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The Last of the Summer Colour

The Last of the Summer Colour

Welcome to Gloriously Vintage, dear Reader I hope you are well and are enjoying the Autumn, with all the beauty of the wonderful colours. Finding out the heartbreaking news about dear Jessica and her husband Tony last week, has added great sadness to the Autumn this year.  I am missing Chronically Vintage and look forward to the glorious triumphant return, in the future of that inspiring blog.


It is starting to get cooler by the day here in the UK and Autumn is marching on as we will be turning our clocks back on 30th October. We have our central heating on to top and tail each day and I have been glad to wear my warmer clothes.


Do you enjoy this season, dear Reader?  What is your favourite time of year?



Change is afoot in a number of ways in our home. Our new kitchen and downstairs cloakroom work is almost all over, bar the shouting.  I am busy working through my Big Seasonal Changeover for A/W and will be posting about that shortly.


Today I wanted to share with you, dear Reader, the last of the summer hair colour, with a quick photograph taken by Glenn, literally , just before I departed to visit my Hairdresser at the beginning of October.



The photograph captured some seasonal “firsts” and a “last”.  I always go to see my Hairdresser, Ele, on a Saturday and I make my appointments for the whole year in advance.

My October appointment made in December 2015 was on the same day as a surprise family 50th birthday party, so the day had to be planned with military precision. Timing was very important!  Why not change the hair appointment I hear you say?  Well dear Reader, as you have probably guessed it would upset my Christmas appointment, and therefore my hair styling for that wonderful time of year.

The timing was important because to affect the surprise party we had to meet up for a family meal near Stratford upon Avon. We needed to allow travelling time and on this occasion, being late was not an option!  Do you have any tips for good timekeeping?  I usually start with the time to leave my house and then working backwards plan what I need to do to be ready.

Usually when I visit my hairdresser, Ele it is a wonderfully relaxing experience, not worrying over time – just totally enjoying the experience from start to finish. For this appointment time was of the essence.  I had to prepare more at home beforehand and as I wanted a roller set finished style done at home, to compliment my outfit for the evening.

I brushed out all the styling and washed and conditioned my hair at home. Then I dried my hair very quickly without any styling at all (!)and put a hat on.  I partially did my make up for the party in the morning using my CD of the Glamophones – which is great to get ready to.

The hat really saved the day.

The outfit was driven by my choice of hat. Those of you who know me through my blog,  Gloriously Vintage will be surprised – it is usually a handbag, shoes or jewellery that is the driver for many of my outfits.  What is the driver for your outfits?  Where do you start?  I would love to chat in the comments!


I so wanted to style the Hobbs jacket, which is a new find from Oxfam on line and the natural choice was the, lovely plaid skirt that I had bought the jacket to go with in the first place.


Well dear Reader, I had the hat, jacket and a skirt. I needed to pull in the colour of the hat and chose this lovely unnamed scarf from my A/W collection – another “first” because I had not worn these pieces together before.

I wore nude high heels and my nude coloured handbag that blends with one of the colours in the skirt. Dear Reader, a cream v necked top finished the choices because again it pulled out a colour from the skirt and did not clash with any of the colours in the scarf.


Yes dear Reader, I wore 2 rows of pearls, pearl stud earings and my stretchy pearl cuffs – all jewellery that I could take off easily at the hairdressers. Just as I was leaving Glenn took the photograph.

My hair has been fun to style through the S/S and you will see from this post how light the colour is.  I decided to put myself into Ele’s very capable hands and change the colour to a different, darker shade for A/W 2016. So the “last” is the light blond hair you see peeping out from under the berry coloured felt trilby from H&M.


During our consultation, Ele commented that if I wanted to stop colouring my hair, this light blond would be the point at which to do it.

“No! No! Oh NO!” my inner self cried “I am not ready to do this – NOT YET! NOT YET!”

So we decided on the new colours for A/W, with more definition and darker. New colours that will look great with navy blue, black, berry shades, camel and browns.  It will also look good with reds too.


Do you change your hair for the A/W? Perhaps trying a new shape or colour? I usually make a start in October and then tweak the colour again in December to have the best colour on my hair for Christmas.  This is when I go to town with an array of outfits for the Christmas season.  I am so looking forward to it!

So this post celebrates the last of the summer colour. On returning home, I set my hair and we were ready and on time for the surprise party.  It was a lovely happy evening and I felt very “new “and ready for Autumn.

My next task is to finish the Big Seasonal Changeover for A/W2016. I do hope to see you on the next post, writing about that…!



Outfit Details


Nude Signature Shoes   Next

Alexon Pleated Plaid Skirt   Oxfam on Line

Cream V-Necked Top   Marks and Spencers

Nude Handbag (featured in this post)   Next

Autumn Hued Silk Scarf   Sutton Vintage and Arts Fair bought 4 years ago

Berry Felt Trilby with Black Hatband and Feather Trim   H&M bought 4 years ago

Ecco Leaf Brooch   Oxfam on Line

2 Rows Lotus Pearls

Large Clip on Pearl Stud Earings

2 x Pearl Stretch Cuffs   Dorothy Perkins


Lipstick Blend

Bobbi Brown Lip Pencil in Sangria + Revlon Red Lipstick + Chilli Lipstick by Max Factor




Dear Reader thanks for joining me today and do leave me a message, just to say you dropped by.



As always, thank you to Glenn for taking this impromptu photograph!





Glamorous Getting Ready!

Glamorous Getting Ready!

Feeling so excited to be off to London – we were up at 5.00am!



Hello dear Reader, a warm welcome to Gloriously Vintage today. The post Glamorous Getting Ready has been simmering nicely in my thoughts for some time.  It is a joy to commit these thoughts to this post now. 


This photograph was taken at 7.10 am. We had got up at 5.00am to be ready for our trip to Buckingham Palace to see the State Rooms and the Fashioning a Reign Exhibition of HM The Queen’s clothes.  I will be posting soon about that amazing Day Out.  Feeling very excited and with a very early start –  wearing pearls – I tried to make getting ready for this wonderful day as glamorous as possible!

Do have a look at this book “Your Beauty Mark” by Dita von Teese and Rose Apodaca.



My favourite Beauty Book!




It is featured on the Gloriously Vintage Books Page. Last Christmas I gave a copy to myself as a Christmas present.  The book has been a great source of confirmation for me because it is written clearly and with honesty about all aspects of beauty, hair, makeup and nails – it is all covered with a sense of humour too.  A great read.

I have found myself saying “yes, I do that”, or “yes, what a great idea”, many, many times as I worked my way through the book and took in all the lovely photographs too.


We all need to be glamorous sometimes.  Glamorousness is there for us all to enjoy – accessing it can be tricky if life gets in the way as it frequently does.


The idea from the book that really leapt out at me on first reading was the way Dita gets ready. She knows her makeup routines inside out.  Although her look seems very high maintenance, it is not.

You could look at my hairstyle and say “high maintenance”, but it is not. The initial “set” takes time but thereafter it is quick to brush up to be ready to go out.



Essential combs for the “Brushing Up “


The secret here is knowing how much time you need to get ready and vary it depending on the day or the occasion.

Dita explained beauty routines for going to work out, going to dinner and getting ready for her performances.


The great idea she follows is she uses a playlist.


When I am getting ready I have different approaches depending on what I am doing. Usually it is:

  1. Getting ready to go to work
  2. Getting ready at the weekend to be out and about
  3. Getting ready for a date or a special event – then it is the full works!

I have always loved to listen to music when I am doing jobs and often when getting ready. I sit at my dressing table and then make an important choice.



Just add makeup!



The appropriate playlist, dear Reader is essential to my sense of purpose and feeling glamorous! I love The Rat Pack and especially Frank Sinatra, sometimes I will have music from Hollywood musicals, it all depends on my mood!


Since reading this book I have started to look at playlists differently. It is not a random collection of loved tunes.  Now it sets out the available time at the dressing table – usually 8 or 10 tracks.


I am relaxing into the songs and know exactly what stage I should be at with my makeup and hair. Dear Reader, I have clocks in strategic places too.  Time is important; I like to be on time if possible.  Planning my time to get ready is usually an important stage in agreeing with my husband how our mornings unfold.

When you follow a beauty routine, very quickly it is possible to grasp how long each element takes. It then follows that you can group these elements into chunks of time.  The result is that the same tasks repeated daily can be achieved in a set time with no surprises to make you late!

I can get my hair brushed up; add a touch of hairspray too in 15minutes or 10minutes if it is closer to the initial “set”. My make up routine can take 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on where I am going.


Speed can certainly be achieved with specific practise. It is not a case of practise makes perfect – more that practise leads to accuracy and speed.


As you are experienced at making up your face, so you can expertly apply moisturiser, foundation , concealer, powder and the base is ready for the fun part – the colour makeup. I spend as long on applying the base and the colour makeup.  It goes on accurately because it goes on almost every day.

When I want a new tweak to my look I set aside time to practise- to save oodles of time later on.  You have a beauty skill-set that makes it possible to cut corners when needed and relax into a lovely pampering time to get ready – it is all there because you know exactly what you are doing.


Looking at a clock continuously can be stressful, do you agree, dear Reader?


Listening to music has the opposite effect.  So a playlist is a marvellous way to work through your chosen tunes and you quickly know where in the routine you need to be on song 3 or 4!  I have been doing this unconsciously for a long time.  It is only thanks to Dita von Teese that I have captured this idea and really started to use it to help me get ready, feel so happy because of the music and be finished on time!  I also feel much more glamorous because of the music.

Tracks vary in length but the music of the 1940’s and 1950’s are often 3 minutes in length. This helps when choosing.  I put on the music and get ready – if it fits into my routine I take note of how many tracks it takes.  Then I know with each one what I need to be doing to be on time.

Apart from the oasis of calm I experience sitting at my dressing table, the music enables me to relax and not have to keep clock watching.

One of my favourite CD’s is the one I have of the Glamophones.



Such a happy photograph of me with the Glamophones



It has 8 tracks –

  1. In the Mood
  2. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy
  3. Chattanooga Choo Choo
  4. Johnny B. Goode
  5. Why do Fools Fall in Love?
  6. Umbrella
  7. Britney Spears Mash-UP
  8. Uptown Funk

I used these 8 tracks to help me get ready for my Day Out. Timing was so important as we were going on a coach tour and could not be late!


When I am giving myself longer pampering time I will increase the selection or play it twice. It works!


Have you used playlists like this, dear Reader? If you are tech-smart it is all probably easy for you.  You are possibly doing this with playlists in a number of contexts.  The advance in accessing music is one of the wonderful marvels of change in my lifetime.

I grew up with 78’s as a very small child and then collected 45’s and LP’s on vinyl all through my teens. At 18 years old I had a portable cassette player for my birthday.  That gift was absolutely wonderful.  I used it so much I wore it out!  The Walkman was also a great way to have music anywhere.  The access to music now is totally amazing.  I have over 3000 tracks on Spotify in creative playlists.  My next step will be to have a more elaborate phone to play them on.

As a teenager in the 1970’s I always had music on. I started with a love of Motown as a young teenager, Elvis and the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.  I still love all that music enormously.  I love new tracks too and keep up with the most played new music on Spotify!


Glenn and I both love the music of Glenn Miller.   Glenn is actually named for Glenn Miller.  He was born the year Glenn Miller tragically disappeared.  He was called Alan Lewis Glenn.  After the disappearance his mother started to call him Glenn.  So dear Reader, Glenn is Alan at the Bank and at the Doctors and Glenn to everyone else!


We were fortunate to go and see the Glenn Miller Orchestra in the UK, led by Ray McVay.  It was near our wedding anniversary and I emailed the orchestra and requested “String of Pearls”.  When they played it for us I said excitedly “That’s us!”  It was a magic moment.


I am listeningto the CD of the Glenn Miller Orchestra now and fitting the tracks into my beauty routine. It always feels glamorous as I hear the music -remembering that magic moment and what I wore.  The music adds a layer of glamour to getting ready in a way that clockwatching can never do.


I would love to hear from you about your playlists for getting ready. Is this a new idea for you?  Have you been doing it for years?  Do chat in the Comments!


A big thank you to Glenn for taking the photographs.

Tales from the Dressing Table

Tales from the Dressing Table

Launching my first series on Gloriously Vintage writing about Beauty. 

Welcome to Gloriously Vintage today, dear Reader.  It is exciting for me to begin this new series of posts which will enable me to write about Hair, Makeup and Beauty related subjects, close to my heart. 

Where do you put on your make up?  How do you get ready to face the day?  Dear Reader, I would love to know the answer to those questions.

The one thing I can never be without is my Dressing Table.

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Sitting in front of my Dressing Table, Christmas 2015, ready to go dancing!

It is so important to me that, I have one I can use for travelling and if I am staying in an hotel and there isn’t one I will create one as a matter of priority.

What is a dressing table or vanity as it can be called?

It is the place to sit and apply moisturiser, make up, to dress the hair, apply touch ups and to create the makeup “look” vital to the day’s activities.  It can be simply a table and a chair.  It does not have to be elaborate, but it allows you to have everything needed, easily to hand, laid out like an artist preparing to paint a picture.

This love of a dressing table started at the beginning of my life.  My mother had one.  A solid 1950’s design with drawers and a very large triple mirror.  Here was space to keep makeup, perfume, hair combs and drawers for handkerchiefs and lingerie.  She would sit at her dressing table to put on makeup.  So dear Reader, I learned at an early age what a dressing table was for!

 Today I am so blessed to have the most glamorous dressing table.

It is by far the most beautiful incarnation of my 60 years.

It is a Georgian dressing table with a large oval toilette mirror on top.  There are two turn of the century crystal lamps either side of the mirror.  Finding those lamps is another story.

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The Geogian toilette mirror

Just sitting up to it on my Victorian piano stool makes me feel wonderful.


The small cut glass vases holding lip pencils and brushes on a glass tray.  I made the mat when I was a teenager

I go through my makeup routine so quickly because everything is laid out on the dressing table and in the wide drawer that houses my colour make up, moisturisers for daytime in fact, everything I could possible require is in there ready and waiting.


Tools at the ready!

 My make up brushes are in cut glass vases and containers, separated by use.  The lip and eye pencils are also in small vases just waiting to be applied.  The order that I see on the dressing table is calming.  It enables me to create the look I want – be it a simplified version of my look for work, or a more carefully crafted makeup and hairstyle for going out.

There is also a Georgian chest of drawers with another toilette mirror on it to my right.  I share this with my husband.  Here is a photograph of my tray.

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Mag glass

You can see my powder box, beautiful sterling silver hand mirror engraved with an “E”, a favourite lipstick, “Parisian Red” by Bobbi Brown and my magnifying glass.  The tray is from the 1930’s and I have matching candlesticks to go with it.  I have found some of  the vases and trays in charity shops and vintage fairs.


 Sitting at my dressing table is where I think about “me”.  Nothing is allowed to spoil those precious minutes sitting there getting ready.  My day always starts well, after sitting at my dressing table.  No matter what else is happening or tasks clamouring for my attention, when I am at my dressing table I am making my preparation to create the appearance that will complete what I plan to wear.


Of course not every single day is planned so precisely.  I have make up free days and days when I just wear casual “house clothes” that are clean and comfortable.  For days when I am dressing up – well that is when the Dressing Table comes in to its own!  Even when I am not using it – I can see it there, ready, the very glamorous space where I can make myself look how I want.  Wearing makeup for the sheer love of it, not to hide from anything, but as an expression of who I am.

Fashions and ideas for interior design change.  In these modern times having a dressing table and giving space for one is not the main concern it used to be.  Without one there is a clear choice where to apply makeup.  This can be in the bathroom where the light is usually good.  I will always check colours in the bathroom because of good light there, but I would never forsake my dressing table, in front of the window with maximum natural light and the arrangement of the bedroom it dictates.


So this occasional series is called Tales from the Dressing Table. Stories of adventures into style and image that will enable me to write about hair and beauty.  This is another area of wearing vintage style that means a great deal to me.  I have loved wearing make up since I was 13 years old.  Actually I was 9 years old when my face was powdered for a formal portrait photograph.  I was amazed at the effect that powder had on my skin, it looked so creamy and so different to just being “scrubbed”.


I have always loved to read books on makeup and style.  The stories of the founders of the great makeup houses, Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubenstein, Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Este Lauder to name a few have fascinated me.  The changing make up styles through the 20th Century is also of great interest.  My dressing table embodies this activity, this influence and how I interpret it in my make up style today.


Make up application is an Art.  To do it well it is essential to have brushes, applicators, sponges, in fact many tools. I have collected a lot of brushes over my life, and now have the best kit ever, due to the passing of time and moving to a stage of life where I can set the pace.  This is rather than having it set for me by the school run!  When my family was young I would get up at 6.00am to have time at my dressing table so I would be ready and dressed first.  There to assemble the troopes!


It is important to keep developing, reading, looking – trying out testers in shops and constantly updating your makeup look.  I wear a Marilyn Monroe inspired make up look now, that is complimentary to my 1950’s style. Following experts like Bobbi Brown and Lisa Eldridge and I am very interested in the makeup look of Dita von Teese.


Your make up can change and develop with your lifestyle and age.

BB Books

Bobbi Brown is one of my favourite writers

SMV Book

This book is great fun


I love this book – am still reading it!

One great bonus of being 60 years old and wearing vintage style is the pleasure of freedom.  I have nothing to prove now and am not competing with anyone or anything.  I can be me.  I can look how I want, develop statement looks at will.  What could be better?

The look I have now, I intend to tweak and play with forever.  Thus achieving a sense of timelessness.  This is what HM The Queen has done, and it is working very well for her at 90 years old!


How do you feel about hair and makeup? Do you keep changing your look?  I would love to know.  The next tale from the dressing table will be about blending lipsticks, especially red lipstick.  I hope you will join me on that post coming soon to Gloriously Vintage.


It’s been great to be with you today.

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