Sunday, June 16, 2013
Camille Clifford was considered the real-life embodiment of the Gibson Girl. Her tall, curled pompadour probably helped with that image.
Not too complicated a 'do really... it's pretty much hair tied up in a pompadour, with 2 or 3 hair switches rolled and pinned into place on top.
You will need for this:
An "inside pompadour" hair rat (or a thick hair you can style into a pompadour and still have some left over)
False hair, arranged into rolls
Lots of hairpins
I was trying to do this alone, just in my bedroom mirror... and dealing with some slightly tricky Kanakelon switches. I'm sure it can be done a little more neatly if desired, especially if one hot-irons the switches into shape before starting. Also, while I tied my own hair back into a bun, I think Clifford may have used the end of her own hair pulled forward as the smallest, lowest of the hair twists around the front. My own hair would be so scrawny it wouldn't amount to much if I tried this; and as I had an adequate length of Kanakelon, I just used that to make all three twists.
To Make This Hairdo -- note that you need long enough hair to hold a sturdy pompadour (it will need to bear the weight of the switches without collapsing.) If your hair is not long enough to do this, I recommend creating a false pompadour "transformation" from fake hair, and using that pinned over your forehead instead (in which case secure it and skip directly to step 6.)
1. Begin by roughening up your hair, ratting it up to add volume. Then separate the hair into two parts, one front, one back.
4. Secure your remaining length of hair into a roll or bun behind the pompadour, with hairpins.
5. Comb over your hair to smooth any rough patches if needed.
You have now made your pompadour.
6. Take your hair switch, or switches, and begin to secure it with pins across the top of your pompadour. You will want three rows going somewhat diagonally in a zigzag. (Luckily the flash brings out the difference in texture between the false hair and my real hair, making it possible to see what I'm doing.)
(If I were to do it again I might use larger rolls... you'll notice Miss Clifford doesn't have any spaces between hers.)
And that is pretty much it. Just make any final touchups or adjustments and you are done. If you plan to wear this for a non-costume situation I recommend investing in some good-quality switches since this look very much relies on them, and the quality of the switches will influence the quality of the final style.
Friday, June 14, 2013
Though this article at Madame Isis's Toilette focuses on 18th century makeup, most of the stories about deadly lead and mercury cosmetics still hold true throughout the Victorian era. Check it out!
By the time of the Gibson Girls, the poisonous properties of lead makeup were known and it seems it was rarely being used anymore. Mercury complexion lotions were more common -- especially Gowland's Lotion, a popular skin lightener and freckle-remover.