The Beehive!

Sunday night at Drawn and Plastered Stars in Pink Hawaii, I wore my first beehive. I did it myself and had it perfected and expanded by our hairstylist for the night Holly Hui. And now I want to wear one every day! Not Marge Simpson at all, it’s a super cute look and I’m its newest fan. It’s really not all that hard either. So I’ve decided to map it out. You will require: A rat, fine-toothed comb, hairspray, and the Austin Powers soundtrack.


The first thing is just to grab all the hair on the top of your head and comb it forward so it’s out of the way. This is all about the crown. This should take about a second and a half. I’ll wait.


Now, the most important thing to create a beehive is a rat, or hair filler. I mean, you don’t NEED one, but it’s a hell of a lot harder without it, and you’re more likely to end up with a rat’s nest instead. I use a long narrow rat for bumper bangs, so I curved it into a U shape with the middle facing up for this look. You can also just use a round or ball-y shaped one. A lot of people put cotton or fake/real hair into some pantyhose or a hair net for this. Bumpits are crap btw. Put your rat on the crown of your head or slightly higher in case of sagging or just to make it all the more epic. Pin it in place. Then bit by bit, take the hair from the top of your head and tease the living shit out of it, and pin it over the rat. Do this until you look like Dolly Parton. The last bit that will cover the surface should be left smooth. Then you just need pomade and a light touch with a comb to smooth the top out, and lot of hairspray. I slept in mine and it somehow actually survived, only shrinking a little. Which was perfect as I was feeling lazy and liked it and wanted to leave it up for work. Anyway, you can leave the bottom in beachy waves like Bridgette Bardot, put it in a ponytail, or for more of a Hairspray or formal look, twist it up into a French twist and tuck the ends in.
Holy crap that was easy.

This is not me, but I do feel this fabulous.

A Revelation About Rats

This article is probably going to be fairly short, since what I have to teach today is awesomely easy and simple – you don’t have to buy anything for a rat. They don’t even have to be your hair color, though it’s nice if it is, and they don’t even have to be shaped to perfection.


You can of course buy rats. I’ve seen them on Amazon. They’re in different hair colors and snap together at the ends to make a bun shape. Some people decide instead to get some of their hair, or fake hair, and put it into a hair net and shape it. That’s a good idea too. But I do even less than this and it’s been quite a success.
I’ve always been partial to socks in my hair. I don’t mean that they look nice or even particularly sane, but I’ve found them to be a good tool in the ol’ hair arsenal. When the cats kept stealing the rag strips I was using for curling, I started using long, thin trouser socks, like short stockings instead. I only needed about 8-10 and they did a great job. I would even say they were better, since they were bigger and less fiddly. I’ve even used paper towels to achieve this, so I’d like to think of myself as something of a hair McGuyver.


So I knew there had to be an easier way to make a rat. Easy as hell really. I simply cut the leg off a pair of torn fishnets, rolled it up, and tied an elastic around it to hold it together. That’s it. The length and thickness was perfect as-is. And because I used fishnets instead of regular stockings, the bobby pins easily have a place to go and it takes minimal pinning to keep it in place. If the ends poke out the sides of my bumper bangs, I do what Lisa Freemont Street instructs and pin up some hair on the side to cover it. A flower does a great job of this too. It’s an extremely adorable and quick style to do, especially if you want to have a pinup look but didn’t have the time or motivation to curl your hair.


Fishnets aren’t the only thing you can use for this. A rolled up bit of lace works too. Anything with holes in it like that is ideal for pinning. I’m sure there’s something in the room you’re sitting in right now that will do. No need to go to the store at all 🙂

Basic 40s and 50s Curl Sets

I love sharing my little revelations with you guys, so since I finally got two basic curl sets figured out I thought I should write a tutorial. I’m going to show you a good basic 40s set, and a basic 50s set. The difference is that the 40s set has more volume on the bottom half and generally lies smooth over the crown, where the 50s set has more volume all over. Though they seem to be so similar you could easily interchange them and hardly anybody would know the difference. Depending on your hair, one could turn out looking like the other.
I’m going to show you the setting patterns for rollers since most of us are not quite skilled enough in the art of pin curls, but if you are they’re easily converted. You’ll have more and smaller curls but the directions will be the same. These are great beginner sets; they don’t involve a bunch of different layers going in opposite directions, and with practice they can easily be done in 10-15 minutes. For the sake of simplicity, I’ll be showing you my own hair after being set by the diagrams I’ve made (though I take no credit for designing them. Chances are a bazillion people before me have done the same ones). The celebrities hair have of course not been done using my diagrams, but it was probably set in a similar way and they do a better job of showing the difference between the decades, and an idealized look at how these should turn out. Now don’t forget your end papers and setting lotion! Ready?

Let’s start with the 40s set.

Front

Back

Veronica Lake, who’s hair is even longer than my own.

Gene Tierney, with a more traditional length.

This set is rolled only up to your ears, excepting the bang area which goes right up to the scalp, so the long curl will help frame your face. All curls will be going down, but you can tilt the ones in front towards your face if you like. You can do this in as many rows as you like, but for normal to fine hair and using rollers one can easily be enough. I prefer to have the curls done in an even row(s) all around the head, so that when you brush it out it creates nice uniform waves, but as every day 40s hair tends to be a little fluffier this isn’t so necessary. This is in fact an excellent set to try doing with pin curls.

You probably won’t need this.

When your hair is set, it might actually look pretty cute. If you come out with kinks in the top, you can use a flat iron or curling iron to smooth it out. Keep in mind that sponge rollers with their plastic clasps do tend to create kinks more than others, so I’m not partial to them. But you can use whatever you’re most comfortable with. I’m loyal to my pillow rollers, and when they’re not available I rag roll with whatever I can find. There’s a how-to video on this at the bottom of the article. Here’s the 40s set done with strips of paper towels. It needed to be brushed again, so don’t mind the ringlets and crazy flyaways.

And now here’s the 50s set.

Damn, I got that on the first try! I wish I could say the same for the second and third tries. We’re all learning together. You might find that this looks similar to the 40s set, however it’s rolled right up to the scalp which creates more volume all over. You can see the difference a lot better on shorter hair.

Elizabeth Taylor’s shorter hair demonstrates the volume starting right from the crown, as opposed to the more bottom-heavy look of the 40s.

Again, keep in mind that your hair cut affects the final look, so you might not have those face framing curls from the pictures. And if your hair is longer like mine, the weight might keep the crown looking smooth and 40s no matter what. That doesn’t mean it won’t look good, just go with what you have and make it yours.

My crappy drawing is a rough guide to how the curls should be positioned. Hopefully it’s not TOO crappy to understand.

As you can see, there are about 4 curls going down the center of the head; the front one going forward and the others going back. The second one can go towards what will be the thick side of your part, but I find it difficult for some reason and unnecessary. Then you’ll have two on each side going down.

The easiest way to go about this is to start with your hair parted deeply to whichever side you prefer, about over the arch of your eyebrow. Grab the section above your ear on the thin side and curl it down, or angled slightly forward if you like. Then grab a section of similar size behind it and curl it down as well, trying to get it to the same level. Then you can do the two curls on the top of your head, separated by another symmetrical parting over the other eyebrow. Curl the other side to match the first, and finally separate what’s left in the back into two curls going downward. Like before, if you have more hair or you’re using smaller rollers or pin curls, you’ll have more curls but they’ll still be going the same way. When you’re done you’ll look incredibly silly. Cover with a Rosie bandanna.

Make sure to brush this one out slowly and against your hand to keep it as smooth as possible, and shape the curls so they blend together. Hopefully you come out with a winner!

Like this!

I hope I explained these well enough. If you have any questions let me know. I’m going to finalize this by showing you a video that explains rag rolling quite well, since it’s incredibly useful if you don’t have any rollers handy and it’s something a lot of people have trouble with. It’s not half as hard as you might think. Good luck, guys!

Taking a Stand Against the LBD

All too often you hear the LBD, that’s the Little Black Dress, being touted as THE must-have clothing item for women. That it’s something you just can’t live without because it’s perfect for day or night, and almost every occasion. But I’m writing here now to take a stand against the LBD, sort of. Why is that?
The little black dress is not a crutch.
I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing to own. I myself don’t own one, by some mind-boggling freak occurrence, but I think it’s something that I really should have. I agree with what they say that it’s great for every occasion, but often I see this being said as though when it comes to dressing we’re expected to be these shrinking violets, these shy, delicate little things who have every reason to be terrified of making even the slightest fashion faux-pas. Well nuts to that!
Fashion is not a formula, it’s an art form, and I’m convinced that the best results are achieved when it’s treated as such. Sure you can accessorize to your heart’s content, but the whole reason the LBD is so popular is due to its simplicity. Simplicity is a great thing, don’t get me wrong, but taken to its extreme, especially when it’s almost the only thing people see you in, it comes across as just plain BORING. So much so that in the effort to be perfect, to never make a fashion mistake, you run a huge risk of not only fading into the background, but looking just like every other woman around you who was playing it safe. And that’s a mistake in itself.
There are definitely some times when you’re going to be completely at a loss for what to wear. Sometimes you’ll want to be extra simple, extra sleek, have that easy sophistication that we all love. And that’s ok. I would never tell anyone not to wear something that they truly WANT to wear. I just don’t think it’s ok to come to rely on it absolutely every time the occasion calls for you to wear anything beyond a pair of jeans. The whole thing almost seems to encourage laziness, while putting some effort into your look beyond that can actually be a lot of fun that you could be missing out on. That’s not fair to you at all.

If you do choose to wear a little black dress, I have one favorite tip I’d like to share with you: red shoes. As someone who’s been involved in the goth community for many years, I’ve learned something very important, and that’s that there’s a difference between looking dark and looking depressing. Head to toe black can look flat, sometimes sad. A pop of red shoes takes it to the next level, from afternoon at a funeral to night on the town, and will help that dress from fading into the background. You can go with any color you like, preferably a bright one, I just find red is the sexiest. A matching hair clip, belt, and bag complete the look for a result that’s far from boring. So you see, even when playing it safe a little creativity can go a very long way.

So I’m going to continue my search for my own perfect little black dress, and just hope that I don’t have to wear it too often 😉