Liquid eye liner review: Vivo

Cat flick eye liner is a big part of my signature 'look'. I like 50's style flicks and if you've been reading my blog for a while, you'll know that I mix and match eras, I'm no purist and I have no issues dressing in a 40s style, wearing 50s style make up and my hair? Well it could be a beehive, victory rolls, headscarf - it all depends on my mood. I have been known to throw it all up in dare I say it.... a top knot. Not very vintage but I think make up can add a vintage edge to any outfit. Flick eye liner, lipstick and I'm good to go.

 I started playing with eyeliner on my eye lids when I was fifteen. I still vividly remember reading my Just Seventeen magazine and seeing this 'how to' guide on a very sixties look. Lots of eye liner on the eyelids. I grabbed my kohl pencil straight away and loaded up my eyelids and went out expecting everyone to coo at my new look. No one did - not even my boyfriend at the time who I'm assuming probably opened his eyes at some point as we snogged, so he must have noticed surely? I can't rule out it was the night my hair got stuck in his braces and took some time to untangle but either way at some point he *must* have noticed surely? No one said a thing. I can only assume it possibly looked so awful that everyone was too polite to mention it........

I stuck with pencil for years, my typical make up developed in to a thin line of eye liner on my eye lids to define, with the occasional subtle flick. I stayed clear of liquid liner. I'd tried it a few times and it always ended in disaster and quite often with lots of swearing. Liquid eye liner takes practice. It is a skill that's worth mastering though and when you have, you'll be super pleased with yourself.

If you are looking for a new liquid eye liner to try,or may be you have avoided it because it terrifies you, then I think I've found a bit of a gem, that in my opinion is a really good product AND it will cost you less than a latte in your average coffee house.....

I'd like to introduce you to the liquid eye liner I can't stop recommending to people. The brand is called Vivo, it's exclusive to Tesco but you can now buy Vivo products online . There's so many things I like about this eye liner and the price is one of them. This is the cheapest eyeliner I've ever used, I discovered it when I'd misplaced my eye liner and couldn't afford to just buy another one of the same brand until the other one turned up (it had rolled under the sofa in case you're wondering!) So I picked this Vivo eye liner up as a cheap temporary measure and hoped it would do a half decent until the other one could be located. How much did I pay for this Vivo eye liner? ..................... £2.

Yes £2 and I've hardly used another eye liner since. This is my go to eye liner for almost every occasion. So apart from the price what's good about it? Because let's be honest cheap doesn't always mean cheerful when it comes to cosmetics and I've certainly been dissapointed a few times with products that have claimed a lot for the small price tag but offered little.

The lid/brush handle is tapered but not to such a width that it becomes fiddly to hold, the brush is bendy but firm enough, that the bristles don't separate in all directions. The colour I use is carbon black, but other shades are available including slate grey which could be a good option if you felt black was to dramatic. The other thing I liked about the brush is that it's really really easy to create a thin line or a more noticeable thick line (as my not so photogenic hand is demonstrating....) - perfect for a 50s/60s look and also ideal for creating a fine line in the inner corner of the eye.

The liquid eye liner goes on really smoothly, I know I'm well practiced in applying my eye liner - so much so that with The Historical Sauces I teach how to apply it, but I still have days when mine doesn't go perfect first time, In the same way that some days my hair curls better than others. Those days just happen, and they happen to everyone!  Liquid eye liner just takes practice and a bit of experimenting with a product that you feel comfortable with. This feels like that kind of product for me. It's easy to apply and it feels as effortless as liquid eye liner is ever going to be!

My 'concentration' face is quite miserable looking obviously! eek!

My top tip for make up application is a hand held mirror. This is a 30s one I picked up in a vintage shop for about £6 ages ago. I've also some beautiful ones picked up from charity shops and carboot sales. They really are brilliant. You're completely mobile to do your make up in any room you want to. You can easily chase the best light and importantly you can just angle the mirror to where you need it.

Mascara is an essential finishing touch to add some meow to your cat flick eyeliner.

Cat flick eye liner can be as subtle or as dramatic as you want it to be. There are no rights or wrongs, it's your make up and your look.If you're not sure you want to invest a lot of money in starting to use liquid eye liner or you just can't spend lots of money, then the Vivo eye liner is a brilliant choice. It's long lasting and hard wearing. Out of ten I would give it a nine! The only thing that would make it even more perfect would be if there was a waterproof option. This compares very very well to more expensive liquid eyeliners I've used including Mac and No.7. For £2 it's well worth adding to your make up bag.
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Rainy Days

One week I'm sitting out side a pub coatless and the next I'm walking down the street in my faux fur, hat and brolly. How bizarre the weather is in the UK right now! So as umbrellas seem an essential piece of kit at the moment then they may as well be fun to use. So to cheer yourself up and perhaps those that pass you by, here's a selection of some fab umbrellas to keep you dry and happy.

Palm tree umbrella £28 from Umbrella World

Pop art umbrella £18 from Umbrella World

Totes flamingo umbrella £17 from Umbrella world

Seagulls print umbrella from Marks and Spencer£12.50
Union Jack umbrella from Marks and Spencer £19.50 (perfect for a rainy Jubilee I'm thinking..........)

Radley Claremont poppy print umbrella from House of Fraser now £24 reduced from £30
Linea butterfly print umbrella from House of Fraser £7.50 reduced from £15

Marvel print umbrella from River Island £15 (not just for the boys, I think if comics are your thing it's a great unisex brolly)

Something else to keep your heads dry and the glamour stakes up are these great rain hats. Rain hats, I hear you cry?! These hats from Bubble Betty just ooze gorgeousness and they are very much on my list of products to try.

Picture from Bubble Betty website

Currently there are four designs and they are priced at just £6 each, They come in a reusable tin so you can pack your hat away and pop it in your handbag. I just think they look super cute and if like me you are vertically challenged then you'll understand what a task it is to try and use an umbrella at times. You can't manoeuvre it above peoples head to lift it out of the way and allow people to pass!

Or those days when you've done your hair and it's not raining but just horrible and damp outside? You don't need an umbrella but these could be a great solution to get you from A to B! Do take a look at the Bubble Betty website.

With any luck I will soon be posting about ways to keep cool! Fingers crossed! Oh talking about the weather is such a British thing to do isn't it!
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Good Bye March!

Well March was quite a month! We had fashion week in Norwich, that combined with all the other things I've been doing lately, left me feeling that I needed matchsticks for my eyes, never mind eyeliner! I ended the month with a weekend off to celebrate my birthday however it didn't quite go according to plan! I got the train okay, in fact I had a nice journey. Cans of ready mixed gin and tonic where on offer at the station shop at 2 for £3, which was handy as I'd forgotten to pick up a drink to take with me, (proof that I don't have a hip flask popped down my bra all the time...) so this was a happy result!

Reading material, gin and a sunny day - hello weekend!

I had a lovely stroll through London to get to my meeting place, we had a scrummy dinner, some ridiculously scrummy vino and headed home merrily - hooray! The weekend was here, I'd survived the workfest of March, reasonably intact and now I could celebrate my birthday (a week late but better late than never!) But in the early hours of Saturday morning, I woke up with a ferociously sore throat and I thought I was actually having some kind of random allergy as it was so swollen! From that moment on I went down hill rapidly and ended up being ill with a horrible virally coldy thingy (yes that's a medical term - I used to go to St. Johns Ambulance, I have badges and everything!)

We had planned to visit the vintage department store Blitz and the Churchill War Rooms but sadly I was completely knocked for six - I'm not sure I've ever been struck down so quickly! You normally get some signs to warn  you?! So I have no lovely pictures of my weekend to show you. No one needs to see me pulling faces as I drink lemsip ( I'm sure it's the same face I pull each time I try Marmite, just in case I might like it one time) So whilst I can't share any pictures with you, I hope you can at least enjoy the links and may be you can add them to your lists of places to visit!

So between laying in bed and laying on the sofa, always with the duvet - that duvet was draped around me like a cape most of the weekend. The most pathetic super hero you ever did see, if I could choose a super power it wouldn't be sneeze power. I'd like the power to turn water in to wine, can that be a super power? Or is that restricted to miracles? Can it really be pigeon holed?

I digress....... so whilst laying there popping stepsils and allowing my lemsip to go luke warm so I could at least neck it like a shot, I just thought back on what a month March had been and made a few plans in my head about how to grow this love I have for vintage and working for myself. I'm a nice boss. I like being my own boss. So looking back at March first -

The Historical Sauces took part in several events as part of Norwich Fashion week. We had a Pop Up Make up Boutique in Imeldas as part of The Lanes Night Out. We also attended the Queen for a Day event and what was supposed to be our Pop Up Library and make up workshop, got turned in to a live hair demonstration! Now I qualified as a hairdresser a few years ago, but I really only like the socialising with people and the hair 'dressing' side of it. I don't enjoy colouring or cutting (which is why I don't do it), I like the styling and creating achievable vintage inspired looks bit though. A lot.

However I was still nervous when asked about two days before if I could do something, as the hairdresser who was planning to do the demo wasn't going to be available to take part!  Eek! However I shrugged and said 'okay' My heart was pounding so don't think this is a cool as a cucumber moment - I'm getting more and more used to stretching the boundaries of my comfort zone! I'm so pleased I did it though. No, I will never like hearing my voice boom through a microphone, but it did go well, I created a rockingly good beehive if I say so myself and I was proud of both the hive and me! I think often we're so quick to chastise ourselves or look at the negatives, that the positives can get completely lost. I'm guilty of this too but I'm working on it!

My tea trolley for the hair demo. Eve the Benefit girl borrowed this for her make up demo! It was my idea first of course.

The next event was a Vintage Norwich event with Norwich's independent cinema - Cinema City. I'm hugely proud to be part of the Vintage Norwich Team, we really are passionate that this city of ours has such a lot to offer and it's home to a lot of talented people. This event saw me grab my camera and capture not just images of the night but the best dressed guests too.

I was super pleased when this gorgeous girl told me she'd been at the hair demonstration, nice beehive I think you'll agree.

The next event was at Mill Rythe Holiday Camp, showing the girls on the entertainment team how to create a 40's look for their new show. It was quite a road trip!

Picture courtesy of Retro Chick

I did manage a mini birthday celebration with my fellow Sauces Gemma and Lucy and we nipped to a pub in town that does an offer of fizz and chocolate covered strawberries which was yum. We'd been hard at it pricing up clothes all day, so it tasted doubley good!  Finally event wise was the vintage sale I mentioned in my last post. I lost my vintage seller virginity! I sold a dress to a girl in a local band, may be it will be auctioned off one day when they make the big time!

 As I mentioned in my previous post, I seriously looked in to selling vintage a few years ago, but other things happened, I had to put it on hold, then the vintage market boomed (which is exactly as I predicted!) and there were/are so many sellers that I wondered if I should just concentrate on my writing - which was certainly not a bad call, it is going brilliantly and I can't imagine life without my blog if I'm honest! So I'm starting to wonder what else can I do to build up a portfolio of  Missy Vintage projects to keep the bills paid and to keep me spending as much of my working life surrounded by vintage, because quite frankly I really love it. 

I'll be taking a serious look to explore if selling vintage is something I'd like to do properly and if so how would I like to do it. I'll also be taking some time to ponder my photography. I did and adult education course several years ago (digital was only just becoming available on the high street) and I really loved it. I can develop my own pictures but I don't use film any more, and digital can make you a lazy photographer so, I may dust of my old 35mm SLR and load up some film, I'd also like to explore just what I can do with a digital camera too. I've turned down a few weddings and events over the years because I wasn't brave/confident enough. Well, I've finally acknowledged that the the only person who can change that is me! I've decided that I need to start taking my own advice on this one!

  I  help run a small business network in Norwich called NIN - Being surrounded by creative brains is quite inspiring, if you are in or near Norwich (or know someone who is) and have a creative/quirky business then do take a look at the link, we've got some brilliant small businesses joined up so far including designers, artists, vintage sellers, events organisers..... it's an informal group of small business people helping each other and finding ways to make the work work!

There's something about birthdays that make you reflect back on what you have and haven't done isn't there. I'd like to have a few more boxes ticked before the next one gets here.......................
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Tick Box Alley

I know it's the middle of the week, but I've just about recovered from the weekend! Was I burning the candle at both ends? No! The reason I've been as achy as a fitness boot camp detainee is down to working at an event ALL weekend that we had in Norwich called Tin Pan Alley. A rather splendid event that had a big twist on the flea market/vintage fair we've all become used to....

The event took over a gorgeous listed building in the heart of Norwich that's been empty for several years. Four floors of old uneven floors, flaky plaster, odd patches of wallpaper layered upon wallpaper -  it was an amazing space to work in. What was I doing there? Well for this one my recent weapon in the shape of liquid eyeliner was left in its holster and I was there with The Historical Sauces selling vintage!!

This was a massive box ticked for me. About two years ago I decided to look in to selling vintage with an online shop. I went to Business Link and they were brilliant. Really helpful but my work situation changed and the blog then took off fantastically. Offers to do other vintage projects came up and I've done some fabulous events but selling a few pieces of gorgeous vintage was a big box ticked for me!

We were up in the attic of the building which meant that we had to carry our stuff up a few flights of stairs - and why I ached this week! That was quite a work out but we had fun and it was an unusual but fab event to be part off.

We were just about ready as doors opened at 5pm on the Saturday, having got changed a few loads earlier, I finished carrying the last few suitcases up the stairs complete with beehive and 60's dress like a vintaged up delivery lady!

We were there again the next day ready for the doors to open at 11am. I have to say I woke up that morning and lay in bed feeling about eighty years old. I have total respect for vintage sellers who do events like this all the time! It's fun but my goodness, it's hard work! I would certainly do it again though.....
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Carry on camping........

I haven't been to a holiday camp since I was in middle school. We went to Butlins twice I think. Skegness, I have a few memories of it such as the fair, fab swimming pool, seeing The Chuckle Brothers - how old are they? I can't believe they are still going! Anyway the reason for this little trip down memory lane is because I recently found myself back at a holiday camp but this time it was for work not a holiday.

The Historical Sauces had been booked to do a workshop for the entertainment staff at the Mill Rythe Holiday Village, to help them prepare for a Vera Lynn stage show they will be performing for their holiday makers. We went to show them how to create a 40' style look with their hair and make up. It's quite a drive so although the workshop was on Monday, we headed down to Hampshire on Sunday and stayed overnight at the holiday park so we'd be fresh for Monday morning.

It was quite a road trip! We loaded up the car, and headed off. Lucy had her Sat Nav - who had quite a nice Irish voice, so we decided to name him Connor. Actually I think we may have had a mini debate over what we should all him, but we all agreed that if the Sat Nav voice came to life he'd be tall, dark and very handsome. We can't be the only people to think of these things? Can we?

We arrived in the evening and had a nice dinner, followed by a couple of G& T's as we relaxed from the long drive. My fellow Historical Sauce Gemma actually had several childhood holidays at this very holiday camp, so she was a bit giddy with excitement at being back there and excitedly relived tales of being crowned 'Princess of the Week' once.

I liked being back in that holiday camp environment, it reminded me of those hols in Butlins, where I'd watched the Red Coats and really rather wanted to be one for a while. I don't know what springs to mind when you think of chalets in a holiday camp but the chalets at this holiday camp are simply divine! They still have a quaint old fashioned exterior but inside it was nicer than a lot of hotels I've stayed in! The best of both worlds!

The workshop went really well, it's really interesting helping to create vintage looks and the girls looked fabulous. The pictures speak for themselves I think!

My cute hand knitted jumper is a charity shop find as is the skirt.

Picture Credit Max Barraclough
Max Barraclough from Mill Rythe also took some fabulous pictures of the workshop in action so pop over and take a peep at the Mill Rythe Facebook page

There's more Pictures over on The Historical Facebook page too.

So with Staycations seeming to be poplar at the moment I say Hi-De-Hi Campers! Will you be holidaying in your own country this year? We're planning to.
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My Night with Marilyn

 Well almost...... I've mentioned in previous posts that Norwich has recently been a whirl of events due to our very own fashion week. Well now the hairspray has settled and we all take stock (and a rest) of what an amazing week it was, I thought I'd share one of my highlights with you.

As part of the events list, our local independent cinema show the 1953 classic Gentlmen Prefer Blondes. Once again Vintage Norwich, who I also work for, took over the bar area and helped everyone have a jolly old time with a bit of Hollywood glamour and interesting things to see and do.

My day almost went quite wrong when I was struck down with a migraine! So I took drastic action, I popped some headache tablets, took OUT my rollers - my hair wasn't even set and was still wet so this was far from ideal and I took myself off to bed for an hour. The thing with migraines is sometimes, if you can, you just have to stop everything, go somewhere dark and quite and try as best as you can to relax. I don't find switching off and relaxing easy at the best of times. I sleep with post it notes by the bed because my head always seems to be a whirl of activity however.......... an hour later I was feeling perkier and I could get on with my day.

The first mission was to work out what to do with my hair, I didn't have time to wet set it again, it was just about dry now so thank goodness for heated rollers. Mission Curl was about to begin! To give my hair the best chance possible of holding a curl (love hot rollers but a wet set with setting lotion is what works best for me) I left my rollers in as long as possible. This meant taking them out the very last minute - so about ten minutes before the event started. We still had to set up The Historical Sauce make up trolley and the Vintage Norwich items - which meant we had to meet at our office and then head a few minutes up the road to the cinema. There was only one thing for it.....I was going to have to walk there in my rollers.....

Heated rollers aren't cute little rollers you can tuck under a scarf, they are pretty big animals so there really was no missing me as I walked through town with my huge ginormous head, faux fur 50's cape and pulling a bright pink suitcase.

Waaaa! No lipstick yet! I'm looking quite pale and puffy eyed from the migraine too. My lovely stripey head scarf was a recent Charity shop find and when not covering my huge head it will be worn around my neck to nautical up my wardrobe. As I mentioned in a previous post I'm a big fan of the nautical look.

I got a few funny looks as I walked through town, most people looked away in that 'I must not stare' kind of way, if people did dare to make eye contact I just smiled back in a 'yes, I know I look a bit of a tit!' kind of way. I'm not sure these pictures demonstrate how huge my head looked - but believe me it was like a big alien head. If aliens did rollers and head scarves this would be it. I'm not sure if the cinema staff were amused or scared as I came bounding in with a cheery hello with all the boxes and bags to start setting up. Then it was back to our office to start getting ourselves ready.

Several minutes later we all emerged through a haze of hairspray looking glammed up. We don't need a smoke machine to add a music video style haze to our office - when there's three of us getting ready, hairspray does the job!

We took along a small selection of The Historical Sauce pop up library, focusing more on the Marilyn and fashion books which as always were really popular. We also took a long some of our dressing up box - which is *always* popular. It's brilliant watching people pick up handbags and hats etc and have a play with them or take a trip down memory lane. I couldn't resist having a play myself....

A gorgeous 1950s hat worthy of a First Lady ( The not me. I expect)

 When not trying on hats I was busy meeting, greeting and photographing glamourous guests so we could decide which three lucky winners would be declared best dressed. There was a lovely buzz in the bar as people arrived dressed to the nines. We also had Historical Sauce Lucy giving 'Lips and Flicks' lessons along with vintage hairstylist Flamingo Amy creating vintage hair styles.

 We arranged for a handsome Captain to welcome everyone aboard as they entered the screen (just in case you haven't seen the film, much of it is set on a cruise ship) I snapped people as they prepared to set sail and loved telling them all to have a good trip!

I sneaked in to the screen as everyone was waiting for the film to start and the party was obviously continuing! Lots of chatter, noise, and glasses clinking. I couldn't stay though, there was work to be done! We had to decide who was going to win best dressed -this was a very tough choice and it was a bit like X Factor at times as we decided which three people would be declared the winners. Once this decision was made, we could relax a little and have a well earned drink. Our captain joined us and as we waited for the film to end we played pass the hat. As you do.

You may notice I've gone red, if you follow me on Facebook you will know I've been toying with blonde or red. Red won for now....
I was super thrilled when we got to sneak in at the end of the film ready to announce the winners. I've never seen Marilyn on the big screen so catching the last few minutes of the film was just amazing for me and strangely a bit emotional! I had to pull myself together though as we then had to walk to the front of the cinema screen and present prizes to the best dressed winners. Carlton Books kindly donated three Dressing Marilyn books by Andrew Hansford as prizes and I know there were lots of looking at these, so if you didn't win but want to read my recent review of the book just click here.

I don't mind speaking in public or standing in front of lots of people, to be honest I quite enjoy it. My fear is falling over in front of them all! I'm naturally quite clumsy, as anyone who has ever met me will tell you. My drinks have a habit of jumping out of my hand, I'm forever walking in to things. I may do my hair and make up, this doesn't mean I'm Miss Graceful 2012..... However I managed to stay on my feet, despite being quite close to the edge of the stage at times. We had time for a few photos before we had to pack up, have another drink and head home for some much need sleep to recharge from such a busy but very fab night.

Just to mention that my outfit for the night came in at under £10.

My dress was a 1990s Marks and Spencer evening dress that I picked up from Oxfam recently for £4.99. I didn't manage to get a full length shot but fortunately a press photographer did, so thank you to that man! It's a lovely column dress, a bit 50's Hollywood glam.

Shoes were a chaz boutique purchase, nice point toe and flower details, very 80's does 50's £1.50

My long evening gloves were in the sale at Peacocks for £3

Total outfit cost £9.49

Pics to follow of shoes to follow!

Picture Credit: Evening News  (Here I am with Gemma AKA Retro Chick)
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