Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Perfect Vintage Powder

I mentioned in one of my posts about lip rouge that I once had a dream to start a cosmetic company.  Since I started making lip rouges, I have gained an interest in possibly making other vintage-inspired cosmetics, as well, like blushes and powdered foundations.  The dream I once had has returned!

To me, the ideal loose face powder is Coty's Airspun.  First introduced in 1935, Coty's Airspun is still available at the average drugstores and supermarkets, and is as close as you'll get to the "real deal" vintage powder.  Three things that make it special to me:

1) It is so SOFT!  Apparently, this is because of the micro-fine, "air-spun" fibers.  This was done with a special milling process using very fast cold air which reduced the particles to micron sizes.

2) Unlike many modern powders, it has a WARMTH to its hue.  Have you ever heard of the 1930s foundations that had an apricot tone?  Coty's Airpun has it!  I'm fair-complected and so many products are either too light for me, or are just the right tone except for too much brown hue that makes my skin look a bit dirty.  The light apricot undertone of Coty's gives my skin a warm glow.

3) Possibly the best point, it is PERFUMED!  The scent isn't like a lot of the cheap smells one finds in cosmetics; it's a very ladylike fragrance that is light and powdery.  One sniff makes me feel nearly as if I've traveled back in time, and is very nostalgic, as it reminds me of my grandmother.

The point?  I would love to make a powder as wonderful as this.  Naturally, this is a HUGE goal I am imposing upon myself, by why should I settle to make anything of lesser quality?  So, I've been researching Coty's Airspun, and found a few other reasons to try to make my own wonderful powder.  Main reason: the ingredients of Coty's Airspun are not the greatest.  Some are quite frightening, like imidazolidinyl urea.  Not only can I not pronounce this, but have found that it is an "antimicrobial preservative" which contains a formaldehyde releaser.  That is just what it sounds like: a compound which slowly releases formaldehyde over time.  Formaldehyde is for embalming--it's for the dead!  I don't want that while I'm alive and healthy!

Another thing, talc.  Talc is amazing for absorbing moisture, but unfortunately has a questionable particle structure (sharp edges), and the micron-size in Coty's Airspun could actually aid in clogging your pores.  What else is great at clogging pores?  Mineral oil.  And Coty's Airspun has it, as well as synthetic dyes, and parabens, which may or may not contribute to breast cancer, and may or may not affect hormones.  (My theory: if the FDA isn't sure, if they need more conclusive evidence why is it used in skin-care products?)

"Beauty...born in a Cyclone."  Something I was previously unaware of, Coty's "Air-Spun" used to be available in FOUR different perfumed versions.  The first you see, perfumed with the Coty fragrance "L'Origan," is the only one still available.  The other fragrances were, left-to-right, "L'Aimant," "Paris," and "Emeraude."  How neat!  Advertisement, 1939.  

My version would by no means be perfect.  The iron oxides I use are lab created (yes, iron oxides occur in nature, but often with arsenic, mercury, and lead with them.  The safe alternative is a lab-created, man-made version of the natural phenomenon).  I have no "cyclone" machine to grind particles down to micron sizes.  However, mine will be paraben-free, free of synthetic dyes, NO mineral oil, no talc, and absolutely NONE of that scary imidazolidinyl urea stuff.  It WOULD have friendlier ingredients for your skin, jojoba oil instead of mineral oil, AND--the best part!--IT WOULD BE PERFUMED!  A skin-friendly powder without losing the vintage flair and feel?  Is it possible?!

...I am going to find out.  :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

New Lip Shade!

I have a new lip rouge shade!  'Olivia' is a sweet, rosy-mauve.

I'm offering a new size of lip rouges for those who don't want to spend too much.  You can buy a 6g tin for $7 or a 12g tin for $12-$14.  Also thinking about trying lipsticks, as I found some tubes online that can be filled directly instead of needing a mold.

I also offer perfume samples!  These are free of charge.  You can email me with your shipping information, if you are interested in receiving some, at

I'm also having a Valentine's sale.  If you're still looking for a Valentine's gift, check out my Facebook page for unique fragrances and lip rouges.  :)

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Vintage Hair Tutorial: Basic Reverse Hair Roll

An essential part of 1940s hairstyles is the hair roll.  I've seen a few tutorials which mistakingly dub every roll "a victory roll"; however, they are only victory rolls if there is one on each side of the head (hence the 'V'...which stands for victory!).  Rolls that stand alone or are in multiples are just that--hair rolls.

There are two types of hair rolls: the regular roll and the reverse hair roll.  What I'm going to be showing you here is a reverse hair roll, which is rolled upward, away from the face.  (A regular hair roll is usually rolled downward.  I'll get to those another time).  Once you know how to do one of these, the whole world of '40s hairstyles will open up for you!

A few misconceptions about hair rolls:

  • "You need to backcomb the hair a lot."  This is not true.  However, your roll will hold its shape much better if you do this--but only a little backcombing is needed.  Too much will make your roll look ratty.  It will have a stronger structure and will be less prone to drooping or flattening.  It also adds nice volume to the roll.
  • "You need to use TONS of hairspray."  I don't use any!  With proper pinning (and backcombing) your roll should hold just fine.  If using hairspray makes you feel better about it, go ahead and do so.  Don't use too much--you don't want your hair roll to look fake or "crunchy."  D:

    A few things your should know first:

    • Your first hair roll will probably be messy.
    • You will need quite a lot of bobby pins first few times, until you master your pinning abilities.
    • You might feel like giving up.
    • It will not be perfect the first time, or even the first few times.  However, once you do these enough and get enough practice at them, you'll be able to style your hair like this in only a couple of minutes!  Just keep practicing, and you'll have glamorous, enviable hair.  :)

      You can do a hair roll anywhere on your head; in the front, just over your forehead (a pompadour roll, I'll show how to do one of those later, too), side of your head, or you can do them all over your head in smaller sizes, to look like miniature curls!  Here is the basics for a reverse roll.  This was my first-ever photo tutorial so I apologize if I made any mistakes.  :)  Also the lighting is poor and I look tired because I didn't sleep well the night before.  But--let's get started!

      What you will need:

      • Hairbrush
      • Fine-tooth comb
      • Your favorite type of smoothing hair cream or serum (not hairspray or gel)
      • Bobby pins
      Step one:  Brush your hair so it is smooth and free of any tangles.

      Step two:  Part your hair as usual.  Keep in mind where you want your roll to end up.  I'm doing one on the top right side of my head, so I've parted my hair on the side.

      Step three:  Moving from the main part of your hair, make another part sectioning off the hair you are going to roll.  Since I'm doing a roll on the right side, the part on mine passes just before my right ear.

      Step four:  Backcomb/tease the hair (combing down toward the roots) on the side of the section that is going to be rolled in.  Do this from the roots all the way down near the ends, but stop about two inches from the ends.  Any further down could damage your ends.

      Step five:  Stroke your smoothing hair cream over the section of hair.  I was in a bit of a hurry as my camera was dying and so I skipped this step.  That's why my hair looks a bit frizzy.  :/  Generally, my favorite cream to use is Garnier Fructis Soft Curl Cream, but I believe this has been discontinued.

      Step six:  Now for the rolling!  Loop the end of the hair around your thumb.  Carefully slip your thumb part way out--DO NOT let go of this loop!  You'll want to keep your thumb partway in the loop.  Place index finger in the other end of the loop.  Using the thumb and forefinger of both hands, hold the side of the loop in this manner (switching from one hand to the other) and gently roll it upward toward your scalp.  When this loop becomes too loose, gently pull outward to tighten the hair around your thumb.  Since this step is confusing to explain, here is a short video of me rolling my hair.

      Step seven:  Once you have the roll positioned where you want it on your head, begin pinning with one hand while you hold it in place with the other.  Bobby pins should be tucked inward on each side of the roll, snuggly against the scalp.  For my hair, I need about 4-8 pins per roll, depending on the size and how well I rolled it.  Shake your head side to side; if the roll feels loose, add more pins.  Try to keep them tucked nicely in so they can't be seen.
      Step eight:  GENTLY smooth over the roll with a fine-tooth comb to get any frizz and lumps out and to help achieve an even texture.

      And you're done!  If you wish you apply hairspray, go ahead but be careful not to apply too much to keep the hair texture natural.

      Tuesday, January 10, 2012

      A True Red Lip Rouge!

      I finally succeeded at making a true red lip rouge!  This one is called 'Ava' and the secret ingredient is carmine.

      Let me know what you think!

      Saturday, January 7, 2012

      Vintage Hair Itinerary!

      So!  Looks like some of you are interested in some vintage-hair tutorials--marvelous!  :D  I'm planning to do photo tutorials since...I'm not very good at talking on camera and all that, ha, ha.  Well, here are some styles I'm hoping to feature:

      -A fake '20s/'30s bob

      -1940s hair, including:
           -general hair rolls
           -victory rolls
           -a "pompadour" roll
           -one I don't know the name of but it's easy!

      -Gibson Girl-inspired up-do

      -PIN CURLS--A major staple of vintage hairstyles!  There are a few different ways of doing these and I want to highlight all of the ways I know of.

      Let me know if there are any other styles you would like to see.  Even if they are ones I haven't tried, I'm always up for a new hairstyle challenge!

      Wednesday, January 4, 2012

      Do you like your hair vintage?

      How about some vintage hairstyle tutorials?  I've been thinking about doing some step-by-step photo tutorials.  Just have to find a photographer.  Would this be of interest to any of my followers?