The Bésame Cosmetics Series: A 1940s Makeover

fullsizeoutput_e7a.jpeg

It’s been almost a YEAR since my first Bésame Cosmetics video where I made my little sister over in a classic 1950s style (head here to catch the video), so I figured, it’s about time to post the next one! If you follow me and have (somehow) escaped my love for the brand and don’t know anything about them, Bésame Cosmetics is a makeup company that specializes in recreating vintage formulas and colors from the 1920s-1970s. As a vintage lover, this is obviously something that appeals to me greatly. There’s nothing like applying cake mascara or cream rouge in front of your 1940s vanity to make a morning routine feel…right.

Since I wanted to use a variety of models for this series, I had my best friend sit for me for this one. For her heavy, stick straight hair, I opted for a new setting pattern from one of my 1940s hair styling books (which worked more or less successfully – more on this later), and then sat her down to do her up!

Here are some tips and tricks to help get the 1940s looks:

  1. Rule number one is there was no one way to do things. The tips mentioned below are simply 1940s-specific suggestions I’ve found through research (old commercials, magazines, etc.) that are a bit more unique.
  2. Choose a foundation a half a shade darker than what you would normally go with.
  3. Contouring WAS a thing! At least for the more glamorous. So take that darker shade and accentuate your jawline, cheeks, and nose all you want.
  4. Apply blush in three dots before blending out – under the pupil, by the cheekbone, and lower on the cheek. This results in the most universally flattering method, but there are also plenty of 1940s blush application diagrams showing different ways to apply based on face shape.
  5. Use plenty of powder (usually loose) to seal your makeup and give your face the right finish.
  6. Avoid strong cat-eye makeup. While a slight flick was often used – particularly for the film noir sort of look, it was nothing like the heavy dark line often seen in the 50s on.
  7. After applying mascara, while its still wet, press up lightly with a finger against your lashes to get them to curl without an eyelash curler.
  8. Match your eyeshadow to your eye color, and for night time, add a little gold or silver to amp up the look ’40s style.

Products Used in the Video:

Cashmere Foundation Stick in Bisque

Cashmere Foundation Stick in Medium Beige

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs Storybook Palette: No longer being sold

Shadow Brush

Mascara Brush Set

1920 Brown Cake Mascara

1940 Cream Mascara

1938 Crimson Cream Rouge

Ever Translucent Pearl Powder

1941 Victory Red Lipstick

Travel Lip Brush

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

Spotlight Saturday: Review of Tatyana’s Havana Top and Annette Skirt

fullsizeoutput_b97

As an Arizonan of 15 or so years, the burning heat of the desert causes a familiar struggle. My eczema flares up, and even such simple tasks as walking from my apartment to my car results in pain. Finding positives in my city can prove to be challenging, but I do have to admit that I’ve developed a type of grudging kinship with the atmosphere.

While other places might still be happy in their springtime temperatures (like in San Diego where I just managed to get the worst sunburn of my life in 60°)…

IMG_8413

…sometimes it takes a little bit of desert fashion to make your 9 months of summer seem acceptable. So today, up for review, is a gloriously summer friendly outfit from Tatyana, a reproduction clothing store I’ve yet to feature on my blog.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 11.33.44 AM

The Havana Top and Annette Skirt from the shop are a classic retro pairing that’s a great start for anyone looking to start expanding their Western-wear closet.

The top itself is made from a swimsuit-like material that breathes and expands with the body, making sizing quite versatile, and eliminating any sweat stain problems that the heat could cause. As a lover of Le Bomb Shop’s Marilyn Tops, which have a similar design, I figured a comparison would be helpful.

Screen Shot 2018-05-31 at 11.49.27 AM

When comparing the Havana Top and Marilyn Top (pictured in purple right above) in photos, a few differences are obvious: the Marilyn is cut lower on the sides and the middle, and the Havana ties at the neck while the Marilyn ties around the waist. In person, a few more differences are apparent: the Havana is made of a much thicker spandex-y material, and features gathering at the sides on the waist.

These differences mean a few things in practice: the Marilyn is MUCH more revealing, but it’s also more curve-hugging. I never fear I’ll fall out of my Marilyn tops, but the Havana lays less like a second skin since it’s made of a thicker material, and so I had keep an eye on my bust to make sure I was staying fully covered. However, the flip side of the coin is that if you’re self-conscious of your nipples showing, the Havana will help smooth things out the way that Marilyn will not, and the fabric really does cover more surface area when in place.

IMG_8051

When it comes to the gathering at the side, my waist size hasn’t changed much since I wore the purple Marilyn in the image above, but it looks slimmer simply because there’s nothing bunching up and adding weight to my waist. And, the ties at the neck mean you really could have any length of torso and bust size with the Havana as long as your under-bust falls within a few inches of the measurements listed on Tatyana’s site. You also have the ability to choose how to tie the neck which adds versatility to the table that the Marilyn doesn’t have. I do wish that the ties weren’t made of the same thick material as the rest of the top because it bunched up at my neck so much, but I’ll probably just wear my hair up when wearing the Havana in the future so it doesn’t tangle everything up so much.

IMG_8063

The Annette Skirt, obviously the star of the show, is a 24″ circle skirt in a bright, olive-y chartreuse decorated with black, desert-themed line work along the bottom. It has plenty of fabric to fit a petticoat underneath (a requirement for most skirts in my book), but is incredibly lightweight. Again, a great option for hot weather. Although I do generally prefer my skirts a wee bit longer to properly fit my Malco Modes Cosette petticoats beneath, I don’t mind it in this case, and would’ve paired a black petticoat with it if I had one. Fit-wise, Tatyana’s smallest waist size is only a 26″ (while I’m a 24″,) so I definitely had to belt this guy, but I happened to have a belt that matched perfectly! Obviously meant to be.

IMG_8088

All in all, the pairing of the Havana Top and the Annette Skirt is perfect for summer time, whether you live in the desert or not. Heat-friendly styles are few and far between when it comes to true vintage, so I always turn my gaze to reproduction vintage instead when it gets too hot to bare. The Havana with its versatility and the Annette with its thematic novelty print are a perfect addition to the wardrobe of this Arizona gal.

IMG_8051

To purchase either of these items, you can head to the links below:

Havana Top: $56

Annette Skirt: $115

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

 

 

 

The Bésame Cosmetics Series: The Snow White Collection

IMG_6786

Hello, lovelies!

Remember that blog post I teased a little while ago? Well, it’s finally time! Many of you already know that I’ve been planning an in depth review of Bésame Cosmetics’ Snow White inspired line of cosmetics and artifacts, and here it is! From the first “Storybook” eyeshadow palette released, to their cosmetic travel bag, I’ve acquired (almost) the entirety of the collection thanks in part to Bésame for sending me free products to review, and to my pocket book because some items I just HAD to have right away. That being said, despite being a Bésame Cosmetics lover for many years, I wanted to give an in-depth review talking about the ins-and-outs of this collection. What you absolutely NEED, what you can do without, and let’s be honest, what looks prettiest sitting on the shelf.

For those who aren’t entrenched in the world of Bésame and all the beauty it brings, their Snow White collection was created in official collaboration with Disney for Snow White’s 80th anniversary. This meant that they could combine their stunning vintage aesthetic with Snow White’s 1930s color palette. After looking through and researching the original artwork and colors used for the animation by the Disney Ink & Paint Department, Bésame carefully chose colors to recreate, and proceeded to make the most beautiful Disney-inspired makeup line in existence.  

 

fullsizeoutput_5fb

Since this is such an extensive line of cosmetics and I don’t wish to overwhelm you, I’m going to take it one batch of products at the time.

The Eyes

While Bésame is famous for their lipsticks (this collection boasts 11 shades alone!), I want to start my review by focusing on their eyeshadow palettes since this is a realm less explored by the brand. I’ll start out with a caveat: I am personally not much of an eyeshadow wearer. My general routine is a soft, subtle brown on the lids, and white along the lashes and brows to brighten them. As such, my opinions might differ a bit from the gals who regularly experiment with shadow and take a more current approach with their makeup. I’m all about doing my best to recreate vintage images!

fullsizeoutput_5fc

The first item released from the line was the “Storybook” palette (which is sadly no longer available, and I’m lucky to have snagged to start my collection). Of all of the cosmetics featured in the Snow White collection, this item is by far the most beautifully packaged – easily the purest jewel in the mine. From start to finish, this palette is pure Snow White. Not only is the whole thing packaged in the book that opens the original movie, but inside houses a small mirror, a detailed diagram of where each of the 20 shades presented were used on Snow White for her original artwork, and suggestions on how to recreate her face with their products. 

The colors themselves range from nudes to bright blues, reds, and yellows, making this quite the versatile palette. As is my preference, all shades are matte. Since my palette has gotten quite a bit of use since I bought it and is no longer pristine, I linked an image from their Instagram showing off the colors. It’s an accurate depiction of the shades, albeit the tiniest bit more muted than they are in real life. The pigmentation on these, when applied, is on the softer side and very blendable. They can be built up if desired, but I personally stay away from extreme shadows. 

fullsizeoutput_5fe

My current go-to shades for daily use (and what I’m wearing in the picture above) are Pastel 105, a white with just a hint of warmth to blend out under the brow bone and line the eye, Saddle 104, a light nude brown for the lids and to blend out to the brow, and Saddle 106, a soft brown with the slightest red undertone for the crease. I also find myself reaching for this palette when I want a 1960s look. The blues work wonderfully for the era, and I find the formula never settles into my creases, so I don’t have to worry about the brighter colors becoming a problem. Of the 20 shades, the bright red is the only one I haven’t found a use for (although this might be a deeply intrenched aversion from the one time I tried red shadow in my mid-teen emo days and was told I looked injured).

fullsizeoutput_609

On the flip side of this first palette, is Bésame’s recent release of two new eyeshadow palettes (which were shown in the original sneak peeks of the collection, but didn’t drop until last month). Unlike the “Storybook” shadows, the “Keep Singing” and “I’m Wishing” shadows are presented like traditional palettes and simply decorated with a color snapshot of the moment that inspired each one. As such, they’re a bit sturdier, hold more shadow, and are easier to keep clean. Luckily, the wear seems to be the same as the first palette, so I never have to worry about crease problems or fall out.

IMG_7013

“Keep Singing” Palette

fullsizeoutput_600

“I’m Wishing” Palette

Of the two, I have found the “I’m Wishing” palette to be much more useful than its sister. Although I’ll dip into one color for a look, I don’t find that the primary colors found in “Keep Singing” lend themselves to a single, cohesive eyeshadow look. The only exception to this is that when I run out of my every day shades from the “Storybook” palette, I plan to use this one. The White as Snow and The Fairest shades from “Keep Singing” work nicely for a similar nude look. That being said, this is a great supplemental palette to “I’m Wishing” because it helps add depth to dark 20s and 30s looks, and the only unwearable color for me is the bright yellow Destiny shade.

 

 

 

 

 

Version 2

“I’m Wishing” easily features my favorite collection of colors of the lot. The stunning rosey hues and pigmented blues are great for anything from 20s to 60s (and beyond!) I used this palette to create my dramatic, 1930s look pictured straight above, and was incredibly happy with the blending of colors (we ignore the brows – too thick to be tamed without going the glue route!).  A few days before that, I was able to use the palette for a soft pink version of my normal 50s/60s look.

 

 

 

 

 

If the packaging is irrelevant to your decision, and you can only afford one palette, I would say “I’m Wishing” is the way to go for a makeup user like myself. At $38, it’s about half the price the “Storybook” palette was, and I would say just as useful (and a bit more unique) in the shades it offers. The “Keep Singing” palette can probably be skipped as a base palette, but helps serve as a supplemental palette and technically completes the eyeshadow collection. And, of course, if you can get your hands on the “Storybook” palette, just do it. Don’t even think about it.

To purchase the “I’m Wishing” palette, head here.
To purchase the “Keep Singing” palette, head here.

The Face

Two items were released in this category: the “Ever After” translucent pearl powder, and the “With a Smile and a Song” cream rouge.

fullsizeoutput_63afullsizeoutput_544

The “Ever After” translucent pearl powder comes in a pretty little compact showing an image of Snow White on top that was taken from an original Snow White trading card, a mirror inside framed by a pretty little bird and bunny (a frame style echoed on the mirrors in their two newer eyeshadow palettes), and a small puff to apply.

As someone who’s never opted for a pressed powder for setting due to her dry skin, I was nervous to try it when it arrived in my selection of items to review. I needn’t have been worried as this is a very soft powder and goes on smoothly. I can’t seem to discern much of the boasted “pearl” feature – on my face or in the compact, so this is a subtle addition at best, and shouldn’t be used as a reason to purchase. I do appreciate that it’s a tinted translucent, but it’s a very pale tint, and I wouldn’t suggest this product for those with darker skin. The puff, while cute, is quite thin and flimsy. Although I do use it in a pinch, I would suggest using something sturdier to apply.

It definitely mattifies my face, evens it more overall, and helps set makeup more than the loose powders I have from Bésame; however, I find the affects of the brightening powders to be more my taste for my skin type overall. I’ve been using “Ever After” regularly since receiving it, and I’m still undecided on whether I would purchase this for myself again at $35.

fullsizeoutput_63e

The “With a Smile and a Song” cream rouge is one of my favorite Snow White items. I’m a sucker for Bésame’s cream rouges, so I was over the moon when I saw that they planned to include one in the collection. This one also has the best story of the lot. Before Bésame’s release, I had had no idea that actual blush was used for Snow White’s cheeks in the film. Since Bésame’s goal was to recreate real shades from the movie, using the “With a Smile and a Song” blush is essentially using the same blush that Snow did. Not that I’m a sucker for that type of thing, but…I definitely am.

This formula goes on just as smoothly as their previous two shades (Apricot and Crimson), and is just as easy to apply. I personally prefer applying it with my fingers and then blending it out with a blush brush as I find when the brush is used directly in the tin, it leaves it streaky in the jar and on the face. Bésame’s blush brush specifically works better with their powder blushes than their cream as it’s too soft. Color-wise, this shade is like the Apricot rouge’s lighter, pinker cousin. At $20, it’s more expensive than their current other two rouges, but “With a Smile and a Song” also comes in a much smaller container. As this formula of blush lasts for ages, I don’t really have a problem with it and would certainly repurchase if the need ever arose.

To purchase the “Ever After” translucent pearl powder, head here.
To purchase the “With a Smile and a Song” cream rouge, head here.

The Lips

And now, without further ado, we come to the lips. A whopping total of 11 shades of lipstick were released in the Snow White collection: the “7 Dwarfs” Mini Lipstick Set, “Snow White Red,” “Make A Wish,” “Love’s First Kiss,” and “One Bite,” as well as a trio of lip balms (the only item I’ve yet to acquire).

fullsizeoutput_642

Since I’m going to be releasing more youtube videos specifically reviewing and comparing their formulas like this one…

…I’m actually not going to go as in depth with the lipsticks, but more talking about the highlights of the products overall.

As a series of lipsticks, the Snow White shades generally lean toward pinks and peaches. Of the 11, only one is a red, two are darker brownish purples, and one is a shimmery top coat. My favorite of the lot is, of course, “Snow White Red.” I bought this one to add to my collection because I’m a red lipstick kinda gal, and I knew I had to have it soon as it dropped. It is also one of four full-sized shades sold individually, while the other 7 were released in miniature form as a set. It’s what I’m wearing in the images where I’m in my purple dress, and in my blue, and has become my go to shade along with their “Victory Red,” and “Bésame Red.” Its formula is comparable to the ones I reviewed in the video I just linked, so it comfortably lasts for ages without budging.

The same can be said about the formulas for their “Make a Wish” and “Love’s First Kiss” full-size shades. “Love’s First Kiss” (as worn right above) has fast become my favorite pink shade as it’s bright without being quite as…neon as shades like their “Exotic Pink.” I adore the subtle purple worked into the shade, and love the way it looks with my skin tone. “Make a Wish” (as worn right below) is a coral color with just the barest hint of rose to keep it from being a true orange shade. It’s softness makes it a very wearable coral, and would be a good option for those wishing to branch out from reds (or those who distinguish between day and night shades).

fullsizeoutput_6a9

“One Bite,” on the other hand, the final of the full-sized lipsticks released, wears closer to their medium-darkness shades (think “Merlot” and “Red Velvet”). Its formula leans toward the watery side making it easier to smudge, fade, and sink into lines than its sister lipsticks. Lipliner worn all over the lips is a must for this shade in order to keep an even look throughout the day. Although it looks thoroughly purple in the image below, it definitely has more of a brown tint to it, which is something new for me. I’m not 100% sold on how it looks, but I have a suspicion that when I get my hair touched up to pure black, I’ll like it better.

The “7 Dwarfs” minis are a perfect option for those looking to expand their lip color wardrobe without investing in a bunch of shades they might not use. For $35, you get to try 6 shades plus a top coat. The only negative with Bésame’s lipstick minis is that it’s QUITE easy for the lipstick to just…slip right out of their containers. They’re not housed in a particularly sturdy way, so one has to be a bit careful when applying. This is the case with all of their minis – not just the “7 Dwarfs.”

fullsizeoutput_5f4_Fotor

Each color represents one of the dwarves, and each tube is decorated with the silhouette of the relevant dwarf. Of these shades, my favorite is Grumpy’s. It’s a beautiful color that doesn’t resemble any of Bésame’s other lipsticks, and is incredibly flattering on my skin tone. Sleepy, Bashful, and Happy work wonderfully for my brighter 50s and 60s looks, and I love Sneezy for 30s and cold-weather looks. My least favorites are Doc’s (I ain’t about that nude lip) and Dopey’s (I have difficulty actually using it as a top coat and never have a need for a pearly sheen by itself). I will say that it can be trying to remember which shade goes with which dwarf when trying to find the color I have in mind, but dang is the packaging idea adorable, making the slight inconvenience totally forgivable. Like the “Storybook” palette, I think these lipsticks show how this collection goes that extra mile in theming, and is a must-have for Snow White and Bésame collectors alike.

To purchase the “7 Dwarfs” mini lipstick set, head here.
To purchase the “Snow White Red” lipstick, head here.
To purchase the “Make a Wish” lipstick, head here.
To purchase the “Love’s First Kiss” lipstick, head here.
To purchase the “One Bite” lipstick, head here.

At the End of the Day

If you’re reading this review, you’re most likely one of three things: an avid Bésame Cosmetics fan (such as myself), an avid Snow White fan (such as myself), or a vintage cosmetics lover (such as myself). I can wholeheartedly say that this collection will satisfy all of the above.

fullsizeoutput_5d6

For those hoping to expand their cosmetics range, I would suggest the “7 Dwarfs” mini lipstick set, and the “I’m Wishing” eyeshadow palette. For those looking for key Snow White themed items, I would suggest finding the “Storybook” eyeshadow palette, the “7 Dwarfs” lipsticks, and the Snow White cosmetic travel bag (which you can find here for $35). And for those just joining the vintage-inspired cosmetics train, I would suggest the “Snow White Red” lipstick, the “7 Dwarfs” lipsticks, and the “With a Smile and a Song” cream rouge.

What are YOUR must haves from this collection?

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

Spotlight Saturday: Vivien of Holloway’s Katharine Trousers

IMG_4819

As someone whose body type has always easily fit into 1950s clothes, my dream of late has naturally been to expand out of my comfort zone into the 1940s and 1930s styles that don’t flatter me quite so easily. One of the key wardrobe staples from these eras is, of course, the swing trouser.

Watching actresses like Katharine Hepburn (my idol) in their films and seeing their photographs has always instilled a deep desire to replicate this menswear inspired ’40s look. Katharine’s straight-forward yet debonair fashion sense – a fashion sense frequently punctuated by beautifully tailored trousers – felt like an unattainable ideal given my proportionally small waist, large hips, and short, stocky legs. The likes of Katharine and Lauren Bacall had tall, lithe, lean bodies that perfectly accentuated the structure and look of trousers, and I could only imagine what such a flared fit would do to my strong, thick legs, yet my love for ’40s overpowered this fear enough that the search for the perfect vintage swing pants always hovered in the back of my mind and at my fingertips during every online (and in person) search. Despite this, nothing ever appeared, and so it remained a pipeline dream. At least, until I turned my gaze to reproduction clothing.

Several brands offer some version of a swing pant. My roommate greatly favors Pinup Girl Clothing’s Doris pants, which fall with a wonderful weight and basically have enough fabric in each leg to make two skirts:

Power stance pants. I can't get over how much I love these!

A post shared by Lauren Hanshaw (@lhanshaw) on

But these have never been offered in a size small enough for me, and the amount I would have to pay to get the smallest size tailored made them not worth the search. So, I set my heart elsewhere still, and found myself continuously coming back to Vivien of Holloway, my favorite vintage reproduction brand. With several of their blouses in my arsenal as well as a dress and a pair of capris, I knew they were a reliable brand. Having tried both their capris and 1950s jeans, I knew they made a size with a small enough waist and ample enough room in the leg and hip, but fear of their 1940s trousers hugging my legs in an unflattering way (and/or being cut with less leg room) remained ever-present. It’s amazing what fear of the unknown coupled with self-consciousness can do. Add the factor that I had to order directly from them in the UK to the pot, and my fingers were officially stilled.

I never thought I would take the plunge until Viv had a 50% off sale on a sarong set and skirt I had been wanting for work. With the excuse of not wanting to order from an international shop out the door, I took a deep breath, threw in a pair of trousers in my dream shade of emerald green, and never looked back.

Screen Shot 2018-02-13 at 1.08.39 PM

When I received my selection of goodies (which arrived faster than shipments from many USA-based brands), I pulled out my Katharine trousers, nearly jumped for joy upon seeing the waist-to-hip ratio and the beauty of the pants, before setting them aside to try on later. In retrospect, the fact that my pants went untested for nearly 3 days (unprecedented for new clothes in my book), speaks to how self-conscious I was about my body. No matter how much self-confidence and self-love one develops, there will always be certain things that get to a person. My legs are certainly mine.

Yet somehow, I steeled myself. And I put them on one foot at a time. And I buttoned them up. As if I wasn’t just trying on a pair of pants, but facing some great obstacle from the fantasy novels I so adore reading.

When I finally looked in the mirror, I let out a breath of relief and confirmed that the trousers looked as good as they felt: perfect. The waist fit snuggly. The legs flared out softly and dropped after my hips without squeezing them. During the sitting test, I found that the rise didn’t cause them to ride up uncomfortably as high-waisted pants are wont to do when cut too short for me. They ran quite long on my 5’5, short-legged frame, but this was an expected problem, and I knew it would be an easy fix. The only real difficulty was that the crepe material used for this pair of trousers was very light – meaning panty lines were definitely a thing. I don’t have an aversion to skipping underwear, so it wasn’t a problem for me, but the more squeamish sort might want to invest in a pair with different material since Vivien of Holloway offers a good range of fabrics.

Finally, feeling like I really had just overcome a battle in a fantasy novel, I threw together an outfit, and out I went to show myself off!

IMG_4844

Since I now had the perfect pair of swing trousers, I knew I had to at least try to find some more 1940s blouses in my size, so my roommate and I headed to How Sweet It Was, the biggest vintage shop in Tucson.

I left with the PERFECT 1940s blouse for work, and a 1940s houndstooth cropped jacket with green detailing that matched my trousers exactly. I was definitely a happy camper.

Since we didn’t really want to end the day, we then perused 4th Avenue a bit, what Tucsonans consider to be their “cultural hub,” so to speak. After deciding on a few new books to add to my pile of “to-be-read” items, we went home, and I felt deeply contented with the day’s proceedings.

IMG_4905

Although these trousers still may not flatter me as much as some other options, the fact that I don’t mind speaks volumes for the pants. They’re comfortable, soft, casual, yet cool. The perfect option for work, lounging, or simply days when you can’t be bothered to shave your legs. I’m still undecided whether I actually want to get the pants hemmed since I prefer them a bit long, but I have few shoes with high enough heels to accommodate the length. Perhaps this is my excuse to add 1940s platform shoes to my ISO list, right? Now, to continue the hunt for 1940s shoulder-padded tops to match!

To purchase these trousers and view the myriad of colors and fabrics available, you can head here on Viv’s website. The pair I’m wearing are the crepe in emerald green in the size Waist 24 Hip 36. My measurements are 24″-39″, and I would definitely not suggest sizing down in the waist as there was no extra room and they fit true to size. The hips, however, fit with plenty of room to spare, so sizing down is perfectly fine. Now I just need a black pair for work! And…well…basically every other color, too.

Have you tried Vivien of Holloway’s Katharine trousers? What are your thoughts? I would love to hear opinions from gals with different body types!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

The Bésame Cosmetics Series: Cashmere Foundation Sticks

fullsizeoutput_2df

For those who have been longtime followers (and even those who’ve recently joined me for the ride), it has been no secret that my love for a certain vintage-inspired makeup brand is rampant. As such, I’ve been trying to find the time to put together proper review and how-to videos using their products showing off the one company who has earned my brand loyalty. Well…now is the time!

Bésame Cosmetics, founded by the stunning Gabriela Hernandez, is a makeup brand that constantly strives to recreate shades and formulations from the 1920s-1960s, all in the most beautiful, retro packaging. Although I can’t remember how I first discovered the brand, it was certainly years ago, and it began with their lipstick Red Velvet – a beautiful, incredibly wearable neutral red shade based on a 1946 color. Since then, I’ve collected (almost) the entirety of their lipstick range, cake mascara, cream and powder rouges, perfumes, powders, makeup brushes, and most recently, their new Cashmere Stick Foundations.

As their most recent product release, I wanted to start with a review of their Cashmere Stick Foundations as well as a mini how-to to show off how the foundation applies. Of their 8 shades, I tried 5 to find the perfect shade, and settled on my three favorites for concealer, foundation, and contour. You can catch the full review on my youtube channel:

I’m excited to get the first video of my Bésame Cosmetics series up and running and can’t wait to play with the video lights on their way to me so I can stop relying on ever-changing natural light! Stay tuned for more videos reviewing, swatching, and gabbing about this unique brand.

P.S., any other Bésame Cosmetics fans geeking out over their announcement of the new Snow White and Agent Carter range?

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

 

Spotlight Saturday: Call My Baby Lollipop with Doll Me Up

Could anything be sweeter than apple pie? Debatably, and my newest outfit from Doll Me Up might certainly take the cake. All puns aside, in the good ol’ summertime it’s a constant struggle to find items that capture the bright cheeriness of summer while being comfortable in the heat and offering functional pockets. Doll Me Up is certainly the place to cast one’s eyes in this search as their collection of garments not only features cute prints, heat-friendly designs AND pockets, but also clocks in at a wide range of prices to appeal to those shopping on a budget as well as those with the means to afford more. Doll Me Up is a one stop shop with all any pinup or vintage-fashion lover could possibly want.

When putting an outfit together for myself, I knew I had to tick off a few necessities, first being pockets, second being separates that I could mix and match with my preexisting wardrobe while bringing something new to the closet, third, being some sort of a novelty print that doesn’t resemble anything I already have. The most difficult decision was definitely choosing between their amazing and absolutely adorable range of novelty prints. Although the watermelon print dress was tempting (particularly considering how summery watermelon is,) I decided to opt for the Unique Vintage Candy Shop High Waist Circle Swing Skirt.

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 4.16.45 PM

With the pinks, reds, mints, and checkerboard floor pattern, I knew this would be a smart investment that would easily fit into my closet, and anyway, who am I to pass up a skirt with a candy shop on it??? I can’t resist anything that would look good in Honeydukes. And besides, the smallest size exactly fit my waist according to the size chart (which clocked it in at 24″), and it had pockets.

To pair with the skirt, I decided to try out the Vixen by Micheline Pitt Powder Puff Top in Baby Pink since I’m lacking pink tops in my wardrobe and I’ve been dying to try the style since they were released. To finish off the look, I opted for Doll Me Up’s Scalloped Edge Square Scarf in Pink to give it that extra something.

When I received the items, a few things quickly stood out to me. The Powder Puff top is made of a soft but VERY stretchy material, meaning a cone or bullet bra might actually work! Another was that the skirt was made of a lighter weight material than most of my modern novelty print skirts, making it cooler for summer and puffier due to the lack of weight.

When I tried the outfit on, I naturally gave it a go with a cone bra and my petticoats. I noticed that my cone bra worked perfectly under the Powder Puff top, but the top’s stretchiness also made it hug the figure in a way that showed off where my bra squeezes me in the back. I would definitely wear it with a longline bra next time to eliminate the back fold. Otherwise, the shirt was cut with a beautiful, nipped in waist that fit me perfectly, the large puffy sleeves (the best part of the top) fit without squeezing me even the tiniest bit, and the seaming lined up exactly with my cone bra.

IMG_3981

For the Unique Vintage skirt, at 26″, it was a bit too short for my Malco Modes Cosette petticoat and I’m not a huge fan of my pettis showing, so next time, I will definitely shorten them to avoid petti-peek. I also noticed that the sweep was a bit smaller than what I’m used to, but I was still able to fit my two petticoats in easily. I would say that the bell shape of the gathered skirt probably wouldn’t fit a petticoat much more voluminous at the bottom than the ones I wear.

fullsizeoutput_286

To complete the outfit, I threw in my pink seemed stockings from What Katie Did, pink earrings from Daisy Jean Floral Designs, and pink satin heels that I thrifted for $0.25. I challenge you to find a cuter outfit!

Although I anticipate many photoshoots in the future in candy shops, Honeydukes, ice cream shops, etc., for now, I took a stroll around the garden to show everything off.

IMG_3946fullsizeoutput_269IMG_3949IMG_3979IMG_3976fullsizeoutput_287IMG_3995IMG_3994

Since the true test of any top in the summertime is how it fairs when you sweat buckets, I would say this top faired extremely well. It remained breathable and comfortable despite having sleeves, and I didn’t have a problem with sweat stains.

fullsizeoutput_292

fullsizeoutput_289

You can see in the closeups that there’s absolutely no digging in of the top (my bra’s another story……), and it moves easily with me. It’s nice having a blouse that doesn’t restrict my movement as vintage and reproduction tops are wont to do.

All in all, I absolutely adore this outfit and know it’ll see the light of day often. All of the pieces are versatile, and the scalloped edge on the scarf makes it a special addition to my growing scarf collection. I can’t wait to mix and match all of these items and create new looks!

If you would like to follow Doll Me Up and/or purchase one of their wonderful items for yourself, you can head to these medias:

Website

Facebook

Instagram

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

All Was Well: A Very Potter Review of Bettie Page Stockings from Playful Promises

fullsizeoutput_20a

To say that I’ve become an avid stocking fan in the past few months would be a a gross understatement. I’ve come to the point where I’m wearing stockings more often than not for going about town (also known as working) despite the 110º+ weather Arizona’s been experiencing lately. I truly find that they complete an outfit, and help give a look that special something extra in a uniquely vintage way. When Playful Promises asked me to feature their new stockings from their collaboration with Bettie Page lingerie, I happily agreed, eager for a pair of fully-fashioned nylons with proper seams. While I only have limited experience with fully-fashioned stockings (as the stockings I wear these days outside of photoshoots are a modern interpretation), I’ve been in love with the feel of them since I first donned a pair – no matter how much more delicate they are.

fullsizeoutput_22c

While modern, stretchier stockings are shapeless until pulled onto the leg, fully-fashioneds are shaped so you can see the curves of ones legs and feet even when off the leg. This makes them fit and wrap around one’s body like a dream, and the silky, slinky material is unbeatable. Playful Promises’ recent collaboration with Bettie Page lingerie has led to stockings that are no exception to these tendencies. The black ones that I received are particularly flattering as the material used really slims my leg.

fullsizeoutput_213

As someone who’s always been self-conscious about having thicker ankles, calves, and thighs, I love what these do for me. However, the pros of this style of stocking also lead me to the cons. As someone with larger thighs specifically, having some stretch to the welt of a stocking is much needed. Although I adore the foot and leg fit of fully-fashioneds, I do wish that the style was more comfortable in the thigh. I also found that Playful Promises’ style featured narrower welts that couldn’t help but squeeze my thighs when walking around. I would love to see a design that was friendlier to curves comfort-wise. Nothing worse than walking around tugging up one’s welts (or feeling like one has to)! Although I instinctually try to pose to camouflage spill-over, you can still see it a bit in the image below. The welt is pulled tight around my 24″ thighs and so, not terribly comfortable.

fullsizeoutput_21d

But goodness, look at that beautiful pointed heel! And the reinforced heel detailing. Truly dreamy. One must choose one’s battles!

fullsizeoutput_227

Since the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone happened recently, I wanted to pay a little homage to one of my favorite book and movie series by shooting these perfect black seamed stockings against the backdrop of the Gryffindor common room (which I decided to crash despite being a Ravenclaw…because it’s my living room and I can do that). Although the bookshelf you see on the left is permanently set up as our “Harry Potter” corner, as is our bathroom, my roommate pulled most of it together for a mini Potter-themed shoot. I also paired my navy vintage silk skirt ft. silver triangle detailing with my Cinderella heels ft. glittery rhinestones to rep my (movie) house. My Reed wand naturally also made an appearance.

fullsizeoutput_20bfullsizeoutput_217

And it really, really made me miss the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I also tried my hand at a few Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans.

And we all know how that goes……..(cue blurry candid).

fullsizeoutput_216

And, of course, with the book that started it all: Harry Potter & the Sorcerer’s Stone.

fullsizeoutput_220fullsizeoutput_20d

Although my earliest memory of Harry Potter is sitting in an orthodontist’s office waiting to get myself fitted for a retainer as my mother read the Chamber of Secrets to me, this first novel will always be nearest and dearest to my heart, and it’s given me happiness in the darkest of times. Nothing can beat the magical innocence of those early years and Harry’s wonder at his brand new world always echoes mine. Since that first book, I’ve often found myself glancing at flickering street lights wistfully, or dreaming of getting a piece of mail that will never come and how very much my life would change (even if I’d stick out like a sore thumb as a 25 year old at Hogwarts). I’ve grown up with Harry Potter as most my age have and I’m so happy that I’ve been able to.

Playful Promises’ fully fashioned stockings certainly help give a bit of witchy pizzazz to my Potter-inspired look, and are the perfect pairing to any vintage or vintage-inspired outfit. This Ravenclaw gives them a definite thumbs up. Now, to start my Harry Potter movie marathon, eat licorice wands, and play with some polyjuice potion!

To purchase these stockings and take a look at the rest Playful Promises has to offer, you can head to their website. I’m personally eyeing the Bettie Page overwire longline bra and can’t wait to try more items from the brand!

Love,

Miss Lark Bahar

 

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Spotlight Saturday: Sun-Soaked in Miss Nouvelle

7108870065041448121?account_id=1

Hello all!

Today’s Spotlight Saturday features an up-and-coming clothing company since I’ve lately been featuring brands that are already established. I’m always on the lookout for new retro clothing brands to support as I like to balance my wardrobe with new, sturdy items that I don’t have to worry about deteriorating (particularly at work). Upon being contacted by Miss Nouvelle for a collaboration, I was happy to find a growing collection full of fun prints and desirable cuts perfect for any pinup wardrobe. From playsuits to pom pom tops, Miss Nouvelle features a variety of summery items that can help add a little playful glamour during this steaming time of year.

Style our Twirl Skirt with your favorite accessories! 🎀

A post shared by Miss Nouvelle (@missnouvelle) on

I chose the Twirl Skirt in the Sunsoaked print to review since I absolutely fell in love with the print for featuring summery objects like sunglasses and magazines. I went for the smallest size – a small – knowing that it might be a bit large since the measurement is listed as 25″-26″. Luckily, upon receiving it, although the waist WAS large, the belt that arrived with it had holes down to a size plenty small enough for my 24″ waist!

3843730177840140344?account_id=1

Which brings me to my favorite aspects of the skirt. A matching belt!!! I don’t have any other reproduction skirts that come with a matching belt (and belt loops) and I absolutely love this feature. AND the skirt has pockets. Can you really argue with that? Although the skirt clocks in at $115 and isn’t the cheapest option out there, these features alone make the skirt worth it in my opinion. The pockets mean I can wear it to work so I can carry around my phone, and the belt helps keep the skirt in place and flattering even when petticoats are thrown under and add to one’s waist measurement. The material is obviously sturdy, and I could easily fit my petticoats under since it’s such a full skirt. Definitely a thumbs up from me on all accounts.

2813060959185851038?account_id=15622803603159955315?account_id=11418155644431447930?account_id=1

And the fact that this skirt matches so many of my tops was definitely a huge seller. So many possibilities! I paired the look with one of my sweater tops today since I’m wearing it to work and need a little warmth inside, but I already have a thousand looks planned that I can’t wait to put together.

fullsizeoutput_106

And you can see how full the skirt is in action in a little video I filmed for Instagram:

Coming to my blog today! This marvelous skirt from @missnouvelle 😘

A post shared by Lark Bahar Yildirim (@misslarkbahar) on

Since this skirt is so useful for work, I definitely hope to add more to my collection as well as branch out into their other styles since they’re all so gorgeous. This two-piece seersucker playsuit’s particularly caught my eye:

And the pom pom tops are to die for!

If you’d like to take a look at some of Miss Nouvelle’s other designs or treat yourself with a fabulous garment, you can head to their various social medias:

Website

Instagram

Facebook

Etsy

Best,

Miss Lark Bahar

Spotlight Saturday: Revisiting The Ambrosia Bowl

Upon quick review of my blog, I was genuinely astonished to find that it’s been so insanely long since I brought you guys a review of anything Disney related! With my impending one day trip to Disneyland and Phoenix Comicon to meet Dick Van Dyke next week, my life has been a flurry of planning bounds and outfits to wear. When my favorite Disney brooch maker, The Ambrosia Bowl (whom I reviewed here about a year ago), released two new designs featuring Smee and Rafiki, I knew I had to add them to my collection, and bring her shop back into the light.

Since acquiring her fearless Jasmine brooch for that first review, I’ve added her Ariel, Mulan, and Belle brooches to my collection; and now, Rafiki, Smee, and Madam Mim (the brooch that first led me to her shop) join their ranks. Erin’s unique character and expression choices continuously astound me, and the execution of her little wooden designs is impeccable in every single brooch I receive. I’m so impressed, in fact, that I am reaching the point where her designs might need their own special brooch board! Since I plan on adding her Gaston and her Ursula brooches as well, and goodness knows I fall in love with each new design she reveals, it might be time to get out the foam board!

Since Rafiki, Smee, and Madam Mim each have such distinct color schemes, I put together individual outfits to show each one off properly.

Madam Mim, the zany witch from “The Sword in the Stone,” gave me the chance to pull out my vintage skirt/capri set and a pink Marilyn top to play homage to her wardrobe and the feel of her character:

fullsizeoutput_da

fullsizeoutput_e5fullsizeoutput_e2fullsizeoutput_df

Madam Mim is the first brooch from Erin in my collection that doesn’t feature a painted border, and up close, the wood definitely looked a bit burnt. I had thought this was a fluke since she kindly decided to send me this gal when she discovered her at the bottom of a drawer (they’re currently only up for pre-order as she sold out), but upon closer inspection of other designs without the painted border, this is just the way they look. Luckily, it’s something that’s not noticeable except upon close inspection.

Mr. Smee, one of her two newest designs, features the lovable, familiar character dancing with glee. Since the border color she chose reminds me so much of water and rain, I decided to pair him with a dress in a print with a similar feel:

fullsizeoutput_e7

fullsizeoutput_ecfullsizeoutput_e8fullsizeoutput_ea

I was amused to realize that Mr. Smee’s belly button doesn’t show! I’d thought this a fluke in the design as well until I googled it and realized his pants actually cover his belly button. Who knew? Learning new things every day.

Rafiki, the second of her two new designs, is perhaps my favorite of this batch. There always seems to be a lack of Lion King merchandise despite how incredibly popular it is, and Rafiki feels like the perfect subject for an Ambrosia Bowl design. With his coloring, he also matches a large quantity of my wardrobe that often gets overlooked by Disney brooches, and wearing him to work reminds me to take a deep breath in times of trial:

fullsizeoutput_d7

fullsizeoutput_d5fullsizeoutput_d1fullsizeoutput_d3

If you’re in the market for unique Disney designs, then my first suggestion is hands down Erin’s work. Her painted brooches are identical to the original artwork in the films (a huge bonus), and I love seeing characters caught in moments that feature more than the generic pleasant smile.

If you would like to follow The Ambrosia Bowl in her endeavors (as I would highly suggest given her consistently wonderful releases), you can head to these social medias:

Etsy

Instagram