Bubblybrunette's Blog

Bubbles, burlesque and all things fancy

The past four months – condensed version

Funny how I dropped this blog just when everything started picking up (or maybe that’s why I dropped it). Anyway, in the words of George Costanza, “I’m back, baby!!!!”

So let’s see … what’s happened in the four months since my last post? I went to the NOLA Burlesque festival, saw some of the best performers in the world and fell completely in love with burlesque. I learned to twirl tassels with Jo Weldon, swished my feather boa with Michelle L’amour and shook my tail with Kellita of Hot Pink Feathers.

In early October, I attended Bombshell Betty‘s luxury pinup session at Hotel ZaZa. A pinup and performer, Betty was wonderful in giving advice and suggestions on everything from makeup to hair to posing. I got some beautiful photos out of the session and a lot of valuable knowledge. The following weekend I took a class in public speaking (a gift from my sweet sister) from the incredibly talented Sandra Zimmer at the Self-Expression Center. Sandra provided a safe place for our small group to work through our fears of presenting in front of people. I truly believe that class gave me the courage to get up in front of people and teach. The next week my husband and I celebrated our third wedding anniversary. It’s incredible to be married to both my best friend and my biggest cheerleader. None of this would have happened without him. Later that month, I launched the website for Lady Grace Academy (for the instruction and advancement of feminine arts).

November is when it all really started. Within a two-week span, I traveled to Dallas three times for burlesque lessons from Ginger Valentine, posed for Houston Dr. Sketchy and taught my first four-week dance series called Exotic Essentials at the NiaMoves Studio. It was incredibly hectic, but the experience was invaluable. Ginger is a sweet and funny teacher, and I enjoyed working with her. Dr. Sketchy (which really happened at the last minute) gave me an opportunity to become comfortable being the center of attention – it was a fantastic experience that I hope to have again.

Posing for the artists at Houston Dr. Sketchy.

By the time my Exotic Essentials class finally started, I felt like I was ready for almost anything. I only had two students, but they were fantastic, and it gave me a chance to get my bearings as a teacher. That experience paid off in December when I held a 90-minute Holiday Lap Dance workshop to a sellout crowd of 23 students. It was so popular, in fact, we offered it again a week later to 12 more students. I really enjoyed watching the women have fun and learn to play with their sensuality. I also discovered what a joy it can be to teach when I let go of the anxiety and just focus on making sure the students are learning and laughing.

While this was going on, I also got a gig as the Houston Burlesque Examiner for the Examiner.com website. I write about burlesque topics several times a week for the site.

After a two-week holiday break, things really picked up. I’m now teaching Exotic Essentials every Tuesday and Burlesque Basics every Thursday (just had my first class two nights ago – five beautiful ladies braved the bitter cold to come give me a chance at teaching). And … drumroll please … my very first performance is a week from tonight!!!! Eeeeeek! But more on that later.

So, now that we’re caught up, I can get back to posting about my favorite topics: dancing, champagne, books and sparkly things!


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Written by bubblybrunette

January 9, 2010 at 7:02 pm

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Product Review: Illamasqua Lipstick

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The perfect shade of red lipstick is the holy grail of beauty for many women. It has to be the perfect shade (more blue than yellow undertones), the perfect consistency (creamy but not readily removable) and it has to last forever. It’s a difficult, but worthwhile search.

MAC Cosmetic’s “Ruby Woo” is a favorite of many pin-up queens and retro girls and, while I love the color, I’ve always found the consistency to be too dry and chalky for my lips. I’ve had better luck with my old drugstore standby, Revlon. But recently, after hearing many good things I decided to pony up the dough and take a chance on a unique UK brand just now making a splash in the states – Illamasqua. 

From the company’s website: “Designed to be colour-intense, colour-true and long lasting, Illamasqua offers an unprecedented range – giving you a huge palette with which to express yourself, whoever you are and whatever look you want to achieve.”

After asking around on Twitter, I found the general consensus was that the “Encounter” color was the true blue-red shade I might be looking for. I placed my order with Sephora and several days later received the beautifully packaged lipstick. It comes in a sleek, squared-off, all black case. The lipstick itself has a slightly sweet scent and goes on very smoothly. Best of all, it has better than average staying power. And, for my skin tone, I found the red to be just right – intense, but still classic: 

Encounter

At $20, I consider it a little luxury that goes a long way toward making me feel polished and sophisticated. It’s definitely my new favorite.

Written by bubblybrunette

September 9, 2009 at 10:10 pm

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Countdown to NOLA

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Not only have I never been to a burlesque festival, I’ve not yet been to New Orleans. I get to remedy both of those things on Friday when I attend the first ever New Orleans Burlesque Festival. The event features performances, workshops and panel discussions by some of the most popular active performers currently in the industry, as well as living legends of the past. 

 

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The timing is fortuitous for me, since it’s coming a month before I plan to start my business teaching both exotic, burlesque and pin-up themed workout classes. I’ve signed up for just about every workshop the festival offers: I’ll be learning how to work a boa with the glamorous Michelle L’amour, I’ll be practicing fan dancing with the incomparably elegant Catherine D’Lish and I’ll learn to twirl my tassels with the world-famous Jo “Boobs” Weldon. What an amazing learning opportunity! 

 

And of course, there’s the city itself. I’m thrilled that my introduction to it will come with the accompaniment of burlesque – the two have a long and fascinating history together. Stephen and I are staying in a beautiful new Westin just on the edge of the French Quarter. Although Saturday night will be taken up watching the top performers compete for the Queen of Burlesque title (and an after party at the House of Blues), we’ve left Friday and Sunday nights free so we can explore the city and have some alone time. 

 

Of course, like any business trip, I have to pack a lot of items I wouldn’t normally take on vacation – boas, elbow-length satin gloves, pasties, stockings, garter belts – all of which are going to take up a lot of extra room in the luggage. And yet, Stephen hasn’t complained once. He’s such a trooper. He’s not even upset about being left in the hotel room on Sunday while I take classes. Of course, the fact the room has a large flat-screen television and the Dallas Cowboys are playing that afternoon may have something to do with it as well. When work and play start to feel like the same thing – life is pretty damn good. 

 

Pasties

Written by bubblybrunette

September 6, 2009 at 3:56 pm

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Product Review: Anastasia Brow Kit

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I was blessed with eyebrows from my father’s side of the family – thick, black and completely unruly. This was great in the early ‘80s, when Brooke Shields was all the rage. However, as I approached my teens and early twenties, it became obvious I needed to thin out my bushy brows. 


Like a lot of young women, I had no idea what I was doing and, consequently, I over-plucked like crazy. This was fine, since they grew back almost instantaneously. However, once I hit my early thirties, I realized I had bald spots that just weren’t coming back. My previously thick brows, were now too short, uneven and sparse. I used powder to try and fill in the areas, but the color was too dark, my brush was too thick and I ended up looking just as bad as if I had left it alone. When it was intimated to me several weeks ago that I would benefit from a little brow therapy, I decided to finally look into the situation. Here’s the “before” picture:

 

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After spending some time researching on www.Sephora.com (a girl’s best friend!) I came across the Anastasia of Beverly Hills brand. I had read about her before in various fashion magazines – I knew she was the Brow Queen of Hollywood. Since I had no tools or training whatsoever, I decided to purchase her full “All About Brows Kit,” (in ebony) including powder, stencils, applicator brush, highlighter pencil, tweezers, brow-setting gel and a little instructional video. At $75, it may seem pricey, but after using it for a week, I am totally sold and would have happily paid more than that. The kit:

 

 

BrowKit

 

After watching the instructional video, I tweezed my stray hairs and, using one of the stencils, filled in my sparse brows. I finished with highlighter and gel. I was honestly shocked at the difference it made in my face. My eyes seemed more open, and my brows had a more sculpted and sophisticated appearance. As I’ve gotten more used to the shape, I find I’m able to freehand it now and skip the stencil (which can be a little tricky to use). But I don’t leave the house now, unless I’ve done my brows – I think it gives my face a little extra polish. Here’s the “after” pic.

 

afterbrow

 

To learn more about Anastasia and her products, visit www.Anastasia.net. Happy shopping!


Written by bubblybrunette

August 28, 2009 at 1:18 am

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Mama’s Got a New Pair of Shoes

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Now that I’m no longer with my former pole dance studio and, instead, focusing my energies on burlesque, I decided it was time to trade in my clunky 6-inch stripper heels for something a little more dance-friendly (but still sparkly). Luckily, a new line of shoes – Bordello – has just been created, and they fit the bill perfectly. 

 

The stripper shoe market seems to be dominated by two main brands – Ellie and Pleaser. Most exotic dancers are probably going to be wearing one of these two brands. They may light up, feature dollar signs on the platform or have a bottle opener on the heel. In other words: they’re not subtle. And while burlesque isn’t exactly subtle either, it does tend to have a more playful sensuality as opposed to in-your-face sexuality.

 

So I was really excited when I stumbled across Bordello a couple of weeks ago. A sub-line of the Pleaser brand, they were created specifically with burlesque performers in mind. From their website: 

 

“Bordello is a seductively exciting and titillating brand of footwear that celebrates being a woman. Created for burlesque performers who have shimmied the art of tease back into the spotlight, Bordello also satisfies those who are simply nostalgic for the lavish glamour of the old times. Featuring ornate detailing and dazzling accoutrements including an array of sparkly glitters, glistening rhinestones, and luscious laces, Bordello shoes and boots complement the obnoxiously colorful costumes, theatrical themes, and dramatic lighting found at burlesque performances around the globe.” 

 

Perhaps a bit over the top, but you get the idea. So I found the perfect pair, placed my order and waited until today, when our wonderful UPS lady brought me the goods. Even the box is spot on:

 

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And the shoes are beautiful. I’m afraid my picture doesn’t do them justice, but they’re well made and full of lovely little details.

 

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Now I just need to break them in. Happily, they arrived the same day as my Bombshell Betty Burlesquercize DVD and pin-up book (that’ll be a separate entry) so I had the chance to try them immediately.

 

I bought my shoes at http://www.electriqueboutique.com/ but there are plenty of other sites out there that now carry Bordello. And for more info from their parent company, check out http://www.pleaserusa.com Happy shopping!!! 

Written by bubblybrunette

August 27, 2009 at 12:14 am

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Beauty in a Bottle

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While looking at the playboy website, I saw a lineup of their past five daily cyber girls. I couldn’t help noticing that they all looked nearly identical – very young and very blonde. I won’t dispute the fact that they’re beautiful girls – but it’s no wonder our society has such rigid standards of what is beautiful in a woman. I happen to think mature brunettes who like to dance are pretty crazy hot as well 😉

Picture-1

Written by bubblybrunette

August 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

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The Best Laid Plans

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I just dropped my wonderful husband off at the airport. He’ll be in California for the next five days attending a business conference, visiting friends and, of course, surfing. I’m pretty sure this is the longest we’ve ever been apart (yes, we’re hopeless romantics).

I’m hoping to use the open time productively, instead of just sitting on the sofa and playing on my computer (like I am right now). I’d like to get my blog really up and rolling, do some preliminary work on my new website (more on that later), read a few “you can do it!” books, make some real progress on putting together the cardio burlesque routines I’m planning to teach, finish some work for my husband’s business that I promised I’d do, eat healthy, get back into a regular workout routine and, oh yeah, clean the house top-to-bottom.

Whew. That seems like a lot now that I see it written down. Maybe I’ll just hang out on the sofa for a few more minutes …

Written by bubblybrunette

August 24, 2009 at 3:57 pm

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