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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Beauty (7)


Women Have Breasts!

I’m working my way through some possible visual as well as technical updates here on T30SB, so today, I’m re-posting a popular piece I wrote last year. It’s amazing that this post continues to be in the top 10 people read every week. I’m happy for that because I think the message here is an important one.It also ties in with some stuff I'll share with you later this week!

Original Post Date, June 10, 2010

Good morning, chickens! I. Am. So. Tired. While I'm happy to be blogging (I've been remiss), my state of insomnia has returned after being absent for quite some time. No bueno. No bueno at all. There's nothing worse than a lack of sleep. I've tried Ambien and a few other prescription sleeping pills as well as every over-the-counter med in existence, all to know avail. I've tried doctors. I've tried shrinks. Nothing seems to work and it blows. I think my next step will be acupuncture. I've never tried it and I've heard grand things. Anyone ever try it before? Lemme know.

But, insomnia is not what this post is about, so here we go...

I've been a wee bit behind in my magazine reading as of late. The household of The Thirty-Something Bride and The Candyman subscribe to The Martha Weddings, Brides, Money, Sports Illustrated, Bazaar and O. All but the SI end up on my night stand. For the most part, I read in the tub. It's one of the nightly exercises I do to trick myself into relaxing - I take to the tub with mindless reading. It's one of the first things I think about potentially missing if The Candyman and I ever decide to make some babies. My baths are that important.

So I'm flipping through May's Bazaar (I told you I'd been remiss!) and I wasn't even sure I wanted to read it, to be honest. While I adore fashion, I don't always subscribe to the content of these magazines. For instance, for the last couple of months, I've been bombarded by different versions of this ad, using this model:

OK, really Muiccia? Really? Do you think that this ad wants to make me buy sunglasses? It doesn't? You know why? Because as a woman, if I take my hard earned money and blow enough of it on a pair of Prada sunglasses, I DO NOT want to see a 12-year old prancing around in the same pair. Fashion on pre-pubescent girls is not what I call attractive. Not at all.

So, depending on my mood at the time, I may just haphazardly flip through my fashion magazines without really reading. I was doing this the other night and I saw a large font blurb in the middle of an article that stopped me cold.

"There's no point in denying it. Women have breasts," says Peter Copping.

Wow, really? This Peter guy? Someone sign him up for World's Smartest Dude Award, 'cuz man, he's a shoe-in. So of course I stopped my haphazard flipping and read the article. The article predominantly referenced the new Louis Vuitton by Marc Jacobs fall line - how he "traded in" the pathetic wafer-thin models for the models more akin to Sports Illustrated and Victoria's Secret. Interesting, so I read on. A few highlights from the article:

  • Marc Jacobs featured two recent new mom's Elle MacPherson (she's 46 now!) and Laetitia Casta who were both sporting some serious cleavage.
  • A recent issue of V Magazine titled "The Size Issue" that featured a ton of curvy girls was the highest selling issue in the magazine's history (it was launched in 1999). To see the amazing photo layouts from this issues, go here
  • Fashion show producer James Scully claims the look seen not only at Louis Vuitton, but also at Prada, Giles Deacon, Loewe and Peter Copping (the mastermind behind this whole "women have breasts" trend) for Nina Ricci is a direct result of the mandate thrown down by the Council of Fashion Designers of America's Health Initiative. The CFDA was organized in 1962. The CFDA continues to advance the status of fashion design as a branch of American art and culture; to raise its artistic and professional standards; to define a code of ethical practices of mutual benefit in public and trade relations; and, to promote appreciation of the fashion arts through leadership in quality and aesthetic discernment. Source
  • Crystal Renn (seen in pics below) recently wrote a book entitled Hungry, that tells the tales of her struggles as an anorexic model and her final acceptance of her natural curves.
  • Last holiday season Victoria's Secret launched the Miraculous bra that claims it instantly adds 2 cups sizes. It became it's best-selling bra in 10 years.

Interesting info, no? While I applaud the efforts of the CDFA and their push to stop using 15-year olds as models as well as the effort behind this article, it still smacked of resistance to real live women. Why? Because the article kept referring to the fact that "Curves are back!" Uh, folks - they never left. I read a super-interesting article here about modern day sizing versus that of the late 1930's. If you've got the time, give it a look-see.

The point is that it's the fashion industry who tweaks it all and it's super annoying. Depending on what store I'm in, I might have to buy a 2 (very rare and mostly when I'm a super-skinny stress monkey), a 4 (less stress), 6 (most of the time) or an 8 (more rare, but it happens). You cannot tell me that all of these sizes are using the same measurements! How in God's name is a woman truly supposed to shop when the fashion industry is fucking with our heads on a regular basis? Nothing pisses me off more.

So all the rage is the curvaceous, buxom and corseted styles of Louis and Prada. But what happens next season when some schmuck decides that wafer-thin is back? I think the approach of the CDFA's Health Initiative is a good one, but needs a LOT  of work. It also needs to approach the wedding industry with the same gusto is has the wafer-thin model thing. A Los Angeles Love wrote an interesting article here about dress shops and sample sizing. That too is an interesting read about how a woman, attempting to find one of the most expensive garments she will wear in her lifetime (on average) can't even try one on because sample sizes are limited. Sad sad sad.

So, in an effort to do my part and combat the stereotype of beauty and fashion, I'm posting what I think are simply stunning models. Makes me want to go have a slice of cheesecake for breakfast.

Ashley Graham

Crystal Renn

Johanna Dray

Marquita Pring

Tara Lynn

So my chickens, I must run. I am in Dallas this week for a trade show and I'm always super-swamped with all that is home decor. I hope to check in the rest of the week, but I make no promises! So in the meantime, do you think the efforts of the CFDA are worthwhile? Do you think they are truly well-intended or just a half-hearted response to their own fucked-up actions? Do you think a there needs to be a wedding industry related task force?

The original post has some intersting comments, what are yours?


Airbrushing the Unattainable? 

Y'all know that I'm a big believer in promoting a healthy body image, even though I don't always practice what I preach. I mean, I am a woman living in America who reads magazines and watches TV. How can I not slip up from time to time?

It's this unattainable that the media heaps onto unsuspecting people that really does us in. I mean, it's coming at us from every side. Let's think about this for minute.

I read recently that the average American household gets 6 credit card offers per month. Let's say that each of those offers gives you a $10,000 limit. That's $60,000 a month and $720,00 a year of credit. Add in that nasty 15% interest rate and you are FINANCIALLY FUCKED if you take the bait on just one card. For the rest of your life. But we've got all these banks and credit card companies happily sending out this garbage to entice you to bite. Even after all that is happening in this economy, these offers are still pouring in from the banks and companies who started it in the first place. Dicks. But my point isn't necessarily about finances here - it's about achieving the unattainable. This paragraph happens to address money.

Then there's a lifestyle. Let's talk about that for a second. Look at all of these reality shows. All of the "real" housewives from Bravo? Oh. My. God. It's a fucking train wreck that I can't tear my eyes from. Over and over these women mutilate their bodies and their souls all to achieve youth and beauty and notoriety. What the fuck? Really? And have you paid any attention to the kids these beastly women created? I don't know about y'all, but if I disrespected my parents the way these kids do, I would have been smacked or grounded for life. Or both. I certainly would not have be rewarded with designer clothes or an SUV. And these kids expect it. Sad.

And think about Friends. How big was that damn apartment, 1500 square feet, with a freakin' deck? Granted it was supposedly rent controlled through Monica's grandmother or some crap like that, but do you really think a chick waiting tables at a coffee house and an aspiring chef could actually afford to live there? Please. I have a friend who lives with his partner in Chelsea and pays $1500 a month for this:

So, please with your rent controlled bullshit.

And of course, because all things come around to weddings, we can once again talk about the unattainable. The rustic bird-cages and antique books and letterpress invitations and all the top-of-the-line bullshit shown in every magazine, across every fancy website and even sometimes in this blog. I consider myself lucky that I am a creative, artsy type person - it's the only way I could have had the wedding I did. Otherwise, I would have been pulling my hair out more than I already was to try to get the wedding I wanted on the budget I had.

All of these things can and do lead to body image. Seriously. Think about how all these things can just weigh on your unsuspecting soul. All the "Bridal Boot Camp" workout sessions and magazine article how-to's on pre-wedding weight loss - how does this help anything? It doesn't.

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel - and perhaps the point in this crazy, ranting post: air brushing. That's right, air brushing. Check this shit out:

The British government plans to pressure the fashion industry to reduce or eliminate airbrushing in magazines and advertisements, reported the Guardian.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said that starting this fall, she will chair a series of meetings with representatives from different corners of the fashion industry aimed at discerning how best to promote body confidence in teenagers.

The first discussion will focus on airbrushing, which Featherstone said contributes to "the dreadful pressure that young people, girls and women come under to conform to completely unachievable body stereotypes."

"I am very keen that children and young women should be informed about airbrushing, so they don't fall victim to looking at an image and thinking that anyone can have a 12-inch waist," she told the Sunday Times.

She will campaign for a health advisory or identifying mark on airbrushed images.

Featherstone also intends to promote body diversity among models, citing Mad Men's Christina Hendricks as an example of a healthier ideal.

      Via Stylesight

You can read the entire article here. How about that? Go Britain! I think this is the best damn thing I've read in a looooong time. Because we certainly do NOT need any more of this:


Source Ralph Lauren

I know that Lauren got nailed for airbrushing this chick to within an inch of her life - but what kind of statement does this make? And who does it make it to? All I know is that this is fucking disgusting. If the Brits are taking a step in a direction to stop this, LET'S ALL STAND UP AND APPLAUD THOSE CRAZY EFFERS ACROSS THE POND!

 Our own Jamie Lee Curtis made her own effort a few years ago in More Magazine. She bared all in briefs and a sports bra with no make-up and no airbrushing. More Magazine paired the JLC with all makeup and extras as well to show reality from fantasy. That takes balls.


I'm just excited that someone somewhere has recognized that this crazy media-laden world and some of it's practices are screwing with women's minds, both young and old. I read an article once about a woman who was 5'5" tall and weighed 140 pounds. She said that she'd be willing to sacrifice 5 years of her life to weigh 125. Seriously people? What the fuck? How, as an intelligent, thinking society, have we allowed ourselves to get here?


Nail Art

I'm taking a break from the budget recaps to share what I think is becoming a trend - and a scary one at that. Nail Art. Little did I know that there are entire freakin' websites dedicated to nails and nail art. Have I been living under a rock? Perhaps I've just been slightly distracted by The Martha and Style Me Pretty to look further into the depths of fashion.

Now, y'all know I did my best to grow my nails out for The Big Show. I was boo-hooing about it here. I didn't do such a great job. Neither did my manicurist. But in the end, everything really was fine.

So, I'm flipping through the October Vogue (I'm still a little behind in my magazine reading) and I see this article about Nail Art. Now you know if it's in Vogue there's got to be some validity to the trend, right? I mean, come on. They don' just make that shit up. Do they? I don't think so. And if you do think so (or know so), keep it to yourself. I like my fantasy world.

So I found one of the places on-line that Vogue talks about. It's called Valley and it's in NYC. It's a real kooky kind of site. However, I thought I'd share with you a few things I found there. All photos courtesy of Valley.

This shot is what prompted me to blog about this. LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT EFFING DIAMOND! My question is this: why in God's name would anyone detract from that ring with a hideous bedazzled NY on their ring finger? Sadly, money and good taste do not go hand in hand.

Mmmmm, Klassy.

I'm sad this picture is so small. You can't see the double-knuckle ring that reads "MelisciousB." Goes well with her Paul-Stanley-esque nails.

"There's a party goin' on right here, a celebration to last throughout the years. So bring your good times and your laughter too. We're gonna celebrate and party with you. Come on now - Celebration! Let's all celebrate and have a good time! Celebration - we gonna celebrate and have a good time." Nail fashion by Kool and the Gang.

I like the light gold tips. Pass on the bling though.

This is about as far as I would go. I actually think this is kinda cute.

Please enjoy this budgetus interruptus.


How to Blow Your Beauty Budget

I want to preface this blog post with this: I felt absolutely STUNNING on my wedding day. I think I might have mentioned this fact once or a bazillion times, but seriously, I felt soooooo good. Like, I feel like I knocked it out of the mother-effing park. I cannot remember an occasion in my life where I felt I looked as good as I did on my wedding day. My body felt good (no weird, last minute bloating), my skin looked good (thank you, prescription zit cream) and my hair was exactly as I had envisioned it. I can only hope that all you brides out there get as lucky as I did in regards to feeling so wonderful.

Now, let me tell you about how it cost me an arm and leg to get that way. And, let me also tell you that it was worth EVERY DAMN PENNY.

So y'all know that I had a couple of trials that just didn't work out.

WEDDING TIP #4: If you don't like the end result of your trials - SPEAK UP!

For some reason, when it comes to my hair and my make-up, I am just so unsure about it all. I mean, I wear make-up and I can do my hair to my satisfaction on a daily basis. But when other people do it, I am just in a state of shock or something where I can't speak my mind. I know, hard to believe, right? I think it's why I pay an amount just short of my mortgage to get my hair cut and colored. I trust my stylist because she's really really really good. I just hand over the cash, because I know I won't walk out looking like a total tool. Sadly, my stylist is so good that she doesn't do wedding hair any more. Why work weekends when you don't have to, right? I wouldn't.

So after two failed trials, I was getting desperate. And scared. Tabitha helped me out by suggesting I go to Julie at J.Bangs Salon. Tabitha set up the appointments and really handled all that for me, which was a huge relief. The trial went much better than the other two. You can read about it here.

After the trial, I knew I liked my hair, but it wasn't just exactly right. Tabitha told me not to worry, that we could revise the day of. She was right! It was exactly how I wanted it! I did bring in a final picture to discuss the small changes. Julie was totally down with it.

Hi! Nervous much?

I just love my DIY hair toys.

So here's how the $ all shook out in the end. My first failed trial was free (whew!). My second failed trial was $100. Hm, bummer. My third trial was $130. So now, I've paid $230 to figure out how I want to look. That does seem excessive, yes?

I knew how much the day-of would be (sort of). I know Tabitha told me and I know my heart skipped a little beat when she did, but like any good bride on her third trial, I ignored it. I was happy with Julie and I wasn't going to think about hair and make-up for one second longer. I was planning on having my MOH's hair done too and I knew that would be added on top. I still didn't care.

I had initially planned for all sorts of beauty treatments: facial, massage, all that stuff! Sadly, I just ran out of time. Probably a lot better for my budget in the end. Check it out.

The Mani/Pedi was for both me and my MOH, which I knew I was going to do, but forgot to put in the budget. Oops. Same with including her hair in the mix. I knew I was going to pay for it, but just forgot to budget it in. Oops numero dos.

WEDDING TIP #5: If you have a small wedding party, don't forget to talk to them about day-of beauty way in advance and hold everyone to those decisions. You don't want last minute additions to blow your budget.

I totally didn't do this at all. My mom starting talking to me about having her hair done on the day-of, about a week before the wedding. I just about fainted in the car when she said this! Not good, because I was driving. I was nervous about fitting it in timing-wise and well as budget-wise. I know that she'd end up picking up the tab (or try to) and I didn't want that to happen either. I just didn't want to think about it at that point since the schedule had been made and all that. I assured her that her own skills and the timing of the pictures would be wonderful. On that fact I was absolutely right because my mom looked like a million bucks (no pictures of her yet without the tinted spectacles. Ugh.). Her dress was the most perfect color brown (she matched our color palette!) and she even found great shoes (a challenge for her)!

I never even really talked to my MOH about hair or make-up either. Like what we were going to do and that I was going to pay for it. I should have done that!

So yes. I went WAY over budget on the beauty. Like, 56% over budget. Ouch. But like I said, it was worth every penny for how I felt that day. If you think you might have an area that is going to go over budget - don't kid yourself. Pad the hell out it. If you come in under, sweet.

So, where are you (or did you) pad the budget? Did you need it all or did you save?


Trials....indeed. Part II

I think everyone knows by now that The Thirty-Something Bride leans a little towards the dramatic side at times. Who? Me? ;) Just keep that in mind.

When Tabitha (my day-of go-to girl) set up my trial run with Julie, the owner of J. Bangs Salon in Green Hills, I was a little hesitant. It's a new salon - only open since April. Their website is bare bones right now. I was already nervous. My stress levels are not that of a normal individual.

I headed out to the appointment with an attempt at a care-free attitude. I threw my hair up into The Bradshaw Bun and not wanting to forget my hair toy for the appointment, clipped that into my hair. Pretty! I felt pretty good. I jumped in the go-mobile and headed out to Green Hills. The day was warm and sunny and I had the window down, riding on the freeway with the music up. I continued to feel pretty good. I exited and when I rounded the exit ramp, I saw a flutter from the corner of my eye. Bye-bye hair toy. Yes, it's true. The coveted and recently awarded hair toy from DonnaElla is now, I'm sure, smooshed under an 18-wheeler on I-65 North. Decidedly NOT feeling so good now.

I arrived at J. Bangs a mess. I was disorganized and was trying to carry all this crap into the salon (wedding notebook with all my hair pictures, veil, purse, keys, jewelry, Starbucks - the usual). Tabitha got there at the same time and we walked in together. She could see I was frazzled and I told her that I was so nervous - it was trial number THREE! I mean, come on! Am I that picky? Am I being totally unreasonable? She poo-poo'd me and shoved me towards a chair.

Behind that chair was a breath of fresh air, Ms. Julie Marler. Instead of eyeing me with a look of confusion and fear (as most people do who see me in freak-out mode), she smiled easily and motioned me to sit. Then she offered me a glass of wine. Hell, yes. I was hot and starting to sweat at that point so I asked for white (I generally prefer red). She came back with the most giant glass of white wine and I gulped like half of it down immediately.

We talked about my photos, what I was looking for, what was making me nervous and why I was there. She agreed that we needed to blow me out (curly is decidedly too risky since you can't trust my hair to behave the same way twice - ever) and work from there.

Lisa, my shampoo lady gave me a great wash with a lavender mint shampoo that really relaxed me. It was awesome. After a blowout and a flat iron, Julie went to work on the do.

Here's Julie making the slightest adjustment to the sides that made a big difference in the overall look.

We decided to do a deep side part and sweep all my hair over to the side. The only problem right now is that my hair is in desperate need of a cut and color, so I have crazy frizzy hair all over the place. That will be remedied prior to The Big Show.

Once Julie was done, we tried it out with the veil. Oh no! Because my hair was now on one side, the veil poofed out on one side. I knew I'd be adding a flower hair toy (of which I'm looking for now again) and I thought that would probably add some volume under the veil. Julie grabbed a plumeria from her front desk and tucked it in my hair. Problem solved. The veil looked fine. I brought my jewelry with me too, so put that on, just for good measure. *Please note the nearly empty wine glass. Of course I was smiling!

We moved onto the make-up area and got to work. I needed a little tiny push from Tabitha to tell her what I thought. It was so hard! She started with a dark grey liner on my eyes and I was not digging it. I got the courage to tell her brown and it immediately made a difference! We agreed that we didn't need to use bronzer since it looks orange on my pale-ass skin. It was hard to tell about the blush because there was a little bronzer on me, but I think it will be OK.

Here's the final make-up. I think it looks really good. I felt comfortable in it. I wore it the rest of the day and I felt great all day. When I got home, The Candyman gushed a little. He said that this was definitely my best look, the most pretty and the most me. I think I need to go buy the lipstick from Julie because it was a gorgeous color. I wold have never picked it out myself. I love when stuff like that happens.

We took a sunshine picture and I think the make-up looks good here too. Not too heavy. The only comment about the hair is that it looks a little odd in this shot. That little lump at the bottom is a bit strange! We had been adjusting and tugging and I think it might just be a result of all that. I do think I want the curls to be just a hair looser. Pun intended. :)

I think it looks prettier on this side!

The overall plan is to go in on Saturday and it get it blown out. My hair will be down and straight for the rehearsal, which is AWESOME! Even more awesome is that I don't have to do it. My hair will be colored and trimmed and won't have all the fly-aways. Since my hair was squeaky clean, the little height she gave me in the back immediately fell. She's totally confident that the next day (since my hair will have a day's dirt in it) it will stay put. My hair definitely works better a little dirty, so I'm comfy with that happening.

Overall, I'm really pleased. I'm not even paying attention to how much it will cost in the end because I'm happy. Julie mentioned the cost for the day of hair and I just sort of let it roll in one ear and out the other. Process it and let it go. At this point, if I'm happy with it, it's happening.

And that ladies, it how a budget gets blown. Am I right, or am I right?