For a lot of us right now wearing our favourite sweats and only paying attention to our face and hair for long enough to keep them clean is as much as we can be bothered to do on a daily basis. For plenty of people, though, keeping to their usual daily routine as much as possible or making an effort to put themselves together is the way they best cope during all this weirdness. And then there are people like me, the middlegrounders, who love their sweats 80% of the time but feel sometimes, often suddenly, the urge to do one’s makeup and wear something nice Just Because.
But if you’re like me then you also maybe aren’t that great at making the effort to style your hair. That might be because your skill level means it takes a long time and a lot of grunts of frustration to even get vaguely close to what you were aiming for; maybe it’s because your natural hair means most styles don’t work like they do for those blessed with frizz-free straight locks, and styling always includes an extra pre-step of setting or straightening your hair; or maybe it’s because you just don’t enjoy it and it feels too much like work. All three of those apply to me, and that’s why normally when I’m feeling lazy I cheat with wigs and clip-in pieces as much as possible. I wanted to use my extra at home time to broaden my hair-styling horizons though, so I’ve come up with a handful of options that are quick and easy to do, even for those of us who suffer The Dreaded Three. Let’s do it! Continue reading →
I have incredibly low patience as a person. When I go shopping I prefer to go alone so that I can walk fast, duck in and out of shops quickly without having to wait for the person I’m shopping with, and leave as soon as I’ve got what I need. It is no surprise, then, that I’ve never got the hang of vintage shopping. I live in a tiny village tucked away in the English countryside, so shopping for vintage in person would mean driving all the way out to larger towns I’m not super familiar with, and thus, journeys that would fill me with anxiety. Add in the fact that my size means finding good quality vintage clothing in my size and within my budget is unlikely and that effort just doesn’t seem worth it.
Vintage accessories, at least, are something I could likely have more success with, but once you consider that low patience level, the potential high travel anxiety level, and my overall lack of true vintage knowledge, once more the trips just don’t seem worth it. Searching out accessories online at least eliminates one of those factors, but still, it takes a lot of time and more than some savvy to find what you need or want in the pages and pages and pages of vaguely related results produced from every search term. This, folks, is why I am so ecstatically pleased that I stumbled upon Belbeina Lee a few months back. Never again do I need to search, research, ponder, wonder or worry–Katie can handmake items just as beautiful and high quality as true vintage, but with no effort required on my part. Literally, take my money!
If there was one part of adopting the vintage style that I would say was the most difficult for me, it was the hair. Weirdly, that is also the part of the whole look that I tackled first, without even really intending to adopt the entire look altogether. I just wanted to have nice curls again, achieved in a heat-free way, after extreme heat styling had damaged my natural curls beyond repair.
I began with pincurls. Over time they became my favourite method of setting my hair even after I branched out into trying different types of rollers, whether bendy, Velcro, or foam, but in the beginning learning the technique and achieving a good brush out was a laborious, long-winded and often frustrating experience. I don’t regret it, because eventually I learned the pincurling technique well, but if a Pinup Godmother had come to me then, back at the beginning, and said ‘here, you can achieve a lovely vintage set with these handmade crocheted rollers which are, by the way, also comfortable to sleep in,’ I probably would have cried. Baby Pinup Amy didn’t know about Curlettes, but Present Day Pinup Amy does, and she’s a fan.
Once upon a time the only hairstyle I rocked as a pinup was my brushed out pincurl sets. It worked for me well enough and it was something I was so comfortable with that I didn’t want to dedicate any time or effort into experimenting with different hairstyles and accessories. That changed in 2016 when I experienced a brief brush with Alopecia (here’s the full post about my experience.)
Splendette, Bow and Crossbones, and Luxulite accessories finishing off an outfit to perfection
There’s a lot of small accessory brands out there in our vintage inspired community, but because they’re small companies, often owned and run by one woman doing everything herself, it can be hard to discover them because they don’t have the same advertising budgets as the larger vintage inspired clothing brands/shops we see constantly promoted on our feeds.
In my experience the best way to find new accessory brands is to check the tags and captions of the photos you see in your news feeds or the blogs you follow, so that when you see a fakelite bangle or a reproduction handbag you like the look of you can establish whether it’s a true vintage item or something currently for sale. All of these businesses below are ones I found scrolling through Instagram and spotting them on the arm or in the hair of one of my favourite fellow pinups. Continue reading →
Yes, yes I am starting this blog post with a pun-tastic title name. No, I’m not sorry. Now let’s do this.
As you will see as I tell the full story, I got very lucky that the bout of alopecia I suffered in the summer of 2016 was (knock on wood) a one-off, very mild, and will hopefully not return. But from the moment it happened I had a very weird feeling that I would have to tell all of my readers and followers about it. Not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I felt with the following I have across my social media platforms that I should. That I owed it to people, not merely to be honest but more importantly to be open, to share something that is difficult and sensitive and not so typical. So here I am, much further on in time than I imagined this blog post would go up, telling you about that time I lost some of my hair and was fucking terrified by it. Continue reading →
I’ve never had a fringe, ever, in my whole life. Not even a sad blunt one in childhood imposed against my will. I had blonde, ringlet-curly hair as a young child that turned into brown curly-frizzy hair by the time I was around 8 years old, growing darker and somewhat more frizzy as I grew older. The idea of introducing a fringe into that equation and lumbering myself with something I had to wash, style and possibly straighten on a near daily basis seemed like a burden there was little point in entertaining, even as around me I watched almost every female peer I had get trendy sweeping bangs cut in. Continue reading →
There’s a lot about vintage hairstyling that is difficult and takes time to master. There’s almost no style at all that I feel confident even saying I’ve mastered, and that largely comes down to how frizzy and hard to manage my hair is. I have a lot of it but it’s very fine, prone to flyaways and frizziness no matter the weather–although humidity, is, of course, my worst enemy, because it makes a bad situation so much worse.
Often I’ll brush out my pincurl set, add in all my sectioning clips and hairspray everything into place, feeling content I did my best with my limited skills and even more limited patience…And then I’ll move to somewhere with different lighting, or go to take a picture against a lightly coloured wall, and realise there’s a ton of frizz in my set that I hadn’t noticed while styling it against the dark background that’s reflected in my getting-ready mirror. At that point, with all the hairspray in place, I just have to let the style stand as it is, because trying to alter it would likely end up in an even bigger state. Continue reading →
As a vintage style lover, I’m always drawn to beautiful hair accessories, whether that be vibrant hair flowers or twinkly combs and barrettes, but I realised towards the end of last year that I actually rarely worn any adornments in my hair. The realisation surprised me somewhat, so I made a non-official new year’s resolution (more a goal, than a resolution, really) to make more of an effort to do new things with my hair and to accessorise more, both in my hair and elsewhere on my outfits. It was perfect timing, therefore, when I was contacted for collaboration by Tegen Accessories, a small UK company specalising in handmade and luxury pretty things for, you guessed it, your hair.
I’d been aware of Tegen Accessories before as they have a store in Brighton, a city not very far from where I live. They carry all many different styles of accessories, from hair flowers and crystal barrettes, to bandanas and garlands, beaded headbands, bridal accessories, and straight-up attention-stealing stunning fascinators. They even carry some jewellery, not just for brides.
The selection of products they sent me was varied. The capettes are perfect accessories for a 20s inspired look, the hair comb and barrette are timeless twinkling glamour; the sparkly brooches function two-fold as hair clips as well, and the french pleat comb is handmade in France in a painstaking 10-step process to provide the most flexible and durable comb possible that will stay in place all day without your hair drooping.
If you’ve read my past tutorial on using the Sculpture Pincurl Tool to wetset your hair then you’ll know it produces incredible waves as the curls are so tight, but for that reason on those of us with short or mid length hair our set can bounce up pretty high. It produces a beautiful set, but on me personally I like my hair to fall a little longer even when set, and for that reason a few months back I bought myself a couple sets of clip in hair extensions.
The easiest way to guide you through how to set your hair using clip in extensions is to show you, so I’ve filmed the process, including all the information on how to choose what hair pieces you want, and the brush out. Since the hot to video explaining and showing the process is so in depth and lengthy I’ve set the brush out process as a separate video, as I figured ladies who are confident with their vintage hair sets might not be as interested in viewing that part of the process. Continue reading →