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No point looking at life in the rearview mirror: part 1 of my dead mall series.

Published July 20, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
Bling current fashion lep print komono and skinny jeans 7-19-2016

Editorial correction: kimono. Bling! store in mall.

“I finally look human,” was my thrilled reply while examining the sale’s associate’s finished results.

I was nearly moved to tears. The friendly Dillard’s sales associate at the makeup counter said I had a very nice, fair complexion after I told her I thought my tattoos looked terrible and how embarrassed I am by them. And for the first time in twenty-three years I felt like I was fifteen all over again before I made the lifetime mistake of inking my skin.

I gazed in amazement at my arm. I was so blown away by how the estee lauder double wear foundation makeup is very good, if not terrific. I had ventured into Dillard’s to find some Derma-Blend makeup, but was told to try Sephora in another city. Traveling long distance is out of the question. I have seen Derma-Blend sold on Amazon and I might have to order some. And another helpful Dillard’s employee recommended I try applying some red makeup over my tattoos first to hide the blue tone, then finish off with the skin-tone makeup.

I left Dillard’s feeling a boost of hope for the inexpensive route of hiding my hideous tattoos. Those that don’t me would likely think, “What’s the big deal? Everybody pretty much sports tattoos nowadays. It’s fashionable.” I will have to disagree. I view my tattoos as being one of those lifetime regrets.

I wouldn’t say I was a trend-setter back in my 80’s generation, per se, and I’m sure I wasn’t the first to have inked her skin at sixteen. I did it much to my parent’s dismay and worry. I didn’t have very many good role models aside from my straight-laced typical 80s parents throughout my teens to look up to. My older sister was the first to get a tattoo on her arm when she was a teenager and it made a bold statement. Perhaps a part of me was highly impressionable although she strongly advised me not to get a tattoo because I’d later regret it. She turned out to be right about that. I do regret mine.

And the therapy sessions I had at sixteen (per my request), turned out to be a nightmare and it was through my [then] new therapist they told me how to get a tattoo as a way to “Rebel against your parents,” Up until this point at sixteen I never dreamed to do that and now regret putting my parents through a lot of unnecessary grief.

Should-have, would-haves and could-haves… like my college instructor told me three years ago, life is too short and we shouldn’t live in the past since we can’t change it. And they’re right about that. All we can do is move on and live life to its fullest.

Was I rebellious at sixteen? Well, if you constitute spoofing my parent’s rules in a comic book as a form of being out of hand, then no. I did push the envelope growing up, but did so through my unique, mismatched fashion. I was a trend-setter in that regard. I liked to make outdated fashion statements, but was quiet most of the time. I wasn’t very out-spoken at sixteen. I took out my emotions through drawing or I’d wear the heavy metal bracelets and pair those with the most gaudy 70’s bell bottoms I could find in thrift stores. I wore something very similar to platform boots (the originals straight out of the 70s) that zipped up mid-calf and I bought a second-hand 60’s fringe hippie vest that I just loved. So I clashed with my fashion statements. If that’s the only terrible thing [pre-tattoos] I could have ever done to rebel against my parents, then it’s laughable by today’s standards and hardly worth a mention.

But for that moment standing there in Dillard’s I got a little teary-eyed seeing my skin clear for the first time, and this was a real self-esteem booster for me. I felt alive again like I was no longer tied to that dark chapter of my long gone teenage years.  I was impressed how well the sale’s associate did trying to match the colors with my fair skin tone using only dark makeup they had on hand in the store. I was very pleased seeing no hideous tattoos covering my arm. I did all my tattoos at sixteen under the wrong advice of one very misguided adult therapist, by the way.

At sixteen I had erroneously believed that all therapists were well-trained in their chosen field and knew how to reach teenagers and help them find healthier alternatives, like say, for example, temporary tattoos that wash off with soap and water. Needless to say that wasn’t even an option nor did it ever come up in any of my one-on-one therapy sessions. And I was proven very wrong about my [then] teenage assumptions about therapists and it only further solidified my distrust of adults around me growing up.

And for a brief time I had my nose pierced as a teenager. This is, until my dad’s grandmother saw it and asked me to promptly remove it. It simply shocked her and my intentions weren’t to do that since body piercings were relatively a new trend that was taking a slow hold by around…oh, I’d say, 1993 or thereabouts. I see it didn’t catch on until around 20o8 or so.

My nose piercing didn’t last long, thankfully. But what I would like to address is the possibility of having a deviated septum (nasal cavity damage) as a result of nose piercings and the inability to fight off colds. Speaking for myself I tended to come down with colds often when I had my nose piercing. Oh, yeah, and there’s a good chance it could become infected no matter how well the piercing is kept clean, which is another good reason why I took it out and let my nose heal.

I was amazed I made it into adulthood. And nowadays I would love to re-capture the good parts of my teen years since not all of them started off bad. (And wouldn’t we all want to re-live our good moments?) 🙂

If you made it to adulthood without doing drugs consider yourself among the lucky ones that made the right decision to just say no. Other than having been a transfer student most of my teen years, and moving around a lot back in the day, the adjustments were always rough on me. New town, new clique of school kids. Oh and did I mention, a massively large student body population at each new school? Yep, and then come in the bullies though they made up the average annoyances I had to put up with at school, minus the private and religious schools where I had thrived.

Now bullies of my generation were more of the “I pick on everybody!” type. They didn’t exclude the popular kids. And the popular kids were these very stuck up, aloof teenagers that would move to another table in the cafeteria just to ignore the unpopular kids (yours truly included). I had never seen this strange new social pecking order in any of the private and religious schools I had attended. It happened quite a bit in the public school systems. And I found making friends and maintaining friendships nearly impossible for me since my family moved around quite a bit which means I’d lose contact eventually.

I didn’t come from a military family. But wherever there was better pay, nicer neighborhoods and a chance at a better education, that’s where my family would re-locate, and believe me, being a transfer student comes with large amounts of stress that I was unprepared to deal with at sixteen. I was in all sense of the word, ‘lost’. I came from a very nice, one classroom religious school where the older students tutored the younger students when the teacher was busy only to be thrust back into public school for the umpteenth time. Arrg!

Public schools never worked for me. I wasn’t delinquent as a juvenile. I wasn’t a trouble maker. I didn’t sass back to the teachers. I didn’t skip school. I didn’t cheat on my homework. I had mountains of homework that took me from five in the evening until five that next morning to finish. I ran on maybe one hour of sleep on any given weekday. My hair and makeup were slapped together and most mornings I’d leave the house on an empty stomach and take my vitamins without breakfast just so I could make it to the bus stop on time. I looked strung out because I was exhausted. There’s such a thing as overworking oneself and that’s what I did to in order to make the grade. I guzzled soda like coffee back then. I still ate lunch and dinner and I skateboarded for entertainment, too.

I was held back here and there a few grades. And as I became older and the school kids were younger than me and this created a lot of friction. I had a studious attitude that was often misinterpreted as having a small chip on my small shoulders, when in fact, I wasn’t. I had very little patients for my younger peers immaturity and sarcasm and I take life very seriously.

Yet when I was in the religious schools, my grades improved by leaps and bounds, and I’d like to hope, my nature was relaxed and laid back. I got along great with the religious kids, no problems there. I was in familiar surroundings in those religious schools, I’d say much like the mall with their outdated floors, interiors, stores—maybe not so much the merchandise and music stores are a thing of the past just about.

And my biggest addiction growing up as a teenager has always been music. It was whatever the music industry cranked out: heavy metal, thrash and speed metal like Metallica and Anthrax I simply loved. Surprisingly, I was never a fan of Guns n’ Roses (or ‘GnR’ for short back in my day) because I felt Axl Rose was mean to make his fans wait two hours before the concert began, and he threw adult temper tantrums and would storm off the stage mid-set. Although, I did find that two of their songs grew on me, “Civil War” which was popular on the radio in 1990. I especially related well to actress Anne Ramsey’s intro: “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate, and some men you just can’t reach.  So you get what we had here last week. Which is the way he wants it, well, he gets it. I don’t like this anymore than you do,”

And I liked the song “Used to love Her,” which my mother hated due to its questionable lyrics. It was actually about Axl’s dog. And neither me nor my older sister were allowed to have the Guns n’ Roses 1988 album Lies, Lies, Lies.I also liked two of [Glenn] Danzig’s songs: Twist of Cane and Mother. Those grew on me.

I did like two songs by Megadeth, “Symphony of Destruction” and “Hanger 18” which were popular on the radio in 1991. I didn’t discover Iron Maiden until I was fifteen and then stumbled upon their eary stuff which lead me to discover W.A.S.P. (another 80s heavy metal/ shock rock category band). I still have all of my original Iron Maiden and W.A.S.P. LP’s from the 1980s. And I was a huge Def Leppard fan, especially of their earlier stuff. Back in 1993 I never did find a copy of their 1982 song, “Me and my Wine”. I loved the video of this song so much and later was told it could be on their High and Dry album. Hey, that’s like, totally awesome, but which release? :/ The U.K. version or was it ever on the U.S. release? I have said LP and can’t find it. I managed to find it on youtube years later so that sufficed.

If it’s heavy metal, rock, hard rock, classic rock, 80s power ballads, then I enjoy it all pretty much and managed to find it on LP as well. And I also loved all those Ronco and K-Tel produced disco albums as a teenager. I have a few of them still. I didn’t buy into the “it’s the devil’s music,” that was strongly coming from the religious community back in the day and a lot of 80s parents were decrying the same thing, “It’s the devil’s music.” Yet, we’d have this tug-o-war power struggle going on: parents give a little, and their kids will take it a mile. And when we’ve reached this new millennium, our musicians are now veterans in their own right.

And growing up we weren’t joined at the hip with cell phones, texting devices, nor Facebook. I think that would have annoyed me as a teenager because I like actual in person chatting. As teenagers we hung out at the mall and made fun of the mall walkers. That’s something that’s a lost pastime; teenagers hanging out at the mall thanks in large part to those darn thug mobs that ruined it for this upcoming generation. Growing up cell phones (at least from what I remember them resembling) were likened to those satellite car phones that you might glimpse in a 70’s action movie and they looked like old-fashioned landline phones.

Any good deals on the sale racks? A few, but I mostly came for the purpose to price the makeup to cover my tattoos with. Old Navy has a large clearance section, but looks are deceiving. Their price differences aren’t much of a huge savings, but they do have some awesome wardrobe ideas. Now the skinny jeans and/ or jeggings I stumbled upon in Maurice’s and Bling! are way out of my league. I can’t justify these store’s prices. I believe from Maurice’s their jeggings were $34.99-42.00 for one pair. From Bling! a similar pair of distressed skinny jeans will cost around $42.00.

And they had a rayon leopard print kimono for $32.99. That’s an outrageous price I thought. It’s totally awesome on the mannequin in the store window, but looks like someone had just cut out a large bolt of fabric from Jo-Ann’s and draped it over the shoulders and didn’t bother to stitch it together correctly. Not complaining about the lack of shape or form of said kimono (shown in picture) because I realize they’re supposed to have a loose drape with that style, but it resembled an over-sized poncho in my eyes, and on me when I tried it on, I practically swam in it and it was a size small. It appeared to be one of those ‘one size fits all’ garments. I don’t believe I wasted the cell phone battery to snap a picture. I’m not much of a selfie person. What else did I see? I didn’t go to any other stores, but might pop into Books-a-Million and price their comic books. I still buy on occasion comic books. Superman was my favorite and so was Tales from the Crypt, which let’s face it, those were some creepy comics that were a throw back to the 1950s E.C.’s creepy comics that were re-issued in 1990. I had a whole stack of them and my parents threw them away because they felt like they were too graphic. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, sharing, tweeting, reading and commenting. I always appreciate it. Stay tuned for more dead mall series. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Modern Makeup part 3:

Published May 28, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

In my first two blogs I discussed the trends between Victorian and Edwardian era makeup and fashions. In this blog I’m going to focus on modern makeup and give some helpful hints that I used in the past in a pinch when money was extremely tight. This consisted of my [then] makeup:

1. Wet n’ Wild black eyeliner pencil. This was not only inexpensive back in the 80s/ early 90s, it was also standard for any girl to have. Unlike nowadays, Wet n’ Wild used to be made here in the US. Oh, and there was no black lipstick back then either. Wet n’ Wild did make black nail polish back in the day and to achieve that ‘black lipstick’ look melt down an eye liner pencil and apply it then use a little bit of dark colored eye shadow to set it. This won’t help the black eye liner last very long, but it did help with smudging. I wouldn’t recommend using this outdated method at all since burns on the lips could result and pose a problem.

2. Covergirl eye shadow (light/ medium blue). I still held onto my last eye shadow compact which was produced sometime in the early 90s. There wasn’t much selection for a fair-skinned gal such as myself and blue was the only color I’d buy/ use.

3. Avon lipstick samples. My mom at one time had an entire makeup bag full of these little freebie lipsticks. My favorites were “bandana red”, “salmon pink” (more of a pale pink) and peach colored. The lipsticks were itty bitty about the size of a nickel.

4. Covergirl powder compact. I didn’t know exactly what shade matched me best in these days, so I went with two options: a.) the least expensive powder compact and b.) the lightest shade which was ivory.

5. Mascara – whatever was cheap. There wasn’t a whole lot to chose from back then. Certainly there wasn’t any volumizing, thickening, or long lash formulas that I was aware of.

I used to buy my makeup at Osco Drug store (now defunct). It was kind of like a K-Mart store back in the 80s/90s. Nowadays, I shop at Dollar General for makeup or if there’s a dollar store, I would highly recommend going there where everything’s a dollar. Not to sound like a cheap skate, but when getting started, these stores can do in a pinch.

Why I never spend a boat load of money on the more expensive brands like MUD, Kat von D, Sephora, Urban Decay, etc.:

Why spend $65 for a single makeup brush from Sephora? Why spend $57 on one eye shadow pallet by Kat von D? Not trying to down these makeup manufacturers and I’m sure their products are far superior to the common drug store makeup, but to me its all about price. I may sound very cheap when opting for the less glamorous makeup (and likely doing myself more harm than good) since the less expensive products are *cheaply mass produced*, but Anywho, I believe you get more for your money.

I doubt there’s much difference when it comes to heavy metals, minerals, shimmers, glitters, mattes, colors, etc. A company might pledge not to use any harmful chemicals in the making of their cosmetics, but there are repeat offenders none the less. Just as if they go on to claim they don’t do any animal testing, but seeing that we (the consumer) aren’t there in person to see this, who’s to say. I’m sure I have a TON of makeup that was tested on animals, but I’d never know since I’m just a consumer. A package might state in teeny letters “not tested on animals” and “cruelty free makeup”, but its just a statement that might not hold any merit.

Then there’s the liquid foundations, and from what I’ve seen in the last year or so, a lot of them contain Titanium Dioxide which has been classified in Canada to be a possible carcinogen to humans. See here:

http://www.organicmakeup.ca/ca/titaniumdioxide.asp

I suspected that Titanium Dioxide was a certain heavy metal, likely that came from the ground and its very difficult to evade. It’s in everything from food, plastics, toothpaste, paint and so on and it’s a first that I’ve seen it turn up in liquid foundation. It’s also in a lot of sunscreens as well. It was nearly impossible for me to find a liquid foundation without Titanium Dioxide in it. But I had no choice. My selection was spf this and Titanium Dioxide that. Well, I don’t plan to turn into a sun-loving, beach-lounging, tanning type of woman anytime soon. In fact, when I can do so, I prefer to be a homebody. And when I go out, I don the sun block, a hat, pants or if its hot outside, leggings, t-shirt and shoes. I’m not an open-toed sandal or flip flop gal.

And again buying cheap doesn’t leave much room, if any, for finding a good quality sun block that doesn’t have harmful chemicals. I checked with the Environmental Watch Group before going on my search for a reasonable sun block and came up empty-handed.

And speaking of sun block and SPF’s, anything higher than 50 spf will increase sun burn and skin cancer like Melanoma, for example. I only found this out by happenstance when overhearing two women conversing about it in a check out line and one was a cosmetologist.

Also, I will be blogging about natural hair washes and how to keep your hair soft. I’m making a concerted effort to live as naturally and healthy as the Lord and my budget will allow and that includes eliminating common items such as toothpastes, shampoos and conditioners, deodorants that contain aluminum which can be absorbed through your skin, perfumes, or at the very least, limiting how much is used. In the cosmetic industry if it states “fragrance” on the bottle this is a red warning flag according to the Environmental Watch Group and this sneaky vague ingredient can contain anything potentially harmful.

Thanks for reading and keep checking back.

Victorian era beauty Vs. Nowadays: beauty, makeup, fashion Part 2:

Published May 27, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1

It’s no surprise that the throughout the Victorian and Edwardian eras fashions changed. And then it really changed by the Roaring Twenties. And through the Thirties, forties, and so on…
And what is there nowadays for women?

Beauty-wise we are hounded, and practically ‘shoved’ into buying beauty creams, toners, day cream/ night creams, Oil of this-and-that products, and even faced with generic knock-off versions of the expensive brands. And if you’re not ‘in the know’ then you’re seen as being in the dark and shamed to a degree.

And as the years went on we women are now becoming more aware of the hidden chemicals in these beauty lotions and makeup even sunscreens that can pose potential health risks after a long term use thanks to website: EWG (environmental watch group) that gives ratings and known chemicals and toxicity levels in beauty products.

Why then do we still rush out to buy that name brand of whatchamacallit?

Is it because that supermodel on TV is touting it as the ‘must have’ or to ‘die’ for product that will win you not one, but several boyfriends beating down your front door? Or it will promise to give you that age-defying look that men go crazy for and next day their begging you to marry them?

Or could it be just to sell their product and nothing else?

Our society is so obsessed with beauty and always has been. The only thing that hasn’t changed about it is most of these products do very little, if anything, to follow through on their false promises. Maybe even that wrinkle and age-defying serum that’s now in vogue won’t be a year from now and if it contains retinol, back off! This stuff can be harmful. It’s side effects are many! But the beauty industry doesn’t list any of these red flags on their products. And I did some research into this as well and found it here:

https://www.truthinaging.com/ingredients/retinol

That’s if you’re into reading about it.

So, what’s next for the beauty industry? And I don’t want to see where it’s all heading. I think I know.

For the past several months I did some comparison ‘window shopping’. And I even submersed myself in the current beauty and fashion trends as well. I’m not looking to buy anything I see that looks better on that Twiggy mannequin in the shop window than it would on me personally. And that skeletal plastic figure donning those skinny jeans? I do own two pairs but have to wear a belt with the… ahem, *hip huggers*. They’re not real jeans that come up to the waist and it’s no wonders I loathe hip hugging jeans. They’re just way too tight and don’t fit me properly.

And ya’ know, we had a very similar type of skinny jeans back in the late 80s/ early 90s and I feel it’s a rip-off of my generation.

Guess jeans might have come and gone with their ‘acid-washed’ look, but at least they still had plenty fabric in the crotch and behind that didn’t ‘ride’ up or feel like they were going to fall past your hips. And the leg area tapered at zipper ankles. Perhaps you might be way too young to even know what I’m talking about. Or maybe you do remember and are lucky enough to have a stash of door knocker earrings tucked away in your beloved jewelry box too.

Before I go too off track here, what do jeans of the 80s and skinny jeans of today have to do with skirts and bodices of bygone eras? Nothing, except pants weren’t readily worn by women until the 1940s. Until then, women continued to wear dresses, skirts, and blouses that seemed to fit their figures a lot better and covered more. Today’s fashion is sadly for a ‘one size fits all’ small younger society. Or the one size up that’s way TOO big and baggy or shrinks when you wash it. And nearly all of it is made in China made from inferior fabrics and bottom of the barrel cotton and polyester (recycled plastics, pretty much).

I’m not sorry but… ‘one size’ does not fit all.

What I loathe most is buying new clothes. I hate it more than walking out in midday heat with nothing more than a bottle of water on my person and a tiny backpack to go ‘find’ some second-hand clothes that will actually fit me properly.

I hate today’s fashion trends because there’s nothing left to the imagination. And long gone are shapes, styles and tailor-made for women of all sizes, statures (I add this in for all the short and petite women). And originality has been picked clean. In my eyes it’s now a hodgepodge of ‘Grunge’ aftermarket upchuck (no offense to the truly passionate of Seattle Grunge, I just couldn’t ‘get it’), paisley print 70s comebacks, 90’s ripped and shredded jeans and put into a huge blender, press the ‘grind’ button and pour out the contents.

If jeans were super ‘skinny’ back in the late 80s/ early 90s like they are now do you think my parents would have turned me loose at the mall with their hard-earned money to burn? Heck no!

Parents were a lot more strict and less compromising than they are nowadays. And the thin look I see a lot of people emulating is just unnatural. I say this because maybe the Lord made me in his image. I don’t have that athletic frame or toned abs or six pack. I don’t even have the ‘average’ online dating ‘ideal’ figure that men expect women should have (as a last resort).

And forget ‘supermodel’, I’m a far cry from that category and can’t compete anyway. I don’t even fall into the obese category. I’m naturally hour-glassed, but in no way ‘skinny’ by any stretch of the imagination (and no, I don’t reek havoc on my figure in a corset, thank god). I’m just that ‘regular’ woman that has trouble finding clothes that fit right without putting everything on display for the whole world to see.

And the beauty industry seems to be jumping on board and pushing off their cosmetics, beauty creams, lotions, perfumes, lipsticks, nail polishes and eye shadows that have questionable chemical ingredients, it makes me worried to even make myself beautiful for a single minute.

Sure corsets were damaging to a woman’s figure back in the day. It not only squeezed in the waist, but also pushed the organs out of alignment, gave a bend to the spine and thankfully the “S” form it produced was gone by 1910. However, women still had more years to endure in a corset. And by the Twenties, women were shedding those constrictive whale-boned contraptions completely.

And nowadays corsets are making a come back being (again) promoted as giving the modern woman that ‘supermodel’ appearance that will make her more sexy and enhance her figure. Although views are mixed and some think its disgusting and unnatural to see a twenty inch waist woman strolling around. Once upon a time, having a waist over 16 inches was considered ‘fat’ by Victorian and Edwardian standards.

Now fast forward to the fashion of today.

I find whats expected of a woman’s makeup and fashion to be unflattering and I must be honest about this. This is coming from a thirty-something woman. Even in my teens and twenties I would have found today’s fashion quite boring that severely lacks originality. Nowadays there seems to be only a few categories society expects women to depict: super model, Goth, EMO, punk, having our breasts and rears spilling out of short shorts and sheer v-necks comprised of thin distressed fabrics. And better pray you’re not uploaded to a “people of Walmart” 😦  segment.

Holy Mackerel I had a difficult time preventing my purple straps from taking center stage every time I took a step in a bright neon-green v-neck today. I see it all the time, women showing their bra straps under tanks, tees and what-have-you and that’s fine if they’re happy wearing that out in public.

And me? Nope. I don’t want or need the hassle today’s fashion is causing me. I constantly feel I must adjust my attire every five seconds in a distressed t-shirt that’s so sheer and too clingy that it makes me feel like I’m wearing next to nothing.

I also hate that t-shirts are now marketed toward provocative and that’s all fine and good so long as you’re an adult and don’t mind the attention it brings with it. And if you’re content dressing like that, to each their own, I always say.

But don’t they make regular t-shirts aimed at a more conservative group of women anymore? I begin to think not. I was literally surprised the shirt I donned today actually belonged to my grandma and it was something recent (not outdated or anything). Not even as a teenager would I have been caught dead or alive in a nearly see-thru v-neck shirt. Why? Because I had to sport that one ‘rock n’ roll’ t-shirt twenty-four hours a day. Not only that, it covered me—heck, I practically swam in that particular shirt. And it was black and went great with a pair of favorite pair of torn tapered-leg jeans or jean shorts. 🙂

Do I have to look like the ‘modern’ woman that’s depicted on TV nowadays? Thankfully no. I’m very thankful that I don’t have any disposable income to waste on Ugg boots, Louis Vuitton, Valentino (I doubt the late, great silent film lover, Rudolph Valentino had any stake in this whatsoever), etc. And I see Guess is still a leader in unattainable fashion just like it was marketed back in the 80s. And that’s awesome. Back then, I didn’t have parents that could buy me clothes off the rack at the Brass Buckle. I had parents with a more practical income.

I was thrift-shopping before it was in vogue. If you were a teenager caught dead in a thrift store picking over a used section of no-name brand jeans and shirts by your peers you would never hear the end of it in school. You would be the poster child that practically screamed “Welfare!” And why the two seemed to be confused with each other back then, I have no idea. It was once seen as the absolute embarrassment that followed you until the day you a.) dropped out of high school or b.) graduated. Either way, thrift store clothes shopping was the only thing when big box stores like Walmart weren’t found in every city. Sure, we had one of those too, but they didn’t sell much in way of ‘get me by’ clothes back in the day. Walmart (as I remember) was still much like a Ben Franklin’s and didn’t even have a grocery department yet.

So thrift store ‘hauls’ it was. I assume ‘haul’ means what you bring back home and finding some awesome stuff. We just called it bargains. We had paper bags stuffed with clothes, mostly second hand and not once did I ever turn up a pair of Guess jeans. Those acid-washed jeans just didn’t turn up and no teenager in their right mind would turn loose of a pair.

We had Chic jeans, Wranglers (yuck!) and Levi’s which would do, but they weren’t *expensive* enough to get you into the ‘popular’ cliques in school. Oh, and then, there were the preps. The smug-attitudes and I’m better than you are because I wear all name-brand clothing. My parents make a six figure salary and yours don’t… so, nanny-nanny boo-boo…. Give me a break. But that’s how it was back in these days. The more income your parents had to throw away, you were practically untouchable.

Heck, for a price, you could even have so-and-so do your home work for you. Pop quiz? No problem your rich parents could buy your way out of that and some of my peers actually bragged about how ‘smart’ they were being able to get whatever they wanted when they wanted… it was almost rock star status in Jr. high and so unfair… like, yeah… totally uncool. :/

And the fashion trends weren’t skinny jeans back in the 80s or early 90s. T-shirts were tucked into the waist band, then pulled slightly so it overlapped the waist band. Socks were scrunched and jean hems rolled and tucked. Shoes were always exclusively expensive high tops and Converse hi-tops weren’t even a running second… and they didn’t come in third or fourth… they were the very bottom of the social pecking order. The top name brand shoe of the late 80s/ early 90s Reebok, Air Jordans, etc.

And it comes back to haunt me even now years later. I’m totally outdated. I no longer sport the rock n’ roll t-shirts I was once proud to wear. Though I have stored a few original shirts away for safe keeping. As a teen, I tried to emulate a ‘preppy’ look, but really sucked at it. I was an imitator. The boys laughed at me and I was the butt of all their dumb blonde jokes. The girls sided with the boys—yeah, it was tough being a teenager and trying to ‘fit’ in anywhere in society.

Then again, I was never popular and was quite glad I didn’t have that careful image to maintain. I could just throw on whatever and be out the door ready to learn what again? Whatever mind-numbing, ass-backwards subjects public schools twisted around to fit their criteria. And no, I was not an honor roll student. I wasn’t even considered gifted in way of academics. I didn’t fall in with the nerds or geeks.

In these days we didn’t have a clique of Goths or EMO’s running a muck in the halls of Jr. high. We didn’t really have outcasts announce their arrival although I’m sure there were several of those. And the loners were you’re typical introverts that read magazines and books and listened to their Walkman cassette players full blast before and after school on the bus, and sometimes, they’d try to pay attention in class.

And even back then I might have blasted through my Aqua Net super hold hair spray like no tomorrow and donned nothing more than blue eye shadow, pink lipstick and maybe some black eye liner. I didn’t feel the pressing need to run out and stock up on this lipstick or frivolously blow a large amount of dough on a single eyeshadow pallet. Back then, I didn’t have access to makeup primers or setting spray and didn’t know they made them since I never saw them in the makeup departments. I used hair spray to set my makeup. I didn’t even know liquid eyeliner was invented and marketed until just this year.

Stay tuned… oh, and thanks for reading, as always. 🙂

Victorian era makeup part 1:

Published May 27, 2015 by AntiqueMystique1
Gibson Girl

Gibson Girl

How many makeup choices did our ancestors have? Practically zilch compared to nowadays. In this first part series I’m going to focus primarily on makeup and how the women of yesteryear achieved their beautiful elegant looks. I’m no fashion expert, let me start off by stating. Also, I don’t hold a degree in cosmetology or even as a hair stylist. In fact, my blog on the earliest inception of ‘makeup’ as a whole, and beauty regimens might bore you to tears. And then again, some of these beauty regimens might even come with considerable hidden dangers, that are thankfully, no longer used today. We have much worse hidden dangers.

The number one asset a Victorian or even Edwardian woman had at her disposal was—you might have guessed it; her natural beauty. Oh, sure there were beautifying products on the market to enhance the eyes (think in terms of Visine eye drops), only the ones I discovered could cause a woman to be blind.

What was such a big deal about putting these old-fashioned eye drops in the eyes? It was once seen a sign of physical attraction to have big pupils. And these eye drops could not only cause blindness as a result, but a large majority of the beauty industry in its infancy came without too much concern over health or safety. And sadly, the same still rings true in today’s beauty industry and products that over saturate the market with heavy metals, carcinogens, lead, and other toxicities the leaders in the beauty industry won’t tell their customers. Why? It’s bad for business.

Going back to that refined, over-decadent Victorian and Edwardian eras where women were corseted wasp-waist figures and expected to be mother, housekeeper, cook, maid, physician, seamstress and entertainer to guests. Oh, and she had to look her very best even if she was having one hell of day five days out of every month. Nope, playing the ‘hormone-enraged’ card wouldn’t get her a day to herself back in these times. Edwardian and Victorian women were supposed to grin and bear it.

Does that mean their mascara-smeared crying eyes on any given day was to be expected too?

They didn’t have mascara as we think of it. Again, going back to my great grandma (who had a wealth of makeup knowledge and some of her own makeup she hung onto from her Flapper days of the Roaring Twenties), she told me makeup was a lot simple and there wasn’t much of it. She also told me girls in her generation guarded their makeup like gold. It was at one time that scarce to purchase.

But how about in her mother’s day (my great, great grandmother’s)?

Looking over the family photos (Yes, I do have pictures of my ancestors and not too many great, great grandchildren in my generation can say they have pictures of theirs), my great, great grandmother relied on her natural beauty. The picture I’m thinking of was taken in 1907 when she and her husband arrived from Hungary. Even though the picture is black and white, its not difficult to tell she wasn’t wearing any makeup, if any at all.

So, what did they have/ use in the Victorian and Edwardian eras?

If anything (and this is if they were rich), they might have had a lilac-colored type of eye shadow and for their blush they would have pricked their finger and rubbed in some blood. No joke. That’s even how the lower classes of Victorian and Edwardian era women would apply blush before there were a billion trillion kinds that now boggle the mind. But makeup as we know it today, would have shocked and horrified our ancestors. Makeup was once regarded as a stage actor and prostitute thing—thus the very idea a Victorian and Edwardian woman would sink to their levels of depravity was frowned on at one time.

Okay little Miss “fashion” expert of bygone days, what else did the Victorian and/ or Edwardian era woman have at her disposal to make themselves more beautiful?

Other than their natural beauty, they were bombarded with all kinds of quackery products that sprung up. Often times, these did more harm than good and left behind a lot of empty promises to the consumer.

The Victorian and Edwardian look of the day was pale skin. No sun bathing or ‘golden-baked’ tans, either. And forget that trip to the tanning bed, that would have been a major ‘No-no!” The ‘fragile’ and dainty appearance was in vogue. Also, there was no lipstick, however, dyes could be bought and aimed more at the brunettes, but this was more centered around the makeup industry in the U.K. and not here in the U.S.

Cosmetics didn’t see their day until about the early Teens into the Roaring Twenties. My great grandmother explained to me they had eye liner/ mascara that was ‘brushed’ on. She told me the applicator brush resembled a miniature tooth brush and they would have to melt the mascara before they applied it.

Can you still get ready in fifteen-to-five minutes? Oh, wait, you still need to style your hair with a heating comb. No lie. They had heavy combs that they’d heat over a tiny gas-fed, open flame contraption that sat on a dresser. Now lets get even more complicated. Forget your twenty-five watt light bulb. Try styling your hair and applying makeup by the light of a kerosene lamp… yeah, it’s no brighter than a single candle and very hard on the eye sight over time.

Now say you’re in a rush—and I mean major get round and go—you’d still have to start the fire to cook your breakfast, and suppose your Victorian and/ or Edwardian husband was up at five and needed to be out the door by six? In these days, women very seldom, if ever, needed to work out of the home. Most tended to household routines and went to the market maybe once a week, at best. Sometimes they would have their food delivered to them and took out a line of credit.

Oh, and don’t forget about the ‘child’. If you weren’t rich enough to have maids or butlers, you’d be doing all this yourself. And your husband would likely be the demanding “Where’s my sausage and eggs and coffee?!” type of man. He would work to buy you the beautiful things you, as a woman back in these days, required. Being a woman had never been so tough and literally hard. It was even harder if you were a farmer’s wife and still had livestock that depended on you, hungry mouths to feed, and that of your husband as well. And with it all makeup evolved over the years.

By the Twenties, women began to have a choice (not many). They had one shade of lipstick which was ‘oxblood’, a very dark shade of burgundy, one shade of dark red nail polish, some face powder and blush. Poor women of the Twenties still relied on the old standby of pricking their fingers and apply a drop of their own blood to use in place of blush.

A Flapper was? Essentially a young woman who smoked, drank, danced, gambled, used profanity in speakeasies, (very unheard of for a woman back then), engaged in risky behaviors, congregated with the opposite sex. Flappers were like any young person and the original ‘Flaming Youths’ of their generation and really set the stage for future generations to follow and blaze a trail of their own unique individualism, expressionism, creativity, beauty all while daring to push the envelope.

Hairstyles of the Twenties were extremely different than the swept up Gibson girl. The Twenties had bobbed-looks (think of Louise Brooks, for example), and Finger wave hairstyles were all the rage. Eye shadow consisted of a dark green almost turquoise hue. Perfume manufactures were also a huge hit and wish I had some of my antique Atlantic Monthly magazines handy to reference back to exactly what brands of best-selling perfumes were back then. I don’t want to drive Channel No. 5 into the ground, although it was a unisex perfume and did get its start in the Twenties thanks to Coco Channel.

And long gone were the wasp-waist corsets. Flappers donned the first ‘bra’ that cinched in their bosom to reflect a more flat-chested ‘boyish’ figure. They wore their panty hose rolled down exposing their knees and donned Mary Jane heels. Their skirts were shortened (although not dramatic like today’s short skirts) and the dresses were made of crepe, almost sheer fabrics. Their mothers and grandmothers would have worn the stiff neck, leg-o-mutton sleeved bodices and long skirts with granny pointy toed boots. And cloche hats (bell-shaped) fit like a helmet, worn close above the eyebrows and covered the ears.

The styles and makeup were changing with the times, and as time marched on, so did makeup and the beauty industry, in general.