It’s a Wishlist Wednesday! I’m introducing a new type of post 🙂 I will share my current fashion favourites. I doubt I will manage to do it regularly every week, but here goes 🙂
Today’s theme is quite obviously red and black, two of my favourite colours.
I’m a sucker for a glitter lip. First, because I’m a complete glitter addict, and second, nothing makes your lips pop on stage quite like a bit of glitter. The usual trick us burlesque artists do is to put on a matte lipstick and then put some glitter glue and loose makeup glitter. However, when I saw the new glitter lipsticks from Kat Von D – Everlasting Glimmer Veil – I decided to give them a try.
Kat Von D cosmetics are advertised as cruelty-free and 100% vegan. The lipsticks do not contain parabens.
In Poland, Kat Von D cosmetics are available exclusively at Sephora and that’s where I bought mine. There are 9 colours available in total. To be honest, not all of them are winners in my book. Ultimately I selected two – Televator, which is a purple shade with pink glimmer, and Razzle, a bright magenta with pink glimmer.
After application, it dries pretty quickly and stays in its place. Also, they leave no weird taste on your lips. It doesn’t smudge and doesn’t need reapplication unless you eat something oily/fatty.
Like with any liquid lipstick, the application can be tricky if you like a precise, sharply defined lip. For that, you will need a lip liner.
I found Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil Liquid Lipsticks a bit… flat.
The pigmentation of the lipstick is different between the shades. Colours such as Starflyer and Thunderstruck are clearly less pigmented than Televator or Dazzle. I was especially disappointed in the pigmentation of the black Wizard shade – I would so wear a black glitter lipstick!
If you have a tendency for dry skin like me, you HAVE to make sure your lips are properly moisturized before applying. So use your preferred lip balm. Kat Von D lipsticks REALLY ‘eat’ into the skin, so it’s best to use oil-based cleansers to remove them.
Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil Liquid Lipsticks are advertised as having “24-hour wear”. They do not last 24 hours. The lipstick breaks down a bit with every liquid (even water). It stays on pretty evenly on the lips, but there are prints on the glass.
What do I think?
I think Kat Von D Everlasting Glimmer Veil Liquid Lipstick will work better as a topper for a regular lipstick, for an evening makeup (at least my version of an evening makeup). It definitely doesn’t have enough sparkle for the stage. For 95 zł ($22 in US) I was expecting a bit more oomph. It’s not going to be a staple in my make up, but I’ll definitely use it when I need a shiny finish for my lip.
I think I discovered Madame Dabi Boudouir by Amalia Russiello completely by chance, on Instagram of all places, and I was immediately enamoured in her style! Of course, you should know by now that I like nice, stylish illustrations, so this finding perfectly fits my aesthetic 🙂
Amalia Russiello, based in Italy, is the creator of Madame Dabi. She is an art historian and illustrator, and the person behind the delicate, stylized artwork. The other half of the project is Loredana de Simone, who creates felt Boudoir Doll brooches and puff wands.
Madame Dabi Boudoir
It is clear that the two eras favoured by Amalia are baroque (especially the exuberantly decorative rococo) and 1920s. In my opinion, the illustrations would not be out of place on the covers of La Vie Parisienne or other such magazines. Her style is very feminine, full of bobbed flappers, flowing dresses, flowers, ruffles, feathers, and pearls, with a bit of BDSM, John Willie-inspired fetish eroticism thrown in for good measure 🙂 It really seems like her illustrations would look perfect hanging on the wall of a personal boudoir or a jazzy burlesque club.
If you would like to learn more about or perhaps buy Amalia’s artwork, you’ll find links to her website and Etsy shop below. As usual, I’m very open to receiving gifts from you :*
Do you know any similar artists? Or maybe you are an artist in the retro style? Would like me to feature your artwork on my blog? If so, write me: email@example.com
All illustrations were published with permission from Amalia Russiello.
It’s already the end of Noirvember’s second week! I don’t know where all this time went to be honest. Do you?
Tonight I’m publishing an English version of one of my older posts – still on topic though! So if you are an aspiring femme fatale and in need of some tips, read on…
The fatal woman. Mysterious, strong, sensual; everyone wants her, but no one can have her.
She’s got the look!
Take the example of film noir stars. Avoid flashy, bright colors. Choose subdued, jewel tones: black, bottle green, burgundy, dark violet. Match them to your skin tone. Invest in black or beige trench and some sexy heels. Emphasize your figure but do not exaggerate it. Remember about accessories – there don’t have to be a lot of them (there even shouldn’t), but a string of pearls, a pair of gloves or a stylish hat often give the whole outfit this desired note of elegance. Work on hairstyles, make-up, manicure – femme fatale certainly does not have short, bitten nails! Also have a characteristic scent of perfume – one that everyone will associate with you.
When I’m good, I’m very good. But when I’m bad, I’m better.
Speak in a low voice. Think about the way Scarlett Johansson speaks, or the way Lauren Bacall, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich spoke. Women with low voices are seen as more sexy! In the movie “The Iron Lady” there is a scene when Margaret Thatcher’s advisor tells her, “[,,,] the main thing is your voice. It’s too high and it has no authority”. Meryl Streep as Thatcher immediately lowers her voice register by an octave and responds, “That’s the tone that we want to strike.” A high, squeaky voice is associated with infantility, and this is about being a femme – a woman, not a girl. Try also not to speak too loudly. The trick is not to suddenly start whispering, just to talk so softly that people have to get close to you, to hear you.
Have a sense of humor too. Think of May West or Lauren Bacall. Dialogues from their films are full of sparkling double entendres. A sense of humour is a sign of intelligence, which is very sexy.
Be mysterious. Do not let everyone you know how you feel and what is happening with you. Being a riddle is part of the charm of the real femme fatale. Be a lady. Be independent. A femme fatale is certainly a strong woman. A person who can take care of herself and is not afraid of responsibility. She pays for her drinks, opens the door, drives the car. That does not mean you cannot let a gentleman do it for you – but let him know that you can take care of yourself too. Also know how, if needed, to politely but firmly say “no”. Femme fatale often plays with fire, so she must be able to take care of her own safety.
What are you drinking?
“Femme fatale” drink:
- 1 oz of vodka
- 1 oz Southern Comfort
- 1 oz Grand Marnier
- 1 oz Amaretto
- 2 oz of pineapple juice
- 2 oz orange juice
- 1/2 oz Grenadine
oz is an acronym for American ounce which is approximately 30 ml. Southern Comfort is a bourbon liqueur with 35% alcohol content.
Combine all ingredients in shaker, shake, serve on ice. Most recipes suggest the use of a hurricane glass, but a martini glass looks much more elegant;)
Hello lovelies! In this Noirvember post, we’re back to the topic of music! As you may remember, in my previous music-oriented post I wrote that the sound of film noir is, ostensibly, jazz. But what would the modern sound of film noir be? I think the music of Jill Tracy provides a very good example.
Modern-Day Woman of Mystery
Who is this Jill Tracy? You might know her music without realizing it’s hers! Noirvember is the perfect occasion to get to know her music, as it is a combination of sultry vocals, evocative piano, and dark, dark mood.
(from Jill Tracy’s website)
Jill Tracy is a San Francisco-based singer/pianist, storyteller, and “sonic archeologist” who has garnered multiple awards and a passionate following for her beautifully haunting, cinematic music, sophisticated lyrics, old-world glamour—and curious passion for strange tales.
Hailed a “femme fatale for the thinking man” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Jill Tracy was described by NPR’s All Things Considered as “utterly intriguing, transporting you into a magical world solely of her creation.” LA Weekly has deemed her “the cult darling of the Underworld.”
Her music has appeared on film and television, including Showtime’s Dexter, CBS hit Navy NCIS, and the motion picture Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
“Diabolical Streak”, the album I’m specifically recommending to you, is Jill Tracy’s second album. I think artists of burlesque, cabaret and belly dance will definitely recognize its songs, as they are very popular. Jill Tracy recorded three other albums after “Diabolical Streak”. One of them is a score to F.W. Murnau’s 1922 silent vampire classic “Nosferatu”, an another is an “accidental Christmas album”. According to her website, she is currently recording new material. Still, none of her other recordings reached the popularity of “Diabolical Streak”.
Please, listen to these few of my favourites, although I highly recommend listening to the whole album!
Do you like Jill Tracy’s music? Do you have your favourite artists whose music makes you think of film noir? Perhaps you even have a speciali playlist for Noirvember? If so, please share it in the comments!
Time for another film noir classic for Noirvember! Today I’m recommending you all watch “Gilda”.
Gilda, are you decent?
Much like “The Maltese Falcon” was the film that made Humphrey Bogart the ultimate film noir detective, “Gilda” made Rita Hayworth one of the greatest femmes fatales. The movie somewhat consciously references “Casablanca”, which came out four years earlier. The eponymous heroine is stranded in Buenos Aires at the end of the second world war, trapped between her sadistic, middle-aged husband, the Nazi-sympathiser Ballin Mundson (George Macready), and her ex-lover, the cruel, amoral American adventurer, Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford). Gilda herself is no saint either. The overall plot is arguably quite darker than was usual at the time. There is even some homoerotic subtext to the relationship between Ballin and Johnny! The ending might surprise some of the first-time viewers, especially those who mostly know about the movie from its iconic musical scene or the hair-flip moment.
Still, I have to say that the hair flip is arguably one of the most memorable character introductions in film history.
“Gilda” is notable not only for its story but, perhaps even more than that, for its style. Hayworth’s wardrobe is enviable, the staging of musical number is just phenomenal, and the photography is beautiful.
As was the case with other noir classics I wrote about before, it’s not a surprise that “Gilda” was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. It goes without saying that you should definitely watch it!
Interesting fact: did you know that the black dress worn by Rita Hayworth in the “Put The Blame on Mame” scene has its own Wikipedia page? And that it was one of the inspirations behind the character of Jessica Rabbit from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”?
What are your favourite noir classics? Do you have your own Noirvember watch list? Please share it in the comments!
The Art of Film Poster
In this Noirvember series I do intend to explore more than just noir films themselves. So today I want to look at something that sometimes we, quite unfairly, forget when we think about films – and that is film posters.
My motherland, Poland, is known in the international film community for its unique, artistic film posters. And I mean known. As BFI writes:
Established in 1947, the Polish School of Posters was a loose association of artists headed by Henryk Tomaszewski. Tomaszewski taught at Warsaw Fine Art Academy and encouraged his students to move away from posters created in western Europe, which he considered to be too commercial.
It was a bold undertaking but the breakthrough came at the 1948 International Poster Exhibition in Vienna (organised by Austrian graphic artist Victor Theodor Slama). Two thousand posters from 18 countries were exhibited, and Tomaszewski and Eryk Lipiński won 12 gold medals between them.
So in today’s Noirvember post I would like to show you some of my favourite Polish posters for various noir films.
Do you pay attention to film posters? Have you seen some of these before? Or maybe you have some favourites that I did not mention? Please write in the comments!
Are you enjoying this Noirvember series so far? Maybe you have some specific topics you would like me to write about? Drop me a line in the comments, via e-mail or on my fan page!
Hello darlings! In today’s Noirvember post I want to write a few words about noir films created outside the US of A. Noir seems like a very American genre, but in reality, it took inspiration from German expressionism and Italian neo-realism. What is more, many classic film noir directors (Robert Siodmak, Fritz Lang, Otto Preminger, Jules Dassin, Michael Curtiz) were in fact European immigrants.
The Third Man (1949)
The 1949 British film noir was directed by Carol Reed and written by Graham Greene. It stars Joseph Cotten, Valli (Alida Valli), Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. The film takes place in post-World-War-II Vienna. It centres on Holly Martins, an American who is given a job in Vienna by his friend Harry Lime, but when Holly arrives in Vienna he gets the news that Lime is dead. Martins then meets with Lime’s acquaintances in an attempt to investigate what he considers a suspicious death. In 1999, the British Film Institute voted The Third Man the greatest British film of all time. It’s a true classic worth watching!
Interesting fact: the title music “The Third Man Theme” topped the international music charts in 1950.
Obsession (1949) (US Title: The Hidden Room)
This 1949 British film directed by Edward Dmytryk is based on the book “A Man About A Dog” by Alec Coppel, who also wrote the screenplay for the film, and turned the story into a novel. The movie is a slow-burning but pretty gruesome story of revenge. Dr. Clive Riordan, a psychiatrist, discovers that his wife, Storm (what a name, right?) is cheating on him. Soon, he resolves to kill his wife’s lover, an American diplomat. “Obsession” was entered into the 1949 Cannes Film Festival.
Shoot the Piano Player (1960) (French Title: Tirez sur le pianiste; UK Title: Shoot the Pianist)
A washed-up classical pianist, Charlie Kohler/Edouard Saroyan, bottoms out after his wife’s suicide — stroking the keys in a Parisian dive bar. The waitress, Lena, is falling in love with Charlie, who, as it turns out, is not who he says he is. When his brothers get in trouble with gangsters, Charlie inadvertently gets dragged into the chaos and is forced to rejoin the family he once fled. The film is a strange mix of slapstick comedy and heartbreak. A man swears to his honesty on his mother’s soul, and the camera cuts away to dear old mom as she falls down dead in her kitchen. The movie is also interesting for its mix of filming techniques. The director, François Truffaut, uses many elements of French New Wave cinema: extended voice-overs, out-of-sequence shots, and sudden jump cuts. The movie references the style of Hollywood B movies from 1940s, as well as Charlie Chaplin, the Marx brothers and “Citizen Kane”.
Le Doulos (1962) (The Finger Man)
At the beginning of the movie, there is an information for the viewer, that the title refers to a style of hat or a police informant. Naturally, the film provides an abundance of both. As is very often with noir films, “Le Doulos” is based on a novel by Pierre Lesou. Writer-director Jean-Pierre Melville blends Lesou’s words with twists on symbols and staples of American noir. Quentin Tarantino cited the screenplay for “Le Doulos” as one of his personal favorite, and said it was a large influence on his debut picture “Reservoir Dogs”.
Elevator to the Gallows (1958) (French Title: Ascenseur pour l’échafaud)
Since it was the French film critics that gave film noir its name, it’s no wonder that this list contains so many French titles. The mood of American noir is clearly visible in French movies of 1950s and 1960s. Here, the director pays an homage homage to noir and subverts its structure at the same time. As for the plot, the movie is about a pair of criminals, Florence and Julien. They plan on murdering Florence’s husband, but their plan quickly falls apart when the Julien gets stuck in an elevator. The film also contains an unorthodox, experimental editing and somber, Miles Davis-performed jazz score.
So, have you seen any of these films? Or maybe you’ve got your favourite non-American noir films? If so, write them in the comments. For more ideas, check out this list of international noir films by Flavorwire.
Another day, another Noirvember post! Let me give you a little spoiler of the things to come later this month. Apart from movies, I am going to write about inspirations behind film noir and inspirations from film noir. I already talked a bit about the sound of film noir, but today I want to focus on the look of film noir.
A Dame to Kill For
Because film noir has such a strong visual style associated with clear emotions, it provides inspiration to fashion designers, photographers & other artists to this day! This is why today, I would like to give you a list of film noir-inspired photo shoots that I have already posted about in the past!
- Style Noir, Vogue Italia (2009)
- Thinking of a Glamorous Time, Vogue Italia (2012)
- Killers Kill, Dead Men Die, Vanity Fair (2007)
Do you think this list is missing some iconic film noir-inspired fashion photo shoot? Share your favourites in the comments!