The Lipstick Effect

Dear Readers,

If you are anything like myself Christmas has you all spent out which is something I think happens to the whole nation. I hate to think of people getting themselves into debt just for one day of the year but with all this austerity and gloomy winter nights sometimes you just want to throw caution to the wind and treat the ones you love. I have always tried to strike a balance with my financial affairs as I want to save as much as I can but I also would like to own the items I wish and have fun. Generally this means saying no to myself about 50% of the time but back in October when we got engaged my thoughts turned even more to money and that of saving as much as we can.

That said I still want to have little treats so I got thinking about ways I can add little touches of vintage glamour to my life for as little money as possible. During the war years there was a little something called The Lipstick Effect whereby even though money was tight and rationing was tighter still women still bought lipstick as this was a small luxury item which made a lot of difference to how they felt. So without buying a whole new outfit or a brand new fur coat they still had a little luxury in their lives.

Off then I toddled to the high street and when I want low cost make up I always make a bee line for Superdrug, and in particular their MUA range. Here you can buy a lipstick for just £1 and they have a great range of Velvetines dupes for those who are hankering after those Lime Crime products but could do without the price tag. I don't know about you ladies but a dash of red lipstick really brings out the vintage siren in me.

Left to right: Lip Liner in Red Drama, Lipstick in shade 13, Matte Lipstick in Scarlet Siren, and Luxe Lip Lacquer in Reckless

I bought the MUA Pro-Brow eyebrow kit, an eye shadow, and also their Matte Lipstick in Scarlet Siren (£1) but I also did swatches of their lip liner which I use in Red Drama (£1), their Lipstick in shade 13 (£1) and also their Luxe Lip Lacquer in Reckless (£3). Immediately after putting the Lip Lacquer on the back of my hand I regretted it because this stuff does not come off; not even when I scrubbed it with a nail brush and soap!

I love their lipstick in shade 13 because it has an orange based tone which gives it a great 1940s coral vibe; it's also quite highly pigmented for such a low cost product. With a slick of my favourite Lipcoat product this stays put surprisingly well. The Matte Lipstick in Scarlet Siren is more blue based and not as pigmented which I actually quite liked as that way you can build up to a colour that suits you. It felt nice and moisturising on my lips without being greasy and I was impressed with the longevity of the colour. I think I will use this as my workday week lipstick as it was soft on my lips and did not bleed. The Lip Lacquer, like I said, wins hands down for staying power. It's a great dupe of the Velvetines range made by Lime Crime and similar to Velvetines it is liquid but dries to be very matte. I wear this as more of a going out colour because I don't need to worry about touching it up and it's a slightly more dramatic blue based red. I do find though the doe foot applicator is difficult to get great precision with so suggest using a brush to apply.

A little bit of glamour does not have to cost the earth and with such great low cost lippys out there you can experiment with what colours suit you without feeling guilty. Have you tried these lipsticks at all? What do you do to add a little glamour to your day? I'd love to hear from you!



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Boxing Day Sales Wishlist

Dear Readers,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas which was filled with all the things you love. Something which is getting a bigger deal these days is the boxing day sales which I hear some people began queueing for at 10pm on Christmas Day. That's a little extreme for me and I much more prefer to do a spot of online shopping. For a start there's much more online that interests me and I think that the postage fee is a small price to pay for the luxury of not having to bother with the high street. We all have a few things that we had hoped to receive for Christmas or that we are particularly looking out for in the sales so here's my little wishlist of what I would like from the Boxing Day sales. I have been very good and only bought one thing, which was terribly difficult.

Vivien of Holloway has an amazing sale on at the moment and most of the things I found seem to come from this shop. I do not own anything from Vivien of Holloway which is something I would love to correct. This dress immediately jumped out at me and is their 1940's dress in Meadow Navy. I love the detailing in the design down the side and it looks like it would give you a good nip in at the waist which is something that is very important to me. I find that I don't feel as attractive if my waist is all covered up and it avoids that dreaded granny vibe that I sometimes feel with wearing vintage. This dress is a bargain £49.00 at the moment.

The next item that my heart instantly desired as soon as I saw it was these lovely swing trousers in a smart brown herringbone tweed. So stylish and practical in the current weather we are experiencing. I find these look incredibly flattering and they don't look to have the masses of fabric in the leg which most swing trousers have. While I know the large amount of fabric is a part of the style I do find it gets a little flappy and annoying. Having a side closure on trousers is also very flattering to the old tum as the fabric skims right over instead of accentuating anything. These are are bargainous £35.00 of your English pounds!

Next I tootled over to Collectif and even though their sale started before Christmas and it was so popular that it crashed their site there was still a few items to peruse. My eye was caught by this, the charming Betty Lou polka dot chiffon dress, and as I am nautical theme mad I just had to have it in navy. It looks so floaty and light for summer wear so I may have to wait until the summer before I get to wear it. While the model seems to be wearing a white slip beneath I would probably experiment with a black one as this will make the dots pop out more without being too noticeable beneath. This was only £29.75.

Freddies of Pinewood has to be one of my all time favourite reproduction brands. I own two pairs of their jeans and they are such good quality. I could wear my 1940's work jeans all of the time which is why I suppose I was drawn to this lovely little 1940s work blouse. I just loved it in peach though it is not in the sales it is still only £35.00. It's compadre in ice blue is in the sale at £25.00.

I then popped over to Lady K Loves and it's crazy but I have never even looked at this site before. It's crazy because they have so many lovely clothes that look so stunning and flattering. Now I realise I seem to have gone for mainly 1940s things and I thought this Rodeo Queen Top would be just the thing to shake it up and end on a high note. The bright red, the stars, the fringing! All of it is just so much it's amazing. Can you imagine me marching down Lincoln high street in this? I can! And for only £11.00, you heard right folks, I could cry that this is not available in my size.

Anyway folks I hope you find something lovely to treat yourselves with this boxing day. Even if you're all spent out with Christmas there's some real bargains out there for nearly any purse. While I did buy one dress I had to be very strict with myself because of my New Year's Resolution, though it could be argued that it's not the New Year yet, hhmmm how very tempting!


Why I Wear Vintage

Dear Readers,
I must apologise for having not written to you for so long. I've recently been under a great deal of stress for a number of reasons and while I feel I have got much better at handling stress I also recognised that instead of sitting in front of a laptop on my evenings and weekends what I needed was to focus on myself for a little while; have bubble baths, get back to doing the things that bring me joy, and occasionally spend a few evenings on the sofa as a blubbering mess. It's good, gets it all out.

While I have been away I have not forgotten my little corner of the internet and so I wanted to get back into it by talking about something which has been on my mind for some time. I feel I must be honest with you now and come right out with it. I don't wear vintage all of the time. And before anyone points it out I am aware of the irony that this is a self titled vintage blog and yet here I am confessing that I don't wear vintage all of the time. But how interesting that language is! I feel I am "confessing" as if this is something which shouldn't be so, which is a crime. 

I wear vintage because I enjoy it, because I want to go against the modern "norms" of what women should, and shouldn't, be wearing but most of all I wear it because it makes me feel like "me". I feel comfortable in it and as though it is a window to my personality. In my opinion what I wear is a means to display my character but that character has many different interests, expressions, facets; if I were to wear only one thing or one style I would feel very one dimensional indeed. For example some days I enjoy wearing little flowery dresses with chunky black boots; I feel the juxtaposition is interesting and it's also downright practical and comfy. 

However sometimes when I don't wear vintage I get a strange reaction from some people. As if I am out of place or do not quite fit with what their mental image of me is and they do not like it. They say in disappointed tones "oh you're not wearing vintage today" and then I feel like I've let them down for some reason which I realise is crazy. I don't wear vintage to please other people I wear it to please me. After these little encounters I usually end up with "I'm not enough" thoughts which I find most unpleasant as I sit there looking on-line at vintage shops thinking "I'm not vintage enough, I need a whole new wardrobe". 

In my life I enjoy a great many influences on my likes and passions, including the clothes I wear. I wear my clothes as ever changing painting of the personality within, to show different parts of my character or depending on different moods I am in. I hope you all dear readers feel able to express your personalities in whatever outlet works best for you. And most of all I hope you do not experience the "I'm not enough" thoughts, they are pesky yet destructive creatures, and you most definitely are enough.


Just Me

Dear Readers,
The other day I was tagged by the lovely Jess over at Just That Girl Online who I met at Lincoln Bloggers Club the other week. It's called the Just Me tag and it's a nice way for you all to get to know a little more about me. So the first part is 25 facts about me which I don't know if I can manage because I'm really not that interesting but here goes!

1. I sing classical soprano in a choir. I absolutely love singing and sing all of the time. There's something about it that I find that gives me a boost and releases lots of stress. 
2. I have been with Indi for about 3 and a half years now but I met him when I was 16 (a decade ago eek!).
3. My name is Rowena but my Mum and Indi call me Beens; though I hate it when people call me Row. Unfortunately though a lot of people do call me Row because I feel the moment has passed in which I can say anything. 
4. I'm guessing it's already quite apparent but I love vintage; particularly the 1940's and 1950's. 
5. I am a strident feminist. 
6. I have a rabbit called Philip and if you follow me on instagram you will probably see many pictures of him. He's the most handsome rabbit I have ever met, but then I suppose all bunny mummies think that. 
7. I still have my childhood teddy. He is a lion called Brian and I won him on a tombola which was raising money for the Lincolnshire Lions. 
8. I love yoga but don't do it nearly enough.
9. I have never been to a gymnasium. And I never shall. 
10. I love Hallowe'en!
11. I love my body. Isn't that a crazy thought, to love our bodies, and yet so many of us don't and actually I feel quite vain for coming out and saying it. I feel that since I have started wearing vintage I have come to accept that my body doesn't really fit in with modern beauty standards but that's not my body's fault so I'm not going to punish it or hate it and you know what? Modern beauty standards don't fit in with my body!
12. I am a nerd. Particularly a Dr Who nerd. 
13. I swear a lot which people find a bit of a shock really. I think it's because they assume I'm going to be prim and proper based on the way I look but really I think swearing is good. It's expressive and I enjoy creative swears.
14. I drink tea, earl grey, hot.
15. I love Disney movies and once someone said I am a real life Disney princess. That was a great day. 
16. I really want to visit the Deep South one day. 
17. I started wearing vintage about 4 or 5 years ago.
18. When I started wearing vintage my biggest hero was Lola Lamour and I have now met her a few times.
19. I'm quite a daddy's girl; he's honestly the most hilarious person I have ever met. 
20. I love doing my hair in different styles and I think it's the one thing I get the most compliments on. 
21. My biggest guilty pleasure music-wise is 1980s music. Well actually I don't even think I feel guilty about it. I particularly love Kate Bush and Ultravox. Oh but also I enjoy metal music every now and again.
22. I don't like the Bake Off or the Sewing Bee and yet people always assume I must love both of those shows. In fact my favourite shows are Dr Who (obviously because I am a massive Whovian) and Gogglebox. 
23. I can't stand "shabby chic" and think it is better described as shabby vandalism. 
24. I enjoy sewing, or more accurately I enjoy the idea of sewing. 
25. I have an older sister, Jess, she lives in London and writes what not over at Two Thirds Nerd

Wow I made it, but trust me there was lots of tea consumed to get this far. But wait, there's more! I now have to answer some questions. 

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1. What is the meaning behind your blog name?
Well I pretty much chose it because I wanted people to instantly know that this was a blog about vintage and I'm based in Lincoln. 

2. Best thing that happened to you this year?
Indi proposed to me and after snatching the ring out of his fingers I said yes. I can't say any more otherwise it will get really saccharine and I don't want to inflict that on you, dear readers. 

3. Why do you blog?
I'm not totally sure really. I think I started because we go to so many vintage events throughout the year that I wanted to record them in a way but more lately I think I am going to blog as a way of keeping a diary of the things that make me happy.

4. What are you afraid of?
The UKIP party getting to power. 

5. One beauty product you would recommend to your readers?
I'm really not a beauty blogger and tend to stick quite rigidly to my same old routine. I guess the thing I love the most is distilled which hazel. It can be a bit strong if used neat on your skin but my skin is fine with it. I use it as a toner because it is an natural astringent but it's also great for cuts, bites, bruises, you name it! My friend once told me that I am like the Dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding only I'm obsessed with which hazel and he is obsessed with window-lean. 

So anyway folks I hope that was interesting or if it was boring that it lulled you into the most amazing sleep you have had for a long time. I am going to tag Miss BothaMr Wharff, and Nella to tell us some facts about themselves or answer the above questions.