Lipstick and Powder and Perfume. Oh My!

Most of you know by now that another creative outlet for me is that I am a makeup artist. I love both beauty and blood, but of course, there isn’t occasion to wear blood aside from Halloween. 😛

This past weekend I visited an adorable little shop in Burbank, California called Besame Cosmetics.


Looks like a regular store front, right? Trust me when I say that when you step through the door, you are instantly transported back in time to the 1940’s. Yes, I was home. #historyspaz LOL The shop itself smelled so feminine (they have shaving products for men, but since there’s no man in my life at present, I merely glanced at the display) and the 1940’s music was heaven.

I had been looking for a lipstick that wouldn’t turn my lips pink for quite a while now. Yes, that’s a thing for me, and for someone who adores product like I do, it’s a very frustrating thing. So I thought I’d give Besame’s formula a try. Of course, I was absolutely charmed by the shop, but the lipstick colors drew me moth-to-flame style.


Every color is associated with a year (which is way cool for a history geek like me) so I tried the Merlot that is said to have been popular in 1933. It’s described as a dark brown, brick red tone, but because my lips turn everything pink, the color ends up being more like wine, which fits the name perfectly. Then the sales gal (I believe her name was Danielle) showed me Besame’s Brightening Powders.

They come in a loose powder in tones of Violet, Vanilla, French Vanilla, Vanilla Chai and Vanilla Rose. Using color theory, each has a different use that would be too long and complicated to get into here. Now, I was a sun worshiper (yeah, I know, hard to believe right?) for the first seventeen years of my life, thus, I have lots of freckles (that have merged together over the years) that are now considered sun damage. They were cute when I was a kid, but now it’s – let’s be honest – embarrassing for a woman of my age to have these ugly brown patches on my face and decolletage. So I applied the French Vanilla to the rosie apples of my cheeks and to a few of the more problem dark patches.


This miracle powder evened the colors to a more neutral tone and I knew that were I to dust on my foundation, that it would improve coverage by at least forty percent. (Which later when I tried it at home, it did.) It has a light scent of Vanilla and I just ADORE this stuff! 🙂

Then Danielle brought my attention to the Fragrance wall behind me. This is where my world was rocked. Each perfume, labeled appropriately by year (1910 – 1960) was blended with the popular scents of that decade. Yup. You guessed it. I geeked out. It was interesting that each bottle had decidedly different effects on me. Please note that I hadn’t read the descriptions before I sampled each bottle.

Click on each year to learn more about the scent:

1910 I fell in love with immediately. (Of course!)

1920 to me had a predominate Musk scent that reminded me of my paternal grandmother (she wore Musk.)

1930 hit me with a Shalimar scent that reminded me of my mother.

1940 was fantastic – my second favorite (I’m wearing it right now). It has a haunting effect on me, like I know this scent (maybe my maternal great-grandmother?) but I can’t place it. It’s lovely though! 🙂

1950, oddly enough, seemed just meh. No idea why.

1960 was SO familiar to me, but I couldn’t place that one, either. (Definitely my third favorite.)

Needless to say, I’m going back to purchase 1910 and 1940 when my bank account permits. 😉 Good news for those of you who don’t live near Burbank or their second location in Wittier, California – they sell some of Besame collection at Sephora 🙂

Learn more at Besame’s blog here.

So as you can imagine, this history and cosmetics geek is thrilled to have someone like Besame around 🙂



Amazing Women Throughout History

Hello dear readers –

Here we are once again with more evidence that many women throughout history crossed social barriers and braved ridicule to get what they wanted out of life and/or teach other women that it was possible to achieve the unattainable in ways considered taboo by those who held society’s reins.

I ran across this awesome article yesterday, and it really spoke to me, telling me that, even though I write fiction featuring strong historical women, I’m not as far off as some critics have stated.

The article in the link above points out many of our sisters who busted out of what stereotypes the Church and similar authorities historically demanded of females. Eleanor of Aquitaine, Angelique-Marguerite Le Boursier du Coudray and Rose of Burford are just a few of the names you can read about in the article above. I have also linked more information to each name for you.

A few times a month I will run across articles about strong historical woman and post them on my Genella deGrey Books page on FB.

 What is the point of all this, you might ask?

I suppose I am tired of people thinking that the heroines in my books are out of line with what they think went on during the various time periods in which I write. Some people say that reviews are what push sales, some say that they don’t. When a review includes phrases such as, “unfettered by the constraints of their time” and “Not historically accurate” I now know, from reading the many articles presented to me, that these reviewers can’t see past the end of their own noses – not to mention the fact that my stories are FICTIONAL and are more for entertainment than research for a history class.

I feel sorry for those who don’t do their own research, who are lead around by the leash of Negative Nellies and who can’t enjoy a fictional historical romance novel for the sake of escape and entertainment.

Keep reading, my friends! Explore, enjoy and allow yourself to be entertained!



Kar-crashians or the more common term, ‘train wreck’

If you know me, you already are aware that I don’t watch TV. I don’t watch or listen to ‘the news’ and I can’t stand sensationalistic journalism. That being said, I keep seeing things about this family whom I call the Kar-crashians.

I’m quite certain that 99% of my readers already know who these people are and just how they became a household name. I must confess: I can’t see why people keep talking about them. I have so much more interesting and important things to focus on: My family, my friends, my work… and then I see the meme that makes the rounds:


What about smart people – people who provide authentic entertainment because they are truly talented, sincere people, people who are humble and kind? Why can’t everyone promote individuals who are far more deserving than society’s train wrecks?

Do you know of someone whom you admire who deserves our attention? I can name a few from my list – who just happen to be superior entertainers AND model humans:

Harry Connick Jr.

Bette Midler

Mark Hamill

Scarlett Johansson

Sting (Although I don’t think he is running this himself)

Let us re-think and adjust our priorities in 2016 and uplift heroes instead of villains.

Blessings –


How do you hear about books?


Hello readers!

Here is one of those, ‘inquiring minds want to know’ posts 😀

Let’s face it: there are hundreds (OK, that might be an exaggeration) of ways to find out about the hottest books currently available.

So I’d love to know: How do you normally hear about books?

Facebook, Twitter, do you browse Amazon or your favorite publisher, book clubs & word of mouth, do you attend book conventions and signings or is there another popular way that I haven’t mentioned or even heard of?

Please leave a comment below with your preferred method –

Thanks, all!




An open letter to J.J. Abrams ~ (Warning: SWVII Spoilers Ahead)

OK, J.J. Abrams….

You (and Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt) did a decent job writing the latest Star Wars installment, but I have a few issues. You see, I am an author. I take careful measures so that I don’t repeat myself in subsequent books and hold my plot lines in high regard above cranking out fluffy crap just to make a profit.


While there were many excellent elements in the story and design of SWVII, there were also far too many GLARING, plagiaristic similarities in this film. Let me take a stab at naming a few – and I’m sure this won’t be a full list:

Orphan on a desert planet

Father/son face off

Let’s do away with the new death star in the exact same way we did with the other one

Droid carrying a secret


Also, how in the heck did Chewie see Rey when he was taking off? Did I miss something? Did I blink? Honestly, it would only have taken another ten seconds to have her get this attention, and would have enriched the suspense of the moment. Another few seconds of film would not have been a ‘make or break’ addition.

Why didn’t you give Leia juicier lines?


It seems all the sass, wisdom and sauciness was drained from her character. That was not a smart move, man.

Did you notice that your second and third tier characters got all the cool first AND last names?

Razoo Quin-Fee

Bazine Netal

Lema Eelyak

Tabala Zo

Korr Sella

Frickin’ cool names never to be heard from again. Sad face*

And honey, your casting for Han and Leia’s son….


This, more than anything ripped me from the story. He looks NOTHING like either of them. There exists ‘suspension of disbelief’ but this totally killed it for me. You could have caused conflict with your audience that had nothing to do with the script or plot. If you want to know how, just ask me.

Since this is not only a cultural phenomenon but a part of me since I was a child, I’m going to give VIII one more chance. But please, no more plagiarism, sucky casting and character draining. You should find someone who will be tough on your script and help find better story/plot solutions rather than duplicate contrived scenarios. I know several people who could assist you with that.

Until next time,