Just Another Manic Monday

Well, Monday again already, the weekend just flew by. I hope you all had good ones. Mine was a combination of going to the pub, and helping ladies in Norwich get some 1940s styling inspiration with The Historical Sauces

I'm often asked what my favourite era is, and I can honestly say that I don't have just one. I've got huge appreciation for lots of eras really, history and life in general, as well as hair and make up of the times is something that I just find really interesting, but as I've spent the weekend in forties mode, let's take a look at that.

Why I like the 40s

 This was a real make do and mend period in history. People made the most of what they had and I think slowly due to the world financial situation, we're slowly coming back to the days of having/wanting/needing to make things last and/or go further, from the food in our cupboards to the clothes in our wardrobe. Many of us are becoming less of a throw away society and are thinking  more thriftily with our lifestyles. 

I've been shopping in charity shops for as long as I remember and the last couple of years I've really noticed these shops getting busier with shoppers of all generations. All my forties style clothes are either modern or 'vintage' but not actually true 1940s, it's more likely that they are 80s does 40s, but a lot of the clothing, regardless of age is second hand. Charity and vintage shops are a great way to build up a vintage or a vintage inspired wardrobe without having to spend an absolute fortune. 1940s clothes are not always easy to come by, they are also understandably quite pricey and the seams can be very delicate. So using more modern vintage or even modern clothes, to create the look can be really cost effective

I find women generally very inspiring, I find tales of the women during was years both inspiring and fascinating. What a time of change for women those years were. Kissing loved ones goodbye as they went off to serve their country, husbands, lovers, sisters, friends. It's hard to to imagine what it was like for those left behind. Putting your children on a train to go off to strangers? Heartbreaking. Women played a huge part in the war, it wasn't just the ones that served in the forces that faced huge dangers. Land girls and factory workers all used machinery that was capable of causing horrific and at times fatal injuries. 

The forties was a tough time to be a woman, but for many it would have been empowering too, an opportunity to mix with different people, in some cases see the world. Back in 2011 (although I can't believe it was that long ago!) I wrote about a talk I attended by Professor Yvonne Tasker, on the way Hollywood propaganda glamourised the forces and the opportunities it could offer. You can read that here

In terms of styling, the forties is certainly one of the most popular eras that I'm asked to recreate and teach. The forties wasn't just about victory rolls, women also wore their hair down or up in a number of ways - just like we don't all have the same hairstyle today but victory rolls are certainly an iconic looks that screams 1940s, and they might take practice, but once you have the knack they are quick and versatile. I promise! 

Sometimes I wear just one big roll, other times I'll wear two or three. People seem to have a real love for the forties, and I don't think that's going to change any time soon. The wonderful thing about vintage continuing to be embraced by people who might normally be a bit more mainstream (for want of a better word) is that many do go on to want to know the hows and the whys of the era, so it's popularity is helping these techniques and styles live on. 

Other Missy Vintage 40s related you might like: 

Fancy trying your hand at making your own setting lotion? Definitely pop over to Land Girl 1980s blog to read how she does this. Read it here

Happy Monday everyone!
A book you might like to add to your reading list

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Friday Love: Sugar and Vice

This is a little shout out for a business that I've only just discovered, but am more than a little smitten with. Being a small business myself, I totally love discovering new people and then sharing them, so others can get to know them too. For ages I've been lusting after a fun necklace with my alter ego 'Missy Vintage' on it, I've been swooning over other people's for a while now, so I put out a shout out for recommendations as to where I could get my paws on a necklace of my own, the vintage loving gal behind the Etsy shop Curious Cat  very helpfully pointed me in the direction of Sugar and Vice.

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have have seen the necklace in question. It's bold, it's fun and it's probably going to be just the first, as I'm already eyeing up other colours. At just over £12 including postage, I think one in a classic black is absolutely on my wish/want/need list. We have Fashion Week coming up in March, so I'll be coordinating my Missy Vintage necklace with as many outfits as possible!

Do check out their website, they have lots of designs for personalised jewellery alongside an excellent range of other jewellery that will make people as where you got it from.

And whilst I have you I'd just like to say a huge thanks for those of you that have been in touch to wish me luck in the Vintage Norwich awards! I'm certainly going to need it, with  Norwich bursting at the seams with creative talent, the two categories I'm in are hotly contended, and according to the Vintage Norwich Facebook page some of the categories are so close that the top three are changing several times a day! 

So if you love what I do and haven't yet nominated Missy Vintage in the hair and make up categories then today is the last day! Nominations close today and the top three in each category go through to the final voting stages. Norwich is buzzing with excitement. We're really really proud of our creative little city!  

If you'd be so kind as to spare a second to nominate me I'd be so thrilled, hopefully you're enjoying what I do as you certainly keep coming back to read about it :) If you're also a fan of my work with The Historical Sauces then you could nominate our workshops in the Best Event category. We've just announced some workshop dates for April, if you're in or plan to come to Norwich pop over to the Sauces site and take a look.

Click here to nominate

Happy Friday everyone!

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Oh So Abrowsing....

A magazine cover from 1945. Available on a poster from   All Posters.com  Rather  super  I think.

When we do our make up, we might think about eyes and lips, may be our cheeks, but do you give your eyebrows some time and attention? Yes your eyebrows, those things on your face that actually frame your eyes. I'm passionate about eyebrows. Odd thing to say I know, but including your eyebrows as part of your make up routine really will add that final touch look to complete your face, and when it comes to a vintage inspired face the eyebrows shouldn't be left out.

When I work with clients and run workshops with The Historical Sauces so many say they do nothing with their eyebrows apart from perhaps plucking to keep them tidy. Plucking, now there's something I'd like to talk to my seventeen year old self about! My eyebrows are now fairly thin thanks to years of plucking - they're not too bad to be honest, but because they are quite fair they can look quite faint. Some girls would shave theirs off! Thank goodness I only armed myself with tweezers!

When we talk about the history of how people looked in decades gone by, we're referring to the typical/popular look of the time. Not everyone looked the same or followed the trends, just as they don't today, but here are some typical looks for eyebrows of times gone by. 

If the thought of someone shaving their eyebrows off filled you with terror, well I have to say that whilst the girls in my teenage years may have thought they were reinventing the eyebrow, they weren't. It wasn't at all unheard of for women to shave of their eyebrows and just draw some new ones on! In fact it was the norm....


The twenties eyebrow was very thin. The glamour of the big screen has always influenced fashion and with silent movies conveying emotions and drama by expression rather than words, the actresses of this time wore dramatic make up. The eyebrows were often quite straight, long and swept downwards to the temple, making the actresses look pensive. Handy when you're playing a damsel in distress.

Clara Bow
This might not one of the most wearable eyebrows today, so when I create a twenties brow I keep it thin (without further plucking!) but arch it. If you're going to a fancy dress party as a silent movie actress then by all means copy this look to the letter, but if you aspire to a twenties influenced or flapper look for an evening out where you're dressed up (which is a very different thing to fancy dress), then personally I'd shape a round arch in the brow, even just a little which would make it a bit more thirties but you'll still get the look. 


The classic thirties brow was still thin but much rounder in shape, whilst the twenties brow could make the face look anxious, the thirties brow was often worn high and often gave a look of surprise or in Marlene Dietrich's case, a knowing confidence. For me, she was simply just the most beautiful creature. Seemingly straight faced and often expressionless, she still manages to convey so much. 

Marlene Dietrich
Jean Harlow
Although many movie stars were wearing the brows thin, there's plenty of images around that show thicker brows being sported but still in that round arch shape. Again you can make this a look that's very wearable today by drawing/colouring the brow into a round shape, extending at the ends as required.  


Veronica Lake may be famous for her peekaboo hair style but she also sported beautiful eyebrows too. Eyebrows became fuller, but were still well groomed. A completely wearable look today and you may even sport what could easily be a forties eyebrow without it being intentional. 

Veronica Lake
Lauren Bacall


 The fifties, my personal favourite of the eyebrow fashions. Everything went pointy in the fifties. Bras, the cupids bow and the eyebrow arch. I adore both Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor and I also adore their eyebrows too. Groomed, neat and beautifully arched. A shape that with a little practice is easily achieved with help of make up. 

Elizabeth Taylor

A typical fifties brow has a very defined arch. For me to get this shape on my own brows, I have to use make up to thicken my eyebrows and create a shape that isn't quite there. Next week I'll get my eyebrows naked for you (oo-er!) and I'll show you how I create my brows and what products I like to use. I think you'll be surprised at the before and after!
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A Vintage Inspired Home

I love having what some people would call 'old toot' (I call it vintage!) around the home. It's a thrifty way to add a bit of interest and dare I say it individuality to the house. Don't get me wrong,   I have a modern cooker and a modern kitchen (although the kitchen was here when we moved in so no choice in that really!) The TV I watch isn't old one at all, it's a flat screen modern one, which is pretty ugly to be honest and I've wondered many times about creating something to cover it up when it's not in use, like a little rail system with vintage curtains, but at the moment it's still only a thought.

Old books, interesting, cheap to pick up and well let's be honest, even if they are not interesting inside, they can be  attractive to look at.

I've written posts about the house before but it's been a while, and the start of the year often seems to be a time for changes and a period where we start to make plans for the year ahead. This often comes with budgeting and this is where a love of vintage can come in useful. Now we're not talking antiques, we're talking furniture and curiosities that you can pick up really quite reasonably, as far back as the twenties isn't unusual but often in charity and general vintage shops you'll find items from the thirties and onwards. 

Mirrors are fairly easy to come by, I've set myself a project of collecting them so we can have a hall of mirrors.  I've set a limit of £15 and under per mirror though, it's lovely seeing the wall start to take shape.

You don't have to change the whole room, or even use big pieces of furniture, although if it is time to change large items like your wardrobe or get new drawers, then compare the price of spanking brand new pieces against something second hand, and you will see a drastic difference in price. Even a piece of flat pack furniture can be much much more expensive than a beautiful wardrobe that's as old as an OAP. Okay, so you probably won't get Swedish meatballs when buying your goods second hand but you could save a pretty penny and there's a good chance you'll end up with something beautiful and long lasting too. I mean, can you see a piece of flat pack furniture bought today being around in fifty years time? Hmmm. 

Well here's a little peek at a few ways I include vintage in to my home, I'll cover some more rooms next week. The bathroom is basically a brand new white bathroom that was here when we moved in. So whilst I crave a claw foot bath, brick shaped tiles and an array of vintage wall decor, short of ripping it out and starting again, it just isn't going to happen. What I have done though is to add vintage inspired touches. For storage I've moved my much loved tea trolley from the kitchen in to the bathroom, and it now holds a basket of towels and various bits and bobs. This is a recent brain wave so I haven't had chance to cram the first shelf full of stuff yet, but it will probably happen......

My bargain 10p ice bucket stores my cotton wool, the sugar pot has cotton buds living in it and the tea cup I use to store hair grips. The jug I picked up at a carboot sale, and normally it would have flowers in it, but thanks to the icy paths I haven't been out to get any.

I've been storing my bubble bath in glass decanters for a few years now, I got the idea from blogger Vintage Vixen (who's blog is well worth checking out of you're not familiar already) These look pretty, you can pick up decanters in charity shops for a couple of pounds and in fact, if you wanted to opt for vintage 'style' it's not unheard of for places like the 99p shop to have glass decanters, so this is an uber cheap and very easy way to add some glam to your bathroom. I think these would make nice gifts too? Fill them with some delicious bubble bath and there you have it. How much easier can it get?

One of my most favourite buys last last year takes pride of place on the sideboard in the lounge. I'm not sure how many people would consider a vintage typewriter the perfect decorative centre piece but I ADORE it! I purchased it from an amazing shop we have in Norwich called Shade of Pale (if you live nearby or plan to visit this little shop is a great one to visit) When I saw it I had no idea how much it would be so I wasn't optimistic that it would come home with me, but when I turned over the price tag it was £22! I just had to have it. So handsome don't you think?!

I'm fascinated at the thought of what letters have been written on it. It's in great condition but you can see it's been well used. I STILL haven't managed to find the right vintage wardrobes though, the hunt (saga) continues. Mainly because I can't get the one I bought at a charity shop out of my head. Why is it only in my head? Well unfortunately the charity shop resold it before delivering it to me. You can read about that here. I'll keep looking of course, but that wardrobe has a place in my heart as 'the one that got away'...............
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Vintage Norwich Awards 2013

Click here to nominate 

Hello! This is a bit of tricky one for me as I'm all for encouraging people to blow their own trumpet but quite lame at blowing my own..... However, spurred on by people getting in touch to say they have nominated me in the Vintage Norwich 2013 awards and wishing me luck, here I am letting you know about it! 

I spent ALL of my twenties working out what I wanted to do when I grew up, and it wasn't until my thirties that I actually discovered that I could - with a lot of effort and tears along the way (I love learning new things but won't deny there were some wall I had to climb!), make that happen. I know find myself in the fortunate position that I'm doing something I really love and am teaching people how to help themselves enjoy their appearance too! 2012 was a fab year, and I'm going into 2013 with an open heart and mind about what 2013 will bring, and I'll document it along the way in this blog, along with all the other stuff that's covered on this blog, from fashion top thrift and Hollywood starlets of the past. The website dedicated to Missy Vintage the stylist is under way too, so there's lots going on behind the scenes!

So, if you've worked with me or just enjoy what I do then if you feel that you could spare a moment to vote for me in the hairdresser and/or make up artist categories it would mean such a lot. I'm very lucky to be surrounded by an abundance of creative talent in Norwich, there's so many people who I admire and feel inspired by so I'm realistic to the fact that I might not get to the next stage against salons and styling super stars, BUT the fact I've even been nominated by people in 2013 is just amazing and I thank you all so much! 

If you're familiar with other vintage inspired businesses in Norwich, then now is the time to name them! Nominations close January 25th and then the businesses with the most nominations get through to the voting stages! It's fair to say Norwich is buzzing with excitement right now! We try really hard not to take our small business scene for granted here in Norwich, and you'll often find lots of collaborations going on to put on and promote events, these awards are a nice way to give us all little nudge to keep going! If you're planning a staycation or a mini break this year then I can highly, highly recommend you look at Norwich/Norfolk as an option. Yes I'm biased, but if it wasn't true I wouldn't say it!

*blows kisses*

Thank you!

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More Tea?

Brrrrrrr, I did not order snow! I'm not actually a huge fan of the white stuff I must confess. I like the romance of it all, walking along snuggled up in hats and mittens or watching it fall through the window, but mainly I just find it all a bit of an inconvenience. If you do find yourself stuck inside though (or you just don't fancy going out it) it can be the perfect excuse to either lounge around or make a 'to do' list of thinks you want/need/fancy.

Essential winter warmers on these cold dark oh so long nights

Tea, yes lots of tea. Served in vintage china is nice, you can pick up teacups pretty readily if you just keep an eye out in the charity shops. Tea pots can be harder to find, but keep looking and they do turn up. Of course you can always try Ebay and Etsy too. If you want a vintage look but in the form of something new, then there's plenty of choice and if you shop around there are also some bargains to be had.

House of Fraser  £9.40 (was £23.50)
House of Fraser £18.75 (was £25)
John Lewis £25
Dotcomgiftshop £23.95
And if you want new cups and saucers?

Marks and Spencer £12

Debenhams  £4.80 (was £6)
John Lewis £4 
Dotcomgiftshop  £6.95

Handy with knitting needles? you could knit your own tea cosy, the amazing blog Cosy, has a whole load of free knitting patterns (perhaps handy to bookmark for knitting for Christmas gifts?) If you can't knit for toffee (I fall into this category!) then you can buy some great ones on Ebay and Etsy if you want to go down the vintage or knitted route, but if you fancy something cute but brand spanking new then there's lots of choice.

Dotcomgiftshop £2.95
BHS £10
If you need even more warming up then a dash of something like whiskey always warms the cockles, I can also confirm that I've been adding Amaretto to my tea and it's like a liquid cherry bakewell. What's not to like?! 

If your happy to go a little cooler but would still like to say you stuck to tea when the cocktail hour arrived, then this is very yummy tea cocktail......

Gintea Cocktail
Makes 1:

2 measures of gin
1 Earl grey teabag (I've also done this with green tea and it was nice too)
Squeeze of lemon juice
Teaspoon of sugar (you can adjust this to taste and you can use sweetner instead)

Make the earl grey tea in a mug, add the sugar whilst the tea is still hot then allow to cool. Once cool add the gin, stir and either drink from the mug or if you;re feeling more cocktail like, pour it over ice in to a tall glass.

One thing that I really like to do, and I think 2013 will be another year of us all staying in/going round each others houses to socialise more than hitting the pubs etc, is to make up cocktails like this in a tea pot and serve them in tea cups. It's fun, it's pretty and it will make your afternoon tea or your evening get together, most memorable (or may be not, depending on how much gin is involved...)

You can always make this as a gift too, put it in a pretty bottle, or make up a hamper with all the ingredients. I hate to say the word Christmas again and so soon after we've just said goodbye to it, but if like me you intend to watch what you're spending this year , then now really is the time to start looking out for vintage china that you can either use to entertain a houseful or give as gifts. So when it comes to being both creative and thrifty, I say there's no such thing as too soon!

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So Long 2012!

I expect there will be a lot of posts like this over the next few days, you probably looked back at your own year and wondered where it went, why things happened, how things happened etc. I'm all for reflection as I think it's really useful, the problem there is that you can begin to dwell on things, so whilst it isn't always the best idea to stick your fingers ears and sing lalalala in an 'I'm not listening kind of way', it can sometimes actually be a good idea to sweep some of those rubbish bits of the year under the carpet and just look for the positive happenings. Even in a bad year hopefully you'll find some light!

My achievements in 2012 weren't the answer to global warming, they didn't bring on a glow of world love and peace, but I've sort of realised that although I can't change the world for everyone, I can (in some ways) change the little bit that I live in, I can influence how my little world feels. So here's a few of the good bits of 2012........

At the start of the year I qualified as a make up artist, this wasn't ever something I'd had a life long burning desire to do, but the opportunity came up and the timing was perfect and fitted in with  some plans I'd been making with The Historical Sauces. I've always loved make up, that feels like a ditsy thing to say but it's true and in my opinion creating hair and make up really is an art. Whether you do it on yourself or others, it's a skill. So remember that next time you create some knock out make up for your night out. 

Becoming a make up artist is probably one of the best things I've done. Ever, not just in 2012, it's opened up so many opportunities for me and I've met and worked with some simply fabulous, lovely and hilarious people along the way. If you'd said to me a few years ago year that one day I'll be on a film set for hours creating forties hair and make up, I might have told the barman to stop serving you! But this is exactly where I found myself in 2012. 

I had a phone conversation with writer Sam Heydon whilst sat in the restaurant of the National Portrait Gallery, looking out over London. Notebook in hand I began scribbling down notes and sketches. I remember looking out over London feeling like I want to open the window and shout with joy at how 2012 was turning out. I was beyond excited to be part of this project. It was Sam's first step in to a directors role and it was a great project to be part of. So a huge thank you to everyone involved.

Amongst the several photo shoots I worked on this year, the one at which much hilarity took place was with singer/songwriter Nina Baker who made it to the MTV unsigned acts 2013 final, so was given a styling session for the local press. The shoot was styled by fashion journalist extraordinaire  Emma Harrowing, I normally turn up on set and swoon at the clothes but on this shoot I got to help choose the clothes too. When I say help this meant me trying on shoes, trotting to the mirror and having a little swoon and generally touching clothes that then jumped off the hangers. Whoops. 

We also discovered that there are tights in this world that cost £130. Yes! Unfortunately for us we didn't realise this so a shock was had by all when we went to pay at the till. The look on Emma's face will stay with me for a loooong time. I was still giggling on the way home. The result was fabulous though, even without the £130 tights.No we didn't buy them! After what felt like a long awkward silence during which Emma went very pale following the question 'how much?' we went and chose a much less pricey pair! The whole shoot worked really well, it's always nice to see your work in print and this was a day that really didn't feel like work at all. 

I also stepped in front of the camera in the summer for a shoot Mat Keller was doing in conjunction with London design week. Mat is an absolute darling of a fella, a giant of a man who is an utter genius with a camera. This may look like an out take, but in fact the brief for the shoot was stylish vintage people doing everyday normal things. Luckily for Charly the face behind the Land Girl 1980 blog and I, this meant that we got to sit on a sofa and drink beer and eat crisps. 

Picture: Mat Keller
Picture: Mat Keller
When he's not feeding people up on camera, Mat also has a fascinating ongoing project where he documents vintage lovers in their homes. That's people who love vintage just to clarify, not 'lovers' in a kissy kissy way, although they look pretty kissable to me! It's turned into a fascinating exploration and I'd encourage you all to pop on over and visit his work.

I also got round to starting a second blog, The Girl and The Camera. I've been into photography for years now but had a gap a few years ago, however for about the last year or so, I've really been back with a bang and I'm even more in love with it that I was before, so I started this other blog to follow that side of my world. It's inevitable that there will be a crossover between the two blogs, but I thought I'd start a second one to keep a bit of a divide. If you like photography and art then I would love you to come over and see me some time ;)

It's still just a baby blog, and it certainly feels odd to be starting a blog from scratch again, now that I've been writing Missy Vintage for two years, but it also feels good too. That feeling of tackling something new. I LOVE it!

There have also been some parts of 2012 that frankly sucked! But I don't even want to bore myself with those never mind inflict them on you, so they can stay well and truly gone and I'll keep focusing on the better bits and reflect not dwell. 

What plans are you making for 2013? Is this the year that you hope to learn something new, try something different? Spend less? Devote yourself to buying second hand or vintage? Don't think of then as new year resolutions, think of them as goals and aspirations. 

The world probably won't end if you don't stick to them (depending on what they are!) but you might just change it a little, even if it's just your little part of it.

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