Thursday, June 16, 2011

1940s half-moon nails

Putting on my 1940s historically accurate dress is such an important piece of getting into character for me. However, it's quite a long process that involves much more than the dress.

It includes, nails, hair, garters, seamed stockings, a 1930s bra, glamourous makeup, and then, oh yeah, the shirt dress!

Perhaps the most time-intensive component is painting my nails into 1940s half-moon shapes.  So, I thought I'd share my process for that:

First I pull out my mailing envelope sealers from my wedding 5 years ago. Good thing I don't throw anything away because they came in handy! I cut them in half so they don't peel up around my skin so much. If they are full-size they have so much trouble trying to conform to the curve of my finger that they don't even bother trying to stick to my nail.

Then I use the blunt end of a cuticle remover stick (see below) to press down the sticker onto the nails. Then, I paint away, trying not to coat all the edges of my nails; that's impossible for a klutz like me. Man is it a pain to clean up the nails later though, so the more precise you are, the better.

I wish blogger would let me rotate images. Here's my cuticle stick and my polish.

This time I waited only 15 minutes between the first and second coat of red.  Hopefully I waited long enough... I'm just tired of these nails taking up my entire day.

So, second coat goes on and let it dry even longer.

Then, peel off the stickers. I've read that you should pull them away from the nail so it doesn't peel off any of the polish.  Sure, works for me.

Lastly you've got to clean up the mess-ups. Of course, there is always some paint-bleed under the stickers.  And then there are the messy cuticles.  If I had a tiny craft brush I would use that to get rid of the mess-ups, but I have to use my medium one instead... Kind of a pain, actually.  Works a bit, though. So, after it dries for HOURS (which is what needs to happen with me since I have a tendency to bang up my nails on every ledge in existence) then you COULD put a topcoat on, but I don't for a few reasons:

First, that would require me to not hit my nails for even MORE time out of my day.  Geesh.

Second, red nail polish already takes forever to get off of my skin and nails. I don't need another layer sealing all that crap in.  Maybe I'll do a topcoat tomorrow, but this is already too much work for a Thursday.

Anyways, then they are done and gorgeous.  I'm actually surprised that my nails didn't really chip very much this past week. I thought I would have to remove the polish on Sunday on the grounds that it would start looking like crap. However, I only just removed it last night. Hmm... and this was without a topcoat. Go figure.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My 1940s dress, completed

As you can see, I finished my 1940s dress. It's a tad bit large for me, unfortunately, but it does the job. Underneath the dress I even have an authentic 1930s bra. So pretty! Too bad no one will get to see it, or WILL they?  

 Here's some more fun acting pics from "A Picasso" at the Broken Leg Stage, featuring the splendid Jaguar Bennet as Picasso. I'm, of course, that gal on the right.

You can't really see the hem of my dress below, but I'm REALLY proud of it!  I won't get to wear my hat very long in the show, but it's still there on the table in spirit.

I also bought a garter belt and seamed stocking from  Now, to work on those Victory Rolls some more!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

40s Hair Attempt #2

So, my mistakes the first time around were leaving the sponge rollers on the steam too long and then worsening the situation by steaming the roller cover as well. This left my hair damp and not likely to stay curled. Also, my hair was so long it was weighing down the curl.

So, the next day, I cut my hair.

My hair used to be below my boobs, but now is quite a bit shorter. I'm still not used to it.  I actually wanted to cut off 6 inches, but when I was leaving work I was ambushed by coworkers who would not allow me to cut off my hair.  They kind of freaked me out.  So, only about 4 inches was cut.  I feel like I'm back in High School.  I might have to curl my hair all the time now so I won't have to look at the gross weird-lengthed cut.

Here's my second attempt at this 40s hairstyle thing.

My adjustments today included placing the rollers vertically rather than horizontally in hopes of achieving this look:

The front and back:

I reduced the steam time to 6 seconds and didn't steam the covers this time.  The curls were still slightly damp, but they seemed to be holding up better:

Unfortunately, I had no time to tease my hair to get those Victory Rolls, so I just did a makeshift one so I could get to Art Hop on time to promote the play.

We're getting there! Less than one week until opening night!!!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

40s Hair Attempt #1

I just got my Caruso Steam rollers in the mail and need to figure out this 40s thing.  "A Picasso" opens in one week!!!  I chose these steam rollers because my hair is notoriously uncurlable, and many o my friends have had success with these rollers on clean, no-product hair.

I tried to follow the placement guidelines in the instruction manual, but I wasn't putting the covers on close enough to the scalp, so they were too floppy.   I placed the rollers on the steamer for about 7-8 seconds and then also steamed the roller cover to give added oomph.  I left them in my hair for about 30 minutes, which is double the necessary time.

Here's a pic after I started to take a few rollers out.  My hair was still a little damp from the steam, so the curls quickly faded. I'm going to try NOT steaming the covers next time and see if that helps the curl.

Crazy hair below! Again, still damp, so it faded quickly.  Also, my hair is WAAAAAy too long, so that's a problem I will soon rectify.  Look for shorter hair tomorrow!

Then I attempted to do some Victory Rolls.  Not successful.  Here is me teasing my hair to add volume.  I used lots of hairspray.

The front after trying to victory roll my hair.  Ugh:

Then I needed to get all that hair out of the way in the back so I just randomly pinned it up, hoping the back of my head would't be in in the photo call for "A Picasso" that night:

See?  RANDOM back.  Geesh.  I need a haircut.

Anyways, the promo pics turned out good for the show!  If you're in the Fresno area, be sure to go see "A Picasso" at the Broken Leg Stage!

Look for hair attempt number 2 tomorrow!  (With shorter hair)