Wardrobe Architect 8: Primpery

OH GOD. Today’s Wardrobe Architect is about hair, makeup and beauty regimes, or what I prefer to call ‘primpery’. I hate thinking about this stuff! It’s so expensive and time-consuming and I can never, ever get it right. At times in the past I’ve thought about trying to find someone to teach me how to do eye liner properly but even when I’ve tried and got it vaguely right, I feel like I’m a little girl playing dress-up and then I worry that I look like some old trollop trying to over-compensate for lost youth. I also totally forget to reapply anything, so it all comes back to a natural state just messier if I used more make-up to begin with, and when I do remember, it always seems to look even worse than it did at the beginning.

Anyway, rant over. Questions:

  1. What hair style has been most flattering and comfortable for you? How did it make you feel about yourself? Did it invoke any of the words you came up with in our core style exercise? I think what I have at the moment. Short bob that allows the natural curl in my hair to bounce up so I can do messy (yay! no brushing!) and it actually looks good. When that goes right I feel pretty and stylish, but I guess with the short there’s a touch of tomboy in there too. When my hair was nearly down to my waist there were a few occasions when I managed to put it up and get it to stay there where I felt sophisticated and awesome, but mostly long hair just is heavy and unmanageable and gives me headaches. Thinking it’s probably worth it to get a cheap trim every couple of months, then go to my regular (insanely expensive) cutter every six months or so to fix it up properly. Because it’s so thick, unfortunately I can’t get away permanently with inexperienced cutters, and at Vidal Sassoon they do understand the importance and technique of thinning the wretched stuff.
  2. How much makeup are you comfortable with? Not much!! ‘Natural look’ all the way. In the past couple of years my eyebrows have faded a bit so I’ve had to add eyebrow pencil in to my usual moisturiser – light foundation to smooth out any uneven skin tone – lipstick arsenal, but that’s about it really. Maybe a little reflective concealer when I’m feeling a little worn.
  3. How does your makeup and hair reflect your personal style? What do you feel they say about you and your aesthetics? Lazy???? Um. I guess if I think back to the words I came up with for my clothes, my hair and makeup very much fit into a natural/relaxed/casual aesthetic, so I guess it matches.
  4. How much product do you want to own? Do you like collecting products, or would you rather just have a few essentials? How much bathroom clutter are you ok with? Urgh. As little as humanly possible. I really don’t want to think about it. I love my Sephora cleanser and lately I can’t live without some body moisturiser, plus one of those slightly self-tanning ones for my legs because I’ve started to wear short skirts without stockings quite a bit. So a few essentials, and preferably no duplicate products for the same purpose (e.g. two types of eye makeup remover). No decisions to be made at bathroom time or I won’t do any of it.
  5. What requirements do you have for the products you buy? Do you stick with all natural products? Are there ingredients you avoid? Reasonably priced? Feels nice? Doesn’t make me itch? Preferably with stylish packaging so when I forget to put it away it doesn’t look all awful and middle-aged-lady? I like the idea of all-natural products or organic products but my experience so far is that they either haven’t worked very well or are so insanely expensive that I can’t justify them. I’d happily buy stuff from Neal’s Yard but just can’t afford it except as a treat for very VERY special occasions.
  6. What colors feel best near your face? How do they relate to the color palette you created? Uh… don’t actually know??? How lame is that. I’m really confused about this at the moment with the whole rose-pink debacle and wondering whether my signature red even suits me. I did find yesterday when I matched up my patterns that with the louder clothing, my darkest lipstick felt a little too understated and I’d have liked something a bit bolder in colour (I have two lipsticks – one that’s a very very pale shimmery pink and the other that’s a naturalish dark pinky red) and made me wonder about repeating the attempt to find a sort of siren-red lipstick that actually suits me (attempts so far have been laughably bad). Maybe I need to review the colour palette stuff and spend some time holding things up against me in the mirror and make some notes to begin to understand this one.
  7. What colors never look right near your face? What colors have you tried and given up on before? See 6, but historically, pale pinks (no longer), mid pinks (don’t like them anyway). The one colour I regret has never really worked near my face is yellow and I’m still hoping to find a yellow that does work for me. Otherwise the things that don’t suit me tend to be colours I don’t like anyway. Hurrah!
  8. How much time do you realistically want to spend getting ready in the morning? AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE! Would be 0 if it could be, but it does say ‘realistically’, so maybe 5-10 mins?
  9. What types of scents do you gravitate towards? Do you wear perfume? Other scented products? What do you feel the scents you like communicate about your personality? Only perfume, I try to avoid anything else that’s scented because in my budget range the result is usually awful. I like fresh citrussy scents (CKOne was a favourite for many years, now I mostly use Sephora’s lemony Green Tea scent) and warmer smells too – the Sephora vanilla has been a favourite for a long time as it just falls short of the cloying sweetness of many vanilla scents so I don’t feel too much like pudding. What do scents communicate? Hmm. I don’t know whether they do to other people. For me, they’re something that I feel ties the whole ensemble together. It’s like a finishing touch to tell myself that I’m fully prepared. Possibly this is why/because I don’t do it every day, only when going out or to a significant meeting or something.

Ugh. Enough of that, although it seems to me that I probably do need to try to think a little bit more about this area, if only so that I’m mindful of what I’m putting on my face and whether it actually goes with what I’m wearing. I can’t see myself changing the super-simple anytime soon, but maybe when I have a little spare money I should test out some different brands and see if I could be happier about the whole thing? On the back-burner, that one, but I’ll bear it in mind.

In more exciting news, I now have a stash! Oops. Hadn’t really meant to, but yesterday I went to Lewisham to get some fabric to try making a couple of Sorbettos (Sorbetti?) to tame the dreaded FBA (it only takes 1.5 yards of fabric, so probably the smallest amount I can get away with in a darted top, which I’m hoping will reduce wastage while I’m learning), and to that end came away with these two fabrics:

Neither photo is quite green enough, but I’ve faffed enough with trying to get the duck-egg really duck-egg and the sagey coloured feathers more green. Will try harder when there are finished garments!

Then as I was leaving Rolls & Rems, I discovered a market stall right outside selling a motley collection of fabrics, among which was a rather screwed up minty green rayon! 2 metres of it which is what will be needed for the Alma top pattern when I get around to that one! And then the lady kindly chopped a bit off the official price because it was a remnant and sold it to me for £2.50!!!! Very excited about that one.

Bargain mint-green rayon
Bargain rayon with quite accurate colour!

So projects galore lined up – plus the red viscose jersey that I haven’t yet decided what to do with.

I finally hemmed my Nita Wrap Skirt last night. Not hugely happy with it. I definitely preferred the longer below-knee length in this fabric and while I was super-careful to follow Djeliebeybi’s marks about what was level with the floor, and double-checked that the line was indeed level before I cut, the back ended up longer than the front so I had to halve the hem allowance for the front panels, graduating to the full allowance at the back, which worked OK but I’ve needed to handstitch (getting better at this!) the top of the hem down at the back because in order to keep the topstitching even around the bottom, the turnunder wasn’t being caught in. I think part of the problem is the difficulty of getting that floor-level line in the first place. Djeli is great and willing, but he’s also not here for much of the time and I don’t want to hassle him on his days off to do things like this, so I’ve invested in one of those chalk puffer on a stick thingies which should arrive next week.

And now that it’s hemmed and OK, evenness-wise, I’m discovering that maybe short skirts + large geometric design isn’t a great combo for me because it’s really quite obvious that the back is signficantly longer than the front, even if the hem is even, because it has 3 pattern repeats rather than the 2 of the front.

Argh. Anyway, lesson learned! I think this sort of print would be OK in an ankle-length skirt where it wouldn’t be so obvious, but maybe I need to stick to solids or smaller prints where the number of repeated elements isn’t so easily countable for shorter things. Anyway, it’s DONE (bar the press studs, which I swear I will go and do as soon as I stop babbling here)! And I like the shape and am already planning a longer black one to replace the black skirt I’ve shrunk out of and am taking to the charity shop today.

So onto the next project! Multiple Sorbetti! FBA! I will conquer!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *