Thursday, December 29, 2011

Handmade Lip Rouges--Attempts 1-4 (and 5)

My lip rouge supplies arrived Christmas Eve, and I managed to make five shades!  None are a true red, however, and I've come to the conclusion that I need to order carmine coloring to achieve a red.  The online shop is now closed until January and is sold out of carmine, so until they have more in stock, I'll have to return to perfume making for a while.

The shades I made are not bad; one is a reddish orange, another a fig-brown, one is a rich terracotta-type orange, the fourth is like raisin with brick undertones.  I made another that is deep mauve but I'm not going to post a photo of it because it's darker than what I wanted, so I'm going to work on it some more.  Here are the shades I've created:

'Carmen'--festive reddish orange!  This one I'm going to reformulate a bit so it is less glossy.

'Clara'--raisin-berry with brick undertones.  Quite 1920s!

'Mae'--a sort of terracotta orange, great for blondes and brunettes.

'Veronica'--a rich, fig-brown.

Now, the lip rouge names have a theme.  Can you guess what it is?  I'll just tell you.  I'm naming all my lip rouges after classic Hollywood actresses.  'Carmen' is for Carmen Miranda, 'Clara' for Clara Bow, 'Mae' for Mae West, and 'Veronica' for Veronica Lake.  I have many more shades and names planned, but I'm not going to spill them until I have them made!

If you're interested in more information, visit the Eliza Fragrances Facebook page:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Lip Rouge

As mentioned in a previous post, I'm planning to make lip colors soon!  I make perfumes and lip balms, and it has always been a sort of dream of mine to do lipsticks, so I thought now seemed a good time to start.  However, these won't be lipsticks, but old-fashioned "lip rouge" in a pot, the type you apply with a brush.

Ava Gardner

After all, if you would like to know a little secret, the names I gave to my perfumes, "Eliza Fragrances" was one I came up with easily because I once wanted to start a company called "Eliza Cosmetics."  Why 'Eliza'?  It's the first half of my middle name, 'Elizabeth.'  But the name 'Eliza' is classy and alluring, a bit like the name 'Ava' or 'Rita'.  At least, I think so.  Anyway, my dream of my 'future' cosmetic company was that I would have lipsticks, nail colors, and nail files, which I was fashioning myself with some kind of filing stone.  That was before my vintage days, before I discovered my true style, and the dream died out--all except for the lipstick part.

So, why am I choosing potted lip rouge instead of lipsticks?  A few reasons; one, lipstick molds are VERY expensive.  I don't really want to think of all the work involved of pouring into molds and assembling the lipstick in the tubes.  Besides that, it's necessary to find a base with just the right balance of creamy and soft, yet still firm enough to hold its shape in tube form. 

Photo of a lipstick mold from the TKB Trading website.  Looks rather like some torture device.  D:

 Another reason, so you won't only suspect me of laziness (ha, ha), is that potted lip rouge is quite a novelty.  Unmistakeably vintage.  And that's what my perfumes are all about; bringing back classy vintage scents that one can't get a hold of anymore.  Now I might be able to do this with lip colors--if all goes smoothly!

While I'm really excited, I'm also pretty nervous.  I have a lot of shades planned, but will it work out?  I'm afraid the color will come out sheer, or that the base will be too oily.  Or I won't get the color just right.  I ordered some samples from the mineral makeup supply company TKB Trading last week.  There are a few suppliers out there, but I really liked TKB Trading's extensive information on the pigments (i.e. specific FDA approvals), and the site seemed very user friendly and organized, with articles, recipes, user reviews, lots of how-to.  I emailed them and the response I received was prompt.  I'm hoping these are all good omens!

There is a remarkably vintage twist to these lip rouges; not just the colors, but the theme of what I plan to name them.  This I'm keeping secret until I start making them.  Whether I fail or succeed, I'll share this with you sometime after my first few attempts.  If I have luck making the lip colors, I'll post photos and let you know how to get in touch with me if you're interested in trying some.  Wish me luck!  :)

Happy Holidays to all!  ♥

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Keep Your Eyes Young!

Lately, I've had trouble sleeping.  Maybe it's the winter, the fact that it's dark so early.  Whatever the cause, I generally tend to oversleep this time of year.  So, what to do with those tired, puffy eyes?  Well, how about some 1930s advice from The Daily Mail?

"Eyes show the strain of life before almost any other feature."  Very true!  How often have we been reminded that the skin around our eyes is delicate and tender, yet we still continue to rub them, squint, and expose them to merciless sunlight.  And letting them swell up after sleeping in doesn't do much good, either!  According to the above article, "three things are essential if you would keep your eyes young and beautiful.  They must be cleansed, exercised, and rested daily."

Let's divide this into sections!

1.  Daily Cleansing of the Eyes.

"Bathe your eyes last thing at night and first thing every morning to remove every little particle of dust from under the lids, and to tone up the muscles."  As shown in the photo at right, it is recommended to wash eyes with an eye-cup filled with a "mild lotion".  This doesn't mean the lotion you put on your skin!  What I use: spring water combined with rosewater.  It sounds wild, but I have given up commercial eye drops in favor of this concoction.  I have also heard of tea made from the herb eyebright, diluted with water, but have never tried it.  As always, be sure to research whatever herb you consider before actually using it.

2.  Exercises!

Two exercises: First, "open the lids as widely as possible and rotate the eyeballs rapidly--ten times to the right, ten times to the left.  Next, look straight ahead, keeping the lids wide apart until the eyes tingle.  Close the lids and count slowly to ten.  Open them, and repeat the exercise five times."

Second exercise:  This "should not be done more than twice in one day.  Hold the right arm straight out in front of you, keeping the forefinger in a direct line with the nose.  Move the finger slowly towards the nose, keeping the eyes focused on it until the finger is within five inches from the tip of the nose, then slowly withdraw the finger until the hand is in its first position.  Close the eyes and count slowly to twenty, the repeat the exercise once more.

3.  Relaxing the Eyes

"Hot salt-water compresses are an effective remedy for tired eyes.  They help to relax the tense nerves and stimulate circulation, thus removing the tired, drawn appearance from round the eyes."  At first, I was skeptical.  But I tried it a few days in a row and it seems better than putting ice cubes on puffy eyes.  Since puffy eyes are often the result of excess fluid pooling there overnight, wouldn't it make more sense to use a warm-treatment method to get the fluids flowing?  But I should warn you--DO NOT GET THE SALTWATER INTO YOUR EYES.  It will burn like you can't imagine.  Okay?  Here we go.

"Dissolve one teaspoonful of ordinary table salt in half a tumblerful of very warm water."  (I used one teaspoon in one cup of water.)  Dip two cotton balls or pads in the water (I have used folded pads of paper towel when I'm out of the cotton), wring them out, and apply these to closed eyes, "replacing as it cools with a fresh, hot compress."  The article recommends fifteen to twenty applications while in a darkened room.  Keep in mind that the compresses cool very quickly, so fifteen to twenty will probably take only a few minutes.

Next, apply a nourishing cream around the eyes, working in lightly, "beginning at the bridge of the nose and gently drawing the fingertips outwards over the upper lid and back under the eyes towards the starting point."

Another refreshing treatment is to apply cotton compresses soaked in witch hazel to closed eyes for ten minutes.  I've yet to try this, but witch hazel is known for its soothing, cooling properties, so it's definitely something I need to try.

Well-kempt, defined eyebrows and appealing daytime make up are also key.  Some do not need daytime make up, but if you like to use a touch of shadow on the lids and discreet penciling on the brow, this will enhance your eyes, as well!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Once again, I've been busy with my vintage-inspired, solid perfumes!

I've been able to upgrade to classier screw-top tins, and I've developed samples.  But there's something else I've been considering, which has interested me for some time.  What about...LIPSTICK?  I want to do the very old-fashioned potted lipstick, which you don't really see anymore.  I think that's so glamorous and intriguing!

I was hoping to make this a neat little post filled with lots of photos of vintage, potted lipsticks but can't find any photos, so I'll just tell you about it.  If perfume sales are good for me this month, then early next year I will consider making this very vintage lipstick!  Already I have name and shade ideas, and I think I'll accent the perfumes with a bit of peppermint oil or rose oil.  What do you think?