easy everyday vintage curl set

easy everyday vintage curl set

I’ve had a few requests for a tutorial on how I do my hair, so today I’m taking you behind the curtain and showing you all my secrets. Before we begin, I’ll warn you that I am definitely not a hair expert. My set is definitely not neat and pretty; it’s kind of haphazard, but it works for me so oh well!

Let’s go once more into my poorly lit, very yellow-y bathroom and get started.


I start with clean hair. If it’s still damp from the shower, that works…if not, I’ll usually run some water through it, but my hair is very fine and generally eager to curl, so I don’t worry too much about it.


I use Jane Carter Wrap & Roll as a setting lotion. It was the first setting lotion I tried (since you can buy it at Target), and I have no complaints so far!


So it turns out it’s super hard (indeed, impossible) to take photos of yourself curling your hair while…curling your hair. So here’s two stages. I take a small pump of setting lotion, then run it through a small chunk of hair. For the crown of my head, I do standing pincurls and roll it from as close to vertical as possible to help create more lift.


Like so.


I usually do about two rows of three curls on the side with more hair, and two rows of two on the side with less. Like I said – messy! It’s not much to look at, but it works out okay.


These are probably the ugliest pictures ever, sorry! I use these soft rollers from Walgreens to put up the rest of my hair, because I’m lazy and I don’t want to pincurl my whole head. They’re pretty easy to sleep on too, which is a must-have for me. How I wrap them varies from set to set, but it’s usually about three in a triangle on either side of my head, then however many it takes to do the back of my head.


Wrap ’em up, then off to bed for some beauty sleep! Note: I thought it would be fun to use one of my grandma’s vintage scarves to wrap my sets, but over the year or so I’ve been using it, it’s gotten pretty beat up. Definitely don’t do this with a nice, pretty scarf you would otherwise wear!




Remove your various rollers and pins. Be gentle with them – don’t tug!


I run my fingers through gently to help break up the curls and start blending them together before I pick up the brush. There are a lot of great brush out videos on Youtube, which I’d recommend you’d check out! I use a basic paddle brush and basically brush through my hair while immediately following the strokes with my other hand to smooth the curls. I usually tip my head to the side to kind of brush…out instead of straight down to help keep more body in my hair, if that makes sense?


When my hair is mostly brushed out, I section off my bangs and start brushing and shaping those separately.


Looking pretty good! Once I’m mostly done and happy with the shape of my hair (which depends on how much time I have in the morning TBH), it’s time to spray!


I’ve been using Suavecita firm hold hairspray for about two months now, and I’m a big fan. Smells good, works well – what more could a gal want?


But it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind 😉 Sometimes I still adjust my bangs and whatnot after spraying…it just takes a little bit of coaxing.


Put your glasses on and voila! You are ready to face the day with your easy retro ‘do!

I hope this was at least a little bit helpful…hair tutorials are pretty hard to communicate through still photos, haha, but I did my best!

guest post: thoroughly tiki emily

guest post: thoroughly tiki emily

Hey kittens! I’m super excited to share a post from the lovely Emily on my blog today! Her enthusiasm for her adorable outfits (and everyone else’s!) on Instagram always makes me smile. Enjoy her petite perspective on the Little Jun!

Hi! I’m Emily of Thoroughly Modern Emily, and today Penny Snark and I are doing a post exchange, because the best thing about blogging is making blogger friends and doing fun things together! She’s over on my blog sharing her tall-girl thoughts on the new tiki Little Jun from Pinup Girl Clothing, and I’m fangirling my little heart out over that same skirt right here.

Like Penny, I’m a fan of all things tiki, so when I saw that Pinup Girl Clothing was releasing the fabled OG tiki print in a new pastel colorway, I sort of lost my mind. When the mint tiki Little Jun skirt made its first appearance on Instagram, I was a goner! Since I’m only 5’2″, I’d been interested in trying out the Little Jun for quite some time, but none of the existing colors or prints really struck me as must-haves. The mint tiki Jun was the perfect storm of OMG I WILL ORDER THIS THE SECOND IT RELEASES. And order it I did!

Photo #1
Clearly it was love at first sight!


First things first: this skirt is adorable! I’m a big fan of the now-discontinued Kinky Box skirt, and the Little Jun does a nice job of filling the pleated-skirt hole in my heart. Before ordering, I fretted a bit over what I’d wear it with, since pastels and I have only started getting along fairly recently, but now that it’s here, I am coming up with outfits left and right, and need to restrain myself from wearing it again this week!

Photo #2
Little Juns are perfect for contemplating evolution!
Photo #3
Also perfect for sassy poses!


The print is exactly like PUG’s original tiki print, except very slightly scaled up and in cool-tone pastels instead of yellow, orange, and green. As a huge fan of the original tiki print, I’m happy to have another skirt that’s different enough that 1) hopefully people won’t notice that I basically buy the exact same items in multiple prints/the same print in multiple items, and 2) I won’t feel guilty about having a closet that’s overflowing with duplicates.

Photo #4

I’d heard a number of people say that they sized down in the Little Jun, but in the interest of extra German-food-room (#Chicagolife!) I went with my usual size large and I’m quite happy with the fit. Measured down the side seam, this skirt is 24” long, which is perfect because I have short legs even compared to other short gals. The elastic panels at the back make this skirt incredibly comfortable to wear all day, and the curve of the waistband in the front makes it look great without a belt. (Again, this is all about comfort – belts look fabulous, but when you’ve got a beer-cheese belly, they aren’t always comfortable after 8+ hours of sitting at a desk!)

This skirt makes me feel confident and happy – the wide waistband defines my waist/gives me the illusion of a well-defined waist, and the box pleats give me hips that don’t quit. I may or may not have wiggled my hips with maximum sass when I showed my partner this skirt. (Hint: I did.)

The most important thing you need to know about this skirt, though, is that it has massive, forearm-swallowing pockets! Making my hands disappear into my pockets is the only magic trick I know.

Photo #5
oh em gee where is my hand?
Photo #6
Ah. There it is!

For such a busy print, this skirt is actually quite versatile. It looks cute with a crisp white top, basic black, and pastel pink (my Voodoo Vixen top goes especially nicely), but it would also be fun with stripes, black polka dots, and pastel yellow. I’m planning to do a One Piece, Three Ways post featuring this skirt soon, but I have a feeling it’ll be hard to stick to just three outfits!

Photo #7
It was such a treat to do this post exchange with my fellow Midwestern pinup – thank you all for reading! I hope you’ll stop by sometime on my Instagram (I’m @emily.hallock), Facebook, Twitter, or over on my blog, and say hi!

roses & ribbons | PUG review

roses & ribbons | PUG review

I don’t know if I’ve stalked and anticipated any Pinup Girl Clothing print as much as this floral ribbon print. Ever since it was first spotted by an eagle eyed PUG fan in the model pic for the mint Sabrina, I’ve been daydreaming about it. In fact, it was this print that inspired me to order this pink floral dress from Hearts & Found…only to have the floral ribbons Ella announced before it had even arrived. Curses! I love the Ella, but it seemed a bit like overkill to have two pink floral full skirted dresses with gathered busts…but I could totally justify picking up a Jenny skirt! You can never have too many of those…


I was tempted to snatch up the Petite Jenny when it launched, just to make sure I could get a skirt in this print, but I’m glad I waited for the full length version. The print is seriously even more beautiful in person…it’s so soft and feminine, and the colors are so lovely. You can definitely see how many different colors could pair well with it; I would love to wear it with olive.


It has the same weight and heft of other Jenny skirts. Though I’ve become fond of other skits (like the Doris), there’s a reason that the Jenny has a cult following. These gathered skirts give you an instant “oomph”! I found the fit of this Jenny to be true to size. And the pockets are SO deep! I love it.


I paired this skirt with a bow-print blouse because ribbons! and bows! I was feeling classically feminine, so I wore my vintage circle pin and a necklace made form vintage enamel pieces. I added a pair of pink rose earrings to my order to get to free shipping…they’re cute, very standard.

I mentioned in my Hearts & Found post that I’m really having a pink renaissance these days…I’m having a lot of fun playing with the color more! There is definitely more pink in my future.

pretty pinup art for your walls

pretty pinup art for your walls

I have recently come into the possession of a few pieces of fabulous new pinup art, so I thought I’d share it! I’ve always been a big fan of decorating using work by independent artists, especially ones that have a bit of a nerdy flair. So what could be better than some glamorous pinup illustrations?

First, and most importantly, is this beautiful drawing of ME!


Say what!? I honestly can’t stop looking at this – it’s so cute! I’ve been following Becca on Instagram for a while, and I was excited to see that she’d be at Wizard World Chicago. I knew I had to stop by, and I ended up with this amazing portrait! She’s super talented – a great option for any pinup girl looking for an illustrated version of herself.


I also picked up this adorable Frankenstein girl print from Becca – she’s so cute and so spooky at the same time!


When I was at Wizard World, I also stopped by Ant Lucia’s booth, the amazing artist behind the DC Bombshells. I’ve been admiring his work online for years! I wanted pretty much everything he had, but I ended up deciding to bring home this Poison Ivy poster. She’s always been one of my favorites, and the sexy retro lingerie made it too good to resist.


This one isn’t from Wizard World, but oh gosh. She’s so cute. I’ve been following vickisigh on Tumblr and have always hoped she’d start selling prints. And now she has! I love how empowering and beautiful her art is, and I’ll definitely be adding more pieces to my collection.

Who are your favorite pinup artists? I’m always looking to collect more pretties!

easy everyday pinup makeup for lazy broads

easy everyday pinup makeup for lazy broads

There are three things you should know about me:

  1. I love makeup.
  2. I love spending a lot of time leisurely getting ready, experimenting to create the perfect look.
  3. I really love sleep.

As you might be able to guess, these things have a tendency to conflict when it comes to getting ready for work in the morning. I want to look fab, but I also want to stay in bed until the very last possible minute.

I’ve been asked to do a tutorial on my everyday makeup look, but honestly, this is way too simple for it to even count as a “tutorial” so instead, let’s just call it a get ready with me. So come with me into my not especially well lit bathroom – you can sit on the toilet or the edge of the tub if you like – and watch me do my face.


I start off with BB Cream. I don’t actually have any real allegiance to the one I’ve been using – I’d heard good things about it so I picked it up, but I’m not sure I really think it’s doing anything for me. But it has some SPF so at least that’s something! Dab it on and buff it in with a flat top brush.


Next up: brows! You can read a full review of the ELF brow stuff I use and my process for applying it here. Basically, I apply the cream with an angled brush; I’m just looking to accentuate my natural brows a bit, not do any dramatic reshaping. I use Urban Decay’s Vanity as powder to seal my brows, just for that hint of purple.


Getting ready for a special occasion, I love to play with eyeshadows. Getting ready for work? Slap a neutral color on that lid and go, girl. My go-to is Urban Decay’s DTF.


It’s hard to take pictures of yourself doing eyeliner. I use the NYX Super Skinny felt tip  marker. My basic method is 1) draw the bottom of the wing 2) draw the outline of the rest 3) go back and fill it in. This is from a Cherry Dollface tip and totally changed my eyeliner game! Give it a shot!


I use L’Oreal Miss Manga mascara. I’ve ping-ponged back and forth between high end/designer and drugstore mascaras for years, but for now I’m digging this one. It’s not the best I’ve ever used, but it works.


Apply blush. I use a Cargo blush that I got for free in a swag bag (aww yee) that has a nice blend of different pinks and a touch of gold that I find really flattering to my skintone. Realize you’ve put on way too much blush and blend it out with your fingers.


And voila! Put your glasses on and you’re done! I wear lipstick if I feel a particular outfit needs it or I’m feeling particularly sassy, but I usually skip it for the everyday. That’s pretty much what I do every morning before work…it’s not fancy, but it does the trick.

What’s your everyday makeup routine like?


tiki bars: foundation

tiki bars: foundation


In my short time blogging, I have told you tales of tiki bars far and near, but the time has finally come to share what I consider to be my “home” bar: Foundation!

(If you’re saying to yourself “Hey Penny, the photos in this post are a million times better than your usual photos, what gives?”, first of all, rude, and second of all, yeah, they totally are. I went to Foundation with a coworker who brought her nice fancy camera and was gracious enough to let me use her photos for this post!)


Located inside an unassuming old house, Foundation is a tropical oasis in not-so-tropical Milwaukee. Though it doesn’t look like much from the outside, inside you’ll find a fabulous traditional tiki bar. It’s dark and intimate, lit with colorful pufferfish lights and bedecked in the finest Polynesian Pop style.


I will freely admit that I’m totally spoiled by the drinks at Foundation; this bar seriously cares about quality cocktails and crafts each drink specially using fresh ingredients like honey and real pomegranate. This means that drinks can take a while to make it to you, especially on a busy night, but who’s going to complain about hanging out a little longer in a tiki paradise? I would much rather wait for a truly delicious drink. Plus, these drinks pack a serious punch, so you won’t need too many to be having a grand ol’ time…

The staff has always been super friendly. The bartenders work cheerfully but efficiently when it’s busy, but are definitely more than happy to chat if you visit during a lull. I got to see a few photos from a pilgrimage trip to Mai Kai during one visit – these guys definitely take tiki seriously!


Foundation offers a few cocktails that come with collectible mugs, including a custom Rum Barrel (which I still have to add to my collection…I’m waiting for the right night to tackle it! I took home that Moai in the first image above during this trip…the mermaid mug already lives on my bar cart.).

I feel so incredibly lucky to have such an amazing tiki bar in my own backyard! Honestly, if I could choose to have any of the tiki bars I’ve visited in my own city, I would stick with Foundation every time.

The Verdict (Out of 4 possible tiki torches)

Ambiance: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Drinks: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Mugs: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Service: DD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 PreviewDD Tiki Torch Vectors 65409 Preview
Food: N/A (Carry-ins are permitted.)

how to dress pinup in the workplace

how to dress pinup in the workplace


The question of how to maintain your personal style in the workplace is one that comes up over and over again. I always see girls in vintage groups wishing that they could wear their pretties to work, so I thought I’d write up this little 101 guide on how to be a professional and a pinup, at the same time when possible!

First off: know your office and your field. Unfortunate as it is, it is possible that you just aren’t able to let your retro flag fly in the workplace. This varies a lot depending on how conservative your field is overall, but also by specific offices. I work in a creative, non-client-facing role in a small organization in a field that’s not particularly conservative, so I definitely can get away with a lot of personal flair within the limits of the dress code. Pay attention to what other people in your workplace are wearing, particularly the people who are in the roles you’d aspire to. Think one level ahead. This isn’t to say that you have to dress exactly like those people, but it should give you an idea of how much “personality” you can inject into your wardrobe.

SO you’ve considered your workplace and decided that you can try adding some pinup style. Excellent! Let’s b-b-break it down.



Accessories are a great way to dip your toes in the water with retro style and see how comfortable your work (and you!) are with it. Pearls are always timeless, as are colorful beads. Jewelry is often a place you can get a little bit extra creative as well – you may not be able to wear cherry print clothes to work, but cherry earrings might be a cute touch. Try wearing brooches, though I’d stay away from anything oversized or novelty to start out with.


You’ll never go wrong with classic patterns. Polka dots,  stripes, plaids – they’ve all been around for a very long time for good reason. Florals can also lend a very feminine vintage vibe. Your ability to wear novelty prints will vary by office, but personally, I feel like fruit patterns are generally pretty widely acceptable while still being fun.


Cleavage is the enemy of professionalism pretty much across the board (more’s the pity!). Avoid anything low-cut or super tight at work. Pussy bow blouses and Peter Pan collars have a lot of retro flair and have the bonus benefit of being pretty trendy in “mainstream” style right now! Cute cardigans and sweaters are a great way to add a little bit of a retro flair to a look as well as work-ifying dresses and tops that might otherwise be a bit too fancy.


Good news! Demure swing skirts and sharp pencil skirts are both great for the workplace, so whichever style you prefer, you’re set! Note: you want to look for a traditional pencil skirt that’s mostly straight up and down; the curvier wiggle skirts might be a bit too clingy. I will recommend Pinup Girl Clothing’s Doris skirt as my ideal work skirt (read my review here); it has a very retro silhouette, but in a subtle way. Wide-legged trousers are also a very chic vintage style for the office; you might not be able to go as over the top as some of the reproduction brands, but you can definitely get the same vibe.


Even if you wear a uniform every day, you can still know that you’re a pinup under it all…literally. A pretty bra and panties or even a garter belt if you can get away away with it can do wonders for lifting your spirits when you aren’t able to show off your style the way you’d want to.

I hope that answered some questions about retro office attire! If you have specific questions, please feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Instagram or Facebook! I’d be happy to do a follow-up if more info would be useful.