Pinup and Beauty Resolutions for 2018

‘Tis the season for all the good beauty and pinup bloggers to give their riff on their resolutions going into 2018, and particularly inspired by Renee at Bad Outfit Great Lipstick, and so too, I throw my hat into the ring.

This year, one of my bigger goals is to get my finances in order. I have a car loan, student loans, and there’s plenty of things I know I can be doing to get my ducks in a row to be better prepared for any future emergencies, etc. Being in good financial health is one of the keys to being healthy, especially in America (and for those of us with high-deductible health plans!)

With that in mind, there are some key ways I intend to strategize to handle my expenditures and curb impulse spending in the next year:

 

1. For any new release, waiting at least 30 days and at least 2 reviews from “trusted” folks.

As far as beauty goes, there are few things that get me excited like a good new foundation launch or, sometimes, the occasional lipstick launch with colors that haven’t been heavily produced (still waiting on my retro, orange-based coral of my dreams…) And as much as I love my MUFE Water Blend, I also like trying other stuff and I fall prey to the mentality of “B-b-b-but what if I find something I love more!”

There have been times I have jumped the gun and bought something sight unseen before having the ability to try it. Living in Louisville (as opposed to my former home in the Chicago suburbs) means I will not get access to try all the beauty things my heart desires. With that being said, because I may not get access to try new products firsthand, I am forcing myself to wait at least 30 days after the initial launch and require at least 2 reviews from trusted folks.

While I generally don’t follow a lot of YouTube beauty folks, I do have a few on Instagram or other blogs that I follow. I find their reviews tend to be more comprehensive, tried for a longer period of time (as opposed to a single day), and test for more variation in formula. Additionally, I find their photography is less likely to be photoshopped or influenced by heavy lighting.

If after both of these situations have been met and I am still interested, ideally, I would like to be able to get a sample from Sephora or try out at Ulta before buying. And from there, if all is good–the purchase is allowed.

 

2. A set amount for true vintage clothes; $200.

I have a confession, my friends. It is not something I am proud of, but I have to cop to and get this off my chest. I–am terrified to wear my true vintage clothing. There’s several reasons for this: the pieces that I do have, I actually really love. They fit well, they’re cute, but–if I ever tear or wear them to excess, I will not be able to replace it.

And that’s ri-goddamn-diculous of me. That’s the entire point of clothes! To wear them!

So, for this year, I am putting a strong cap on my true vintage clothing spenditures. I have to get over this, and to do it, I’m going to force myself to actually wear them and get over that. And if I don’t, I have at least one or two people I know that will sell the pieces on my behalf. If I do wind-up selling, I’ll allow the amount it sold for to roll over and be added to the $200.

 

3. Try and explore more looks with makeup and being more adventurous

I am confident in my ability to do a cat eye (after many years of practice), I can apply eyeshadow relatively comfortably–but I don’t really do a lot of variation beyond that. One of the things I would like to do this upcoming year is do a monthly vintage look recreation–it will get me out of a rut and try and force my hand at learning new styles with my products I already have.

It’ll also tie my love of vintage looks with makeup and keep things a little more cohesive around these parts.

 

4. Quit the yo-yo weight bullshit.

For those unaware, I am 5’0″. When you are smaller, you tend to reflect weight easier. A pound difference gets easily reflected in my face, and also: on my hips. A pound makes the difference between whether I’m throwing an angry, teary hissy fit in the bathroom that I can’t fit into my clothes or whether I’m wearing a lot of the clothes I’ve bought that fit me when I’m <=110 lbs.

I’ve decided my new threshold weight will be 112 lbs.–any time I come creeping up on this, I have to go to the gym and eat better. This will allow me to fit into the clothes I have better, reduce a lot of the yo-yoing (my previous was 115 lbs.), and be more active on the whole.

I imagine for some people, this is one of those things where they’re rubbing their fingers together and rolling their eyes; it’s not lost on me. People don’t like it when someone who is generally considered petite waxes on about their problems, but it’s annoying to keep repeating the cycle and keep having those moments where all I can wear is jeans but I really want to wear the nice clothes I’ve bought.

When I can wear the pinup clothes I have–I feel better. I look better. This will also help me wear a lot more of my actual vintage clothes too, as a lot of them tend to be tighter fitting.

 

5. Focus on things I have by focusing on more outfit-related posts.

This one is more pinup-focused than beauty; I want to show off more of the outfits that I have instead of purchasing more than I actually need. I’ve done a pretty significant outfit cull this year to allow for room for the clothes I want to wear. I also inherited some clothing from my grandmother upon her passing, and would like to make some posts dedicated to her memory.

Additionally, now that I have a camera, I think this should be easier to accomplish by myself than needing to rely on other people to take pictures of me. (Which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to do more photoshoots; I definitely have people I love working with and would like to do a few more shoots with in the upcoming year.)

 

6. Make more purchases at Ulta than Sephora when possible.

Truth be told: I’m not a giant fan of Ulta despite their better rewards program. Their stores tend to be poorly maintained, poorly staffed, and poorly educated (not every Ulta is like this, but of the multiple I’ve been to in several states, this is a recurring issue.)

But given that they do have 20% off coupons more frequently and a rewards program that offers “cash” (as in points translate to money that can be redeemed on purchases, not actual money) in lieu of fancy deluxe samples, I am more inclined to spend there.

This means a better return on spending. So, for brands where I can get it at both places (e.g. Anastasia Beverly Hills, Bumble and Bumble, etc.), that’s where I will purchase from. However, many of my preferred brands (e.g. Make Up For Ever, Kat Von D, BITE Beauty, etc.) are all Sephora exclusives.

Right now, I have horded away enough points for a nice little spending spree, but I intend to save up for the Dyson hair drier.

 

7. Project Pan

There was a half-hearted attempt on my end to do a Project Pan in 2017 that got left by the wayside, but as I now have more of an outlet than Instagram for these things, it’s definitely something I intend to pursue harder. I will be posting about this and the items I intend to use in about a week or so.

 

8. Replacements only no buy until April

In the spirit of getting my finances in better health, I’ve decided to put myself on a no buy up until April (with replacements only being the exception.)

This is for a few reasons:

1. I generally have a small collection as is and want to use more of it up. This is the year I would generally like to finish both a lipstick and eyeshadow.
2. I have a nice amount of products that could stand to be reviewed individually and thoroughly, that aren’t products reviewed to death by the hype-osphere.
3. Saving money never hurts.

I’m allowing replacements only because I generally don’t stock myself with extras in most cases. I don’t have back-ups of anything except my night-time moisturizer and exfoliator. Everything else is bought after running out.

I did receive a gift card or two, so that is something I would allow myself to use because it’s not my own money, but in general, I am trying to keep my spending and unnecessary purchases low this year.

 

Those are my plans going into next year. What are your goals? Are you going on any specific plans or how will you be challenging yourself?

 

Yours ’til Niagara Falls,
Jupiter Gimlet

Chelsea Crew, Fluevogs, Bettie Page Shoes, and B.A.I.T. Footwear: A Pinup Shoe Review

“A shoe is not only a design, but it’s part of your body language, the way you walk. The way you’re going to move is quite dictated by your shoes.” – Christian Louboutin

There are a lot of things I’m picky about; a good fried egg, the perfect red lipstick, the fabric, cut, and design of a dress (it is a huge pet peeve of mine when patterns don’t match up), but shoes are damn near the top of my list of the things I demand quality and excellent presentation on. As Cinderella taught many of us; a good shoe can change your life.

There are a few pinup-related brands out there and few reviews on them, so I thought I would take the time to share my thoughts on a few brands of shoes that I regularly wear and advise what is worth the coin and what isn’t.

Chelsea Crew

Chelsea Crew is one of my ride-or-die brands and I love them. They’re work horses, I’ve had a pair last me for a good four years with regular wear and tear, and I always get a ton of compliments whenever I wear something from them. While they can be dressier, they’re never uncomfortable. I’ve worn a few pair while trekking around New York City for miles and never once got a blister, and that alone gets brownie points in my book.

Their heels are often sensible and while it’s a reproduction brand, they make sizing that is sensible and comfortable. While I’m all for vintage styles, vintage sizing is something I can’t necessarily get behind (mostly because while I have size 7 feet, they are slightly wider than average. This brand makes it slightly wider, which is awesome because I don’t have to sit there from the get go and wonder if my feet will fit.

Chelsea Crew is a company that was created in the USA, but is fairly secretive about their production practices. I have not been able to determine where their products are created and an email sent to their customer service has not yielded a response. If this sort of thing is of top concern to you, it may be something to consider before making a purchase. Speaking of this; Chelsea Crew does not sell directly from their website, but can be obtained from wholesalers such as Shoegasm, Royal Vintage Shoes, and a few other sellers.

I think very highly of them and think they balance out cost (generally around ~$50-60) with quality, and would definitely purchase from them again if I found something for my collection.

 

John Fluevog Shoes

img_20171126_1608423681152892925.jpg

I was introduced to Fluevogs by a friend who raved about only needing to change the soles on a pair she had over 4+ years and had my interest piqued from that point forward. If you weren’t aware, Fluevogs are a little quirky, but have some shoes that are vintage-inspired and they are freaking expensive for regular purchase (generally, they range from ~$150-450 depending on type of shoe, etc. Sale shoes typically run the gamut from ~$65-350.)

img_20171126_160848687787457182.jpg

This being said, my friend was not lying. These shoes are some of the most comfortable ones I’ve tried and whenever I wear them, I’m guaranteed at least a compliment or two. Of the shoes above, the ones I wear most are the pinup shoes (center of the picture). They’re wedged shoes, but I can wear them for hours and have walked miles in them without issue.

img_20171126_160900719_hdr981037505.jpg

One thing I would recommend (and how I got my pairs) is looking for second-hand Fluevogs. They still have absurdly high resale values, but they aren’t going to hurt your wallet as a new pair might. Plus, buying second-hand items is just a good environmental practice, so it’s a win-win. As you can see from the picture above, the second-hand ones I bought could really use a new paint job, which is something I will be investing in to keep them looking good and wearable with future outfits.

img_20171126_1609162221495194247.jpg

For those that look for vegan shoes, you will be currently disappointed by them. Per their website,

While we have had success producing Vegan Vogs in the past, recent collections have been without vegan options as we continue to research different production methods and materials. We are currently in search of a leather substitute that is both sustainable and affordable, without compromising the quality that we’ve come to be known for. We have faith that Vegan Vogs will return and when they do, we intend to be shouting it from the rooftops (as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)!

Fluevogs are also open about their business practices, advising the following regarding their production facilities: “Large portions of our shoes are made in Portuguese factories; some we have been working with since God was a boy. We also use factories in Mexico, Peru, China, and Vietnam. All of our factories are ISO 9002 certified, which is primarily an international quality certification, that relates to consistency and standards of production and quality. In addition to that, from an ethical standard, our factories fully comply with the Labour Law of the PRC act of 2007 (also known as the Worker’s Rights Act of 2008). This brings all of our factories in line with “Western” labour standards, and they are all checked regularly.”

Fluevogs can also be really eccentric in design, which is fine if that is what you are into, but for true vintage or vintage-inspired design, they aren’t my go-to brand. Still, they are ones I would highly recommend. Though, I would recommend them second-hand if possible. I’d repurchase, but again: not where I’d start, especially when I’ve had good luck with cheaper brands.

 

Bettie Page Shoes

img_20171126_1612124591140747091.jpg

Bettie Page Shoes are a brand named after the infamous pinup, Bettie Page. They are a vintage reproduction brand that is lower-to-mid (depending on your budget) priced and can be found pretty easily on the internet, specifically on Amazon (which is where I found my two).

Look, I made it clear that when I started blogging that I would be honest. And in all honesty: I’m really, really disappointed I had spent an Amazon giftcard or two on these. The exterior part of the shoes are nice enough and resistant to scuffing, but the insides are a mess. The soles detached from the shoes and this occurred within the first week of wear. Because of this, there’s no way I would recommend these for daily use.

img_20171126_161243961_hdr362706335.jpg
On the left pair, you can see where the sole is detaching from the shoe and remains curled up.

I don’t wear the blue pair that often (and did wear it during the 50’s Cinderella-inspired photoshoot), but it’s OK to wear for a decent amount of time and can walk in them comfortably. Given this experience, I wouldn’t recommend them (and definitely will not be repurchasing) unless you need something delivered within 2 business days and it’s not something you’ll be wearing for daily use, unless you’re willing to replace the soles.

 

B.A.I.T. Footwear

img_20171126_161548260_hdr2026714285.jpg

B.A.I.T. Footwear is one of those ubiquitous pinup brands that if you are on social media, you have probably seen worn by the big name pinups. (Cue the “If you’re a pinup on social media, are you really a pinup on social media if you haven’t posted a picture of yourself in B.A.I.T. Footwear on Instagram?” gag.) A friend of mine, 8-Bit Pinup, is also a pretty big fan of their shoes.

B.A.I.T. is an acronym for “But Another Innocent Tale” and they are a very vocal company for non-human animal rights and often have donations for local humane shelters.

img_20171126_161603045_hdr536837407.jpg

I’m going to eat some crow on this one, and I’ll explain why: after having been burnt on Bettie Page Shoes, I was hesitant to try B.A.I.T. shoes. I really wasn’t sure I wanted to go through another pair falling apart after having spent $50+ on them, and online, some of the materials looked similar. But I bought the yellow pair seen above, and blissfully: I was wrong and bought the other two seen here (and a few others on the way from Black Friday sales.)

img_20171126_161609882_hdr767678035.jpg

The matte shades are less scuff-resistant, but they are comfortable to wear over several hours. I’ve worn them with stockings and without and didn’t have any issues with chafing or blisters. This being said, I also break in my shoes by mushing them a bit and wearing them with thick socks/stockings around the house until they “feel” right. As Jessi points out rightly, one of the things about vegan leather is that it requires a little extra breaking in.

img_20171126_161617974_hdr103621577.jpg

They have a pretty significant variety of shoe types available (heels, boots, wedges, etc.) and in a huge variety of colors which appeals to me immensely. It is strictly a vintage reproduction brand based on actual shoes from the 1920’s-1960’s, and it is reflected in a lot of their products. B.A.I.T. is also a vegan brand, which is great for those that are looking for a vegan option among this list.

B.A.I.T. is one of my favorites (and I’m so, so sorry for being hesitant!) and I’m glad I gave them a shot and have repurchased.

 

Of the brands listed in this post, the ones I would strongly recommend without hesitation (assuming they fit your ethics and budget) are Chelsea Crew and B.A.I.T. Footwear. I would recommend Fluevogs as well, but only if it fits your budget (seriously, there are just as good options out there at better price points) or you can find good second-hand ones.

 

Let me know if I am missing out on any of your favorite brands or if there’s any you would like to try!

 

Yours ’til Niagara Falls,

Jupiter Gimlet

Pinup Anti-Haul #2

As mentioned previously, I had another one of these planned down the pike. Now that we’re out of the Halloween collections and right before the holiday season, I wanted to put out something to also keep my pinup anti-haul game strong, because there’s a lot of temptation coming out this time a year with Black Friday and other sales, and I want you all to keep your bank accounts as strong as your spirits should be.

If you are not familiar with the concept of an anti-haul, please use this post for reference. As a reminder: this is not intended to be mean-spirited, it’s supposed to encourage smart purchasing habits and minimizing unnecessary consumerism. There are always better ways to spend your hard-earned money (be it paying off debt, savings, whatever), and while I believe moderation in all things, I also believe it’s OK to be spending on things with the caveat of being smart about it and really knowing yourself instead of buying aimlessly.

Without any more delay, let’s get into this holly jolly not buying shit discussion.

Janie Bryant x Unique Vintage

janiebryant

Before we get into it, I have to be upfront and tell you I have a bone to pick with them. Unique Vintage bothers me for a few reasons, but mostly because of its slow and exorbitant shipping rates and fees. There are plenty of vintage reproduction sellers that offer faster shipping at lower rates in that same neck of the woods (e.g. Micheline Pitt, Heart of Haute, etc.) Hell, even for some of the UK brands they carry–it’s cheaper (and faster) to buy direct from them than Unique Vintage. It bugs because, primarily, I would like to support American companies (as an American) and would like to help keep them afloat, but when I’m staring down $12 for shipping for a product that comes within 8-12 business days versus going to the UK and having it free because of the cost of the product between the exchange rates (and getting it faster), what’s the point? Stop making it so difficult for me to love you, Unique Vintage; that’s all I’m asking.

All right. Now, here’s where it gets back to being an anti-haul. As with a lot of anti-hauls, some of the products in them are really subjective. What I think is not worth it may not be what you think actually is worth spending money, and that’s OK! But after seeing this hyped collaboration I’m not sold for the most part.* Here’s an example of why I’m not sold on this collection:

janiebryant2

$138 for a black and white polka dot strapless dress and another $48 for the matching bolero. So, in total, we’re looking at $186 for a matching set.

audrey
Are you for real?

Looking at that dress, I’m having a hard time justifying that price tag, especially with mesh as one of the fabrics. Mesh is not a favorite fabric of mine; I’m not sure of your own experiences with it, but it gets caught up in everything.  Because this gets caught up in things, it’s prone to tearing easily and gets worn out faster. Outside of petticoats, you won’t see my ass shimmy into any piece that is primarily mesh. I know it was a popular fabric back in the day, but there are some vintage things that should just stay where they were. When I see anything over $75 with mesh as a fabric, you better be able to justify the costs by at least being a unique piece.

And guess what?

vivien
Vivien of Halloway

 

collectif
Collectif Clothing

pinupdresses

It isn’t. Black polka dot dresses are a dime a dozen and one of the first stereotypical pinup outfits you could probably think of thanks to I Love Lucy’s influence on pop culture. There is nothing unique about this $186 set that can’t be found cheaper and just as high quality elsewhere. If that’s the case, what’s the point in buying that?

The entire collection is riddled with similar pieces like this that fit the mold of “stereotypical” pinup but at extremely high prices when there are similar products out there for cheaper, better shipping (prices and time-frame; although, both pieces together do hit the $150 USD free shipping threshold), for me, it’s not worth it. Not buying it.

* = I won’t lie, the suit dress is incredibly tempting and probably the most unique piece out of the collection. Plus, it never hurts to have professional-style clothing in your repertoire.

 

All the velvet limited edition dresses/gowns

michelinepitt

voodoovixen

There’s a handful of brands doing this right now so they’re all getting lumped into one.

Much like mesh, velvet is another fabric I don’t love. It’s fussy, it’s difficult, can be really stifling, and really, it’s not something that you can wear all year round. My personal clothing habits are generally things I want to wear as much as possible and can be worn both in summer and winter (with the exception of items intended for winter use like a coat for obvious reasons.) If I’m going to be spending a decent amount of money, especially on a reproduction piece, it has to be something I will wear more than once and at least semi-regularly.

In being honest with myself: when am I really going to wear a velvet dress/gown outside of the holidays, and even then, that’s assuming there’s a holiday party to go to where it would be appropriate? Answer: there isn’t a time (outside of maybe a Halloween costume? But even then, there aren’t a lot of stars that I can think of that would be recognized on velvet gown alone.)

 

Erstwilder Christmas Collection

erstwilder

This isn’t a traditional reason to encourage you not to purchase something, but this is one of those companies that really chaps my hide with its lack of transparency. I don’t dislike Erstwilder, but I do find it to be unethical in its marketing practices, and this is one that’s been driving me nuts because it’s the most obvious one out there.

We all know the pinups that sport these brooches for an Instagram photo or two all around the same time and then you never see them wearing the brooch again (seriously, when was the last time you saw anyone that hustled how much they “so loved!” the Grease brooches actually wear one in their IG photos?)

I can’t confirm for certainty (because, obviously, no one is knocking on my door), so this is pure speculation on my end, but my suspicion is that Erstwilder is giving them as PR (so they can be given for free), or, and possibly as a sponsorship or ad. I don’t know for sure because no one discloses it, but it’s sure pretty suspicious when you see the major players getting all these brooches before the official release talking about how they all love them…

That is a problem.

The pinup community (versus the makeup/beauty community, at least–which isn’t great, but yards better in comparison), in general, is terrible about being transparent–some stating that “it is my page and I can support whatever I want,” and to a degree, I agree. You can absolutely put what you want on there. Though, I strongly err on the side that the line gets drawn when you get compensated for it–be it monetarily or with items–for your support, especially when others don’t get cut the same deal and you know your influence is part of why people are buying it. So, the very, very, bare minimum thing you can do is put #sponsor or #ad on there when you’re pushing something on Instagram. It won’t kill you or make you look bad, I promise. Also, not disclosing makes it look like you have something to hide and that makes me think you’re untrustworthy and shady, so why risk it?

I bet you $10 that after the holidays, we never see any of the people who are peddling these brooches that they think are so adorable never break them out again. (And why would they? The holidays are over and there will be another holiday collection to replace it next year that they will be asked to promote.) So what’s the point in buying it in the first place? It’s just more clutter in your house that you don’t need because you’ll wear it a handful of times throughout a very small portion of the year. Move on.

 

That’s all for now, folks. Feel free to tell me all the things you’re not going for this holiday season!

 

Yours ’til Niagara Falls,

Jupiter Gimlet

Silken Twine Capri Pants in Chambray Blue

IMG_1090

When I was coming up with the idea for the photoshoot seen in Putting the Blue in Bluegrass, the hardest thing was finding a reasonable pair of blue capris in the perfect color family. Fortunately, Etsy pulled through for me and brought me to SilkenTwineAustralia, who made it super easy to find exactly what I was looking for and at a very comfortable price!

The pants themselves at the time of purchasing were $47.02 (USD) and international shipping was $11.76 (USD), making it a comfortable $58.78 (USD) in total. (At the time of purchase, the USD was stronger than the AUD making my dollar stretch further.) This is cheaper than many other brands both domestic and internationally for comparable products. Upon purchasing it, the shipping time was very reasonable, especially for something made to order. I had purchased on June 15th and received a shipment notification on June 19, receiving the package from Australia on June 30th.

IMG_1052

IMG_1325

The pants themselves are made of stretch bengaline, and having worn them several times now, can attest to their comfort and willingness to stretch (I have done a little yoga in them and they passed eating at a buffet test!) The website states that it is built to be taken in or out, which is very handy.

SilkenTwine

The quality is outstanding; I find the stitch work to be particularly impressive near the hem. As someone who does live in the petite range of things (being 5’0″ and all), the size 6 was perfect and I did not feel like it cut off circulation or was in any way uncomfortable or too long. It was perfectly made for my size, though, I will confess to not usually struggling with sizing issues except for length.

IMG_1488

IMG_1107

My only criticism with the capris is that they are slightly sheerer, meaning, depending on what kind of undergarments you are wearing, they may come through the fabric. I could not wear my typical boyshorts with these, but a thong pairs nicely and is undetectable. I do not currently own any vintage/vintage-inspired undergarments, so I do not have the ability to test with that, though, I’m not sure it would make a difference. If the fabric was more opaque, I’d consider this perfect and would purchase in every color. This being said, I would still not hesitate to wear these to work, but I would be prepared to wear specific undergarments with them.

SilkenTwine does make them in a variety of sizes on up to size 16 Australian (which is comparable to a L in US sizes and is approximately size 12 US) and provides a sizing chart on her page. It would be nicer to see them in a larger size variety for more plus sized folk, but if you are within this range, it’s definitely something to look into.

She also has the capris in a variety of colors and other items, and I plan on purchasing the above ankle length black capris shortly.

In short, I had a great experience with buying from and wearing the capris, and have no issues recommending purchasing from them. They’re comfortable, great vintage reproduction staple pieces, and affordable. All of which are more than enough to keep me as a repeat customer.

All photography in this post is by Janna Michelle Photography

IMG_1012

 

Yours ’til Niagara Falls,

Jupiter Gimlet

Pinup Anti-Haul #1

If you are a big fan of Kimberly Clark (and you should be!), you are probably familiar with the concept of anti-hauls. However, on the off chance you are not, the point of an anti-haul is to discourage empty consumerism and encourage empowered, thoughtful purchases. In the current pinup culture fueled by social media, it can feel very pushy to buy more and more so you can fit into that perfect aesthetic. I, for one, am not the type to buy mindlessly. Because I don’t get sent things for free (though, I would not mind if I did!) and money is a finite resource, it’s important to know I’ll be able to use what I buy.

The purpose of an anti-haul isn’t to be mean to brands and businesses (there are some I don’t like and won’t purchase from and there are plenty which I do like, but will not be buying because I’m going to be smart about what I do spend on!), but to be smart about what you do choose to spend your money on. Unlike a wishlist of things to pine over, these are things I know I will not be purchasing and why I will not be spending my money on it. While Kimberly Clark focuses on makeup and skincare, I’m choosing to focus on pinup related purchases.

For me, this also feels more like a “genuine” attempt to be reliving the pinup life of the 1940’s. Purchases were often tactical, and as such, it’s a nice way to be reliving that kind of culture. So, without further ado–here’s what (sung in Kimberly Clark voice) I’m not gonna buy~

Erstwilder Grease Brooch Collection

grease

Let me start with this: I’m not generally the type to collect brooches to begin with (or jewelry, for that matter). But were I to be the type that did, this is not the collection I would spend money on.

I was a theatre nerd in high school and still love musicals (hell yeah for Hamilton!), but let’s be honest: I’m not entirely sure Greased Lightning is going to be recognized on sight by most people. The “Eat Your Heart Out” is actually very cute and would be one that’s definitely something you can wear with multiple outfits, but that’s one out of quite a few in this collection. There are some others that are recognizable (Frenchy, Rizzo, and Sandy, for example), but these aren’t ones that I will use often enough (they don’t look like they would go with enough outfits, and may clash with styles other than the 1950’s) to warrant the $39.95 AUD cost (approximately $32.07 USD) per brooch.

While we’re on the subject of cost, I live in the USA and the shipping for these alone only becomes free if you spend over $100 (AUD). At the time of writing this, the conversion rate for $100 AUD = ~$80.28 USD. While this is better than a lot of clothing shops (ahem, Unique Vintage) and the conversion rate is in my favor. Without the $100 AUD, it’s approximately $9.95 to ship. So it’s an additional $10 (rounded, but close enough) for a $32 brooch? As much as I may like Grease, for $42 USD, this is not worth the money spent.

Be honest: how many times are you really going to wear Kenickie? (Name one person you know who likes Kenickie best. I’ll wait right here.) Is this something you’re really going to get use out of or are you buying into the social media hype and it’ll sadly just sit there on your vanity? Erstwilder has a bunch of other cute brooches you would be much more likely to get use out of wearing, if you truly need a brooch from them. But my answer is none because I will not be purchasing this collection because it’s not the one that I want.

(Side bar: we can all agree Rizzo was the best thing in that movie, right?)

 

Besame Cosmetics Cashmere Foundation Stick

besame

I love Besame Cosmetics. Out of all the brands currently on the market, Besame is one of my ride-or-dies. It’s the go-to brand for many pinups because of its dedication to authenticity.

The problem with adhering to authenticity in some ways is that when you only create several shades of foundation, there is in no way you are going to be able to represent a wide amount of the population. In addition to the three shades above, there are a few more in its line-up:

besame2

besame3

But that’s it. There are 8 total shades in this foundation line. 8. In response to client requests for extending the shade range, they add they are a small family business and will be working on expanding the range. There is a chance you may be able to find a match in this line up, but unless you live close to the brand’s stores, there’s no way to test in person to really be sure if you fit in one of the current 8 options.

The product itself is $25 for 0.31 oz making it $80.64 per oz. While this isn’t completely outrageous, there are stick foundations by other brands with significantly larger ranges. For example, the Anastasia Beverly Hills foundation stick line is also $25 for 0.32 oz (~$78.13 per oz) in 29 shades, running a much larger likelihood of being able to find a match. So, not only is it [slightly] cheaper per oz, you’ll also likely be able to find a better match.

But let’s say you test out the Anastasia Beverly Hills formula and don’t find it to your tastes or skin type. There are more foundation brands coming out with foundation sticks, should you feel the need to replicate the Max Factor Pan-Stick experience (but with something that actually is your shade range and likely something you can test). There are plenty at different price points and with a variety of shade ranges that will meet your needs.

I know some people will say, “But I love Besame and I want to support a small, family business!”–that’s well, good, and commendable, even. At the end of the day: Besame is still a business. They still want your hard-earned money. If you are going to give it to them, give it to them after they have expanded their shade range and are willing to make shades that cover more than just 8 skin tones that probably don’t include yours. Reward them when they have done something to earn it, not just because the pretty packaging makes you feel glam as hell and you might be featured on their Instagram page.

I don’t need the foundation stick and I won’t be buying it.

 

Ben Cooper x Vixen (Micheline Pitt) Collection

vixen

I have to be clear on this one: I love Micheline Pitt, her style, her dedication to artistry, and her work ethic is inspiring. Her clothing line is outstanding and very high quality, based on the pieces I have and having owned items from Deadly Dames. It’s clear to me that she poured her heart and soul into this, and she is the one true Queen of Halloween.

Having said this, there are several reasons I won’t be purchasing anything from this collection. The first being: Halloween is once a year. While this is great for that time between summer ending (which I guess starts September 1st when Starbucks pulls a dick move and gets rid of S’mores Frappuccinos–not that I’m bitter or anything) and Halloween, how often are you really going to wear pumpkins or Halloween-themed items throughout the year? Are you really going to wear it often enough or are you only going to wear it for a period of maybe 8 weeks out of the year? If that’s the case, you’re only wearing it for 15% (8 weeks / 52 total weeks of the year) of the year; is it really worth spending the $78-144 on it? (This is not even including shipping!)

Personally: I am not a Halloween stan. I’m not a person who jumps for joy when fall rolls around (gimme back my warm temperatures and S’mores Frappuccinos). Although this is an interesting collaboration and it is executed well, it’s not going to be something I would wear enough to warrant the money spent, and I don’t care enough about Halloween to wear it. If I feel like I need to celebrate Halloween, why not invest in a black skirt or dress? It’s something I’d get much more use from, could wear year round, and therefore, a better use of my money.

That’s it for this first anti-haul. Do you have anything you don’t plan on buying? Or is there a reason you’re buying anything from this list? Feel free to share your thoughts.

 

Yours ’til Niagara Falls,

Jupiter Gimlet