Sunday, 31 July 2011

Beauty review: Missha Blemish Balm

Thanks to Dita, the vintage look now seems to mean being as pale and as flawless as possible.  Now, I'm all for the flawless, I would love to look like my skin was poreless, smooth and perfect.  I'm not dead set on the pale though, for while pale skin does look lovely on some, tans were popular in the 30's onwards and if you are keeping out of the sun purely to be vintage correct, rather than for health or other reasons then well,  vintage - you are doing it wrong. ;-) 

Personally, I do wear factor 50 every day, I have good reasons for doing so though, which do not relate to being vintage: firstly, being a smoker (still trying to quit), I need to minimise my exposure to other carcinogens as much as possible.  Secondly, I don't tan, I burn and then freckle, and I look about 12 years old when my freckles come out.  Thirdly and finally, I really don't like the platinum blonde hair and tanned skin combination, it is all a little bit too Glamour Model for me. It may work on others but it makes me look terribly cheap.

I just wanted to mention all this before I start my review as these products, Blemish Balms, come from Korea and many are designed to whiten the skin. This is not why I decided to try one.  I am more interested in their multifunctional claims - they say they work as a primer, foundation, sunblock and anti wrinkle treatment all in one. Sounds great huh?

I did a bit of Internet research and the one I most wanted to try was the perfect cover cream from Missha, as it had great reviews and was reasonably priced, so I tracked it down on EBay and bravely bought the palest colour, as colour descriptions online have not been great,

I was impressed with the product straight away - it was beautifully packaged in an expensive looking box and stylish maroon and gold squeeze tube.  On swatching on my hand at work I was a little panicked that my choice of colour, the palest at Number 13, might have been too light.  I couldn't wait to get home and try it out though!

 unswatched and lightly rubbed in, super pale right!

I tested it when I got back and was quite impressed but, as with all bases, you need to see the effect under natural light and so it was in the morning that the real test began.  I applied it over moisturiser, and used the recommended pea sized amount.  A little does go a long way.

So, prepare yourselves, for pictures of my morning face; saggy eyed and without a scrap of slap.  I am posting two each of before and after photos so you can get a real idea of how it evens out the skin.


Note the very tired eyes, shiny skin and unevenly toned areas around the eyes, nose and chin.

Ignore the double chin and unbrushed  hair.  Oh, you can't.  Sorry!


Everything looks matte and more even.

I was worried that it had the slightly grey cast I had been warned of, but I found that after 10 minutes on the skin the product settled and kind of warmed up.  The overall effect is not as artificial as I had hoped (who wants to look real anyway) but it did even out the redness in my skin.  It was especially good at hiding my freckles and the red spider veins around my nose.  It also smooths and disguises pores beautifully.  It doesn't gather and cake around the hairline / eyebrows either, which is wonderful!

I really like the product, I now use it daily either on it's own for daytime or as a primer for evenings.  It works beautifully under my Revlon Colorstay foundation and this combination makes my skin scarily doll-like - which I love!  It lasts all day and has not caused me to break out at all.  It also smells of baby powder, which I adore.

Here it is smoothing my skin out as part of a full face of make up.

My only real reservations are the lack of colour choice (I understand new shades are being added to the range as we speak) and also the claims of SPF 42.  You really don't use enough product for it to be of any use as sun protection.

It also wouldn't be any good if you were planning to be photographed as the high SPF included doesn't work well under a flash.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this product though, and have added it to my daily make up bag so I will certainly buy it again.  Top marks!h

Saturday, 30 July 2011

A homemade beauty day

I've been partying hard the last week, lots of late nights, booze and bad food, and while I have had a fabulous time my skin is looking much the worse for wear (heaven knows what my liver must look like!).  As such, I have decided to avoid the inevitable depression of Vintage by Hemingway and have stayed at home playing with makeup and generally just taking it easy. 

Now it is time to get rid of the make up and give my hard working skin a bit of pep.  I don't have any face masks ot anything in so I decided to make my own.  Most commercial products these days lay claim to being enriched with honey or various plant extracts - so why not go straight for the store cupboard or the garden for your skincare? Also, being a vintage gal I love the "making do" aspect of home made skincare.

My skin issue is that I have large pores on my nose, they really bother me, and so these two recipes are based on pore cleansing and shrinking. 

Pore cleansing egg white facial mask:
All you need here is an egg and some tissue or toilet roll. 

Separate the egg, discarding the yolk (or keep this for a hair mask...!) and then beat the egg white slightly.  Preferably in a mug with a sheep's bum on it.  I personally find this an essential part of the process...

Steam your face or wash it in hot water and then pat dry.  This opens the pores.

Rub the egg white all over your face and then cover with 1ply of tissue.  Then add more egg to soak the tissue. I have weird 30's hair contraptions in the way so I couldn't do my forehead.

Take picture of yourself looking your very best.

Leave the mask for 10-15 minutes, or until dry (you won't be able to move your face at all at this point).  Then slowly peel off the mask. 

You will find this works like a giant pore strip, gently extracting blackheads and tightening skin.  Hoorah!

Lemon and brown sugar facial scrub.

This scrub is just the perfect way to follow the egg mask, as it removes the last traces of egg white and the astringent properties of the lemon tighten the pores after the extracting properties of the mask.   It exfoliates both with the scrubbing of the sugar and with the chemical effects of the acid in the lemon.  Lemon juice also has a bleaching effect on the skin, evening skin tone by fading freckles and age spots.  Wonderful stuff!

You just need half a lemon or, if you don't have one, some ready squeezed lemon juice, and a teaspoon of sugar.

Mmmmmm, brown gloop.

Mix together and then scrub into the face either with fingers or on a cotton wool pad, using a circular motion.  I like to leave it on for about a minute before rinsing with clean water. 

I also like to get a little bit in my mouth as it tastes like pancake day.


Clean, healthy looking skin.

I feel much more like myself now.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Car bootiful!

Wow - what a day of bargains I have had.  I woke up early and decided to pop down to my local, rather marvellous car boot sale.  A good job I did too as I picked up some amazing bargains.  I'm going to overload you with images here so I do apologise.

First the jewellery, all for £10:

 All of it together

 Orange beaded earrings

Red beaded earrings

Red screw back earrings

Modern but excellent repro carved plastic bracelet

Peachy pink beaded interspersed with gold

Big, bright green earrings

A lovely little ceramic brooch

Amber glass, sadly one tiny stone missing but still gorgeous.

What I think is a very old plastic brooch

enamel and diamante anchor brooch, I thought this was 70's at first but I think it might be much earlier

At the next stall I found this fantastic H&M umbrella print mackintosh, with a hood!  Perfect for this warm but rainy British Summer, they also had a crochet book I've had my eye on for a while for the bargain price of £1!

I also grabbed some make up.  I'm fairly sure the MAC is fake - the product itself is the right colour and texture but the packaging, despite being identical to my current MAC blushes, just feels...I don't know, lighter and less expensive.  It could be my perception however. Still, I love the blush - Frankly Scarlet - a rich slightly blue based red, perfect for wearing with red lipsticks (I'm trying to do that late 30s thing of matching the tone of your blush to your lips) I also grabbed two Sleek eyeshadow palettes - one of gorgeous muted pinks and browns for vintage looks and one of bright tropical colours just for fun, as well as their flamingo pink blush (much brighter than the picture suggests).

 And finally - the piece de resistance, my bargain of the day and current pride and joy:

I think it might be late 60's / 70's.  What do you reckon?  Real china (one piece slightly chipped but I got money knocked off for that).  Silver spoons and a cheeseknife, two fabric lined tins, cups, bottles and two Thermos flasks.  It all has a slightly unused smell, not bad, just old.  Any tips for de mustifying the thing ready for use?

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

All change and a small favour.

Dear lovelies

I have changed my url to to be more in keeping with the name of the blog etc etc, so, if you have linked to me on your very own blog / sidebar / site could you please change it?

I really would be tickled pink!

Thank you!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

A very exciting post...

OK, I lied.  This post isn't exciting at all.  I just wanted to show you some pictures of my new-old atomic patterned eggcups. 

Yes, thats right - eggcups.   Egg-citing!

Behold them in their eggy wondrousness:

I have nothing more to say so thats all folks!

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Beauty review: Beaute Weightless Lip Creme

I was catching up with some YouTube videos recently and stumbled across the fabulous Pixiwoo girls vintage inspired looks.  In both of the videos they used this product and it looked amazing - I have linked them both below.



Being a total vintage and make up junkie I couldn't resist and managed to find the product for sale on Love Make Up for a massive £19.  Wow.  I had high hopes after such a high price.

I picked it up in the red, of course, the colour is called Masochist and is a rich red similar to MACs Russian Red.  Beaute describe it as a Helmut Newton red.  Just a little pretentious perhaps but we will forgive them that.

I was very excited when this turned up in the post, the packaging is gorgeous, an expensive looking plastic tube with a classic lipgloss style dip in wand applicator. 

I have to say I am pleased with the product - the colour is gorgeous and it applies easily.  It is completely odourless and is not sticky like a lip gloss but I wouldn't say it is weightless, you do know you have it on.

Being a creme rather than a lipstick it does have a little more of a satin look to it than some vintage aficionados might want, but I don't have a problem with that.  It also lasts well - going on smooth and where it fades, doing so evenly rather than leaving your lips looking patchy.  It is also really moisturising, my lips felt much better after wearing this and I had none of that flaking lip crap that Ruby Woo gives you. (I'm really starting to hate that lipstick).

The only negative, aside from the horrendously high price, is that it does feather on my aging smokers lips (must give up, must, must, must) and so I have found that I do need to wear a lipliner with this (MAC Cherry is a good match). 

All in all I like the product - it works well both for daytime looks applied thinly and also looks great applied more thickly for evening and in photos. 

 wonky applied and a bit of an up nose shot but here you go.

All in all a great product but not something I think I will repurchase given the high cost and the slight feathering.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Shop Spotlight - Venus Flytrap Jewels

Welcome to the first in a new series of blogs about shops I love - be they vintage, repro, vintage inspired, rockabilly or just plain fun.  My inaugural post focuses on the very wonderful Venus Flytrap Jewels

VFJ, as you might have guessed, is a jewellery company, trading on Etsy.  Saffron, glamorous proprietress, started her company when she became frustrated trying to find a charm bracelet bold enough for her theatrical tastes (this talented lady used to be a costume maker) and decided to make one herself.

In her own words "I like the opulent and fantastical. I therefore combine decoupage, glass, embroidery, felting and random bits and pieces I find to make my pieces. I also use a lot of digitally altered images that I have created; recurring themes include fairy tales, 1950s pin up girls, zombies, sideshows and circuses, and of course Kewpie and Barbie dolls.

I describe my jewellery as ‘kitsch chic’, but it’s rather like marmite; you either love it or you hate it!"

Well, it may not be classically vintage but I have to say it is charming  - different pieces appeal to different parts of my style - I love the old Hollywood and saucy adult pieces - my Bette Davis necklace is a particular favourite - while the side show and pin up pieces cheer the Rockabilly girl in me.  I've also snapped up a kitty cat bookmark for marking my knitting patterns.

 How cute is that!

The pieces are well made, with a chunky luxe feel - from multi charmed pendants, heavily beaded necklaces, chokers, earrings and charm bracelets as well as cuff links for him (or her of course!)

 Some items in the shop are on sale right now so pop on over and take a look.  Saffron also produces custom items so if you have something in mind please drop her a line.

You can follow VFJ on facebook too.

If you would like to appear on ShopSpotlight please get in contact.