29 November 2011

Nail Art History:The Half Moon Manicure a.k.a The lazy way

A couple of weeks ago I did a post, admit it a long one about The Full Moon Manicure. Instead of me writing it out all over again, you can read it here:The Full Moon Manicure . For those of you who can't be bothered to read my obscenely long post and see my attempt at decent nails, don't worry I don't blame you, I will give you a quick recap. The Full Moon Manicure was very popular in the twenties, leaving the tip of the nail and the moon shape at the bottom of the nail bare. It was seen as vulgar and unladylike to cover the whole nail. The main colour available was red but over the years more colours were introduced ranging from reds, light pinks and deep crimsons. So that's the twenties nail look in a nutshell.

So now I've got the nail polish and the hole re-inforcers out again(honestly WH Smith what would I do without you?) and I'm going to try the 30's nail trend,The Half Moon Manicure. Basically it is the easier, lazy, I'd rather watch Eastenders way of trying the nail trend. Throughout the decade, the ideal nail shape was an almond shape. This was the classical nail shape and is filed away at the sides and softly pointed at the tip. Note, if you are a frequent nail bitter like myself, you can't really do this shape and you will have to keep those choppers away from them for a while. Some women still did the Full Moon Manicure, but the girls who would rather spend there time at the cinema watching Clark Gable did the Half Moon. I know which category I would fall into.

The main colour really was red, but an actual variety of shades were available and used, more then in the late 20's. All reds from rosy to deep crimson were still popular, but pinks were also very much seen in the 30's. But sadly bright neon pink still wasn't available, sorry ladies. Another set of colours around were peachy-browns and tawny colours that looked nice with suntans. Here is a bit of a nail varnish time line:
1932-Cutex colours, a popular nail varnish brand had their main shades as Natural, Rose, Coral, Cardinal and Colourless.
1935-Revlon introduced 'Sun Rose' and 'Chestnut' as their summer colours.
1936-Cutex named the 'smartest colours' for 1936 as Rose, Ruby and Rust.
1937- Cutex introduced 'Old Rose', 'Burgundy'.
1937-Glazo's 'Misty Tints' favoured by 'gay young moderns' included Shell, Old Rose(a subtle smoky rose), and Thistle-a misty beige-rose.
1938-Cutex colours were 'Heather'-a deep smoky rose with a hint of purple, 'Laurel'-a subtle grayed pink, 'Clover'- a deep winy red, 'Tulip'-a fresh true crimson, 'Robin Red'- a 'true' red and 'Rust Russet'-a misty red with a subtle brown undertone'.

As you can tell over the years the colours that were available varied from reds,pinks and browns. These were still all very subtle shades. Advice regarding nails were in beauty and etiquette books. Helena Rubinstein a.k.a the Dalia Lllama of cosmetics in the 30s, advised in 1936 what colours to wear with what dresses. Sadly they didn't have Look magazine to help them out in those days.
 Natural nails-best with red and pastels; geranium shades with black, white and yellow.
Poppy colours-Navy and purple
Terracotta-Green, brown and rust.
This was the decade were women started co-ordinating and matching their makeup with their clothes. Cutex was the first company to sell matching lip colours with nail colours.
The colours blue, green, silver and gold were even available, but they weren't widely used.
Chanel Half Moon nailsA 1932  Cutex advert suggested that 'the smart woman today....varies her nail tint with her gown' They gave a long list of what colours would go with their colours, so women were constantly changing their nail colour to go with their clothes. Blimey a hell of a lot of nail varnish remover must have been sold that decade.

The half moon manicure is popular even now, a lot more then the Full Moon which isn't seen that widely. Probably because it takes forever to do. It has been adapted a lot and is now used with a huge range colours. It has been seen recently at Phillip Lim and Chanel. Of course Chanel take it up a notch with having their logo in gold stamped on them. Talk about good advertising. Dita Von Teese, the Queen of Vintage who has been wearing the look for the past twenty years, even has her own false nail range with the half moon manicure being her first style.

So I have decided to do one of the popular colours in the 30's to make them more authentic, even though I am desperate to try out the style in a rainbow of colours. I began by putting 'No7 So Smooth Base Coat' on the nails which improves wear and conditions the nail. I then cut the hole reinforcers in half and stuck them on my nails, this sounds easier then it is. I have many halves on my bed that I have moved about so much that they have lost all their stickiness. I decided to do one hand at a time after failing to do two hands at once with the Full Manicure.
I then painted my nails with Revlon 950 Amethyst Shell. Even though I have a pretty big collection of colours, I don't really have any pale pinks or browns. I'm more of a turquoise, pastels and emerald green kinda gal. So as usual when I need help the Mummy Second hand Rose came to the rescue and let me nose around in her makeup draw to find a colour I could use. Mummy Second Hand Rose is a pale pinks, shimmers and browny purple kinda woman. So with her kindly letting me borrow her Revlon varnish I then applied two coats and did my best to not touch anything in between coats or after. I'm useless at waiting and I always end up smudging it or just completely messing it up. Thankfully a good episode of Diagnosis Murder was on, which stopped me from reaching for my phone or knitting.

 I then carefully took off the stickers hoping that it worked and the nail varnish hadn't leaked through. Well I was actually quite pleased with myself, it hadn't smudged,moved or just completely obliterated. Some of the half moon's were a bit small, I guess it just takes practise to work out the measurements. I used one of those things you use to get dirt out of your nails to carefully remove a bit of it to make the moon bigger, you could also use a cocktail stick. I then put nail varnish remover on an ear bud and made sure the moon was clean and prominent. I put another coat of the No7 Base Coat on, when I did the Full Moon's adding this seemed to stop the nails chipping quickly. That and I'm too tight to buy a top coat. I think they look pretty good even if I say so myself. Mind you anything that isn't all over the rest of my finger looks good to me.

Remember to add me on Twitter at Second_HandRose and follow me. Have fun with your nails and Father Christmas if you are listening, I think I'm gonna need some more hole re-inforcers pretty soon.

Second Hand Rose

25 November 2011

Once Upon A Manolo

To start with I need to tell you all that the Second Hand Rose has joined the Twitterati. Yes Ladies and Gentleman, the little blue bird has officially become part of my life, well my blog anyway. Sadly the Rose has seemed to wither this week with only gaining one follower, not having many comments or not having the best stats in the world, trust me I have checked at least a hundred times a day. So I'm hoping by adding Twitter to my blog, the rose will flourish and I will find more people to read my ramblings, without having to bribe everyone with chocolate. So if you would like to join me on there follow me here at Second_HandRose

So moving on from my plea, I would like to talk about one of the King of Kings,Manolo Blahnik. Well what can I say about him, the man is officially a genius. The shoe god has created hundreds of gorgeous designs and has made millions of women all over the world squeal with delight. If you are a fan of Sex and the City then you have definitely heard of him. He is Carrie Bradshaw's favourite shoe designer and she is seen many times strutting down fifth avenue in her Manolo Blahnik peep toe shoes. Lucky,lucky lady. I'm not jealous AT all.

Manolo is from the Canary Islands and you can definitely say that he has had an eventful life. This has all been documented in a book written by Camilla Morton, the author of 'How to Walk in High Heels: The Girl's Guide to Everything'. But this isn't just any old book about someone's life full of glossy pictures of them as a chubby baby in a bath tub. Oh no, this is an enchanting fairytale story based on his life cleverly intertwined with the classic fariy tale, The Elves and the Shoemaker.

Camilla likes to take classic fairytales and adapt them into a designers life. She has already done Christian Lacroix and the Tale of Sleeping Beauty. To top it off the book is complete with beautiful illustrations done by the man himself with exaggerated silhouettes and colourful flairs. With swirling red heels and green mistletoe stilettoes, because every girl needs them.

The magical book is a mix of a biography and a fairy story. It includes his childhood growing up on a plantation, his glamourous mother making her shoes to combat wartime restriction in style and much more. Along with a pinicle meeting with then US Vogue editor Diana Vreeland who told Manolo to focus on footwear. It also weaves Manolo's very first catwalk show for 70's icon Ossie Clark into the great story.

Manolo basically lives in the world of fairytale with his designs inspired by plants, flowers, artists and whimiscal shapes. He has also dressed a princess, namely Princess Diana who loved his shoes. Well what girl doesn't?
 Manolo said he enjoyed every moment of doing the illustrations and it was a very fun adventure. The drawings are simply beautiful, he must have used a hell of a lot of felt tips.

Camilla says she has ten other fairytale memoirs mapped out in her head paired up with people, que a designer game of Guess Who. She whispered to the world that the next person will be Diane Von Furstenburg, but she will not reveal what fairytale the designer's life will be part of. Which designer would you like to see have their life mixed in with a fairytale and what fairytale? I doubt anyone would want to be connected with Pinoccio though. Your life compiled with a lying wooden toy would probably not be the best career move.

So if like me you are buzzing to read this book or at least look at the amazing pictures, you can get it here: Manolo Blahnik's Elves Shoemaker Fairytale. You can also by the Christian Lacroix book here:Christian Lacroix Tale Sleeping Beauty. See I've made it very easy for you this year Father Christmas.

If you would love a slice of the Manolo Blahnik world then this book is for you, well its easier then getting a pair of £700 shoes isn't it. Every year I have written a note next to the fire with a mince pie and a carrot (in case he is on the Dukan diet) asking for a pair of Christian Louboutin's / Manolo Blahnik's or Jimmy Choo's, I'm not fussed really. Sadly they never seem to appear in my stocking but hopefully this year I will be able to get a snippet of the Manolo dream, even if it does come in hardback paper form.

Second Hand Rose

22 November 2011

Charity Shop Treasures

First of all I will start with a huge cuddle and thanks to CaityHeartsFashion over at I Heart... for the 'Tell me About Yourself, Your Blog is Great' Award! Thank you so so much and I think now is a good time to apologise to all my neighbours for the screaming that went on when I found out, also to my cat who was trying to sleep at the time. I was given this award a couple of months ago too, so I can't believe that I have been nominated again, and that is without bribing anyone with sweets! So check out my 7 random facts in this post here A nosey into the life of the Second Hand Rose and I send the award back to the lovely CaityHeartsFashion, I love seeing her outfits and what she is getting up to,but don't worry honey I'm not stalking you, well not yet anyway.

Changing the subject, I wanted to show you all what I bought last week. Before you all start telling me that I'm meant to be saving and have too many clothes (I'm talking about you Mummy and Daddy Second Hand Rose) oh and Mr.Boyfriend (how dare he), the things I bought are actually from my eternal love that are charity shops. My Mum and I decided to go on a little bargain hunt and sniff out  some decent things that we could wear or use to make things. We went into my local Marie Curie charity shop, which is obviously a great cause and helps a lot of people. I.e It makes you feel better about coffing up your pennies because you are helping people.

We walked past the shop, not intending to go in, sorry but the cheap local wool shop was calling and I looked in the window and squealed. I did get some funny looks but in the window was a huge shoe, and when I say huge I mean gigantic, a giant would probably have to wear two sets of insoles in it. It was a black open toe heel and it was a huge jewellery holder with lots of places for rings and all those glittery things that are now stacked in a heap on my chest of draws. Unfortunately it was only for show, but it made me drag my mum in to see what other beauties they had in there. The good thing is that the place didn't smell! We all know and have smelt that charity shop smell which has made me breathe in and practically go purple for years. So it meant that I could breathe normally for a change, so that was a plus.

My Mum and I had a great time looking in there and we came across the button/zip box which was literally an Aladdin's cave, cue the giddiness. Mummy Second Hand Rose is very very talented and makes the most amazing bags and is the person to go to for any sewing help. She made her first dress at four years old and has continued to teach herself sewing and used to make beautiful wedding dresses for people. When I was younger she made the most amazing sets of clothes for me, so I always looked in fashion when I went to a three year olds birthday party.

 Due to her being sewing savvy it was a fight for the button box. We did get a bit of a weird look from the old lady behind the counter, when we both dived our hands into the box scrambling for the buttons. My Mum found some big wooden buttons for her bags and some green sequins. She also got some pearl coloured small buttons but they may accidentally go missing, sorry Mummy Second Hand Rose. I got some gorgeous old 40s wire buttons and some big silver buttons with a gold pattern in the middle. During my scavenger hunt I also found some gorgeous coloured zips that were a burnt orange and a pale pastel blue. My mum asked me what I was going to use them for i.e. She wanted them for my bags so  I had to make up a design on the spot. The truth is I have no idea what I am going to use them for yet, but I'm in love with them. And yes I know its a bit sad to be in love with a couple of zips, but that's how I roll. We asked the woman how much our mountain of goodies came to and she said 'oh just put a donation in the charity box.' Queue squealing and excessive dancing.

Next we looked in the scarves box. I am always on the look out for scarves to use as ties for my head due to my laziness of doing something with my hair. I didn't find any that fit my head, seriously ladies and gentleman I do have the biggest head on this earth. It may not look it and it may be cleverly disguised with my big earrings and fluffy hair, but I do have a mountain of a head. I can never find a hat in Accessorize, I have spent a lot of time trying to squeeze my head into a gorgeous baker boy style hat, but it turns out its not as easy as breathing in and pulling a zip together like you do with a pair of jeans, you sadly can't squeeze your head into a hat, trust me I have certainly tried.

So because they didn't have a mile length of fabric to fit around my head, I got a gorgeous pastel green hankerchief for £1. As you can probably tell, I'm really into pastels at the moment, which probably isn't very good since I look like an albino. I'm going to stuff it into my already over flowing fabric box to use at a later date. Looking at it now it actually goes well with the zip I bought, so I definitely think I will be able to come up with something, therefore mits off Mummy Second Hand Rose.

In the jewellery section I found a gorgeous dark blue velvet pearl style necklace that ties up with a ribbon for £1. That will go very nicely with my 40s style blouses and 50s style skirts and dresses thank you very much. At the moment I'm in love with brooches, I can't get enough of them! I wear them on jackets, skirts, dresses, tops, coats and in my hair on a scarf, my dad always taught me to get my money's worth. I found this gorgeous 'Love' brooch with a red stone above the 'e' and a lovely sparkly flower one both for a £1. Now that's what I call bargain hunting, David Dickinson would be proud.

Now on the clothes side of things there were a few things that made me gasp, but sadly they didn't fit. There was an amazing real 80s red power jacket, you know the ones women used to wear to try and fit in with the yuppies, well this one had big black buttons with big shoulders and was very tempting. I fell in love with it and when I saw the price tag, £10 I simply had to try it on. I got from my mum 'It won't fit, it won't fit.' In other words she wanted it, she's not very subtle our Mummy Second Hand Rose. Sadly she was right, dam and it looked too big on me, it was an old size 16 so probably now a 12-14 and even a couple of nifty darts wouldn't rescue it and give it a new lease of life in my all ready over crowded wardrobe. So power yuppy dressing wasn't for me that day, sorry Del Boy.

I had a look round and some gorgeous silk chinese material caught my eye. Now when I go to a charity shop, espescially with Mummy Second Hand Rose, we don't just look at clothes, we look at clothes to disect for material. We stand in a shop feeling the fabric, checking the linings, turning them inside out and either moaning and tutting or contemplating how good the hem is and what we could use it for. Now the dress I found will probably not fit me and isn't really my style, but I simply loved this royal blue satin material. It has a gorgeous striped decorated lining too, none of this crappy plain stuff that comes undone in a second. I've always loved the japanese style designs and I simply adore the venetian masquerade mask art so anything like that makes me grab it and head for the till. I got the dress for £6 and I can't wait to turn it into a corset or a skirt or maybe even a pillow for my cat. Yes, my cat is very spoilt.

After staggering around the shop now with my arms full I went to look at the books. I always do this because you can get some amazing books in charity shops. You can also get some great records in there, but sadly there weren't any in there this time. This was probably a good thing because I would have probably bought them all. So there I was looking at the books, secretly hoping I would find a first edition to pay for a holiday next year, but the only thing I could find was a Bob the Builder book and a bent Harry Potter book. I don't think they would even pay for a night in a hotel in Bognor, yeah no thanks.

The guy standing next to me was looking at a book with pictures of children in the war in and he started talking to me about how awful it was for those children and how awful they looked and he started full on talking about the war. He was my very own Uncle Albert from Only Fools and Horses, but sadly without the fluffy white beard. He told me all about his Christmas's after the war and how awful it is, I mean what do you say to that? An awful Christmas to us these days is one without a tin of Quality Street and only one bottle of mulled wine.

My mum came over and rescued me before I was whisked away for a coffee and a history lesson. I decided to get the book which was only £1 because I love learning about the war and how people lived through it. I will be blogging about it closer to Christmas and making you all feel lucky that you don't just get a handful of nuts in your stocking and are not subjected to mock turkey, trust me it doesn't look good. So my day was filled with great bargains and being chatted up by a 70 year old. Match.com eat your heart out.

Second Hand Rose

18 November 2011

10 Years Younger, Pudsey Style

Fashion conscious: Pudsey bears designed by, from left Jonathan Saunders, PPQ, Mulberry, Giles Deacon, Kate Hillier, Liberty, Henry Holland, Patrick Grant and ErdemTonight is Children in Need night which basically means cuddling up with the cat, eating Chinese food and being with my two favourite men, Ben and Jerry (sorry Mr.Boyfriend). Or is that just me? Anyway I’m sure we will all watch a bit of Terry Wogan with his spotty bow tie and wonder how many outfit changes does Fearne Cotton really need.

It is also one of the few days a year where you can stuff your face with fairy cakes and not feel bad about it ,because the £6 you spent on the 20p cakes is actually going to help some poor children all over the country. I think we can justify £3 worth of donuts too, don’t you? The iconic mascot of children in need is obviously the big yellow bear Pudsey. I’ve always wondered what dear old Pudsey has done to his eye but maybe he is just a big fan of Pirates of the Carribean. Plus how come he doesn't age? Pudsey if you are reading this please give me the name of the wrinkle cream you use, that or the name of your surgeon. 

Pudsey goes couture for BBC's Children In NeedPudsey goes couture for BBC's Children In NeedSo all around the country people are doing things to raise money for Children in Need and this year some famous fashion designers have hopped on the charity band wagon. Helping people must be in this year then. Famous designers including Louis Vuitton, Erdem, Mulberry, Giles Deacon and Henry Holland have given the furry bear a huge makeover and changed his look completely. Obviously designers used their 2012 collections and iconic prints as inspiration to help promote their label and designs, honestly Second Hand Rose you are far too cynical.
Giles Deacon turned Pudsey into a silver metallic leather punky bear with a seriously cool silver chicken wire type bandage, its Pudsey does the 80s. Pringle did a complete opposite making him out of luxury Cashemere with one carat diamonds finishing off his outfit, now that bear has some serious bling.

'Not a diva': The designers including PPQ (left), Kate Hillier (centre) and Patrick Grant had fun working with the bearPaws for thought: Mullberry, Liberty and Jonathan Saunders' designs are all being auctioned on eBay. They have a reserve price of £200 but are expected to fetch much morePPQ made Pudsey look pretty sleek with a black velvet covering, a black ribbon as a bow tie and a cream satin bandage. He does have some bling on his bandage, a big gem eye and one on his bow tie,which are possibly diamonds. I'm sure they are not some £1.50 gems from a craft shop. This is high fashion darling.

Mulberry made Pudsey out of the same Soft Buffalo leather that they make their sort after Alexa bag out of. The colour range was classic Oak with Chocolate paws and mouth,which are two of Mulberry’s most iconic colours. See, now do you think I’m being cynical?  Tartan was the theme for the bears made by Patrick Grant and Henry Holland with Pudsey rocking the look in various shades. Sadly they didn’t make him a kilt though.

Pudsey goes couture for BBC's Children In Need'Not a diva': The designers including PPQ (left), Kate Hillier (centre) and Patrick Grant had fun working with the bearPrints were a big theme with Topshop Unique using white and dark blue fabric with black squiqqles all over it. They gave Pudsey a denim eye patch and a fabric tribal style necklace. All of the designers gave Pudsey an eye patch in their own unique way, but I don't think we will see them on models strutting down the runway anytime soon.

Jonathan Saunders used a quirky geometric print in white, red,light blue and dark blue. You can barely see Pudsey’s features on the bear though and it just makes me start humming the American National Anthem. Well it would if I could remember it.
Paws for thought: Mullberry, Liberty and Jonathan Saunders' designs are all being auctioned on eBay. They have a reserve price of £200 but are expected to fetch much morePaws for thought: Mullberry, Liberty and Jonathan Saunders' designs are all being auctioned on eBay. They have a reserve price of £200 but are expected to fetch much moreLiberty got in on the act making Pudsey out of some of their iconic floral prints and they made Pudsey a jumper out of some lovely floral material. I’m sure Pudsey is glad he has finally had some clothes put on him, he must be fed up of being naked all the time. He also comes with a little purple Liberty bag with some small bits of material in which looks adorable. Erdem also went all flowery with bright yellow floral prints and a white floral bandage going over his eye. They gave him a blue button eye, but like the Jonathan Saunders bear you can hardly see his features, so Pudsey honey I think its time for some plastic surgery.

Henry Holland's bear'Not a diva': The designers including PPQ (left), Kate Hillier (centre) and Patrick Grant had fun working with the bearOne of the best bears in my opinion was made by Katie Hillier, who is the accessories designer behind Victoria Beckham’s bag collection. Katie’s designs for her own label Hillier all derive from inspiration from children and childhood memories. Yeah I don’t see Victoria being very happy with a spotty paint covered bag,do you?  The bear is made out of different shades of denim with a mismatched fabric covered tummy, bandage and foot. The other foot is covered in buttons and he has a button eye and a hand stitched nose. The bear has visible stitching marks in different colours and he looks like a loved bear that has had to be sewn up with mismatched fabrics, due to being cuddled and played with a lot. It looks like a proper children’s bear that has been treasured. Without the sick and chocolate stains though.

Pudsey goes couture for BBC's Children In NeedThe diva of the collection (of course there always is one) is Pudsey by Louis Vuitton. Two designers at Vuitton have collaborated together to make a seriously stylish Pudsey. His body is made out of a red and blue vintage Vuitton print with shearling fluffy feet, which is wool from sheep sheered once, thanks very much Online Dictionary. Pudsey has a dark blue bandage over his eye and comes complete with a red calfskin leather jacket with gold studs and Louis Vuitton written on the back in gold studs. There are also gold spikes on the end of his arms and his eye is a big square gold stud with a gold stud nose. I think this a Pudsey going through a mid life crisis bear. Pudsey also comes with a classic Louis Vuitton monogrammed case with some accessories. Now that is one lucky bear.
Pudsey goes fashion for Children in Need
The bears are and have been on show at Liberty’s and have been selling on eBay starting at £200. So if you fancy having one of these designer bears, visit CinN eBay Store for more details. Just to warn you though if you have your eyes on the Louis Vuitton bear, then you will need to find over £16,100.00 which is the winning bid at the moment. I think that would have to be one very long and persuasive letter to Father Christmas this year. What designer would you have liked to have seen a Pudsey creation by? I would have just loved to have seen a Vivienne Westwood or a John Galliano Pudsey bear. I can just imagine Pudsey with spiked up punky fur wearing 12 inch heels with layers and layers of tulle on, can't you?

Second Hand Rose

15 November 2011

Pull them up and strap them in

The collection features lingerie in Vintage Lace, Vintage Touch and black and white Fifties-inspired Vintage Corsage
High waisted briefs &
bra, both £63
In 2011 we all wear bra's, there's the plunge, the push up and the I need to get that guy now bra. Thankfully now we are in the 21st century Carrie Bradshaw has decided to wear a bra. I don't know about you but I got a bit fed up of having her milk bottle tops in my face all the time. We all take them for granted, but who do we owe the padding and plunging to? Well my friends I will tell all.
In 1886 more then a century ago merchant Michael Braun and corset-maker Johann Gottfried Spiesshofer (yes I can't pronounce it either) made history by becoming the first firm in the world to make a bra avaliable to women. Yes ladies I know I want to squeeze them tight and kiss them too.

They started in a tiny corset factory that they had to set up in Southern Germany with just six sewing machines and six employees. They have now gone global, yes they are even on Twitter and have become the world's leading lingerie firm. 125 years on there are 37,500 employees working in over 120 countries and the business has kept in the family. La Senza eat your heart out.
Triumph - the firm behind the first bra commercially available to women - has launched the Vintage Collection to bring revamped Triumph designs into the present day
Pink corset £101

So this month Triumph International is marking its long wrinkle free history with a fabulous limited edition collection. The collection includes corsets, bras and knickers inspired by years gone by with nipped in waists and high-wasted styling. And yes ladies the torpedo bra is back.

1886: The very first bra invented by Triumph was called the Bust Improver
1st Bra-The Bust Improver
They started with rigid wire cages that held the breasts in places which was called the Bust Improver. This was a very practical plain bra with the only detail being two bows tied onto each cup and it did what it said on the tin. Women applauded everywhere that they could now stop stuffing tissue down their bustle dresses whilst trying to look less like a horse in their extremely padded behind dresses. This was not the time of women asking if there bum looked big in their dresses.

Very modern vintage: Triumph's Vintage Collection celebrates retro styling married with modern technology
Waist slimmer £74
Very modern vintage: Triumph's Vintage Collection celebrates retro styling married with modern technology
Floral corset £93
But fear not ladies you will not have to resort to uncomfortable whalebone plain bras, this collection is as comfy as a fluffy dressing gown and fur lined slippers. Its made out of cutting edge fabrics and those little geeks in a factory have used technology that makes the pieces super comfy, thank you Mr.Geek.
The collection contains some gorgeous lingerie including a black and white fifites inspired corsage, and some absolutely beautiful corsets. Thankfully we don't have to breathe in, damage our lungs and sound like Marge Simpson, the corsets are made to accentuate your curves while not squashing you in the process, happy days. If you can't resist a chocolate biscuit and a nice glass of wine (I mean,who can?) there is black lace waist slimmer that will squeeze all your lumps and bumps together and will give you a body to rival Marilyn Monroe.
The collection is a tad on the expensive side, and can be found in the House of Fraser and on the Triumph website. I'm sure you can convince Father Christmas to bring you one of the pieces. I'm sure even he loves the idea of a torpedo bra and a lace body dress. Finger's crossed its not for him though.

Second Hand Rose

14 November 2011

Thank you all those lovely men in uniform and women with rollers

I know this post is a little overdue but the sentiment is still there. On the 11th November the country was silent for two minutes to remember all those totally amazing people who have and continue to lose their lives for our little island. In World War One around 703,000 men lost their lives in a war that was so terrible and in World War Two 298,950 died, not to mention over 64,000 people killed at home. There were also millions injured and sadly today we have lost 385 troops in Afghanistan and a 179 in Iraq. These may seem just like numbers, but that is over one million six hundred families that have lost a loved one. Shockingly, there has only been one year since World War Two where a British Serviceman or woman has not been killed in conflict. Just a little bit of trivia from me to you. Actually it's my Dad's Trivia, his other snippet is just far too boring to even mention.

Sadly and I hate to admit that I am part of a generation of people that just see those numbers as useless facts to learn and not lives lost. I'm not saying that everyone doesn't appreciate them, I just don't think they get enough recognition by us sometimes. So yesterday morning I snuggled down in my PJs, with my cat and some chocolate biscuits  to watch David Dimbleby give us the coverage on the Remembrance Sunday at the Cenotaph. While wondering if the Duchess of Cambridge had a Philip Treacy hat, (it wasn't by the way)  I saw the line of the veteran troops walking proudly in their uniforms and every year the line sadly gets shorter and shorter. One day there will be no Great Uncle Albert left to tell us about what happened during the War. Those veterans may not look like young nineteen year olds now,but they once were. Sadly unlike teenagers nowadays they spent their days fighting for us,not playing on an Xbox or downing a bottle of wine in 5 seconds. They didn't have the freedom to stay in bed till 2pm and doss around all day,they were out in the cold fighting a war not knowing when or whether they were going to see their family again.

Last night I was knitting while watching the Antiques Roadshow, (I know I sound old but just so you know I didn't put it on) it was a Remembrance Day special and people had bought items of their loved ones that fought in the wars including letters sent to sweethearts back home. Women were lucky if they saw their love once a year and us girls moan and spend hours on the phone to our girlfriends debating why we haven't heard from a guy all day.
In World War One women felt helpless, but in the second war Women went to work in factories doing dangerous jobs filling in for the men, helping the military and working on the land getting their fingernails dirty.With that bought shorter hemlines and trousers, along with keeping the country together we have those women to thank for us being able to wear trousers and get away with not shaving. So when you see a veteran in the street again, help them with their shopping or even just give them a smile because it will help them feel that the fight that they fought was not a waste of time and the friends they lost died for a purpose. And when you see your Great Uncle who wants to tell you all about the war again don't tune out, actually listen because they will really appreciate it. So on behalf of my generation may I offer you all a great fat cuddle and a big thank you.Without those men and women we may never have had The Only Way is Essex and the Spice Girls.  I mean can you imagine a life without them?

Second Hand Rose

09 November 2011

Nail Art History:The Moon Manicure a.k.a Doing nails at the speed of a snail

I've been wanting to do a nail art blog for a while since seeing the great ones over at DetBeauty and some of Katy Perry's amazing designs. Russell Brand's face on your nails, what more could you want out of life? I've always loved doing nails and have lets say a big collection of nail varnishes. A lot of them seem to be around the same colour though for some reason. I think its one of those Christmas things where people remember you have nails and may like nail varnish and buy you a gift set, forgetting that they have given you one five years in the row that are the same colour. It's not that I'm grateful to my Great Aunt, I just would like some variation from the same reds and purples. So Father Christmas if you are reading this, some of the Barry M pastel colours and some of their instant Nail Effects Foil nail varnishes would go down very nicely.

So I thought what could I do that a) Was easy and I didn't have to do much work for (I've never been much great at art) and b) Doesn't take long too do-I'm far too impatient for all that reapply, base coat, reapply, top coat x2 rubbish. c) Would be different from what other people are doing. I thought since this is a blog about the love of times gone, I thought why not try the nail trends that used to be popular. I hope to make this a regular thing and go through the decades, so let me know what you think, because I don't want to bore the blogging world. Now, is everyone sitting comfortably? Here's a little history lesson for you on nail designs and what we did before Barry M Crackle came into our lives.

Before 3000 BC the nude nails were a very hot trend, but after 3000 BC the Chinese, Japanese and Romans started to get a bit bored of the au naturel look and started to add colour to their nails. Sadly Nails Inc wasn't around then so they had to look to nature to help them inject colour into their look. Its main origin is in China where they applied a type of enamel on their fingers, made out of various flower petals including roses, bizzy lizzies,orchids along with beeswax. I feel sorry for the bloke who had to collect that. They would mix it all up and after leaving it for several hours it would turn into a stained/ shiny reddishy pink colour. Blimey, I can barely wait 60 seconds let alone a few hours. In India, people made dye from the Henna plant which left a reddish brown stain, nailing the stained nail trend.

Egyptians also used henna to colour nails and the tips as a sign of beauty.In some societies the colours of your nails was a social significance. In Egypt, higher classes had deeper shades of red, while the lower classes were only allowed to wear pale shades. Queen Nefititi coloured her fingers and toe nails ruby red and Cleopatra coloured them a dusty red. The King also coloured his nails and so did other men. And you thought guyliner was weird.
Later in China in the Chou Dynasty of 600 BC, royalty enhanced their nails with gold and silver. So even thousands of years ago they were rocking the gold and silver foil trend, Barry M you're a bit behind there. Also a 15th century Ming manuscript cites red and black as the colours chosen by royalty using Henna. Its a shame the royalty doesn't do that now and all have a distinct nail colour. Although, I can't really see the Queen going to events with goth black and bright red nails,can you?

Nails began to advance in 1830 when the Orange wood stick was invented in 1830 for nails to manicure them by a Dr.Sitts. Before this metal tools, acid and scissors were used. In the early 1800s the almond short and slightly pointed nails were popular. They were sometimes tinted with scented red oil and buffed with a chamois cloth (yes I don't know how to say it either.) It took till 1892 until the wood stick was brought to women and entered the US where nail salons were opened. So we have him to thank for five nail salons in every street then.
By 1900 the first glossy nail varnish was available and was applied with a camel hair brush, but sadly it wore off in a day. A bit like my Rimmel London 60 Seconds nail varnish then. The emery board on a wood centre was invented in 1910 by 'Flowery Manicure Products' a company that manufactured metal nail files.

When the lovely Henry Ford created the Tin Lizzie Ford T car the paint inspired more modern nail varnish colours. Just to clarify there wasn't any bright pink or neon yellow cars, women had to wait a bit longer to have nails like that. Movie stars and celebrities were always seen with beautifully manicured fingers, until 1925 when nail varnish entered the market with a sheer rosy red colour created by French makeup artist, Michelle Mernard. When this happened the 'moon manicure' became extremely popular, and that is where our history lesson is going to end for now and my painful attempts at nail art is going to begin. The Moon Manicure involves painting the middle of the nail, but leaving the moon of the nail (at the bottom) unpainted and the tip. I would like to say that I have absolutely no idea how they did this without those sticky manicure things you can get to put on your nails to separate colours, Greta Garbo my black glittery fedora hat goes off to you.
Etiquette books of the time warned women against painting their nails with 'garish colours' because it was seen as vulgar and unladylike. No bright blue for you then Greta.

How To Do A 30s-Style Moon ManicureAs the decade went into the 30s more colours were available which ranged from light pinks, deep crimson, and cream shades. Even for a short period in 1932 black nail varnish was introduced but it quickly went away again. The goth look wasn't really on trend then, it was more innocent girly then rebel goth. The moon manicure has changed over the years when at the end of the 1930s women just left the bottom of the nail bare, I  mean wouldn't you not waste the time if Errol Flynn was on at the cinema? It has also been used in fashion shows and seen in magazines with many mixtures of colours. Dita Von Teese has even been seen with the half moon manicure, so if it is good enough for Dita then it is good enough for me.
But, I have decided to go right back to the roots of the nail varnish and try the first ever proper nail trend. Just to clarify I mean the moon manicure, I'm not going to start picking roses from the garden and trying to make an enamel, I don't think Mummy Second Hand Rose would be too pleased. I am going to try and do it the completely original way with the original colours. Those eight different shades of red you have bought me over the years Great Auntie have finally come to some use. I may live to regret this.

Due to me not having many of those manicure thin nail sticking thingys and I can't really use all of my sisters, I tried to think of another way to make my nails look at least a little bit like Joan Blondell's nails. So I searched around and found a great way to use something that I'm sure a lot of us have, thanks very much Google. We have all had the annoyance of paper in files getting torn where the hole is punched and to solve our problem there are these circle sticky white hole re-inforcers that you can get. I got a 1000 for £1.99 from WhSmith. So not only do they save hours of ranting and trying to stick pages back together with sellotape and failing, you can also use them on your nails to create the moon shapes. Rejoice! So I had to have a 5 minute which turned into more like a 45 minute think of where on earth I had put those saviours and had to tip my stationery draw upside down. Along with the hundreds of pens that don't work I found the white circle saviours!! Joanie honey eat your heart out!! I remember being with my mum in WHSmith being dragged around getting stationery for school and me saying 'Blimey these are expensive aren't they?' I am a bit tight, and she said 'Oh you will find another use for them.' How right you were mother!

So I started off by cleaning my nails and make them look a bit less like I had been playing in the mud like a toddler and more like a glamorous woman. I then attempted to file them into the almond shape which was popular at the time. Due to being a bit of a nail biter, I don't have much of some of the nails to file, so I suggest if you want to try this, try and grow your nails, or you can use my little tip that I will share later on, stay tuned. I then covered them with my new base coat. I spent £5 on a Rimmel combined top and base coat,used it once and it leaked all in my bag. I'm still morning from it even though it was two months ago and I'm now stuck with a nail varnishy smelling bag that has a rock hard bottom. The new one I bought is No7 So Smooth Base Coat. I wouldn't normally by No7, but I had a voucher so I took advantage of that and stocked up. See I told you I was a bit of a skinflint. So far so good with it, it goes on easily with a wide brush. It claims to improve wear and condition of the nail. Thank god for that, all that fondant moulding I do for my cakes does play havoc with my nails.

I then cut the hole re-inforcers in two, I tried using them at the top of the nail but it didn't really make a good shape, so I just used them for the bottoms of the nails. I'm sure you could use them for the top but I kept getting them stuck on my fingers and by the time I got them on my nails, the stickiness had legged it. I put manicure stickers on the top of the nails, due to me having small nails I could cut some and put them on another nail. I then covered the nail with my red nail varnish, trying my best not to get any polish on my skin, which always happens to me. I only did one coat but I always put it on quite thick and this nail varnish didn't seem like it needed another coat. I used Geisha's Seal Nailed Polish by Sleek Makeup, and yes it was out of a collection that I got for Christmas.Plus I was getting a bit impatient by now. I let it dry, well attempted to for around five minutes. I should mention that by this time this was my third go at it so I was determined to make it work. I always end up messing the nails up while they are drying or putting too much on and getting that bubble effect. I'm sure with practice this can be done smoothly and easily. If you don't have long nails you can always use a white nail pencil to colour your nail. I don't have one of them so I tried it with my white eye liner and it does look good, god knows what nail biters did in the 20s without it. You can also put white manicure nail varnish on your nails, either before or after you put the red on. I tried it twice before hand and it didn't really work for me, although I think my impatience and putting the nail varnish on too thick didn't help.

So after what felt like forever, I carefully peeled off the stickers. You really have to do this carefully because it can easily mess up. Some of the nail varnish had messed up a bit on the tops, see I told you I was messy but the bottoms worked well. I then added a coat of the base coat again because my 17 lasting fix brush had stuck all together,  I think I need a trip to Boots. This design is interesting but is quite hard to do and you have to be careful and it helps if you are not a messy bee like me. Ladies this is certainly not a design to try when you are getting ready to go out for an evening. Like I said earlier my hat goes off to the movie stars or their makeup artists who did this design without the stickers. I'm sure some of you may be able to do this effortlessly. I like this nail design but its not the easiest thing in the world to do,so I think I'll leave this to you Jean Harlow, although I think Joan Bennett in the film Scarlet Street has the right idea.

Second Hand Rose

04 November 2011

We are going to need a hell of a lot of candles

Pioneering: Woman's Weekly was first published on November 4, 1911 - and cost just a pennyGet out the birthday candles everyone and grab yourself a party hat. Woman's Weekly celebrates its 100th birthday today. I hope they got a birthday card from the Queen, that's all I can say. While it may seem just one of those magazines that your mum and granny read, Women's Weekly used to be very popular with all ages.
 Its first issue was published on the 4th of November 1911 and went on sale for just a penny. It was a magazine for every woman out there,young and old and for every home, offering advice on everything from shifting excess pounds to fashion do's and don't 's for Christmas. I don't think it contained the Cabbage Soup Diet or 5 tips on how to lure a man. Still going strong Woman's Weekly goes on sale every Wednesday and sells over 360,000 copies per week. It says its 'the grown up woman's guide to modern living.'

I thought it would be interesting to see what the first issue contained compared to the 'What your man really wants', 'How to make Scallops with confit potatoes and a ginger and thyme veloute.' and 'Is it ok for a guy to wear eyeliner?' Give me my mum's amazing Hotpot and men in suits, spats and Fedora hats anyday. If I find a man like that I will actually propose to him on the spot.

Woman's Weekly have done a centenary edition and have included a copy of the first ever one. As soon as I heard this, I rushed down to the Tesco's up the road to buy it. It felt a bit weird not picking up Look, Glamour or Vogue. Let's just say I'm not really Women's Weekly's target audience am I. I decided to do the self checkout namely because I could either go to the scrummy guy and be looked at weirdly because I was buying a middle aged woman's magazine or the middle aged woman at the other checkout  who looks slightly scary and I was afraid she would say 'You can't have this magazine you're not middle aged' and run after me whacking me with it. I know I have a very exaggerated imagination sometimes.
I read the magazine that the 1st edition came in as well and I did actually enjoy it quite a lot. Does that read as sad as it sounds? I spent my Friday night in with my cat reading Women's Weekly and knitting whilst contemplating getting the magazine more often, due to some of the good cake recipes and sewing and knitting patterns. Yes Ladies and Gentleman, I know how to live.

The magazine consists of 36 pages on brown A5 paper. The first page has adverts on for Flannelettes, Neave's Food, an Elegant Camisole and some Books for Women starting with 'What a Young Wife Ought to Know' and ending with 'What a Woman of 45 ought to know.' They are not the usual glossy posey adverts I'm use to seeing in Vogue I'll tell you that much. The magazine starts wih a page illustrating everything a woman does with the logo 'A Woman's Work is Never Done.' Every week they illustrated the endless and countless task that a woman does. I don't think it would have included 'By a microwave meal' and 'Having a bikini wax and a fake tan' though. The next page is the Editor's letter. It explains the purpose of the magazine to please the average woman and help them with daily tasks and lives, as no ever magazine had done before. Quite funnily the editor quite strongly says that the magazine will not contain anything sordid and 'will not be dealing with the phases of life, which to put it mildly are not at all pleasing or nice to think about.' I don't think this is quite the magazine for you Kerry Katona.

I could so easily tell you about every page but a) I think I may bore you and b) A Sex and the City session is calling and I can't possibly be writing while Aidan is on the screen. To clarify that's when he gets back with Carrie, not when they met that long hair and that baggy denim shirt doesn't really do it for me. So I will entertain you with the highlights and key features of the magazine.

After a Lace Pattern, a tutorial on Crochet, Health Hints for Infants and a story there is a section on weight loss. The title is 'How long have you been putting it off?' The term for fighting the flab those days was the 'removal of over-fat'. The extra tyre that you got from all that chocolate cake you've been eating basically. The article began 'I wouldn't be as fat as so-and-so for the world! Is a remark which may be heard now and again from the lips of some person rejoicing in all the charms of graceful slenderness, a perfect oval of face, a delicate dainty chin and throat.' I gather they didn't pig out on a Chinese every night of the week then. 'To a woman of elegance and taste these enviable possessions are quite naturally a source of pride. But these gifts of beauty are not always lasting ones.' Its basically saying don't have that third piece of cheesecake and fourth glass of wine you were going to have because when you are lets say 'vintage' it will be a lot harder to shift those wobbly bits.  It strongly tells you not to starve yourself or 'mineral drugging' because it is unhealthy, dangerous and the weight will come back on and you will become 'your former stout self.' Say it how it is why don't you.

It talks about 'a splendid home treatment' called Antipon which is 'a discovery of the highest value'. It gives renewed tone to the whole system, clears it of waste matter that is carried by the blood' as well as many other things. Apparently there is no other way of stamping out obesity. Along with getting rid of that extra layer, it is very beneficial to the skin and complexion. Within a day and a night of the first dose the decrease of weight is something between 8oz and 3lb. I wonder if I can get some off eBay? 
It is said to contain 'vegetable ingredients of a quite harmless nature'.  Maybe I was wrong about the magazine not containing things like the Cabbage Soup Diet.

On the 'Pin Money Pages' housewives were encouraged to compare recipes for half a crown, the money by the way ,not what the Queen wears. This edition containted recipes for 'Rabbit Mould', 'Yorkshire Parkin' and 'Hot Breakfast Cakes' amongst others. It also contains tips and hints on Norfolk Dumplings. The tip was 'Serve with gravy as a first course before the meat, these are much liked by the young folks.' This was also before the time of getting a £1 kebab on a drunken friday night.

The magazine has a page on 'Blouse Blunders' which are still relevant today and is quite helpful. There is another story called 'The Blacks and Whites: Their Adventure of Boy and Girl Land.' Yeah I think I'll skip over that bit. The magazine had a 'Real Love Stories' section where one of the stories was by an anonymous reader which was about falling in love over a bath chair. Just to clarify this doesn't mean a chair over a bath it means a sort of wheelchair with a space to put your feet up. Ladies and Gentleman get ready to get your Kleenex out. "It was about 12 years ago and I had commenced to attend a mission hall in East London. I there became accquainted with a crippled lady who had to be wheeled about in a bath chair. Her attendant was a young lady of 17. That lady became my wife. It was a case of love at first sight. I was very much impressed by her open manner and simple heartedness and I think it was this that caused me-first of all unconsciously-to love her." That's lovely compared to today's usual 'I fell in love with her watermelons and rack.' They 'courted' for five years and at the time they had been married for six. That even melted the heart of me, the grumpy old love cynic.

When it comes to fashion there is a great section on Winter wear which is full of dresses that can be made at home. It shows some gorgeous long gowns, and when I say long I mean right down to the ankles long. I don't think we will be seeing any of the girls from The Only Way is Essex making them to wear. The pattern's can be bought for 6 1/2 d each. It has some great side columns about the Dress Do's and Dont's. Surprisingly it doesn't have 'Make sure you wear white knickers with a white dress' and 'Try not to let it all hang out'.
There is also an article about how to make a shirt blouse with the pattern that was free in the magazine. The shirt is fitted over the pleated shoulders with a slight point at the centre back and has a high neck, long arms and a scarf around it. No ladies this is not the blouse to make for a friday night out on the tiles.
Later on in the magazine there are little tips on how to make a Silk Hat Bag, A Home Made Cutlery Case, How to renovate and Old Cloth Dress and many other things.

Everyone listen up and put your chocolate digestives down. Throughout the rest of the magazine there are some figure boosting and health tips. There is an article called 'How I Enlarged My Bust.' It is about this woman who watched her bust grow in size, day by day and week after week, until she had a superb 'development' in a month's time.  Plastic Surgery wasn't around then (blimey Katie Price would have a panic attack) and chicken fillets were a part of a chicken. The lady had tried Massage, Cold Cream, Wooden Cups (Ok I have no idea how that works), Electricity (that's even weirder), Drugs and other methods but they had all failed. In the picture of the woman she has boobs to rival a page 3 Sun girl, cleverly drawn of course. Unlike the Sun she is not standing there in a skimpy bikini with stiletoes, fake tan, false nails and hair extensions. The woman has a long sleeved dress on that finishes at the top her bust and I mean right at the top. I was looking forward to hearing what her secret was, wondering whether to try it on my self but sadly we were left hanging and it was in the 3rd Magazine. What a hell of a good bit of marketing. Sorry ladies.
On another page there is a small section about spots on a face and gives a remedy for spot treatment. It tells you to go to your chemist to make up the prescription. It contains five grains of Calomel, for those of you that are not chemically minded it is a colourless white or brown tasteless compound. Thanks very much Answers.com It also contains one drachm of Sulphur and 1/2 a drachm of Oil of Cade. I think I'll stick to Clean & Clear Spot Treatment thanks.

There is a bit called 'Chats at the Dressing Table' which has some 'useful beauty tips.
-In the Winter it is vital to get outside and do some exercise. Not doing exercise in the winter will make all the organs not function properly, making the blood come impure and giving the complexion a muddy look. And you thought you should only go for a walk to check out your cute neighbour.
-The face should be washed immediately before you go out and whenever hot water is used it should be followed by luke warm water and then cold. It is good not to wash your face at all in the day, but use a thorough ablution at bedtime. But if you are like me and get food around your face and on your nose at least twice a day, what is a girl to do?
- To keep wrinkles away you should get into the habit of moving the hands upwards and outwards, instead of the usual up and down way while washing your face. This will keep the heaviest age lines at bay. Better tell that to Gordon Ramsay then.
- Don't rub your eyes, they frequently lose brightness and become tired and heavy looking because they are being used when they don't need to be. If sleep dust appears on the lashes during the night, do not rub it off. Instead bathe your eyes with boracic acid lotion prepared by a chemist. Chemist being the operative word.

There is a small section on health, giving you the cure for a 'Rupture' also known as a Hernia. The cure is called The Rice Method and has apparently cured every kind of hernia in all ages. Does that mean you get to eat more curry then?
There is also a bit called 'Is Your Heart Bad?' It gives you the apparent cure for heart symptoms and has apparently proved an almost infallible cure for Heart Disease and its many complications. I wonder if that includesa broken heart due to not being able to afford a pair of Chrisitan Louboutin's?

The magazine contained a column written by Mary Common about her giving the control of the grocery bill to her husband John, after he was shocked at the "two pounds and eighteen seven pence"that she spent. A bit like me and Mr.Boyfriend and his shock on how much I spend on shoes. I'm sorry but sometimes £4 pumps from Primark simply won't do. Mary said to her husband: ‘You wish me, I suppose, to cook your meals and make the beds, and dust and scrub and generally do the work of a servant, but you do not trust me to spend your money to the best advantage. I agree! Do the housekeeping yourself!’You go girl. The reader is then taken on a trip around the town with John as he tries and proves to his wife that you don't have to spend a lot. The reader is left with a cliffhanger as John stands in the butcher's and tries to decide what part of the pig to get. Exciting I know. This column was actually very popular and had women splitting their petticoats and popping out of their girdles. 

At the back of the magazine there is a section on Careers where Margaret Fox, Matron of London's Prince of Wales Hospital is interviewed over her career. Margret talks about how rewarding it is to help a ill person get better and she said 'there is no occupation in life so delirious as that of caring for the sick.' This was obviously before the 'career' of being a wag. 

The back of the last page has a very very simple advert for Bird's Custard. This is one of the things that I am very glad has stayed around for the past 100 years. It has been part of my childhood due to my Grandma's amazing five minute sponges and Apple Pie that we both devour in one sitting. She makes the thickest custard ever, you can stand a spoon up in it. She uses a whole pack for two people, compared to my mum's custard which makes us have to go through a pack of straws quite quickly.
So I'm glad Bird's Custard has lived on, as well as Women's Weekly, but Rabbit Mould and swallowing Vaseline for colds four times a day, I think I'll leave that in the past thanks.

Second Hand Rose