beauty in creating

Fashion, Makeup, Hair, Beauty, Occassional Madness

Screw You, American Bra Companies.

A while ago, I started doing research into bra sizing and how to find one that fit me better. I got my boobs done a few years ago and it really did not occur to me that bra fitting would be an issue, since I had only ever chosen bras to make me look like I had boobs, not because they fit. Well, it turns out Western bra sizing, much like all ready-to-wear, does not cater to different shapes. My current ribcage measurement is 28, and my bust measurement is 37. The closet size I measure for in Western sizing is a 32 DD, but the cups often don’t fit, the band is loose, and my back hurts frequently. But after bumming around the internet, I ran across this adorable girl Brittany’s blog, Thin and Curvy. She has this problem, albeit by natural means, and decided to write a wonderfully informative blog about it. She has a very different measurement system, one which makes much more sense to me. She also has a lot to say about the standardizing of bra sizes, which everyone is shuffled whether they actually fit into those sizes or not. But the best thing of all is, she reviews and provides links for European bra companies that make bras in a larger selection of sizes. Using her measuring guide and recommendations, I ordered a few bras by Freya off of Ebay, for some very nice prices. ( like 13 to 20 bucks prices!) I ordered size 28 FF – my first one arrived today and yep, it fits great. No gapping at the center, it lies flat against my ribcage. The underwire fits all the way around and the band is a perfect close fit. And, its PRETTY!! It is the Nancy model.  Here is what it looks like: (not me in this pic 😉

So yeah, I’m pretty happy. I’m never going to settle for American fit bras again, and I won’t have to spend a ton of money to do it either.


Vintage Look For A Spring Day, Plus Crinoline Score

See how cute I look today? I made myself a new skirt yesterday. I wore this out today to spend the morning with my son at school and have a casual dinner with a friend. It was a very successful run, made even better by the fact that I had a crinoline for it. Because I really think that to rock a cute vintage skirt, a crinoline makes a big difference in the silhouette, even a less poofy one like the one I have on. The skirt just falls too flat without it. And I almost didn’t have one for today. I was musing over my flat skirt and distastefully contemplating the need to sew up some crinolines asap, (I really dislike sewing with tulle, too fiddly and fussy) when I remembered that along with the free wedding dress I got off of Craigslist a while back, came a big old box of old crinolines.

I pulled them out and looked them over – there was actually one tea length one, so my dress was saved! And, it totally fit!

These crins were all from the 70’s I think, along with the wedding dress. There were 4 that fit me, 3 evening length and the one tea length. There were a few more that were much too big, so I tossed them. But the rest are in good shape, they just need a bit of a rinse and shake out.

They also have names hand written in them on tapes. Miss Pauline O’Dell has two. Part of the charm of anything used or vintage is the connection to the past.

I think I will keep the tea length one as is, and one long one, and modify the other two for shorter dresses. I really want to add some tulle to them to make them poofier and also more colorful, like this one. Sewing on a few extra tulle tiers is much more appealing than making several whole crins from it.

I am really getting some good use out of that free wedding dress! I couldn’t be happier, I get to recycle and also have new crins that I don’t have to sew. That is hours of work that I can save to make pretty skirts and dresses instead! Happy day!


Blouse Pattern Fail… I’m Gonna Have To Go Vintage

So, since I decided to make all my own clothes from now on, I went through my pattern library to see what all I have to start building a wardrobe with. I have a decent number of dresses, jackets and a few slacks that I like. I can make skirts by adapting dress patterns, which is great because I love skirts. I tend to favor vintage styles from the late 40’s thru the early 60’s, which is fantastic because those silhouettes work well for my figure. I am not really a fan of trashy or tacky commercialized retro styling, for me the appeal lies in the charming and old fashioned detailing and authentic styles, rather than excessive gingham and cherry print everything. Women of the day often made their own clothing and there was much more variety in style than I think many people today realize.

Check out how fabulous she is!

Anywhoo, what I did notice is I am lacking in blouses. Since I am not going to buy any more cheap knits that don’t fit well, I better make myself some to go with my lovely skirt collection I have planned. I did a quick review of the major pattern retailer’s websites to see what they had going on… thinking I could jot down a few styles I like and go pick them up at the local Joanne’s. The have frequent pattern sales where you can pick them up for a few bucks each.

However, much to my dismay, there is a sad lack of cute blouse patterns! For ANY of the companies! I looked at Butterick, McCalls, Simplicity, and Vogue. And I was… underwhelmed. The selection was kinda lame. Vogue has the best… but I kinda hate all the styles! Everything is either a knit or baggy. Except the button up shirts, and I don’t wear those, ever. And this thing.

Sorry, Butterick.

I kinda hate this. B5524... in it's defense, It's only $1.88 on the site.

I guess it wasn’t HORRIBLE, and lots of people would find some of the styles appealing. But I saw nothing for me. I guess I’m gonna go vintage and hit up Ebay for some cute vintage shirt styles like these. Thank god for the internets!

Dealing With Growing Out My Hair

This is basically how I feel about my hair 1/2 the time. This hair you see here is my current, as of today hair… and let me assure you, for me, this is long. For the past 6 or 7 years, I have had my hair in various supershort pixie, fauxhawk, and partially shaved styles. I really want to grow it out, and the scissors are a hard, hard habit to kick. I feel like a drug addict sometimes. I have been growing my hair for about 6 months now, from the shaved on the sides do I was sporting during Burning Man. Allow me to give you a little overview of what I started with and the past 6 months:

Copyright Ryan Laurita, 2011

This is about what it looked like right after Burning Man. It went through a couple color variations, which fried it. I chopped off the top and bleached it all blond… and then decided I wanted to go black. I switched it to dark brown right after that, then after only 2 months, I stripped/bleached it and dyed it bright red. After only about a month, I abandoned the red and dyed it back to black. Here is a brief overview:

Now let me tell you, my hair has had a 2 month rotation of color change for the last few years. It has been every bright color except orange and green, with variations of mixtures/streaks of that, as well as every shade of “natural” colors under the sun too, from white blond to blue black. So this is actually a pretty good run for me. I have to say though, I consider myself to have fallen off the growing-out-my-hair wagon with the dying. I have sworn off it – for good. The red hair was fun and pretty, but it did fry my hair. I have trimmed it 3 times in the last 6 months, with my current shortie short bangs being the most recent. Kinda regret that, but it is helping to watch them grow slowly. It gives me a sense of accomplishment. So does being able to make teeny ponytails, and have my hair actually blow around in the wind. And the sides actually cover my ears when I don’t tuck it back! I CAN TUCK MY HAIR BEHIND MY EARS!!!

Just to let you know, before I chopped my hair, it was waist length and beautiful. I have really thick, long hair. Here is me in a wig that matches what it looks like long and my natural color:

So that is my goal. Nice, huh? In my weak moments when I see a girl with a really cute pixie do’, I cruise the internet reading commiserating stories on blogs and threads of other girls growing out their hair. It actually really helps! And I have absorbed all the advice about buying cute hats, hairbands, clips and whatnot. I usually don’t wear hair bands, but lately my hair is at a super cute length to wear with them. I figured out how to make my own to accessorize my outfits. I made a tutorial for the one I am wearing here… quick and easy.

Anyways, it is a long, hard road. I have given myself the goal of July before my next trim… my hair should be grown out about 2 inches by then. Sigh! My eye is on the prize though… long, healthy natural hair. Man, is it gonna be awesome. If anyone has any hair-growing woes, stories or encouragement, I would *love* to hear them.

To Heck With This, I’m Making All My Own Clothes From Now On

So, I’ve come to a revelation. Allow me to elaborate – for the past two years I have been pretty unhappy with my wardrobe. I just couldn’t put my finger on it… I have always loved clothes and fashion and it isn’t hard for me to create a cute outfit. I usually have tons of cute clothes in my closet. I figured it out, however… it is a combination of things. First, I got my boobs done a few years ago. I’m not even gonna go into an explanation of my motivations for that, because well, it’s my business. But the point is, I have been shopping for my old body all this time. I used to wear just any old thing, because everything off the rack fit so it was never an issue. But I realized… now I have an hourglass figure… and some styles just don’t flatter that! Wierd…. but anyways, I also have very un-commercial friendly measurements now. I measure 37-25-37, and well…. most manufactured clothing doesn’t fit. If it fits in the waist, it doesn’t fit in the hips and bust. Also, I’m tall, and smaller clothes are sized in the waist and shoulders for shorter women. Compounding this, I’m cheap and I like to thrift and get things on sale… I am not going to go out and buy a lot of expensive things. And on top of all this, my style has changed. I don’t want to shop in the juniors section and wear jeans and knits… I want to wear grown up, glamorous vintage clothing.

So I made a big decision. I am not going to buy clothes anymore. I am going to make everything. I am a pretty good seamstress, and whatever I don’t know how to make, I will learn. I can work up to a wardrobe of all custom fit, one of a kind clothes that I love, not that I own because it was 5 bucks and fits part of me.

Here is my first new wardrobe addition… a dress I made for myself. Cute! My husband loves it and it actually fits well and is flattering. I adjusted the bodice to fit, so it is flattering and sexy but not overt. I feel like I could wear it to visit my son at school.

My dog has to guard me at all times, just in case. He is so funny! Next up, a few more dresses. Then I want to make some sailor pants and figure out some blouses.

Falsies and Foundation Upgrade

The post I really want to write is on hold right now, since I haven’t gotten the pics back from the photographer yet. But I figured I would share my makeup happy for today. I finally graduated from drugstore foundation to MAC foundation. Not that drugstore stuff hasn’t been good to me, I have been using it pretty successfully for the last 15 years or so. However, I have some serious persistent dark under eye circles that I have been struggling with, and no drugstore concealer has been able to handle them. Also, I want perfect, smooth, porcelain skin just like Dita Von Teese. I want skin that looks like it’s been ‘shopped IRL. Or the next best thing. Soooo, after reading a bunch of online reviews, I decided to bite the bullet and buy MAC products. Normally I am too cheap to spring for higher end brands, but sometimes you have to get the good stuff. Anywhoo, I settled on trying the Studio Fix foundation after some online researching, and I figured I would find a concealer to match when I visited the makeup counter.

I drove to the local Macy’s and asked the girl at the service desk where the MAC counter was located. She replied, “I’m sorry? I don’t know what that is, I’m new here.” Whaaaat?!? Who the blazes doesn’t know what MAC is? And why did they put this poor girl at the service desk? Anyhoo, I clarified that I was looking for makeup and she directed me upstairs. I got the Studio Fix Fluid I wanted in NW18, and then tried out some concealers. But I didn’t like any of them the girl showed me. She finally hesitantly showed me the Studio Sculpt Concealer, but told me ” It’s really heavy duty… like for covering tattoos.” Yes! That is what I wanted. I want a tattoo concealing level of coverage for my face. LOL! Actually, I have really good skin. I just really like it to be PERFECT. Anyways, now I am set up and I have to say, I freakin LOOOOVE this stuff. Look at that pic! Perfect. That was natural light. Fabulous.

Now for the falsies that I just got.

These are what I grabbed today offhand at Target… Ardell Duralash Starter Kit. I love false eyelashes but man are they a pain. And I consider myself a makeup toughie. My eyes are short so I always have to trim them. The glue is goopy and yucky. They always seem to want to pull off at the ends… maybe I have a wierd eye shape? But I love the look of them. I like to look dramatic and made up all the time. So I saw these and for 10 bucks, thought I would give them a try. It says they last a few weeks, which I am skeptical about. But I usually wash and reuse my lashes a few times so even if they don’t, there is enough to last me forever. But the idea of individual lashes instead of on a strip is intriguing. Below is what my lashes look like with nothing on them:

I glued the individual lashes on as per the instructions, using one set of longs for the outer corner, 3 mediums for the arch over my eye, and one short towards the inside. I stopped just over halfway because I like an elongated eye shape and I don’t like more lashes at the inside corner of my eye. They were easy enough for me to glue on, I placed them at the base of my natural lashes, just at where they meet my eyelid. I didn’t use the tweezers they recommend, it is easier for me to use my fingers.

Here is what they look like on, but with no mascara over. I have to say, they look super natural. My husband had no idea what I was talking about when I asked him his opinion.


But natural is boring, so I coated them with my current favorite mascara, Maybelline Lash Stiletto. Yes! That’s what I want. Huge, dramatic lashes. Looks-wise, I love these things. I read some reviews online from girls who said the weight bugged them, but I don’t even notice it. I am pretty used to wearing a lot of eye stuff. We will see how well they stay put through me washing my face and sleeping on them.

They look way more natural than strip lashes when I close my eyes, but just as dramatic! Sweet.

Glorious perfect skin and dramatic eyelashes, happy Rachel is happy!

Cute Ruffle Skirt, Disney Inspired Makeup

I thought it would be fun to post my makeup and outfit of the day. I love! dressing up and putting on makeup, but some times I feel like it is hard to justify doing it every day. Then I realized that I can just do it because I want to, whatever the reason. Life is short. To me, it’s creative and artistic, just like doing a drawing. This blog should be a fun platform to show it off and try new things. Like my makeup today! I was poking around Youtube, looking at the makeup tuts to see if it was something I could do in the future, and I came across this awesome girl Cora’s makeup channel. She has a TON of awesome makeup tuts, but my favorite EVAR is her Disney Rapunzel inspired tutorial.

Also cool, this was right before I switched my blog over to WordPress, and low and behold, she has a blog on here too – Vintageortacky.I really like her makeup tuts, she is super cute and does really fun makeup styles. Also, she changes her hair all the time. Just like meeeeee! XD

Inspired by Vintageortacky's Rapunzel tutorial.

I used her tutorial to do my makeup today. I used some different colors, and my crown points aren’t as defined as hers but I loooove it! So pretty and different.

I love artistic and expressive makeup. It’s like art for your face!

It was the perfect makeup to match the cute punky little skirt I made yesterday. I made it out of a ankle length maxi skirt, super quick and easy. It took about 45 minutes. I have made a few of these skirts out of junk store finds and it is a fun and easy way to make a unique, one of a kind skirt. I think they are slightly costumey, which is great for me. I want to feel like I *could* be living in a fairy tale. I made a tutorial for how to make a skirt like this here!

See how cute! It is all ruffles in the back, like a modern bustle skirt. Purple leggings,slouchy boots, and my little black biker jacket are the rest of the outfit, because it is COLD as heck in Denver today!!! Typical early spring, it was glorious enough to leave the back door open yesterday, but 30 degrees today.

My Crazy, Japanese Inspired SteamPunk-Baroque Nail Set

Go ridiculous or go home.

So, this here blog is intended to be the fashion/beauty sister to my main blog, which is all about the various things I make. My first blog is more of a heavy duty tutorial blog that encompasses all of my artistic pursuits. However, I also have a deep and abiding interest in fashion, makeup, hair and beauty… and although I do “make” lots of things that relate to that, the content didn’t seem to fit in there. So, here we go… my first post will show you just what kind of blog this is. I give you insane, Japanese nail art. I have been totally enthralled with the (apparent) trend of having huge chunks of stuff and jewels glued all over fake nails. It’s so… over the top. Sometimes my clothing can ride the fine line between fashion and costume…. but although I love these, I can’t imagine wearing them all the time. The set I made is removable and reusable, for costumes and photo shoots. I love the fantasy-elegance of them… like elaborate jewelry for your fingertips. I will probably wear these with steam punk, gothic and other fantasy type ensembles. I intend to wear them out to a photo shoot next weekend, as a matter of fact… pics will ensue. I didn’t make a proper tutorial, since this sort of thing is sort of one of a kind, but I did take some pictures of the process.And, I made a Youtube video to show them in motion! It is my second ever video, the first one I edited all by myself. ^_^

See how messy I made my computer desk?

First, I painted all the nails grey. I amassed a large selection of gems, stickers, random doodads, little metal bits, feathers, ect. I made each nail one by one, and one hand at a time. I laid them side by side as I went along to make sure they meshed nicely together. I strung chains between the third and fourth finger on each hand, connecting those fingers. To do this, I heated up a pin and pierced the nail carefully, and then used jewelry connectors and fine chain. I used a mix of superglue and craft glue to attach everything. The nails can be worn temporarily by putting a teeny dot of nail glue in the center of each nail… this is enough to hold them to your natural nail, but they are then easy to peel off carefully. They are certainly not something to wear if you want to do anything…. I needed help to do everything. But I think they make a fantastic visual. They remind me of something that would be worn by a society in some sort of fantasy world.

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