What about Breakfast at Tiffany’s?

Miss Catherine is an old and very close friend of mine. We go back at least 18 years to the days when we started taking piano lessons together. We continued to be close friends throughout secondary school and beyond. I love Catherine, I truly do, but I think it is safe to say that she does not share my ridiculous obsession with clothes. Many a time she has summoned me up to Birmingham, where she now lives, to help re-fill her wardrobe. Of course this is a challenge I am only too glad to accept, much to her other half’s concern!

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In June, Miss Catherine was invited to a fancy dress party. The theme, you ask? The dead famous! Of course, Catherine instantly called upon her old friend Flo for assistance in this matter. My mind sprung into overdrive at the endless possibilities for such an occasion; Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland…even Elvis Presley, Freddy Mercury or Charlie Chaplin. I have to admit I am still too scared to voice my favourite idea, for fear of it being stolen. Who knows when I may need it myself? Thankfully, Cat already had her heart set on one particular lady…The great Audrey Hepburn! And what better a look to go for than her Breakfast at Tiffany’s style? Tonight Catherine, you shall be Holly Golightly!

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I settled on this iconic Audrey Hepburn character because this is who we all picture when someone mentions this incredible woman’s name. Black dress, beehive, cigarette in hand, endless pearls…now here is a look I could re-create. Easy-peasy!

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The outfit:
For Miss Catherine’s outfit, I fished out an old black Matalan shift dress and we then headed out in search of accessories. We managed to get hold of imitation pearl necklace, bracelet, earrings and tiara in Primark. The black gloves were found in Claire’s Accessorise. I even rustled up a cigarette from a black drinks straw, some white cardboard and a bit of selotape! Voila; Audrey eat your heart out!

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The makeup:
I kept Catherine’s makeup quite minimal because Audrey herself was naturally beautiful (like dear Catherine here) and there was no need to go over the top. I started with a little Mac Pro Longwear concealer in NW15 under her eyes. I followed this with a light layer of Catherine’s own No7 pressed powder all over the face to produce an even tone. I then used a little Mac bronzing powder in matte bronze to contour, by simply sweeping this under the cheek bones. The Urban Decay Naked 2 pallet is my saviour in adding a subtle hint of colour to the eyelids, in this case the booty call shade was used across the entire eyelid and then the YDK shade was applied only to the crease of the eye. I lined Catherine’s eyes with a No7 amazing eyes pencil in 05 black and swept some Benefit They’re Real mascara in beyond black over her lashes. Catherine’s eyebrows were defined using Mac True Brunette fluidline brow gelcreme. The look was completed with a touch of Avon Ultra Colour Bold lipstick in rapid rose.

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The hair:
To re-create Audrey’s signature Beehive, I was going to have to create volume! I firstly cut up some hair doughnuts to be used as hair padding. I pinned this padding to the top of Catherine’s head. I then pulled the hair from the front of her head up and over this padding and pinned it at the back of her hair, underneath the hair padding. Catherine has thick hair and a LOT of it. For those of you with finer or shorter hair (like myself) you may find it helpful to use some hair extensions in a similar colour to your own hair to cover the padding, and then pull your hair over the top of these. This way, if your own hair doesn’t completely cover the hair padding, it simply does not matter. Nobody will ever know what is lying beneath. I used the Lee Stafford my perfectly polished finishing touch boar bristle hair brush to create a smooth finish. A great deal of Lee Stafford hold tight hair spray and bobby pins also helped to keep the style in place. The very last stage of the hair style was to place a tiara at the front of the beehive. And there we have it; the Holly Golightly style that we all know and love.

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A fine Audrey Hepburn Miss Catherine makes…and a rather extravagant date for her partner Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin I am sure you will agree.

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Twinwood Festival 2014/15 – Cacao’s Top Five Things To Do…

Well guys and dolls, it’s November. The days have become somewhat dark and dreary – I’m seriously in need of some escapism. Staring out at the rain through my window, I cast my mind back to summer and the fabulous experiences I had.

When I first got into the pin-up and vintage scene, I didn’t really know anyone else who had similar interests. Thankfully, I got in touch with Florence through Lucy (our marvellous mutual pal). Last year, Flo suggested trying out Twinwood Festival as our first proper outing. Then finally, when August came around, off the three of us went. For this first time out, we dressed up as a sailor, a rockabilly and a land girl – quite a mix!

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We enjoyed the experience so much that we returned this year, with the addition of my husband – Mr Papow! Sadly, the weather wasn’t up to much on the second occasion but we still managed to have a wonderful day. Our outfits had to change; however, our spirits were by no means dampened.

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There are lots of things to see and do at Twinwood Festival that you’re quite spoilt for choice. Here’s my selection of activities that I loved, when I was there.

  1. Tea, Cake and…Maybe a Little Wine

No festival would be complete without indulging in food and drink. I have to say, after some relentless shopping and walking around fields, sipping tea from vintage crockery is a real treat. The cakes are seriously delicious (especially the brownies). Also, if you need a little Dutch courage to get on the dance floor in the evening, there also several bars serving alcoholic tipples.

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2. Classic Cars

I’m not a petrol-head but how could I not admire the the beauty that is a vintage automobile? Many festival-goers bring along their motors for the weekend and it’s great to be able to see these classic vehicles up close.

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3. Retail Therapy

There are so many great vintage and vintage reproduction brands that are able to showcase themselves at Twinwood. We spent hours trawling through so many stalls and shops – there’s a great variety to choose from. It’s also a wonderful way to discover new brands and businesses that you’d never have heard of before.

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4. Boogie Woogie

Dancing does not come naturally to me and, due to work commitments, it’s difficult to get to lessons. That all changes at Twinwood as there are so many dance classes to choose from in the day. This year,  we tried a little Collegiate Shag and learned how to do ‘The Madison’. It’s hard work but SO much fun!

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5. Strut Your Stuff

The reason I loved Twinwood so much the first time was that I got to dress up as my pin-up self. It was also lovely to see so many other people in their best outfits – it felt really special. I love people-watching and getting ideas for hair, make-up and outfits too. There’s a lot of inspiration out there.

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So there you have it – an insight into Twinwood Festival. I hope you get to experience it yourselves at some point!

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Flo and I really enjoyed both of our Twinwood experiences – next year, we’re looking at other festivals to go to. What would you recommend?

Somewhere, Beyond the Sea…

I was recently lucky enough to embark on a summer holiday to the beautiful Canary Island of Fuerteventura. I enjoyed a relaxing week of sipping pina coladas, nibbling tapas, flamenco dancing, and soaking up the sun on stunning white sandy beaches. As much as I would have loved to pack a suitcase full of circle skirts and flouncy petticoats, one must be sensible when travelling to hotter climes (and having a baggage allowance to take into consideration). What pin-up outfits, I asked myself, could I pack that would be suitable in the heat (and often blustery breeze) of Fuerteventura?

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Enter the nautical playsuit! I settled on this summer staple for the majority of my holiday wardrobe. They are not only cool and the perfect cover-up for your 1950s swimsuit, but can also be dressed up for the evening. In addition, they take up only a tiny amount of space in one’s suitcase and should it get a little breezy, there is absolutely no need to worry about exposing yourself!

Playsuits have been a beach essential for years and many of my idols, including Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, were great fans of the playsuit while at the seaside. Picking up on this classic beach/seaside theme, I decided to pack a range of nautical playsuits (as well as a few shorts and top combos). I kept to a colour scheme of red, white and blue so that I could pack a small range of accessories that would tie in with any of the outfits. Sticking to this concept, surprisingly I didn’t get carried away in the packing process. Despite returning home with a range of perfume, cosmetics, hair scarves, jewellery, chocolate AND four new pairs of shoes, I was still five kilograms under my baggage allowance…quite an achievement I am sure you will agree!

Holiday Outfit 1: This nautical navy/white stripe playsuit is from a pop-up shop in Basingstoke. It has a built-in support for the bust, perfect for summer holidays as it reduces the need to pack lots of extra undies! It worked brilliantly with my blue and white Ted Baker flip-flops, and Pink Flamingo Retro hair scarf and brooch.

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Holiday Outfit 2: This red polka dot playsuit is from Hell Bunny. It is a light fabric and so can be worn as a beach cover-up or an evening outfit. I paired this playsuit with a nautical hair scarf and white Gioseppo sandals. The playsuit is also available in navy, and considering it is as light as a feather, it would have been rude not to pack both right?

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Holiday Outfit 3: The Collectif Futura Sea Shell Playsuit. is possibly my favourite outfit of the week. The Collectif website states “The Futura is a classic, nautical inspired playsuit that is perfect for warmer weather. This style features adorable contrast trims and dainty wooden buttons on the bust, pocket flaps and the shorts”. They are absolutely right; the material of this playsuit is thicker cotton than most of my other playsuits and so is much better for the cooler evenings than as a beach/daytime outfit. I put it together with my navy/white Ted Baker flip-flops and Pink Flamingo Retro hair scarf.

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Holiday Outfit 4: I dressed this Hell Bunny playsuit up with a white New Look waist belt, red Gioseppo sandals, and Pink Flamingo Retro hair scarf and brooch. Once again, the thicker cotton of this playsuit lends itself well to the cooler evenings. It is also available in black, should you wish to change the look slightly.

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Holiday Outfit 5: I managed to get my hands on the gorgeous Collectif red Vanya Picnic Gingham Shorts in the 50% summer sale recently and while away I teamed them with a Primark white Bardot top and white patent bow flop-flops. These shorts are high-waisted and hold you in all the right places, creating classic pin-up girl curves (even in the absence of my beloved circle skirts). Although fairly skin hugging, these shorts are 97% cotton and I still found them breathable and easy to wear in a warmer climate.

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Holiday Outfit 6: Moving away from the playsuits slightly, while away I also opted for a floral bustier and high-waisted shorts two piece. These are from the Kelly Brook for New Look Summer 2013 range. I am a big fan of Kelly Brook’s clothing, underwear and swimwear ranges and both her 2012 and 2013 summer ranges are very 1950s-inspired. If you keep your eyes peeled you can still snap up some of her beautiful pieces on eBay. The vibrant floral colours in this twin set very much remind me of the designs in the flamenco dancers outfits, so what better outfit to rock alongside my nautical attire whilst on the Spanish island? I completed the look with a red hair scarf that I picked up in a local gift shop and my red Gioseppo sandals.

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Holiday Outfit 7: My final outfit is the Collectif Adele Sea Shell Print Pencil Dress, which I accesorized with Ipanema Pretty Bow flip-flops in pink/white and Vogue sunglasses. Although this nautical themed dress is not playsuit I simply could not leave it behind (and in my defence the pencil skirt hugs your curves perfectly and was not going to fly away anywhere in the sea breeze). I have always found the size advice on the Collectif website extremely helpful and they describe this dress as “less fitted” than their normal pencil styles. I completely agree with this statement. Despite the tighter fit this dress was still comfortable to wear; perfect for warmer weather. If you fancy something a little cooler still, why not go for the dress in the lighter ivory colour?

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Papow and I are currently planning a trip across the pond in 2017 to the Viva Las Vegas rockabilly festival. Considering the ridiculous shopping opportunities that this visit is bound to present, the question of whether I can be as controlled in the packing process for this trip is yet to be seen…

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Two Faces: Lipstick Trial No. 1

20150727-P1030174.jpgFlo and I love the transformative power of make-up. In these ‘Two Faces’ posts, we’ll be looking at how make-up looks on two different skin colours. Hopefully, this will help you to find products to suit you!

For our first post, we thought we’d do a brief overview of what different lipstick colours look like on us. Now Flo is an ivory princess, whereas I’m more of a warm tan colour – but both of us wear quite similar colours when it comes to clothes, accessories and lipsticks.

For the purpose of this post, we looked at three lipsticks:
1. Make-up Revolution – a pastel lavender colour.
2. Antipodes – a fresh cerise pink colour.
3. Avon – a rich ruby red colour.

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Let’s kick off with the lavender lippy. Make-Up Revolution is a great budget brand; this lipstick was a pound! The price really enables you to experiment with colours that you’d never thought of trying before.

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As you can see, on me this colour is a very light pastel shade. It’s not the easiest colour for me to wear and I’m not sure I’ll use this lipstick that much. Miss Flounce has other issues with the lipstick. The colour seems darker on her skin tone. Also it seems to wash her out – not great!

Next, we move on to pink. I received this lipstick as part of my subscription to Glory Days magazine. Unlike Make-Up Revolution, this is a premium brand.

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I love how fresh the colour is. This is already one of my go-to lipsticks, so I know it suits me! Flo is much happier with this colour; it brightens up her complexion.

Last but not least, we focus on red. Flo seems to have hundreds of Avon lipsticks and this is one from her collection. This brand falls between Antipodes and Make-Up Revolution in terms of price.

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As pin-up enthusiasts, both of us have an extensive range of red lipsticks (you can never have too many!). This is a rich ruby red and I think you’ll agree, it suits the pair of us.

Remember – these are OUR views and opinions. Your face is your own and you choose what you do with it!

Keep an eye out for other ‘Two Faces’ posts. What would you like to see?