Get the Swingstar look

My crush on all things vintage doesn’t just extend to fashion. The trill of trumpets, the infectious rolls of drums and sultry vocals of swing music are one of the few sounds that will actually get these uncoordinated toes tapping and jazz fingers fluttering. So, when I saw the Swingstar Mansion event invite pop into my Facebook inbox for this coming Saturday 25 October, it was an instant ‘yes’. Centered around the album launch of Cape Town-based band The Swingsetters, the event looks like it’s going to be quite the spectacle, with live bands, burlesque, fire breathers, swing dancers and more. With such an awesome event on the cards, there’s just no way I go without looking the part. So I enlisted the help of makeup artist extraordinaire Quaanita Abrahams of Onq Makeup, to create the effect I was after. While there are a few different styles that one can associate with Swing culture (which was at its height in the 1930s), obviously I went with the pin-up iteration (obviously). So, without further ado:

How to get the pin-up makeup look:

There are four basic characteristics of the pin-up look that make it rock. 1. Flawless skin 2. Winged eyeliner 3. Arched eyebrows 4. Red lips

What you need:

IMG_1962.JPG Qaanita is like the Mary Poppins of makeup. She just keeps pulling new goodies out of her bag. Included in my look were:

  • Gosh CC Cream Illuminating Foundation – lightweight, oil-free formulation and is packed with pigment to even out the complexion which adds a luminosity to the complexion that lifts and perfects your skin.
  • MAC Mineralize skin finish in light – To set the foundation and also to give skin a light porcelain glow
  • MAC Prep+Prime – soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves application of foundation or powder.
  • Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer – preps skin to create a perfect canvas for flawless foundation application which is used to give you beautiful mattefinish complexion.
  • Clicks full set lashes – elongates your lashes and gives that desired flirt & prominent effect.
  • Inglot Gel liner paste in jet black – to create winged eye which is critical for this look.
  • MAC liquid liner fine tip – makes eyes more dramatic which is used to create a perfect cat eye.
  • MAC Mascara Haute Naught Lash –  few coats gives an intense dramatic feel
  • Estee Lauder Brow powder in dark brown – to shape eyebrows
  • MAC Blush peach – defines your cheekbones and used to bring out and give a precision cheekbone structure with blush effect.
  • NYX lipliner – ensures that the product lasts and does not go outside the lines which makes it for a long lasting stay.
  • NYX Red Matt Lipstick – is  statement for this look which gives your lips fuller & desirable effect.
  • MAC Mineralize Charged Water Hydrating Mist Finishing spray  – sets the entire look and makes the  makeup last longer.


 1. Prepare the skin

Key to this look is flawless skin. Start by applying moisturizer. Prepared skin for makeup with moisturizer, then add a primer (e.g. the Photofinish Primer by Inglot and/or Prep and Prime powder MAC that we used). Use a brush to apply foundation all over and blend along the neck. Set with a natural satin finish powder. Apply a light, natural looking blush to the apple of the cheeks, sweeping back to the temple.

2. Add winged liner

Prepare the eye with concealer and setting powder. Apply a eyeshadow in a natural shade across the lid. Use a gel liner with brush to create your winged line, sharpening it up with a liquid liner pen. Follow the natural curve of your eye, as seen below. Add a coating of mascara. IMG_1963.JPG

3. Arch dem eyebrows

Using an eyebrow powder and angle brush, fill in the brows and darken them. Give your brows that je nais se arch with an eye pencil in a matching colour. 

4. Paint your lips red

Using the lipliner, outline the lips, then colour them in slightly. This will help the colour to last longer and prevent smudging or bleeding. Fill in with a matt lipstick for ruby red lips to delight in. IMG_1965.JPG

5. Finishing touches

You’re almost ready to go! Just add that fluttertastic falsies and a spritz of finishing spray and you’re good to go. Badda-bing, badda-boom! IMG_1951-0.JPG

Haters gonna hate

Curvy is used here as a euphemism for fat.”

Got your attention? It got mine too.
Long before I posted my first post on Mind the Curves (Mind the Fat doesn’t have quite the same ring to it), I grappled with the thought of what I’d do if I suffered the wrath of the more critical Internet populous.

Until now, for the most part, I’ve received nothing but positive feedback, ranging from chummy ‘You go girl!’s to heartfelt messages about how I am an inspiration, which have almost brought me to tears.

And then today I spotted a string of comments on a post of mine that ran on Women24.

The comments ranged from concern for my health, to calling me lazy and fat.

And, just like that, with one little drop of acid, the entire glass is bitter.

I understand that by writing this blog and putting myself out there I am, in a sense, inviting this criticism. That doesn’t mean that I’m any better prepared or less affected when someone criticizes me. I’m such a fragile little hatchling on this body positivity journey myself.

But, it occurs to me, maybe in this situation lies a golden opportunity to confront those who are so ready to criticise another’s body and perpetuate the trend of body shaming.

I believe that there’s a lesson that we can all learn together here.

Confrontation, of any sort, is not my strong point. So I’d like your help to put together a list of how to respond when someone criticizes your body. Please drop me a line on the blog, via email or on social media to tell me, in your words, why is the body positivity movement important to you? How would you respond to someone who criticises your body?

Hopefully we can help prepare each other for this sort of criticism, and maybe open the eyes of a few people along the way.

Red lipstick kisses to you all,
The Girl in the Pearls

Sky blue love

When you have an *unconventional, or *troublesome figure (*I find all of these terms problematic), it’s very seldom that you put on a dress and think, ‘HOT DAMN that looks good on me!’. Yet, somehow, every outfit from designer Anna Geldenhuys’s brand Jacoba Clothing fit like it was made for me.

The sizes were easy and comfortable, the fabric both luxurious and flattering, and the cuts a variety of classic, sexy, stylish and fun.

And when something doesn’t fit like a glove, Anna is quick to say that she’ll alter it to fit you. Of course, the approach that you make clothes to fit your body, and not change your body to fit clothes, is one that resonates with me deeply.

Traditionally dealing in bridal party-wear, Jacoba Clothing is now expanding to all occasion-wear. You can see one of my favourite of her frocks below, with more to come in the next few weeks.


I did this shoot on Heritage Day. This picture just kind of… happened. 🙂



Dress: Jacoba Clothing
Earrings: at Kin
Nails: ‘Metallic Purple’ from Gosh at Edgars
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

Rock a catsuit!

I can tell you here and now, never in a million years did I ever think I’d rock a cat suit.

When uber-talented designer Isabel de Villiers first showed it to me, I was skeptical. Surely it was going to cling in all the wrong places, and, and, and… it was pants! But then I tried it on. Like a dress (did you know I love dresses?) it just slips on, and you don’t have to worry about coordinating tops and bottoms. And Isabel’s designs bear our curves in mind, so it’s forgiving in the places it needs to be.

Now I’m sold, and wear mine often.
She has several new variations of this design on her website – check it out here:

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Cat suit: Isabel de Villiers
Earrings: at Kin
Nails: ‘Spot on! Pink’ from Gosh at Edgars
Lips: Mango Lip Butter by Korres
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

The Neriad

“Like a sprite, she rose from the water.”
But really, I just splashed around in the duck-poo-infested pond at the castle.

The dress is really lovely though. Flowing and graceful, it has a grecian quality to it. Looking at it now, I wonder if I shouldn’t have worn it with a gold rope belt.

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Dress: G-Couture
Earrings: Resin flowers by Chasteau de Balyon at Kin
Rings: Sterling silver and enamel rings by the Story of Long Jean Silver at Kin
Nails: ‘Spot on! Pink’ from Gosh at Edgars
Lips: Mango Lip Butter by Korres
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

Fanciful feathers

I’m sorry for not posting anything last week. Hoping to make it up to you with a whole bunch of awesome new outfits, from a brand-spanking-new shoot. We shot at the Cape Town Castle, which is filled with lots of beautiful, romantic nooks and crannies and secret corners. I might have even got to straddle a cannon…

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Top: Michelle Ludek at Zando
Skirt: Michelle Ludek
Nails: ‘Spot on! Pink’ from Gosh at Edgars
Lips: ‘Mango’ Lip Butter by Korres
Make-up: Qaanita Abrahams from Onq Makeup
Photographer: Alison Westwood

Oversized shirt

Since the long ago days of school uniforms, I’ve had barely any interactions with button-up shirts. Due to the often unforgiving stiffness of the fabric, it’s been near impossible to find ones that fit over my buxom breasts and bulging biceps. (Yes, let’s go with that description).

Thus, my joy at finding this over-sized guy, who hides all the bumpy bits I don’t love showing off, and looks pretty badass with a belt round my smallest part.


P.S. This shoot got a little weird.


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Shirt: Weiss Design
Lips: ‘Fiery’ by Stila
Nails: ‘Leather Look’ by Nails Inc
Photographer: Rachel Robinson


This post is just a bit of silliness, really. I saw this ridiculous cat dress/top (drop?) and Mr P and obviously couldn’t live without it.

My handsome friend was less than pleased at being a prop for this photo shoot. Especially not one that features cats .


I had a bit of fun editing these. Forgive the 17 difference effects used 😛

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Dress: Mr Price
Lips: ‘Fiery’ by Stila
Nails: Leather Look Effect by Nails Inc
Photographer: Rachel Robinson

Paper planes

After the excitement of being featured on both Women24 and Becoming You this week, I felt like I’d better post something good. (Yes, I’m hoping to win your hearts with the picture of me squeezed into a tub, to follow).

This dress was another winner from my little spree at Mr Price. It’s from the ‘regular’ section (non-plus-size), but is thankfully stretchy and flattering, thanks to the seam taking me at my smallest part under my bust. I’m particularly self-conscious about my legs, and this dress is on the shorter side, so I opted to wear it with leggings underneath.

Of course, I SO love the quirky print. (SUCH a sucker for fun prints).

What do you think?






So, turns out, my photographer for this shoot, Rachel, does a lot of baby photography. She saw this bath and laughed about how, if this were a baby shoot, she would put me in it. Guess what happened next…



Dress: Mr Price
Lips: Stila
Nails: ‘Leather Look’ by Nails Inc
Photographer: Rachel Robinson

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