay, iPhone related cock up.  mutterbloodytechnologymuttermutter.

Looking at the description I quickly saw that this was a 70's book of revisited vintage patterns from 1920-1940.  I had to take a punt on that!

Well, this little marvel arrived today and I could not be happier.  It was indeed published in the 70's, 1979 though, so it isn't quite as old as it's new owner.  Amusingly the publisher was Mills and Boon, yes, that's right, Mills and Boon - the famous publisher of risque short novels for bored housewives.  I can just imagine the former owner sitting on the settee next to her increasingly beige husband, knitting up a 1939 sweater and dreaming of it being removed by a dark and brooding hero from a wartime romance...sigh.

This is a great little book, the title "Knitting 20's and 30's originals" by Nancy Vale, and includes - oh the joy - patterns to knit up with DK yarn.   The book includes both the revisited patterns and some originals.  There are lots of wonderful illustrations and also photos of most of the patterns knit up.

Nancy clearly had a real passion (heh heh heh) for this era and writes floridly about her adoration of the period. 

My only criticism is that some of the vintage patterns are used merely as illustration and the instructions are therefore not complete.   Still - there is enough here to keep me happy!

Enjoy the photos - 70's does 30's - it's official!

 Neither, nor Baby Gene like this ladies brown waistcoat and unstyled hair.

 Loving this DK Tyrolean number.  I'm definitely making this soon.


Right - I'm off to do some actual knitting for a change.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Hair set - pageboy with side waved fringe.

OK – I have a new haircut – from the ever so lovely Miss Betty at “It’s Something Hells” salon.  She really is a marvel – she lightened my hair by a few shades and gave me a great cut which really helps the setting process.  Cutting it myself, whilst cheaper, doesn’t really do the same job!  She is also an absolute whizz at styling hair so I watched her technique as carefully as I could.  I’ve honestly never seen anyone whip up a pageboy from some basic curls so fast, she really is amazing.

Anyway, now I have a decent cut I thought it was time for a quite tute and have decided to try and recreate one of Betty’s classic styles – a pageboy with a side waved fringe.

Here is my hair post Betty-ing:

When Betty did this for me in the salon she used a curling iron and some hot rollers on my dry hair.  The style lasted until pretty well but my hair isn’t a real fan of heat styling and so I wanted to try this with a wet set and perm rods.  (You can see that my hair is wilting in the pics above if you look at the ends, I like a tighter style.)

To do this you need: 
rollers (perm rods preferably but sponge rollers would work too)
setting lotion
sectioning comb
boar bristle brush
round brush
bobby pins
combs or clips, or a hairflower.

So, on damp hair with setting lotion applied I first put in the deep side parting.  Then, sectioning off each side behind the ear I rolled one roller into each of the side sections at an angle rather than straight, the higher end toward the front.  The hair should be rolled under the roller.

I then rolled the top section (and you only want this section to be around 3 inches deep) into a barrel curl (I used a mascara tube for this and then slid it out to pin).  The hair should be curled backwards, away from the face.

You could use a roller for this too but as the fringe section is the real focal point of the ‘do I wanted to keep it as free from lines and bumps as possible.

The back was then set in one row of rollers with the curls directed under, rolling no higher than the nape on the neck.

If you have thick hair you may want to do two rows but please try and roll no higher than the nape of the neck.  The back of the hair needs to be as smooth as possible for this style to really work.

Also, if you have two sizes of roller – use the smaller on the top layer and the larger below.  This sounds odd but it will help the top layer of hair hug the larger bottom layer to create a pageboy puff.

So, once set I put on my glamorous hairnet and went to bed.I'll spare you a picture of that, cos I'm kind.

In the morning I took out all the rollers and fluffed the hair up with my fingers and then, before starting the styling process I sprayed everything with a medium hold hairspray (Ellnet is good for this as it brushes out).  This lends some pliability to the hair, making it easier to mould it into shape.

You then want to brush through a few times with your paddle brush before taking your round brush and using it to curl the hair under, toward the face.  I find it best to start at the back and work my way round to the sides.  When brushing out the side sections try and angle the brush so that the curl is angled higher toward the face and lower at the back.  This helps to accentuate the “U” shape of the style, giving it a 40’s rather than an 80’s look.

Then pin or comb the sides back behind the ears.

Once this is all pageboyed under and pinned – and it might take a few attempts, don’t panic – you can start on the top wave.  First brush this straight up in the air with your paddle brush, this helps to create volume at the roots so you can get the lovely curve of the first wave.

Then shape the first wave by putting your hand under the hair and brushing the hair over it a few times.  Here, with a bit of moulding, you should be able to shape the first wave.  You can either hold this in place or clip gentle with a sectioning clip (I find hands work best). 

You can then decide what to do with the second wave.  Today I brushed this down and created a large  roll.  You can also form another wave like Betty did, again by holding and shaping, or you could even shape a main wave and then mould some little curls (again curled round a mascara tube) as in some of the photos below (same set, but yesterday). 

The great benefit of that earlier spritz of hairspray, a trick from Miss Betty herself, is that the hair is stiffer and easier to shape as you work.  A bit like the second day of a set when everything is much less slippery and much more manageable.

Once happy with whatever you got going on at the front, and often your hair decides this for itself, pin if needs be and if not shellac the hell out of it with a damn fine hairspray like Tresemme freeze hold (taking care not to spray it directly in your ear like I did this morning – I think I’m still a little deaf).

These are two of the finished results from the same set: