Friday, February 17, 2017

Beauty and Style Books, Part One: Cosmetics and Green Beauty

Natural Beauty and DIY

I own: The Green Beauty Guide
. This was like the a natural beauty bible for me. I would like to a least look at Green Beauty Recipes.

I love Humblebee and Me and so would be willing to purchase Make It Up: The Essential Guide to DIY Makeup and Skin Care without reading it first. These others I would borrow and read.

Do-It-Yourself Herbal Medicine: Home-Crafted Remedies for Health and Beauty

101 Easy Homemade Products for Your Skin, Health and Home


For make up I own: Color Me Beautiful Make-up Guide. Again, I'm not sure that this will make the cut. It has more colors listed, but very small and I turn to the original far more often. I previously had a book by one of the make-up artists from what not to wear. I'm not sure I would buy a book for make-up, but I have several I plan to get from the library or request via interlibrary loan.

Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro

Making Faces

Jemma Kidd Make-Up Master Class

The Little Book of Skincare

Makeup Is Art: Professional Techniques for Creating Original Looks

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Four of My Favorite Literary Love Scenes

I think singles can enjoy Valentine's Day. I dislike the sour SAD and accompanying attitudes. Don't be a spoil sport. Anticipating future romance and reveling in romantic stories and eating chocolate are all quite enjoyable ways to enjoy Valentine's Day.

I've been wanting to do this post for awhile. I reread 3 of these books last year and by the time this posts will have reread Persuasion again.

For Intensely Romantic

North and South
"Mr. Thornton did not speak, and she went on looking for some paper  . . . While she sought this paper, her very heart-pulse was arrested by the tone in which Mr. Thornton spoke. His voice was hoarse, and trembling with tender passion, as he said:

'Margaret!' "
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, page 426.

You can literally feel the intensity in this scene as you read it. The pauses, the unspoken meaning, the implied and described touches. Who could withstand Mr. Thornton's oh, so tender appeal?!

"Again, stepping nearer, he besought her with another tremulous eager call upon her name.

'Margaret!' "
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, page 426.


"I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you my such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope . . .

I have love none but you . . .

You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan."
Persuasion by Jane Austen, page 1223

This letter!!! The juxtaposition of this intense letter with strong language against the overall controlled and formal background of the novel makes the emotion that much more intense and sincere. Usually strong language is overused and abused to the point of insincerity and weakening of meaning, but here, it is perfect.

For Sweetness and Humor

Little Women: Meg and John Brooke
"His tone was properly beseeching; but stealing a shy look at him, Meg saw that his eyes were merry as well as tender, and that he wore the satisfied smile of one who had no doubt of his success."
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, page 248.

The blundering, the perfect timing of awkward arrivals, the inconsistencies of Meg, the sarcastic descriptions. I laugh every time. The originally haughty female who submits quite humbly to loving "her John" and his triumph after pain reminds me of North and South though of course at a much more trifling level and with hilarity and less tenderness.

"Meg stopped there, remembering, all of a sudden, that she hadn't made up her mind; that she had told "her John" to go away, and that he might be overhearing her inconsistent remarks."
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, page 251.


Old-Fashioned Girl
"Polly looked up to thank him, but never did, for there was something deeper than gratitude in the honest blue eyes, that could not hide the truth entirely. Tom saw it, flushed all over his brown face, and dropping the rubbers with a crash, took her hands, saying, in his old impetuous way—

'Polly, I want to tell you something!' "
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, page 298

No silly reserve, no formality, no dignity yet no absurdity just bluntness and hilarity and sweetness from jolly Tom. Why are characters named Tom in books and sometimes movies and TV so hilarious?

" 'That I was in love? Well, I am, but not with her.'

'Oh!' and Polly caught her breath as if a dash of cold water had fallen on her, for the more earnest Tom grew, the blunter he became.' "
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott, page 299


Copies Used
An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. Random House Value Publishing. 1995.
The Complete Novels by Jane Austen. Penguin Books. 2006.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Wordsworth Editions Limited. 1994.
Little Women and Little Men by Louisa May Alcott. Anness Publishing Limited. 1995.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Hamlette's I Love Austen Week Tag

Here is the link to the tag.

1.  Which did you experience first, a Jane Austen book or a movie based on one?
The 1995 Pride and Prejudice miniseries. Mom then borrowed the book from the library. I think I watched most of the classic versions (the Mark Strong and Kate Beckinsale Emma is the classic one to me) before reading the novels.

2.  What is your favorite Austen book?

Well, I'm in the middle of re-reading all of them. I have a hard time picking one favorite. I think that Persuasion, Mansfield Park (I know lots of people don't like this one, but I just started re-reading it and I just like something about the style and situation and I just like Edmund), and Pride and Prejudice are my favorites (?).

3.  Favorite heroine?  Why do you like her best?

Apparently all the ones that aren't remotely like me. Fanny, Anne, and Elinor, oh and Jane. They are sweet and good without being self-righteous. My least favorite is Emma because she is so conceited and dishonest and insincere.

4.  Favorite hero?  Why do you like him best?

Wow, this is HARD. Right now, Edmund Bertram. I don't know, I just like Edmund. The way he always looks out for Fanny. In real life I would probably like Henry Tilney best because he is so funny. Or maybe Mr. Knightley. I feel like the film versions have really affected my opinion or understanding of Mr. Knightley unduly. But none of the characters are super developed.

5.  Do you have a favorite film adaptation of Austen's work?

Pride and Prejudice is the most accurate. But the 2009 version of Emma is just so funny (although the one I call "my" version is Mark Strong and Kate Beckinsale, its waay too short though). And we enjoy the 2008 Sense and Sensibility . . . well Dan Stevens as Edward. And my sisters and I love to swoon over Rupert Penry-Jones in the 2008 Persuasion but that version overall has some extremely awkward moments and film techniques (although I love how they blended the two endings).

6.  Have your Austen tastes changed over the years?  (Did you start out liking one story best, but now like another better?  Did you think she was boring at first, then changed your mind?  Etc.)

I don't adore them like I used too. I prefer greater depth of story and character. Also, characters irritate me more on second and third readings (i.e. Emma and Lizzie and Marianne).

7.  Do you have any cool Austen-themed things (mugs, t-shirts, etc)?  (Feel free to share photos if you want.)
I have the really pretty Barnes and Noble hard back collection of the novels. I would love to buy jewelry with Captain Wentworth's proposal.

8.  If you could ask Jane Austen one question, what would you ask her?

What is the rest of the story of Sandition!!!!!!!! And please finish it. Why do I get the feeling that it would have been one of her best novels with an especially charming hero?

9.  Imagine someone is making a new film of any Jane Austen story you choose, and you get to cast the leads.  What story do you want filmed, and who would you choose to act in it?

I was just watching Little Dorrit. I love Matthew McFadyen in that and in MI-5, but I HATE him in '05 Pride and Prejudice, and I guess it is because he is so WRONG for the role (nothing fits with anything in that movies although it is good for laughs). I was trying to fit him to a JA role and realized how perfect he would be as Colonel Brandon. And I do mean perfect. The sweetness and patience of his face and manner (oh, how I love him as Arthur Clennam).

 I hate all the Colonel Brandon's. One of my sisters pointed out that Mr. Knightly is often younger or pleasant and he is a year or two older than Colonel Brandon. The films always make Colonel Brandon ancient and creepy. Why? I think that is part of why I cannot warm to him in the books although I adore Arthur Clennam who I think is similar of temperament and situation (everyone abuses him and he is sweet and patience and good).

I don't know enough actors of any one set or generation to do a very good job at casting a movie, certainly not quickly. 

10.  Share up to five favorite Jane Austen quotations!

Too hard and involved.

Mr. Knightley's arguments and rebukes of Emma offer some excellent moments.

Captain Wentworth is definitely the most romantic. Nothing can outdo that letter.

Mr. Bennet and Mr. Tilney's sarcasm is humorous.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Local Art Festival Haul

I cannot remember if I posted these or not. I couldn't find a post in my quick survey. I attended the art festival for the 3rd time with my grandparents, 4th time total. And my do I love that. I bought my mom soap and myself a lotion stick. My grandparents bought a slate to hang outside and a gorgeously worked wood tray.

Isn't this cake stand darling? Or for a cheese ball (I'm obsessed with those). I bought my sisters' Christmas gifts from this shop, and there was a vase I wanted but it was too expensive for me then (the shop owner said I could request it on Etsy).

Mom suggested that if I use the stand for a cheese ball this could be for the crackers (pardon the blur).

My favorite jewelry shop was there again!!!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Creative Endeavors Besides Knitting

A couple months ago I made a few items (a hand embroidered table cloth and a necklace) to send in a birthday package my mom was preparing for a family friend. I had recently been purging and organizing craft supplies, and I also finished another project, my reticule from a class at a Jane Austen festival like 5 years ago, but I will probably figure out some way to rework it into something else, a quilt maybe because I would not use the reticule (or maybe I could offer it in a giveaway for another blogger's regency blog event although I haven't seen any for a while).

More recently I completed these pages from my art journal. I kept putting off the painting, so I ended up doing a stylized type painting and I'm pretty happy with it. I got a watercolor paper journal, so I could use a variety of mediums without worrying about bleeding. And the ring binder allows for adding thickness. I know this is juvenile; I want to improve my efforts, but I need to start and not procrastinate until I've attained perfection (lol).

I bought clothes pins a couple months ago and then in a crafting mood made these.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

My Natural Make-Up and Wishlist

I really enjoy when others share their natural beauty options. I learn of more brands and am reminded of others which have improved. I started out with a discontinued brand from Rainbow Blossom and then branched out with recommendations from The Green Beauty Guide, a blog post I found via Google, and brands on Skin Botanica and the now out of business Saffron Rouge. 

I've tried Dr. Hauschka, Suki, Alima Pure, Juice Beauty, Nvey Eco, Ilia Beauty, Vapour (I tested and returned, but did not use; I might try more samples), Honeybee Gardens, Cowgirl Dirt, Zuzu Luxe, EllaRose Minerals, and more. Some of these are only semi-natural (most of the less expensive ones, for example) and a lot are very expensive which is why I've bought more basics from Cowgirl Dirt than I have from any other brand. 

I'm not brand loyal and because of this and expanding options, I will continue on my merry way of trying every brand I think is natural enough.


My large set (10 plus 1 extra I bought) I received a couple years ago from my grandmother, and my small set I bought for our big vacation in May. I prefer the smaller set, it takes up less space (half the number of brushes and shorter handles) and the brushes are softer. I think I might have harmed the larger set when I washed them (I need to research that). I feel ungrateful, but I'd really like to get rid of the large set. I don't need that many brushes, and I can add as needed to the smaller set (I'd want a blush brush). 

As for my other tools: I use dollar store sponges for my foundation right now, but I'd like to get a beauty blender type sponge; my pencil sharpeners do the job, but they seem to fall open easily; and I need replacement pads for my eyelash curler.

Face and Cheeks

I've been using Cowgirl Dirt for a couple years. I started out using their cream foundation and concealer (the later of which they've discontinued to my disappointment; only concealer that thick actually conceals, but thankfully I don't need it as often) and switched to their liquid and BB cream when they put those out. I would like to try Juice Beauty's expanded liquid foundation options and Vapour again at some point, but I just ordered more from Cowgirl Dirt (in addition to being less expensive, they have great sales). 

 My favorite concealer previously was Dr. Hauschka's stick concealer which was amazingly expensive. If I felt I needed to make concealer (this recipe), I would put in in lip balm tube.

My powders are Alima Pure (when I used used loose eyeshadow I bought more from this brand) except for the light jar which is EllaRoseMinerals (I don't like this powder, but if you like tons of loose eyeshadow colors you should check this shop out). 

My lip and cheek stain is an indie brand "Fat and the Moon" and was an impulse purchase when I bought my 70's vintage dress (hopefully, I will feature that in the summer). It's interesting; its more like tinted lip balm so its sticky on my cheeks. I want cream blush, so I won't be buying this again. I want to try several RMS Beauty Products and have wanted to for a long time, but they are SO expensive and look greasy.


I think I'm too old for lip gloss, so I think I will use these up and then only buy lipstick. These are from Juice Beauty and Cowgirl Dirt. My lip liners (I cover my entire lip because both lipgloss and lipstick last under an hour if I don't) are Dr. Hauschka, Cowgirl Dirt, and some other brand (maybe Zuzu Luxe?) that I bought at Earthfare but probably isn't really super green.

The back lipstick is from Juice Beauty and the front two are Dr. Hauschka. Lauren from Chic Ethique has mentioned a couple brands I want to try, Bite Beauty  and Red Apple. Both have SO many color choices.


The eyeshadow palette set is from Dr. Hauschka. I bought it greatly discounted at Pharmaca or (I think the former, and I just found out the latter was bought and closed by Walgreens). This is definitely may favorite (of course I mostly used loose powder before). I prefer matte eyeshadows. If I cannot find less expensive I will repurchase. I might try Lily Lolo pressed shadows and perhaps Alima Pure.

 The eyeshadow on the left is cream eyeshadow from Cowgirl Dirt, and I don't recommend it as I have to pull on my eyelid to put it on and the shade is warmer than it looks in the palette. The other eyeshadow is pressed powder from Cowgirl Dirt. I just ordered another (more matte) one.

My eyeliners are Cowgirl Dirt and Dr. Hauschka. I want to try the gel and liquid liners from Root Pretty and find another pencil to try since Cowgirl Dirt pencils are more like crayons and melt off/smudge without touch really easily.

I've cleared out tons of stuff over the years and have really brought my collection down. But I still want to use up or get rid of some of this stuff because I'm less than thrilled, have too much of the same. If I can cut down a little more and figure out how to give up my brushes (I will see if Mom and sisters want them), I should be able to fit everything including the brushes into my bag easily.