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Entries in beauty (24)


Barrette or Hairclip?

I’ve always been a bit confused about exactly what a barrette was. Was it like a small hair slide, similar to a bobby pin? Or was it something bigger, like a hair clip used to clasp a substantial amount of hair? I’ve never, before now, been so befuddled that I was actually prompted to investigate this mysterious lingo. However, investigative journalism lead me to do some research, and I discovered something amazing …

A barrette and a hairclip are the same thing! Revolutionary. It is a completely generic term. It is, of course, an American word, while hairclip, hair slide or hair clasp are British English. I own many hair clips and slides and clasps, including this cobalt velvet number that features a knot design in the centre of the oval.

I’ve always been a bit confused about exactly what a barrette was.

Years ago, when I was in China, I went on a frenzy of buying, and trawled every market and shopping centre in search of interesting clips. I’ve also invested in some higher-quality French-made clips by Paris Mode; the French stainless steel is much stronger than that of more inexpensive brands. (Check them out online – the prices are waaay cheaper than in retail stores. I think the website is new, for last time I looked it didn’t exist.)

Since I am seriously thinking about chopping off my hair again, it behoves me to get lots of wear out of them while my hair is still long. It’s the only thing I lament about cutting off my locks – not being able to put them up!

Photo: August 2016


Bob Cuts

Celebrating the Roaring Twenties in a Special Series

While I am still happy with a bob haircut (and loooooving short hair in general), each time I visit my hairdresser Alex from Lady Marmalade, I have to indulge him and let him do something a little different – otherwise he gets bored. (And a bored hairdresser is a dangerous hairdresser.)

After cross-examining me about what I was into at the moment (minimalism), Alex came to the conclusion that a sharper, more geometric cut would be the go this time. The last few bobs my hair has either angled up or down, with a more three-dimensional look; this time he cut it straight across for a simpler shape. He also left my bangs much longer than previously, which of course means he will see me sooner than usual for a trim.

(Left to right, from top): Gloria Swanson, Irene Castle, Marion Davies, Pola Negri, Virginia Valli, Aileen Pringle, Billie Dove, Colleen Moore and Blanche Sweet. (Click on image for larger version.)I have flirted with bobs all my life in many permutations, but not quite as many as this collection found at Glamour Daze. (I have never been tempted by sideburns, for instance – Leatrice Joy’s hairdo below is distinctly joyless.) Why do I like a bob so much, I wondered? It’s classic, simple, elegant, but it is also cute, sexy and somewhat fey. I am sure I am much more mischievous wearing a bob too! And of course I like it simply because I have been enamoured of the 1920s forever.

Leatrice Joy

Whenever I have cut my hair short again after growing it, everyone always exclaims how much it suits me – and I reflect how by comparison I feel so dowdy with long hair. I think I will be wearing it short for a while to come. (I might let Alex cut it into a different style one day though. Maybe. It won’t have sideburns though.)


Dreaming of Curls

Last year in Queensland I purchased some very sweet hair curlers from Dream Wavers, at a stall at Eumundi Markets. They are fabric-covered with a foam core, fasten with Velcro, and are soft enough to sleep comfortably in them. I managed to find a set made with a retro cherry-print fabric. They are trimmed with little red satin bows too. Cuteness overload!

Unfortunately I never quite got round to using them, because my hair was too long. Yes, it is possible for your hair to be too long, simply because one’s arms are not long enough to roll up the curlers neatly – or maybe I’m just unhandy? And then I cut off my hair into a bob, and now it is far too short! (This is sounding a bit like a Goldilocks adventure.)

But is this reason enough to grow my hair again? I’m rather fancying a 40s retro style next – something like this …?

Lauren Bacall

Or this? (Okay this is the same hairstyle, except Veronica’s is longer. I’d better start practising my smoulder too.) 

Veronica Lake


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Lady of Oz :: Tinto 1848 // Pistil // No flashSix or seven years ago in Hong Kong I bought the Most Fabulous Nail Polish Ever. A rich cherry red, it is chockfull of glitter, and shines like Dorothy’s ruby slippers on the end of my fingertips. It is by Revlon, and aptly its name is Firecracker. It was on sale too, I recall. Its only drawback is the difficulty in taking it off – the glitter is pernicious, so I haven’t worn it as much as I ought to have over the years.

Firecracker :: Melodie // Pistil // No flashIt is so old now that when I do apply it, the polish lasts only a day or two before it starts chipping – even with a base coat, a double coat of colour, and a top coat. Sadly, I can’t find a replacement anywhere.

Bue on Blue :: Melodie // Pistil // No flashRecently I found a clear nail polish infused with blue glitter, also by Revlon. It would look fantastic layered over the Christmas beetle iridescent teal nail polish I already owned, I decided. (A combination sure to appeal to the little girl still lurking in all of us.) But this would take commitment I knew: two layers of blue, and then two more layers of glitter, and then a top coat.

I watched a movie while I applied the polishes.

Christmas Beetle Teal :: Melodie // Pistil // No flashAnd what a spectacular result! Instead of Dorothy, I look like a denizen of Oz’s Emerald City. For now, I’m happy – no need to click my heels just yet. 

Here’s a free tip: if your polish is not the super speedy drying sort, stick your fingers under cold running water to harden the polish and hasten the drying process. Sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it works.

Glitter :: Melodie // Pistil // No flash


Je Ne Regrette Rien

Celebrating the Roaring Twenties in a Special Series

I have had my hair short for a while: the first bob was cut longer at the back but this new haircut has it quite short at the back, which I love. It is such a liberating feeling; so easy to style and fast to dry in the mornings.

But recently I was trawling back through the archives and came across a photo of my hair at its longest and I had to gasp at just how long it was. Mad. All one length, it was dull too, with nary a layer to enliven it. Mind you, I barely ever wore it out – I liked to have it long so I could put it up! And since that was the case, it may as well be short I thought. I have no regrets!