Friday, September 30, 2011

Extra! Extra! Jitterbuggin on the Front Page of Lindy Shopper!

The Lindy Shopper, a fabulous shopping guide for the swing dance and vintage enthusiast, posted a lovely review of Jitterbuggin's pinafore and blouse sets. Check it out here, and be sure to snap up a set in your favorite color before they sell out!


Amanda Lee

Monday, September 26, 2011

Makeup Mondays—The End of the Cold Cream Era

Some time ago I posted about my favorite beauty secrets, which included the generic version of the vintage favorite Ponds cold cream. Alas, the urge to wander off in search of bigger and better and more magical things struck once again, and so over the last few months I tried a number of cleansers that all promised to work miracles. My skin, of course, reacted by going a bit haywire. Eventually my logical side spoke to my frivolous side and said “Hey! Why are you trying to fix something that wasn’t broken?” And off I went to pick up a new jar of my beloved favorite.

Except something was different this time—very different, in fact. I didn’t think to check the ingredient label; aside from my recent skincare shopping spree I’d been happily purchasing generic tubs of cold cream for ages. It did seem like the texture was a touch different and the fragrance a little off, but I honestly didn’t give much thought to either of these things. But oh, within days my skin was a red, irritated, broken out mess. I didn’t immediately clue into the culprit, instead chalking up the reaction to some recent stresses. But one morning I decided to read the label on the jar—and was horrified to see that the generic version now included a myriad of unfamiliar ingredients. I promptly threw out my jar and headed off to the drugstore.

This brings me to my review of the week for Albolene Moisturizing Cleanser, an utterly amazing product. In fact, I think it trumps even the original cold cream formula! I wish I’d thought to try it sooner, as it really is a treat to use. In the jar it resembles Vaseline, but once you scoop up a glob, the heat from your skin liquefies the product. I massage it into my skin for a minute or two before removing it—and every last bit of makeup and dirt along with it—with a warm washcloth. I find Albolene to feel very soothing, and it actually does a better job of removing makeup, especially stubborn mascara. It leaves my skin feeling very soft and moisturized, so much so that I could skip a separate moisturizer if I chose to. The ingredient list is nice and simple as well—mineral oil, petrolatum, paraffin, ceresin, beta carotene—and it’s fragrance free as well (another big plus for the sensitive skinned.) The price is quite reasonable too; around $11 for a huge tub.

After a month of using Albolene I’ve become a complete convert, and this time I won’t be straying again!

Amanda Lee

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jitterbuggin Goes to the Beach

Though summer is winding down, here in the desert the weather's still mighty hot! In fact, I think it will be playsuit season for a few weeks yet--but that's fine by me when the playsuit is Jitterbuggin's amazing Manzanita style! This cutie has the forties details we all love best--a fabulous shirred top (all the better to enhance your assets), flattering tie bottoms, and a snappy cotton fabric in bright and gold stripes. I have to say it was quite the hit at the park where Atomic Age Pictures and I shot these photos on Sunday--I think this one will be a must-have item come spring and summer!


Amanda Lee

Monday, September 19, 2011

Makeup Mondays--Creating Glamour with Pan-Cake Makeup

I think it’s fair time for another review here on Makeup Mondays, so today I’d like to talk about a very retro makeup—the cake foundation. We’ve all heard of Max Factor’s Pan-Cake Makeup, the very first of its kind and the first foundation to crossover from the film market into the real world.

It was created in 1937 as an answer to the problem the previously used makeups presented when color film came into play—though fine for black and white film, they were garish and harsh in Technicolor. In fact, these products took on whatever color the actor was wearing—green, red, blue—as the makeup reflected whatever was near it. Max Factor’s glorious invention, a dry cake applied with a moistened sponge—looked wonderful natural and realistic, both on screen and off, and was an instant hit. And so, despite a name that conjures up images of thickly applied, garish makeup (the name merely described the form the product came in—a cake in a pan), we had a foundation that provided a lovely, natural coverage, and was comfortable to wear to boot!
Sadly, Max Factor is no longer sold in the US; I had never really used their foundations, as I couldn’t find a color match, but several years ago I did test drive it for a short stint and found it to be a lovely product. Luckily, water-activated cake makeup is still made by a number of “pro” brands, including Ben Nye and Kryolan. Being that these products are designed for use by professionals, the color ranges for both are quite immense—truly, there will be a match for everyone in either line!

I use the first product, Ben Nye Color Cake, in the shade Bisque. Though appearing quite dark and yellow in the pan, when applied it is actually a soft cream shade (a cool, pink-based alternate shade would be Geisha). It provides wonderful coverage, is very long wearing, and dries to a smooth, matte finish—a very vintage look, in fact. I also find it to be a very comfortable product to wear, especially with oilier skin and on hot days—this is one product that doesn’t feel heavy and greasy (a horrid feeling, especially when you know your makeup is sliding off your face as you walk from your car to the office in the hot summer sun.) The color chart is reasonably straightforward as well—the skintone shades are arranged from lightest to darkest—though it is best if you can test this product out in person. Just remember that the shade will appear quite a bit darker in the pan than it will on your skin, so don’t go too light!

The second product in my kit is Kryolan’s Cake Make-up, a nearly identical product to Ben Nye’s. I find Kryolan’s offering to be a bit creamier and moister feeling on the skin (though again, it dries to a soft matte finish), and it also is fragranced with a very vintage, powdery scent. Though I find the fragrance to be very mild, more sensitive noses may not like it. Kryolan’s color chart leaves much to be desired as well; the numbered shades are not neatly ordered from light to dark, and it’s quite confusing to order this one online. My original choice was TV White—a perfect match for me in the TV Paintstick, but in the cake makeup the shade is exactly as the name describes: a bright, faintly pink-tinged white--not at all a natural skin tone! I then ordered the shade Natural 1, figuring it would be a yellow-toned soft beige. My guess was right on the money, though unfortunately it’s about a shade too dark for me. At any rate, it is possible to mix the shades to adjust the color (though of course, the process isn’t as convenient as it would be to mix to liquid products. Ah well, sometimes a little extra effort is worth it!)

Now, on to application: one applies cake makeup with a dampened sponge (a hydra sponge or sea sponge work well, though a foam foundation wedge or disk will do the trick too.) Simply moisten the sponge, squeeze out the excess liquid, and then swirl it in pan. Then, apply it to your face using a light stippling motion, following by buffing in the foundation with a dry sponge. This gives the skin a lovely airbrushed quality; you can also finish with a very light dusting of loose powder to further set the makeup.

Well, there you have it—a very thorough review on cake makeup! Both the Ben Nye and Kryolan makeups are under $10, and a pan will last approximately forever, so both are an excellent investment if you can find a color match and master application!

Amanda Lee

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How to Use Your Ration Coupons

As promised, here is my latest collaboration with Atomic Age Pictures, featuring the fabulous designs of Jitterbuggin! I hope you enjoy this little "how-to" video, I think Kim's designs (the Nicolai Blouse, Hawthorne Pinafore, and Manzanita Bathing Suit) were the icing on the cake. Be sure to stop by Kim's site and check out her creations--I think you'll see quite a few must-have items!

Amanda Lee

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Fashion Spotlight--Jitterbuggin Style

I recently had the opportunity to model for the fabulous designer Jitterbuggin, and what an honor it was to wear her designs! Jitterbuggin is known for her lovely 30s and 40s looks, and she's done a fantastic job capturing the feel of these eras. In these shots I'm wearing her Hawthorne pinafore in Shamrock Green, paired with the Nicolai blouse in a green and white floral feedsack print trimmed in crisp white pique. The outfit made me feel like I was starring in a WWII-era country girl film!

Stay tuned for our next project with Jitterbuggin--there'll be lots more photos, and a special film too!


Amanda Lee