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Happy New Year! A Guide to Making Resolutions and Keeping Them.

Happy New Year Darlings!

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Happy New Year!

 

If you’ve been following me long enough you’re already aware of my fondness for the new year holiday. If not, let me tell you it is one of my favorites! I love starting fresh, setting new goals, revisiting past ones, and looking forward to the year to come. I know there are a lot of you out there who dread the idea of resolution making. Maybe you’re afraid of failure, perhaps you dislike the idea of ritual goal setting, or maybe the winter blues has got you in a funk? But truly, new year resolutions are a healthy and fun way to set your year up for success and help snap you out of a dreary mindset. I myself suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is maddening for someone of a generally cheerful disposition. One of the things that has shown itself to be most therapeutic for me is resolution making. So, please allow me to share with you my 2018 resolutions along with my tips for making them stick.

#1 Set Actual Goals

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Art by Bill Randall

Goals, I mean real attainable goals, are definable, quantifiable, and timely. Think about the things you want to achieve in the next year, but be specific and realistic. 

Define your goal. If you can’t explain what it is that you want, how in the world do you expect to achieve it?

Is it quantifiable? Can you measure it? “Finding happiness” is not measurable. Abstract goals are not goals at all, they’re moods. Following the abstract is a recipe for failure. Instead, think of things that would make you happy: spending more time with your family, gardening, starting a new hobby, quit smoking, and so on. These are things that can be defined and broken down into achievable steps.

Is it attainable? We are told since childhood to “dream big!”, “shoot for the stars!”, and while there is some merit to that, there is also folly. When I was a wee lass in my first tap (dance) class, I dreamed of being a Radio City Rockette, but that dream would never come to pass no matter how hard I trained because at 5’2″, I am just too short. There is absolutely nothing I can do to change that. Some goals just can’t be reached, and setting them only to fail time and again is detrimental to the psyche. But, that doesn’t mean we can’t set similar attainable goals. Maybe I can’t be a Rockette, but I can (and did) become a professional dancer. Maybe professional dancer is out of your reach for whatever reason, but taking a dance class is not, or maybe it is too much right now, but buying a dance lesson on DVD or following FREE YouTube tutorials is absolutely doable!

Is it timely: Ugh, I know! Everyone hates a deadline, probably because we approach them all wrong. Deadlines are necessary in actually achieving our goals. If we don’t set timelines, our goals fade away into that abstract abyss, forever out of reach. How depressing is that?! Very. So, learn to love a deadline. We do that by making them realistic. “Loose 20 lbs in a week” isn’t very realistic, in fact it’s downright dangerous! But, “loose 20 lbs in 3 to 6 months” is realistic. *Disclaimer: always check with your doctor before starting any weight loss or exercise program (wink)* The point is, deadlines only work if they are realistic, and goals are only reached if we implement deadlines.

 

#2 Get Organized

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This is but a small sampling of my journal collection.

Lists! I love lists! I have piles and piles of notebooks, planners, binders, and files for everything. Staples is one of my favorite places on Earth! I just love to sit down with a cup of tea, and write out all my plans for whatever it is I’m doing. Some of my lists are straight forward bullet points, some are artistic collages, some are scattered brainstorming, but they all make it out of my head and onto the page so I can see what needs doing.

Get yourself an notebook or planner or cork board and set out your goals. Remember to define them, write out the necessary steps to achieve said goal, and give yourself a timeline. I like to also leave some space for a bit of journaling. Sometimes a goal becomes unrealistic and I need to try again later. If I write down why, I’m better equipped the next time I try. I also like to give myself praise for steps I’ve made and mini-goals I’ve reached. Positive reinforcement will motivate you unlike anything else will.

#3 Get Going!

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Ann Miller

I’m a firm believer in the “fake it til you make it” philosophy. Little factoid about yours truly, I suffer from a chronic illness called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. There is no treatment, there is no cure, it’s just a thing I must deal with on a day to day basis. I don’t always feel like being productive (or even getting out of bed). I don’t always have the energy to exercise or cook or garden or to do any of the things that I love, and one of the nasty little side effects to that is depression. If I let it, all of those things will snowball into an awful existence. So, I get up and push through. Some days more than others, but every day I make an earnest effort, even when I don’t feel like it. Even when some days I feel like a fraud. Even when I’m too tired. Just making the effort to start, to take those next steps, makes each effort easier and easier. I’m not one for motivational sayings, but it really is true “Procrastination is the thief of time”. (I’ve no idea who said that. I likely saw it on a coffee mug somewhere).

My 2018 New Year’s Resolutions!

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Marilyn Monroe was an avid reader and had an impressive library.

Read more – I love to read, but didn’t make much time for it last year (though I did finish one book *pats self on back). This year I’d like to make bedtime reading a nightly ritual, eventually working it in to some daytime indulgences.

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Art by Gil Elvgren

Get in shape! – Ugh! This one. 2017 was not kind to me in terms of physical and mental health. So this coming year, I endeavor to bring my health back to acceptable levels. I’m still working out the details, so I’m short on specifics, but I know the steps I need to take. The end result is up to my body, and I’m willing to let the chips fall where they may. I know I don’t like feeling sluggish and weak, so that’s my goal, not so much the numbers on a scale. Maybe I’ll share this journey… or maybe I won’t. Are there too many health and fitness blogs out there already?

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Art by Pearl Frush

The January Cure – A new year ritual for me, spring cleaning in the winter. Every year I join Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. It’s a weekly deep cleaning and home organization challenge for the month of, you guessed it, January! Each task is doable and not too time consuming. Some tasks take the weekend, some take 10 minutes. If you find yourself drowning in clutter, or you just want to spruce up the olde domicile, I HIGHLY recommend joining.

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This lady’s kitchen is everything!

Write more letters – I love snail mail. I love sending hand written letters and receiving them. For some reason, when we moved house, I just dropped off the face of the earth. I never mailed our change of address cards, and as such lost touch with a lot of my friends and family. So, this year, I’m going to make the effort to send at least one note or letter a month (see what I did there? A quantifiable, timely goal!)

And there you have it. Some of my New Year’s resolutions (I do have more. Some are too personal to share, and some are holdovers from last year that need revisiting), and a few tips on making your resolutions successful. I do hope you’ve found this post helpful and at least a little inspirational. Let me know what your resolutions are. I’d love to hear your plans for the new year!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

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My Favorite (not so) Scary Films

Hello Darlings!

If you’re like me and find modern hard-core horror films less than entertaining, have I got a treat for you! With Autumn upon us and Halloween just around the corner, I do enjoy slipping into a seasonal kind of mood. And though the last few days here in sunny Southern California have been more sultry than crisp, I revel in decorating, comfort foods, and the quintessential scary movie!

Photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Margo von Pigtails

While I love a good fright as much as the next gal, I am admittedly far too squeamish for the whole guts and gore scene. So, for a (mild) fun scare that won’t keep you up all night like a terrified little kid, please peruse My Favorite Vintage (not so) Scary Films for the Faint of Heart:

Caveat: These films are listed in no particular order… I love each and every one equally.

Bell, Book, and Candle

1958

Starring Jimmy Stewart, Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, Elsa Lanchester

Alright, so this film isn’t remotely frightening. It is a light, quirky love story, and it’s completely adorable! Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak)  is a modern gal living the NYC life… with one difference, she’s a witch! When she meets handsome publisher, Shep Henderson (Jimmy Stewart), she decides she wants him for her own and casts a love spell. Now, I’m not going to sing the praises of the cinematography or any other such highbrow hoodoo. I will just say that this film is fun and colorful. Novak and Stewart are enchanting. This is my go-to Fall movie when I’m feeling girlie and want to paint my nails or bake some sort of Halloween treat. I recently purchased a copy at my local Target for a measly $7 after my DVR mysteriously erased the TCM version I had recorded.

*On a side note: This was the last “leading man” role Stewart ever played. He and Novak had just wrapped Vertigo when they did Bell, Book, and Candle. He was 50 years old and Kim Novak was 25. Apparently the love scenes left the dignified Mr. Stewart feeling like a dirty old man, and he vowed to only play roles befitting his age with costars his age.

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Watch the trailer here

Freaks

1932

Starring Harry Earles, Daisy Earles, Olga Baclanova, and Wallace Ford

This film is quite possibly the ONLY thing Rob Zombie and I have in common! Technically speaking, this cinematic treasure can be regarded as an exploitation film, though I find it less exploitive and more empowering. Side-show little person, Hans (Harry Earles) becomes infatuated with the beautiful trapeze artist Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova). When she and her (full size) lover find out Hans has a huge inheritance, they hatch a plot of scandalous matrimony and murder. The thing that I love about this film is that the “freaks” aren’t so freaky. They are portrayed as real people with real lives, and the whole side show freak gig is only a job. “Freaks” is loaded with suspense and art deco film styling (I’m completely in love with Daisy Earl’s hair, make-up, and wardrobe)! Though not really frightening, the final scenes had me on the edge of my settee!

*On a side note: Freaks was originally shelved by MGM and the distribution rights were snagged by notorious exploitation road-show specialist, Dwain Esper who showed the film under such tawdry titles as “Forbidden Love” and “Nature’s Mistakes”.

Famed author (and one of my personal favorites) F. Scott Fitzgerald was writing for the studio at the time “Freaks” was filmed. The notorious loaner, never feeling comfortable around glamourous movie stars and powerful movie moguls, often dined at the commissary table with the side show actors… I knew I liked him for a reason!

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Watch the trailer here

Zombies of Mora Tau

1957

Starring Gregg Palmer, Allison Hayes, Autumn Russell, and Joel Ashley (and a bunch of other folks I’ve never heard of)

This film is B-movie gold! It has got it all: virginal heroin, dashing bad-boy who wants to be good, over sexed vamp in a bullet bra, and her greedy no-good husband. I’m not going to pretend that this little flick won any awards. The acting is bad, the set is laughable, and the script reads like a high school play, but if you love camp, then you will love “Zombies of Mora Tau”. I LOVE  Allison Hays; she is sex in a skirt!  Anyway, the “plot” goes like this: A greedy gent and his HOT wife commission a ship to hunt for a lost treasure guarded by the undead sailors who originally found it. The treasure is cursed and anyone who dares to go after it winds up dead… or worse! Watch this film and you may be left wondering if this is where the Disney folks got the idea for Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

*On a side note: I want to be Allison Hayes when I grow up!

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Watch the trailer here

Anything by Val Lewton

Film Producer

So, I couldn’t pick just one here. Val Lewton is, for me, the master of suspense! This man could do no wrong, but never seemed to really get anywhere. He is remembered as a genius buy those in the know and completely forgotten by those who are not. I love every film he has ever done (except for Curse of the Cat People, but we’ll just pretend it never happened. OK? OK.) , but here are my faves in order from best to “oh that one is sooo good too”!

Cat People

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Watch the trailer here

The Leopard Man

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Watch the trailer here

I Walked with a Zombie

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Watch the trailer here

The Body Snatcher

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Watch the trailer here

Isle of the Dead

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Watch the trailer here

The Seventh Victim

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Watch the trailer here

Bedlam

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Watch the trailer here

Ghost Ship

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Watch the TCM intro here

Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, Simon Simon… need I say more?! Yes, I should. I’m not suggesting that had he a bigger budget, Val Lewton would have lost his touch. I just appreciate what the low budget leant to his films. Take “Cat People”. The swimming pool scene is truly frightening, and never once does the audience ever see the “cat”. Now compare that with the B production of “Zombies of Mora Tau” and you will see that great film making rests in talent, not cash. The Val Lewton box set is most certainly on my Christmas list this year! I cannot say enough about his films. They are some of my all-time favorite films… EVAH!

*On a side note: Val Lewton was one of the (lesser) producers of Gone With the Wind.

Psycho

1960

Starring Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, and John Gavin

Allow me to just say, if you’ve not see “Psycho” then you’ve not lived! This film is beyond classic. It is scary, suspenseful, well done, and just fantastic. Anthony Perkins is the epitome of freaky… he just looks like the kind of guy that has body parts in his freezer, or fruit cellar! The subject matter, the filming, the acting, all way ahead of their time. Even the most devoted horror film enthusiast must tip their hat to this piece of cinematic history. It is, in my humble opinion, the “Citizen Cane” of horror films!

*On a side note: the “blood” in the shower scene was really chocolate sauce. The fake blood normally used in filming was diluted by the shower water and didn’t show up as dramatically in the black and white film as Alfred Hitchcock wanted.

If you are not familiar with Hitchcock films, you may not know that he loved to make little cameos in his films. Keep a sharp eye for a pudgy pedestrian in the early scenes…

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Watch the trailer here

Nosferatu 

1922

Starring Max Schreck, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schroder, and Alexander Granach

Don’t let the fact that this film is a silent one fool you. It scares the hell outta me every time I watch it! What can I say, it is beyond creepy. It being a silent film only adds to the unnerving effect. Not only are you watching, but by reading, one is also participating in said feature. The imagery is hypnotic to the point where plot becomes irrelevant, but here’s the deal anyway: a realtor travels to an isolated castle, despite warnings  of local villagers, to sell creepy Count Orlok a house nearby his own. The count becomes infatuated with the realtor’s wife… will she fall prey to the evil Nosferatu? I can’t believe this film was made in the 1920’s! It truly rivals any modern vampire flick… and it’s the only one on my list!

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Watch a movie clip here

The Wolfman

1941

Starring Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Bela Lugosi

I confess that one of the few modern horror films I love is Wolfman (2010). Mainly because it shadows the original so well! Both films stick closely to classic werewolf folklore, so one already has an idea of the plot when sitting down to a Wolfman movie. There is nothing to figure out, no twist ending, just good old fashioned jump outta your skin frights… accompanied by the whole moral conundrum of the wolfman condition. Lon Chaney Jr. plays the conflicted Larry Talbot perfectly, and Claude Rains, well, I just love me some Claude Rains! This film is a classic and should be required viewing at film school or just regular school too.

*On a side note: the wolf Larry Talbot wrestles with was Lon Chaney Jr.’s own pet German Shepherd. I need to get my dog an agent!

**On a side, side note: All of the Universal Monster movies are worth watching as they are the defining films of vintage horror. I just have a special place in my heart for The Wolfman. But, please do see Dracula, Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Invisible man, The Mummy, The Phantom of the Opera, and all of the subsequent sequels.

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Watch the trailer here

The Picture of Dorian Gray

1945

Starring George Sanders, Hurd Hatfield, Donna Reed, and Angela Lansbury

I love this 1945 film adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s  novel! Dorian Gray is a dandy… a Victorian playboy. He is dashing, fashionable, and morally corrupt. He sells his soul for eternal youth, and a curse is placed on his portrait. As time passes the real Dorian stays young and handsome while his portrait, which he keeps locked away, takes on the visage of Dorian’s behavior… and it ain’t pretty! Sex, murder, and all kinds of Victorian debauchery abound, but the thing that makes this film creepy is Hurd Hatfield’s performance. He reminds me of that charming, cold serial killer one learns about in those true crime TV shows. I would rather be trapped in an elevator with a gorilla than this cat! His voice, his face, his complete lack of emotion… sociopath! “The Picture of Dorian Gray” is a fantastic film and an even better book.

*On a side note: I have a mad crush on George Sanders, who always played a right cad! He sadly committed suicide in 1972.

**On a side, side note: Dame Angela Lansbury and Hurd Hatfield teamed up again in the 1980’s for three different Murder She Wrote episodes.

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Watch the trailer here

Vincent Price

1911-1993

Is it weird that I find Vincent Price incredibly sexy? There is something about his voice and his wicked smirk that I find irresistible! That being said, I love everything he has ever done. He was famous for his gothic horror films, but Price was also an Ivy League scholar, author, and gourmet… he was also quite tall and I dig that, just ask my Mr.! So for the sake of time, I shall abandon all further flattery and simply list my Favorite Vincent Price films and their clips. It just isn’t halloween without his creamy voice pouring over the phonograph!

Dragonwyck

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Watch the trailer here

House of Wax

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Watch the trailer here

House on Haunted Hill

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Watch the trailer here

The Fall of the House of Usher

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Watch the trailer here

Pit and the Pendulum

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Watch the trailer here

Diary of a Madman

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Watch the trailer here

*On a side note: Vincent Price had his own mail-order book club in the 70’s “Vincent Price Books”… I think I need to add to my vintage book collection!

 

Well, there you have it, pigeons, my favorite spooky films for a crisp autumn night. Pop some pop corn, curl up by a warm fire… or warm body, and enjoy! Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Photo courtesy of the lovely and talented Margo von Pigtails

xoxo

Dolly Marlowe

Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Hello Darlings!

 

I’ve been asked time and time again to share my skincare ritual, and seeing how I celebrated my 40th birthday last month, I think that’s a splendid idea! But before I get into all that, I thought I’d first share a recipe for my go-to, all natural, organic, apple cider vinegar toner.

Apple cider vinegar has a long list of beneficial uses: from weight loss, to skin care, medicinal purposes, cleaning and disinfecting, teeth whitening, I could go on forever. Thanks to my grandmother’s expert tutelage, I’ve been using ACV for ages. My favorite use, as I’ll share with you today is as a skin toner.

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Rich in alpha hydroxyl acids, ACV does a swell job in reducing the look of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles. It’s antiseptic properties help prevent and treat acne (including blackheads). It lightens discoloration caused by acne scars, sunspots, and age spots. But best of all, ACV actually improves skin tone and texture, all for around $5 every few months. Just think of all the money you’ll save ditching the expensive store bought toners! You’ve got better plans for that cash anyway… like shoes!

The Recipe:

1 part Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

2 parts water

a clean glass jar

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Simply divide your jar, whatever size, into thirds. Fill 1/3 up with the Braggs ACV (yes, use the Braggs, it’s raw, unfiltered, organic ACV, and only about $5 for a bottle that will last you MONTHS). Then, fill the rest with filtered water. That’s it!

Directions for use:

**If you have sensitive skin, go slow. ACV can be drying at first. Use once to twice a week for a couple of weeks, working your way up to everyday or even twice daily.

  1. Wash your face with a gentle facial cleanser and pat dry with a soft, clean towel.
  2. Shake your jar of ACV toner, then dip a cotton ball or pad in the solution.
  3. Swipe it all over your face, neck, and décolletage. Be sure to swipe under your eyes where we tend to collect wrinkles, but DO NOT GET IT IN YOUR EYES! (It burns, Precious, it burns!)

As the solution evaporates, the fumes tend to irritate the eyes. I like to take this time to close my eyes and relax a bit. Skincare time is me time, so I do like to soak it up.

Fair warning, ACV stinks like, well, vinegar. The odor will go away, usually by the time I’ve finished with my entire skincare ritual (more on that at a later date).

I can honestly say of all the products I’ve tried, nothing comes close to my ACV toner. Try it for a few weeks and tell me what you think!

 

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

Beauty Review: Besame Cosmetics Cashmere Foundation Stick

*This is not a sponsored or paid review

Hello Darlings!

I have, as of late, been on a mission… a mission of glamorous proportions! For over a year I’ve been searching for a foundation to replace my beloved Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation, which is sadly no longer cruelty free. I’ve tried lots of different foundations; high end, drug store, BB creams, powders, you name it. While some were decent, none really hit the mark. That’s why when Besame Cosmetics announced the launch of their new Cashmere Foundation Stick, I was over the moon, if not a bit skeptical. I love Besame, but I’ve not had much luck with stick or pancake foundations in the past. I decided to order one and give it a whirl!

Anytime I do a review, I like to test the product for a few days, sometimes even a few weeks to get a feel of how the product truly performs. Over the last few days, I tested the foundation stick in lots of situations. I tested it at my ballet class, yoga, whitewater rafting, running errands in 114* heat, and under hot photography lights. Let’s see how it did, shall we?

Day 1

On the first trial I did my makeup as usual, moderate coverage with finishing powders and the like. I had an afternoon of running errands in 114* heat (yes, you read that correctly, 114*).

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I’m wearing Besame Cashmere Foundation Stick in Bisque and Besame Brightening Powders in Violet and Vanilla Rose.

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After a very hot afternoon of shopping, the powders wore off, but the foundation stayed put. I did, at one point, touch up with some pressed powder.

Day 2

On day two we went whitewater rafting. Knowing I’d be in the sun and water, I did a light foundation application (with no powder). I really didn’t expect much, especially because I had to wear loads of sunblock.

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My face before our time on the river. The foundation stick is a buildable coverage, so I opted for a lighter application.

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Moi, looking glamorous as ever in my little green helmet, along with my Mr. and man-cub, and four complete strangers. Oh, and Matthew, our competent guide who kept my man-cub from falling out of the raft on more than on occasion.

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After a couple of hours on the river, in the sun, and my foundation stayed better than my so-called “waterproof” eye makeup. Though I didn’t actually go swimming, I did get splashed pretty well a few times… I was soaked!

Day 3

I very much wanted to test the full coverage claim under studio lights. It’s one thing to look nice at the beach or grocery store, but it’s quite another to step in front of a camera under hot lights.

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This is the unedited photo. I applied my makeup as I would any photo shoot. Cashmere Foundation Stick in Bisque built up to full coverage, Brightening powders in violet and rose, e.l.f. High Definition Powder, and Besame Cherry Red lipstick.

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This is the edited version. As you can see, other than some smoothing and light balancing, there really wasn’t a whole lot of editing to be done. 

The Review

Formula: I’ve always been a fan of Besame’s commitment to clean makeup, and while I’m no chemist, the Cashmere Foundation Stick  stays true to that philosophy. Not only is it free of lots of the “junk” found in other foundations, it has some lovely skin calming additions like cucumber, chamomile, and green tea. The ingredient list can be found right on their website, so for those of you with sensitive skin or allergies, there’s no mystery as to what you’re applying to your face. Best of all, Besame is 100% committed to being cruelty free! No animal testing, no animal by-products, and they don’t sell in countries that require animal testing.

Color Match: I have very light skin with pink undertones; the Bisque color was an absolute perfect match! The Cashmere Foundation Stick comes in a wide range of shades that can be blended together if you can’t find your perfect match or if want to contour and highlight.

Coverage: Besame calls the foundation stick full coverage, but I wouldn’t go quite that far. When it comes to full coverage, I always compare foundations to Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation which is truly full coverage (and tested on animals, unfortunately). While the Cashmere Foundation Stick has plenty of coverage for me, if you have serious acne or rosacea, it may not be enough. BUT, the coverage is buildable. It was a cinch just to add a little bit more to get the desired effect. If you’re looking for sheer or light coverage, simply adjust the amount of product you apply. Need a matching concealer? Use a concealer brush and dab away! So, while I wouldn’t exactly call it FULL coverage, I love the fact that I can wear as little or as much as I want with no hassle.

Application: I’ve heard some complaints about the application, but I think there are a few things to remember when using a solid foundation: first, wear moisturizer! Everyone should be wearing moisturizer anyway, but especially when using pancake makeup. You’ll find you have a much smoother application when you prepare your skin properly. Second, after you swipe on the foundation, blend it in with a brush. Besame sells a lovely boudoir brush for such a purpose, but any foundation brush will do. You won’t get that etherial airbrushed look with a sponge blender. And third, if you have large pores, like moi, blend up and away from the pores to keep from pushing the makeup down into them.

Once you have that down, the application is exceedingly easy. Just swipe a bit on your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin, then blend away. There is virtually no mess! Another plus is how portable it is. Throw it in your bag for a quick touch up at the beach, gym, or wherever your adventures take you.

Wearability: Besame says their foundation is feather light, and they aren’t wrong! No matter how much I used, my skin felt naked. I have normal to oily skin, and as I mentioned before, I live in an oven. That being said, my skin never felt greasy or caky. It also wasn’t drying in any way. It truly felt as if I was wearing nothing… at least on my face, anyway. And talk about long lasting! During my rafting trip, my foundation stayed better than my “water proof” eye makeup! Ballet class, yoga, summer heat, the Cashmere Foundation Stick stayed put through all of it. Removal is easy as pie. A little cold cream, and it wiped right off with no lasting residue (my white towels stay white!).

Cost: The price for this wonderstick is, in my humble opinion, beyond reasonable. For $25 you get a pretty generous amount of makeup. Now I’ll be honest, it doesn’t look like much, but as with all of Besame’s products, a little goes a long way. Not to mention one typically uses less of a solid foundation than the liquid sort. Plus, no mess means no waste! While it may cost a bit more than a drugstore foundation, it’s half the price of high end department store cosmetics, and it beats both in quality by a mile!

Availability: As of right now the foundation is only available through Besame’s website or their two locations. Hopefully it will be at a Sephora near you soon. I don’t have a Sephora near me, so I buy at besamecosmetics.com. I realize buying a foundation on-line, without being able to test it, can be nerve-wracking, but Besame’s color descriptions and swatches are incredibly accurate. If you just do a search of  #besamecosmetics or #cashmerefoundationstick on Instagram, you’ll find lots of ladies showing off their preferred shade which may help you find yours.

Rating: I give it and overall 9 out of 10. The only issues I see are that it’s not quite full coverage, and for some ladies that may be an issue, and it’s only available on-line or at a Besame store right now. Honestly, I can overlook both of those things because I love this product so much! If it’s ever discontinued, I shall throw myself into the pit of despair!

I do hope you have found this little review helpful. If you try the Cashmere Foundation Stick, please let me know what you think! As always, you can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. If you have a beauty or vintage lifestyle question, feel free to drop me a line via electronic post, dollymarlowe@gmail.com. Until we meet again!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Pinup 101Photo Shoot Checklist

Hello Darlings!

Today I thought I might share with you my checklist for photo shoot preparations, including what to bring. Every model should have a model bag that holds the various odds and ends needed on any given photo shoot or runway show. The contents of your bag may change depending on the job, your experience, and so on. I’ll go over the basics, and you can add on from there. I’ll also share with you how I prepare for photo shoots with my pre-shoot schedule.

First, lets touch on the importance of being prepared. I have heard some pretty interesting stories from photographers about models who have shown up late (really late), with unshaven legs and/or underarms, unkempt finger and toenails, soiled or wrinkled wardrobe, and so on. No matter how much or how little actual experience a model may have, showing up prompt and prepared is the mark of a true professional. The opposite is, well, exactly that. In a sea of beautiful faces, a professional attitude and a winning personality will set you apart and keep the jobs rolling in.

The Model Bag 

The model bag is a model’s personal bag of tricks. It holds everything one could possibly need during a shoot or show. Even if hair, makeup, and wardrobe are being provided, there are things specific to you that you alone are responsible for bringing. Here’s my checklist, and while your bag will be specific to you, this is a good start.

Dolly _Marlowe's_Model Bag

My model bag is a vintage train case that has doubled as a prop.

*Water bottles (Lights get hot, stay hydrated)

*Straws (Stay hydrated AND keep your makeup in place)

*Energy snacks (Bite size things are best to keep from ruining your makeup)

*Safety panties (Thong or g-string panties as close to your skin tone as possible. These are for wearing under a photographer’s or designer’s wardrobe, especially swimwear and lingerie.)

*Full coverage panties in black, white, nude, and a fashion color like pink or red (These are for show, so make sure they are in nice condition)

*Heels in black, white, nude, and any fashionable style or color that suits your wardrobe (Beware of too ostentatious a shoe if you’re working for a designer, their clothes are the focus, not your shoes. Make sure you can walk in the shoes you pack if you’re walking the runway)

*Bras in black and nude, with AND without straps

 

*Stockings: black, nude, fishnets, nude pantyhose (Bring backups in the event of snags)

*Scarf (For wardrobe changes to prevent makeup transfer)

*Makeup, yes, even if its being provided (Foundation, lashes and adhesive, oil blotter, translucent powder with brush, lipstick, liner, chapstick, hair pins, hairspray, comb and brush, tissues, cotton swabs, cotton balls, anything you need for your specific look)

*Body lotion

*Nail polish remover

*Clear nail polish

*Colored nail polish to match your freshly manicured nails

*Nail clippers and file

*Small first-aid kit with clear bandages, NSAIDs, allergy medications, cough drops, feminine hygiene products

*Deodorant

*Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss

*Breath mints

*Baby wipes or makeup remover wipes

*Static Guard

*Small sewing kit with safety pins

*Fabric tape

*Portfolio, resume, and comp cards if you have them

*Your handbag with your usual things (Be sure to have cash, cell phone, and your ID)

*Music (I have several playlists depending on the mood of the shoot, and a compact bluetooth speaker)

*Something to do (There can be quite a bit of downtime, so have something to keep busy)

*Wardrobe and accessories (Even if the photographer is providing, it’s always a good idea to have options. The only time it’s not appropriate to bring your own wardrobe is if you’re shooting for a designer, then you’ll obviously be wearing their pieces)

*Travel clothes and robe (Loose fitting clothes that won’t leave impressions or red marks on your skin whilst you travel to your gig or sit for hair and makeup. Don’t wear socks!)

Pre-Shoot (or show) Preparation Schedule

Preparations for a photo shoot or runway show start long before you ever show up to your gig. Everything from eating right and getting a good nights sleep effect your performance in front of a camera. Here is how I prepare for shows and shoots.

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Calendar art by Alberto Vargas for Esquire Magazine

Always (as in, I’m always doing these things because they’re important in the long term):

*Exercise and eat right. This doesn’t mean you have to be a size two, but you should strive to look and feel your healthiest best.

*Practice. I’ve covered this before, but it’s so very important to know how to pose and feel comfortable in those poses. Have a wide variety of poses, facial expressions, and moods to show (at least 10).

*Take a dance class. This may sound silly, but nothing trains your body to move with poise and grace better than dance. It doesn’t matter what style of dance class you choose, just pick something and get moving!

*Don’t pick at your face! If you have a pimple that decides to make an uninvited appearance, use a spot treatment. Picking will only cause irritation and scarring which will take a lot longer than the original blemish to disappear.

One Month Prior (as you book more jobs, this will became a standing thing):

*Gather wardrobe pieces and items for your model bag if you don’t already have them. If you need to order things, give yourself enough time for delivery and exchanges if needed)

*Make any sewing alterations to wardrobe as needed

*If your shoot has a theme, collect some props. This is an especially good idea if you’re doing a package shoot where the photographer has a set theme and is offering it up to multiple models. Bringing a few small props will give your photos something a little different. Though, respect the photographer’s wishes if they’d rather not use them.

*Double check your schedule. Make sure you have time off work, babysitters, transportation, a chaperone, and the correct day and time of the shoot.

Two Weeks Prior:

*Double check measurements and wardrobe fit, especially if you’ve changed your diet or started working out. You’d be surprised how the loss or gain of a couple of inches can drastically change wardrobe fit. Make any alterations (or contact whomever booked you if you’ll be modeling for a designer) as needed

*Double check that schedule!

*Start whitening your teeth if you’ve never done it before.

One week Prior:

*Do any kind of facials or skin treatments now so your skin has time to adjust. I do not recommend trying any kind of new treatments this close to a shoot, should your skin positively freak out on you!

*Start sleeping 6 to 10 hours a night. Sleep experts say it can take a whole week to catch up on one bad night, so be sure you’re getting plenty of beauty rest.

*Drink water. Proper hydration not only keeps you healthy, but it also fills in fine lines, wrinkles, cellulite, and clears the skin. (*pro tip: “water” is in bold because I mean water, not juice, not soda, not energy drinks, but actual WATER).

*Have your hair done. If you color it, get that done. Have a trim done as well. When you book your appointment, ask for a deep conditioning treatment as well to add some luster to your locks. Again, now is not the time for anything new, just maintenance.

*Wax whatever needs waxing, if you are so inclined. Remember, your skin will need some recovery time.

*Whiten your teeth if it’s part of your maintenance beauty routine.

Two or Three Days Prior:

*Groom your eyebrows. It’s best to have this done by a professional if you’re not experienced in this area.

*Exfoliate your face and body.

*Keep drinking water and getting good sleep!

*Cut out high sodium foods and alcohol. Too much salt will make you look bloated, not hydrated. Cut out as much salt as you can. Take it easy on sugary foods too. They can lead to weight gain and skin issues. Alcohol will make you look tired and puffy, so skip the cocktails until your shoot is over

*Steam and press any wardrobe, then hang it in a garment bag being careful it won’t get crushed or creased. DO NOT FLAT FOLD YOUR WARDROBE!

*Contact the photographer. Confirm wardrobe, hair and makeup plans, etc.

*Arrange a safety contact if you don’t have a chaperone.

*Double check that schedule.

The Day Prior:

*Keep drinking water!

 

*Have a manicure and pedicure done. Buy a bottle of matching color nail polish if you don’t have one at home.

*Pack your model bag.

*Wash your hair in the morning or the night before, and don’t use any heavy styling products. Your hairstylist will want “day old hair” to work with. (*Pro Tip: Day old hair, not dirty, nasty, stinky hair).

*Shave your legs, under arms, and bikini line if you don’t wax. Be sure to moisturize after.

*Get good sleep!

*Charge your phone

The Day Of:

*Wake up early enough that you’re not in a mad rush.

*Shower and shave again. Don’t forget to moisturize after.

*Wash and moisturize your face. Don’t put on any cosmetics if you’re working with a makeup artist.

*Throw anything in your model bag you used that morning you may need later. Don’t forget your phone charger.

*Eat a good breakfast. Stay away for greasy heavy foods, and opt for quality proteins and carbohydrates that will give you energy without weighing you down.

*If you’re supposed to arrive photo ready, be photo ready.

*Let your safety contact know when you’ve arrived and where you are. Keep in contact throughout the day during breaks if it’s an all day shoot.

*Show up 15 minutes early. Use the restroom if needed. Put your phone on vibrate.

*Relax and have fun!

After You Shoot:

*Thank the photographer and HMUA (and anyone else who worked on your shoot) for their work.

*Give them copies of your comp cards or business cards and exchange contact and social media information. Never miss an opportunity to network.

*Clean up your mess. Photo shoots are fast and hectic, no doubt your stuff is everywhere. Pack up your things and throw away your trash.

*Go over any details with the photographer regarding publication, photo sharing, etc.

*Call your safety contact when you’re in your car and ready to leave.

*Stop and reward yourself with a greasy, sugary treat. You’ve earned it!

 

Every photo shoot and runway show will be different in some way. As you gain more experience, your bag and routine will change accordingly. What’s important is that you get in the habit of being prepared. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to drop me a line via electronic post or in the comments section below.

Dolly_Marlowe's_cat

Every time I pack for a shoot, I have to remind him that he can’t come with me.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

 

 

 

Decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake

Hello Darlings!

February is here and love is in the air. Shops are overflowing with flowers and big boxes of chocolates. It seems as if the whole world is swathed in pink and red hues. Don’t you just love l’amour?

One of my favorite things about the Valentine season is baking up something special for my one true love (who, by the way, has one serious sweet tooth). This year I made him the richest, most decadent, ooey-gooey, chocolate ganache cake. I’d love to share it with you for you to share with someone you love…or just eat it all yourself. It’s that good.

dollymarloweganachecake

Decadent Chocolate Ganache Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes

Start to finish time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Serves: 12

Ingredients:

(Cake)

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour or 2 1/2 cups cake flour

1 2/3 cups sugar

3/4 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup unsweetened baking cocoa

1 1/4 cups water

1 1/4 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 tsp baking powder

2 eggs

(Ganache)

2/3 cup whipping cream

6 oz semisweet baking chocolate (chopped, chips work as well)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350* F. Grease bottom and sides of two (9″) or 3 (8″) round cake pans; lightly flour.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat all the ingredients (except for those for the ganache) on low speed for 3 minutes, scraping to bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for an additional 3 minutes. Pour equal portions into pans.
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until each cake passes the toothpick test. Let cool 10 minutes. DO NOT ALLOW TO COOL COMPLETELY IN THE PANS!!! Remove from the pans and allow to cool for 1 hour.
  4. While the cakes are baking, heat the whipping cream in a 1 quart saucepan over low heat util hot, but not boiling.
  5. Add in chocolate and stir obsessively, do not let it burn (chocolate can burn quickly). Once the chocolate is melted, remove from heat. The ganache will thicken as it cools. It’s ready when it mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon.
  6. Spoon cooled ganache between the cake layers. Pour over the top layer and allow it to drip over the sides of the cake. Spoon as much as you like to cover the cake.

**Tip: for an extra gooey cake, pour the ganache between the cake layers whilst it is still relatively thin, allowing the cake layers to absorb the moisture. Top the rest of the cake once the ganache has thickened up a bit.

Serve warm with a scoop of homestyle vanilla ice cream and a glass of cold milk.

Enjoy!

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe

Pinup Pouf Hair Tutorial

Hello Darlings!

I’ve been making an effort to be nicer to my hair. I put it through quite a bit of abuse when it comes to styling: wet sets, backcombing, pin curls, more backcombing…So. Much. Backcombing. In order to minimize breakage, I try to only wash my hair every four to five days. By the end of that cycle, my hair is, well, nasty. Since going into hiding is a less than reasonable option, I need a quick and easy hairstyle to hide my dirty hair. The best part of this style, other than being quick and easy, is it works best on dirty hair!

Pinup Pouf

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Supplies: brush, rattail comb, hair elastic, bobby pins, hair net, hair rat, hair spray, decorative bits and pieces.

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Step 1: Brush out your nasty hair! 

*Apologies for the poor quality photos. We’re renovating and my lighting is seriously wanting.

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Step 2: Brush your hair forward into a ponytail, right where your bangs sit.

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Step 3: Divide your ponytail into two sections.

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Step 4: Backcomb like crazy!

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The goal here is to look like a Tim Burton character. I told you I do A LOT of backcombing.

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Step 5: Attach the hair rat to your hairline just above your forehead. Two bobby pins on each side should do the trick.

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Like so.

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Step 6: GENTLY brush your hair forward being careful not to brush out the nice little rat’s nest you’ve made. I use a soft bristle brush for this reason.

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Step 7: Roll the ends of your hair under and spread them out a bit.

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Step 8: pin the rolled ends of your hair under the hair rat, and secure the ends. Smooth out any lumpy bits and spray it in place. Your hair is already dirty, so go ahead and shellac that mess!

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Step 9: Stretch the hair net over your pouf. Fine mesh hair nets work best.

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Step 10: Secure the netting behind the hair elastic on top of your head.

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Step 11: Choose some decorative hair baubs to enhance your do.

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A simple bow works nicely.

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You can get as dramatic as you like. Use LOTS of flowers. The higher the pouf, the more hair baubs you can use!

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And just like that you are ready to face the world in glamorous (albeit dirty) hairstyle.

Let me know if you try this style and how it works for you.

XOXO

Dolly Marlowe