Finding Your “Signature Look”

signature look

Growing up, I always wanted to be known for something….specifically in appearance.  I was well aware of the people who were known for a particular type of perfume, or a certain hairstyle, or a certain type of clothing.  It wasn’t that they repeated themselves, it was that they had a specific style and look and were able to achieve that look everyday.  And that’s what I wanted.

Like every other teenager in the world, growing up was difficult.  It was tough to fit in, tough to be yourself, and tough to get noticed…without getting noticed too much.  It might sound complicated, but I bet you all know what I mean! 🙂  I spent most evenings in junior high and high school practicing beauty techniques (and being a child of the 90’s, lets just say there was  a LOT of glitter involved), hairstyles, and attempting to turn my meager wardrobe into something special and unique.  You see, I was under the impression that signature looks were like nicknames.  They came to you in some way and you hoped that you liked what people choose.  And having had one pretty embarrassing nickname throughout high school, I was very concerned about the appearance aspect.

But as I have reach adulthood and entered into my thirties, I have discovered a few things.  A few   rules about life and fashion.

  1. Never “save” and outfit for another day.  If it’s cute and you like it, wear it!
  2. Highlight your best features.  We all have them.  Don’t believe that you are the one creature on the planet that doesn’t….you do!  Show it off! 🙂
  3. Decide how you want to be noticed, and stick with it.

It’s the last one that I want to talk about today.

Decide how you want to be noticed…and stick with it.

Signature looks are not, I repeat, are not like nicknames.  They just don’t happen upon you.  They are carefully cultivated and nurtured out of a one’s likes and dislikes.  To show you want I mean, I will use myself as an example:

It isn’t a surprise that I like vintage fashion, but in my everyday life I also like modern fashion.  So I blend the two.


By choosing fabrics that are reminiscent of the more feminine fashion of the past, but with the more structure fabrics of today.  I, like most women, am self conscious of my body and therefore will adjust and tweak to feel more comfortable.  Loose, flowy blouses in soft patterns, colors, and textures paired with stiff leggings or structured trousers are my signature look.  Meaning, I feel great in them, I feel confident in them, and I have a variety that are reminiscent of each other, but unique enough that each outfit feels special.  And how do I know this is my look?  Because I choose it.  And I like it.  And I feel put together and confident in it.

Are you ready to create your own signature look?  Here a few ideas to get you started!

Light and Airy Fabrics

If you like the way fabrics wafts and floats around, then let that guide your wardrobe decisions.

This adorable polka dot dress from Dainty Jewels is a perfect choice!


Or this stunning green pleated skirt from Neesees Dresses...


Textured Fabric

If structure is your thing, why not try any of these stunning options!

Dita Von Teese, as featured in the blog Second Hand Challenge, is a wonderful fashion icon for the textured look.


Miss Victory Violet featured a stunning example of texture and structure in the skirt by Emmy Designs.



If details make you giddy, then let the accessories become your signature look.

These adorable shoes from Ruche are stunning!  Perfect for a tweed skirt or long jeans!


Jewelry is also a wonderful way to make a statement.  Whether gold, silver, rose, or beaded, choose whatever compliments your skin tone and your fashion sense!


Gold earcuffs from Lanie Lynn Jewelry

And the same thing works with makeup!

I like my eyes, and therefore will focus the attention on them the majority of the time.  But I feel that my eyes are a wee bit small, so a light coat of jet black eye liner slightly winged at the tip does the trick!  While there are always exceptions to the rule, try to pick one main feature of your face and show it off in all it’s glory!










To see some examples of modern, vintage-inspired makeup , check out THIS POST

So take control, discover your look and find whatever makes you feel beautiful!

Remember, happiness is the best “signature look” of all!


“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

– Coco Chanel

Vintage Inspired Makeup Bag Tutorial

makeup bag

With such an easy design and construction, this makeup bag can be yours in as little as 60 minutes!  

Make several in different sizes and coordinating fabrics for a truly personalized collection.



Vintage Makeup Bag Pattern 


  • Fabric scraps in coordinating colors
  • 7 -9″ zipper
  • Ribbon/ lace trims
  • buttons


  1. Sew the two smaller top pieces right-sides together.  Repeat for other side.


2. Attach the larger square to the smaller piece, right sides together. Press.


3. Attach trim where desired on each side.


4. Insert zipper on top of bag.


Putting in a zipper5. Stitch the two sides together making sure to get the edges of the top that border the zipper ends.  Trim seams and turn right side out.



6. Decorate the outside as desired.  Attach ribbon to the zipper for easy opening.


Now fill with your favorite cosmetics!






Gift Giving Guide for the Vintage Beauty Lovers

vintage christmas gifts

Gift planning, purchasing, and wrapping are in full swing at my house.  I am still trying to find a few more items for those hard to shop for family members, but am getting soooo excited to see everyone’s face as they open up their presents on Christmas morning!

If you are still searching for a few more gifts for that vintage-beauty lover in your life, or if you feel the need to splurge a little on yourself, I have compiled a list that will be sure to please!….and every item is under $50.

1.  This adorable cosmetic brush kit from The Vintage Cosmetic Company is girly, colorful, flowery, and will be much appreciated!image

Image from The Vintage Cosmetic Company

2.  A lovely gold mesh hair clasp from 1928 Jewelry, is perfect for those 1920’s lover’s whether their hair be long or short!


Image from 1928 Jewelry

3. On my personal Christmas Wish List, this 1940’s lipstick gift box from Besame Cosmetics  is a wonderful deal and a lovely gift.image

Image from Besame Cosmetics

4. Reminiscent of Downtown Abbey or even a very classy flapper, these Red Gem Earrings from 1928 Jewelery are stunning!

imageImage from 1928 Jewelry

5. And for those 1960’s Mod admirers or the younger ladies in your life, this Kiss and Belle lip balm from Mod Cloth is a great choice.image


Image from Mod Cloth

Whether for yourself, a friend, or a family member I hope these ideas inspire you on that hunt for the perfect gift or stocking stuffer!

Happy Shopping!


Stay tuned next week for my top gift giving list for vintage and sewing.

Perfecting the Pin Curl

There are so many wonderful tutorials, both old and new, on creating the perfect vintage hairdo that I wanted to pile as many as I could into one place!  While my hair is too long to really take advantage of many of these styles, I am still fascinated with the variety and elegance the pin curl can create in one’s hair.

Let’s begin with the basics:

Skirting the Issue created a wonderful introduction and tutorial entitled Pin Curls for Dummies.


Picture from Skirting the Issue

And of course, there are the instructions taken right from the era…




Once you have mastered the basics, why not use these vintage sirens as inspiration:




Along with the vintage look, there are also some wonderfully modern ways to implement pin curls.

Here are a few of my favorite:

The Freckled Fox has an AWESOME tutorial on a modern pin-up look.


Image taken from The Freckled Fox

Another fantastic look comes from Brit + Co:


Image used from Brit + Co

And for a 1930’s inspired look check out this one from


Image from

So go get those bobby pins and start pinning!  🙂


pin curl

First Aid For Hair: A Fun Look at Your Face’s Neighbor and Best Friend

“Next door neighbor and best friend to your face – your hair!  How have you been treating it?  Something like this – if I know women: flipping a comb through it several times a day, giving it a painstaking wave once a week and a casual shampoo when decency demands it, and otherwise doing nothing whatever for it.  “Long may it wave!” is the modern maiden’s prayer for her top knot.  She asks for Francois at the hairdresser’s because he has a deft way with the curl over her ear.  To her the fact that he skimps on rubbing and rinsing and often leaves soap on her hair is unimportant beside the fact that he gives the best wave in town.



This is all wrong.  To keep its nice, healthy color and luster, your hair must have proper care – most of it simple and inexpensive, but necessary.  I wish I could make every woman who reads this article realize the importance of brushing.  I am told that there are women nowadays who don’t even own a hair brush, and I am certain that very few of us use one as often as we should.  Brushing for a few minutes night and morning accomplishes surprising results.  It cleans the hair of an amazing amount of dust.  It distributes oil the length of the hair and thus helps to keep it glossy and free from split ends and that dry, strawy look that annoys so many women.  Try fifty stroke morning and evening, and I promise you your hair won’t be listless and stringy.


Next in importance to daily brushing and massage, is the shampoo.  Hair can not be clean-smelling, healthy, and manageable unless it is washed often. Just how often depends on whether your hair is dry or oil, whether you live in the country or in a city, and what the climate is.  Wash your hair when it looks dull or oily, when the brush shows undue grime, when you notice dandruff.  Wash it more frequently in warm weather when the scalp perspires.


Another interesting product (prepared shampoo) is a help to blondes whose hair begins to get oily and darker three or four days after a shampoo.  By applying it sparingly, letting it dry, and brushing out the white deposit what has absorb the extra oil, you can make your hair fluffy and bright without disturbing a marcel.  

Blondes also like a lemon rinse because it is believe to have a slight bleaching action.  It also helps to remove soap curds from the hair, especially if the water used is hard.  A little brilliantine will give gloss and softness to the hair that seems too dry after the shampoo.


There would be more lovely coiffures if every woman knew how to give herself a wave.  Even after a permanent, many women are helpless without a hairdresser, and very few can do anything with straight hair.  Lack of patience and practice is usually to blame.  If you are starting out determine to be your own hairdresser, it is a good idea to watch an expert do your hair in order to see just where the waves are placed and how the curls are made.  Then buy a good wave-set, some fine hairpins, a net, and some curlers.  Wash your hair, and while it is still wet, apply the wave lotion generously.  Now puts the waves in place, fasten them with pins, curl up the ends – if you have the short curly coiffure so much in vogue – slip on the net and pin it tight, and let your hair dry thoroughly.  The first time may not be a complete success, but try it again.  Before long you will be waving your hair as naturally as you now shampoo it.”

I like the last part – “the first time may not be a complete success, but try it again.”  So true!

Happy Styling!


Source: Good Housekeeping: Volume 95 Number 3, September 1932

Clothes and Beauty Advice for the College Bound Girl

I can still remember with clarity the first year I went off to college.  I had nightmares weeks before that included being left behind as my family took everything but me,  that I was late to the first days of class, and that I would be forced to sit and eat alone, publicly snubbed for some unknown fault.

When the day finally did arrive I packed everything I owned…literally…everything.  It was a little ridiculous.  But, nonetheless, I set off with my family to begin an wonderful part of my life that taught me independence, self-reliance, and that I really could get by with surprisingly little.

While schools today are very clear, as are department stores, what a college student needs to bring with them to survive, they aren’t so clear about the clothing lists.  Perhaps if I had a guide such as this from a 1925 book, I wouldn’t have brought 7 large trash bags full of clothes!  I guess I didn’t use suitcases back then… 😉

Clothes for the 1920's College Girl

Here is a pamphlet showing the perfect blouse to send off with the college-bound girl!



With a lists such as these, girls would be more than prepared for the challenges of secondary education…and to have more fun!


Despite the apparent chill in the air, these girls still look to be enjoying themselves…and in such stylish clothes…check out the fur coat in the center!


A candy apple is the perfect snack to munch on in between classes! 🙂

Don’t forget the perfect beauty advice!  Good Housekeeping offers this take on beauty and gifts parents can bestow upon their collegiate:

1940's College Girl Beauty Advice 1

1940's College Girl Beauty Advice 2

I hope you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane…I know I did!

Happy Friday everyone!


Sources: Harmony in Dress by Mary Brooks Picken, 1925

               Good Housekeeping, August 1941

Clothes and Beauty Advice for the College Bound Girl


Goat’s Milk Beauty Products…and an Interview with “From Goats to Soaps”

I was so delighted to be contact several weeks ago by the equally sweet and talented Grey Dove, of the blog From Goats to Soaps.  A wonderful blog that chronicles the adventures of two friends, Grey Dove and Isabelle (along with Isabelle’s family), as they raise some of the cutest goats, alpacas, and llamas I have ever seen, along with creating very high quality bath and beauty products sold at Les Belles Bouclettes.

Located in the idyllic landscape of eastern Ontario, Ferme Bonne Mine (“looks good/ healthy”), is the passion of Isabelle, her husband Jacques, and her four children, Dominque, Denis, Fanny, and Sophie, who moved from France in 2006.   In addition to goat milk beauty products, Isabelle and Grey Dove also offer a wide array of rovings and yarn.


The Farm 


Isabelle and her family

yearlings waiting for grains

Waiting for some dinner….

milking goat

Milking in action

dyeing wool

Dyeing wool

When Grey Dove (her preferred creative name) offered to send me a collection of their handmade products, I was very excited, as I am a firm believer in using natural products whenever possible!

Here are pictures of just a sampling of goodies offered by Grey Dove and Isabelle:

Floral Goat’s Milk Soaps

Beautiful to look at and delightfully scented, these soaps are extremely moisturizing.  I also loved how easily they lathered and emitted their delicate aroma.  I highly recommend the lavender!


Silky Satin Dusting Powder and Mohair Powder Puff

This puff is so luxurious and fluffy and unique!  Grey Dove created this in purple, which was so exciting as it is one of my favorite colors.  I found that dusting myself with the powder after a shower was glorious as it soften my skin and gave a wonderful scent.


Felted Soap with Essential Oils

I can not say enough about these felted soaps!  They are hands down the best!  I love how you not only have a gentle scrub on your hands, but the scent of these (my favorite was the oatmeal) lasted for hours and gave a wonderful aroma to the whole room.  I highly recommend these as they are great by both the kitchen and bathroom sinks.  They are great for kids too, since they do not slip around when you use them.  Grey Dove offers a tutorial on how she created these little beauties.


Lip Balm

While there are many scents offered by Isabelle and Grey Dove, I chose the blueberry pancakes lip balm and fell in love.  The fabulous thing about this particular lip balm, in addition to the wonderful scent and taste, is that it goes on very smooth and doesn’t feel sticky on the lips.  I loved using it as a base for my lipstick and then popped a little more in the center of my lips for a bit of shine.


Rose Milk Bath Fizzies

These alone are enough for me to have a bath every night.  Period.  It fizzled and popped just as the title says.   Rose happens to be one of my favorite scents and when I came out of the bath, my skin had the most wonderful essence of rose for hours.


 Bubble Scoops and  Cupcake Fizzies

As tough as it was to pop that amazing cup cake into the water (it looked so amazing, I just wanted to leave it on display) I loved the rich scent it created in the water.  Same can be said for the bubble scoops…I felt like I was dropping ice cream scoops into the bath, which was a wonderful thought during the heat of the summer!

I hope that you take some time to treat yourself to these beautifully crafted products.  Not only are they a fantastic deal (and for all you Americans, the exchange rate certainly works in our favor :-)), but Grey Dove and Isabelle are offering my readers a very special deal of 10% your entire purchase!  Simply use coupon code aimee2015.  This deal will last until the end of September, and with international shipping offered, it is a great way to pamper yourself or a friend during the last days of summer.

And with such great products, a fantastic approach to crafting, and a mutual love of all things vintage, I knew that I wanted to learn more!  Grey Dove graciously allowed me the opportunity to interview her….I hope you enjoy!

What are your favorite ingredients to use in your beauty products?
I love experimenting with different ingredients, and one of the best parts of making beauty products from scratch is the ability to try something new just because it appeals.  Being able to customize by adding, changing quantities, and removing ingredients in a product recipe is also a treat. 
In soap making every oil has its own properties and I’d have a shop full if I could buy all the ones that interest me.  Finding ones that are affordable while still creating a luxury product were my first goals, and I feel we’ve succeeded in doing this pretty well.  I have always loved crafting, especially “old-fashioned” crafts like spinning (which I haven’t yet, but want to master), weaving and knitting. Learning soap making fell into that category for me.  However, the more I learned the more fascinated I became.  I also have sensitive skin that reacts badly to a lot of things, and some relatives who have true problem skin along with a ton of other allergies so I began thinking there might be a market for good quality hand-made unscented soap.  Unscented did not prove popular, so I started adding essential oils.  Now I also use high-quality fragrance oils in my soaps and bath products.  Although they aren’t all natural they do not have any petroleum by-products in them, and they do offer a  much wider variety of aromas to choose from and enjoy.  
I like ingredients that help me to create products that are gentle, do not dry the skin, and moisturize in a way unlikely to cause problems to people with oilier skin.  (Oily skin generally needs moisturizing which makes caring for it very tricky.)  My bath candies, solid bubble bath (Bubble Scoops) and fizzies are all made with ingredients that should soften your water, may moisturize (particularly the bath candies) and won’t leave your skin feeling dry.  I choose high-quality ingredients that have been processed as little as possible.    And of course in our soap we only use farm fresh goat’s milk, which has added a whole new wonderful dimension to the final product!   
What are three things you would like people to know about you and the items you create?
I probably pretty much answered this question in my ramble above.  I suppose I’d like people to know that each  batch is made by hand.  There are and will be slight variations, I do my best to keep them to a minimum but it is the nature of hand-made not to be able to reproduce items identically.
I really enjoy most of what I do,and take-care with every product I make.  I test most items in person, although Isabelle and her daughters some times help in the product testing department, … Fannie has been a particular help as she is enthusiastic about bath products!
Because of my own skin condition issues (I suffered from adult acne for many years, and still can struggle with eczema) and my relatives problems, I always keep possible skin conditions and how each products ingredients may effect people in mind while creating.  I recently met someone online who is gluten intolerant and while I was delighted to realize that nothing I make would pose a problem to someone suffering from this difficult illness it did make me conscious of one more way in which to check and double-check my products ingredients. 
What led you and Isabelle to collaborate?
Pure luck and Isabelle combined!  We had both put items for sale at a local tourism office.  At the time Isabelle was playing with the idea of felting soap.  She bought some of the soap I had for sale at the office.  It particularly appealed to her because it was all natural.  It felted well and she was happy with it.  She contacted me and after discussing what she wanted, she placed an order.  At the time I was unhappy with the methods I had been using to sell and promote my products so shifting into wholesale suited me.  I took a bit of a break at that point.  Essentially Isabelle was my only customer so I was busy during her show seasons and had time off in between.  Once she switched to goat’s milk, I began experimenting since making soap with milk presents certain challenges.  It wasn’t long after we began using goat’s milk in our soap. By this time we thought of them as “our” soap even if “I” make it, and a project she had been talking about for some time actually came to be. Les Belles Bouclettes, an online boutique was born!  As the site took shape, Isabelle asked me to look over the bath and body care pages and to help with the text for them.  She isn’t a knitter so I offered to check over the yarn pages as well and soon I had begun writing text for the website.  With a larger audience and more potential customers to show our products to, I was able to start letting myself play with ingredients and products I had only read about or made for friends and family.  We didn’t like the original web host we were with so after a few months Isabelle switched to a different host.  The new one had an option for a blog and she was very excited about the idea of doing one.  I hadn’t thought of doing a product centred blog before then, … it is and has been an adventure! 
Do you have any new products in the works?
Always, Aimee, always!  Exercising self restraint and not making products is my challenge.  Top of my list right now is a fizzy for footpaths.  It will have a little oil blended in to the fizzy formula to moisturize the tougher skin on the feet. 
I also have a dry shampoo I am very pleased with, and soon as we have the packaging, we will be adding it to our product line.
In early autumn, we’ll be ready to show you some new soaps, ones made with cucumber and pumpkin (two different soaps), from Isabelle’s garden.  And before that we will be pinching a few eggs from her hens to make a special limited edition batch of egg soap!
Several different mixes of salts (Epson, Dead Sea, Himalayan Pink to name a few) in bath soaks and formulations are something I’d like to work with soon, and I  am really excited about our new solid bubble baths, hoping to do more with the basic idea, … maybe bubbling bath salts?


Pumpkin soap!  Egg soap!  Yes, please!!  I can’t wait!

I was so intrigued with the uniqueness and the old-fashioned way in which Isabelle and Grey Dove run and care for their farm, I asked them for another interview….and they said yes!

Therefore, next month we will take a tour of the farm, learn about daily life caring for such amazing creatures, and more of the story of these two wonderful women. Stay tuned!!


Give Yourself a Manicure: 1940’s Style

I have been an avid home-manicurest for ages!  I love having polish on my nails as I feel more put together and, well, polished.  I like to think that I have a pretty good routine down and have learned all the tricks of the trade.  So while researching for this month’s theme, I came across an article on performing an at-home manicure from a 1940’s magazine.  I was quite surprised to learn, that even though I take great care of my hands, I was neglecting proper care of my nails.  While I have to say this process takes about 45 minutes, the quality of the manicure is greatly improved from my normal routine of 15 minutes and the polish lasts a bit longer.

The article itself featured black and white drawing that were very difficult to see, so I have created a visual of my own adventure but with the actual text from the magazine.  Enjoy!

1. Begin by laying out implements


You will need file, emery, orange stick, cotton, bowl of suds, oil, nail white, cuticle softener, nippers or scissors, buffer, polish and remover, clear sealing coat, towel, and facial tissues.  Don’t work on your lap,  a spill or seeping from remover-soaked cotton may ruin your clothes.  Besides, you cannot brace your hands properly.   (I work on an old book)

2.  First remove old polish.


Moisten a piece of cotton with remover.  Don’t make it soaking wet, just dampen it.  Hold it on the nail a few moments until the polish softens. Then rub from the base of the nail to the top.  Do it neatly, so that you don’t get old polish all over your fingers.  Never scrape off vestiges of old polish with metal file.  Instead, take them off with an orange stitck you have dipped in remover.

3.  Next, shape the nails.


If your nails are strong or need to be shortened, use a metal file.  If they are fragile or need only smoothing, use an emery board.  Hold the file slightly under the nail at an oblique angle.  This is important.  Stroke from the side over the center.  Don’t move the hand you are working on.  Move the file. Round nails to round-based ovals, not to points.

4.  Then, soften the cuticle.


Soak in warm suds.  It is a major mistake, made by most women, to neglect this step – a mistake that results in an unkempt cuticle.  (This step added to the overall smoothness of the polish and longevity too.)

Dry and apply cuticle remover.  Never use a bulky swab for these jobs.  Do this.  Moisten an orange stick and roll it lightly over cotton to pick up this semitransparent film.

5.  And push back the cuticle.


Hold the pusher, or cotton-tipped stick flat on the nail and push towards the base.  Work steadily by lightly.  Hard pressure or digging may unjust both nail and cuticle.

(I forgot to mention that it never hurts to have a skinny Caramel Frappucino while you do your nails. 😉 )

Now, scrub the nail with a brush and soapy water, rinse in clear water and dry.  Rub with the towel to dislodge any clinging particles of dead cuticle left on the nail.

6.  Now shape the cuticle.


Manicurist advise as little cutting as possible; but if the cuticle is heavy or uneven, trim it with manicure scissors or nippers.  Never cut deeply.  Nails need this delicate frame.

7.  Always buff the nails.


This is a step most women neglect, and it is a most helpful one.  It planes the nails slightly, so that they do not split so readily, and it leaves a dry smooth surface for polish.  Buff lengthwise from base to tip ins tread of crosswise as most people do.  This polishes and smooths the entire nail, not just the center.

8.  Finally apply polish.


Brace the working hand, lay the other flat, and use a medium-full brush.  Too much polish will run to the sides; to little will streak.  Learn to make three deft strokes: One, around the moon and up one side.  Two, over the center. Three, cover the other side.  With the cushion of the thumb, take off a thin line of polish at the edge of nail.

IMPORTANT:  There are apparently ways that one should paint their nails based on nail bed shape.  Look at the accompanying diagram to find your particular one and make sure to polish accordingly!  I apparently have spatulate shaped nails.

1940's manicure guide


Take some personal time to give yourself a truly luxurious and vintage manicure.  I guarantee you will feel 100 times better for it!



Source:  Good Housekeeping: Volume 115, Number 2, August 1942