13 May 2010

In which Hestia admits that she is NOT Dita Von Teese

I love Dita Von Teese.  In fact, I have a strange fascination for burlesque strippers in general. That fascination is for another post, another time.  Today I want to look at the Retro Glamour look.  Here's Kristin Scott Thomas, a gorgeous-looking woman looking, frankly.....ancient.

There's no two ways about it, the full 1950s starlet retro look can only be successfully worn by the young and unblemished.  On the rest of us - even the magnificent Ms Scott Thomas - it looks aging.

Here's someone called Kate Bosworth working the vintage retro look.  Sadly, I've got no idea who Kate Bosworth is, so don't know whether it is making her look older or not.  She could be some 14 year-old from High School Musical for all I know. Still, she looks great.

Ages ago, I bought myself two MAC scarlet lipsticks and ended up giving both of them away because, teamed with a pale face, penciled brows and a retro frock, I resembled my grand-mother. And she's dead.

I reckon that there must be a way for us more mature ladies to work the Von Teese look without looking severe and withered....and my solution is this:

Yes, rock the glamorous hair styles, but NOT severely like Kristin has done here.  Yes, get your curlers in, but make sure that there are little stray whisps to soften the look.  See Bosworth curls.

Don't go for too red a lippy.  Again, as per Bosworth

Don't pencil your eyebrows too darkly - both Scott Thomas and Bosworth get this right ;-)

Body-con clothes need body-con underwear - Scott Thomas looks perfect.  Needless to say, I did not.


  1. No ! You are not allowing for Scott-Thomas being in harsh lighting, Bosworth isn't. Bosworth is also retro-ing a different decade entirely !
    And I have never pencilled my eyebrows ....why do people do that again ?? :-)

  2. I am the same age as Kate Bosworth, and I can't do it. I'm just not that glam - I always feel too dressed up. I do red lipstick(that a certain person sent me ;)) with jeans and a t-shirt, and have been known to rock fingerwaves and pin curls, but again in jeans and a t-shirt. I can't go the who hog at all!

  3. Viv - the point is that we can't all be under soft lighting and you really NEED soft lighting because it's such a difficult look to pull off.

    I know Bosworth is referencing a different era, but principles are the same. She hasn't gone for 'authentic' pencilled eyes or rosebud mouth - but you do get a great 20s vintage vibe regardless.

    LM - I bet you could too pull off the whole vintage look! But mixing it up with your own flavours is much more interesting anyway!

    Eyebrow pencilling - you get to a certain age and your brows vanish. They get very pale and even sparse! Another thing about growing older that my mother never shared LOL!

    Ali x

  4. Got a brilliant quote from @ditavonteese.

    A follower said: I love that black-haired, white-skinned, red-lip look. But someone just said its "scary".

    La Teese's reply: 'Filters out the weak'.

    And there you have it!

  5. Dear Ali, I love all the burlesque girls and I also think Kristen S T is stunning. It's brilliant you are doing burlesque. I thought about it and have had few emails but have never got it together. I love all the dressing up. I bet you look fabulous! xx


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