Tag Archives: body confidence

My friends are ridiculously interesting women

My friends are ridiculously interesting women …

I am so privileged to have the most amazing group of female friends and family. I originally posted this a couple of years ago now, but when I was browsing back through my old posts, I decided they are STILL amazing and so I thought I would  post it again!

MumptyStyle Friends

I think you are very much influenced by the people you spend the most time with, so although I try not to be judgmental of anyone and the decisions they make, I’m also aware my time is precious to me and so I choose to spend it with people I admire and love.

So … my gorgeous, clever and insanely talented friends include (in no particular order):

Burlesque performers and showgirls, who sweat nervous bullets before they go on stage and then rock that stage like they were born to be there!

Ms Tittle Tattle
Ms Tittle Tattle – photo by Mareea Vegas

A woman who had an idea one night; created a Facebook group based on that idea and is now the proud overseer of a 43,000-strong group and an accompanying, wildly-successful blog. Her greatest achievement in that regard?  Creating an ahurutanga – a safe environment where no one feels judged.
A woman who, with four young children, creates cakes like this (see below) out of her home kitchen!  (She also has a double degree and is a trained architect.)

MumptyStyle Olaf Cake Cancer survivors.
♥ Nurses.
Mentors who help women develop confidence and a positive body image through dance and just generally being sassy!
♥ Amazing mothers who put the hugest amount of time, effort and love into growing beautiful humans – the most important job in the world.
Book editors/proofreaders.
Earthquake survivors.
 Business woman who moonlight as sexy pinup and alternative models!

MumptyStyle Ruby Spice
Ruby Spice by Lutece Photography

Internationally acclaimed body painter and makeup artists.
♥ Women who write for a living (my dream job!)
Women following their passion and doing what they love to do.
Widows who are brave and strong and are doing an incredible job of bringing up their children alone.
 Makeup artists and hairdressers – again, they make women feel beautiful.
 My sisters … because they are amazing.
 My Mum … because she is incredible and inspirational and wonderful.
 My daughter – because she is my world and makes my life SO special.
Grandmothers who give tirelessly of their time and love – not just to their own family, but to others as well.
 Photographers who create gorgeous images that make other women realise their own beauty.

MumptyStyle Monique Sweet
Women who volunteer their time at hospitals and schools to help those less fortunate than themselves.
♥ Teachers.
♥ Business women.

So to all of you, and I hope you recognise yourself in there somewhere …

MumptyStyle I Heart You
Image via runningwithspoons.com

My friends are awesome …


Eleven Q&A’s with Miss Pinup NZ …

Red lips, eyeliner flicks and ebony victory rolls …

Eleven Q&A’s with Miss Victory Violet

MumptyStyle Miss Pinup NZ 2014

Red lips, eyeliner flicks and ebony victory rolls … mix these ingredients together; blend with a massive wardrobe of swing dresses; add a dash of sass and a bucket of glamour and who do you have?  Why you have Miss Victory Violet of course- crowned Miss Pinup NZ 2014!  

Miss Victory Violet is a raven-haired beauty from Auckland who describes herself as a pinup model, hairdresser, wife, Disney geek, Lindyhopper and lover of all things pinup and vintage. For those who haven’t yet met Miss Victory Violet, prepare for a thoroughly modern, yet gloriously vintage, vixen!

Ella Webster is the gorgeous young lady behind Miss Victory Violet. Ella, congratulations on being crowned Miss Pinup NZ, and I believe Miss Picture Perfect as well!

I’m assuming, and to be honest even hoping a little (!) that you don’t just wake up looking like the uber-glamorous Miss Victory Violet, and that she takes some creating of a morning. Most pinup personalities have an alter-ego and of course Miss Victory Violet is yours – seeing this interview was initially written for the lovely ladies at Makeup Obsessives, I’d love it if you would answer some questions for us about the role makeup has in the creation of Miss Victory Violet .

Q1. Your makeup is clearly styled in the classic pinup genre; if you had to pick three makeup elements that were totally necessary to achieve your look, what would they be?

A. Definitely red lips and liquid liner with a big flick! And the one that some people don’t do is defined eyebrows! They make such a difference to the overall look… as long as they are done well and not square or pencil thin!

Q2: Let’s face it … red lips are not easy – they can be kinda high maintenance and are not for the faint-hearted! A good pinup girl has a favourite red lippy though; one that looks the part; flatters the lips (and teeth!) and stays the distance. Do share …

A:  Red lips are quite high maintenance and you have to be prepared to check and reapply after eating or drinking. There are ways to increase the longevity of your lippy though! When I apply red lipstick I ALWAYS apply concealer to my lips first, then powder, use a lip liner all over the lips and then apply the lipstick. This not only helps to get the true colour of the lipstick but helps it last longer and avoid bleeding. My favourite shades are Besame Red Hot Red and Natio Rush. Always blot after application so you don’t end up with a red smile! 

There are also a lot of matte lipsticks on the market which also have great staying power, if you don’t mind the dryness. MAC Ruby Woo and Lime Crime Red Velvet Velvetine are my two matte favourites but I do find that I have to apply a regular, more moist lipstick after a few hours to stop feeling so parched! MumptyStyle Miss Pinup NZ 2014Q3:  OK … so we’ve got the red lips covered … now we want the inside running on the eyeliner flicks! Your favourite product/s? And of course, 10 different, 100% fool-proof methods of applying it evenly? And please don’t suggest you freehand it … we WILL take your firstborn child!

A:  I’m not sure if I have a secret, fool-proof method! I’ve been doing eyeliner flicks as my staple makeup look since I was 17 … I feel naked without it now! My tips for applying liquid liner are these:

Don’t use those felt tip pen liners – they never seem to come out highly pigmented.

I mostly use Rimmel Glam Liquid Liner and also have MAC Black Track Gel Liner. I use the MAC one in the inner corner of my eyes as it is more waterproof and doesn’t transfer to my lower lid as easily. I highly recommend using a liquid liner with a very fine brush- that’s why I use Rimmel! It’s impossible to get a nice pointy flick with a fat tip! 

I always apply my liquid liner with my eye open, that way I can shape it to my eye easily and make sure it’s even and matching the other eye. I usually start in the middle and work my way into the inner corner of my eye. Then I will draw the flick. Some days the angle is spot on, sometimes not! I just start in the corner and draw it up, aiming for the end of my eyebrow. Then I fill it all in! My eyeliner is always thicker than I initially want it due to going back and forth between each eye trying to make them match!

MumtpyStyle Miss Pinup NZ 2014

Q4. Start to finish … how many products do you use on your face to create Miss Victory Violet?

A:  Antipodes Cleanser and Moisturizer, MAC Prep and Prime, MAC Matte Gel, MAC Matchmaster Liquid Foundation, MAC Studio Fix Powder, 3 eyeshadow shades, liquid liner, mascara, black eyeshadow for brows, highlighter, contour, blush, concealer, lip liner and lipstick.

Total of 18!

Q5:  Is there one product, that once applied, makes you think “yip, there she is … Miss Victory Violet” or is she a combination of hair, makeup and outfit?

A:  It’s really a combination of hair and makeup! I love getting ready in the morning and putting together my look!

Q6:  As gorgeous as she is, Miss Victory Violet is a high-maintenance lady … do you have a five-minute “go to” look that you employ for occasions when you need to roll out of bed the morning after a big night out and pop down to the local dairy for a restorative fatty girls pie?

A:  Believe it or not, I do have jeans! On my days off when all I am doing is hanging around home or going to the supermarket, I will just wear jeans and a t-shirt. I won’t do my hair or makeup because I think it’s good to give your skin at least one rest day a week! 

MumtpyStyle Miss Victory Violet

Q7:  If you don’t mind me saying, your look seems inspired by the glorious Dita Von Teese (hmmm … why did I ask that … I’d give my right kidney to be told that?!) Is she your style inspiration? Are there others?  

A:   Yes, Dita has inspired me over the years, I guess since she is more mainstream, she was someone who I used to look at as a teenager and wish I could be like her! I take a lot of my inspiration from Instagram – I love finding someone new who dresses in the vintage style and puts together amazing outfits! I love Doris Mayday for her hair, outfits and modelling style and she is so lucky to have Tony Medina do her hair all the time! He is just amazing!

Q8.  Holy Grail product?

A:  Ohhh that’s hard! I have to pick my hair spray – Davines No.7 Crystal Fixative Lacquer. It has so much hold but it’s also super shiny and smells amazing. It’s been discontinued by Davines and the replacement just doesn’t cut the mustard. I don’t know what I am going to do without it so I’m stocking up!

Q9:  Favourite makeup tip?

A:  I’ve recently discovered MAC Matte Gel- I mix it half and half with MAC Prep and Prime for a lovely velvety matte finish. It keeps the shine away all day!

Q10:   Table of eight; you and your husband and six other people (living or dead) … who would they be?    

A:  Elizabeth I, Ellen Degeneres, my Nana Josie, Elvis Presley, Dr Who and Dita Von Teese 

Q11:  If there was a “makeup time capsule” to be opened in 50 years time, what product would you put in it and why?    

A:  Probably my favourite red lippy – Natio Rush –  because knowing how lipstick colours come and go, it might not be around anymore!

 Thank you so much for your wonderful answers @MissVictoryViolet @MrsEllaWebster @MissPinupNZ2014 … it’s been grand!

If you’d like to find out more about Miss Victory Violet you can find her posting OOTDs and hair and makeup tutorials (she does a bangin’ Flipagram!) at the following social spots:




Classics Museum calendar launch party

The 2015 Classics Museum Pinup Calendar launch party …

Following this post, although somewhat (OK, massively!) belatedly, I thought I’d give you a little rundown on how much fun the calendar launch party was!

MumptyStyle Launch Party invite
The invite.

There was a pretty big build-up to the night to be honest; we’d had the shoot waaaaay back in April and although we’d seen “teasers” of our individual images, none of us had actually seen the final edit, so I for one, was neeerrrrvvvvouuusss!

On the afternoon of the launch party, I did my hair; put on my frock and did my makeup – complete with the requisite winged eyeliner and red lippy, and headed off to the Classics Museum where the launch was being held.

MumptyStyle calendars
The Classics Museum 2015 Pinup Calendar

I met a friend there and we pottered around upstairs for a while before heading down to the diner to be greeted with our individual pictures on A3 posters!!!  Mine was a bit of a shock actually, as it wasn’t the image we’d all agreed on, but after the initial shock wore off, I really like my image (thank goodness!)

MumptyStyle my calendar pic
The A3 mounted version of my calendar pic – Miss March.

Here is my gorgeous friend Monique (who incidentally, was the  cover girl) and her stunning June Carter-inspired pic.  Isn’t she a babe?!

Cover girl: Monique Sweet – photo by Tony at Handcrafted Stories.

There was food and drinks and speeches and fabulous entertainment provided by Monique’s boyfriend Sam, of The Southern Diplomats.  There was also lots of wonderful swing dancing going on … oh, how I wish I could dance like that!

Sam Calendar launch
Sam, who normally plays with The Southern Diplomats, provided the entertainment for the evening, and what an excellent job he did!

At this point in my little rundown, I’d like to mention the talented and beautiful Tiffany Curtis, who was the brains and the photographer behind this second edition of the Classics Museum Pinup Calendar.  I was amazed at what she created from the raw photographs she took; not that they were bad in any way, but the editing process turned out some absolutely gorgeous images and Tiffany should be so proud of herself – well done Tiffany.

Tiffany Curtis
For someone who is used to being behind the camera, Tiffany makes a pretty good model don’t you think?!

After the formalities and the speeches and the dancing (!) the “calendar girls” snuck off into the museum itself and had some group shots taken by Tony of Handcrafted Stories, which was heaps of fun … I especially love this one below where we are all just being damm silly!

MumptyStyle "calendar girls" group shot
“Calendar girls” group shot by Tony at Handcrafted Stories.

So all in all, it was a fabulous evening and I’m so proud to have been a part of the calendar.  Like every woman, I look at the photo and see things I don’t like about myself, but I figure that in ten years time I’m going to look back at it with much more appreciative eyes!

Love …


The world of burlesque

The big, amazing, sparkly world of burlesque

… and how I joined it!
Ms Tittle Tattle
Image of Ms Tittle Tattle by Mareea Vegas via the Bombshell Burlesque Facebook page.

Three years ago I spotted an ad for an evening class run by Bombshell Burlesque in Glamilton called “An intro to the Art of the Tease.”  The description of the course intruiged me … “a dip into the amazingly sparkly, gorgeous world of glamour that is burlesque” and “we’ll soon have you shimmying and strutting like a glamorous showgirl.”  Now three years ago this struck me as an outrageous thing for me to think about doing, so I decided I should shake my life up, get outside my comfort zone and give it a try!

Giggling, I texted my friend to see if she would come along to class with me and she hesitantly agreed.  Unfortunately on the morning of the class she decided not to attend and so I VERY NEARLY didn’t go along!  But fate intervened in the form of my partner who, when I told him my friend wasn’t attending, responded with “so that means you’re going to chicken out then aye?”  Well .. that was that … even though he was totally correct (!) his assumption made me realise I had no choice … I simply had to do it!

So on the designated Wednesday night I nervously set out with my bestest heels on and my heart beating flat stick!  The first block of classes I attended was actually held in a bar, but thankfully there were never any punters to witness the shenanigans and it meant we could have a little “dutch courage” if we so desired, so that worked out well.

Ms Tittle Tattle was, and is, the Head Mistress of Bombshell Burlesque.  She was gorgeous; dressed up to the nines in a sparkling corset and beautiful hoisery that night – she made me feel like I was starting out on the adventure of a lifetime (which, as it turns out, I was!)  She gave us an overview of the classic style of burlesque she teaches and a bit of the history of burlesque and the trailblazing women who had tread the stage before us.

Did you know … the original meaning of the word “burlesque” was to parody; to make fun of; to send up?  Later of course, the element of striptease was introduced and it became quite risqué.  In all honesty however, you can get up on stage and have the audience screaming for more by simply removing a glove in the right way – as they say, burlesque is the art of the tease.

Bonita Dangerdoll
Image of one of my favourite NZ-based performers, Bonita Dangerdoll, from Fat Cat Photography via http://www.dangerdoll.co.nz

In my observation, burlesque can be sexy, sassy, cutesy, flirty, funny, sultry, raunchy and sometimes downright confronting, depending on the performer and their mood at the time.

One of the things Ms Tittle Tattle is big on at Bombshell Burlesque is character development.  For me, that is one of burlesque’s major appeals.  You are strongly encouraged to develop a character for yourself; your performance in class and on stage, should you choose to take that path, will embody that character.  Ms Tittle Tattle instructs you to leave your normal persona at the door and bask in the glory of your burlesque alter-ego!  Which actually, is a whole lot of fun!  You’re encouraged to develop your character’s style; choose a name for her; think about how she dresses; how she thinks; what music she listens to, what her friends are like – essentially anything that helps make her real to you!

For the record, my character is named Ronnie La Rue; she’s a “cheesecake” style performer who loves shoes and sparkly things, and loves a bit of humour and sass in her routines.

As I said earlier, the character thing has major appeal for me.  Don’t get me wrong; I absolutely love my life and I have a gorgeous daughter; a wonderful partner and fabulous family and friends.  However, once a week I get dressed up and head off to burlesque where I leave that version of me at the door and indulge my alter-ego for an hour or so, and … it’s bliss, and all you Mummies (and non-Mummie’s too) should do it for yourself!

Azurre D'Murre
The stunning Azure D’Murre, another of my favourite performers, performing her Highway Man routine.

The other thing Ms Tittle Tattle is big on in her burlesque classes is developing body confidence; she teaches you how to hold yourself, how to lock on your core, how to pose for photographs, how to work your angles and your curves, how to strut your stuff and how to love the skin you’re in.  Perfect!  Sometimes I think teenage girls should be taught a “PG version” of a burlesque class – it might save them some of the angst they go through in relation to their bodies.

Body confidence is perhaps one of  the most amazing things about the burlesque community; it’s such a positive environment for women (and the few men who are involved as well – boylesquers they’re called!) … you don’t need to be a slender goddess (ie Dita von Teese – although, OMG isn’t she fabulous?!) to really rock a burlesque routine; in fact many of our most fabulous performers are very curvy ladies indeed (think Dirty Martini) and they are every bit as sexy as the more slender girls, who in turn, are very sexy ladies too!

Which leads me to the fact that one of the most important things I’ve learnt from burlesque is that CONFIDENCE IS SEXY!  So rock those curves, play up those long, lean limbs and have fun with your body – people will love you for it!

Ms Tittle Tattle Bombshell Burlesque
Ms Tittle Tattle – image from Anne Challinor Photography, via Bombshell Burlesque’s Facebook page.

Things you’re likely to do at a burlesque class …
eet some fabulous people and make some great friends
develop some hella body confidence!
find hidden depths to your personality
dress up – the sky’s the limit!
get outside your comfort zone
have the most fun you’ve had in a long time!

What has burlesque done for me?
Well … burlesque was a MAJOR contributor to helping me develop and refinine what I now term MumptyStyle!
It helped me learn to love my body (don’t get me wrong, there are still lumps and bumps I could do without!)
It helped develop my confidence, which in turn led to all sorts of cool things in my life.  (Lots of posts on those things to come!)
Even this blog can be partially attributed to burlesque.

Goodness, I sound like burlesque evangalist don’t I?

All I will say is give it a try.  You might just love it!     

Enjoy …