Monthly Archives: January 2012

CT, Polish, and Baby Lips Review

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Color Tattoo by Maybelline.

So I got a chance to try this on Sunday…and I must say I’m both impressed and disappointed.

Basically, I feel like these are dupes for Mac’s Paint Pots….which is FANTASTIC, but at the same time I don’t feel like these can stand alone. They really don’t have the pigment punch the ads say they do.

I sat down and compared the texture with my Mac Paint Pot, and it’s like dead on. So, that being said, I used this as a base under my makeup, and it worked amazingly well.

It does have the long lasting ability the package says it does. I applied my makeup at around 11am, and when I returned home at 9pm it was still in place, and that was after teaching a crazy choreo class and a  fundamentals class. I was very impressed.

For anyone who needs a good base for long lasting wear to make colors pop, these just rock. I seriously suggest picking up some in colors you wear often, you won’t regret it. Worth the 7 bucks.

I’ve been wanting to try the new Maybelline Baby Lips for some time now, but I hadn’t been able to find this color until today.

I got the color/flavor in 05 Quenched.

There’s no pigment to this one, it’s clear. The flavor is very mild, almost a floral like flavor rather then a fruity one. It’s rather odd…it sort of tasted like…well…make up…but not in a bad way.

it smells exactly the same. Sort of a fresh gummy bear scent besides the floral.

I like the way it feels too. As I’ve stated in past blogs, I don’t like how most products feel on my lips, but this leaves it smooth with out being too heavy at all. I’m very pleased, and I like this a lot! It’ll be good to have around as a back up for when I run out of my Bee Folks balm.

So besides all that…It also boasts SPF 20, and after 4 weeks of use my lips should be softer, visibly less dry, more supple, and all around better looking. Huzzah!

Lastly while I was in CVS today, I checked out their nail polishes. I’ve never tried their store brand Spoiled (By Wet n Wild) before, and for 2 bucks a bottle I figured why not?

I’m not 100% on weather this is their store brand, or a new line out by Wet n Wild. I’ve never seen this line anywhere else before, and there’s a ton of colors, so I’m making the store-brand assumption.

It’s insane how the left one glows in a flash…lol

From L to R…

S038 Did I Dye It Too Blonde? S048 Pet my Peacock, and S044 Distant Memory

So, Did I Dye it Too Blonde is insanely neon yellow. I like it. I’ve been wanting a crazy neon yellow for awhile…what I -really- like about this is that it’s thick and highly pigmented, and one or two coats will do just fine.

Pet my Peacock is like Mardi Gras in a bottle. A Blue, Purple, Green, and Silver glitter in a clear base. I thought I’d like this a lot more then I did. I’m a little disappointed, and I think to get the full punch it’s going to need quite a few coats.

And lastly, Distant Memory is a neon-teal color, which I also just adore. A good thick polish, it’s just lovely.

I really cant wait to get the neon yellow under the matte polish from Hard Candy.

So that’s it for now, still working on Part 2 for the Being a Goddess post. Still compiling things and ideas and info and other stuff.

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90% Drug Store Review/Haul

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So here’s a little review of a few products I’ve been wanting to try and that have been gifted to me….

 

 

First up is a little gift my Mommy bought me when I was having all those horrible issues looking for a car….

 

This is the Serena GlamSlam OPI duo.

Colors are Really Pretty Pink and Red Shatter.

Unfortunatly, I already own a Red OPI Shatter, so it may go into a give away or something fun like that.

So when I first saw the Really Pretty Pink color, I wasn’t too impressed, as I don’t care for pinks…but when I wore it…Oh my! I think this is going to be one of my go-to colors!! If you layer it over a yellow/gold color, you get more of a gold shimmer and less pink.

It’s a pale pink jelly like base with a TON of fine gold glitter.

I just love this color, it’s really sort of a pinky-taupe-gold color. I’m sure if you layer it over other colors, it’ll pick up more of the base and show truer to the base and not the glitter.

 

On the Left is Essie’s Luxeffects in Shine of the Times.

On the Right is Hard Candy’s Matte-ly In Love Matte Top Coat.

Luxeffects is a dupe of the Finger Paints Special Effects Flaky Paints. I had gone into Sally’s today in search of any of the Flakies, and of course they were beyond sold out. I found a dupe at Wal-Mart in Essie. And I love love LOVE it! It makes such a pretty rainbow when the light hits it, and reminds me of the mica Gina put in my shellack manicure back in July.

Matte-ly In Love does exactly what it is supposed to. It makes any glossy polish matte! At first I wasn’t sure it was actually working, it did take a few minutes for the full effect to appear, and I did try it over a -very- glossy black polish. I’m very happy with the results.

Luxeffects on the left, Matte-ly In Love on the right.

I’m also wearing Luxeffects on my yellow polish, but it’s extreamly hard to see on lighter colors. I cant wait to get a chance to use the matte.

Lastyly, I piced up a product all of youtube seemed to be a buzz about…

This is the Maybaleen Color Tattoo in Pomegranate Punk.

Swatched with no base.

 

So, unfortunatly, swatched it doesn’t seem nearly as “Pomagranatey” as it’s names claims. It comes out more of a rusty brown then anything. It’s texture is smooth, and creamy. The product claims 24 hour wear, and I plan to test it tomorrow.

I bought this to use at Qaina (since my color in our choreo is burgundy/red) and I’m thinking maybe this would be best as a base rather then a stand alone shadow. I have seen tutorials that use them as both. Hmm. Can’t wait to play around with this baby! I’ve seen so many reviews I’m very excited!!

Being a Goddess Pt1

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And by Goddess, I mean the sizing they sometimes use for plus sized dancers.

At one point in time, I liked how they used “Goddess”. Because what are Goddess known as? Things of beauty, grace, power…And then the term started to bother me. I’m not sure why…maybe because it was like the clothing makers and vendors were trying too hard to make bigger items sound more appealing to plus sized women? I don’t know. Or because when one thinks of a diety, they think of something that encompasses all…I mean…my ass is big, but I don’t think it encompasses the entire world.

Anywho…

I’ve never been small…Well…that’s not completely true. There was a time when I was about 7 that I was your average sized child. I think I’ve pinpointed that time in my life for when things started to change for me. With out giving away too much about my personal life, I’ll just say it’s when I started to really figure things out in my family. I remember something my Nana always used to say to me…”Have some more spaghetti. It’ll make you feel better.” and “You’ll feel better when you have something to eat.” If it wasn’t spaghetti, it was a devil dog, or a cupcake, or jello, or ice cream. Somehow I think that whole feed the pain to make it go away thing is what led to me being overweight and my food addictions.

My weight became a real issue in middle school. I think that was the real turning point. Even now when I’m depressed or sad or angry, I turn to food. It’s a constant struggle many of us are all too familiar with.

I’ve tried to loose weight more times then I can count. At least three times a year I try and go on some diet, that never really works. Or it does for a short time, and I gain it all back by the holidays. This year, no different. Although with all the stress in my life, I’ve managed to loose like 12lbs in a week…that coupled with the meds for my back, I was either on the verge of throwing up, or couldn’t keep anything in my body…anywho…

I’ve never let my weight hold me back. I’ve never had a problem dating, and I’ve always thought I was pretty confident…but still there’s times I step on stage even after dancing for going on 6 years, and I still think “I’m fat. And that’s what they’re going to see.”

A little known fact about me…I always feel like I have to try extra hard, be extra good, go the extra mile, have the best costumes, wear the best makeup, because if I’m not on the ball on all other points of dance, it just makes it all the more noticeable that I’m not a perfect wispy little thing.

I’m not looking for pity. I’m not. This is something I’ve worked through as a plus sized belly dancer since the minute I stepped into a dance class.

Somedays, I sit back and think “I wonder how amazing I could be if I just lost weight. People could see my ab work…would I be as amazing as Zoe Jakes? As Rachel Brice? If only I looked like they did?” I try hard to tell myself it doesn’t matter, but when I can feel my muscles move under my layer of pudge, I know the truth of it is…more then likely yes. I’d be an even better dancer if only I could knock off 30lbs.

So how do I get by? How does a plus sized dancer manage in a world where the sterotype is thin? Well…like most things in life…you learn to get the hell over yourself and push forward. If belly dance is what you love to do, then do it. Don’t let anyone stop you, and even though it’s hard, try not to let what people are thinking bother you…Easier said then done.

First, I think we all need to sit back, and open our eyes. Look at your dance sisters. We come in every shape, and every size. Next time you feel self conscious stepping onto a stage because of your figure, remember that odds are? You’re not the biggest girl in the room. And even if you are, so what? You’re fabulous. You’re fabulous because you’re getting up and showing a talent you’ve been working hard on.

Next, I think we need to know our flaws and learn to balance out our bodies if you’re uncomfortable with yourself. What do I mean? I think I’m trying to say that you need to find costumes that work for you, and makes you feel like a rock star. Dress for you. Wear what makes you happy both on stage and off.

Lets use my own body for an example of how I dress on stage to make myself happy.

I’ve no hips. I’ve never had hips. It’s like…Belly on sticks…with boobs. I’ve got a fantastic ass, and big boobs…but no hips. One of the things I do as a tribal dancer to make myself feel more comfortable is I build myself hips.

This is extreamly easy to do with tribal, gypsy, and any ATS style.

Ok…ready?? When wearing a skirt over pants, take the hem of your skirt on either side and tuck it into your belt. Example…

I feel like it helps make my waist look smaller, or at least gives me the curves I lack in the hip area. I feel like it balances my chest out. Am I right? I don’t care. My point is, it’s what works for ME.

So, that being said. Find a way that you can balance out your imperfections that works for you, and makes you feel good. You feel like your chest is small? Make yourself a tribal bra and pad it. We’re not going to tell. Feel like you’ve got no ass? Bustle your skirt or wraps in the back. You can use costumes to help build your ideal lines. Get creative. (I’ll go into more about this in pt 2)

Lastly…Find a way to get over yourself, and get yourself on stage. You are beautiful, and the world is waiting for you to dazzle them.

I’ve never had a bad reaction from the public. Not once. I’m always approached by women of all sizes and told how beautiful I am, and what a joy I am to watch. When you love your art, it’s beauty flows through you, and that’s what people see an connect with. I’m told I’m bold, and brave, I’ve never been told by an audience member I’m fat. And I hope that it’s because my performance put that thought out of their heads…even if it’s what they first thought.

But who cares? Fat is a physical description, it’s not a measure of your worth, beauty, or talent. It doesn’t make you less interesting to watch, or less of a performer.

My heart breaks a little when I hear women say they’d never have the confidence to get out there and perform. Belly dance is all about building your self confidence, and I’ll always understand when a dancer won’t get on stage and show off their hard work, but I still think it stinks. I think all women are lovely, and the world should see them dance proudly.

Just remember how beautiful you are.

Be Confident.

Be Bold.

Be a Rockstar.

And lastly, if you’re not sure on how to get over yourself? My advice is fake it till ya make it. Start saying how much you rock. When someone says “Hey, that was cool of you!” say “I know, I’m fabulous! Thanks!” and then laugh and smile. It lets them know you’re not really that full of yourself.  If you say something like that enough, you’ll start to believe yourself.

Costume No-Nos Updates

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I angered someone, and I am sorry.

I’d just like to post a little something.

At one point in time, I was guilty of every single offence I mentioned except one…mostly because I was a dumb baby-dancer. I’ll leave it at that.

I’d like to point out, the reason I’ve used pictures of people I thought I didn’t know was because I have found when trying to explain something in words alone, the idea doesn’t get through 90% of the time.

I’ll use an unrelated (mostly) example.

When the Shuvani Jezebels were still a larger troupe, we often had mixed ideas about what “tribal” was. We would say “Lets dress tribal for this gig”. Half of us would show up in modern tribal, while the other half would show up in period tribal. No one took the time to sit down and explain clearly what tribal was, or show pictures.

After this happened again and again, I sat down and drew out costume sketches with descriptions about exactly what each style was to us. Since doing that and giving everyone a visual, it’s never happened again

I find pictures work MUCH better then words alone.

So that being said, if you did happen to find yourself in a picture, I’m sorry. Where as I was looking though FB pictures, I didn’t us the picture I found on FB in my blog. Rather I did an image search on several engines and dug through many photos to find what I was looking for as examples. I wanted to use people I didn’t know, and that being said, I even made the effort to edit every picture so faces and any distinguishable traits were edited out.

Ok. So all that being said. I’ve a rare treat…I’ve dispised this picture since the moment it was posted, and it’s the reason I’ve always tried very hard to be on the up-and-up when it comes to costumes.

Here’s me at my very first Pennsic War, just after the Dance Expo. I am breaking almost every rule.

First off…My hair. Uch. I had pretty much gotten married two days before this, and all the curl from my spiraled hair was still in place. I thought it’d look cute all wild with the fake crappy dreads peeking out from it…so not. I even had a pink umbrella in my hair from the party the night before…Hm. Nothing says “classy lady” like a cocktail umbrella in the hair! My hair jewelry is cheap and clashed. I later took it apart and it made a much more lovely bra.

I’m not wearing make-up. Not a lick of it…ok. I was. I was wearing some very bad eyeliner, of which you can’t see.

My top. You can’t see any of my stomach movements because of the thick ill fitting “bib” of the choli. My skirt I still use today, it’s a simple black circle skirt, but the panel skirt over it didn’t fit well. and didn’t stay on well either. The ties at the sides were bulky and a hassle.

I’m glad I’ve learned from this, and from the guidance of others along the way. Some things people have said in passing conversation stung, even if they had no idea I had worn something like that at one point in time….Like I recall a conversation Jezebel and Celeste had about using brocade fabric in a costume….oh look. Green and gold brocade…

So in closing, we all make mistakes. And I’m sorry if anyone was offended, that wasn’t my intention.

Costume No-Nos.

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Uch.

So I was looking through random people’s facebook pictures today, and well…I came across a picture that completely annoyed and offended me.

That being said, I decided this blog post was long over-due.

I’m not going to name names here, but I am going to give examples. If you find yourself to be an example, I’d like to say sorry, but um…I’m not. I’m also not saying I’m perfect, in fact, I’m sure I’m guilty of one of these points or another at some point in my dance career. But the point is, I’ve learned and I’ve grown as a performer, and I’ll never…NEVER…make these mistakes again. Ever.

Point I- Ill Fitting Costumes:

I looked at this picture, and I was like “OUCH!”

First off, the bra is -WAY- too tight, this dancer isn’t even a plus sized woman, there’s no reason to have a buldge of back fat from a too-tight-bra. Yes, you want your dance bra to fight snuggly so nothing flies out, but you DO NOT want it to be cutting into your flesh.

Second point, the cups are too small, and are spilling over the tops.

I’ve a feeling this problem can be fixed by cutting the side of the bra under the arms, sewing on a D ring/O ring and adding long straps over the shoulders that will criss-cross over the shoulders and tie mid back. This will hold the bra in place, and eliminate back rolls from the bra. It may even open up the cups a little. I would also suggest maybe not using this style bra as a lone-bra. They’re not the most supportive things in the world.

It’s a shame when we get a beautiful costume piece and can’t wait to wear it, but please remember you want to create smooth lines with your costumes and bodies. Ill fitting too-tight costumes can distract the audience. If you buy a costume piece and it doesn’t fit right, it’s best to have it altered to fit.

The brings me to my next point.

Point II- Too Big Costumes.

“I’m sorry? Did you want to see my undulations?”

Peasant blouses are the world’s worst costume mistake when people think of belly dance…At least the longer belly-covering ones.

I’ve nothing against covering your belly if that’s your thing. That’s completely fine. But seriously, you need to wear something more form fitting and less sack-like.

When people think of gypsies and belly dance, they of course jump right to the “I’ll get a peasant blouse!” And never concider that there’s a world of styles one can concider “gypsy”.

The first problem with this style of shirt, is it’s shapeless. Yes, it hangs off your shoulders, that’s plenty adorable. But it sits like a potato sack across your mid-section making anyone wearing it look huge. It also blocks any abdominal work you’re trying to show off.

Then you run into the problem of what to do with it? Tuck it in? Leave it out? If you’re going to go this route, my advice (besides don’t) is TIE IT UP.

The second problem are the sleeves. The shorter ones aren’t the problem most of the time. The major issues happen when people have the obscenely poofy “pirate” style sleeves. They swish all over the place, block your face, and are seriously distracting. People have come to see you dance, not your costume.

Speaking of distracting things…

III Shoes

For the LOVE OF GODS. PLEASE be sure that your shoes match your costume.

Black boot-shoes with white tube socks and a cabaret costume? Umm…No. I don’t care if you’re feet are in pain, if your foot-doctor told you to never remove them…There is seriously no excause for someone who calls themselves a performer to be wearing this sort of shoe with a cabaret costume while performing.

When I saw this picture, all I could look at were the clunky shoes. What was the dancer doing? Couldn’t tell ya. SHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOES. Ug!

Now, I was told this dancer may very well have a foot-problem. And that’s upsetting, but at the same time…I know professionals who wouldn’t be caught dead in an orthopedic shoe while onstage in a costume. Take it off, dance, put it back on if you must.

EDIT 1/22/12: The dancer in the photo above contacted me. She said she had broken her ankle, and only wore the shoes so she wouldn’t let her troupe down. I had NO idea I knew the dancer in the picture (She looks nothing like she did in this picture!) She also told me, under no other circumstances would she ever dance on stage in those shoes with a cabaret costume.

Please please please, you are presenting yourself as a creature of beauty. You have to keep in mind that people take all of you in, you need to dress completely as the character you want to be. That includes shoes.

Ballet flats, sandals, boots, heels, stocking, knee-boots…whatever! They’re all great! Just be sure it fits the theme of your costume.

As a rule of thumb, I find heeled boots that lace up to above the ankle or knee are perfect for and tribal or vaudeville type costume. Heels can also work, but are perfect for a cabaret costume. Ballet flats and sandals are good for most costumes depending on the color and what they’re made of.

Point IV- PANTS

Try as I might…I couldn’t find a good pic for this one.

Let me tell you of a little story of a show from last year.

Part of my dance troupe, a few of my students, and I were sitting close to the front of of Qaina last year (Check out the events page on Jezfever.com for more info. it’s an awesome event!).  There was a local troupe performing, I can’t recall who and that’s a good thing too. They had on these lovely silk gypsy skirts, the three-tier type. Their choreo was gypsy, and it was cute. I noticed something however…not one of them had pants on under their skirts.

For most of their song, I thought we were going to be safe…but oh no! Just as it ended, they all spun around and fell into a formation to pose at the end. And I saw ever-single-one of their ass cheeks and or granny panties, boy-shorts, thongs, and what have you.

For the love of everything good. WEAR PANTS UNDER YOUR SKIRTS. No one is going to think you less of a lady if you don’t. I promise. I also promise no one wants to see your panties or butt-cheeks.

On another note, shorts are a no-no too. Yes, it gets hot performing at festivals in the summer, but find a pair of harem or wide leg pants that are light weight, breath, and absorb sweat. Shorts are tacky, and when you spin and people can see a pair of shorts under, it kills the illusion you were trying to create. Nothing says “I’m playing dress up!” like a pair of gym shorts under a circle skirt.

So what about Cabaret dancers? Most of their costume are made to show bare leg.

Yes, cabaret dancers show bare leg. They still need to wear something under their skirts. We once attended a show, where a cabaret dancer had the most beautiful gold costume, and was quite talented. And then she spun…and her skirt lifted and everyone saw her vagango in all it’s glory. (She wasn’t a natural blonde, btw.)

They make these things called Spanks. They’re underwear made for dancers, and they’re thin, and cling to your skin, and come in many many colors. I highly suggest a cabaret dancer invest in multiple pairs to match all of her costumes…because the worst thing next to a bare-ass would be a cotton-granny panty butt.

Another reason I love pants? They hide things like knee-pads. Now, not all dancers are as hard core (or stupid) as I am. Some dancers prefer to wear knee pads when doing drops or floor work for whatever reason. And seriously, nothing kills your “Look at my wicked awesome trick!” then the audience seeing you’re wearing protective gear. Congrats, you just killed every element of danger and talent you were trying to portray. Bravo.

Part V- Make-up

This is one of the HUGE things that separate the pros from the am matures.

Make up is your final touch on your look. Never go on stage with out make-up. Stage lights make your skin shine and look pale.

I don’t expect everyone to turn into a guru. I just think if you plan to present yourself as a professional dancer, you should learn to apply makeup- in a way that compliments the style you dance in. What do I mean?

Gothic dancers shouldn’t go around wearing glitter. Perfect example. Just as a Cabaret dancer wouldn’t go around with her eyelids painted pitch black and blue lined lips. Just doesn’t happen.

If there’s a few good pieces of advice I can offer for make up, they’re as followed…

1. Learn to blend. Both your eyeshadow, and your face makeup. Learn to create soft lines, your face powder shouldn’t stop at your jawbone. Use more then one color of eyeshadow, and learn to blend them.

2. Learn to use eyeliner properly. Be it pencil, liquid, or gel. Practice applying your eyeliner over and over again. It does take awhile to get a steady hand, don’t get angry or frustrated.

3. Wear Mascara. This rule is even more important if you have lighter eyelashes. When you put on eyeshadow or liner, your lashes are going to pale out and it gives this very strange look. Get that mascara on!

4. Use a base and set everything. Dancing for long is going to cause you to sweat, and sweating is going to make your makeup run and crease. This one took me awhile to learn, and even longer to come up with a combo of products that stopped my shadow-creasing. (I’ve oily eyelids.)

If you’re confused about make-up, and don’t know where to start, I highly suggest starting to watch youtube. Do a search for “Makeup tutorial” and you’ll get tons of hits from many artists.

A fun all around good look to use for almost any dance style is the “Pin-up” look. It’s a bit different then most makeup these days, and the cat eyes give an “arabic” look. It’s very easy to do as well.

Check out the following channels, these are the gurus I follow:

Xsparkage, goldiestarling, JulieG713, MichellePhan, MissChevious, petrilude, and SayanythingBr00ke (the last one is a double zero in brooke.)

They’ve helped me a lot…and added to this crazy new makeup nail polish obsession.

Blog Bonus:

If you’re like me, and have oily eye lids, I’m sure you’ve had a lot of problems making your eye makeup stay in place. A few hours into an event, you go to the bathroom and all your shadow’s collected in the crease of your eye!

Oh what to do!

This is what I’ve been using. This combo of products rocks, and it got me through a long day of sweating in the sun at a Ren Faire gig….Apply in the following order…

1. Urban Decay Primer Potion. 2. Mac Paint Pot 3. Shadows/Liner 4. Maron Setting Powder

Yes, Urban Decay and Mac are expensive. They’re 158% worth the investment. Urban Decay products can be found at Sephora Stores and Ulta. Mac counters can be found in most major department stores (Macy’s) and also have stand alone stores. Maron powder is a stage makeup setting powder, and can be found on their website or in costume/theater supply shops and runs about 6-8 dollars for a huge container (I’ve had mine for 10 years, it’s not going to go bad or run out quickly.)

Bellydance Fashions

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So, my new student, Z was talking about how she didn’t know what to wear for an upcoming Pageant she is involved in. She wants to do a belly dance choreo, and being the awesome teacher I am (haha!) I said I’d upload some pictures for her.

In retrospect, I think this is good for all my students, and anyone who’s interested in bellydance and just can’t find good costuming pictures.

The only style I haven’t covered here is Cabaret. It’s not because I hate Cabaret, but really, the costumes are much easier to find, and everyone has a good idea of the sparkle that the dancers are known for.

 

I made these awhile ago for the Shuvani Jezebels as a wardrobe guide. It was very helpful to us, and since then we’re all on the same page as far as costumes go. All the sketches are my property, photos are gathered from the web. (Except the pic of Melanie and K8, I took that gem.)

What I really think is most helpful about this is the breakdown of the costumes. There’s many layers to a tribal dancer’s costume, and when you look at the over-all picture, it can be overwhelming to piece it apart and figure out what is what.

Each sketch is the basic layer of costume minus the belts, layers of skirts, and jewelry.

I’ll go over a list of vocabulary at the end.

 

Modern Tribal

Example: The Indigo (Zoe Jakes pictured)

Breakdown of the  style.

TOP: Tribal bra of some sort. Choli, Turkish Vest, Choli Bodice

BOTTOM: Black Pants “Melodia” style, wide leg pants, printed pants, lace

ACCESSORIES: Hip Scarf , Tribal Belts, hall fall, hair bands, fishnets on arms, short overskirts, long skirt bustled at sides or back, Coin belts OK if in darker colors w/o gold coins.

 

 

Period Tribal

BOTOM: Harem Pants or wide leg pants, long skirt

TOP: Choli, Coin Bra, Turkish Vest, Gomluk with vest, Ghawazee Coat

ACCESSORIES: Hip Scarf, Tribal Belt, Scarves or turbans for the hair, hair falls, tribal face paint

AVOID: Modern coin belts

Troupe Hareem Shareem pictured

Gypsy

Bottom: Harem Patns or other pants with a circle skirt atop.

Top: Choli, Coin Bra with Turkish Vest, Choli Bodice.

Accessories: Hip scarf tribal belts, hair falls, headbands, over skirt, another circle skirt tucked up

Do Nots: Gomluk, poofy pants, peasant blouse

Fat Chance Bellydance Pictured

ATS/ITS

Much like the gypsy style. Add multiple layers of skirts sometimes tucked up, tassle belts, and larger feather and flower hairpieces or turbans. Skirts are often bustled on sides or back.

 

Costume Dictionary

Ghawazee Coat: (pictured above in “period tribal” photo) A fitted coat cut low under the bust to show off a coin bra. Sleeves often have the armpit area missing. Sleeve length can vary, from none, 3/4, to a full bell sleeve from the elbow to wrist. Buttons up the front. Used in modern dance as a cover up. For period dance, it is suggested a gumlok is worn underneath.

Antari/Entari- An overcoat much like a ghawazee coat, except not cut under the bust.

Gumlok: A long sleeved under dress slit up the front. It is usually made of a gaze type of fabric. Work as a base to many period costumes, it is worn under the coinbra and/or turkish vest but over the skirt/harem pants.

Turkish Vest: A vest usually made from a thicker fabric such as brocade and made to fit under the bust. The type of closure is up to the dancer and can be anything velcro, buttons, toggles, snaps, pins, laced up, ect. It is suggested you line your vest, and be sure the fabric you use isn’t flimsy as this is what holds your costume in place, be it your coin bra, or a period Gumlok.

Choli- An under blouse popular in India. The choli has many different styles, some tie in the back while others have a closed back and button up in the front. Traditionally worn under a Sari. Most cholis offer a bare mid-drift, while some have what is called a “bib” that hangs from under the bust and covers the belly.

Choli Bodice- These have become popular over the past few years, and are extremely versatile.  A combo of a choli, and a lace up bodice. Don’t pay more then 35-40 dollars for them retail.

Melanie and K8 playing with temp-tattoos, but wearing a choli-bodice.

Coin Bra- A bra decorated with coins, fringe, or other sort of adornment. Tribal bras are mostly decorated with some sort of metal kuchi coin or other sort of chains.

Kuchi- A pot-metal jewlry from the middle east. If it’s a country with “stan” in it, odds are they make some sort of Kuchi. Pieces are fantastic and original as almost every Kuchi piece of jewlry is hand made. The problem is, you never know what’s in the metal. It made by melting whatever metal they can get and pouring it into molds. Wear with caution as it’s likely to turn your skin colors and sometimes cause you to break out. I suggest treating the underside with clear nail polish, and only wear during shows and when interacting with an audience. Any kuchi earrings purchased, I highly suggest removing them from their hooks and replacing them with something hypoallergenic.

This is a great example of Kuchi. This is what is called a “shoe lace belt”.

Henna- A plant based paste used to stain the skin, also called Mhendi. Just check out Cricket’s site. http://theartfulcricket.com

Cricle Skirt: Also called “Flying Skirts” or “Gypsy Skirts”. A skirt made of at least 10 yards of fabric. If you plan to make one on your own, I suggest using a light weight fabric such as gaze. I’ve also used broad cloth for these, and had them be not too heavy.  A good rule of thumb for measuring a circle skirt. When on, they should hit between your ankle and the top of you foot. You shouldn’t be able to step on them when walking. A half circle skirt will form a U when each side is held in your hands, with arms extended. A Full circle skirt will be able to have the sides lifted above your head while still having the hem at your ankles. When you spin the fabric flares out. Please PLEASE wear pants under your skirt!!

Harem Pants: Poofy pants that are gathered at the ankle. Sometimes split up the sides. Can be made from a range of fabric, sometimes sheer but not usually for period or tribal performance.

Melodia- A style of modern dance pants that are fitted on the legs and flare out on the bottoms, most of the time they are slit to the knee. Melodia is the name brand, and very expensive. There are many knock offs, including Sharif Wear. Unless you are very small, I suggest buying from either the Melodia site or the Sharif Wear site as the sizing on their pants are either large or true to size. Sharif Wear tends to be very stretchy (I wear a Medium/Large, but I -can- fit into a small.). I DO NOT suggest buying from an online vendor, as most of the pants are from China and run VERY VERY small. DO NOT buy them on Ebay, unless the auction states they are Sharif Wear or Melodia Brand. I have a friend who sells Sharif Wear, so if you’re ever interested let me know and I’ll give you her name. Melodia pants run from around 70 dollars to 150 new. Sharif wear you can expect to pay between 35 and 85 depending on the style. Both are worth every penny!

Hip Scarf- A lace or silk shawl folded or cut into a V. The bottom of the V hangs from your butt, while the arms of the V are used to tie it to your waist.

Coin Belt- Can either mean a belt with coins on it, like a Kuchi Shoe-lace style belt, or a scarf with coins hanging on it.

Kuchi Belt- A belt with Kuchi pieces on it.

ATS/ITS- American Tribal Style and International Tribal Style. A troupe with a set group of movements. A leader will cue the rest of the troupe to a combination of predetermined movements.

Bindi- A jewel worn on the Third Eye. Check out Lena’s etsy site. http://www.etsy.com/shop/BigAssBindis If you see something you like, memo her and tell her you’re a student at Shuvani Dance Studio, and she’ll leave your order there for you most times! She’ll be vending at Qaina.

 

I hope this terminology helps everyone in their costume searches. I found the hardest part when I started dancing was trying to find costume pieces that weren’t cabaret. The period pieces were near impossible to find, and it’s even harder to find them when you don’t know what to search for name wise.

 

New Year New Me!

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So, I’ve been reading a book called The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. A dance friend turned me onto it.

It takes a motto I’ve been living by for the past couple of years, and turns it up. This book is amazing, and it works! I already feel so much less stressed out, and I want to keep going. 2012 is going to be a year of good things and change, because I said so.

Onto something beauty related. My New Year’s Resolution is to take better care of my skin. I want to be 40 and have people think I’m in my 20s, and if I want that, it needs to start now.

I bought an Olay cleanser brush, which is very much like a Clarasonic, but not rechargeable, and the brush head looks a little smaller, and well…it’s not sending sonic pulses into my skin. Other then that, by watching reviews of the Clarasonic, I really cant see any other major differences. It has 2 speeds, just like the Clarasonic, and is water-proof, just like the Clarasonic, and is even SHAPED like the Clarasonic (a bit smaller, but close). So for 30 bucks, I went with Olay as opposed to the 130+ it would have cost me to get a Clarasonic.

Now, I’ve entered a contest to -win- a Clarasonic, in the event I do get it, fantastic. I can do a comparison, and pass the one I don’t like off to my husband (Who actually does like and use the Olay one! lol)

So my new skin regemin is this:

Use Olay Cleansing Brush with Clinique Facial Soap, alternated with the Olay exfoliating cream.

Then use L’oreal Youth Code Eye Cream and Day/Night cream.

I love this line of products, and I’ve used them before. The Eye Cream helps to dramaticly reduce under-eye circles and puffiness, and makes lines vanish with in 2 weeks. I’ve noticed that paired with the use of the Cleansing Brush, the discoloration and puffiness I’ve had seem to be vanishing even faster…I’m going to assume that’s because of the gentle massage of the brush moving the blood around and getting it circulating.

In the mornings, I use Clinique’s New Clarifying Lotion Number 3 (which isn’t a lotion at all. O_o ) followed by L’oreal Youth Code SPF 30 Day Lotion if I’m going to be outdoors at all. If it’s an Inside All Day Never See The Sun sort of day, I skip this step.

I’ve been doing this for 5 days now, and can already see a dramatic difference in my skin.

I’ve also switched back to using Natural Shampoo Bars, from Mystique Products (find them on etsy, or mystiqueproducts.com), as well as natural bar soaps. I’ll have a review on my newest order from them…which I’m VERY happy with!