Tag Archives: legs

“Leg Paint On His Back!?”

“Women want men, career, money, children, friends, luxury, comfort, independence, freedom, respect, love and cheap stockings that don’t run.” –Phyllis Diller

On October 27, 1938, Charles Stine, a vice president of E. I. du Pont de Nemours, Inc., announced that nylon had been invented, the name of ‘nylon’, the ‘ny’ part of the name literally standing for the initials of New York. He unveiled the world’s first synthetic fiber not to a scientific society but to three thousand women’s club members gathered at the site of the 1939 New York World’s Fair for the New York Herald Tribune’s Eighth Annual Forum on Current Problems. He spoke in a session entitled “We Enter the World of Tomorrow” which was keyed to the theme of the forthcoming fair, the World of Tomorrow.

After the New York World Fair when nylon stockings hit the market on May 14th 1940, women rushed out to buy them, not in their thousands, but in their millions! Over 72,000 pairs of nylons were sold on the first day of release in America and 64 million by the time a year had passed. The allure of wrinkle free, bunching free, inexpensive leg wear proved extremely popular putting a colossal dent into all preceding forms of established hosiery manufacture.

From the time of their original inception back in 1940, stockings had changed little. At that time they were “fully fashioned”, created in a wide variety of sizes to fit the leg exactly and knitted together down the back showing a seam. During the time when nylon stockings were hard to come by, women had become quite skillful at drawing a line down the backs of their legs to give the appearance of stockings by mimicking this seam line. However, that changed in the late 60’s when manufacturers found they could make nylon stretchy by crimping it under heat and then when Lycra was invented by DuPont in 1959, there was no longer a need for fully fashioned stockings. Later, the seams too were to disappear as manufacturers moved away from knitting flat to circular knitting machines, which eliminated the need to join the material.

Q: What’s a wife more afraid of finding on her man than lipstick on his collar?

A: Leg paint on his back.

During World War II, many women had no stockings and so they ‘penciled in’ seams, using eyeliner or eyebrow pencil to draw lines up the backs of their legs to create the look of stockings. This was not the only cosmetic approach to hiding one’s bare legs. In a copy of The Professional Beautician 1942, there was an ad for beauty shop owners to stock Curley Colortone Cosmetic Stockings. The vintage wholesale advertisement for professionals promises that each unit of Curley Colortone Cosmetic Stockings includes a jar of Colortone and a jar of Curley Foundation Creme and clearly shows that salon product was also available.

A 1938 issue of Popular Science boasted “Cream Replaces Silk Stockings,” a new cosmetic “boon to the outdoor girl,”.  In fact, the Smithsonian, showing us Leg Silque Liquid Stockings by the Langlors Company, says that such leg makeup had been available since the 1920s — but “it wasn’t until rationing was introduced during the World War II that the product became an essential commodity for many American women.”

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Dance, A Hidden Language of the Soul. Featuring Mari Sandoval

Throughout time, dance has been considered a universal language, a form of non-verbal communication between humans. A dance can transform a body into a book, a storyteller simply by the movements and the tone of the face and hands and by the movement of the body. It conveys passion, love, lust, hate, sadness, pleasure, pain, solitude and grace. The world of Flappers, Pin-ups and Showgirls  has been graced by legends such as Anita Berber, Marion Benda, Joan Bennett, Caja Eric, and Gypsy Rose Lee, but in the world of Flamenco – One of my personal favorite styles of dance – we have had Farruco, Mario Maya, Carmen Amaya, Tibu la Tormenta, Manuela Carrasco Salazar and many, many more! The pin-up culture has been tied to several different types of dance through burlesque; flappers; tango; swing and flamenco not only through performances, but also depicted in the pin-up culture artwork.

Oak Tree Vintage was fortunate enough to catch up with Mari Sandoval, renowned choreographer/performer, and had the pleasure of asking a few questions regarding the care of a dancers body, her thought process when choreographing and the demands a dancer must meet in order to convey a story to the audience.

Mari Sandoval

Mari Sandoval was trained in Ballet, Classical Spanish Dance, and Flamenco in Spain and the United States by such notables as Carmelita Maracci, Vladimir Lupov, Jonette Swider, Enrique “el cojo;, Carmen Mora, Inesita, Lupe del Rio, Nana Lorca, and Roberto Amaral. Mari performed with Roberto Amaral’s Ballet Expanol de los Angeles as a principal dancer and as the company’s Ballet  mistress. She has performed in theaters such as the Lobero, Wilshire Ebell, Japan America, Fox Smother’s, The Center for Performing Arts at CSUN, as well as numerous other venues throughout the United States and Canada. She was a choreographer for the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts from 1987 to 2009 where she created choreographies for opera, zarzuelas and numerous plays with a special emphasis on creating works for the plays and poetry of Federico Garcia Lorca. She often performed in the same pieces she choreographed.  Mari’s other credits include Musical Theater productions, and Dance Theater productions such as “Evita’, “Cats”, “The Cobbler’s Many Tales”, “While Beauty Slept” among numerous others. Recently Mari choreographed for LATA’s awesome summer program and is presently teaching Flamenco, Yoga and Zumba

Mari Sandoval

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Oak Tree Vintage:  It’s always been apparent to me when I see your work performed there is a cohesion that’s so beautiful whether others are dancing your choreographed work or you are the one performing it yourself. What is your thought process when your choreographing one of your masterworks?

Mari Sandoval instructing students in one of her many dance classes

Marilyn Sandoval: My thought process, whether I am the performer or the choreographer, is to put myself within the play’s poetic imagery.  For me, the poetic images suggested by the writer/poet, that are either accompanied by, or possibly enhanced by the music, are my guide. I have been known to choreograph in my head, while driving to the theater, simply by repeatedly listening to the music and by searching for the relationship between the two media. When working with the imagery of Garcia Lorca, I have often felt that he was guiding the movement.  I let myself become his instrument to give life to his work. That has happened to me in the past, before working at the theater, when I created a piece for my mentor teacher, Carmelita Maracci.  She made an assignment to dance with a fan.  I chose the music of Igor Stravinsky, “Three Pieces for a String Quartet,” and it more or less created itself.  I just listened to the poetry in the music, and it told me what to do.  She went crazy for it! The beauty in movement comes from the words combined with the music and the ability/talent to, “go there,” by the actor.

Oak Tree Vintage:  Your choreographic process often includes working with musical scores by great composers from the past. How do you pull inspiration from composers/musicians that have long been gone?

Marilyn Sandoval: Composers, like artists, come from distinct time periods. There are wonderfully stylistic things that  identify the differences between one time to another.  I was fortunate enough to have had a teacher, Carmelita Maracci, who demanded that we study music from multiple eras and to know something about what stylistically was going on during those diverse times  I also have had many great opportunities to be immersed in culturally diverse music, poetry, and dance, which I believe contributed to my work.

Oak Tree Vintage:   It can be said that both traditional and non-dance audiences are drawn to your work. In your opinion, what is it about your dances that attract non-dance audiences?

Marilyn Sandoval: It has been my goal, if the actor is “moving” within the framework of the play, to create movement that is not seen as, “dance” alone, but as a natural/organic aspect of the play’s design. Otherwise, if the dance segments are supposed to be “danced” I have striven to create entertaining, passionate, sensual, and “attractive” movement, so that the audience feels they are “there.” I always wanted the audience to feel something from what they were seeing. I rarely found out whether or not that happened.

Oak Tree Vintage:   You have the virtue of making the worst dancer look good. How do you teach a performer to convey the passion, power and sensuality that a dancer must offer its audience?

Mari Sandoval choreographing the world premiere opera “Lorca, Child of the Moon”

Marilyn Sandoval: Actors who don’t “believe” they can move, need to be coxed into believing they can.  The process of learning to move needs to be full of positive and non critical rehearsal time.  Once the threads of the coordination appear, then more layers can be added. The actors understand the script’s demands and will supply the emotional aspects once the movement is achieved.  Movement, like languages, can’t happen in an environment of doubt and criticism. I spent many years teaching students from all over the world to speak, read, and write English.  I know that the process of learning to dance and to speak a new language is parallel.

Oak Tree Vintage:  As a professional, your body goes through so much when you are choreographing and performing. How do you maintain your body and mind healthy, beautiful and strong?

Marilyn Sandoval: Anyone who dances knows that maintaining strength, flexibility, and endurance is of ultimate importance. As a choreographer, I have tried  to be an example to the actors so that they could imitate  the movement I was requiring them to produce.  While people are learning, the choreographer must  be involved in repetition and that’s where  physical training comes into play. Classical Ballet, Yoga, Pilates, and Flamenco have always been my a part of my personal physical routine. That will keep you in shape!

Oak Tree Vintage:   Legs, they go through so much on a daily basis as a dancer. They are the instrument, the voice and the storyteller. What would be your best advice on how to avoid injury on your feet and legs?

Marilyn Sandoval: The legs, feet, arms and hands are,along with the face, the most expressively articulate  parts of the body. To keep those parts of the body from being injured excellent core training accompanied by work on strength, flexibility, and endurance should be anyone’s focus. It should be a life long focus, and must include a healthy diet and weight. There are so many beautiful ways to build and maintain the bodies expressive potential.  I am in favor of multiple forms of training: Yoga for strength, flexibility and focus; Pilates for core strength; Classical Ballet for it’s amazing requirements for strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination, not to mention poetic expressiveness; Flamenco for endurance, coordination and it’s passionate expressiveness; Zumba for it’s fun fitness goals.  Any form of movement that pushes and encourages an individual to keep growing is of maximum importance!


Pin-up Perfect Tips!

The art of the pin up pose is a form of making love. The best parts of the body are emphasized in a sultry, classy, playful way. The arched back, the long leg look with legs positioned off to the side or above the body, the coquettish bend to show off the backside or the opps.. my girls just wanted to say hello pose are all popular looks of the pin-up model. The pin-up facial expressions are the cherry on top. Pin-Ups are all about facial expression & personality. What’s your pin-up personality? Classy and sexy? Cute and playful? Tough but smoldering? Hot home goddess? Temptress secretary? Find your look by spending some real time in front of the mirror finding out what expressions are best for you. Pull out all your sexy gear such as stockings, corsets, lacy undergarments, garter belts, heels, sexy robes plus whatever else you have that will play well in front of the camera. Practice your poses and facial expressions in front of your mirror for a more productive pin-up photo shoot.

Here’s a few tips that will help you perfect your pin-up look:

  • Point your toes! If you remember to arch your ankles, your legs will look longer and toned. 
  • When posing, try to keep your tongue firmly glued to the roof of your mouth. This will slim your face, and cut down on the double chin.
  • Create lots of angles with your body without pointing a joint to the camera. Never point elbows or knees directly to the camera. Instead create angles where these joints are pointing away from the camera.
  • Don’t be afraid to ham it up! Those silly pics are sometimes the best shots.
  • Finger nails! Yes, girls have shown up with peeling polish and broken acrylics. NO-NO! Have well trimmed and shaped toenails and fingernails, trim and moisturize those cuticles! Don’t make the photo editor work overtime on sections that you could have easily taken care of.
  • Make sure your bikini line has been groomed and not neglected. Photoshop will make sure it looks perfect so long as you help by trimming and shaping. Sounds easy enough, but sometimes some girls do forget… don’t let it be you!
  • A great tip I found on a pin-up tip site: If you have less than toned thighs, a good trick is to find some completely sheer “sheer to waist” pantyhose as a foundation. (Make sure they are not control top! A good choice- Sheer Energy Sheer to Waist- they have the green stripe on the box.) The pantyhose will make your legs looks great, and then you can pull the stockings over them to have the stocking look with toned upper thigh.
  • Make every shoot a quality shoot! Do not, I repeat, DO NOT party the night before. So many things will go wrong. Your skin will look dehydrated and uneven, your eyes won’t be bright and shiny, your hair will be dull and self medicating is not an option. Take every shoot seriously. Many people invest their time, energy and talents to make you look great so please respect them by respecting yourself!

Oak Tree Vintage wants to make sure you always look your best by providing you with great tips and suggestions. Do you have any tips you’d like to share? Join Oak Tree Vintage and post your tips now!


“Leg-Naked”

One accessory I find to be sexy but not always convenient are pantyhose. What’s sexier than wowing your man in the evening hours like seductively slipping off those stockings and putting on a show for your honey. Well, as much fun as that can be, I have to admit I am not the most graceful or careful of people when it comes to rocking the hose…pantyhose! I’m talkin pantyhose! You dirty birdies!

Like many gals out there, my legs don’t quite match my top half without some on the spot color enhancement. So rather than to sit there with the clear nail polish on standby just in case I snag my stockings in one of my many ungracious moments of the day, I resort to one of these few tips to give my legs the pantyhose look.

  1. Airbrush Legs by Sally Hansen. Give your legs a light tan or pantyhose look with this lightweight leg makeup. One thing to keep in mind, this stuff can get messy. Be sure to spray while standing at a good distance from furniture or cabinets and lay a dark towel on the floor where you will be standing. Also, just a heads up, sometimes the spray can stops working after a few uses so be sure to have a back up plan, like tip #2.
  2. Liquid foundation a couple shades darker than your own skin tone mixed with some body butter is a quick fix to pale legs. I prefer this method because I decide and control the level of tint I want on my legs. This is also a great way to put to use all those foundations you bought that were much to dark for your face and never returned to the drugstore.
  3. Make-Up Forever Face and Body Liquid Make-up is a waterproof, ultra-light, water based gel containing no emulsifiers and provides a totally natural satin finish. For use on the legs and body, Make-Up Forever recommends you apply a fine layer, let dry three minutes, then blot the excess with a tissue.

Let’s face it, not everyone was born with flawless legs, and as we get older freckles and veins become more noticeable. Create the coveted appearance of  beautiful airbrushed skin on your own legs with some leg makeup for those special occasions in which you desire to ditch the pantyhose and go leg-naked!


Don’t Be Such A Flake!

It’s that time of the year again when the days are short and the nights are long. Where cuddling up with a warm blanket, sippin on a sweet cup of cinnamon tea while living vicariously through Dexter sounds like the end of a great day. Ahhhh… winter!

Accumulations of snow and ice are happening in some parts of the country while accumulations of dry skin and chapped lips are happening on our bodies. This is not acceptable! Dry air and winds with a bite can be our worst enemies during the grand finale of the year, let’s not go out looking haggard and mangled. Here are some products that will help you avoid becoming a winter mess.

  1. Rosebud Perfume Company salves help prevent and temporarily protect chapped hands, chapped face, chapped lips, dry rough skin, minor burns, windburn, chaffing and other irritations. Rosebud has been a skin protectant since 1860 and a must have for every lady. After a long night of  “entertainment”, apply some under your eyes, on and around your mouth after your nightly routine and wake up with a hydrated face that won’t kiss and tell of the night before.
  2. Rose Baby Oil, several varieties can be purchased at your local drugstore. This should only set you back about $6 dollars, but will do wonders for your skin. It’s not to thick, has a rosy scent that will lightly compliment any fragrance you wear and keeps your skin hydrated while battling the ever changing moods of winter.
  3. Last, but not least Bag Balm! No, it’s not for the bags you ladies shouldn’t have under your eyes, but rather Bag Balm from Vermont. This product was actually created to soften cow udders back in 1899 and worked extremely well. Word got out in 1937 about the different ways Bag Balm could be used and has since then skyrocketed in sales with a wide array of clients. Keep your pretty lil feet looking soft by applying a generous amount of bag balm all over your feet and putting on some fluffy socks to keep them well hydrated throughout the night. It does have a medicine type smell but will fade by the morning. You can also use on your legs for softer, beautiful legs overnight! You can find Bag Balm at your local drug store.

Stop flaking out this winter and put your best face forward from here on out. Our skin takes quite the weather beating so let’s give it some TLC every night so that it loves us back gracefully in our later years.