Movie Monday: Downton Abbey

It is the end of the semester and that means deadlines all coming together in a rush, so I have been too busy to post anything or comment much in y'all's lovely blogs, but I thought I would quickly add a post for Movie Monday.  I just had time to collect some screenshots from the internets and add commentary, so I thought this month I would feature my current favorite costume drama.
I really love costume dramas; the more repressed and British the better.  Of course there are all sorts of great reasons for loving British costume drams: the inevitable sweeping, subtly expressed romance, the thoroughly polite but venomously bitchy matriarch, servant drama!, and beautiful scenery, but its pretty obviously mostly about the costumes.  The best costume drama I have seen in ages is Downton Abbey.  It has everything you want in a costume drama, and is executed perfectly.  There are even two bitchy/polite matriarchs and they are at war with each other!  The costumes are gorgeous.  The first episode of the first series has them all in mourning so there are elaborately jet-beaded gowns as far as the eye can see:
Above you see Dame Maggie Smith claiming "no one wants to kiss a girl in black".  One doesn't like to contradict a peer of the realm, but, well...  

No one wants to kiss these girls, obvs.

Downton Abbey earns extra costume drama points for having lots of scenes of the characters dressing, which are always fascinating to me.
The accessories are also fantastic.  I was drooling over their wonderful hair forks, but couldn't get any good pictures, but..
Don't you want to reach into the screen and snatch that necklace right off.
I need a necklace like that.
As is historically appropriate the older women, especially Maggie Smith's character, the Dowager Countess, dress more late Victorian than Edwardian
Also the hats!  All the hats!
Finally, more jet-beading! And the meeting of the warring old Ladies!

I also found this great video for anyone attempting to replicate the amazing hair in the movie without the benefit of a proper ladies maid

Naked November: Makeup and Sensitive Skin care

I am going to get all sorts of interesting search engine hits off of this I can tell already.

This month the fabulous Professeur Gothique gave out a homework assignment for us all to show off our unmade-up faces to the internetz.  By crazy random happenstance the very day she announced this was  the one where, inspired by her previous post on makeup removal and Ultimate Goth Guide's Amy's post on getting ready, I shot a crazy amount of pictures doing and then taking off my makeup.  I have a real homework assignment that required me to edit together a video composed of images, so I used this as practice.

This shows my sort of standard makeup look for work.  I vary what particular shades I use almost every day, although it is purple of green a lot, and yes, I do have 5 different eye-shadow brushes.

My skincare routine is pretty unorthodox, but also really cheap.  I have extremely sensitive skin and I used to have moderately bad acne.  After years of experimentation I learned that the less I messed with my skin the less and less acne I had.  Now I get maybe 1-2 zits a month (of course both when I was shooting this video) and my acne scars are starting to heal.  It's all about gentle care.  I use nothing to clean my skin but water (I like the rosewater as it smells nice and I spend 3$ every 2 month or so on it, so that seems worth it) and a microfiber cloth, and use pure oil on damp skin as a moisturizer.  The kind I use, kuki nut oil is non-comedegenic, rich in vitamin e and folklorically considered to have
My outfit for the day.  It was a
school not work day.
skin healing properties yet to be confirmed or denied by empirical evidence but it seems to be working for me.  I use a tiny amount and have had the same 8 ounce bottle for over a year (kept in the fridge).  I use light flavored olive oil to remove my eye makeup.  It dissolves pretty much everything and seems to be good for my lashes and eyebrows.  I do not keep this in the fridge as olive oil hardens at lower temperatures, but use it fast enough to not matter.  The only skin care product I use that couldn't be an ingredient in a zesty salad dressing is sunscreen because it is really important.  I normally buy Clinique city Block SPF 25 as the SPF 40 has some chemical sunscreens and the SPF 25 is only titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.  I accidentally grabbed the wrong tube when shopping in the Clinique kiosk in the airport.  I only use quality mineral foundation for similar reasons.  I is a bit pricey, at least compared to drugstore stuff, but it also lasts longer.  After "mineral makeup" became a huge fad a bunch of cheap knock-offs made mostly of talc (which is a mineral, but not one that is good for your face) flooded the market.  Avoid these.  You should expect to pay at least 20$ for 1/4 of an ounce.  I can be less strict with what I use on my eyes.  So that's good, because I enjoy some pretty crazy eye-makeup.

OOTD: Darkly Purple

I have an online class this semester (yes, I hate them, but it was only offered online) and the way those work at my school is that once a semester everyone meets in person for class.  Of course this in person session was scheduled right in the middle of one of my normal workdays.  I decided to off-set the annoyance of this hectic day by wearing a fun outfit.  I generally don't wear this skirt to work as the lace tails tend to get tangled in the wheels of my office chairs.
The short sleeves at this time of year are courtesy of my work building's ridiculous over heating.  I hate over heating so, so much.  I think it is totally reasonable to expect to wear a sweater or other warmer clothing indoors during winter and do not know why so many places heat their building to 70+ degrees.  I personally keep my apartment below 60, and it's fine.  I have sweaters!  I understand public buildings need to accommodate people of varying heat tolerances, but wouldn't 65 be totally reasonable? Not only does it waste so much energy but it makes getting dressed really annoying.  I can't wear sweaters or long underwear and such because I will be too hot inside, but that means being too cold outside.  It's ridiculous and a major pet peeve of mine.  I do, however, love this shirt and it is in constant rotation in my wardrobe.  I am kind of astounded it hasn't shown up here yet.
It perfectly matches my plum and black striped socks which are great and I love the stripey socks peeking out of the lace handkerchief hem.  They do, however, require sock glue to stay on, but that's not a huge burden.  I am also wearing my new purple lipstick, from Sephora #RA24 Bewitch Me, which may be my holy grail dark purple lipstick.
Outfit Details
Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Rose Mortem
Socks: Sock Dreams Extraordinary longer thigh highs
Boots: 20Twenty Vintage
Necklace: Things Celtic in Austin, TX
Earrings: Art of Adornment

Updos for Work (Extremely picture heavy)

I wear my hair up practically everyday.  Partially this is to keep my hair out of the way and protected from snagging on things or tangling, and partially it is so much faster to just throw my hair up in a bun than it is to engineer it to be de-frizzed or non-static-y and wavy through a full day in a humid in the summer, cold and dry in the winter climate.  Most days my hair is the last thing I do and most days I am running late by the time I get to it, no matter what I do, so most hairstyles I regularly use take 2-5 minutes or less.  Now it takes some practice to get down to that time, but not really a huge amount.  My hair is about arm-pit length, but some of these styles work for shorter hair as well.  I made a video attempting to demonstrate these, but be warned I have a terrible camera.

My number one go-to hair style is the Orchid bun, it is secure all day and looks radically different depending on the specific way I pin it or what hair accessories I use.  It can be secured with pins (generally I use Goody Spin Pins for this), hair forks, or giant clips like Ficcares or flexi-8s. My hair is only just long enough for this style.

If I have more than a minute, but less than two, I do a flipped braid.  For this style, just braid hair down the center, fold the ends towards your head, then fold at least once more and secure.  This can be done with much shorter hair, and indeed my hair is getting a bit long for it, as I have to fold it over 3-4 times.  It can be secured with a big clip or barrette of some kind or a hair stick.

With a little more time I will do a figure-8 or Infifity knot, usually the figure-8 though as for some reason it seems to be more secure on my head.  The best tutorial for these ever is here.  I usually use Amish pins to secure this, one piercing and attaching the top coil, and the other going from the tucked in end up.  The top one can be replaced with a hair fork or stick.  This is another which my hair is just long enough for.

If I am feeling slightly more fancy and not wearing a necklace with a particularly tangle-y clasp I like this style, inspired by one worn by Yvaine in the Stardust movie.  To make this, roll the hair along both sides of your head and gather into a low ponytail, pull through elastic twice, then only pull through half way, creating a loop-bun with a length of hair outside the loop.  Twist the length of this hair, then coil around the ponytail and secure either with pins or a hair comb.  For shorter hair, leave the bottom section of hair outside the ponytail then twist and coil that.

For extra fanciness I will do a crossed bun.  For this, divide the top and bottom sections of your hair, twist the top and make it into an infinity bun, then twist the bottom half into a figure-8 bun, pulling the top coil over the middle of the previously made infinity bun.  To secure, I use 3-in long Amish pins, on in through each bun.  This is a particularly messy version, usually it looks more elegant.

If I have actual time I will do heidi braids, which are not in the video because they take awhile, but I think everyone knows them.  Braid hair into pigtails, cross on the top of the head and pin. They tend to work best if your hair is long enough that the braid over lap by at least 2 inches on the top of your head.

Here is the instructional video, featuring my latest musical discovery the German Electro-Medieval (best combination ever) band Helium Vola, and played in double-time (no meth was used in the creation of this video)

Category: 5 comments

OOTD: This is Halloween!

One of the best things about Halloween is getting to dress much more spookily for work without getting any funny looks.  I wore my pastoral skeleton skirt, which is so wonderfully subtle.  I love wearing it and watching people's reactions once they realize that those are skeletons.

I tried to replicate this subtle spider web eyeliner pattern but had not practiced it and my eyeliner is drying out and has been a bit chunky so I ended up smearing it and covering with black-purple eyeshadow.  I also wore my favorite spider necklace and bat earrings.
I did my nails were done with half a set by OPI and a generic black crackle polish (I found a set with the black polish already stolen out of it and talked the manager into giving me the other polish for 2$ as it was basically un-sellable) made to give a vaguely zombie-ish look with translucent jade green peeking out from cracked black.

I had a fairly long day of work and class, and in fact was barely home before trick or treaters started coming around.  I had vague plans for a generic witch costume, but discovered too late that my witch hat was missing.  I was able to convince one girl that it was a hat made of sky, but that's because she was awesome and dressed as Coraline.  Needless to say she left my porch with candy, her very own copy of Coraline (she had been borrowing the school library's over and over) and a list of further reading, because I am a sucker.
So really, I just threw on a ruffly cuffed shirt and corset on and called it good enough for the inevitably tiny number of kids that actually came.