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Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Pin Up Cheat Sheet

Recently a student asked me to let her in on some of my secrets to looking like a pin up so that she could try the look on herself.  Not only was I happy to spill the beans, it inspired me to write a whole blog so that all my seductresses can get on the pinup pleasure train! Enjoy!

1. Red Lipstick
In my opinion, red lipstick makes you an instant pin up, no matter what you are wearing. Two of my favorites are Ruby Woo by Mac and (for a more economical choice) 501A by Wet and Wild.  Check out my video for wearing red lipstick like a pro here!

2. Hair Accessories
Hair flowers, clips, and accessories just bring the glamour train screaming into the station.  Not only do they add a pop of color and that vintage look, they bring a ton of attention to your gorgeous face.  They go best when paired with vintage hairstyles. 

3. Vintage Cardigans
I love going into thrift shops and vintage stores and looking for beaded and fur collared cardigans from the 40’s and 50’s.  In fancy shops they will run you a bit more, but I recently found one at Soiled Doves in Rosendale, NY for 20 clams! Throw one over your shoulders and pair with a pencil skirt to look smokin’ hot on these first chilly days of autumn.

4. Vintage hairstyles
Victory rolls, pin curls, finger waves; there is so much you don’t even know you don’t know! Google search vintage hairstyles, check out Bettina May’s video of Bombshell Basics, buy yourself some hairspray, bobby pins and a curling iron and get goin’ girl!

5. Shoes
For pin up magic, I love black patent leather peep toe stilletos.  There just aint’ nothing like them on Earth. Other styles that scream pin up are high heel T-straps and Mary Janes.  I avoid wearing platform stilettos, I feel a platform just sucks the vintage right out of the look.

6. Seamed Stockings
Need I say more? There are a few different types: there is the full stocking , the adhesive thigh high (also called stay ups), and the non adhesive thigh high that must be worn with a garter belt.  I find the non-adhesive thigh high the easiest and sexiest to wear and adjust.  Oh I could write a whole separate blog on stockings! Coming soon!

7. Study Pin Up Poses
Do a google search of “pinup” and most likely the first thing you will land on is the work of Gil Elvgren.  This genius man and his models who I bow down before created hundreds of the masterpieces that we refer to as classic pinup.   I recommend buying a pin up day calendar and imitating a different one each day.  (thanks for that Christmas gift Mom, it has sure come in handy!)
Photo by Burke Heffner
8. Vintage Style dresses
There are few things more satisfying than scoring a vintage piece that fits like a glove.  One of the things that makes this so satisfying unfortunately is that it is so rare.  Vintage reproductions are done in the vintage style but are a new item, available in a variety of sizes.  Here are some of my favorite online shops:

9. Bullet bras and garter belts
The same rule of vintage reproduction applies to lingerie.  I recommend checking out the sites and 
10. False eyelashes
I wear false eyelashes to do my laundry sometimes.  They just evoke a timeless glamour and an “I’m hot and I know it” attitude like nothing else.  Here is a video by cutie Hollie Wakeham encouraging you to “have a go” at applying them.  She uses a tweezer, I use my hands.  To each her own. 

11. Talk to a professional
Bettina May is a NYC based pin up glamour coach and a wickedly talented photographer.  She teaches pin up workshops all over the place, and also does private coaching.  Check her out!
Bettina May  Photo by Malgorztata

12. Red nails
My favorite polish is OPI Red (by OPI of course).  One thing to know is that when it comes to a great manicure, the polish is only half the equation.  Using a great topcoat will seal in the professional look.  I recommend NailTek. 

So there you have it. Enjoy these tips, and please, do show and tell by emailing me a photo! 



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Seduction, Spending And Love

Prada's competition this week.
“Baking Soda! 99 cents!” beckoned a pink, fluorescent piece of poster board in the pharmacy window.

I’m used to feeling the twinge that tells me to go purchase something when I walk by the window of, let’s say, Forever 21.  But baking soda? First of all, I don’t bake. Second, my roommate just bought some baking soda, so even if I needed it, I have some at home in my very own fridge.  Why did I suddenly feel a mouthwatering desperation to buy it?

First things first: I recently read a new and life-changing book called Money: A Love Story, written by my dear friend and money muse Kate Northrup.  I have read several books on personal finance throughout my life.  Every time I have approached money in the past, it has been from a place of fixing myself, righting my wrongs, and atoning for my financial sins. This was all so that I could someday be “good” or at least “better” with money.  “Oh I’m so bad with my money!” I would lament in the off times, just like my old days of yo-yo dieting. In the on times I would get that crazy, manic look in my eye, feeling proud when I could deprive myself as much as possible, like buying a street cart coffee when I really wanted a latte.

The thing about this approach however, is that I hate street cart coffee, so inevitably I would buy the latte anyway after becoming so fed up with all the “rules”.  These rules mind you, were all written by my own hand – strings of barbed wire I had strung up around the things I could and couldn’t do in order to be considered “good” with money. Eventually, of course, I would rebel. “Oh yeah rules??? I’m getting whipped cream on that latte! And special flavoring! And I’m getting a LARGE!” I would leave the coffee shop feeling bloated, wired and utterly defeated.
$4.25 down the hatch.
But let’s get back to the baking soda. 

I knew that rationally I had absolutely no need or even desire for baking soda.“But 99 cents?” my mind said. “What a deal! I don’t even know what baking soda really costs but it looks like this is the steal of the century! Maybe I should get a few.  And while I’m at it, some paper towels, we can always use paper towels.  And while I’m here, I need conditioner.  And you know? I’ve been thinking lately that I should start using Listerine, just for that extra oral care punch”.

Normally, this thought process would usher me straight into the pharmacy and escort me out with an unexpected $40 transaction on my bank statement. Forty dollars is not a fortune, but the pharmacy purchase, plus a detour into the sunglasses store, plus splurging on a twelve dollar green juice, etc. These little spending adventures feel so sparkly in the moment, but suddenly turn into a sandstorm once reality hits.  Kind of like admiring a bird perched elegantly on your windowsill only to have it fly into the house, turning a thing of grace and beauty into chaos and panic. 
Kate! What a cutie-pants.
I was spared from the allure of the pink neon sign and I have Kate’s book to thank.  In Money: A Love Story, Kate takes you through her own journey into and out of $20,000 of credit card debt.  She also shares about her own financial entanglements that looked like a safety net from the outside but felt like a boa constrictor on the inside, and how she unraveled herself.  Her story is inspiring, real, and filled with compassion. 

In fact, what I love the most about the book is it’s compassion based approach, and the way it taught me to turn to my body and my feelings when making financial decisions.  This ties right into seduction as a spiritual practice.

People always assume that by teaching seduction I am teaching about power play, sex and how to scrutinize someone’s insecurities so that you can come out on top.  This model is based on manipulating and controlling other people’s desire.  But when applied as a spiritual practice, the tables of seduction turn. The focus is no longer on the desires of others, but rather the desires of YOU.  And not just the flippant impulses that serve as momentary distractions, but the deep, churning stirrings of our soul.

When I saw that flash of pink neon in the pharmacy window, my heart got excited. I felt like everything that little sign was promising: power, abundance, community, something-for-nothing, was not only suddenly available at my own fingertips, but available at half the price! How could I say no?
Big kahuna indeed!
I said no because I went within.  I asked my body: does this desire feel like a gentle lapping wave in a tide pool at the bay, or a big crashing, unstoppable wave in the ocean? As a seductress and a woman who now practices Money Love, I have come to see that trying to surf the little waves doesn’t ever get me very far.  There is much more power and reward in waiting for the big kahuna. 

I did not buy the baking soda, paper towels, conditioner or Listerine that day. And now, in addition to having another $40 in my bank account, I have the space in my mind and heart to spend time on the things that I truly love, rather than rummaging through my fridge making space for a few boxes of Arm and Hammer.
Thank you Kate, for telling your money love story, and in doing so, clearing away the brush for us to all rewrite our own. 

P.S. - Seductive Ritual: Rites of the Body is coming up September 22nd.  I am so excited to honor the holiest of holy's on that Sunday - your body.  This one-day retreat will be unforgettable, and is almost full.  Click here to reserve your spot!

P.P.S - The first round of gifts for attendees of October's Seduction Is A Way Of Life Retreat arrived today.  Cutting open that box was like untying the ribbon on a box from Tiffany's.  Just sayin! ;)

Thursday, September 5, 2013

I Am Too Much

Too much?
Photo: Beth Mayesh

“I’m afraid I’ll be too much.”

Today I was speaking with a client about being able to hold on to her sensual, seductive side in the face of criticism from her family.  When I asked her what would be an example of something they might say, she replied “That I am too much.  Too assertive, too opinionated, too racy, too sexy” and on and on. 

You know who else was too much?

Eleanor Roosevelt.
Mother Teresa.
Nelson Mandela.
Josephine Baker.
Susan B. Anthony.
Michelle Obama.

And a whole lot of other ass-kicking powerhouses. The thing is, positive change never happens on this planet when a woman (or a man) stays within the safety of the confines of “not enough”. 

However, the consequences of being too much add up to more than just worldwide recognition of being a leader.  That usually comes after the fact, after one has swallowed a big, fat helping of criticism and disapproval.  So how does one do it then?  How do we reclaim the part of us that magnetizes through sheer brightness of our light, and by virtue, naturally attracts big dark moths?

It all starts with the first story of seduction we are ever told.  Usually when I ask my students what they were taught about seduction as children, the response is “nothing”.  What we don’t realize is that almost all of us are taught or at least told a story that defines our understanding of seduction today: the story of Adam and Eve. 

We view this mean trickery of the serpent seducing Eve into taking the apple from the tree of temptation, and then Eve seducing Adam to take a bite, as being the very act of seduction itself.  An act of manipulation, rooted in evil and in the wicked pleasure of sex and the senses.  The consequences of seduction? Oh, just the fall of mankind.

But friends, let us remember, there are two sides to every story. 

To demonstrate what I mean I would like to show you a clip from one of the Seduction Sessions, a core part of my online program “Your Seductress: Unveiled” which starts September 9th.  In this clip, I will offer you a new perspective on seduction, what it means, and why Eve was actually as innocent as the driven snow. (while simultaneously being too much, of course)

My hope is that this clip will open you to a new perspective on your seductive power, your too-muchness, and how to handle those big bad moths that charge your light. And, if this clip intrigues you, please do join us for the September session of “Your Seductress:Unveiled.” There are already 50 women who are choosing to pull back the curtain on their innate, seductive nature.  You will be in good company, and I promise, I will take such good care of you.  Click here to enroll or learn more about the program. 

With the juice of a ripe apple dribbling down my chin,

Kitty Cavalier