How To: Look Gorgeous Without Makeup

A happily makeup-free Becca, with her love, Kamen.

I first started wearing make-up in junior high. It began with super-girly pink lipsticks and pastel eye shadows, then progressed to Goth-esque red lips and tons of eyeliner. I've definitely toned down my look since then, to the point that instead of 'putting on my face' every morning, I sometimes step away from the cosmetics completely.

The idea of going without oodles of black eyeliner used to petrify me. A lot of girls are afraid to be seen without makeup, and with good reason: we're expected to look perfect at all times-- slender, stretch mark-free, poised and polished, like the pages of a magazine. So can we afford to skimp on makeup?


Here are some ways to rock the no makeup look.

Take care of your skin. Moisturize daily, exfoliate regularly + be sure to drink lots of water.

Groom those eyebrows. Extensive tweezing or waxing is not required-- simply pluck enough to enhance your brows' natural shape. This will give your face more definition and draw attention to your stunning eyes + cheekbones.

Most important of all: confidence is key! Know that you are beautiful + you do not have to look like a supermodel. In real life, even supermodels don't look like supermodels! Pounds of makeup and tons of photoshop contribute to that flawless look-- a look that's 100% unattainable. Even if it were possible to look that way, would we want to?

Your inner beauty shows outwardly, with or without makeup + a confident smile is more compelling than any computer-generated, idealized image ever will be.

TiLT 25.08.2011

Hello, gorgeous! It's Thursday, so you know what it's time for... TiLT!

Little things I loved this week...

♥<3 I had a rough few days last week, but things are finally back on track. That makes me feel accomplished + hopeful.

<3 Awesome times with my best friends this past weekend.

<3 My mom, brother + I get along pretty well. That in itself makes me happy. We went to see Crazy Stupid Love together and it was fantastic! Which leads me to my next point:

♥<3 Julianne Moore!!

♥<3 Early morning conversations with my BFF, Nelly.

♥<3 Pineapple as a pizza topping!

How about you? What's on your list today?

the past few days...

The past few days have been really hard. I keep alternating between two different moods, thanks to my Borderline.

1 I push everyone away, am angry or sad, don't trust anyone, feel like breaking something, or 2 I'm desperate to be held and kissed and comforted by Kamen and terrified of being alone.

Either way, I've been crying a lot. This is so hard.

Thank you, all of you who have been here for me. It really means a lot <3. I'll be back to "normal" soon!

Jack Layton, RIP

Source: Chris Wattie/Reuters, via The Toronto Star

I am shocked + deeply saddened by the news of Jack Layton's death.

“If I’ve tried to bring anything to federal politics, it’s the idea that hope and optimism should be at their heart. We can look after each other better than we do today,” he proclaimed.

Layton will be sorely missed, both as an NDP leader and as a man who will continue to inspire generations of Canadians.

Harry Potter Cocktails, Clever Monkey + Pina Colada Sorbet: Confetti 19.08.2011

Happy Friday! Have some confetti to celebrate!

A picture of me + two of my very best friends at Lake Ontario last summer <3. Photo belongs to us!

A black macaque borrowed a photographer's camera and took a series of hilarious self-portraits.

Pina Colada Sorbet... 'nough said!

Starbucks Spelling features coffee cups with mispelled names. Silly, but good for a laugh.

I especially like numbers 4 + 7! Glamour's 12 Ways to Flirt Without Saying a Word.

Elle Fanning stars in the new Marc by Marc Jacobs ads. Stunning!

Have you seen my article on Love Twenty? 7 Easy Body Image Boosters.

Harry Potter cocktails! As Ron would say, bloody brilliant! :D Find them here + here.

What are your weekend plans, gorgeous?

5 Reasons Why YOU Should See a Burlesque Show

Frenchie Fatale

When I enter The Revival on College Street, I'm greeted by the illustrious Frenchie Fatale., her red lips bewitching, her eyes sparkling with excitement about tonight's show, Les Follies Tres Bare. I introduce myself as a writer and a former stage kitten. She says, "oh yes, you're Rebecca!" I nod. She smiles, "I always remember people". Much like her stage persona, in person, Frenchie is enchanting. It's hard to keep your eyes off her.

The lights are dim. Performers wander out from the curtains occasionally, mingling with press and crew, nervous energy palpable. Finally, doors open at 8 and audience members begin to arrive. The room is buzzing with excited chatter. I take my seat near the front of the room in the press section. A man in a charming chapeau introduces himself to me as Paul, a photographer. He shakes my hand and tells me about his typical burlesque experience, since he's been to shows before. "I take pictures of the show, but of the audience too. I love that for burlesque shows, people get dressed to the nines".

One of the things I love best about burlesque is its ability to bring out the theatrical, old Hollywood-esque style in everyone. This thought makes me wonder about the other reasons why I love burlesque, as well as why I'd recommend you go to a show...
The very dapper emcee [Photo by Paul Hillier Photography].

The room errupts in cheers as the very dapper emcee, clad in a top hat, jacket, boxers and men's garters introduces the opening act, featuring all four Glamour Puss Burlesque dancers. For half of the number, the girls wear full costumes (afterall, Dita Von Teese says burlesque is all about the tease!). It's an inventive, ethereal number involving ballet and peacock feathers. The audience squirms deliciously in their seats when the first glove is peeled! That's the second reason to see a burlesque show: it's incredible, how sensual removing a single glove can be.

The bar smells pleasantly of cupcakes, cologne and alcohol. Candy girls work the floor, flirting and delivering sweets, lingerie-clad. Seeing so many people in a state of undress, completely at ease with their bodies, is so moving. Reason number three to see a burlesque show: you'll be inspired to love the skin you're in.

"This is nothing in this world sexier than an accent!" proclaims the emcee. He continues, "The French accent is like butter!". He calls three audience members to the stage to say something, anything, in French, trying to be as smooth and sulty as possible. The audience howls with laughter, and he waves them back to their seats. "Now get off my stage, all of you!" Comedy is constantly present in the burlesque theatre, and embraced fully by performers and audience members alike. That's the fourth reason to see a show! It's a genuine good time.

Rubie La Framboise performs as a tantalizing French courtesan, followed by a set featuring Lady Adele in her wiggle dress and elbow-length gloves, caressing the microphone stand and singing jazzy ballads. The audience loses it when she begins running her hands up and down her body while belting the lyrics. "If you can't take the heat, then take off your clothes!"  shouts the Emcee as he returns to the stage. He then dances with Kinky La Femme. Very hot! This brings us to reason number five: sex, sex, sex! I've never felt so comfortable with my sexuality.

In one of my favourite moments of the night, The Matador bursts onto the stage and tears off 'his' clothes, hat and mustache, revealing Frenchie Fatale dressed as a bull, complete with horns and panties with the word "Ole" printed on them. In another, Lady Adele sings a breathy, Marilyn Monroe-style happy birthday to Kinky La Femme.

More of the night's highlights: Paralee Peal dances a Cinderella-inspired number. She's playful, demure, full of longing and sex appeal all at once. Baldini and Kazam mystify the audience with their magic, then Frenchie and Carlos Caliente perform "a true tale of betrayal", followed by 2011 Burlesque Hall of Fame star Jett Adore in a captivating solo act.

Finally, all the Glamour Puss girls take the stage for the grand finale, "All That Jazz" from Chicago. Kinky and Lady Adele wear crimson, sparkling dresses and captivate, their voices filling the theatre. As the last note is sung, the room begins to vibrate with applause.

While the curtains have closed on Les Follies Tres Bare, the neo-burlesque movement dances forward. Be on the lookout for a burlesque show in your city (or check out Glamour Puss if you're ever in Toronto)-- you'll be in for a treat.

Related Links:

| Category: Burlesque @ Etched In Tin |
Glamour Puss on Facebook | Etched In Tin on Facebook

1 Year, 100 Posts!!

Hello, readers!

I am ecstatic to announce that Etched In Tin is 1 year old! This anniversary is marked by this, my hundredth post!

Here's to many, many more years and a multitude of new articles.

Lots of love and confetti,
xo Becca

Fab Hats + Blog Love: TiLT 11.9.2011

Happy Thursday!

Here are the little things which made me smile this week:

♥<3 Texting song lyrics back and forth with Kamen.

♥<3 Wearing my favourite hat! Check out the picture below. It's from July. I've been wearing the hat all time since I got it! [You can buy your own, in any colour, with or without ears, here!! They're handmade in the USA.]
Full disclosure: My boyfriend runs Table Monkey Knitwear. But I'm advertizing not because he wants me to, but because I genuinely love the products and overall company + think you will too!

Here I am, wearing my favourite hat! [Photo by me]

<3 I went to Taste of the Danforth, an annual Greek food street festival, with one of my best friends, Tush. We shared lots of laughs and delicious treats, including baklava. It was awesome!

<3 Receiving heartfelt comments and emails on my blog always makes my week!

What made your week?

7 Easy Body Image Boosters + Love Twenty

Marion Cotillard for Elle France

I am very excited to announce that I have joined Love Twenty's team of writers!! I'm thrilled to be a part of such an awesome online resource for women.

My first article will be live on the site very soon, but I wanted to give my wonderful Etched In Tin readers a taste before anyone else on the web!!

So, without further ado, here are 4 (of 7!) Easy Body Image Boosters.

:)  Write out a list of all the little things you like about your appearance. For example: 'I have fabulous legs'. 'My arms look awesome when I wear sleeveless tops'. 'I love how my eyes pop when I wear bright liner'. On 'ugly days', go over your list for a boost!

:)  Find a go-to clothing item that you always feel great in, be it a perfectly tailored pair of pants, sky-high heels or a little black dress.

:)  Check out the Health At Every Size (HAES) movement. HAES embraces the fact that we all have different sizes and shapes and health is more important than fitting society's beauty ideals.

:)  Cover your walls with photos and magazine clippings of your body image role models. Think of women who are comfortable with their figures, no matter what they look like. Emulate their confidence. Ideas to start your collection: Lizzie Miller (plus size model), your best friends, LinkChristina Hendricks, Beth Ditto, Lady Gaga.

What would you add, gorgeous?

How To: Help a Loved One Cope With Her Mental Illness

Thanks to the devastating stigma attached to mental illness + the lack of research on most disorders, coming out as suffering from a mental illness is terrifying. Your loved one trusts you enough to have divulged this information. Bravo! You're on the right track! A support system is vital, especially for those combating severe disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar or a personality disorder.

I suffer from Borderline Personality Disorder. The intense, unpredictable moods, irrational fears and feelings of vulnerability within relationships that it leads me to have impact my life every single day. Every moment, I am grateful for the people in my life who love me enough to stand by me, even when it's unbelievably hard.

A couple of days ago, during a particularly difficult episode, I talked to my ever-supportive boyfriend, Kamen.

I choked, "There's no way you could possibly want me, especially forever!" Through sobs, I continued, "Are you sure you love me enough to deal with decades of my fucked up meltdowns?!" BPD leads me to believe (almost always incorrectly, despite how real it feels) that the world is about to end and no one loves me... And on and on the terrifying thoughts go... It sounds over-dramatic, but I feel everything with this intensity, if not more.

But he simply said, "I'm damn positive".

I took deep breaths as he continued to reassure me that everything was okay and he loves me very much. I was soon able to calm down.

Your loved one is so lucky to have someone who cares enough to stand by her. Sometimes it can be difficult to know how to be there for her, especially if you have never experienced what she is going through. As someone who has a mental illness and helps others cope with their own, I've compiled a list to help you out.

Be empathetic. As painful as the position you're in is, recognize that your lover is hurting even more. Not only must she cope with her illness' symptoms on a regular basis, but she knows her illness pains you too.

Learn everything you can about the disorder. When I was diagnosed with Selective Mutism (SM), my mom read every article, newspaper clipping and book about SM she could get her hands on. Knowledge is power! Perhaps your loved one can share the books or websites that helped her.

Consider joining a support group for family, friends or lovers. You'll get some unique perspective and build a support network.

Recognize that your loved one is not her disease, BUT that it does affect her day-to-day life in a large, noticeable and uncontrollable way. Know that she has no say in this matter. Reassure her that you know it's hard and that as long as she does her best and remembers that you are there for her, everything will be okay.

Most importantly: Take care of yourself. Being there for your loved one is essential, but so is your own mental health. Never forget that! Take time to explore healthy coping skills of your own, be they meditation, making art or talking to someone you trust.

Review: Salacious Magazine

Salacious is a "radically sex-positive thought-provoking super-hot porn" magazine.

Porn is usually thought to be anything but thought-provoking, let alone empowering or inspiring, but Salacious is all three, and then some. A feminist, queer publication, Salacious offers fare to titilate people of all genders and sexualities.

Issue #2's topic is Voyeurism-- the deliciously exciting scenario of watching or being watched. Page after page of comics, photos and stories promise hours of enjoyment and a multitude of kinky ideas to explore. I'm rather partial to the story "Deeper" by Corey T. + am convinced you'll love some (if not all) of what this magazine has to offer, too.

Tempted? Click here to order the current issue, pre-order the next issue or find out if a store near you carries Salacious.

Related links:
Salacious Magazine on Twitter | Becca on Twitter | Becca's NSFW sex blog

Forget "perfect": You're already beautiful!

Liz Taylor knew looking good on the beach is all about having the right attitude!!

With swimsuit season upon us, I've noticed a flurry of discussion (especially among women) of the stress we experience trying to tone-up and look perfect in itty bitty bikinis and filmy summer clothes.

What if I'm not tan enough? What if I'm too skinny or too fat? What if, what if, what if.

We're terrified of being thought of as anything but as flawless as the mannequins at Urban Planet or the models in Fashion Magazine. The truth is, those mannequins are plastic and those models are air-brushed-- a human can't look that way in 'real life', EVER.

This is common knowledge. And yet, we still beat ourselves up about not being perfect.

So how do we change this?

First, we need to acknowledge that we're almost never being carefully, cruelly scrutinized when we think we are. The other girls on the beach aren't looking at your stretch marks, and the men you sleep with aren't judging your scars. Other girls are too busy worrying about their own perceived imperfections and guys are too busy simply being stoked that they're in bed with you.

Instead of fixating on your "flaws", focus on what you feel confident about. Wear something that makes you feel pretty, that emphasizes your best features (and STOP reading magazine articles that tell you to cover your 'arm flab' and 'muffin top'! Focus on the positive!) Remember that no one is perfect.

You are beautiful. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
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