Tag Archives: goth

Define: “Steampunk”…

24 Jun

SteampunkCartoonSteampunk is…a joyous fantasy of the past, allowing us to revel in a nostalgia for what never was. It is a literary playground for adventure, spectacle, drama, escapism and exploration. But most of all it is fun!” ― George Mann

From the Oxford dictionary:
steampunk
Pronunciation: /ˈstēmˌpəNGk/

1.1 A style of design and fashion that combines historical elements with anachronistic technological features inspired by science fiction:
the essence of steampunk is homage to vintage fashion with a modern, sassy twist.

I don’t think without a proper dictionary definition, the steampunk style could be understood. Even with the definition? It’s hard to process. Anyone directly in the alternative world of fashion and design may get it. But many on the outside looking in may be baffled. I tend to think of it like this: take a Harry Potter style, give it a punk edge with some designer style and you are on your way to a steampunk look.

Steampunk is definitely not front and center in the glamour & fashion world. In fact, it’s a little underground which makes it that much more eclectic and romantic. It is definitely built around the individual and each look is unique. No one goes into Macy’s and asks for the steampunk section of the store. But that doesn’t mean you can get a look there either.

As my fire-spinning evolves, so does my look. I find myself looking at things that I like, with an edgy flair, and a mystical aura. Do I still love my Manolos? Hell yeah. But you might find them next to a pair of worn black suede combat boots with wired taffeta laces. What can I say? Style is about individuality. That’s why I love this industry.

So you want to look at some steampunk inspired items? I happen to like these items when I’ve got the S-punk urge:

Makeup: Because steampunk is a genre which embraces individuality, no makeup look is right or wrong. There are a few things that can give your look more of an edge than a general look.
**Dark lips are always a plus. Heavy outlined lips, true red lip colors or black matte lipsticks or glosses are a nice look.
**Stenciled designs such as gears, feathers and scrolls around the eye/temple area is cool. You can also find temporary tattoos to give you this look. Enhance them with black or metallic liner for an extra pop.
**Dark gold or copper eyeshadow is a MUST! And the more sparkle and glitter, the better. Add a touch of glittery black liner for a deep look. A touch of the shadow in the middle of your bottom lip looks awesome too.
Sassy Likes: Eye Kandy Cosmetics Eye Kandy Glitter in Taffy (Copper Penny), $7.50; Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in “Outlaw”, $20.00 – Sephora

Clothes: Take a mixture of the Victorian era romance, elements from the Industrial Revolution from the 1800’s and a hint of the post-apocalyptic era and you may have an idea of what the general steampunk look is like. The key is individualism–wear what you feel comfortable in and feel it represents the style that reflects you. Key pieces to look for are long, flowing dresses, regal jackets and bodices, ruffled and/or lacy tops, unleveled hemmed skirts and more. I advise people to look at what other steampunk lovers wear and see what jumps out at them. Remember to try before you buy. What is good for some may not be good for you. Looking at styles presently in your closet may give you an idea of what types of s’punk clothes might interest you… if any! It may not be for you, but if it is, there are lots of places to shop. Start with your local thrift and consignment shops. You’d be surprised what treasures you may find there. You can even find a base and embellish it the way you want. If you are looking for something specific, there are several online stores that offer options such as SteampunkEmporium.com, pyramidcollection.com or my favorite rebelsmarket.com
Sassy Likes: Rebel’s Market Black Corset & Buckles Halter Top, $32.40; Belladonna Corset, $44.95 – goodgoth.com

 

Accessories: Your steampunk look most likely will never be ordinary but accessories can help take it to another level. These items can fall into categories that range from head to toe. They include hats, boots, jewelry and everything in between. When it comes to jewelry, the key thing to look for is bronze. Not necessarily the metal but the color! Necklaces and bracelets with old keys, buckles and chains are a perfect add-on. Chokers made of lace, velvet or leather accented with gems, gears, keys and locks are a pretty pick as well. Boots are a popular choice for footwear. All boot heights including knee high lace up, mid-calf with buckles or low Mary Janes are always popular. When it comes to shoes, dark colors of lace, velvet or leather look fab. And those cute mini hats are always cool if you can pull them off!
Sassy Likes: Necklaces from @Fishscalecreations on Etsy; UGG “Simmens” leather boots, $169.95 – Nordstrom; Steampunk Velvet Top Hat, $19.95 -yandy.com; Black leather metal studded fingerless gloves, $22.00 – rebelsmarket.com

Row

If punk is a little extreme for you ladies but still want to stand out from the crowd, see if the individuality of the steampunk genre is your cup of tea (or poison). If you would like to know more about the why’s, who’s and what’s, check out the links below to give you more information. And as always…. keep me posted on your finds, looks, styles and so on. I’d love to see and share!!

www.steamfashion.livejournal.com: This link gives you a LOT of information. What steampunk is, your individual style, plus it’s history. A great start.

www.pennlive.com: If you want to master a steampunk look or costume, this is a great tool. I love how it talks about the recycling aspect of the look. It doesn’t have to be new, especially since the theme is Victorian based anyways.

thesteampunkempire.com: I love the fact that this is a discussion group that addresses questions you might have. The contributors are people just like you and me that need answers too!

Enjoy and be Steamsavvy, Sassinistas!!
Stopwatch Fierce

Black is the New Black….

31 May

imageI think every makeup connoisseur has SOMETHING black in their cosmetic collection. If they don’t?…. they should. Nowadays, black goes beyond just mascara. If you go down the makeup aisle at your local drugstore or venture into your Sephora mecca, the items you see will most likely have a “shade” that is a form of black. What is nice is that you don’t have to be considered goth to wear black anymore. Black is back. Plain and simple. And black glamour is awesome.

There are a few things I have in my makeup go-to bag that are black and are MUST HAVES for me no matter where I go. I may not use them every day, but I need to know they are close by…just in case!

imageL’Oreal Paris Infallible Eyeshadow in “Eternal Black”: It is hard to believe when any makeup product refers to itself as “24hrs” but this one comes really darn close. This silky shadow comes in a little pot that you apply with your finger. The key is to just dot and blend QUICK! A little goes a long way. I like this shadow as a lid color when I want a bold look or a great smoky edge when using a pop of color. The glitter content is high but because of its great binders, it doesn’t crease or fallout. Don’t worry about hot days either–it’s waterproof and sweatproof! For an extra intense look, I will apply it along my bottom lash line with a flat-top brush. It is also available in 12 other bright colors. Sexy! (Available in most major drug and retail stores, $7.99)

imageUrban Decay 24/7 Waterline Eye Pencil in “Legend”: If you are like me, you love that dark, crisp black eye lined look on your lower lid. The problem? It only stays that way for a few hours. Grr. I actually found this product at Sephora when I did a search for a 24 hour pencil liner. In fact, it was the first one to pop up! I love the fact I can sharpen it myself to get a nice, crisp point on the pencil. It glides on with no tugging and yes…. it stays put all day! The black is a nice creamy, demi-matte shade that goes on easily and stays put. If you like the formula and its stay power, it comes in five other shades too! (Urban Decay, $20)

imageSenna Lash Detail Mascara: Over the years, I have tried a countless number of mascaras in different formulas and colors with all types of tubes and brushes. It is probably the one makeup item that I am the most fickle about. I really really like a few different ones I have tried, but to say I love them enough to throw out all of the others wouldn’t be possible. Not to mention, I have different mascaras for looks I want–natural, lush, evening, day, even for when I wear false eyelashes. The one thing that has been difficult for me, no matter which mascara I use, is being able to hit those teenie tiny lashes in the inner and outer corners of my eyes. The bigger brushes either can’t reach them or leave a clump of mascara or worse…a blob of black on my lid or side of my nose. When I attended The Makeup Show earlier this month, I was given a tube of Senna’s Lash Detail Mascara to try. Wow! Anyone that is very detailed about their makeup look needs this mascara, no questions asked! The “brush” is about as thin as a coffee stir straw. It gets in the corners without a problem and hits the bottom lashes from corner to outside without an issue while coating them with a “don’t move” formula. Whether you wear your own lashes with your favorite mascara or add false lashes for extra fullness & length, don’t forget the hidden lashes. Give them some love too. (Senna Cosmetics, $20)

imageDuo Brush-On Adhesive with Vitamins in Dark: Speaking of lashes, I can tell you I have been trying to master fake lashes for years. I either put them on too high, too far to the right, too far to the left, get glue everywhere but on the lid, you name it. Instead of fake lashes, I end up with a real disaster. If I do happen to get them close to normal, I always seem to have a small space between my own and the strip where you can see the skin tone of my lid, and getting a liner in between is virtually impossible. At The Makeup Show, the press was given a set of fake lashes to try. I liked the look of them in the package–soft, long, dark and full (but not too full). The lash glue was okay, but I still had issues with applying it neatly. On my next visit to my local drug store, I checked to see what other options there were in the fake lashes aisle. I saw all different kinds at all different prices with styles from natural to peacock feathers. Umm… wow. But then I saw something unique. They had this fake eyelash glue that was applied with a thin brush–similar to a thin eyeliner brush–that had an easy to apply, stay put adhesive. But what I really loved about it? It was dark…almost black! And when I put the lashes on, it looked like I had epic top liner on too! Two pluses in one product. The lashes stayed put ALL DAY with no smearing. This is JUST what I needed! (CVS, $6.49)

imageHard Candy Lip Gloss in “Black Rose”: I’m not so goth where I will wear straight-up black lip gloss or lipsticks, but I like to add a touch of midnight to a few of my favorite pencils and lip colors. Some of the products I have tried cannot be altered–just all-day black and only black. Personally, I like to wear a reds, dark wines or purples and add a thin black gloss over it for just a bit of an edge. So far, Hard Candy has been the only cosmetic company to offer that. Granted, it doesn’t have a long wear, but if you put it over a lip product with some serious stay power?… a touch up now and then it is well worth it especially since the gloss is seriously inexpensive! A great way to bring out your mysterious side with your regular colored lip products. (Walmart, $5.00)

I have talked before about how it is okay for you to embrace your inner goth even if you aren’t a teen anymore, but when it comes to black makeup items, you need something! You can be as edgy as you want with a touch of class without looking outrageous or out of place. If working with black makeup products is out of your element, take some time to practice till you are comfortable with the application and the look. You have a lot less room for error when creating a look with blacks than others so take your time and try different techniques. I don’t usually recommend this, but it might help to watch a couple of good YouTube videos for help or ideas. I can happily say that it won’t be long before this sassy redhead will be creating a YouTube channel to help you with many of the things I write about here! I am excited–I hope you will be too!
Roses

Mid-Life Goth Crisis

28 Jan

GothRedheadEveryone who knows me knows NOT to ask me my age. I am the first one to say, I will lie about the actual number ‘til the cows come home. I don’t look my age and I certainly don’t act my age…except for the occasional ache, pain and doctor appointment. With that being said, I grew up a huge fan of everything that pushed the limits of my generation. The makeup, the big hair, the fashions, the movies, the music. It was then that I fell in love with the “punk rock” movement. I wasn’t a huge follower of all the music that was out and evolving at that time, but I vividly remember listening to hits by The Clash, The Ramones, David Bowie (RIP), Adam Ant, Modern English and more. It was the clothing and all that went with it that drew me in. The fashions were awesome! I loved my leather jackets and miniskirts, lace tops, tight jeans, colored high heels with torn fishnet stockings, old rock t-shirts and heavy boots. The accessories of studded bracelets and chokers, some bright hair done in a unique non-mainstream style were beyond everything that I loved. It SCREAMED rebellious. My problem? My mother hated all of it. So I ended up wearing your basic honor student outfit then changed into a neon top, put on mega lipstick, melted on heavy black eyeliner and put in studded earrings before school. Then, like many other inverted rebels, I’d wash it off on the bus on the way home. I was bad and I liked it. Oh, those were the days….

Let’s fast forward to today. Even at this “stage” of my life, I like to be a little edgy. It keeps me feeling young. Although I think I am past the fishnets, tutus, leather pants (kind of), Doc Marten days—but never say never—I still like to keep my closet ranging from comfortably chic to eclectic nouveau. This past summer, I discovered a fun gathering of people who were different from many others I have ever known. They live for the day. They find joy in their own interests no matter how out there some may seem. They do what they have to do during the day but at night, they do what they want. And these friends? Well, they all have a mutual love & common bond: they love the art of spinning and performing with fire. And their fashions? I am pretty sure aren’t a top priority, but the variety each person has is striking! It is a combination of punk, Goth, individualism, comfort and performance…all in one. I will be honest, when I first met them, I was in awe. Not just at their outlook on life, attitudes towards tomorrow AND their performance talents but in their thoughts about what was awesome! They find happiness in the here and now. It is a no-judgement zone to be free with yourself and among your friends. To say the least? I felt at home. I felt I could be the “me” that had always wanted to be. And that was empowering!

After getting totally enthralled with my new adventures, I fell hook, line and sinker for my newly found interests and “freedom”. I went out and invested in an LED hula-hoop and two short fire staffs so I could play outside with fire with my friends during the summer and keep fit inside hooping when it was cold during the winter. I decided to bring out that edgy side of me that was suppressed as a teen. Managing a few days a week at the tattoo shop, you would think that should have allowed me to be expressive on the outside. Especially since that industry is a no-judgement zone as well. Sure, I could have gone wild with all types and styles of makeup, fashion and accessories that weren’t what a mature, “age unspecified” adult would normally wear. I did a little bit, but I was still afraid of being discriminated against with a “WTF?” conviction. Trust me, there could be outfits that might get me a second look from the grocery shopping moms at the market on a Monday morning. But you know what? With my newly discovered self-confidence, I didn’t care. That’s one thing my age does give me: GUTS. If I am going to take things one day at a time, I sure as hell want to do them my way.

My first mission was to embrace the clothes and makeup that were outside my norm. A little more edgy than usual. Darker, sexier, borderline “goth”. I absolutely love the dictionary.com’s definition of Goth: “a person of no refinement; barbarian”. SERIOUSLY? When does a tightly-laced corset and thigh-high boots make you a barbarian? Ugh. Listen, I will never deny I like my leather, I like my lace, and I swoon over rhinestones and studs. I like piercings, heavy necklaces and endless bracelets. I embrace tattoos, pride myself on stunning make-up and like my BOLD auburn hair that stands out in a crowd. If that makes me unrefined then I challenge Webster to a cup of tea and a “special” brownie to justify it!

You may be wondering: Is she going to change her ways? Is she diving off the deep end? No. Oh hell no! You can’t change me. I’m one of a kind, that’s for sure! I have always been and will continue to be a bit brassy, super sassy and fierce beyond flames. But can I embrace a slightly side of me that never really showed too much before that’s been laying kind of dormant? Oh HELL YEAH! And I plan on doing just that.

Let’s talk about my inner-goth, shall we? Black leather coats, combat boots, studded bracelets and choker necklaces. Rock t-shirts, big hoop earrings, bold makeup and wild hair. All of these things have ALWAYS been a part of me, but the older and more knowledgeable I become, the more I realize I can pull all of this off in a tasteful yet saucy, spunky, gritty way! Want to know how a mid-life crisis MILF goes “goth”? Check out some of the items that are helping me with that:

NYXGlossNYX Cosmetics Soft Matte Lip Cream in “Transylvania” – Right now, matte is all the rage. And I can see why. That smooth, sultry look that you can only get from flat, matte formulas are hot especially with eye shadows, lips and nails. I have always been a high gloss person till I tried this product. What’s great is they come so any colors. Dark colors too! REALLY DARK, like “Transylvania”. It is not a black because it has just a hint of purple in it. But when I put it on thick, it is deep! The matte formula stays bold longer and also doesn’t dry out my lips. A formula and color I love with a price that’s even better! Perfect. Ulta, $5.99

BetterThanSexToo Faced “Better Than Sex” Mascara – When mascaras all jumped on board with the little comb like plastic brushes, I thought I was in heaven. Something that coated each individual lash, keeping them separated. What we all want, right? Well…… eh, not so much. Even though I still used the random mascaras that I bought that promised me long, lush lashes I found myself going back to the old ways with a mascara that had a fluffy brush. The problem was that they were not easy to find anymore. And to look a little edgy, a little out there, you need thick, bold, black lashes. Coat after coat. THEN, I had a come-to-makeup-mecca moment. I went to one of my favorite makeup stores and got a free with purchase sample of Too Faced’s best products. In it was their epic eyeshadow primer, a cool as hell eye liner (we will get back to that), and a mini tube of the Better Than Sex mascara. When I first tried it, I wasn’t a big fan. I thought it was clumpy, thick and got everywhere. Blech. BUT then I realized if I gave the brush a quick wipe on a tissue, the amount left was perfect! I am still using the trial tube, but I went out and got a full sized tube. It isn’t waterproof but it is SUPER long wearing, has a rich color, helps curl the lashes and keeps them full and luscious. I can’t see me trying any other mascara for stunning, rocking lashes like these! Ulta, $22.00

TF LinerToo Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eye Liner in “Perfect Black” – Yes, this was also included in my little Too Faced goodie bag that was the gift with purchase at Ulta. I have a lot of favorite liners. Some are expensive and some are super cheap. This one, I have to say, is a little on the pricey side. But oh man, does it work! First, it needs to be sharpened which I love because I want my liners to have a tight, sharp line. Second, it is a gel-like formula so it goes on smooth without “skipping”. And lastly, it has a smudger on the opposite end if you want that smoky-eye look. This liner doesn’t move AT ALL! Even on my bottom waterline, it’s still there by day’s end. And when I want a deep, Goth look for my upper lid I just smudge it up and out for a smoldering look that will look all day and night. The pencil is a little longer than drugstore liners so you do get a bit more than usual. Ulta, $18.00

SallyNailsDark Nail Polish – Everyone tends to think black when thinking Goth colors, but when it comes to nails, you can do a variety of things. Today I am wearing flat white polish with black French tips. You can also do black polish with red hearts stenciled in. I like to wear black polish with a high silver sparkle on my ring finger. Be dark but different with you polish choices. You can still be stylish and chic without being a bubblegum pink perky. I like Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Fast Dry Nail Color in “Black to Black”, “Cinni-Snap” and “Grape Shifter”. Ulta, $4.99

GothAccessoriesAccessories – It is easy to find black tops, jeans, jackets, corsets in leather and lace but accessorizing your edgy outfits might be more of a challenge. I do a lot of shopping on EBay and Etsy when I am looking for something specific. There are also other specialty stores that you can browse through. I think when it comes to the general look I am seeking, I tend to look at chokers for necklaces; leather and spikes for bracelets and purses; big hoops or straight lines for earrings and anything else out of the ordinary. Don’t hesitate to look in thrift stores and consignment shops when it comes to finding unusual pieces. Someone else’s junk just might be your unique treasure. Look for these items and more at stores like Dolls Kill (dollskill.com), Rebel Circus (rebelcircus.com), and franchises like Plato’s Closet (my local one is Plato’s Closet in Schenectady NY). Rebel Circus and Plato’s are great to find out of the ordinary clothing too.

GothThriftClothes – I mentioned above about how to find some great pieces of clothing when you are feeling a little dark and rebellious. Sure, there are retail stores that entice people to buy different things for just that genre but it really isn’t about what it is…it’s about how it makes you feel. If you feel good in torn jeans, trying to wear leather pants isn’t going to allow the real you to come out. Try before you buy. And take a friend who gets it. When I first went looking for edgy clothes, I took one of my “burner” friends with me. Sometimes you hate an item on the rack and pass it right over. But if you bring a different set of eyes with you, they might lead you towards things you’d never give a second thought to. I tried on things WAY out of my usual comfort zone: graphic shirts, netting tops, cropped tees, torn jeans, dark leggings, and high boots. It was fun and gave me a bigger zone to look towards when shopping for clothes. Sure, I’m wearing jeans, combat boots, a flannel and a tee at my shop today, but if I decided to stop out to listen to a band and enjoy a drink with friends afterwards, I have something a little more extraordinary to slip into. For clothes like this? I look everywhere. Retail sale racks, thrift stores, consignment shops, flea markets, going out of business events. Any place that you might not find the norm. Not only can you get some cool things but you can get them at a really inexpensive price!

As the weather begins to warm up around me (I hope?), I am looking more and more forward to unpacking my newer, more eccentric clothes that I had picked up last year and have been adding to ever since. Not to mention, I am using this down time to play with my makeup pallet—trying new looks, styles, colors and designs. Every outfit is a piece of canvas and everything from the fashions, accessories, makeup, hair, nails and more are the paint! And what is the message you want your piece of art to convey? Well, my Sassinistas…. that’s called your attitude. Go out, be you, and create your piece of art!!