Hello from 'The Tease Maid'. I am woman...hear me POUR! Read on for my general make-up musings and my plan to make the world a better place with nothing but cuppas, cupcakes and cosmetics. There's a weekly 'Tuesday Tip' and a 'Vintage Vault', and of course information on where you can find my next "Cake It On" event... Hope to see you at one soon xox

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Tuesday Tip #8 - Vintage Nails

The EASY way to get that Half-Moon Manicure
This look is now instantly recognisable as being the one favoured by Dita Von Teese. True to her 1940's style, she has always sported her perfect red talons with the half-moon at the cuticle free from polish. But not many people know that this look actually originated in the 1920s.

The 'manicure' itself was invented by a make-up artist at MGM Studios and it wasn't only the half moon that was left clear of colour - the tip of the nail was too.

This look had 2 functions: 
1) It made the nail polish last a lot longer (we all know the first place your polish chips is the tip, then it looks weird as it grows up and away from the cuticle) and -  
2) It had the added benefit of being a tricky and delicate paint-job that had obviously been done by some-one else (i.e. a manicurist) so it was in that way a good indicator of social status.
By the 1940's, the trend was to cover the tips too, although there was a brief resurgence of unpainted tips which can probably be attributed to the war and sparsity of nail polish.
There are many tutorials that tell you how to get this look by using those nail-tip stickers you buy for French Manicures but I have an even better way to do it.
Those manicure stickers aren't sticky enough and the curve is a bit too wide - instead use hole-punch reinforcement stickers from stationery shops and cut them in half. They're cheaper, they're stickier so they don't allow polish to leak beneath them, and the curve is smaller and tighter. Perfect.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

'Cake It On!' and Cake Club

Bake, Brew and Blend...
My two main enterprises 'Cake It On!' and The Clandestine Cake Club are meeting at the end of this month in one big cake-y/cosmetic-ky proper make-up bake-up.
This is because of my Avon campaign dates and mental personal schedule all falling around the same time. So while I'm still on this charity ration diet, what better way to pay homage to the women of the era by not only re-creating their recipes but also re-creating their look and having one big Blitz extravaganza! If your'e not a member of Cake Club and want to be then click on the pic below and join the network in general, then look for my Shoreditch group:
And if you want to attend the event you don't HAVE to bring a cake! This is a joint event so you can do either. In fact what I find at a lot of Cake Clubs is that we have soooo much cake left over. We cakey people are sharey people so come along anyway, have a bit of cake and just have fun. There's a war on after all :) xox

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Tuesday Tip #7 - Ration Fashion

Mmmm How To Get Edible Stockings...
It's common knowledge that during WWII, many women had to 'Make Do And Mend' and even though my month-long charity ration diet only extends to my food (thank God!) it still gets me thinking about other products, especially toiletries.
During the war, Max Factor stopped making their normal cosmetics and instead made camouflage make-up for troops, Stratton stopped making lipstick casing and instead made munitions casing... I wonder how we'd feel if our favourite mascara was suddenly just unavailable and we had to mix charcoal and Vaseline together to put on our lashes instead?
But the really big one is stockings. Remember, it wasn't only fashionable for women in the 1940's to wear stockings, it was proper. They didn't walk around like women do nowadays with their thongs sticking up over their Juicy Couture tracksuit waistbands or with their skirts so short you could see what they'd had for breakfast... They were more modest. To not wear stockings meant you were half undressed - a bit like like going out in your work-clothes and slippers.
That's why wartime women went to such great lengths to achieve the look of stockings. Initially, with nylon being rationed, a leg-tan cream was produced (by Max Factor). It had the added benefit of being manufactured too thick, so it went even further because it could be watered down by the consumer. Eventually Max factor caught on and thinned it down.
But soon even that was too difficult or expensive to get hold of so women were very industrious and used gravy browning or tea bags to stain the legs, then drew a 'seam' down the back with eyebrow pencil or eyeliner. You could either get a friend to do it or rub the pencil down something long and straight, like a 30cm ruler, and 'press' it into the leg. It seems the gravy browning method was more popular, despite the fact that it used to attract flies in the heat! Also you'd have to wash it off before bed. We all know the biscuity horror smell of 'fake-tan' sheets...imagine if that was gravy?
I also do like the modern interpretation of this, a tattoo of a stocking seam on the back of the legs. 
I'm obsessed with the idea of getting it done, although I won't because it would limit my stocking selections and I'm obsessed with them too. Perhaps I should just draw them on sometimes.... As if I have that kind of patience!!
New Look!

It just goes to show the utter determination wartime women had to be seen as feminine and to Keep Calm and Carry On despite all the struggles. Think about how we feel when we have an 'off' day. I can't be bothered doing my hair or putting on make-up sometimes. I'm not sure I'd have the kind of strength to cover my bloody legs in gravy, especially if my fella was off fighting a war somewhere. Jeez, when I don't have a boyfriend I don't even bother to shave my legs!
So this post is for the women - determined, resourceful inventors of the Victory Roll, we salute you xox

Monday, 2 July 2012

Blitz Babe's 'Ration Diet'

July 1st - 31st
In hindsight it probably was an odd thing to do since I'm such a cake enthusiast, but I decided to go on a ration-diet for charity. My month-long WWII sponsored ration diet was an idea I had some months ago, and specifically planned to do in July as it's the last full month before VJ Day in August. I prepared myself by buying a book and researching on the internet, as well as going to The Imperial War Museum and chatting to the old dears in the nursing home. Since I'm doing it to raise money for 'Care For Casualities' I guess I can't really just 'cave' and break the promise :)

To prove I've been on this 'diet' I'm going to take some measurements now (36-27-34) because I can guarantee that at the end of this I will have lost a bit of weight. You see, despite what may seem like copious amounts of beef dripping and golden syrup, the recipes from this era just contained a hell of a lot of veg and no processed food. It's generally accepted that people's health during WWII was the best this country had ever really seen so I'm not concerned about my health - just about the fact that I can't really have wine!
To see what the rations actually were, take a look at this link: http://www.memorylanehf.oddquine.co.uk/food.htm
The below photo shows pretty much what I'll eat in a week, along with bread and some veg and thankfully 3 pints of milk:
I'm making mine realistic by sticking to fruit & veg which is in season in England in July because during that time I would theoretically be growing my own. There's a really good page for this info called eatseasonably.co.uk. and information from that ensures that I have no excuse to try and sneak a cheeky pineapple or something! In a similar vein I can have the odd bit of pickle or chutney but it would have to be something that was in season June/July and I had supposedly preserved myself.
So there you have it. I'm very interested to see what this feels like after a month, and it's useful as an aid to remembering how brave people were back then and how we don't experience the same kind of deprivation nowadays. If you want to support the cause, please donate to my Just Giving site:

And do keep checking back to see how I'm getting on! I'll post the odd recipe and wartime beauty tip on here to coincide with the ration fast. Until next time... xox
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