Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pin curls - Attempt #1

This is one of my first experimental pin-curl escapades. For this particular ‘do, I used regular mousse, a blow dryer, liquid (spray) styling mousse, about 14 pin curl clips, a boar bristle brush, some hair pins for my bangs, and a bunch of hairspray to keep it all together.

Styling: This set took about 30 minutes to put up. I took fairly large sections of hair, and each section required a pin curl clip as well as a bobby pin. 

I curled large sections because I only had 12 pin curl clips. I would recommend using more clips (so you don’t have to use bobby pins) if you want the curls to come out tighter. 

I struggled with my bangs; there are a lot of options! In the end I used plenty of liquid styling mousse to force them to bend backward like that, creating a bit of a bouffant. I curled most sections the same direction, which helps when brushing them out.

This shows the lovely array of curls when all the clips have been removed. 
Styling: If you use lots of liquid styling mousse (as I did), the curls will be stiff and hard to disentangle. I lost a lot of hair trying to brush them out for this set, and that isn’t necessary. The key is gentleness.
Brushing: The easiest way to brush them out is to use a boar bristle brush (round or flat) and brush out one curl at a time. Unless you’re in a very humid area, your hair should hold plenty of curl even when you brush it out.
Not of encouragement: Be patient. Pin curls are not about speed, they are about finish. Take your time and enjoy the process.

Here is the finished look. I have improved on the vintage-ness of the look since this pin curl set, but this is a good start. 
Brushing: I brushed out my bangs and curled them back into position with my fingers, the brush, and used bobby pins (my hair color) to keep them in place. For the rest, once I brushed out the curls, I kept brushing to encourage them all into the same position. They all folded nicely in to frame my face. I brushed the back curls under, and used hairspray to glue it all down.

The finishing touch would be heavy eye makeup (if you have a forehead like mine) and dark lipstick. Et voila!

More such escapades to ensue! I look forward to getting better at this.

Old to you, new to me

There are a lot of things about the past that inspire me to live life differently than the average life-liver. Antiques happened to me as a teenager, and I was bored and annoyed by them.

Since then, a series of events has opened my eyes to the endless variation of what I call “living material.” 

It started when a friend of mine got engaged and insisted on French netting for her veil, complete with a pearl-studded antique hair comb. We decided to excurse ourselves to the largest antique mall in town - about the size of a football field, not even kidding - and look for this elusive netting, which she couldn’t find at a fabric store.
As we wound our way down aisles named “Vienna,” “London,” and “Paris,” we found a plethora of headgear in the same family as my dear friend’s dream veil. Hats were abundant in that store, and the more we looked, the more we gawked. Hats with feathers, hats of felt, fascinators of all kinds began to garner our attention. Soon, we couldn’t help but take photos of ourselves in said hats. They were wild to us, but once on, you had to admit that they gave you a look, and it wasn’t altogether bad.
I don’t know if she ever found the French netting she was looking for (honestly, she should have just tried the internet first), but it was the beginning of a new phase of life for me. She and I spent nearly a year going to the antique mall every few weeks, and the more I saw, the more I learned. What’s valuable to collectors, what people bring in that’s really junk, and how obscenely small women were half a century ago. I’ve acquired several articles of clothing that are worth their weight in gold for the compliments I receive, and I always find something new, no matter how many times I go a-hunting.
Lesson for the day: When shopping antique, have an item (or a few) in mind that you’re looking for. Your brain will punch in the code and your eyes will almost automatically be drawn to that item in a sea of various whosits and whatsits. Case in point: my mother and I once went antiquing, and she mentioned it would be nice to have a perch for our miserably noisy and kermudgeonly cockatiel. After that, all I could see in the antique mall were birdcages, and no matter how hidden, every single one caught my eye. Let that be a lesson to you!