Thursday, February 28, 2013

Poodles and Polka-Dots! ~ Nail Therapy Thursday!

I'm in love...

With polka-dots! (Sorry Husband.)

They are just so cute and poodle-licious! Not to mention so very, very vintage! Think fashion looks of the 40s, the 50s, and even the 60s. Polka-dots are timeless.

With Spring right around the corner, I was in the mood for some light-hearted nail art. No more dark nails- it's time for sunshine! So into the salon I went, for a mani/pedi and conversation/relaxation.

My nail tech knows me so well, right away she asked, "What are you going to make me do this time?"

She adores me. Really.

I showed her my Pinterest inspired looks, she rolled her eyes, and fulfilled my fingernail fantasies!

Here are my polka-dot and "Hello Kitty" pretties!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Champagne Bubbles! In Poodle Pink!

It's the only point on which Frank and I disagree.

I Get a Kick Out of You, champagne! Especially pink champagne!


There is nothing like the tickle of champagne bubbles on the tip of your nose. They makes me giggle. And pink champagne bubbles are even better!

Who doesn't need this??
image via Pinterest

Thankfully I live near one of the greatest champagne makers in the world. (Ok, whatever, "sparkling wine", because I obviously don't live in France.) I heart you Korbel!

Korbel, referred to as California Champagne, is located in Sonoma County, CA, on a beautiful, historical estate. The gardens at Korbel were planted in the 1880's, and are full of lovely roses that can be seen on a tour of the grounds. You can also take a tour of the antique cellars, if you are planning a visit. Either tour ends graciously with a complementary tasting. Yes please!

I'm a sweet champagne girl, so I adore Korbel's Sweet Rosé. It's dazzling pink hue is a vintage gal's delight. (If you like a drier champagne, there is also a Brut Rosé.)

So imagine my joy as Husband presented me with a chilled glass of Sweet Rosé in one hand, and various Hello Kitty treasures in the other! Best Husband Ever!

Yes, Hello Kitty; she's not just for children. She's for kitsch, kawaii loving gals the world over! OK?!!

Anyhoo... Korbel lists their Sweet Rosé for $14.99 online. Eeekers! It sells for $7.99 at our local market. Music to a frugal poodle's ears.

Oh waiter/husband! I'm going to need a bigger glass!


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lipstick and Lashes ~ Poodle Products

Red lipstick. The greatest invention of all time.

Ok, ok, maybe not the GREATEST, but it's up there. Right next to the invention of frozen yogurt and peanut butter cups.

Mmmm... Fro yo.

Seriously though, all the makeup a poodle really needs, are a good red lipstick and a tube of mascara. As my friend "Tippy's" mom is fond of saying, "Honey, you're a pretty girl, but you could use a little lipstick."


Red lips can change a gal's entire look; they're dramatic, they're alluring, they're so retro!! After applying a luscious red shade, you'll transform from everyday to vintage! Nothing completes a 40's and 50's look, like a red lipstick does. Add a touch of mascara and boom! You'll become a Poodle Vixen!

But with 100's of red lipsticks out there, how's a poodle to know which one is the right choice??

I've got you covered poodles! With a collection of over twenty red shades, I definitely have developed an opinion on what constitutes a great red lipstick. I follow the "Three C's"; coverage, creaminess, and consistency of wear and time.

*Full disclosure: I have a fondness for drug store brands. Can we say cheap?? I have purchased a couple more pricey lipsticks, but for the purpose of this review, I'll focus on the less expensive lines.

First up, the color-stay, long-lasting, suck all moisture from your lips, lipsticks. I'm not a big fan of these in general because of the aforementioned drying factor, but when you're going out and you don't want to have to re-apply, these are your best bet. Plus, no one wants kisses left behind on their cheeks!

L'ORÉAL Infallible in Target Red and
Infallible Le Rouge in Red Fatale
L'ORÉAL Infallible and Infallible Le Rouge are two winners for me in this category. I love the compact packaging for Infallible; it reminds me of vintage lipstick holders. Infallible also really does last all day- you're going to need cold cream to get this stuff off. It is drying, but the accompanying balm works wonders at keeping your lips conditioned.

COVERAGE: 8/10- Goes on evenly without the need to fill in the inside of your lip, and without the need of a liner.
CREAMINESS: 6/10- Pretty dry like most long wear lipsticks.
CONSISTENCY: 8/10- Stays put for most of the time; some fading outward by the end of the day. But no feathering! A real plus!

L'ORÉAL Infallible Le Rouge looks like and feels like a regular lipstick. It goes on creamy and stays that way; no drying here! It is supposed to give 10 hours of coverage, I'd say more like 5. Which is great considering that your lips still feel like lips after, and no balm application is needed.

COVERAGE: 8/10- Covers the whole lip, but needs a lip liner for definition.
CREAMINESS: 9/10- Extremely creamy, almost to excess. It can feel slightly goopy. (Yes, I did just make up that word!)
CONSISTENCY: 7/10- Doesn't last as long as claimed, and has some transfer. Definitely need to blot this when you first apply. Fades outward.

Top: Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick in Top Tomato
Middle: Maybelline Superstay 24 Color in All Day Cherry
Bottom: Revlon Just Bitten in Gothic
Revlon, oh Revlon, how you have let me down! Usually my favorite when it comes to lipstick, Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lipstick and Just Bitten Lipstain & Balm are two misses in my book. The Liquid Lipstick is waaayyyy sheer and FEATHERS! It settles into every crack and line you have! Ugh! And despite claiming 24 hour last time, it fades after a couple of hours. So disappointing!

COVERAGE: 6/10- Covers the lips nicely, as well as all the skin around your lips!
CREAMINESS: 6/10- You can feel the moisture being sucked from your lips almost instantly. Goes on dry, stays dry.
CONSISTENCY: 4/10- 24 hours? Really?! 3 tops!

Maybe I'm mistaken in placing Just Bitten in a long-wear category; but to me lip-STAIN should do just that- stain your lips. Unlike Benetint, which lasts forever and truly stains everything it comes in contact with, Just Bitten, while innovative in its applicator tip, does not stain at all! I literally had to reapply every hour, and use the balm to keep my lips moist.

COVERAGE: 9/10- Lovely coverage with easy application via a felt tip.
CREAMINESS: 4/10- Feels like ink from that felt tip; watery and thin.
CONSISTENCY: 1/10- Did not last longer than an hour, with complete fading. Epic fail!

I'm on the fence about Maybelline Superstay 24 Color. It does last as claimed, but is super drying and fades outwards into a thin line. Then that line though, stays, and stays, and stays. Despite cold cream removal, the line is still visible 48 hours later. I'm considering using this one as a liner or a base for regular lipstick. So I'll hold off on the "Three C's" pending further investigative uses.

There you have it; my picks for best long-wearing lip color! If you're in the market for a long-lasting lipstick, pick L'ORÉAL! With great packaging and proven product claims, you can't go wrong!

Up next, Matte vs. Creamy~ Retro or not?

Til then...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Full Moon-icure Friday! ~ Poodle Tricks

Have you got the Friday Saturday night blues? Stuck at home with no place to go? What's a poodle to do when she has no plans??

(Sadly I started this post on Friday, and surprise, surprise, didn't finish until Saturday.)

Here are some of my ideas to chase those blues away.

First, flip on the stereo to the sweet sounds of Sinatra. Second, mix up a girly pink cocktail. Then, give yourself a manicure.

That's right, I said a manicure. Were you expecting something more exciting?? Ha!

I, of course, ruined another manicure with my sick-room boredom. With not much to do while recuperating from illness, I picked away at the edge of a nail until it peeled away. Way to go!!

So, I need a manicure; and when else, but on a free Friday Saturday night, are you going to find the spare HOURS it takes to really let your nails dry??  I usually wait until the last minute (see: procrastinator rules to live by) to paint my nails; and then I end up waking the next morning with those oh-so-cute cheek ridges embedded in the paint. Bleh!!

By making use of this available Friday Saturday evening, I may actually get it right! Looky there!! I'm planning ahead! Mark this day down!!

I've been missing my half-moons so I went back to my old standard; red with plain moons. But tonight I added a little twist. Feeling in need of some girly glamour, I painted leopard print on my ring fingers. Leopard is about the only cat element I allow into my otherwise pooch filled life. It's just so vintage Hollywood! I can't resist it!

Every poodle needs a little leopard
in their life!

Leopard print on nails is uber easy to do. Here's a picture tutorial to show you poodles how to add some kitten spice into your Saturday nightlife:

Colors I used were OPI Big Apple Red, Finger Paints
Ch-art-coal Black, and, one of my faves,
China Glaze For Audrey 

Step One: Prep nails and paint following the instructions in my previous half-moon manicure post.

Step Two: After applying second coat of color, wait a few minutes and apply top coat to all your nails except your ring fingers. Allow nails to dry.

Step Three: Using a dotting tool or toothpick, make three or more asymmetrical shaped circles on the nail of your left hand ring finger.

Make a palette of chosen colors on a
piece of foil.

You might want to practice on some paper at first.

Step Four: Using a toothpick, paint crooked "c's" around the circles.

Uneven, jagged "c's" or half-circles

Step Five: Add in some extra spots if you'd like.

Step Six: Allow to dry thoroughly, and then apply top coat to ring fingers.

Step Seven: Allow top coat to dry to the touch, then add a drop of cuticle oil to the base of each nail to help cure the polish.

OPI Avoplex nail & cuticle oil

Step Eight: Repeat on right hand.

Step Nine: Relax on the couch with your cocktail while your nails finish drying, and admire your seductive claws!


Me-ow Poodles!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Sniffles! ~ Poodle Pampering

Sniffling Poodles!!! I've got a fever! Ick!

Being sick is a bore. It's impossible to look fabulous when you're in a funk!

What's a poodle to do??

Follow this sniffling poodle's advice for your seasonal woes; and you'll be back to your sensational self in no time.

First, take a bath!! Soak away those body aches with some velvety bubbles. Feeling clean and deliciously scented, goes a long way to restoring a gal's morale. Put on your coziest robe and slippers, and nestle down under a soft, warm blanket, preferably pink!

Pink bubbles make everything better!

Time for tea! Nothing that a nice hot cuppa' can't do. My favorite comforting brew is Constant CommentA spicy-sweet, orange blend created in 1945 by Ruth Bigelow. The name came about when it was first served at a friend's afternoon tea, and received nothing but "constant comments"! How adorable is that?! A real vintage tea!

A cup of flowers, tea, and sympathy!

"Constant Comment" for comfort,
and a vintage pink tissue box for cheer!

Now settle in with a cherished book and a pooch to keep you company. Put your feet up and rest! Snooze for a spell, and float away on the waves of warm, tropical dreams...

Doesn't everyone have a huggable, heatable pink poodle?

Princess of Pooches!

After a few winks, plump up those pillows for an afternoon spent with your favorite old film stars. Wile away the hours with boxes of tissues and chocolate. You're convalescing after all!

Chocolate candy that looks
like china chintz!
Image from Fancy Flours baking supplies ~ Yummy!

Have your tissues handy!

Send Husband for some Thai chicken and lemongrass soup. Feel your headache fade, as the aromatic broth tickles your nose. Enjoy some guilt-free time doing whatever you like ~ Etsy shopping anyone? Some pinning on Pinterest?

Now it's off to bed with a bit of "Vicks" and puppy cuddles.

You'll be feeling poodle-licous by morning!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Poodle Pondering's: Dressing Vintage

To dress vintage, or not to dress vintage, that is the question. (Sorry Hamlet. HaHa!)

Or at least it's a question I get asked a lot. Along with, "do you dress like that everyday?" and "Where do you buy your vintage clothes?"

I think my answers disappoint most people, because you see, I don't dress vintage.


I know, I know poodles, this is supposed to be a Guide to Vintage Style!

But wait! It's a Procrastinator's Guide remember?!

It's not that I don't love vintage clothing, because I positively do! Often times I miss out on a fabulous outfit because I simply take too long to purchase it, and someone else snaps it up. I also have an odd body shape, which doesn't always make vintage a possibility for me.

That doesn't mean I stop looking though, because I do adore vintage clothing. I look in our local shops, and I scour Etsy. I purchase vintage reproduction clothing from online sites. And I try to at least include one vintage accessory in whatever outfit I'm wearing; whether it be a cardigan, handbag, jewelry, or hat.

But most of the time, I buy my clothes at... Target. Uh huh, Target.

It's easy, it's cheap, it's a Procrastinator's dream! The goal is to find pieces that would work in the era you are searching for; and then it is all about the styling! That rule holds true for wherever you shop.

I've found perfectly cuffed, high-waisted capri's in Target's "mom" jeans section. They sell plain and embelished cardigans that look straight out of the 50's. I've purchased back-seam stockings at Target, and darling black ballet flats. I own a charming cable knit sweater skirt from there, about which I'm always asked, "What vintage shop did you find your skirt at?" Even my recent Downton outfit was mainly composed of pieces found at my local Target this past summer.

Jeans- Target, peplum sweetheart top &
bow head wrap- Forever21,
shoes- Bass- Bowers, Getaway handbag- Lux de Ville

Cloche hat from Etsy, loafers from Target,
and knee-high socks from
another awesome poodle, Gumball Poodle!

Top- Gap, jean capris- Target, Converse one-star-
Target, bow head wrap- Forever21,
vintage sunglasses- Etsy

I'm not a fan of big box chain stores in general; the quality of the clothes as well as the lack of originality is scandalous! So I do not get all my clothes from Target, but I do get a big chunk of my everyday, run-to-the store, pick up my kid, outfits from them.

The rest of my wardrobe is primarily made up of vintage reproduction dresses from the likes of Bernie Dexter, Bettie Page Clothing, Etsy sellers, and my all-time favorite, Trashy Diva. Gorgeous, perfectly recreated styles from the 40's and 50's; some even cut straight from a vintage pattern. I love to wear dresses, and their dresses love every inch of my 4'10', short-waisted, large-chested frame! It's a win-win!

These two charming dresses are from Etsy sellers Jack's Daughter
and Dig for Victory!
The shoes are Poetic Licence- Summer Hoopla.

The darling dresses above have been worn to death
every summer since being purchased,
back when Isaac Mizrahi still designed for Target.
Pre-2008 sort of vintage!
shoes- Nicole- Petals

Two-tone shoes go with ANY vintage look!
Like these dresses from the fabulous Trashy Diva!
two-tone ballet flat- Yosi Samra

If you do buy vintage, or even if you order vintage repro online, KNOW YOUR MEASUREMENTS!! I cannot emphasize that enough! It may not be convenient to try on the vintage clothes, or maybe you dread dressing rooms like I do; either way, carrying a tape measure and knowing your exact sizing, can spare you much heartache.

A note about measurements: Disregard all those images online shops have regarding measuring your body. Those never work for me. Take pieces of clothing that fit you WELL, lay them flat, and measure the front waist, bust, under bust, shoulders, hips, everything! And then double to get the total measurement around. Know your inseam as well, and the length of dress you prefer from shoulder to knee, or to mid-calf.

Never underestimate the importance of accessories! A hat or hair accessory, vintage earrings or brooch, a scarf, or handbag; these items can make or break a look! And don't forget your shoes!!! Nothing is worse than seeing someone in a delightful outfit, only to have it ruined by the wrong shoes!

Use hats, bows, and flowers in your hair-
and don't forget Snoods!!

I dress "vintage" because I'm partial to those years that the clothing came from. I'm passionate about the hairstyles, the makeup, and the clothes that have come to be synonymous with the eras of the 20's-50's. I daydream about the women of those times and how they lived; of days gone by and of the heyday of my grandparents. I'm wild about old movies! And most of the time, you can hear the sweet sounds of great artists like Ella, Frank, or Dean, floating through my windows. I know that I don't have to wear an "original" piece, to engender that feeling of nostalgia.

Coco Chanel said, "Fashion fades, only style remains the same." So don't let anyone tell you that you HAVE to wear vintage to be a vintage gal. Wear what you love and what looks good on you! Add in some vintage accessories if you like. And style, style, style! When your hair and makeup are done in a vintage mode, and you throw on your vintage inspired clothes, people will think you are vintage. From your cute victory rolled head to your two-tone shoes, you'll be the most stylish Poodle on the block!!!