February in Paris with Bernie Dexter

Bernie Dexter Paris dress - turquoise floral
Bernie Dexter Paris dress – turquoise floral

I’ve had my eye on Bernie Dexter‘s Paris dress for a while now. It’s a beautiful early 1960s-style sundress with a ruched bust panel and semi-circle skirt that comes in a variety of beautiful prints. I first admired the Paris in the pink blossom print – a springy cherry theme – but soon fell in love with the turquoise and rose fabric style as well.

In addition to their beauty, Bernie’s made-in-USA pieces are also high quality. They’re not cheap, which means I usually wait until they’re on some sort of sale. Luckily, I happened upon both of my favorite Paris fabricways on mark down this month! The pink blossom Paris was on clearance at BernieDexter.com while the turquoise floral was 20% off in the Unique Vintage Presidents’ Day sale. Since the beautiful Bernie Dexter Veronique dress in the blush cabbage rose print was on extra mark down at Unique Vintage, I picked it up too!

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Makeup on Monday: Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner

Given last week’s Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick review, you’re going to think I’m some sort of Stila nut. I’m not, but I might be if my third (next) major Stila buy comes out a major winner!

Today I’m addressing liquid eyeliner, the bane of pretty much everyone’s existence and yet such a staple in every midcentury-loving gal’s makeup kit. You’ve all seen The Liquid Eyeliner Meme and lived it to some extent, yes?

The perils of liquid liner
The perils of liquid liner.

There are literally a ton of products to help you create a version of the look: real liquid liner that you put on with a slim brush, gel liners in a pot that you apply with an angled brush, and my personal favorite, the felt-tipped liquid liner pen. Since I like to do the flicky wing style liner from the late fifties and early sixties, I need a product that flows easily without dripping or bleeding off. I’ve also got to have a sharp applicator tip to help me create the clean wing points and a wide enough “brush” surface to make a strong line across the full width of the lid. I’ve tried a ton of liquid liner products and the only one that consistently delivers a uniform line with sharp definition is Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.

Yes, you must use a good eyelid primer for it to work precisely right, but that’s true of any eye makeup product. It also takes some time to get the “hang” of liquid liner. That said, I find the “felt-tip pen” style applicators are the easiest to approach. The pen tip on the Stila liner is the right size, shape, and substance to provide the line I like with the resistance and steady product delivery my spazzy hands need. Additionally, the color goes on opaque and evenly. Once dry, it doesn’t flake or smudge off. When it’s time to remove it, my Neutrogena makeup remover sheets + a little extra makeup remover work fine.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner
Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner.

This one’s not cheap. It’s $20 per tube, but the results are worth it. The Stila liquid liner also comes in a ton of colors, so if you’re the type who likes to try pink, blue, green, and brown eyeliners, Stila has options for you. Like the lipstick from last week, you can find it at places like Sephora and Ulta.

Makeup on Monday: Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick

Not very original, but a feature that gets the point across. When it comes to makeup, there are certain products I rely on. While I’m in no way a professional, I feel like I should share the stuff that thrills me so others can benefit from my happy – and sometimes not-so-happy – experiences.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Beso.”

My current favorite is Stila’s Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick, a vibrant, heavily pigmented opaque lipstick that applies like a gloss. It’s got an almost gel-like consistency when it goes on, yet it dries quickly. Once dry, there’s very little transference and NO feathering, which is something your traditional oil/wax lipsticks do when they hit warm lip.

Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick
Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Beso.” Alternatively, Kali Looking Weird.

The colors are beautiful, especially for the vintage red lipstick fiends out there. Their flagship color is a true red shade called “Beso.” It’s similar to Besame Red and MAC’s Ruby Woo, but without the runny consistency of the Besame lipsticks or the drying effect of the MAC matte lipsticks.

I got mine in a limited edition Stila set presented by Sephora. The set is no longer available, but the single tubes are available at places like Sephora and Ulta for around $22 each.

Heywood Wakefield hoarder ahoy!

Yeah, that would be me. In the last two weeks I got two more (yes, these make three) vintage Heywood Wakefield M308G “step” side tables in the “Champagne” finish and the M320 “kneehole” desk in “Wheat.”

Heywood Wakefield Side Tables
Heywood Wakefield side/end tables.

I seriously love this side table model. If I could be a piece of furniture, this is what I’d be. steppy second level and the sweepy legs are quirky, yet graceful. The inward-upward taper created by the legs and the smaller upper step take a page straight out of classical Greek architecture. This is the freaking Parthenon of end tables.

While this particular style was only in production for about six years (1948-1953) and they don’t come cheap, there are enough M308Gs out there to populate your own modest-sized mid century furniture planet if you really wanted to. I got these from a knowledgeable collector who had a nice HeyWake buffet project in the hopper and didn’t have time or space to deal with them now.

Now for the desk and chair. I picked them up from a nice couple who needed to make room for their baby’s crib. The wife’s grandfather had purchased the set new, which made me a little sad to think that such a nifty piece was leaving its original family. That said, I will give it a very nice, loving home, so no one has to worry.

Heywood Wakefield Kneehole Desk
Heywood Wakefield kneehole desk.

Heywood Wakefield produced this iconic kneehole design from 1950-1965. Count Alexis de Sakhnoffsky – the 20th century Russian-American industrial designer known for his streamlined, modernist styleΒ  – created it. What makes the desk extra-nifty is the very wide upper drawer. And the left-lower double-high bottom drawer, which makes it perfect for storing file folders. And the fully finished desk back. And…well, pretty much everything.

My plans for world domination through mid century birch furniture are becoming reality! Craigslist, I couldn’t do it without you!

What I’m wearing this winter: Heartbreaker, Pinup Girl Clothing, Mode Merr, and Trashy Diva

Hearbreaker Flannel
Heartbreaker flannel separates! Click to enlarge…

Now that Thanksgiving is over and nighttime temperatures drops below 40 degrees Farenheit, it might as well be winter. That means it’s time for warm, vintage-style daywear and festive holiday frocks! This post is about the daytime stuff!

Known primarily for their sunny cotton dresses, Heartbreaker Fashion (soon to be “Heart of Haute”) brings you something entirely new this season: cozy flannel dresses and separates in great mix ‘n’ match color schemes.

I picked up the Margie skirt in red and the Gretta top in coordinating red check, which you can see at left. I got my regular Heartbreaker size, XL (42-32/33-48″). As usual with Heartbreaker, the Gretta top arms run on the lean side and the waist is roomy. The Margie skirt waist is true to the stated size chart measurements.

I wear mine with tights and a Deadly Dames velvet belt. Warm, comfortable, and festive!

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Instagram and Black Friday!

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. There’s the food, the family, the official start of the Christmas season…and Black Friday sales. I celebrated with some fun vintage-inspired items from Pinup Girl Clothing and Kate Spade, several of which I was able to share on my brand new Instagram account.

Black Friday Haul
Black Friday Haul: Odds ‘n’ ends.

Yes, I caved, and you can follow me as Instagram user “magicskyway.” Among the odds and ends I’ve deposited there are some collages of my Black Friday haul, which included 1940s-style Rita pumps by Remix, Kate Spade bow flats, a Pinup Couture Jenny skirt featuring a vintage Venetian scene, the Laura Byrnes Madeline dress in green plaid with matching bolero (finally!), and more.

Black Friday Haul
Black Friday Haul: Madeline dress and matching bolero.

That’s my Black Friday story for this year. What’s yours?

Vintage Milestones: Emma Domb, Alfred Shaheen, and FUZZY SWEATERS

Emma Domb Dress Label
Emma Domb Dress label.

I’m at this really transitional point, bodywise. I’ve been too small for most dedicated plus lines for years, and yet, I’m only just now finding awesome designer vintage that really fits me ( at 42-32-48″). Luckily, I managed to find two beautiful late ’50s/early ’60s designer pieces that fit me perfectly!

First is a gorgeous coral lace Emma Domb gown, vintage size 16. It’s floor-length with a crossover bodice.

Most people are familiar with Emma Domb’s famous mid century prom dresses and elegant evening wear, but I was a little surprised to learn that the Domb label came out of San Francisco, which essentially makes this dress local to me!

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Midcentury home plans and other lists I make: Paint & Wallpaper

I’m a “list” person. I wasn’t born organized, so I had to develop mechanisms to keep on top of everything. Lists help me remember exactly what I need to do and when, but they’re good for more than that! They’re a way to brainstorm where I want to end up, and how I can get myself there!

Since I moved into my 1963 Jack-in-the-box house last summer, I’ve been busy taking care of the obvious things: taming the back yard, sorting through my junk, and making sure the house is clean and functional. Now that most of that is out of the way, I can think seriously about what I call Phase II – The Paint & Paper Chapter.

Continue reading “Midcentury home plans and other lists I make: Paint & Wallpaper”

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