Monday, October 31, 2016

Masks; Makeup; and Making Eyes

I've done a vampire look several times - it's a Halloween classic that never goes out of style. Theatrical lenses from VisionDirect; "custom fit" fangs from Amazon; and spiderweb lashes add Draculean drama, no boring black cape necessary! See the entire look here.
 You don't have to know me very long or very well to know that Fall is my favorite time of year and Halloween is my favorite holiday...and I love playing around with makeup and items already in my closet to create creepy, cute, or startling looks to celebrate the spooky season. 
This "broken doll" makeup look was easy to do with white powder, black eyeliner, an exaggerated lipline; and white theatrical lenses. Vintage millinery, a vintage dress; and 1940s jewelry already in my closet completed the creepy porcelain doll effect. 
You will never see me in a polybagged get-up from a pop-up Halloween shop. But I'll happily recycle bridesmaid dresses and switch up everyday outfits with spooky accessories. The less money I spend, the better!
Indianapolis based makeup artist Kelly Oswalt for Red Carpet Reflection helped me create this Lichtenstein-like pop-art look last year, complemented by nail art I copied from Pinterest. The look was completed with a bold striped dress that, sans crazy makeup, I wear on the regular. See the entire getup here.
In the last two years, I've really embraced the use of makeup to help me create my All Hallow's Eve persona. The first time I wore sugar skull and pop-art makeup, I called on my friend and makeup artist Kelly Oswalt to work her magic, but since then I've let my own inner artist out to play.
Temporary tattoos, red lips, and vibrant green eyeshadow paint a pretty sugar skull. I don't like makeup that rubs off if I touch my face (or hug someone), so I skip the liquids and creams found at Halloween stores and Wal-Mart. White powder eyeshadow finished with Urban Decay Makeup Setting Spray all over my face gives a smooth white complexion without the heavy, greasy feel. Eyeshadow is also gentler on the skin and less likely to cause breakouts....And the roses in my hair? - borrowed from a Christmas centerpiece! See the whole look here.
My one costuming "splurge?" Theatrical contacts! The eyes really do have it when it comes to Halloween drama. I've collected a few pairs over the last several years, and with careful preservation, I've worn all of them more than once.
In my own version of the Queen of Hearts, white eyeshadow once again subs in for foundation to get a white(er) face, while the free-hand heart over my eye was done in red lipliner topped with eyeshadow and setting spray. The crystals on my cheek came from the scrapbooking section of Hobby Lobby. I used eyelash glue to adhere them. See the entire ensemble, created from everyday items, here.
Luckily, theatrical lenses are affordable and come in my prescription (the effect would be significantly dampened if I had to wear glasses over them...) If you don't need corrective lenses and can get used to the sensation of wearing contacts, there are even more options to choose from at even lower prices. My "go to" site is Vision Direct, and I've also had luck with
A traditional Halloween masquerade party called for a mask rather than makeup, but theatrical lenses add extra drama and amp up the spook factor. I wore the same lenses in both the Queen of Hearts and the vampire looks, above, and the zombie prom look, below - who knew they'd be so versatile?!
If you decide to try out theatrical contacts for yourself, I highly recommend looking for lenses that are the same diameter as your everyday lenses - they will be MUCH more comfortable. I once tried a pair that were significantly larger and, though they looked spooktacular, they made my eyes water so much I thought my makeup would run.... Just like shoes, amazing "eyes" are only great so long as you're not in pain. Happy Haunting!
These patchwork theatrical lenses are creepy cool, but they are little larger in diameter than my everyday contacts and made my eyes water more than usual. This was the first time I tried a Dia de los Muertos look, and makeup artist Kelly Oswalt created the stark white "sugar skull." See more of this look here.
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
White powder with grey and green eyeshadow creates a quick zombie face. I ripped up an recycled an old bridesmaid dress for this "Zombie Prom" look. It was chilly, so a pair of cropped cargo pants did double duty as a last-minute makeshift "stole" (I just put my arms through the legs). If I did this look again, I'd add a bit of "blood" around my mouth to make it scarier.
I'm linked up with Visible Monday!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016


In my last post, I talked about extending my Spring and Summer wardrobe even as both the temperatures and the leaves are falling.
I liked these teal boots from ShoeDazzle so much that when they went on a closeout sale two years ago for $11, I bought a second pair as a backup.
This dress from eShakti is yet another example of all-season dressing - a sleeveless Summer dress whose deep orange and teal hues look just right for Fall, especially with the addition of teal suede boots
The dress is from eShakti, a site that allows you to customize features like necklines; sleeves, and length of its dresses to suit your personal taste; they'll also create a dress fit for your precise measurements. I have several dresses from eShakti and have generally been very pleased with fit, quality, value, and customer services.
Like the butterflies that cover the dress, my Spring/Summer wardrobe undergoes its own metamorphosis as the Seasons change.
I've had these crystal and enamel earrings for several years - it was a complete coincidence that they complement the embrodiered accent on the neckline of the dress so well! The ring is a one of a kind creation by Marc Aronstam featuring a cabochon spessartite garnet (which are deep orange in color) in an 18k setting surrounded by diamonds - it's one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. 
Whenever possible, I'll just switch out accessories; add tights; change my shoes; and keep right on soaring...
 Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

All Season Sundress

On Monday and Tuesday, we enjoyed temps in the high 70s. Today, we're looking at a high of 55...but I really like this sundress from Enza's Boutique and wanted to wear it despite the cooler temperatures.
Luckily, a quick switch of accessories makes the khaki faille dress look Autumn appropriate despite the somewhat summery pink and orange grosgrain ribbon trim on the pleated skirt. 
The purse and watch are both Michael Kors; the silk scarf came from a street market in India
A chocolate brown nubuck leather jacket and suede boots add warmth, in terms of both temperature and color scheme.  A rich woven silk scarf in hues of pink and orange echoes the accent colors on the skirt and pulls the whole look together. 
The scarf also adds warmth to my pale skin, which can look washed out in khaki. In fact, I actually think the "Autumnized" version of this dress is more flattering with my skin tone and hair color than the Spring/Summer version!
The same dress with striped Mary Janes from Irregular Choice and a pink cardigan is decidedly summery
So take a page out of my book and think about ways to stretch the wearability of your Summer dresses rather than stowing them for the Season - you might just come up with a whole new look to love!
Fashion is what you buy: Style is what you do with it!
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Happy Birthday, Wanda June

Dress (Carson Pirie Scott); Shoes (Amazon); Cocktail Hat (eBay)
My freshman year in high school, I fell in love with Kurt Vonnegut. Well, I fell in love with his writing, not the man himself...and, yes, the primary reason I wanted to read Slaughterhouse Five was because it was one of "those" books. You know, the ones behind the counter that required a note from your mom in order to check out of the school library. 
Because I'm rarely satisfied with things "just as they are," the red satin rose on my cocktail hat is actually a removable clip that came with these pumps featuring heart-shaped heels. The grosgrain bows on my shoes, ironically enough, are made from children's hair barrettes and a pair of clip earrings. So, yeah, I've got a shoe clip on my head and hair bows on my feet...seems about right.
In my sophomore English class, I chose "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo, for a book report, probably because I was fascinated by banned books and blacklisted authors at the time. An anti-war novel whose publication was suspended during WWII, Johnny Got His Gun chronicles the inner thoughts of a man injured in war and trapped in his own mind, unable to communicate though completely aware of what was happening to him. It was also the primary inspiration for Metallica's song, Oneoddly enough. I didn't love the book the way I love Slaughterhouse Five, but it haunted me for years, and remains one of the most disturbing pieces of literature I've ever read.
Though I didn't buy them together, nor did I have one in mind when I purchased the other, I love the repetition of the polka dots in the tulle overlay of the dress and the birdcage veil of the cocktail hat. Using the red satin shoe clip to embellish the hat and replacing it with black grosgrain bows on the shoes carried the red and black color scheme from head to toe.
Later, in Mrs. Maxwell's AP English class, I fell in love with Greek mythology. I mean really fell in love. So much so that when I missed a single question on a single test in a college mythology class at IU, I argued my case to the professor until he gave in and agreed that my interpretation of the question was logical, even though not the answer he was looking for. Not that the "A+" vs. the "A" made a difference in my GPA. But, I know my Greek mythology, people, and I just couldn't let it go. 
Crystal encrusted clip earrings from local Indianapolis boutique Secret Ingredient echo the crystals on the ankle straps of these satin heels.
So, when I was recently invited to the world premier of the operatic version of Vonnegut's play, Happy Birthday Wanda June, performed by the Indianapolis Opera, I jumped at the opportunity. First, it was Vonnegut; Second, like Johnny Got His Gun, it has an anti-war flavor; Third, its main characters are loosely based on Odysseus and Penelope; Finally, it was the opera, which meant it was a perfect occasion to break out a fun cocktail hat. Truly, how could I resist?!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
I'm linked up with Hat AttackVisible Monday and Shoe and Tell!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Going Green

I'm not the "greenest" of the "green" when it comes to conservation (I'm too fond of long, hot showers), but I do recycle...all those Diet Coke cans, you know...
Dress (INC, Macy's); Purse (Relic, Kohl's); Shoes (Chelsea Crew, Zulilly)
I also recycle my wardrobe, switching up shoes and accessories to get extra mileage from pieces I love. I am NOT a one and done kind of girl. In fact, I laughed at a recent St. Margaret's Hospital Guild luncheon when, not two minutes after a friend commented on my "new" dress, we were looking through a scrapbook of photos in which I was wearing that same dress at two other events. 
The crazy Prada sunglasses were an irresistible outlet find this Summer. They're definitely not for everyone, but they made me excited about wearing this dress again.
This INC dress from Macy's is about 8 years old, but it felt brand new when I paired it a new pair of Prada Sunglasses and added green ribbon laces to a classic black shoe. As the weather gets colder, I'll add black tights and boots and keep right on wearing it through the Winter. Going green has never been easier!
Fashion is what you buy; Style is what you do with it!
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