A Hidden Gem for Vintage Lifestyles – Bramcost Publications

We love living a vintage-inspired lifestyle every day of the year. Sometimes, we even go hardcore vintage lifestyle. At those times we want to wear vintage, eat vintage (recipes), watch vintage (movies), make vintage (crafts), and listen (to) vintage (music). And we’ve found that some of the best sources for authentic guidance in the vintage lifestyle are publications from Bramcost. Covering every era from the 1800s to the 1960s, Bramcost Publications specializes in reprinting vintage materials. They offer a wide range of topics but many of their titles cover sewing, crocheting, knitting, and hairstyling of decades past.

Want to really feel like you are a Victorian beauty? Try Manual of Ladies Hairdressing for Students – Over 35 Authentic Victorian Hairstyles With Instructions by A. Mallemont. 

Have you been watching too much Mr. Selfridge (as seen on PBS – see earlier post)? Feeling the need to make your own Edwardian hat? You really must read Practical Home Millinery — Edwardian Hat and Veil 
Pattern Making, Techniques and Construction by Amy Reeve. Although, some of us just love the romanticism of Hope Chest — Vintage Wedding Guide to Preparing a Bridal Trousseau by Royal Society.

Our favorite, when we’re in a 1930s mood, is Make-Up — 1930s Beauty Instruction and Technique by Virginia Vincent. 

Feeling like the 40s? Beauty, Glamour & Personality — A Complete 1940s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Elegance by Ern and Bud Westmore gets rave reviews from most web sites (Don’t believe us? Check out what people have to say on Amazon.com.)

If the 50s are more your style, then the Westmore’s also wrote the Westmore Beauty Book — A Complete 1950s Guide to Vintage Makeup, Hairstyling and Beauty Techniquesby Bud, Perc, Frank, Mont and Wally Westmore.

The best part: they have a blog focused on vintage tidbits, recipes, and free vintage patterns for crochet, sewing, and hairstyling. Talk about a delightful and fun-filled hodgepodge of vintage info! Although it’s currently on hiatus, they plan to revive the blog with all sorts of new posts in the fall. In the meantime, catch up on all of their previous posts. One of our favorites is the recipe for Stuffed Frankfurters from 1937.


What are your favorite vintage crafts or hobbies?

Gatsby is the Cat’s Pajamas

The merchandising and marketing machine is working at full speed in anticipation of Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby, opening Friday, May 10th.  Here’s some fun products inspired by the film and the 1920s Jazz Age.

Our favorite vintage cosmetics line has gotten in on the act with their new Art Deco Collection.  Channel the elegance and beauty of Daisy Buchanan with Noir Red Lipstick and Black Liquorice Lip Glaze.

For the fellas check out Brooks Brothers Gatsby Collection.  Inspired by the costumes designed by Catherine Martin for the film this collection is the pinnacle of the stylish and suave man of the 20s.  Sadly this is a menswear line only.  Worth checking out the site to see the collaboration behind creating the collection including pictures from the Brooks Brothers archives.
Striped Regatta Jacket
Real men wear pink linen
Now for the drool worthy portion of our post.  Tiffany presents an extraordinary collection of jewels for director Baz Luhrmann’s film The Great Gatsby, created in collaboration with Catherine Martin.  They are truly stunning, I can’t wait to see them in the film.  Check them out here.
*Post updated May 9th
Kate Spade, my favorite brand, has gotten in on the Gatsby craze as well.  Adding to their collection of book cover clutches check out The Great Gatsby Book Clutch.

Red Hot

Red lipstick is a signature of vintage glam.  Popular in the 1930s and 1940s this is a must have item for all vintage lovers.  It’s also an easy and affordable way to infuse vintage style into your everyday routine.  

Now I’m not usually a bright lipstick girl and my work is pretty casual but some days you just need to break out that red lipstick and go for it.  It’s amazing how something that simple can change your outlook on the day and add a bounce to your step.  Similar to a great pair of heels, red lipstick gives you that “I am a strong, beautiful women so look out world” feeling.  And don’t we all need that some days?

“Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick. “ – Gwyneth Paltrow

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I will admit that I was afraid of red lipstick for a while though.  It can be intimidating.  Do I go with cherry red?  Brick red?  A blue undertone or orange for my skin tone?  How do I keep it from smearing all over my face?  Never fear, we are here with a quick guide to all things red:

1.  Picking your shade:  This was always the most difficult part for me and there is lots of conflicting advice out there.  The best and most useful advice I found is that choosing a red is less about the shade (orange-red, blue-red, true red) but how bright that color is against your skin tone. So for instance if you have fair skin an orange-red will be a really bright pop on you.  Doesn’t mean it won’t work but it’s something to note and adjust the rest of your makeup accordingly.  More information and examples can be found in this article.

On a recent shopping trip to a local vintage store we were very excited to find this line of cosmetics.  The packaging alone is worth checking out Besame cosmetics.   I have their classic color lipstick in Red Velvet, described as a “deep, rich red flattering on most skin tones. Great for office wear or everyday red, neutral and not too bright.”  It looks great on my fair skin. 

2.   Keep the rest of your makeup simple and clean, especially for a day time look.  Personally I just do my basic foundation, blush, powder and mascara routine and let the lipstick be the star of the show.

3.  Prevent color bleed:  Find a lip liner shade that’s close to your natural lip color and use it to outline and fill in your lips.  This will help the color to not bleed and avoiding red liner will prevent a two-tone effect from mismatched shades of red.  An alternate option for preventing “bleeding” is to apply a little concealer around the border of your mouth.

Do you have any favorite red lipsticks or great tips for wearing red lipstick?  Sound off in the comments below.

“I said pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.”  

 ― Marilyn Monroe