Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hollywood Icon Series: Ann Margaret

I've decided that over the holidays I will be doing tutorials on some of my favorite classic Hollywood women. I chose to start with Ann Margaret because she was not just a style icon, but one of the very few women who could steal the spotlight from someone as charismatic as Elvis Presley. "Viva Las Vegas" is one of my favorite Elvis movies and Ann Margaret was beautiful in it, and of course I hold a special place in my heart for red heads.

I started by spraying a few things on my hair to create volume and to help the style hold. This included thickening spray at the roots. I then created a dramatic part starting at the arch of my eyebrow. I took one inch sections in the front, teased the base and used a large curling iron to curl the hair. After I curled it I created a stand up pin curl on base, meaning it is set on top of itself. This is all to create volume. Ann Margaret had lots of volume in her hair style.

Bumble and Bumble prep sprays. (left)  Sectioning the front for curls (right)

I created three on top and then worked my way around the entire head.  This look isn't about making the hair curly as much as it is making is voluminous.

Three stand up pin curls with a good tease at the base of each.  It doesn't have to be neat.

You can see how big the pin curls are and how much they stand up.

Now that my hair is setting, I moved on to the makeup. I started by applying a face primer. I used a Sephora brand primer, but you can use any brand you like. It really does help to even out the skin and makes your makeup last longer.  I also used an eyeshadow primer, Urban Decay, to help the eyeshadow stay and reduce creasing.  I used my usual foundation, Makeup For Ever HD. I then lined my waterline with a white eyeliner pencil to make my eyes look bigger. This makeup look has more emphasis on the upper eye area with a clean under eye.

I then accentuated my eyebrows and slightly changed the shape making them fuller and rounder. I used a brown eyeshadow.

White eyeliner on the water line (left)  Fuller and rounder brows (right)

I covered the entire lid with a dark gray called gunmetal from the Urban Decay Naked Palette and then swept a medium matte color across the crease of the eyelid. I applied these using my brush kit, also a Sephora brand. I rarely use the brush that came with the Naked Palette.

Gunmetal is the last on the right and the brown I used was Buck, the fifth from the left.

I used liquid eyeliner, but here is a little trick to get a clean wing on the outside corner of the eye. Use scotch tape to create a barrier. Once you are finished remove it and you will have a clean line every time.  Add mascara to the top and bottom lashes.

Scotch tape mask for eyeliner (left)  Another view of the eyeshadow (right)

Finally, I added some contour to the cheek bones and finished with a dusting of loose powder and red lip.  Now it's time to take down the hair.

Contouring and a light blush (left)  Taking down the pin curls (right)

Brush out the curls lightly with your fingers, then tease more wherever you need it.  Use a bristle brush to smooth everything out and spray the hell out of it with hair spray.  Another tip is to use the pointy end of a rat tail comb to add volume to areas that need it by lifting that area carefully.  The goal is to get a large wave or waterfall effect in the bang area.

The finished product!

And here is the photo I used for inspiration.

Ann Margaret, Hollywood Icon

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Holiday Gift Ideas

It's that time of the year again. If you have someone in your family who loves beauty products, here are some ideas for gifts under $100 that they will love.

Make Up For Ever Starter Kit

Foundation, Primer, Powder and Brush: $79 at Sephora

Urban Decay Naked Palette or Naked Palette 2

A palette with neutral colors that will look good on everyone:
$50 at Sephora, Naked or Naked 2

Sephora Give Me Some Lip® Kit

Favorite brands of pink and nude lipstick, gloss, tint, & shine:
$25 at Sephora

Anastasia Brow Prep

Fits in your purse because everyone knows the perfect place to tweeze is in the car.
$10 at Sephora

If you really want to splurge: Amika Interchangeable Barrel Curler Set

This is perfect for the girl who loves to style her hair: $175 at Sephora


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Lucille Ball Tutorial

Lucille Ball is one of my favorite red heads and Lucy, being the vintage icon that she is, was a perfect fit for me this Halloween. In order to channel her, I purchase a vintage how-to hair book dedicated to the 1940's. Lucy's famous hairstyle is called "The Poodle." I can only assume that it earned its name because it looks very similar to puff of curls that sits atop a French Poodle's head. French Poodle's were very popular at the time. I think it has something to do with idea of sophistication, everyone wanted to be like the French Vogue model with her cigarette and her fancy dog.

This book is very helpful because it shows the different hair cuts and pin curl settings to achieve certain looks. It even has a section on hairstyle for women with glasses which I thought was very funny. The poodle bang starts with a rectangular part on the top/front of your head, followed by three rows of four pin curls.

Left: Pin curl setting for poodle bangs.  Right: My attempt at the setting.

Next, I tried to add a slight wave to the sides because that's what Lucy's hair looks like. This is achieved by creating a vertical row of pin curls facing one direction and then another two rows facing the opposite direction.
Left: Pin curl setting for side waves.  Right: My attempt at the setting.

Don't forget to cover it with a scarf so it doesn't get messed up when you sleep.

Left: Book cover.  Right: My scarf.

So now it's the next day and as any girl knows, you do your makeup and then your hair. Lucy has some distinctive features that sets her apart from other famous women. One, the hair, two, the eyebrows, three, the eyelashes, and finally, the lips.  Other than that, her makeup is fairly light. I used the Style Me Vintage book as inspiration also for the hair and makeup.

Left: Inspiration from the book.  Right: Book cover.

For this look I used the following products:
I started with the foundation to create the light, flawless complexion (minus the under-eye bags, it was early). I then shaped the brows into a more round shape than I normally wear; commas instead of arches. I used a combination of brown brow wax and eyeshadow.  I then applied black liquid eye liner and a light brown shadow to the crease to create some dimension. I then applied the mod lashes to the upper eyelid and a couple of individual lashes the the outer corner of the lower lid. If you are going for a 40's look, choose light, wispy eyelashes instead of thick ones.
Left: Rounded eyebrows. Right: False eyelashes.

You can see the final result of the eye makeup here.  I also used the high brow highlighter on my brow bone and inside my water line to open the eyes.  Next, the signature lips. Lucy's lip shape was much wider than the natural lip.  It's a gradual arch on each side.  I started by using a nude lip liner to create the new lip shape. I then filled it in with the Revlon red lipstick.  I also set it with some powder to help it last. I also applied the cheek stain to the apples of my cheeks and set my whole face with powder.  You can see on the right that I let the sides and back of my pin curls down.
Left: Final eyes and outlined lips.  Right: Red lips and let down curls.

Now that my makeup was done, I moved onto the hair. First I let down all of my pin curls on the sides and back and left the top so they wouldn't get mixed together.  Then, I lightly brushed through the curls with my fingers because I wanted to keep the curls in tact. This is not a brushed out look.  I put my hair in a loose ponytail and started bobby-pinning the curls up in the back to create a full pile of curls.

For the top, I let down the curls, you can see on the left what it looked like.  I then lightly brushed it out with my fingers and gathered it in a pile on my head.  This is the part where you have to rely on a little instinct as to how to place the curls and shape them.  As I got a curl to look how I wanted, I would secure it with a bobby pin and try to hide the pin as I was doing it.  It helps to have bobby pins that are close to your hair color.  This can be a little tedious, but don't give up.  If something doesn't look right, just take it down and start over. Pin curls are very resilient. Also, don't be afraid to force the curls to do what you want.  You fingers are the best tool you have.

Left: Bang curls let out.  Right: The final product!

I finished the whole look off with a pearl necklace and earring set and a vintage polka dot dress that I bought at a local vintage store.  I also added a white apron.

The Final Product. I Love Lucy!

One other note: One of the things I love about vintage hair is that even though it takes a lot of work, it lasts a long time. You can get several days worth of hair styles from one pin curl setting.
Day two style brush out after the "Poodle"