Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Bella's Backstage


For some reason, every time I wake up the day after a show I'm always aching all over. I think the rush of performance blocks out any pain receptors and I'll push myself much harder on stage, resulting in my waking up with muscle aches. But it’s a satisfied sort of pain and after a hot shower all that was on my mind was food. Surprise, Surprise...

Not much is open in Hobart on a Sunday in the city centre, as Torsten and I found when we went exploring for food. We found one of those diner style places that looked like it never closes, where they do a reasonable breakfast. Nothing mind-blowing, but we were hungry and I didn't have much time before I had to get back and put my stuff together for the afternoon’s dance classes and tutorials. Next time I'll head straight for North Hobart, as I was reliably informed by the girls, that it is the best place on a Sunday for food.

I was teaching a basics class at Tasmania's Pole Dancing and Burlesque Academy and was amazed how quickly the ladies of Hobart picked up the choreography. It was a very sexy tease to a bit of Screamin' Jay Hawkins and they were totally rocking out to it with their boa's and gloves.

Both Grace Cherry and Lucy Sky Diamond had one to one tutorials with me and I tell you what, I can't wait to see more from these ladies. Aside from being just the nicest girls you'll ever meet, they are extremely talented. I'll be watching with some interest at where their performances go.

So with a full afternoon and evening of classes finished can you imagine what mind was on? Before I left, I got Grace & Sarah's recommendations on where the best fish & chips were and so that's how Torsten and I came to find Fish Frenzy down at the harbour. It was absolutely freezing cold in the loveliest way when we hopped out of the cab and bundled into the very laid back fish & chips restaurant. Glass of rough red, great chips, prawn cutlets, calamari & fish. One fish we liked, the other not so much but unfortunately I can't remember the names of them!

This was followed by an icy walk around the harbour to walk off our very full bellies. Having walked past the Art Hotel, I made a mental note to stop in there next time. Their dessert menu looked wonderful.

Then all the way back around to Salamanca which at night time in the cold with the fairy lights in the trees reminded me so much of Berlin at Christmas. Followed by caramelized fig, green apple, lemon and peanut butter fudge gelato (2 flavours each - I would recommend the peanut butter fudge) at Cargo and I was feeling a strange sense of contentment, as I trundled off to bed for another night's beauty sleep.

I seem to be asked more and more about my skincare regime and personal taste in fashion. I've avoided writing about it because it seems a little self-indulgent of me (not being any expert on make-up) but as there seems to be a bit of interest in the subject, I figure what the heck! This little post is about the make-up and skincare I use.

How do I keep my skin looking great? I don't. I wear lots of make-up on stage which is why it looks porcelain in the pictures but in real life it is an ongoing battle to keep my skin in good condition. Make-up, late nights, a few too many champers and my skin gets positively grumpy with me. I also have extremely fair skin and so am very prone to freckles at the first peep of sunlight through the clouds. In addition to this, the illusion I was under that in passing my teenage years that I would be magically endowed with clear skin has fallen rather short of the mark.

So it's simple for me, 30+ sunscreen, even in winter. Make-up wipes by the bed for those nights I cannot summon the energy to wash my face, or in my make-up case for the trip home from a gig along with a little travel pot of moisturiser. All over body moisturiser, I am religious about this after a shower because the water in the three places I am most, England, Germany and Australia, is very hard and dries skin quickly. My friend Bea DeVile (another Burlesque Against Breast Cancer alumni) has also instructed me to body brush or use exfoliating gloves for lovely legs, but I'm terrible at remembering this.

My other indulgence is the 'Brazened Honey' face mask from Lush. It works like magic when my skin looks really tired. I just need to perk it up before a show, or the day after a show when I want to go out again and not look like I dragged my glittered behind into bed at 6am that same morning.

As far as make-up goes, I seem to stick to my staples. One of my lifesavers in hiding tired under eyes is a concealer called Touche Magique by L'Oreal. I'm pretty sure any illuminating concealer would do though. A decent red lip liner too, I have stupidly sharpened mine to the point where I can no longer see what brand or shade it is, so I'll have to do some investigating! I often use just lip liner all over instead of lipstick for a show as it will not budge, but of course a decent red lipstick for after a show is a must. Also, loose face powder, not compact. Trust me.

Black liquid eyeliner and false eyelashes. They are a bugger to learn how to use properly but once you do, what a difference it makes. I still curse and swear when I'm putting on eyelashes as do most of my friends but it's worth it in the end! I once blogged about another burlesque lass, BABC’s Khandie Kisses I believe, who told me once that she had so many false eyelashes, she thought they might form one giant eyelash and crawl around her apartment. I'm proud and terrified to say that I am at that stage of monster movie eyelash take-over.

As to how to put them on properly, it's all just practise, I'm sorry to say. There’s no secret. One day I promise, you'll get to the stage where you can put them on while on a moving train. You'll still curse and swear though.

Finally, the perfect nail polish. I go pink for 60s and red for everything else. My particular red being a bottle of Chanel 159 Fire Red which, as I hold it up to the light now, I see is over halfway used. Tragedy!

Hair, well when it comes to hair, I am lazy. I'd rather have someone else do it, but I feel it is necessary as part of my sartorial education and I try. Although, I do make more shortcuts than I'd like to admit. I'm in love with my Vintage Hairstyling book by Lauren Rennels. If you'd like to learn how to do your own vintage hair and make-up, there are also a few fabulous classes available. In Brisbane ,see the Facebook page for the Bombshells Academy to join classes and learn everything you need to know on vintage hair and make-up.

So that concludes my ramblings for now. I'll try to do a blog on clothes at some point, if I can focus for long enough!

Bella De Jac has performed a number of times for Burlesque Against Breast Cancer and you can find out more about her at www.belladejac.com

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