The goals of the activities before the ball were not just to make Acerules look like a polished young lady, but more, to make her feel a princess, spoiled and pampered, in a slow old-fashioned way, a different dimension from our high paced world. She has a casual job in hospitality (food) now, a beau, and her year 11 and 12 studies, to keep her very busy from now on. Adulting beckons.
So I took alot of stuff. New stuff, antique silver stuff. Heirlooms. Stuff wrapped in tissue paper, in bubble wrap, in satiny pouches. Stuff wrapped in our love. Man, it was heavy. Just as well hubby, and our taxi driver, are strong men.
Here is our luggage at a café, en-route to the regional city where the ball was held, in Sale, Victoria. A full-size suitcase, hubby’s full-size backpack with detachable day pack, my own day pack including my new custom made jewellery in it made by my USA friend; beauty case containing Mum’s wedding crown, that I carried myself, and a florist flower arrangement. I enjoyed telling a couple of people it was all for only one night!!
Showering, dressing and beautifying for the debutante ball, was to take place at the conveniently located Midtown Motel, Sale. This is a clean , well run accommodation with pool and restaurant, which is under new management. We were happy with our stay.
I had requested a large surface for doing nails, makeup , hair etc, which was provided.
The high wooden pelmets were good for hanging the long dresses for the travel creases to drop out.
Importance of eating
I think there would be less “bridezillaz” and divas if people remembered to eat before special events where they are in a central role. We picked Ace up early from school after she had attended a compulsory subject, then was allowed to go.
As we were busy at normal meal times, we bought our own supermarket food, including making up deli meat rolls we ate at the shopping centre (mall) for lunch. Acerules’ school uniform shoes had chosen that day to drastically fall apart so buying new ones took up some precious time.
I also ducked across to “Cheap as Chips” where a local had told me I could buy a medium size mirror. I kept passing two staff in the aisles. One was training another one, the whole time jigging an inflated kangaroo up and down. They helped me find the right mirror, for $6 au!
The rest we had at the motel: pastries for afternoon tea,
a light Caesar salad with tinned fish dinner, (I had salmon, Ace had tuna with corn and mayo, and Hubby had sardines in tomato). Nothing that could make us bloat, as the dresses were quite tight. Acerules was sewn further into hers just before she left for the event, to stop tall boys looking (or photographing ) down her top and avoid her having to constantly haul up the straps. Just as well I packed sewing things, I don’t know if she lost weight in that week!
I was glad I insisted on Acerules eating, because later she said she couldn’t eat much at the five hour ball, and I knew she would need the energy for dancing. Hubby did find finger food at the ball (he has a radar), but there were long queues, that slowed him down somewhat!
We enjoyed sponge cake with jam and cream at the motel with guests for supper, and had a very early breakfast of cereal, as hubby had to go to work. We had motel tea and coffee and water, as alcohol would not have helped nervousness, or people remembering complicated dance steps.
Hubby got a long-coveted tattoo last Father’s Day for a gift. It is written in a medieval language as he likes that period. Tea:
My tea got cool as I applied heel grips to my Italian leather first wedding shoes, for Ace to wear. I asked hubby to hold them on while the sticky dried.
Here she is in Katja’s shop, the previous week, learning to walk in them:
On the day, she refused to wear the tights or footlet socks, (in this pretty bag),
then later got blisters. Does mother know best? I leave you to judge.
After a shower, Ace donned the new dressing gown I had bought her for the occasion, and chose sparkly silver from the light coloured nail polishes I had brought along. She did her left hand
and asked for help with her right:
She had to sit still while it dried, then had some afternoon tea.
A great deal of Pinteresting , Googling etc was done in the year or so before the deb ball, to work out what style would suit both the 1960s heirloom crown, and Acerules. Both my mother and I, at our weddings, had worn a hair bun inside it to help keep it on. There are pictures of Princess Margaret of England doing the same.
In the end, Acerules settled on a new fashion style called a Hun. Yes, that is really a thing, celebrities are wearing it. (Hubby tells me that Attila the Hun wore it too!) It is young people/influencer speak for “Half up, Half down Bun.“ The bun sits on top of the head.
Note, she really does not like me to call it a hun. I’m allegedly too old. “No, Mum, just no.” So of course I do. Parents have to grab their fun where they can.
When hair is left down at deb balls, it is usually curled, so we agreed on that. I asked Ace to check the curling iron was working a couple of days before the event.
At the last dress alterations fitting with Katja,
I had been concerned at the rough looking condition of Acerules’ long hair, despite a haircut last school vacation. High ponytails, swimming and Summer sun are murder on the follicles. After the event she would get it cut shorter, but for now we needed the length. It needed a mask treatment.
With the voucher from her Uncle and Aunt, Acerules had some new Elvive coconut oil shampoo and conditioner , plus a matching leave-in mask conditioner, all of which she had used two days before. All ballet mothers know that you don’t wash hair the day of doing a bun, as it will fall down.
The hair was neatly divided with a comb, across the scalp below the crown of the head, and the foreward portion combed and gathered up, with Ace’s head right down, looking at the floor.
I used the stretchy brown donut in the top bun. The hair was drawn through and splayed around evenly to cover it. A brown hair elastic was wound underneath it, and the hair under it was wound around to cover the hair elastic. Done again, I would use a bigger donut next time, even though the small bun is fashionable atop the head. Or I could even do it the old way, coiled around itself, though that uses a lot more pins, and in those days she complained of a headache. It comes down to personal taste.
A light application of strong hair spray and two doubled fine brown bun nets, then all was pinned and clipped, under the bun. That bun wasn’t going anywhere, and it didn’t, all night.
The remaining hair down her back was then covered liberally with the Elvive leave-in conditioner.
I had researched how to make curls stay in, (as mine started falling out as soon as I left the hairdresser on the day of my second wedding.) The scientific method is to apply leave-in conditioner before using the hot curling-iron.
I also pinned each curl as it came off the iron, and left them to cool like that, while the makeup was done.
Good stay-on foundation was applied all over, even the eyelids and lips, to even the skin tone, and make the colours stay put. Acerules had got help from a girl at school to apply the light black/brown false eyelashes earlier.
They made both mascara and eyeliner unnecessary. Great, as I had horrible memories of trying to put both on her for ballet concerts.
She was given colour choices, but mostly left it to me, so I went for dull purples and pinks to “bring out” her eyes. Medium purple was applied all over the eyelids with a small brush, then dark at the outer edge, then light as a highlighter. The top three here:
Pink blush was applied with a med-large brush under the cheekbones, a little on the apples of the cheeks, in the hollows of the temples (outer edges of the forehead) and in the centre of the forehead, to give a healthy glow.
Just after I put lip liner on her, I remembered to serve dinner.
The muted pink lip colour has been fashionable the last year or so, but also didn’t take away from the whiteness of her outfit. It has a stay-on top coat. She was stoic while I plucked a few stray hairs under her brows with tweezers for the first time. They were then tidied with brown brow colour, similar to mascara.
She got carefully into her dress in her bedroom. Trying not to stand on her skirt, I let out the curls from their pins and loosened them with my hands. The crown with its ribbons was unwrapped,
but there was a problem. The combs I’d sewn on, had nowhere suitable on the top of the head, to grip on, and had to be carefully removed. Only two loops at the front remained , to clip bobby pins to the head. She started jumping around during that. This caused some slippage later. The ribbons were untangled.
Out of this costume jewellery selection,
Ace chose to wear the leaf necklace and bracelet, and two of the sparkly leaf rings. She chose the drippy earrings for the lobes of her ears, and one clip on leaf earring for the top of one ear. It’s a thing now, she said. Right. I conceded her that one, as I had talked her out of painting every second fingernail only.
Hubby could not get the watch to work and there was no time to buy a battery. Get it? It had been three hours of pampering and we were out of time.
How did she look with the other girls? After the dancing I told her it couldn’t be the crown that was crooked, it must be her nose 😉
Kate Middleton eat your heart out.
Back to the motel for a minute. Acerules received the Vera Wang Princess perfume from us on her 17 th birthday this year, with a view to this special occasion coming up:
Her partner was due to pick her up in five minutes.
He brought surprises. And that is the next blog post. You just have to see that one!
Audrey Hepburn in My fair lady
Note, I do not get any payment or goods to mention these vendors, it is for information of those that may need it.
*Venue- Midtown Motel Sale, 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom suite, with dining table. Cheap and conveniently situated.
*Flower arrangement including lights done by Yarram Fresh Flowers, firstname.lastname@example.org
the artificial flowers themselves and white paper doileys (under manicure) were from Yarram Bargain shop.
*White, lavender-embroidered dressing gown and lingerie bag from Yarram Gifts and Novelties.
*Acerules and my dresses were new from Ebay, altered by Katja, who also makes upcycled clothing :
*Lavender mirror (leaning on wall)- Cheap as Chips, Sale
*Purple beauty case-op (thrift ) shop.
*Hair dryer and curling iron- Woolworths supermarket in 2017-18
*Elvive leave-in styling coconut hair conditioner, Rimmel lip liner and lip colour , nail polish remover, comb, false eyelashes , brow tweezers, brow colour and Lavender Kleenex tissues- Woolworths.
*Italian stainless steel scissors – op (thrift) shop.
*Vera Wang Princess perfume, DB foundation, sponge and silicone makeup applicators – Nielsen’s Pharmacy Yarram.
*Avon lipstick- Nancy in USA http://youravon.com/nancyarndt
*Lancôme eyeshadow and blush palette- Ebay Australian seller. Sold cheaper as was new without a box.
*Jewellery – mostly Ebay. The leaf pendant is vintage 1950s Krementz made in USA.
*Hair clips-Ebay seller and Woolworths
*Hair elastics, bun nets – Woolworths
*Hair donuts- Ebay Australia and Yarram Barber
*Pair of floral Churchill mugs- op (thrift) shop.
*Pastries- supermarket in Sale
*Antique silver hand mirrors, silver tray, silver dish, silver lidded jar, etched glass lidded jar- all from Australian Ebay sellers.
*white lace trimmed shawl used as table runner, from Ebay Chinese seller a few years ago.
*White lace and diamente ornament fan, and lace crochet lavender clothes hanger for Ace’s dress -op (thrift) shops.
*Lavender and cream satin clothes hangers, for dressing gown and my dress – discount store.
*Nail polish selection, nail files and makeup brushes from Acerule’s stash. Acrylic holder my own.
*Silver jewellery box – Acerule’s since babyhood – Possibly from an op (thrift) shop. Similar are on Ebay.
*Hexagon polished wooden jewellery box, mine , purchased at a jeweller (probably Prouds) 17 years ago.
*Cream satin, apricot satin and pink beauty pouches – my own for many years.
*Crystal diamenté crown -family heirloom.
*White leaf ribbon -Aus Ebay seller. Diamentés stuck on it -discount store.