Saturday, 11 June 2011

Vintage Glamour

I love vintage glamour.  I love accentuating natural features to provide a classy look.  Some of my style inspirations include Emma Watson (she is never pictured looking trashy or 'underdressed'), Eva Longoria (who looks like a doll some days!) and Audrey Hepburn.

I love picking up vintage treasures, although I don't always have space to keep them.
 Top: hat (see below)

Right: Cotton Wool display jar.  £5 from a Hospice charity shop.  Perfect to hold large cotton wool pads (and support the amazing work done by hospices in the UK).

Bottom: A powder compact by Sutton.  A personal treasure.  I would love to put my powder in it, but finding one that fits is a challenge!  Any ideas?

The hat was from charity shop a few years back.  I haven't been brave enough to wear it out, but if anyone has any tips on how to secure/wear it, then let me know!

 Vintage Black silk skirt with a flare at the bottom.  Great for a posh evening or funeral.  £40 paid, at it was new.... the best part......
 It is slightly too big, but the sizing's generally run small in vintage/designer lines.

I saw the broach on Bang on Vintage and had to snap it up.  It is the perfect accessory for adding a sparkle to an evening dress or jacket.  Also great for wedding guest outfits! Visit

Vintage Makeup

Of course I don't have much vintage makeup, and certainly do not use any bits and pieces I have.  Makeup does expire and I wouldn't want to get an infection.  Besides some formulas have improved over the years, so I am sure some make-up now is better than several years ago (less egg whites, lead and blood in it these days!!)

A vintage essential is eyelashes.  If you look at any of the iconic black and white pictures, they portray nice full eyelashes.  A brand I have been trying recently is Eye Kandy.  Their lashes are split into decades so it is easy to pick up a set that represent the decade you like.  Lashes frame the eyes and help to make them look more open.  The psychology of it is that open eyes = truthful and innocent.

These lashes help create a perfect vintage look, and are helpfully categorised in decades (here are some 50's and 60's look lashes).  If you want to look at the range then check out or your local Boots or Gordon's the Chemist.  These retail around £4.50 and so far I have been quite impressed with the amount reuses.

Hair: It has to be big!

 Any 60's, 70's or 80's hair need volume, and this is a product which I keep reaching for.  It's not just for 'past it's best' hair (i.e. 'I don't have time to wash it for a few hours so I'll reach for the dry shampoo').  I regularly use fry shampoo on washed hair to help create texture.  This helps hairgrips to stick to the hair, and it's as damaging as backcombing (or bad backcombing, ouch)!  This is the relaunched version for dark hair, and it does the trick.  I'm still not sure if the can is CFC free, so it would be good to have a non aerosol version Batiste...?  (Retails in most Superdrugs, boots etc for around £2.30)

Other vintage essentials are a decent black eyeliner, although some false lashes come with a thick band so your eye looks automatically lined on the top.  (Excellent if you are in a hurry!)  I would suggest a dark liquid eyeliner (perhaps the Lancome Art liner although I haven't tried it yet!) although if your hand is a little shaky and liquid scares you, then I find gel liners easier to use.  Just a thin brush and pot of gel liner.  My reach for gel liner is MAC's Blacktrack although I sometimes set it with a dark powder eyeshadow, just to be sure it won't budge.

Brows are an essential part of vintage glamour, and must be groomed.  I get mine regularly threaded in my local Debenhams.  Threading is hair removal by using and ancient technique of twisted cotton.  I can't recommend this enough if you want a long lasting, clean, shaped brow without pulling the delicate skin round the eye area.  Just make sure your blood sugar is up and that Aunt Flow isn't near (it hurts more if either of these is a factor).  A good therapist will talk you through the treatment, distract you if you are tense (tension=painful treatment), thread quickly and apply cooling aloe gel at the end.  I normally pay around £7- I paid more once, but the treatment was shocking so I never returned to that salon.

Vintage lips must be full, lined, and smooth.  I love my By Terry Baume de Rose (click here for a mini post) as a night treatment for smooth morning lips.  For lips, I am still loving the lip look I'm wearing HERE!

Of course I couldn't do a post on Vintage glamour without mentioning 'Art Deco makeup'.  This line is fairly cheap and I do have some pieces so expect to see a mini post up in the future.

What are your best vintage buys?  How would you sum up vintage glamour? Who are your Vintage Glamour Icons?

Disclaimer: All items purchased by me apart from Batiste, which I normally buy but was sent this can after I mentioned not being able to find the new brown version in shops. The Eye Kandy Lashes were sent for consideration.  All views are my own and completely unbiased.


  1. Hi Emma,

    Your hat isn't a hat; it's actually a snood a maid would wear. They would pull back their hair into a bun in the middle of their head and then put the snood on to keep their hair out of the way! It goes on the way a shower cap goes on and should stay secure by the elastic or the pleats you see! If it doesn't, you could sew a hair comb to the inside top of the snood (and the sides, if you wish) and secure it that way. I'm not sure it would stay on if you wore your hair down, but it should if you wore it up.

    The skirt shouldn't cost much to be taken in that little bit at a tailor. It would cost about $5-10 here (it would depend on the tailor, material, days from when you need it next and how much is being taken in). It would definitely be worth the investment to get it tailored so you can wear it without yanking it up/tripping over it/etc. (Make sure you take it to a tailor you 100% trust since it's a vintage designer skirt! Once it's taken in you can't let it out! Ask your friends and family what tailor they use. You might even want to have something else of lesser value taken in and/or dry cleaned first before you commit to taking in the skirt.)

    My favorite vintage icon is Audrey Hepburn. I think she's just one of the most beautiful people ever, on the inside and out. The eyebrows were a bit extreme (she colored outside of them), but everyone knows her because of those eyebrows. She had such a beautiful spirit. There's no one quite like Audrey, I think. I know it's a rather standard answer, but she did so much humanitarian work on top of her acting career that I can't help but love her. :)


  2. What a brilliant post! I adore that hat, I've never seen anything quite like it. Could you secure it with hair pins?
    Great tip regarding the Mac eyeliner, I'm desparate to track down an eyeliner that won't budge over the festival season. My trusty Indian Kohl was out of stock last time I was in India and I'm stuck. xxx

  3. Hi Katie,
    Thank you for that information about the hat- I hadn't thought of trying it over a bun. I must do! I had thought of taking the skirt in, but I might be able to get away with it as I'm tall and it could sit on my hips. I need to try it on again first! Audrey Hepburn is a great icon to have. All the pictures just look so flawless! x

    @Vintage Vixen Thank you. Not quite up to your great vintage posts, but I guess its a good way to start! Glad you like the hat. I think I need to buy some wide pins and try to secure it over a large bun like Katie said- or perhaps a side bun. A great cheap eyeliner is the Avon Supershock black- akin to URban Decay's Zero liner. I just have to make sure my skin isnt greasy under it, and let it dry and then use a powder to set it if I really don't want it to budge. I'm normally the one who rocks a smokey eye by accident! Hope you find a good eyeliner xx

  4. emma watson is inspirational to me too! i love your vintage clothing collection! that skirt is amazing :)

  5. Love your vintage stuff - I'm getting more and more into vintage myself, especially scarfs! xx


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