Papow Presents: The Dita Project

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This year saw the release of ‘Your Beauty Mark’ by Dita Von Teese. To put it simply, it’s a self-care and beauty bible which focuses on pin-up style glamour. Now, Flo and I strongly believe that everyone should be able to style themselves in whatever way they like; whether you want to rock jogging bottoms or a red-carpet gown – you do what’s right for you! For me though, the vintage-style/pin-up look is what I truly adore.

Reading Dita’s book, I found so many hints and tips to help achieve the pin-up look. There is also more general advice on self-care for those not necessarily into vintage-inspired looks. With this in mind, I thought I would make this year (2016): THE DITA PROJECT. Each month, I will be following one piece of advice from ‘Your Beauty Mark’ on a daily basis. At the end of the month, I’ll evaluate my experience – sharing pros and cons.

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Currently, due to work commitments I find it incredibly difficult to maintain my pin-up style consistently. With the monthly challenges, I hope to work out what I can easily incorporate into my daily routine.

This is the plan for the next twelve months:

January – Daily Pilates (anything from ten minutes to a full hour)
February – Daily Green Smoothie (using the recipe from the book)
March – Daily Perfume-Wearing
April – Daily Clean Eating (80% of the time)
May – Daily Lipstick-Wearing
June – Consistently Manicured Nails (half-moon style if possible)
July – Daily Pin-Up Style Dressing
August – Daily Hair-Setting
September – Daily Lemon With Hot Water (first thing in the morning)
October – Daily Moisturising (focus on hands, legs and arms)
November – Daily Ballet-Based Exercise (same timing as Pilates)
December – Daily Winged Eye-Liner

As you can see, there is a mix of nutrition, exercise, make-up and style-based challenges. I will endeavour to complete every challenge – wish me luck with The Dita Project!

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As always, Flo and I would love to hear your opinions and comments. If you’d like to join me on these monthly challenges, use #theditaproject and share your experiences with us!

Please note – this project has nothing to do with weight-loss or changing my body. The Dita Project is for me to work on my style and personal well-being. I will not be sharing measurements of any kind, I’ll just evaluate how each challenge has made me feel.

Vintage Nails How To: Number 2

Time for the second installment of my “Vintage Nails How to!” This time I am going to have a look at how you can create some different vintage looks using the classic “heart-tip” technique. I was lucky enough to have the brilliant Helen Morgans of Morgans Beauty create the nails in this first image. Helen used GELeration gel nail polish by Jessica here and I was able to pick up lots of handy tips to try it out myself with my home Sensationail gel kit.

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I began, as before, by shaping my nails into an oval tip, then pushing back and trimming my cuticles. If your nails are really long, you can even file your nails into more of a point to give that true heart shape for the final look (unfortunately my nails still have a little growing to do). I then applied a coat of Sensationail gel primer, clear transparent gel base & top coat, followed by Babydoll Pink Sensationail gel polish (curing under the LED lamp between applications). For the heart tip, I find it easiest to start from the side of the nail, and sweep the brush upwards in a curved motion towards the tip of the nail. I then repeat this on the other side of the nail. If you make any mistakes, simply dip a striper nail art brush into a little gel cleanser and tidy up the line into a neat heart shape before curing under the lamp. The look can simply be left like this, finishing with a coat of clear transparent gel base and top coat…or you can jazz it up a little!

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Here I used Red Carpet gel in Black Stretch limo to create a black heart tip accompanied by some simple dots using the dotting tool.

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Alternatively Scarlet Red Sensationail gel polish can be used for the tips. I used the dotting tool here to drag white sensationail gel polish along the curve of the heart. I find it easiest to use a dotting tool for this rather than a brush as you can apply the colour slowly and join it together in a more controlled manner. I completed the look with some statement dots on my ring finger (again using the dotting tool).

There are so many ways this classic heart tip can be adjusted using different colours and dots…even the addition of some glitter at this festive time of year. The possibilities are quite simply endless. I have used gel polish here, but there is no reason why conventional nail varnish would not work as well. So why not give it a go? And be sure to show Papow and I the amazing results!

The Purple One

Although many of looks I sport on the blog lean towards 40s and 50s pin-up style, I love being a fashion chameleon.

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This dress instantly caught my eye, when I was mooching around Oxfam a couple of years ago in Reading. It was the vivid purple colour coupled with the mix of soft sheer and luxurious velvet fabrics that grabbed my attention. To me, this dress gives off an air of hippie goth – a quirky combination.

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For an autumnal look, I added an old coat from Monsoon. This coat always reminds me of Hagrid from Harry Potter, which for some reason seemed to be perfect for this dress.

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Instead of my usual pin-up hair and make up, I went for dark purple lips by Make-Up Revolution. I’ve always been a little apprehensive about darker shades on my lips as I thought they’d look harsh, however, I’ll definitely be trying out this look again! My wet set was very tight so I ended up going for a curly bob with a poodle-style pomp.

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This dress has got to be my best charity shop find. Never be afraid to delve into different places to find clothes – you never know what you’ll find! What’s been your best charity shop find?