Monthly Archives: April 2015

Pinup Basics On A Budget by Miss Amy May

Hello lovelies, I’m Miss Amy May, blogger, clothes-addict and lover of cake! For those of you who know me from Instagram (on which I spend way too much of my time) or from my own blog, you’ll know I like to share any tips or tricks I have for ladies who are new to the style. For the rest of you, you should know I own way too many lipsticks, far more headscarves than I use, and approximately a gatrillion dresses. That being said I thought it would be nice for me to do a post on the pinup basics you will need as a lady who is newly looking to embrace her pinup style, with the added bonus that everything found on this list comes in at prices friendly to those lovelies on a budget.


Long lasting lipsticks: A saucy red lip is an essential part of a polished pinup look. Personally I can’t risk a ruby pout that’s going to slip and slide all over my face, so I like my lip colour to be long-lasting. Thankfully there’s plenty of great red lipsticks that not only stay put but don’t hurt your bank balance. Here are some of my favourite budget long-lasting lip products.

pinupbasicslip1 pinupbasicslip2 pinupbasicslip3 pinupbasicslip4False lashes & Glue: For those who like a super heavy winged liner, false lashes can really round out the look. False lashes are one of those things that can be bought for $5 a pair in-store…or $3 for 10 pairs online. I tend to prefer the latter. Searching eBay for ‘false lashes’ and narrowing the price results to your budget will provide you with hundreds of results. Clear band lashes are less intimidating for beginners as they’re more flexible and the band is, you guessed it, less noticeable. A great thing about buying pairs in bulk is that you can cut the bands in half to create your own pair of corner lashes without feeling like you’ve ruined a $5 pair of lashes. Getting decent lash glue is something that helps to ensure your lashes aren’t going to ping off halfway through the day, so Revlon (under $10) and Duo (under $5) lash adhesives are both great glues which won’t bust your wallet open.

Eyeliners: Key to a pinup look is a killer cat’s eye winged liner. The kind of eye liner product you like is a very personal thing, but newbies to a winged flick shouldn’t feel intimidated into dropping heavy bucks on hyped up liner to get a decent cat’s eye. With winged liner the result is much more reliant upon practice and developed skill than it is a magic product, so it’s more important that you swap your kohl pencil for a liquid liner or a gel liner and get practicing. The Liquid Liner from E.L.F $2, Maybelline Eye Studio Gel Liner $9.99, Revlon Colorstay Liquid Liner $5.49, Maybelline Stiletto Liquid Liner $7.25 and  L’Oreál Paris Infallible Gel Liner $9.95 are all well-reviewed liners under 10bucks. Ladies who struggle getting their flicks on point can find a plethora of video tutorials and pictorials online to help them develop their knack.

Beauty Spots: A mole is certainly not a requirement of a full pinup face, but some ladies like to add one to their look anyway and there are ladies, like me, who have a beauty spot already that they like to fill in once foundation has left it awkwardly half covered. For a beauty spot that won’t smudge off with an errant swipe as may happen with kohl pencil, use a felt brow pen to colour your mark for long-lasting wear. Barry M Brow Pen in Dark Brown $4.99 and Makeup Revolution Brow Dual Ultra Arch & Shape in Dark £3.50 both give a smudge-resistant result that looks more natural than a dab of black liquid eyeliner.


If you want to pincurl your hair or step up your fabulousness with retro hair styles you’ll need several things.

Clips & Grips: A ton of bobby pins almost goes without saying, but you’ll also want sectioning clips for sectioning and setting your hair as well as pincurling clips, both of which you can get very cheaply online, most notably on eBay. Otherwise these things can be found at your local hair & beauty supply store.

Combs and brushes: You’ll need a teasing brush for backcombing, bonus points if it has a rat’s tail end as this is super useful for sectioning and parting your hair. If you want to get the best out of the effort you put into setting your hair, you’ll also need a smoothing brush. My favourite is the Denman smoothing brush. Both of these can be find, you guessed it, cheaply online on eBay and Amazon, or else at your local hair supply store.

Setting Lotion: Finding the right setting lotion for your hair can add up if you try a bunch of different brands, but I personally have had great success with the Motions At Home Foaming Wrap Lotion, which not only gives my hair great hold and keeps it soft, but also goes gently on your wallet at under $10 online or under $4 from Sally’s.

Headscarves: These are as much a god send for covering up your still-damp pincurls and a bad hair day as they are for finishing up a perfect style with a pretty bow. You can buy classic paisley style bandannas online super cheaply on eBay, but if you want that vintage nylon coloured scarf look without dropping the big bucks for modern repro scarves, you’ll be thrilled to learn that large kids’ juggling scarves work as a thrifty replacement. I bought a pack of 10 colours on eBay for £10 delivered and no one has ever known these weren’t retro headscarves until I excitedly told them the real truth in a braggy-bargain reveal. Search for ‘juggling scarves’ and choose a scarf or a pack of such which measure 70cmx70cm so they’re large enough.

Hair spray: UK readers will be thrilled to learn that Tesco Maximum Hold hairspray not only does an amazing job but only costs an incredible 80p! For international readers, Samy’s Fat Hair 0 Calories Amplifying Hair Spray will keep your quiff in place in a serious way for $12.99.

Hair Flowers: Hair flowers are a key part of many pinups’ look, but getting pieces in multiple colours can really add up for someone who’s on a strict budget. If you don’t have the money to spare for several different pieces, buy yourself a cheap glue gun from a local craft store, some crocodile hair clips and some felt, then pick out your favourite artificial flowers from the craft store or on eBay to make your own handmade pieces. Apart from saving money, it means you can make the pieces in the exact colour combinations you want.


Overhauling your closet to go full-on pinup can be an expensive endeavor, so remember to keep an eye out for separates from the mall/high street that can be made to look retro with the right styling. Crop tops, cropped pants, pencil skirts, cropped cardigans, A-line skirts and twinsets can all be styled easily to form a vintage inspired outfit. The next time you’re in Forever 21 or shopping online remember to picture all the clothing you’re seeing paired with a red lip and a killer pincurl set to see if it gives you that vintage feel.

There are also reasonably priced retro brands out there such as Hell Bunny and Lindybop which are kinder to your wallet. If you’re in love with some of the more expensive brands, such as Pinup Girl Clothing, Unique Vintage and Queen of Hearts, signing up for their email newsletters through their websites and following them on Instagram will often mean you’re the first to know when there’s a discount code available or a sale beginning. Setting up alerts on eBay for new listings under your favourite search terms of the brands you love most means you can also get lucky getting a gently used or brand new repro piece for less cash. Just search for the term you want to be notified of, such as ‘Bernie Dexter dress,’ narrow the search criteria down to whatever you want by size, type or colour if you want to get specific, and click ‘Follow This Search’ button listed shortly below the search bar. You can choose for new listings to be emailed to you daily or for the search to merely be listed in your saved searches so that you can check it manually when you log in online or on the app.


In a £3 top from high street chain Primark, an eBay belt and eBay bangles


Finding bling for that perfect 50s screen siren look needn’t be an old hollywood headache. Even searching ‘Crystal fashion necklace’ on eBay will give you a wealth (ba dum cha!) of options for some gorgeous neck candy that won’t break the bank. Likewise if you want to get an arm full of bangles without paying the mall price of $8 a bracelet, heading to your nearest thrift store, vintage shop or charity shop will often give you lots of bangles to choose from at a snippet of a price.

pinuppersuasionnecklaceThere are many different facets of a pinup look that you can pick and choose from to suit you, but it’s important to remember that this style isn’t exclusive to anyone, and not least only to those with more generous budgets. If you love any aspect of the styles from eras gone by then there are ways to incorporate them into your modern life and ways to do so without overspending. I hope that whether you’re strapped for cash or happy to spend you’ve found some great tips here that you want to try.

Thank you Jessica for having me on your wonderful blog ❤


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Viva 18 Recap ~ Part Two

With the Viva Rockabilly Weekend being only four days loaded with event from morning to night, there’s just not enough time to get everything in. If you’re like us, we have some absolute musts on our list and the rest we just go with the flow as there’s never a shortage of things to do. My husband always says Viva is not a vacation since its go, go, go…for the entire weekend.  That said, it’s SO much fun and I wouldn’t trade the whole experience for anything.


Everything ramps up for Saturday, as this is the all-day car show where more than 15,000 people attend. My morning started off with Madison Jane who created the most spectacular vintage hairstyle with inspiration from the classic Doris Mayday. Afterwards I met up with one of the gals from Classic Glamour Dolls for makeup; both ladies seriously glammed me up to the nines! Before heading out to the car show we ventured up to the Orleans Bowling Alley to meet with Dre, a photographer shooting for Tattoo Life Magazine. This is where I met the ever so lovely Stephanie Jay who was also a part of the feature. We shot indoors briefly then headed out to the courtyard to wrap up the impromptu photo session. I’m super excited to see how they turned out; the couple I saw from the back of her camera looked incredible.

2015-04-22 18.58.03_resized 2015-04-22 18.59.48_resized PinUpPersuasionFinally we were off to the car show! The weather was perfect this year… lots of sun, not too hot and a strong breeze to keep things comfortable. As soon as we arrived, we spotted Miss Victory Violet who was campaigning for the title of Miss Viva Las Vegas so I said a quick hello since she was a busy bee the whole weekend. Her hard work paid off as she was crowned the winner later that afternoon.

Viva18h Of course my next plan of action was to shop the vendors before all the great stuff was gone.  It was mind blowing how much the car show has grown over the past few years; there was a least double the amount of booths and classic cars from our first Viva in 2012! Once we got in a little shopping, we hit the vintage cars area for a few photos before heading in for a quick lunch and outfit change.  One thing I quickly had to get used to was having my photo taken by complete strangers whenever we stopped by one of the marvelous vintage cars.

Viva18k Viva18iAfter lunch, I bumped into the fabulous Jennifer (A Vintage Vanity), Jael and Colleen once again so we seized the opportunity to finally snap a photo together. They are some of the sweetest gals and I was so excited to run into them many times over the course of the weekend. We headed back out to the car show with Mae and Shawn in the afternoon for a little more shopping and to see the rest of the vintage cars.

Viva18l Viva18mSaturday evening is when everyone goes all out, wearing their MOST glamourous attire. It’s like a scene out of an old Hollywood film; it’s a true vintage lover’s dream.  The night began with one of our beloved events, the Burlesque Competition…where we ran into the darling Eleanor Paige and Dottie Minx. The winner Tosca Tosca seriously brought it home with her spectacular performance.

20150404_195001 20150404_194036Later, we met up with Amber, Lucas and Julie for a quiet dinner at the Prime Rib Loft. Before we turned in for the night, we made sure to go to the Viva photobooth as we missed out on this in previous years. Thankfully I got at least one photo with my darling Ashleeta that weekend.  20150404_234619 FCB44GC2ND-LSunday

As the final day of the Weekender, Sunday is the infamous Pool Party…where attendees take the opportunity to unwind and spend the day poolside. Before making our way there, we headed upstairs to the vendors one last time to snag some last minute bargains. I made out like a bandit and was very pleased with all my loot from the week.

20150405_091758_resized_1 IMG_20150405_173935Now this is where I turned into a ball of nerves… not only was I getting ready for a day by the pool but I was a participant in the Women’s Vintage Swimsuit Competition!  Seriously…reality was setting in very quickly. Luckily I was able to reutilize my fabulous hair and makeup from the day before, two less things to worry about. I got on my 1950’s Catalina Cocktail Swimsuit, loaded up on SPH100 sunscreen…it was time to rock and roll! We arrived early enough to get lounge chairs and enjoy the sunshine when it finally came out. The extremely high winds most of the weekend were absolutely insane.

20150405_125627 20150405_125631I bumped into one of my blog readers Stephanie while waiting in line at the concession, it’s too bad I didn’t have my phone at the time to snap a photo. She was an absolutely sweetheart and fellow Canadian. The whole afternoon was so wonderful. I met the lovely ladies Cha Cha and Val from Dirty Mistress Events who were sitting behind us and also made sure to get a photo with the adorable Acid Doll as we hadn’t done so every time we saw each other. She and her husband are so incredibly kind; I took the opportunity to practice my French when we chatted. Mae came to join us shortly before the competition; luckily I would have her at my side for support as we were both selected.

20150405_130815 Viva18n Viva18oIt was time…the contestants had to meet up at the Lucy B tent at 3:15pm to check in and get our numbers. The judges couldn’t have selected a more incredible group of ladies; everyone was so sweet and just there to have a good time. Before the contest began, we had our photos taken as a group and chatted about each other’s magnificent vintage swimsuits. Honestly, I wasn’t all that nervous and simply relishing in the moment to be a part of this landmark event. Each contestant would be asked a question while up on stage and to talk about their swimsuit with the judges. Maybe it was just ill luck but my question was about my favorite music of the era, something that I am not at all familiar with. I didn’t panic, I answered simply that I come to Viva for the fashion which led into being a blogger…and the rest is history. It was so amazing having my own personal cheering squad in the audience, Ashleeta, A Vintage Vanity, Jael, Colleen, my husband and all of the new people that I had recently met that day…I can’t thank you all enough! xoxo I didn’t place in the finals but honestly I didn’t care. Just being up there on stage was life changing, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Viva18p Viva18r DSC_5529-L DSC_5534-LSunday evening is usually very quiet around the Orleans, many attendees leave throughout the day or simply resting from partying hard all weekend. We met up with our friends for a delicious meal at the Canal Street Restaurant, this was by far my favorite and the most delicious meal of the weekend. Afterwards, we changed into some more comfortable attire and headed to the cinema to see Fast & The Furious 7 just the two of us. We must have been exhausted from the long day in the sun, both falling asleep partially through the movie.

20150405_205601_resized_1 20150405_205640_resized_1Viva 18 was by far the most incredible time we had in the three years we’ve attended! The whole weekend was very relaxed…seeing so many familiar faces…spending oodles of time with friends and making some new ones as well….who can ask for more? Although we won’t be attending next year’s festivities, we have plans to return for the 20th Anniversary!

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Viva 18 Recap ~ Part One

Viva 18 marks our third year attending the Rockabilly Weekend and it was definitely the best one yet! Although the event is four days jammed with non stop events to attend, we found it very relaxing and so much more enjoyable in comparison to previous years. Normally, you would be lucky to run into someone you know maybe once during the whole weekend but this time we were able to interact much more with everyone since it appears the overall attendance was much lower than usual.


The Weekender officially starts on Thursday, with many attendees arriving throughout the day. Since the official kick off wasn’t until later in the afternoon, we went shopping with our friends Amber, Lucas, Julie & Lisa from Minneapolis. We hit Glam Factory Vintage and the Charleston Antique Mall before meeting up with Mae & Shawn for lunch at Roxy’s Diner located inside the Stratosphere. The service was a little lack luster but the 1950s Diner atmosphere along with the good food and delicious milkshakes more, than made up for it.

Viva18a Viva18 Photos by: Julie Abnet (

After lunch, we headed back to the Orleans to attend Sweetpea’s Hooch and Smooch, the official Viva kick off party. The festivities were well underway, with bands playing back to back with everyone mingling and having a great time. We only stayed a short while as we arrived towards the end of the party and decided to wait for the vendors to open at 5pm. Needless to say, it was shopping hysteria…almost like Black Friday but thankfully no one got trampled.

Viva18bOnce the events begin, we don’t venture away from the Orleans as there’s just so much to do at all times. We got dolled up for the evening and met our friends for a quiet dinner at the Courtyard Cafe. Afterwards, we just walked around upstairs and enjoyed running into some familiar faces before turning in for the night. Luckily for me, Amber offered to give me a one on one tutorial on how to do a sponge roller set the night before so I was on my own for the first time. It took me a bit to do, but I was pretty confident it would turn out in the morning.2015-04-19 16.02.03_resized 2015-04-19 15.55.17_resized


I was up early as usual and so was my friend Missy, so we went for breakfast just the two of us. Afterwards, she gave me a lesson on how to create a vintage poodle up-do. I’m truly lucky to have such skilled friends to help me out with the thing I suck the most at…hair! Amber, Lucas & Julie were attending the Vintage Pajamas Party Brunch so we planned to meet up with them a little later on.

PhotoGrid_1429474268616This was the day we were most looking forward to as we had our own Cabana at the Pool Party. I entered the draw months before on the Viva website and still can’t believe I got picked. Although it’s not cheap at $250 for the day, divided amongst our 10 friends it was only $25 per person. Honestly, having the cabana was such an incredible treat…I would do it again in a heartbeat. We met tons of new people throughout the afternoon, it was like having out own private party by the pool. Plus, the girls from What Katie Did came by with goodie bags and I won a $100 voucher!

viva18c Viva18f Viva18d Viva18eWe took a little break before transitioning into our formal attire and joined our friends this time at the Koji restaurant. Afterwards, the hubby and I attended the Burlesque Showcase…one of our favorite events of the weekend. The performers never disappoint and I adore the MC, Cora Vette who knows how to entertain her audience to say the least. With Saturday being the BIGGEST day at Viva, we headed to bed after the showcase to ensure we would be ready.

2015-04-19 16.17.05_resized 2015-04-19 16.21.07_resizedStay tuned for Part Two…the Viva Car Show and Sunday Pool Party!!!




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Viva 18 ~ One Vintage Lovers’ Haul

One of things I truly look forward to the most at Viva is the shopping. No surprise coming from a fashion blogger right? This year we ventured out to the local Las Vegas Vintage district on Wednesday and Thursday before Viva commenced. It was quite nice to get out of the hotel for a few hours to enjoy the sunny weather before all the weekend’s events began.

There was no shortage of vintage shops to visit and luckily many were in the same neighborhoods so we just walked about taking everything in. Although I only found a cute floral purse from Glam Factory Vintage, it was wonderful to browse all the shops and see some pretty insane mid-century furniture at the local antique dealers.

2015-04-14 20.05.21Call me crazy, but I was lined up in the crazy herd of shoppers for when the Viva Vendors doors opened on Thursday evening. Since its first come first serve to score great vintage, I targeted my favorite vendors from the start. I had some pretty incredible vintage karma on my side as the two first finds I came across was a breathtaking Alfred Shaheen dress and Hawaiian Novelty print skirt both from the same booth. This vendor is my all-time favorite at Viva because he not only has some of the best vintage but he always negotiates on prices too!

2015-04-14 19.40.38 2015-04-14 19.00.49One thing I adore are vintage wicker purses; which I’ve started to amass a lovely collection so far. These definitely sell out the quickest so I had my husband on the lookout as well. He gave a big thumb up when I spotted this adorable white one with small 3D velvet yellow roses. The seller sealed the deal when she told me to open the lid and saw the cute little rose on the inside.

2015-04-14 19.35.26 2015-04-14 19.34.56Next I was hunting for the Remix Shoes booth as I was determined to buy another pair since I love the ones from last Viva so much. Originally I was eyeing the Picasso wedges in black but found the fit to be slightly off. I then spotted another style, the Vogue so I tried them on as well. The fit was so comfortable and they looked much better on my little feet. The prices are not cheap but the quality and comfort are well worth every penny! They are the ONLY shoes that I will pay $178 for!

2015-04-14 19.31.36My last stop on the first night of shopping was a vendor carrying a large selection of vintage reproduction shapewear. I wanted to try the Rago 2202 longline bra rather than taking the gamble of buying online. It was no surprise that the band was much too loose (they start at a 34) and sadly not going to work for me after all. Sorry ladies, I won’t be reviewing this one any time soon 😦

Saturday was another exciting day for shopping since there was a plethora of vendors outdoors at the car show. This year I didn’t go as crazy with the purchases, that’s likely because the prices were sky high on all vintage compared to last year. I did manage to pick up a couple things at bargain prices of course. At the PUG booth, I nabbed this fabulous DD Kinky Box skirt in red Hawaiian for only $20. Just before we headed back in, I stopped at the Amberjoy’s Vintage booth as the Lola Ramona handbags were too cute to resist. Luckily, she was offering 30% off if you ordered online from the designer directly so I went with the Ramona style.

Screen Shot 2015-04-14 at 7.47.10 PM RAMONA_419012-18_1024x1024Sunday is the best day to score deals as the vendors often mark everything down to clear things out instead of hauling them back home. I went first thing in the morning before the selection was picked over. The first piece I picked up was this lovely butter yellow pencil dress with beautiful bust applique and sparkling rhinestones. Donna the shop owner is always a delight and willing to offer a deal to her customers. I had to show her the dress I wore Thursday evening as I had purchased it from her last Viva.

2015-04-14 19.06.11My last stop was at my favorite vendor (yes I was back again) since he ALWAYS marks everything down 50% off on Sunday. Thankfully it was super quiet and I had first crack at all the remaining piece as he announced the storewide markdown. I nabbed two more dresses and a novelty skirt for only $120!

2015-04-14 19.10.56 2015-04-14 19.12.21
This year’s vintage shopping acquisitions certainly put last year’s to shame. I have to admit that my hunting skills have greatly improved and I’m able to walk away from things that are just not worth the asking price. It was such a thrill to shop hands on for a change, since I buy 99.9% of my vintage online. Now I must plan a trip to the seamstress to get a couple of the pieces altered for a perfect fit.

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