Category — Vintage Beauty

Dita Von Teese Shares Her Drugstore Beauty Faves


I’m cheap. There I said it. Ok, frugal we shall say. But I love quality. So when I read this article in which Burlesque Queen Dita Von Teese share her favorite drug store beauty products with, I was giddy with delight to see she shares some of my faves too! Why spend more when you can look like a pin up for less?

Here are some of our common likes:

1. Maybelline Color Sensational lipstick in Red Revival (645) – this is my GO TO evening lipstick. It’s the best red lipstick ever! Highly pigmented and true dark red. So creamy and yes the packaging is lovely.

2. Coty powder – I’ve been using this since I was a teenager. My mom made me use this when all my other girlfriends were using compact powder. Having grown up with acne herself, she never wanted me to put any extra gunk on my face. My complexion thanks her for it.

3. Cetaphil – yes, again a mom recommended product. Her dermatologist recommended it and I have such sensitive skin that it works well for me, especially during dry, cold weather when my face thinks water is an astringent.

And here are two of my own…

4. Jergens Facecream $4 – or as my mom calls it, the jar with the three faces. So old school and so moisturizing. I’m sure dermatologists will disagree, but it leaves my face buttery soft at night when I remove all my make up at night.


5. Agustin Reyes’ Royal Violets Cologne – so heavenly and naturally fragrant. I hate sweet scents. This cologne is less than $7 and smells like flowers. Clean and pretty.

royal violets


What about you? Do you have any drug store beauty secrets? Share below!

December 1, 2015   No Comments

Review: Loreal Sublime Mousse Hair Color

I hate coloring my own hair. I make a mess, it never comes out even or it comes out too dark. But when you have as much gray as me (thanks mom’s side of the family) it’s financially impossible to get to the salon every three weeks to see my stylist – especially at $60 a pop. That’s just color! He’s fantastic and his cuts look good forever. But I am doomed to color my own hair in between visits. I decided to give the mousse color kits a try. My friend told me she liked the Samy one, but Rite Aid did not carry it so I went for Loreal’s Sublime Mousse. I went for just plain old natural black – it’s close enough to my natural color. Dealing with roots when I have any other color is just too complicated.

My verdict: LOVED it!


  • The foam was easy to apply
  • One box was enough for my long hair
  • The color went on perfectly even
  • Got every single gray hair
  • Very little staining on my skin, none on scalp


  • Smells kind of strong – subsides after processing
  • Dried very quickly (25 mins.)
  • Flat color (normal for drugstore color)
  • Limited colors
  • Color doesn’t rinse out completely

I would definitely use this product again. I only wish I could mix my own colors and use the foaming bottle to create custom colors. I like a bit of violet in my dark brown for richness and my colorist does this beautifully. But if I am going to take coloring my hair into my own hands, I think foam is the way to go.

Some reviewers have reported dry hair after using this. Maybe they weren’t used ot the level of developer, which I am not sure what level this is. My hair was just as healthy as when I colored it. One thing I did do was wash my hair after processing. The box just says to rinse, but it didn’t specifically say I couldn’t wash it. Maybe this is why the reviewers’ hair felt dry. The color stayed on. it didn’t wash off because even after the second shampoo a few days later, I could still see color washing out in my shower. Overall, I loved the product. I will definitely use it again. Unless i decide to let the gray completely grow out! Dare me?

excuse the bed head

June 28, 2011   No Comments

Beauty Find – the Perfect Conditioner

biolagematrix.jpgEver since I cut my hair into a mod-Sassoon-esque bob, it’s been a constant battle trying to get it smooth and sleek. I have a weird wave – sometimes it shows up, sometimes it hides. I also have dry, frizzy hair due to years of styling, color treatments, and low thyroid issues. In other words, my hair is a mess!
After perusing looking for the answer to my prayers, I found Biolage by Matrix Ultra-Hydrating Conditioning Balm. I was already familiar with this line because I have used several of the shampoos and most recently was using the regular Hydrating Conditioning balm.
I am so glad I paid the $17.99 because I have never had such soft, shiny hair. This is a must buy. In fact, I didn’t even have to use a straightener on my hair. All I used, after washing and conditioning, was Sexy Hair Power Straight before blow drying, used a flat paddle brush, and I am good to go.
But be careful. As you know, more expensive products seem to go a long way with very little product. I had to cut down to half the amount I would normally use of a cheaper conditioner because I noticed I got a bit greasy after day 2. I don’t like to wash my hair every day because it is so dry.
I promise you’ll love it.

October 15, 2008   4 Comments

Talking Vintage Hair – Interview with Lauren Rennells

hairstyleimage.jpgDC: Tell us about your background in beauty and styling.

Growing up, I was always interested in fashion and beauty. I use to pose my Barbie dolls and take pictures of them. I thought I wanted to be a photographer, but realized after I got out of college that it was the styling part I enjoyed so much. Nothing is more fun than playing dress up.

How did the book come about?

I have always loved classic styles. And I wanted to copy those styles just as they did back then. But when I tried to find detailed descriptions of the hairstyles, there was very little available. Most of it was very vague and I am a visual person that needs detailed images for direction. I figured there had to be one book out there with detailed info and found out in a frustrating search that there wasn’t. There were many old books that bits and pieces could be drawn from. So I said to my friend sitting next to me one time during a web search, “When I figure this stuff out, I am going to write a book, so no one else has to go through this.” And so I did.
DC: It’s been a while since vintage fashionistas have had access to a vintage hairstyling guide. What do you feel makes your book unique?
LR: The most unique thing about it is that it is all brand new. Because all the images were taken for the book, I was able to show every step in great detail so that even the girl who has no experience can get it. It truly is the book I wish I had available to me when I first started.

In Vintage Hairstyling, you show vintage techniques with modern products and tools. Is it easier now to obtain a vintage hairstyle?
LR: Modern tools help get the feel of the style faster. But the style does not last for days like the wet sets of the past. The true vintage style made with pin-curls is not any easier with modern tools, but lasts for days if done right. The book is designed to show how to get the look with faster modern means and also shows how it was done back then. I tried to be as thorough as possible, so that no girl would be disappointed.
DC: In the book, you explain how to make a “rat”. Do you feel a natural rat is better than some of the synthetic ones sold at beauty supply stores? How about a foam roll?
LR: The biggest draw back to a foam rat for me is that it very hard to get a bobby pin to stick in it. With a natural rat, it is more like working with the natural hair and blends in better.

Which is your favorite decade for hairstyles? Why?

Overall, the 1940’s were the most fun for hairstyles in my opinion. Women grew out of the shorter styles that were so popular in the 20’s and early 30’s. Their longer hair provided for a lot more options. For the war effort and its restrictions on hair length women really got creative with ways to wear it up. But then at the same time, girls loved having the long curls for bouncing around on the dance floor. The 40’s provided so many options.

Which actress from the past had the best hair?

I don’t think I could ever pick one actress who had the best hair. They all had such amazing styles. But I can say that the actress who gets my vote for the greatest effort for beauty was Rita Hayworth. She was obviously stunning, but few people know that she was actually of Spanish heritage. Her hair was naturally black and her hairline was very low on her forehead. She appeared in a few films in very small parts as her true self Margarita Cansino, but the studio decided to change her image. Her hair was lightened and she had to go through very painful electrolysis to raise her hairline, so that she could play the part of the All-American girl.

Which vintage hairstyles do you recommend for work?

The biggest concern for work is easy. When you are getting ready, you do not want to spend forever on your hair. If you want to have this look on a daily basis, I would suggest wet setting your hair in pin-curls and not washing for a few days if you can handle it. Otherwise, any style that uses hot rollers is going to be easiest. The Pompadour Twirl or The Homemaker style from the book are fast. And with a little practice, you can get fun results that are different every day.

Reader Questions…

I have the ratting part down, but I never know how to get the tangles out when I am done. Should I just brush thru it, regardless of pain, or is there a better way.
If you are looking to smooth the top of the ratted part of the hair, then just use small, short strokes. And don’t stick the teeth of the comb down too far in the rat or you will comb the whole thing out. If you are trying to get rid of the rat at the end of the day, start comb it out at the ends of the hair detangling there first and working your way up the hair shafts towards the scalp.
I’ve been trying to reproduce a pincurl look with HotStix. Even with wrapping the ends and using a setting lotion–I can still never get the curls to lay into nice waves. It always seems to get into a bushy mess of tight curls that takes forever to start to relax. Do I need more setting lotion? Am I just not patient enough brushing it out? (I guess that is 2 questions!)
If you are getting the curl then you are using plenty of styling product. If you are trying to get a nice tight wave, then you need to be patient. And there is definitely a technique to brushing the hair using your fingers and the comb to form the hair into the wave. Just brushing without purpose will create a fluffy curl. You need to move the comb down the hair shaft in a wave pattern following the curl and use your fingers, hairspray, and pomades to hold the wave in place while you form it. A lot of girls have found the chapter of the book on the comb out very helpful. If you are trying to get a big wave like Dita, then the HotStix may just be too small. For a bigger sultry wave, try medium-large hot rollers.

What direction would you go if you were a woman that modeled vintage clothing of all eras. Is there a great basic vintage cut, or could there be such a thing? I figure the median year of what I sell is about 1962, and I sell items from Victorian to 80s. What is an adaptable cut in your estimation?

I would probably suggest a shoulder length cut or a little longer that is still long enough to do an up-do on. When you give yourself the freedom to pin your hair up, then there a lot more options. Then you can fake a lot of hair lengths. For me, the key to getting the look is copying the silhouette of the time period properly. If you want a flexible style, then you need to be able to do both long styles and pin it up to fake short styles.
What is the best way to keep your hair healthy when regularly wearing vintage dos? (My hair is especially prone to heat damage and breakage.)
A good conditioner is the most important thing you can do for your hair. It is the one thing that I suggest all girls splurge on. Go ahead and wear cheap make-up and use cheap hairspray, but spend money on conditioner and use a leave in conditioner and thermal styling product to protect your hair during styling. Joico K-Pac is my personal favorite line of conditioners right now and it is available in salons. Matrix Biolage makes a very nice thermal styler that is more hydrating then others. If your hair is breaking a lot, it is time to take good care of it.

I like 1950’s updos, though I can’t say I’ve ever really done one well. My problem is that my hair is very straight, so it’s hard for me to create the waves and volume I’d like to have. Is there anything I could do other than ratting it? I have enough length to try something interesting.

Try getting your hair towel wrapped damp and setting your hair with setting lotion and 1/2″ curlers. Let your hair dry completely on the rollers, either overnight or with a hood dryer. After you brush your hair out, the roller will give you better volume and a nice strong curl. There are many choices for curlers and my personal favorite are velcro rollers. Your local beauty supply will have many choices, but a word of caution ladies. There is a new type of curler out right now that is similar in that it grips the hair with teeth, but it also collapses for more comfortable sleep. Avoid these at all costs if you want to avoid cutting them out of your hair later. They grip way too much!
What do u think of widows peaks..I know plenty of people have them, but mine has always made me self conscious.
Widows peaks are amazing! It’s like having a heart at your hairline! Some of the most beautiful women in Hollywood had them. Ava Gardner, Barbara Stanwyck, and Marilyn Monroe all had them. But the best and most well defined belonged to Laurette Luez, an exotic beauty from Hawaii. Incorporate the peak into your style by styling it up in curly waves to soften.

July 30, 2008   2 Comments

Vintage Hairstyling – Participate and Win a Copy!

ritahayworthhair.jpgTuesday, I posted a review of the new hairstyling book that all the vintage fashionistas are buzzing about – Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells. It is a gorgeous book that will help even the teasing comb challenged get an authentic vintage do.
And I have two special announcements:
If you would like to ask hair and makeup artist and author of Vintage Hairstyling a question, leave a comment and she’ll be happy to answer it. Think of it – a free hair consultation!
And, one lucky winner will receive a brand-spankin new copy of the book (a $29.95) value. Here are the rules. Leave a comment and tell us your favorite hairstyle decade. The winner will be picked at random.
All comments need to be in by Sunday 5pm PST.
Good luck!

July 23, 2008   152 Comments

Vintage Hairstyling by Lauren Rennells – part 1

Flipping through a collector’s magazine, I came across a book that I wish had been around in my 20s when I painted the town in vintage – head to toe.
hairstyleimage.jpgVintage Hairstyling: Retro Styles with Modern Techniques by Lauren Rennells is filling a void left by Daniela Turudich’s now out of print series of vintage hairstyle books. Lauren is a hair and make-up artist who works in the photography and film industry. She freelances providing unique designs for advertisements, films and television. Her passion for vintage hairstyles led her to write her incredibly useful book.
From cover to cover, the book is full of beautiful photography of vintage hair styling tools such as pink dryers and jars of Lustre-Creme. But this book is not a fluffy, pretty art book full of hair related pictures. The book is more instructional without being boring.
The beginning of the book walks you step by step through the necessary tools you will need and basic curl techniques in order to create a true vintage hairstyle. Then, Rennells leads you into the techniques for combing out the curls. Finally, you get into the actual styling.
I’m a very visual person. I have to see someone do something in order to determine if I am doing it correctly. The step by step directions with accompanying images are the next best thing to having Lauren right next to you. The steps are clear and concise.
Of course looking at all of the gorgeous models in their gorgeous hair dos made me pine for long hair again. But Lauren does not let us shorties down. She includes many hairstyles that are specifically for shorter hair, such as the Page Boy and Tiki Lounge, and many of the other styles are made to give long hair a fake short look. Her book is so good, she can even show you how to get fake bangs.
In order to get a better education on how to recreate vintage hairstyles, you’d have to enroll in beauty school. Lauren Rennells has really brought hair from the past into the reach of the modern girl.
Stay tuned for a very exciting contest involving hair, reading, learning and winning. Enough hints for you?

July 22, 2008   1 Comment

Adventures in Vintage Hair

For about the last decade, I have donned some sort of long hair, blunt bangs combination. From the Bettie Page look to a Barbarella do, long hair and bangs have been my signature look. The problem is that the same can be said for most girls who are into vintage style.
I was desperate for a whole new sassy hairstyle, but still within appropriately stylish decades of the 20th century. I have been infatuated, and borderline obsessed with, anything 20s lately but I always gravitate towards mid-century looks. So I decided to compromise with a graduated bob. The shortness in the back gives me the liberating feel of a flapper bob while the steep angle is so mod.
louise brooks
vidal sassoon
When I explained to my stylist that I wanted something short but not Poshy, something chic but not matronly, she completely understood and took creative license.
Photo 6.jpg
Excuse the image quality — this was taken with PhotoBooth on my Mac in very poor lighting.
At first the drastic cut was jolting – over 5 inches is a lot of hair to lose in one sitting. But I am over the shock and eager to try different styles. I’ve already made an attempt at tight curls for a 20s-ish flapper look. Pin curls are next.
After over 10 years of comfortable and safe long hair, I feel like my new cut is an adventurous move and I am proud of myself for taking a step out of the comfort zone.
And speaking of vintage hair…
I have a very exciting interview coming up along with a special giveaway involving vintage hairstyles. More soon.

July 7, 2008   11 Comments

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