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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

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Don’t Take Away My….

11 Sep

image
Recently, I wrote about how you can get a great, long lasting stunning look with just one stop to the drug store. At one time this was not easy, but with the development of better formula cosmetics, skin care and hair products, it is absolutely possible to get a great look without hitting a high end store and maxing out a credit card. Beauty can now be achieved on less than a paycheck. If you do it right, you could do it on a big trip to a bottle redemption center. Takes time & practice, but it can be done.

I do have to say, though, that even with the great products that are available on a drug/department store retail level, there are a few things that I just CAN’T live without. I admit, the majority of my ultimate faves are slightly higher end products, but not all of them. And this isn’t just for makeup and skin care either. I have a few fashion items that would make me cry if they disappeared from my closet. The fact is, no matter what the cost or where it came from, there are some things that I would throw a major hissy over if someone took them from me. They are all part of my glamour holy grail list.

So what do I love and can’t live without? Read on:

imageBenefit Cosmetics They’re Real! Mascara – I have more damn tubes of mascara in my house RIGHT NOW than most people use in a lifetime. I test them, I review them, I am given them as samples, and sometimes curiosity of a new product just comes over me. They’re Real! came into my possession thanks to a sample from Sephora. I was a little hesitant since the “brush” applicator was very stiff, comb-like, and not fluffy like I had been used to using. It was the brush that actually sold me on this mascara! It lengthens, gently thickens, separates each lash, and although it isn’t waterproof it is “water resistant” and it seriously doesn’t move all day. No clumping, no flaking, no smudging. I was definitely sold after one use and no matter what other mascaras I’m testing or trying, I need Benefit’s They’re Real! in my drawer. I’d be lost without it.

imageLancôme Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner – I’ve always been intimidated by liquid liner. I don’t know what I do wrong, but my eyes never come out like the picture. But liquid liner is the classic example of “practice makes perfect.” And of all the liquid liners out there, Artliner Precision Point EyeLiner makes practicing easy. The foam-tip “brush” doesn’t clog up or run out before you finish your line. You want to be able to get an even color swipe without having it fade in the middle of the application. Not to mention, it comes in other popular colors so you can get a nice bold look with colors that pop. I also like the fact that you have about five seconds to smudge or touch it up before it dries and doesn’t move…. all day. Yeah, it’s a bit steep in price but a tube lasts a long, long time and saves money if you realize you don’t have to redo it 2-3 times!

imageBuxom® Full-On™ Lip Polish – Yup, I’m a lipgloss whore. I have more tubes of glitter goop than some people have shoes. Hmmm, bad reference. But I’m a sucker for trying new stuff, so if it has a good catch, decent advertising and jazzy packaging…I’m sold. But there is one lipgloss I only have three shades of and I would be lost without them. Why is this lipgloss such a staple in my collection? Well, once again we go back to the “samples sell” philosophy. I got a mini tube in the neutral color “Sugar” (a pinkish truffle). But I also have a wine/violet shade called “Gabby” that goes with anything and a bright strawberry pink called “Kanani”. The gloss is rich, thick but not sticky, and leaves your lips tingly for a pinch of plump. The colors are bold and there are many to choose from. Again, the glosses are more $$$ than an average gloss, but they do last because you need to reapply them less often and the color stays strong. I recently got a gift card so I think I will invest in a few Fall colors to keep my lips smooth with seasonal colors!

imageRoberto Cavalli Black T-Shirt – Okay, sit down because this is an epic story: One day last year, I went into my favorite “second hand” store, Plato’s Closet. While flipping through the tees, looking at the labels (because a designer item that sneaks in unnoticed is an epic find!), I see the name Roberto Cavalli on this black, logo tee with sheer zebra stripes on the back. My hands began to shake as I picked it up and saw the genuine logo medallion hanging from tag. Thanks to my years of watching Sex And The City, I knew immediately who and what I had found. I had stumbled upon a hidden treasure! I looked around, thinking this might be some kind of trick and Heidi Klum was going to pop out of a dressing room like I was in a Pranked skit or something. No one approached me, so I clinched the tee (which was my size!) like it was the last bottle of water after the Apocalypse and tried to act cool. I didn’t even look at the price tag because in my mind I knew approximately what it would have retailed for and I had to have found a deal. Holy smokes, did I. The cost on the Plato’s Closet price tag?…$6. I began to sweat as I walked towards the register, pretending I knew nothing about my find. As soon as it was rang up, paid for, and handed to me, I almost jumped the cashier. “Do you know what up this IS ?” She looked at me like I was on dope. I grabbed it out of the bag. “This is a Roberto Cavalli…ORIGINAL!” Still, a stone look on her face. No clue. Ugh…kids. Oh well!–too bad, so sad! Your loss, my gain! My days of ole watching Carrie Bradshaw and eating Hagen Daas out of the carton with a spoon on my couch had paid off. After extensive research, I discovered that the shirt I found was approximately four years old, and discontinued the same season it was released. The price new? About $350. I paid $6. Moral of the story? Watch your fashion shows, read your glamour mags and surf the net for the latest glamour news. It just may pay off. No one I see in my travels around where I live “gets it” when I wear my shirt, but I do! Oh I certainly do.

imageRampage Enamel Studded Satchel – Right up there with lip glosses, my number of black handbags is probably preposterous to the average American female. I have black purses in all shapes and sizes with all kinds of features, accents and hardware. Some have locks, some have rhinestones, some have feathers. Some are worn out, some are stained, some are basic, some are designer. All kinds for all reasons and seasons. But this specific bag is unusual. It was on clearance at tjmaxx.com and I actually stumbled upon it while looking for something else. I had just recently started helping out at the tattoo shop, and I thought an edgy, studded, rocker looking handbag with a lot of space for new items that I needed to carry with me (datebook, two cell phones, business cards, etc.) would be good. Honestly, when the purse arrived, I seriously thought about returning it. It was bigger than most of my bags, it had handles shorter than I was used to, and it didn’t have a lot of organizational features. But it was cool, the inside was hot pink which looked fab with the black exterior, and it definitely had a rocker vibe. So I loaded it up and gave it a try. I ended up carrying it for over two weeks which is long for me. What I’ve noticed, however, is that even when I do swap out handbags, I only carry them for a short while then come back to this one. I have a connection with this purse. We are compatible. It’s comfortable to me. I love that. Although it has been discontinued, it’s still a bag I could not live without. Best handbag investment I think I’ve ever made. AND it was on sale. That’s saying something!!

imageJ’adore Necklace – Like a purse is a must-have accessory, so are pieces of jewelry. You don’t have to invest a lot of money to have seasonal, in-style statement pieces but once in a while, you need to invest in a piece that is just you. A piece you can wear any time, any place and feel so comfortable in it you forget you’re wearing it. And if you take care of it it can last a long time, becoming your signature piece. Just like Carrie had her name on a gold necklace that she wore in almost every episode of Sex and the City, I have a necklace that I had to have the moment I saw it. I discovered on clearance on Nordstrom’s website. My necklace isn’t my name, but it is very Carrie-like: it’s says “J’adore”. Not only did I love it in gold, but I hunted it down in silver as well. Now I can wear my “statement piece” with whatever my outfit calls for, while still feeling NYC chic!

So that is my list of glamour and fashion “don’t touch!” items in my ensemble. We all have a few, and I’m sure the time will come to add a few more. What about you? What things can you think of that, if they were to disappear, would leave you mourning for a long while? The items you can’t imagine not being there if you needed them. They are your total comfort items, your glamour security blankets. Do you have a few too? I want to know! Share with me a photo if you have one. I want to see your must have’s too!

Sassy’s Spring Six

8 Apr

April6
Happy April, spring seekers!  Are you ready for the snow to be gone? Ready for some warmer days? Dying to get some of your warmer clothes out from hiding? Can you hear your sandals yelling, “Let me out! Let me out!”  Well, Sassinistas, that time is just about here! Granted, you will get a cold day and night once in a while, but for the most part you can feel the sun getting warmer each day and that is a fabulous, FABULOUS thing. Even though the seasons have changed, that hasn’t changed the fact that I can still find some great Sassy items for ALL seasons!  What six did I find during March?  Let’s see:

LorealCode1. L’Oreal Paris Youth Code Dark Spot Correcting & Illuminating Serum Corrector: Fact or fiction: An uneven facial skin tone effects how old you look. Fact! Oh, and not just a little… uneven skin tone can make you look as much as 10 years older!  It is important to help keep your skin looking young as long as you can however you can. L’Oreal’s Serum can help to correct and revitalize skin tone by lightening dark spots, age spots, sun damage and post acne marks. I noticed a difference in my skin tone in just two weeks. I never had major damage to my skin tone, but this product even brightened my dull skin to make it look younger. What I love to do? Mix two pumps of the L’Oreal Serum with a shake of my favorite mineral powder and I have a nice, light, creamy foundation that is keeping me young! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $24.99)

FriedaRed2. John Frieda Radiant Red Colour Protecting Shampoo & Conditioner: Most of us “gingers” (I actually don’t like that term, so that will be the only time you’ll see me use it here) try anything to keep our red locks looking bright & fresh. And it’s not easy. Last month I wrote how I’m hooked on using cranberry juice as a rinse to keep my red hair nourished and bright, but now I also found a daily shampoo and conditioner to help as well.  It nice knowing I’m using a hair product specifically for my hair color, to enhance its tones and prevents fading. Leave it to John Frieda–a hair genius–to develop daily use products to help not just specific hair concerns but also specific hair colors. The results I’ve had with this line is great. My bright red is staying bright even longer!! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $6.99 each)

RocketMascara3. Maybelline Volum’ Express ‘The Rocket’ Waterproof Mascara: Good lord, my middle make up drawer is starting to look a mascara graveyard. I could write a college paper on what mascaras don’t cut it, aren’t that great, haven’t got what it takes, or just plain suck. My list of mascaras I like is definitely a short one. The promotional hype on Maybelline’s new Rocket mascara is certainly eye-catching…probably because it is in every magazine, is seen frequently in TV ads, and is surround you at every corner when you are in the cosmetic department of every drug store. So, like, YEAH, I’m going to buy it because I’m still in search of the “ultimate” mascara. Fact is, this isn’t it. But don’t let that discourage you from buying it.  It actually has incredible stay power, with absolutely no smudging or flaking all day. Its small mini comb brush help to coat each lash while separating them. I would like it a bit more if I got more length from it, but for an everyday stay put mascara, it is worthy of being on the vanity! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $7.49)

JCHeart4. Juicy Couture’s Pave Heart & Toggle Luxe Necklace: Listen, being a sassinista goes way beyond just having your makeup and shoes looking good. Fashion and glamour starts on the inside and works its way out, from head to toe. Now, listen up here because this is very important. When you visit brand or company websites, most of them want you to sign up for their emails or e-newsletters. Your inner voice says, “Hellz to the no! I don’t want an inbox full of crap.” Let me say that maybe a good percentage is just blah-blah-blah, but every once in a while a contest, a coupon or a deal will come through that will make it all worth those repetitive deletes. And I landed one of those last month. Juicy Couture followers received an email stating they were having a Facebook Fan sale on one item at a ridiculously low price. So, wanting to see what it was, I ventured over to Facebook and checked out their page. Sure enough, there it was: they were having a sale for just Facebook fans on their pave heart and toggle necklace. It was available in three shades–gold, silver and rose gold. AND they were offering free shipping. This gorgeous necklace, regularly $70, was available FOR ONE DAY ONLY for $38. I was on it like a moth on a lightbulb. It was delivered in four days, beautifully packaged, and was accompanied with a tester perfume. Marketing emails can overrun your inbox, but sometimes it’s worth it’s weight in rosé gold! Seriously, create a gmail account for just fashion and beauty sites to keep them separate from the pictures of your Aunt Betty’s birthday party. You never know what surprises may come your way. (Sold out, but other great pieces available at juicycouture.com)

Vaseline5. Vaseline Spray & Go Moisturizer:  I’ll be honest: I really didn’t think a spray-on quick drying moisturizer would a) work; b) be useful; or c) work. (Did I say that already? Sorry.)  The thought behind it was remarkable. Spray on an all over moisturizer that would dry fast so you could get ready faster. Now, given, there are days when I like to take some time after a shower when I can really pamper myself with a nicely scented body butter, maybe with a bit of shimmer. Those are days I can allow the moisturizer to slowly soak in giving me time to relax and enjoy the experience. Then there are the days I hit the snooze button way too many times and I have to FLY! No time for a long relaxing shower, no time to select a soothing scented moisturizer to put on. No way, to-day! I gotta go!! That’s when I first tried the Vaseline® Spray & Go™ Moisturizer. Okay, gotta say, it was nice. Of course my skin didn’t have that luxurious creamy feel to it, but it was soft, smooth, and I was able to dress fast. I like that the moisturizer scents don’t collide with my perfumes too.  It’s a great way to give your skin the moisture it needs when time is of the essence! (Available at most drug and retail stores, $7.99)

Beer6. Beer  If you asked someone what they do with their left over beer, almost everyone will say, “What’s that?” Beer is a readily available drink which is a necessity during football games and college parties. But did you know it has a formula that is great for your hair? Do you care that you can put it on your head and not throw a ping-pong ball in it? If you do, then it will be helpful to know that there is protein in the malt and the hops in beer. These will coat, repair and replenish your hair making it soft and shiny. These natural ingredients are a great way to give your hair a shiny, full bounce. You can open a new can or use some leftovers…. it’s up to you. I do suggest, however, that you don’t use the beer in Uncle Larry’s red Solo Cup. You might lose a body part if you try that.  (Available at… well, hell, you know where to get beer.)

I couldn’t be happier to wish my blog lovers and Twitter followers a Happy Spring!  Remember, the sun is getting brighter and warmer so don’t forget your sunscreen and use this as a reason to go out and get yourself a pair a flashy, hawt sunglasses! Start fading in those great, bright spring colors into your closet and just enjoy the days we’ve been patiently waiting for!!

spring