Top Tips Thursday … how to revive your eyebrow kit

Top Tips Thursday:
how to revive your eyebrow kit …

No, these are not my eyebrows – but my gosh, I wish they were!

Now you’ll all know, I’m sure, just HOW IMPORTANT eyebrows are for framing your eyes and giving definition to your face. And there are some glorious products out there to help us get a beautiful defined brow like the one above.  Sadly, I’m not there yet, but I still have a top tip about it ‘cos I’m good like that!

I use the Natio Brow Kit – it’s cheap, it works really well, it’s easy to use and you can get it from Farmers for under $20 when it’s on sale – this is what it looks like when you first get it …

Natio Brow KitAs you can see, there’s a lighter-coloured powder, the darker-coloured powder that I use, and the wax.  Buuuuuutttttt … after a few months … this is how mine looked.

Used Natio
Sad, empty wax bit

See the powder?  Yes.  See the wax?  No.  **insert sad, slightly annoyed face here**

As you can imagine, this left me in quite the conundrum … do I just throw it out, suck it up and buy a new one or find a solution?  By the way – one of my fellow MUO admins said she sometimes uses the powders for contouring – I’m USELESS at contouring, so that wasn’t a go for me.

So whilst I was bemoaning my Natio’s waxless state, I was also cleaning out my bathroom drawers … and it suddenly occurred to me that the hair wax I never use because it’s too heavy for my fine hair might just work on my eyebrows!  For the record, the wax I used was the VO5 styling wax.

So … what I did was scrape it out of the wax container and put it into the “Natio wax bit” with a knife, smoothing it out as I went.

And this is how it looks now.  (And I have enough hair wax to last me for the next 100 years, which is likely to be how long the powder will last judging by how long it’s lasted so far!)

Full Natio

Sorry for the poor photography and the rather large shadow over the corner!

Anyway … it works super well and I now don’t have to splash out a massive $20-odd for a new brow kit. That enormous saving will now be spent on more makeup, so it’s clearly a win:win situation all round right?!  The only thing I will say is that the hair wax is slightly softer than the original wax that was in there, but it doesn’t seem to make much difference to the end “brow result.”

What are your brow tips?  If you want to read more of my incredibly helpful (ha!) “Top Tips” you can read them here:

Red lipstick survival kit – click here.
How to store your beauty blender – click here.
Does your foundation not stay the distance? – click here.
Tip via Joanne Gair – lipstick as blusher – click here.
Fifty “makeup-py” things to do with a cotton bud – click here.

Kisses and waxy:sexy eyebrows …



If I had $800 to spend at Shoes of Prey …

If I had $800 to
spend at Shoes of Prey …

SOP 1A while ago I decided to do a little series of posts on what I’d buy if I had $800 to spend in certain places, ‘cos I’m shallow like that! Sadly, I don’t actually have $800 to randomly spend on unnecessary things, but I’m not going to let the facts get in the way of a good story!  The first in the series was Pinup Girl Clothing and since then I’ve done Louis Vuitton (but I had to change it to $8,000 for them!) Sephora and Lush.

Shoes of Prey 1Sooo … for today’s faux-shopping expedition we’re heading to an online mecca for shoe-lovers such as Mumpty, known as Shoes of Prey.  Shoes of Prey is the brilliant brainchild of Jodie Fox – its an online dreamworld where you can design your own pair of shoes – to your own specifications – and Shoes of Prey will magically make them happen!  There’s everything from kitten heels to flat Oxfords, ballet flats and sky-high stilettos.  There is also over 170 fabrics and shades to choose from and a range of embellishments as well.  And not only can you choose your own colour, you can customise different parts of the shoe, adding texture and contrast – think matt black ballet flats with a patent black toe tip and maybe a gorgeous red lining – and that’s just off the top of my head!

Honestly, get on there and have a play with their 3D designer – SO.MUCH.FUN!  Three words that sum up Shoes of Prey? … your perfect shoes.

So anyway … if I had $800 to spend at Shoes of Prey these would be my (initial) picks:

Pick number one – gold and black ballet flats – $244 ($556 left)

SOP_Ballet flats 1

SOP_Ballet_flats 3


Everyone needs a classic ballet flat and these are just that little bit extra-special right?  I LOVE the gold textured body of the shoe with the accent of black patent on the toe cap and the little black patent bow.  I am also super-impressed by the red leather lining.  I think when I start my Shoes of Prey collection, I will include a red leather lining on all my creations – and by the way, you can personalise them even further by having an inscription on them.  How cool would it be to design your own FABULOUS wedding shoes and have the date of your wedding inscribed on them – yes, thats right – SO cool.

♥ Pick number two – nude pump – $254 ($302 left)

SOP_Nude Pump1 SOP_Nude pump2

A good pair of nude pumps make your legs look like they go FOREVER – and that’s what we girlies all want isn’t it!  This is a beautiful colour; not too dark, not too bleh.  The height is great too – not sky-high and uncomfortable to wear, but still high enough and fine enough to be sexy.  And just imagine them with a red leather lining **le sigh**

♥ Pick number three – pink pumps with contrast Mary Jane strap – $254 ($47 left) 

SOP_Pink pumps 1 SOP_Pink pumps 2 SOP_Pink pumps 3I was literally bemoaning the fact just this very morning that I don’t have a nice pair of pink heels.  These ones are classy as heck if you ask me – and that Mary Jane-style strap across the ankle is clear, clever, clever.  Especially how they’ve done it in the nude leather – it gives you the best of both worlds really; the security of the strap and the look of almost a bare leg all the way up.  Big pat on the back to whichever clever lady designed these.  Heel height is good too – very wearable.

And whilst I was trawling the Shoes of Prey site, I came across this nude and gold version of the same shoe but with a higher heel – these shoes would jolly well tempt Mumpty immensely! In fact, I would put the remaining $47 from my $800 budget toward them I think!

Shoes of Prey – $254

And here’s a pair that I designed all by myself … hotttttt right?!  These came out at $279.


And there we have it … $800+ dusted at Shoes of Prey!!  I strongly advise you to go and have a look; there’s a wonderful gallery of all the different shoes other ladies have created; you can design your own and add them to your wish list;  there’s tips and tricks for how to get the best results; you can order samples – it’s amazing.  Go to it!  But be prepared to be on there for a while …

Have the shoes of your dreams in no time at all …




NB: All images are taken from the Shoes of Prey website and are quoted in NZ dollars.  This post is not endorsed in any way by Shoes of Prey (sadly!) – it’s just for fun. 

Inspirational Women: Carissa Ludlow

Inspirational Women: Carissa Ludlow


As part of my Inspirational Women series, I have been lucky enough to have Carissa Ludlow, an ex-work friend, consent to come on my blog and share her passion and knowledge about the sport of women’s body building.

As you can appreciate from the photo above, Carissa works EXTREMELY hard to get her body in extreme shape like this and I, for one, am in awe of the dedication and determination that goes into achieving this level of body building perfection.

Like many women, I was pretty much completely ignorant about body building and what it involved, but I found it really interesting – particularly as I’d known Carissa before she took up body building and was interested to hear her story and what drives her to succeed.  And succeed she does … at the end of this article I have listed Carissa’s awesome achievements in her sporting arena – read it and weep!

But now, onto the Q&A …

Q1.  Have you always been fit? What had been your fitness regime prior to becoming a body builder?
I’ve been a member of a gym for as long as I can remember but was never shown how to train properly or educated about building muscle … I was your typical “no clue what I’m doing” gym goer!

I was also a middle distance runner and have completed a fair few ½ marathons. I was more cardio-orientated, falsely believing that cardio alone would give me a super tight lean body.

Q2.  How did you decide to become a body builder? Was it just a decision you made one day and you just went from there, or was it a natural progression of the fitness work you were already doing?
I decided to enter my first competition in 2012, after I had been through a bit of a game-changer in my personal life.  I was back to working full-time and needed a new direction in life … it was either pubs or the gym!  The gym won and after placing 3rd in my first bikini competition with the NZIFBB (New Zealand International Federation of Body Building) I was hooked!

Q3.  How long does it take to get from “off-season Carissa” to “competition-ready Carissa?”
I prefer to lose my weight slowly and in the healthiest way possible, so I usually start my pre-competition dieting 18 weeks out.  

I have a seven year-old daughter so I have to make sure I go about getting competition-ready in the healthiest and least extreme way … kids are very impressionable and I can’t take any chances of her seeing bad/extreme behaviour around food and exercise.

Carissa 2

Q4.  How many hours a day do you spend in the gym?
The time I spend in the gym varies depending on if I’m “off season” or getting ready for a competition.

If I’m “off season” I’ll be in and out in just over an hour. If I’m in pre-comp mode I can be there just over two hours, but that’s including my cardio requirement.  I don’t believe in spending long amounts of time in the gym … I’d rather be at home with my daughter!

Q5. Is it an expensive sport?
Aaaah yes – extremely expensive!  When you take into account all your supplement needs (protein powder, glutamine etc,) gym membership, kilos of chicken breasts (!) competition figure suits as well as hair, make-up, shoes and jewellery!  You just need to make wise decisions as to what you spend your money on.

Q6.  Where do you learn your posing techniques from?
I was taught by an instructor for my first figure competition, but over the years I have researched and tweaked my posing to show off my figure in the best way possible while keeping to the guidelines of the IFBB.

I also use YouTube to keep myself up-to-date with how the Pro Figure girls are posing in the overseas competitions.  Posing is something that can make or break your stage appearance so you have to practice, practice, practice!  It can be pretty scary being up in front of 500+ people wearing not much at all, but this is your only 2.5 minutes to show off your year of hard work!

Q7.  What is the most common misconception about your sport?
That women who lift weights end up looking like a man.

Carissa 3

Q8.  What is the hardest thing about your sport?
The hardest thing for me is the time it takes me away from my daughter, which would be the same if I was involved in any other sport.  I also miss chocolate!

Q9.  What is the best thing about your sport?
I love changing the way my body looks; if I have a weak point I work hard to make it a strength.  It’s such a satisfying feeling seeing the changes you make from one competition to the next. On a completely different level, I love it when people come up to me and say they’ve been motivated by my journey.

Q10.  Without giving away too many secrets, what would you typically eat the day before a big competition?
The day before competition is all about the carbohydrates!! Kumara, potatoes … that kind of thing.

Q11.  There’s a commonly-held belief that women who do bodybuilding have to maintain that level of fitness forever or their muscles will turn to fat – what are your thoughts on this?
No – muscle is muscle and fat is fat – muscle doesn’t turn in to fat and fat doesn’t turn in to muscle.  The only way you’ll put on fat is if you put in more calories than your body needs.  That goes for everyone regardless if you’re a runner, tennis player, yoga addict or body builder.

Q12.  You said you have an “off-season” – do you relax completely, food-wise, during that time or are you still super-careful?
I don’t completely relax; I don’t think I ever will now that I know more about food and what is in certain things.

I have my treats but also make sure my protein intake is high.  My off season time is spent trying to grow, so I make sure I have excess calories and the protein intake to support that.  During my off season my weight goes up to roughly 10kg above my competing weight.  It’s important for me to show my daughter that her Mum is happy off season with extra weight and also happy being lean come competition time.

Carissa 4

Q13.  How hard is it to gain that much muscle definition?   Women seem to worry about “bulking up” but is it really that easy?
It’s hard enough for men to build muscle and they have a lot more testosterone than us females!   It takes years of hard work and heavy training to build muscle, whether you’re female or male.  Women lifting weights is a good thing – the more muscle we have the faster our metabolism is, our bone density increases and the chances of osteoarthritis gets lower … AND we don’t need to make two trips to bring the groceries in! 

Carissa is a Figure competitor in the sport of bodybuilding and has competed at a national and international level since 2012 with the New Zealand International Federation of Body Building (NZIFBB).

Carissa is a Mum and works full-time, but manages to squeeze in her training needs around the busy timetable of school drop-offs, work commitments, swimming lessons and playground adventures!

Carissa’s competition results:
2012: 2nd Place, Novice Figure Short, Waikato
 2012: 1st Place, Novice Figure Short, Nationals
♥ 2013: 1st Place, Open Figure Short, Wellington and Overall Figure
 2013: 3rd Place, Open Figure Short, Nationals
 2014: 1st Place, Open Figure Short, Wellington
2014: 3rd Place, Open Figure Short, Nationals
 2015: 4th Place, Open Figure Short, Arnold Amateur, Melbourne
 2015: 2nd Place, Open Figure Short, Pro-Am, Auckland

Thank you Carissa for giving us such a candid peek into the world of a highly successful female body builder.  I think what you do is awesome – all power to you and I really appreciate you adding a different dimension to MumptyStyle’s normal pinup-style girls!  Great women come in all shapes and sizes don’t they?!

Visit Carissa’s Facebook page here.

Muscles and curves …






Sartorial secrets: Madam Rou

Sartorial Secrets: behind the scenes
at Miss Pinup NZ 2015Madam Rou 

Madam Rou Daywear front
All images taken by Craigen Durrant and edited by Madam Rou

(If this is the first post you’ve read in Sartorial Secrets, click here to find out the background behind the series.)

Next in the Miss Pinup NZ Sartorial Secrets series is the stunning and very, very clever, Madam Rou!   Read on to find out her sartorial secrets …

Where did you source your items (including shoes, handbags, accessories etc?)
The outfits for my day wear, talent and swim wear sections, and most of my accessories, were by the fabulous Cherry Bomb … aka me!  I made each and every piece (except for the heels, apron, pearls, diamonds and hair scarf).  

I asked a friend (Lady De Vil) if she wanted to craft my evening gown by using an old design I’ve had in my head since I was younger, but with such little time left at the end it unfortunately was not able to be finished but still completely wearable!  I also created my accessories, which was so much fun to do.  The day wear bracelet, earrings and hair pieces I decided to make as if I had been in a garden, so I guess you could say my theme there was The Secret Garden.

Madam Rou Accessories

The “Talent” dress fitted my “House Wife Secrets” look rather well for being an old-school Pinup DIY mum (earrings also made), and by golly I felt like one!

The swim wear needed to have more of my personality in it with a dash of sass … animal print it was!  Yes, of course I made the bone clips too, earrings, shoe clip-ons and headband (unseen in my photos due to my daughter now taking ownership of them!) and tail!

Madam Rou Swimwear

My evening accessories were misplaced before the show, but originally I had a crown diamond clip that my Nan got me for my 21st and an old cut glass necklace I found in my mother’s jewels – naturally they were found the day after … there’s always going to be something missing!

What inspired your choices – was it your pinup name/character, your personal interests/something you’d seen worn by someone you admire/old movies etc?
Personality seemed to win overall and thinking along the lines of what would I wear if we jumped back in time.  The colour of my day wear was a combination of my daughter’s favourite colours and mine – purple/green.

My talent 100% to match my pinup entry video and my swim wear is hard to miss if you knew my daughter who spends 80% of her time being a cat!

What accessories did you wear and how/why did you choose them?
The purple/white floral pieces represent the time I spent as a child in gardens in my “safe place” – it’s hard to explain but when there’s a garden to explore, the rest of the world disappears.

Madam Rou Daywear skirt
Another part of my childhood was speedway with my father – I wasn’t too sure how to incorporate it and it wasn’t till after I had made my bone clips and was saying “I’m bad to the bone!” – it seemed to fit in well enough!  For me I didn’t need anything else as I’m quite used to being a tad basic with one fancy piece!

How did the process work for you – did you find the dress, and then accessorise it, or did you find an accessory you love and build it from there …
Go with the flow!  The first month I spent sorting through my already planned tester collections for my Cherry Bomb line that I’ve been prepping to relaunch.

A lot of mind drawing and late nights on my sewing machines with changing designs constantly till I decided to stop thinking about it and just do it and see what I ended up with … i.e. go with what my hands led me to making.

Accessories were quite last-minute … maybe if I had have just put down a couple of cupcakes I’d have gotten that done a lot sooner!

Did your outfits require shape wear?
Not at all!  Although part of the reason for the velvet shorts was to push my butt in a bit, with having a thick stretchy cotton layer on the inner side.

Madam Rou Daywear Shorts

Who made your custom outfits?
Oh I am blushing now!  I felt so greedy making all four myself – the evening dress was pieced together by Clara Pullar from one of my old designs.

Madam Rou evening

What was already in your wardrobe and what items did you buy expressly for Miss Pinup NZ?
All talent items were already lying around thankfully!  Being the crafty seamstress lady I am, it was all done within a squishy tight budget.

Is there anything you’d change about your outfits?  Did you have any wardrobe malfunctions?
If I could do it all again I would make it heavily dramatic, now that I know what it could have looked like on stage.

Clothing-wise no malfunctions … PHEW! But I did misplace the evening wear accessories the day before … whoops!

Can you tell me about your hair and makeup? (Ed note: Miss Pinup contestants must do their own hair and makeup.)
Makeup-wise I kept to my normal style that I’ve had for the past ten years. Over time it’s gotten a bit bolder of course, but the same cat eyes and the same red lippy!

Not too shabby for a ten-minute hairstyle; pulling the curls out, brush, quick hefty spray and rushing to walk out onstage – I do love those heart bouncing moments!

How did you pick your talent? How much research went into it? Did you make your own props?
Choosing my talent was such a hard thing to do for me with the years going by, so I went on to do another showcase just like my video entry!  Will be doing more in the future!

Madam Rou Talent

Would you do it all again?
110%!  Maybe with a more physical talent though!

What was your favourite part about the competition?
Making new friends!!!!!! No doubt about that!

What did you learn from participating in Miss Pinup NZ 2015?
You can never be too prepared!  The week leading up to show day, do almost nothing but eat sleep and rest where possible!


Madam Rou Swimwear front

Thank you Madam Rou – I think the amount of  love, time and effort you put into creating your various outfits is amazing. What a talent.  For those of you who might be interested in purchasing your own special design from Madam Rou, head over to her Facebook page Cherry Bomb, and check out what this incredible lady has to offer.  Don’t forget almost everything you see in these photos was made by her, so you’re going to get something “wow” if you buy a Cherry Bomb design, that’s for sure!

(To read other contestant’s Sartorial Secrets, click here.)

Animal print, tails and secret gardens …



Sartorial secrets: Bettie Rage

Sartorial Secrets: behind the scenes
at Miss Pinup NZ 2015Bettie Rage 

Bettie Rage wearing her Miss Pinup NZ 2015 crown and sash – image by David Michael Photography

 (If this is the first post you’ve read in Sartorial Secrets, click here to find out the background behind the series.)

Next up in the Miss Pinup NZ Sartorial Secrets series is Miss Pinup NZ 2015 herself, the sassy and terribly, terribly sexy, Bettie Rage!   Read on to find out her sartorial secrets …

Where did you source your items (including shoes, handbags, accessories etc?) What inspired your choices – was it your pinup name/character, your personal interests/something you’d seen worn by someone you admire/old, classic movies?  My day dress was an amazing vintage find on Etsy – I snagged it a year ago and have been waiting a year to wear it! It’s a Helen of California slight wiggle dress in the most amazing pineapple tropical print.

Bettie Rage Daywear
The gorgeous Bettie Rage in her daywear dress – image by David Rowe Photography.

My talent coveralls were custom-made by Danielle from Devel Branded and were based on the coveralls in Bomb Girls.

My amazing evening gown was created by the very talented Curvy Couture by Judy Dee.  I gave her my idea based on two images; one being the black gown worn by Rosemary Clooney during her “Love, you didn’t do right by me” in White Christmas and the other of Dita Von Teese at the Met Gala this year. I basically wanted the finished product to be the love child of the two gowns and that is exactly how it turned out!  Perfect.

Beach wear … oh the playsuit!  Another Judy Dee creation from photos only.  I wanted a playsuit with a removable peek-a-boo skirt.  The idea stemmed from the gorgeous piece worn by Joan Blackman in Blue Hawaii.  Judy had the most amazing tropical fabric and as soon as I saw it I knew it was the perfect pattern for the playsuit and skirt!

Bettie Rage Beachwear
Bettie Rage in her beachwear ensemble – custom-made by Judy Dee – image by Glory Days Magazine

What accessories did you wear and how/why did you choose them?
Beachwear: I topped the ensemble off with the green triple orchid hair slide and my custom hand-painted hibiscus flower by Pop That Cassette.
Evening gown: I accessorised the gown with my Nana’s jewelled necklace, given to her by my Poppa many years ago, and handmade diamante hair slide to add that extra lil’ bit of sparkle.
Talent: I wanted a very “Rosie the Riveter” look, so I teamed the coveralls with a gingham bandana.
Day wear: I accessorised it with my Nana’s vintage pearls, my Great Aunts ladies gold watch from the 30s (my Great Uncle gave it to her), a vintage cane handbag I purchased from the lovely Melanie Freeman.  The ensemble was topped off with the double pink lily hair flowers by Sophisticated Hair Flowers.

How did the process work for you – did you find the dress, and then accessorise it, or did you find an accessory you love and build it from there …
I definitely accessorised after the fact. I found the base item and then built it up from there and wanted to incorporate as many of my heirlooms as possible. My little good luck charms as it were.

What was already in your wardrobe and what items did you buy expressly for Miss Pinup NZ?
I purchased them all specifically with MPUNZ in mind and the idea that I could wear them after the pageant.

Did your outfits require shape wear?
I wore my Rago girdle under my day dress to cinch in my waist a little.

Who made your custom outfits?
As mentioned earlier, Curvy Couture by Judy Dee and Devel Branded.

Bettie Rage - evening wear
Bettie Rage in her custom-designed evening gown by Judy Dee – image by Glory Days Magazine.

Is there anything you’d change about your outfits?
Nothing! They were absolutely perfect for what I wanted. I loved every second of wearing them and still do. I loved wearing original vintage and custom-made outfits by some very talented New Zealand women.

Can you tell me about your hair and makeup? (Ed note: Miss Pinup contestants must do their own hair and makeup.)
I made sure the initial style of my hair was easy to adjust throughout the competition for each section.  I wanted my hair to be a little different for each part of the competition.

Are there any “back stories” you have about your outfits/ special meanings/came from your grandmother/begged, borrowed or stolen?!
Almost all of my accessories were from my heirloom collection. They are items my Nana has given me over the years that I am so proud to have.  I really feel that these pieces of jewellery should be seen and worn and not just hidden away in a box, never to see the light of day again.

How did you pick your talent? How much research went into it? Did you make your own props?
Oh my, the talent!

I have to say a huge thank you to one of my darling friends for planting the seed (you know who you are) and my amazing better half and man-thing, Zane, for helping me find the best way to complete the talent in two minutes!  With him being a very talented mechanic I was able to gain new skills, all the while spending time with him.  Win-win!  Another special thank you goes to my boss, Tom Andrews for helping me find, trusting me with and lending me the perfect motorbike for my talent.

Bettie Rage performing her Rosie the Riveter-inspired talent. Image by Glory Days Magazine.

Would you do it all again?
It was a lot of effort, time, stress and my everything put into one long day!  I would love to do it again but because of the surreal ending to this year’s pageant I am on top of the world and want to stay here on this high for as long as possible!  I hope that I can pave the way for more of our stunning pinup dolls to join me up here!

What was your favourite part about the competition?
Hanging out with all the babes backstage!  I loved the camaraderie we shared and that we helped each other when we could.

What did you learn from participating in Miss Pinup NZ 2015?
Set a goal and go for it – never doubt yourself for a second and surround yourself with people who are truly beautiful inside; those who support each other no matter what.

Thank you Bettie Rage – I’ve loved hearing your inspiration behind the beautiful ensembles you wore, and it’s really special that you got to wear your Nana’s jewellery too.  Congratulations again on being our Miss Pinup NZ for 2015 – I can’t wait to see what you do during  your reign.  

(To read other contestant’s Sartorial Secrets, click here.)

Love, sashes and sparkly crowns …



MumptyLoves 15/05/2015

These are the things Mumpty loves this week – 15/05/2015


It’s been AAAAGGGEEESS  since I did a MumptyLoves, so here we go with a few of the things I’m loving lately!

♥ New handbag 

LV Epi Cluny
Louis Vuitton Epi Cluny

Mumpty is a handbag FANATIC … but only likes/uses one brand, ‘cos she is obsessive that way!  Here is my new baby – the Louis Vuitton Cluny in black epi leather.  Squeee. 

♥  This frock; the Jenny dress
in Mary Blair Commuters print 

PUG – Mary Blair Commuters print

From Pinup Girl Clothing … it makes me feel a little bit like a vintage princess, which is rather pleasing.  Something that is also pleasing is that my nieces HATE it when I use the word “frock,” which greatly increases my use of the word “frock.” This frock was a Mother’s Day present – such good taste they have!

♥ Into the Gloaming – by Alexia Sinclair 

Alexia Sinclair – Into the Gloaming

I LOVE Alexia Sinclair’s work – it is quite simply, superb (read my post about it here.)  If Mumpty were to win Lotto this weekend, she would most definitely buy an Alexia Sinclair piece.  But even if she doesn’t – there is a slight chance of one of these gracing her walls, because Alexia has released this special edition piece, entitled “Into the Gloaming” and has priced it, for a very limited time, at $350 – and you can pay it off over a three month period – brilliant.  Details of how to buy it are in the post, or you can just click the picture and it’ll take you there.

♥ Besame lipstick in Red Hot Red …

Besame Red Hot Red

This was gifted to me completely out of the blue by my gorgeous friend Miss Monique Sweet, who is one of the kindest girls I know.  Anyway, it is colour; goes on well, stays on well – the works really.  I really love the packaging too – the gold bullet is so decadent and vintage-feeling.  Anyway, recently it has developed a very satisfying rattling sound and I can’t for the life of me find out what has come loose, but it does not affect the lipstick in any way – so I like it; it’s mysterious.

♥ This photo of me, some cool girls I know and … ya know, Dirty Martini 

Glamilton group

Because I’m still fan-girling from when I met her recently – you can read about it here.

♥ Reading books on my iPhone … 

iBookBecause I’m a cheapy, I get the free ones!  I really love having a book on my phone because I must confess, I do tend to sneak out most days to a cafe and have a coffee in my lunch break. Having a book on my phone means I am never caught out when the said cafe disappointingly doesn’t have the latest Woman’s Day for me to update myself on the essential information one needs!

♥ Red ballet flats from Shoes of Prey  …
Yes I know – I normally include an unobtainable pair of Louboutins at the end of MumptyLoves, but this time I’m mixing it up and including this GORGEOUS pair of red patent ballet flats from Shoes of Prey.  If you don’t know what Shoes of Prey is, click here and get designing your own custom-made shoes.  Sooooo cool.

Shoes of Prey

And see those nude patent heels in the background?  Wishlist.for.Mumpty.

What are your favourite things this week?  And if you enjoyed MumptyLoves, there are more editions here.

Enjoy all the deliciousness …




Top Tips Thursday … red lipstick survival kit

Top Tips Thursday:
Mumpty’s “red lipstick survival kit”

Red lipstick

Those of us who are avid red lipstick wearers know that really, no matter what product you use, or what you do, red lipstick is a pretty high maintenance look to wear.  But we’re not willing to give it up are we – no way!

Sooooo … I thought I’d share with you what I call my “Red Lipstick Survival Kit.”  And look, there was no way to pretty it up – it is what it is, and here it is:

Red lipstick survival kitSo basically the “survival kit” is a zip-lock bag containing:

a wet wipe
a foundation brush (or whatever you use to apply your foundation)
red lipstick – in this case the Lime Crime Velvetine in Red Velvet.

If you’re anything like me, your red lipstick can be “refreshed” up until about lunchtime by a quick “swipe-over,” but once I’ve had lunch, it really needs a complete overhaul.

So … what I do is this:
Step one: get the wet wipe and a mirror and rub like crazy to get the whole lot off – don’t worry about scrubbing off some of your foundation – that’s why you bought it with you!  And if you’re trying to get the Velvetine off, you’ll probably remove half your face makeup doing it!
Step two: once you’ve got all the red lipstick remnants removed, re-apply your foundation around the areas that you’ve had to scrub to get the lipstick off.
Step three: reapply your red lippy and voila!  All fresh and pinup-worthy again!

What are your red lipstick maintenance tips?  I was interested to read Miss Victory Violet’s post about how she applies her red lippies for best results – you can read it here.

Kisses from pinup-perfect lips …



The incredible art of Alexia Sinclair

The incredibly beautiful
art of Alexia Sinclair …

Alexia Sinclair - The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden – from Alexia Sinclair’s latest collection, Rococo.

When it comes to high impact, stunningly beautiful imagery, you can’t go past the works of Alexia Sinclair … her images are so breathtaking, they actually make my heart beat faster!   (View Alexia’s Instagram account here and keep up-to-date via her Twitter account here.)

I first became aware of Alexia Sinclair’s work when I was browsing the internet about four years ago and came across the most incredible collection of images, known as The Regal Twelve. As the name suggests, The Regal Twelve collection portrays twelve European monarchs who ruled supreme and whose lives spanned over two millennia.  Interestingly, Alexia didn’t choose the most obvious rulers (i.e. Henry VIII) but focused on the famous, the infamous and the obscure.  My personal favourite from The Regal Twelve collection is this one below – Elizabeth I – but all twelve images are beautiful and stirring in different ways – you should definitely go to the link and check them out.

Alexia Sinclair Elizabeth I
Elizabeth I – from Alexia Sinclair’s collection, The Regal Twelve

One of the things I most admire about Alexia and her work is the INCREDIBLE attention to detail and the really cool thing now is that she’s recently begun to release short “behind the scenes” video footage of the preparation and research that goes into her shoots.

Her most recent work is entitled “Into the Gloaming” and you can check out Alexia’s 15-minute behind the scenes footage by watching the embedded video.  One of the best things about this shoot, for me anyway, is that Alexia not only created the model’s gown herself (without a pattern, might I add!), she also created the fabric.  She sourced the ivy and the lillies, laid them on a black background, photographed them from above, and then printed them onto fabric using her own printer. Breathtaking.

Alexia Sinclair – “Into the Gloaming”

With the amount of detail and effort that goes into these shoots, you can understand that Alexia’s work could be considered somewhat expensive at around $12,500 for a one-off limited edition original.  With “Into the Gloaming” however, Alexia is offering an amazing opportunity to purchase a 610x760mm standard edition for only $350 – you can pay it off over a three-month period too, which is something I am seriously considering – especially since it has been on my “bucket list” to own an Alexia Sinclair print for about three years now!  The offer is available until midnight on the 8th of June 2015, so click here if you want to purchase.

Another of Alexia’s collections that I absolutely adore is this one below, entitled “The Art of Saving a Life.”  It was commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – they approached Alexia and asked her to create an artwork depicting Edward Jenner’s tale of the first smallpox vaccine  (which is actually the first vaccine ever.)

Alexia The Art of Saving a Life

Alexia’s work is full of symbolism that you may miss at first glance, so I really do recommend you go to her site and read all about the finer details of her work – or you can just watch the video below!  For example, in the artwork above  you can see the physician Edward Jenner inoculating James Phipps (the first person ever to receive a vaccine.)  There are also glass bottles behind the characters, each bottle laden with skull and flowers (which Alexia printed herself) representing the substantial loss of human life – 1 million lives per bottle, and there are 500 bottles. The skull and flowers motif has been used in artworks for millennia – it represents rebirth – in this sense the vaccine has given us a second chance at eradicating smallpox.  The central hero figure represents the establishment, in doing so stating that no-one in exempt from this heinous disease. The flowers throughout the artwork represent the disease itself, smallpox was referred to as heavenly flowers by the Chinese, the blooming of the pox mark on one’s body indicated your fate.

So that’s a small glimpse into the incredible imagination and artwork that is Alexia Sinclair.  To find out more, don’t forget to watch the videos and join Alexia at the following social media haunts:

Facebook: click here.
Instagram: click here.
Twitter: click here.

Love and appreciation of Alexia’s incredible art …