Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Coming of Age

That's right, since my last post I have officially become an adult.  Well, on the outside, anyway.  I turned twenty-one on the 3rd of July and I enjoyed a weekend of celebratory fun with the family, consisting of far too much Jack Daniel's and cake.  The things birthdays are made of, really.

As I've previously mentioned-- probably a lot more than once-- my main present is a trip to glamourous New York City~!  I completely can't wait, it's going to be amazing.  We'll stroll through Central Park, go to the top of the Rockefeller Centre, visit the Chrysler building, see Chicago on Broadway and even take a cheeky trip to Tiffany & Co. to get something shiny...  It's the city of style and I am literally counting the days until we go.

But!  I am a very lucky girl indeed; I was not gift-less on the day itself.  My mother who, bless her, actually does listen to all the rubbish I come out with, bought me two of the most beautiful presents I've ever received.  She usually expresses distaste with the phases I go through, but she happens to share this one.  So she raided Past Times and came up with these:

A Deco armoire and necklace to go in it.  They're both extraordinary pieces, I adore them!  The armoire is, obviously, mirrored all over (excuse the state of my room in the reflection) and has drawers, side-opening compartments with necklace hooks and a top which opens to reveal an internal mirror along with space for rings and earrings.  I now want to be extremely old-school and have it shipped to New York with me, like all the proper ladies used to.  I'll have to remind myself constantly that I am not in the 1930s, much to my disappointment.  As for the necklace, it's classic Deco.  The chain and setting are silver, with onyx and mother of pearl.  The picture does not do it justice.  I can't wait to wear it out somewhere.  I think Chicago will probably be its debut.  For now, I have to go into Dundee and get some earrings to go with it and to fill up the armoire a little.  I feel like a proper, glamourous lady now, with such gorgeous, thoughtful presents.

In further news; we've had a new addition to the family.

A teeny, tiny, baby corset!  Aaaw, cute, etc. etc.  Again, it's a cheap one, costed at about £25.  The similar What Katie Did one (which is the one I really wanted) was £128.  I am a poor student, numbers like that are completely beyond me.  However, it's a sturdy wee thing for the price.  It's fully steel boned, two layered and with a decent busk this time.  I believe it's 8.5 inches along the busk and 6.5 at the sides, meaning it really is small, but that's the exact reason I purchased it.

I wanted something small to make waist training more comfortable.  I personally find it difficult to wear a full overbust laced tightly for a long period of time, being unable to breathe deeply begins to get to me after a while.  But this one sits neatly under the bust, allowing perfect room for lungs to inflate, and making it easy to wear for long periods of time.  I think I'll be using this one as underwear more than anything else.  Though I do have a few outfits which would be very much improved by the addition of my new baby corset.  I think this one's going to be a pleasure to wear in!

That's about all of note for now, but expect some dressmaking posts sometime in the not so distant future.

Mimi x

EDIT: I'm a very, very lucky girl indeed!  Today, one of my sisters gave me a bottle of Agent Provocateur Eau Emotionnelle eau de toilette as a late birthday present.  It's beautiful and smells absolutely divine~  She also got me a necklace with a little masquerade mask pendant.  I'm going to be so freaking stylish hitting the streets of New York City!

Monday, 28 March 2011

Living Up to My Name...

...After all, 'maquillage' is French for makeup.  Though in truth, I picked it because it sounded lovely, not because of any makeup obsession.  However, in the past few weeks and months, I have developed an unhealthy interest in cosmetics and scents.

I think it's fair to say that most little girls get their first experiences of makeup from their mothers, and I do dimly recall images of my mother in the mid-nineties, her hair in a perm and her eyes lined in royal blue, somehow managing to look absolutely lovely despite the fashion of the decade.  My mother didn't often wear makeup, but when she did, she did it well.  Nowadays, she forsakes it completely (honestly, the woman doesn't need it, she's beautiful in her own right), which means that I had no real example of cosmetics while I was a teenager and I've had to come to the interest in my own time.  What I have inherited from my mother is a love of Chanel perfumes.  Ever since I can remember, there has been a bottle of Chanel eau de parfum on her dressing table.  Well, if you're only going to have one indulgence, why not make it a bottle of Chanel!  Mum's a No. 5 or No. 19 girl, she always has been.  She's surprisingly strict with them, designating No. 19 as a 'day-scent' and No. 5 for evening, whereas I wear whatever scents I have (currently Soap & Glory eau de toilette, not exactly the same league!) all day, any day.  For me, Coco Mademoiselle is the only way to go.  All-purpose and wonderfully chic, what else could I ask for?  It's aimed at the younger generation, but it's still in that timeless bottle that looks perfect on any dressing table.

So, since I've had to branch out into makeup on my own, what have I found?  Two of the best brands out there, that's what.  I know I have little experience with makeup, but all the previous things I've tried haven't come up to my standards.  Which is possibly why I stopped bothering.  A small budget restricted me to brands such as The Natural Collection and Avon.  These were fine for my uses at the time, but now I've discovered better, I couldn't go back.  Now I have Bare Escentuals and Urban Decay in my life, and we're having an extremely hot affair.

Let's do Bare Escentuals first, since it's complexion products I have from them.  No point putting lovely colours on a face full of oil and pot-holes, after all!  Through being unemployed and a student, I have discovered and acquired an extremely embarrassing habit of watching QVC, the shopping channel.  The one primarily aimed at middle-aged housewives who grow tired of Bargain Hunt.  Hence the embarrassment.  However, they tend to have big brand names and pretty reliable products.  In the run-up to Christmas they had a series of presentations from Bare Escentuals, a company that produces a mineral makeup series called Bare Minerals.  Not the most imaginative of names, but it does what it says on the tin.  I liked the idea of mineral makeup, as I have combination skin and large pores and I'd like something that could cover it all up.  So after watching a few of the presentations and becoming suitably intrigued, I was seduced by a Today's Special Value offer a few weeks ago.

In this lovely pink box there are eight goodies which I absolutely could not resist.  There's the foundation, concealer, mineral veil, face colour, mascara, gloss and two brushes; one for concealer and one for the all-over colour.  It's basically everything you could need to make your face look presentable but not overly made-up.  It's looking caked in makeup that I always get scared of, I don't think my face can take a lot of product.  Plus I don't want to end up looking like a ganguro girl.  Srsly.  I'm actually so wary of over-doing foundation etc., that the first time I used this kit I didn't put on the contour colour.  According to my mother (because let's face it, she'll tell me if I look awful) the light foundation mixed with the very pale mineral veil made me look unhealthy and washed-out.  Thus I learned that Bare Escentuals put the colour there for a reason, and that I do not know better than professional makeup artists.  Go figure.  But once I applied everything, I was completely satisfied with it, it's lovely stuff to wear.  Plus because there's a layering technique to it, you don't end up wearing more than you want.

The second thing I absolutely could not resist was this.

This is the Urban Decay: Book of Shadows vol. III.  And it's gorgeous.  I did try my hardest to resist it for so long, which was easy for a time because it was sold out.  But then House of Fraser got some stock in and I knew I was fighting a losing battle, partly because of the makeup, partly because it's New York themed, and I'm headed there in August for my twenty-first birthday celebrations (omgsuperexcited etc. etc.).

Inside there's sixteen beautiful shades of eyeshadow, two eyeliners and a teeny tiny bottle of the eyelid primer potion.  Don't ask me how the latter works, I have absolutely no clue and there's so little there that I don't want to waste it just for practice.  I did dodd a bit onto the back of my hand and it seemed to make the skin a little dryer and smoother, so I suppose it's for ridding the eyelid of oils.  The colours themselves are amazing, my horrid little webcam doesn't do them justice.  They're all so vibrant in the trays and there's a good mix of mattes, shimmers and glitters.  A few surprised me in how neutral they were on the skin, but the ones that are meant to make a statement really pop.  It's a really lovely mix of everyday and glamour.  The eyeliners (which are a makeup item that I do use frequently) are the best I've ever tried, it only takes the lightest touch to get them on.  I'm very much enjoying practising with them and hopefully they'll get their debut sometime soon.  As for the results of my practising...

I leave that judgement up to you.

Mimi x

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Nights Out and Milestones

Ooh dear, it has been a while since I last updated.  Although I did say there would be a lot of silence!  Anyway, time for some nattering.

The Club Noir masked ball was wonderful.  Everyone was dressed up and looking marvellous and the masquerade masks added that extra bit of decadence!  The acts were very varied and all of the top performers were doing their thing.  Tina Warren did a mirror act striptease which, to me, was the absolute epitome of burlesque; glamorous, sensual and wickedly comical.  She knows exactly how to entrance the audience with every move she makes, which is why her act was so apt.  There were also performances from Lou Hickey and Luke Amour which were fantastic-- It's so good to see a mix of traditional dances and boylesque acts.  Plus I received a wonderful surprise; despite not being on the bill my favourite performer Oliver Twisted took part in a reverse-striptease and dancing act with Chelsea Dagger.  I've been utterly in love with him since the Halloween show in October when he did a striptease dressed as an 18th century French noble.  My heart almost stopped watching him!  Plus the fact that his backing music was Blood Sugar by Pendulum helped.  So the acts were fantastic, the music was wonderful, the cocktails were flowing and everyone was so beautiful.  It was a night to remember.

As for me, I wasn't looking as well as I wanted to that night.  I didn't have time to properly wear in my red corset, so I think I was looking very stiff and boxy that night.

A bit of a plain Jane really compared to everyone else around me.  But as long as I'm buying ready-made corsets they're never going to look quite right on me, since I'm a tiny person with a short trunk.  Though I pride myself in the fact that I'm the same height as the great Sally Rand herself!  If about a foot thicker than her around the middle.  I'm actually concocting a new outfit to go with that corset if I can wear it in properly.  The other day I bought a vintage skirt pattern off of eBay...

I figured a '50s full skirt and petticoat would go nicely with it.  It's not that different to the skirt I wore on the night of Club Noir, but it'll be a bit nicer and it'll be the right length.  And it'll be black with red polka dots.  And I've found the perfect shoes.

Because every girl needs a pair of polka dot platforms.  Especially if she's my height!

Alright, this is turning into a bit of a rant, so I'll finish with some lacing news.  I'm officially half way towards my target of 2.5 inches!  I don't want to be a tight lacer, I just want to control my thick waist a bit, so I reckon 2.5 inches is plenty.  So being at 1.25 inches makes me happy!

Just as an aside; I'm not using the black corset for waist training, it's only got plastic bones and cost £10 on eBay.  It's just easier to show progress on it.  Anyway, I shall end my rant there.  I have no idea when the next update will be, we'll all just have to wait and see.

Mimi x

Friday, 11 February 2011


Finally it's almost time for Club Noir!  This time tomorrow night I will be dressed to the nines and surrounded by beautiful people watching even more beautiful acts on stage.  Oh, also there will be cocktails.  That just makes an evening!  I'm not entirely happy with my outfit, but I think that'll continue until I'm in a position to buy proper, good quality garments and accessories.  The corset has a continuing problem with the busk; the middle clasp refuses to close.  I can only hope I don't wreck it by lacing it tightly without it being properly fastened.  But c'est la vie if it does get bent out of shape.  It's an excuse to save up and get a lovely one instead!

So I have my corset, my skirt, my stockings, my mask and my accessories.  The only thing missing is opera gloves.  I'm not entirely sure if I will get some or not, it just depends what Glasgow city centre has to offer tomorrow.  They'd be lovely, so I'll keep my fingers crossed.  Anyway, with the next post, there will be pictures, I promise.

Mimi x

Monday, 24 January 2011

First Times

Look what I got in the post this morning.

I wonder what it could be...

Yes, it's my corset for the upcoming Club Noir!  I decided I was very, very tired of my current cheap rubbish one and that since it's a ball, I should make an effort.  This is the first time I've ever had a heavy lacing corset so it's brand new territory for me.  It's got sixteen steel bones and a steel busk as well as six suspender clips which (heart-breakingly) I can't use.  They'll be kept for future projects, I think, they're very nice quality.  The corset itself isn't really so.  It might be heavy lacing but it was still only £25.  The busk doesn't quite align and is clumsily put in and the finish isn't brilliant, but you get what you pay for.  It's a nice one to tide me over until better things.  Plus it's red which always gives it +1000 points in my book!

As you can see (despite my blurry pictures), I haven't managed to lace it properly myself.  It needs to come in a couple of inches both on the bust and the waist but that should be more than possible on the night!  It's supposed to be able to be used for waist training, but I personally think it's too flimsy.  It needs another couple of layers and bones before I'd be comfortable using it for such things.  But anyway, it's my first grown-up corset and I'm very happy with it.  Roll on February!

Mimi x

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Getting Started

I thought I'd create somewhere to track my progress with learning burlesque and corset making.  I can already tell there will be huge droughts in posts where I'm lacking the funds and time to create pretty things, but there should be a flurry of activity around about now since I'm getting ready for the Club Noir Valentines Ball.