Saturday 31 December 2016

2016 overview

2016 is drawing to a close...and my oh my what a year 2016 has been and I know I'm not alone in feeling this. 2016 has held so many ups and downs for so many people I know and for the world as a collective. But in this blog post I'm hoping to just share and reflect on another year as a way of closing the door on one of my most turbulant years of my still young life.

2016 for me has been one of my hardest to date. In the early months I had a few close friendships break down, which resulted in a bullying campaign and a lot of people I don't even know apparently having issues with me. I still don't know what exactly caused the big blow up and I've made peace that I never will. This year taught me that there are times when its better to accept you won't understand things and move on with life, instead of dwelling on things you'll never get the answer to. This also shed a lot of negative people from my life very quickly and showed me the true colours of some people I'd never even really interacted with before. I saw the dark bullying underbelly of the retro world and its still something that I can't unsee. It did however strengthen my drive around women supporting women and what that truly means to me. That being a mature woman means letting others get on with their own lives and not needing to crusade against them to 'bring them down' simply because of my own insecurities or because we don't get along.

My last photograph with my grandmother before she passed
For me personally, one of the most significant events of 2016 was the loss of my grandmother, who had a heart attack at home a few days before the Easter weekend. Out of my siblings I had the best relationship with my grandmother. I spent many school holidays at her house growing up as a kid and as i guess it is with all losses...I was not ready to say good bye. She passed a few weeks before what would have been her 90th Birthday and with everything that had been going on with a whole heap of nasty people in my life at the time I was completely emotionally numb when I should have been grieving. We bid my grandmother farewell and her eldest child, my oldest uncle 6 months later after he lost his battle with cancer. My first family deaths since my great Aunt died when I was 19 hit me very hard. I'm only really just processing them now and it still catches me off guard a lot.

But with loss, comes growth. I found it caused reflections in me that otherwise wouldn't have happened. I began to really look at myself, my life and where I wanted to go. I mean, we don't really stop and look at ourselves...really look at ourselves all the much and I find this is often because there are parts we don't like. We live in a world where there is a lot of pressure to be a "good" person, that there are traits that are undesirable that should be changed. This year really made me embrace who I am, the good and the 'bad' because I am a whole being. I am who I am because all my traits, not just the good ones. Now days I believe more in balance than trying to push myself out of it. 

I've also had some incredible experiences within the world of pinup in 2016 as well, opportunities that I am incredibly grateful for, with a few in particular standing out in my mind. 
Attending the ProBlogger conference on the Gold Coast in QLD Australia
Firstly, with the support of my amazing partner, I was able to attend a conference to help me better my blogging skills and help me make my blog better. This has helped me work hard on ways to begin to better share some things that are super important to me and bring you all an even better blog in 2017! 

Entree Shoot with Sherbet Birdie
The second is after 3 years of not feeling 'good enough' to shoot with an amazing creative team of Sherbet Birdie Photography. I booked in when an opening came up for their entree shoot and it was honestly one of the most amazing experiences of women genuinely supporting and empowering other women! I am incredibly grateful to have had a chance to get to know the amazing women of the sherbet birdie team and to have Sasha and Lauren to be apart of my amazing collaboration with What Katie Did Uk.

Thirdly, being a curvier gal with a love of vintage lingerie, getting to work with an amazing brand that I love wearing such as What Katie Did to not only showcase some of my favorite pieces and favorite brands as well, but to also help ladies who are new to retro foundations get a rough idea of where to start. It was also an absolute dream to be able to show retro lingerie on curvier figures, something that I feel is often overlooked amongst retro lingerie brands at times. Not all retro girls are petite and not all retro girls who are curvier are big busted. Its great to see brands getting on board and showcasing their items on varying shapes as well!

And finally, my little business Daisy Jean has also grown well outside what I ever anticipated. Its amazing how fast and how much it has grown in 2016 and I am incredibly grateful for the support and love my little business has received. I'm so grateful to have gotten to work with Miss Ellen this year as the face of my business and I'm truly looking forward to bringing two new faces on board in the new year. I'm hoping for an even more amazing Daisy Jean journey in 2017!

A few things I'd like to mention as amazing things that have happened for me in 2016! In 2016 I've gotten to know some incredible women! Women who I am grateful to call friends and who restored my faith in the fact there are good people out there! Thank you to these amazing women for being in my life, at whatever capacity that may be. You help lift me and inspire me.

Ruby Rabbit, Miss Annie Sky and me at the Sydney Rock N Roll Markets

Miss Peggy Perkins and me at Mardi Gras
Blogger Nicole who I met at Pro Blogger
Bloggers My Vintage Childhood and Makeplusdo at Pro Blogger

Cassie and I during my visit to Melbourne

Meeting Miss Honey Holloway during my Brisbane Trip

Miss Laura Bell, Lavender Twill, Ivy Fair, Miss Annie Sky, Cherry Bomb Adri, Me, Miss Ellen and Lila Jean Vintage
Also, ontop of shooting with Sherbet Birdie I also had the opportunities to shoot with Australia Photographers Miss Scarlett Imagery and Miss Mercy Photography to take a step outside of my comfort zone and to get some incredible images.

Alternative Glam with Miss Mercy Photography
Mermaid Magic with Miss Scarlett Imagery
 I also got my first colour tattoo while I was in Brisbane at the ProBlogger conference, done my graphic artist and apprentice tattoo artist Nikki Palmer! I am absolutely in love with him and I cannot wait to get him a friend in 2017!

Getting Inked by Miss Nikki

Also moving into our own place with my amazing man was definitely an amazing milestone that I feel like I have to mention too! Its given my life, my business, my relationship and my blogging such amazing growth!

While this year started off on a very rough and left me feeling incredibly overwhelmed, in the later part of 2016 I feel I have truly flourished. I've grown so much as a young woman and found a place of peace within myself that I never thought possible. Its given me such drive to 2017 and I cannot wait for all the amazing things I have on the go right now, so much I already have coming and how much I can bring to you all in 2017!

Thank you all so much for sharing in my journey both here and on instagram. For your amazing support, messages of encouragement and sharing your own journeys. Its amazing to even begin to comprehend that by sharing my own journey I am able to inspire and help others! Keep being amazing, keep doing you and I look forward to seeing what we all achieve in 2017.

Monday 19 December 2016

I choo-choose you ~ Train magic with Mary Blair from Pinup Girl Clothing and Deer Arrow

I’m a sucker for matching outfits. If I can match my accessories with my outfit, in incredibly accurate detail…I’m a happy girl. So recently, when Zulily had this Pinup Girl Clothing Mary Blair skirt in train print on sale, I knew I had to make it mine! At the same time, I went and snapped up the matching brooch from Deer Arrow and boy oh boy am I glad I did. This outfit is a matching pinups dream and I am so glad I snapped this set up to wear together! I just had to share it on the blog, especially since this gorgeous skirt is still available from Pinup Girl Clothing! And what better place to show it off than a gorgeous garden which also features some very old train equipment!

Flowers ~ Blue Rose Double from Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Earrings ~ Retro Hoops from Luxulite
Beads ~ Blue necklace from Debstar Designs
Brooch ~ Pink Train Brooch from Deer Arrow
Top ~ White Peasant top from Doll me Up Inc (review coming soon!)
Belt ~ Navy Belt by Hell Bunny from Gwynnies
Skirt ~ Jenny Skirt in Pink Mary Blair Train print from Pinup Girl Clothing
Shoes ~ White Sandals from I love billy shoes
I’m still a sucker for Jenny skirts and despite parting ways with a good chunk of them earlier this year (I can no longer wear petticoats due to my job and some of them weren’t exactly work appropriate), I still hung on to my favorites and it doesn’t mean I won’t snap up a jenny I’ve had my eye on when the opportunity arises! Thanks to some friends on my facebook, I was able to snap this gorgeous Jenny skirt up in the Zulily Sale. I must admit, I was incredibly excited and it arrived much sooner than I anticipated it would! I ordered this jenny skirt in a large, as its been my experience that you should size up in their printed jenny’s as they run small. So I got the large instead of my usual medium. I was spot on the money and was over the moon that this new skirt fit! I was also excited at the addition of pockets in their Jenny Skirts! The colours are as vibrant as they look in pictures and I am so excited to try styling this skirt different ways! While its no longer available on Zulily, you can still snap this skirt up on the Pinup Girl Clothing website!

This skirt was the perfect match for my new peasant blouse from Doll Me Up Inc. As a pear girl I find these stretchy tops a better fit for me than the super structured PUG ones, which I don’t seem to fill. Plus the lighter fabric makes them a godsend in our hot Australian summer, meaning I’ll get plenty of wear out of them as the warmer weather starts to hit! I’ll be reviewing this top style very soon here on my blog! I do love though that this skirt could be just as easily teamed with yellow, blue or a darker pink with the colours in the fabric! Making it a fun versatile piece!

Deer Arrow have been coming out with some incredibly gorgeous acrylic designs in the past 12 months and when I bought this adorable train skirt I knew what I needed to match it! This train brooch comes in a red colourway as well and each little carriage has its own securing pin! Plus, it even has little white steam. I cannot wait to see how well it pops against a coloured top! This adorable train brooch is only $35AUD + postage too. They also have a gorgeous range of Christmas stuff in stock atm the moment!

For my accessories, I decided to play to the blue tones in this skirt. Retro hoops, a blue necklace and blue hair flower were my go to! I kept my shoes simple and comfortable for our hot style weather and another pop of navy at my waist. Overall I adore this whole outfit and the vibes it hard! I also loved the setting for this shoot! Shot in the gorgeous Wendy’s garden in Sydney which was build on what was originally a dumping ground on rail yard land, it features some of the old train mechanisms which were so lovely to show with for this review!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this review! I also got to shoot with a new photographer for this review! So all photo credits to Phil Ingram. You can check out his work here!

Til next time darlings!

Wednesday 14 December 2016

1940s magic in the Lana dress from Vivien of Holloway

We all know I’m an absolute sucker for the 1940s. It’s something I talk about regularly on my Instagram (I'm sure you're all sick of it), I have literally lists full of 1940’s accessories, hats, sewing patterns and clothes on my etsy. I also hunt regularly for 1940’s style clothing coming from my favourite repro brands. I’d been eyeing off the Lana dress for well…ever. So recently, after parting ways with some gorgeous items I no longer wear, I took the plunge and snapped up the gorgeous Lana dress from Vivien of Holloway.

Hat ~ True Vintage 1940s from Poppycock Vintage on Etsy
Earrings ~ Pastel Pink Eclipse earrings from Revere Folie
Beads ~ Pastel pink necklace from Debstar Designs
Brooch ~ Pastel Pink Pamela from Daisy Jean Floral Designs
Dress ~ Lana dress in Ash Peach Floral from Vivien of Holloway
Belt ~ Brown belt from Kmart
Shoes ~ Peggy heels in brown from Royal Vintage Shoes
I ordered my Lana dress direct from Vivien of Holloway and it arrived safely in my hands within 10 business days. The Lana dress is made of a lightweight polyester which is surprisingly comfortable and breathable, even in our humid Australian conditions which I am sure will make it a perfect summer staple for me. The Lana dress features a dramatic collar which for me oozes elegance as well as shoulder pads. This is my first garment to have shoulder pads in it and I must say, I love the effect it has on the overall fit of the garment. As a gal who has smaller rounded shoulders this dress really changes my shape in a dramatic way to look more like an hourglass than a pear.

The Lana dress is slightly longer in length than a lot of my 50’s stuff, but I think this is pretty common for 1940’s styles. The back is kept smooth, with the zip hidden in the side and the bonus that the head opening is wide enough to not destroy ones hair and makeup efforts when getting dressed. The zip is a regular zip, which means no epic battling as I often find I end up having with invisible zips, something that seems to always happen to me when I’m already running late for work! It also features pockets, which I didn't know until it arrived! They're pretty substantial too, meaning they are practical and not just for show. I loved accessorising this look with some true vintage and 1940’s repro pieces to help finish the look. This amazing 1940’s hat was the perfect pink to compliment this dress, teamed with a simple pink brooch and the amazing peggy heels in brown from Royal Vintage Shoes. The end result is a polished, 1940s look that I absolutely adore and cannot wait to wear more!

I got the size 18 to accommodate for my hips, though it is a bit big in the bust for me so I do end up having to wear a very padded bra to help fill it out. The Ash Peach Floral print is absolutely gorgeous in person and a classic pattern without being too overbearing. However, if it isn’t for you they also come in a few different prints as well as solid block colours too. The Lana retails for £99.00 which equates to around $167AUD + postage, though this does fluctuate a bit with the Australian dollar. I know mine was snapped up when the dollar was a bit stronger and I’m glad I did. 

I hope you've all enjoyed this review and I'm sorry its taken so long to get out. I've been having some issues recently with blogger not posting or wiping my scheduled content (which is incredibly annoying!)

Til next time darlings

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Being the best pinup you ~ Thoughts on the pinup scene and being true to you

I’ve been brewing on this post for a while, especially after talking to Laila Shalimar after she released her article in the last Adore Pinup Magazine, discussing the impacts on body image from pinup online social media. I guess, I just wanted to share my own thoughts and insights into this, as well as a bit of my own journey because one thing that is important to me is keeping it real.

I’ve noticed a lot of the comments I get now are from ladies online, especially those new to the scene imply perfection….something I very much am not and something that makes me a little squeamish to receive.

Pre-Pinup Me
Believe it or not, I wasn’t always a pinup. I actually started my online journey as a weight loss blog! Despite liking the style since my mid teens I didn’t really work up the courage to actually try it until I was in my early 20s, when I bought a second hand hell bunny dress off ebay at 21. I used to be a bit of a fashion victim (I really have no head for mainstream fashion) and after experimenting for 12 months with pinup on weekends, I finally took the plunge and went my dream hair colour of red and worked on becoming a scarlet haired pinup. Now, it took a lot longer and was filled with a lot more struggle than I anticipated.
My early years were filled with a lot of cringe worthy moments. My first wetset came out like an afro that as so knotted I had to soak it in the bath before I could wash it. My eyeliner took 3 years to get to something relativity ‘on fleck’ and to not resemble a single curved texta line up the side of my eye. I didn’t even know what eyeshadow was til year 3 of dressing retro (its actually something I’m STILL learning now!). Some of my outfits also were a major miss and I look back and have to laugh. As a beginner I had no idea about the varying types of stockings and thought shapewear was a torture device (how times have changed there!).  Why so many bungles? Simple, because I was a beginner. I think this is something a lot of ladies that come to the “pinup scene”, whether online or real world overlook. A lot of retro girls have been doing the style for a number of years and they have it down to an art. One of my favourite quotes is to not compare your start to someone else’s middle. Remember literally everyone starts as a beginner. Everyone.

One of my first pinup looks
Pinup year 1

Pinup year 3

First wetset

Casual day year 2
Now at 26, I am I guess what I’d call a more ‘seasoned’ pinup. I’m fortunate enough to work in a job that affords me the ability to dress how I want (within reason, there are certain things I can’t wear to work for obvious ‘not being work appropriate’ reasons) and that allows me to continue my freedom of expression via clothing, I also know this is a luxury not every woman who likes the style is afforded. Years of working out what works best for my hair means I have mostly good hair days and I wear retro makeup daily. I started a blog based around sharing my knowledge of pinup at the start of last year and it’s taken off more than I ever expected. I do a fair amount of photo shooting, blogging and collaborating which means my Instagram is generally  full of pretty ootd photos, mostly good hair days and exciting mail deliveries. Comments from many women imply they feel I’m living the dream ‘instagram pinup’ life. I have a growing following, I get to wear great outfits and I do photoshoots.

I do however try and keep it real online. My life is far from “perfect”.  I do live in a nice apartment with my partner with our small amount of second hand furniture:  we began rebuilding our own lives as solo livers mid this year so we don’t have a lot. Being 26 and living as an adult means I have to plan and budget my purchases, I can’t just splurge because I want to. I work my full time job in administration Monday-Friday which involves an hour a day train commute as well as a half hour round trip walk to and from the station. I’m very grateful to have my job but it does take up a fair chunk of my time and as a creative mind I can find it a bit brain numbing at times. Ontop of this I also have my own small business, Daisy Jean. Small businesses are a lot of work, more than I think people online really understand. While I dress pretty during the day for my job, it generally comes off the moment I walk in the door at home (I don’t want to get craft supplies on my nice things) and my evenings are mostly spent huddled over my work desk creating new store stock, filling/prepping orders and working on balancing the websites. With my blogging also being busier than ever it means nights allocated to creating content (I’m working on some AWESOME stuff right now!), building my new platform for a change in the new year and a lot of emails and coordination. My weekends are normally crammed with not just fitting in photo shoots, stock making, stock runs, spending time with my man, general domestic duties I didn’t fit during the week and the never ending list of Adhoc that is the forgotten tasks of my busy life. I often joke I need a day between Saturday and Sunday just to get everything done!

As those who follow my Instagram know, I talk quite openly about my anxiety. I developed social anxiety while I was with my ex and it’s something I still something I battle with. As a result I don’t have much to do with my local “pinup” scene. I saw its dark underbelly earlier this year when I became the target of bullying from other small business owners and basically withdrew. I don’t really have much available time to deal with that sort of behaviour or tolerance for such childish antics. So I just keep it a bit distant now days and I’m more selective of the events I attend. In regards to the online pinup scene, having been in it for quite a while I’ve found a number of amazing women that I love following. But I know in my own experience I can often feel left out/not good enough/etc. While ‘pinup’ is viewed as an amazing body positive movement, it’s not always all body inclusive and as a girl with a pear shaped figure I often feel I don’t ‘fit’ the image that the scene idolises. I do work really hard to not let these negative voices get to me, as I know it’s all crap (my body is fab, weight regardless) but I wanted ladies to know that even I don’t feel ‘enough’ in pinup at times. That is something I think all women go through to some degree and that it’s not something you experience alone. I’ve also found as my ‘popularity’ has increased online as has the negativity I receive. I don’t post about it but the more visible you are online, the more of a target you become for people. I’ve seen some pretty mean stuff happen to women in the scene (both online and local) as well as been on the receiving end of some myself, some so nit picky I literally couldn’t believe it. Tall poppy syndrome is very much a thing in the retro scene and this is something I find really disheartening. I also find it a bit bizarre to be referred to as perfect. For the most part I feel like a pretty regular girl, just like everyone else. 

I wanted to wrap up this post with some advice I have for ladies about pinup. Whether they are in it, new to it, thinking about it or on their way out of it: just do you! I use this mantra a lot and I apply it to pinup in my own life. Pinup really is a way of dressing, with a lifestyle attached that is not necessarily a requirement. All our lives are different, so make it work for you. If you only do it occasionally, it doesn’t make you any less of a retro girl. If you dress it all the time it doesn’t make you superior to anyone else. If you don’t want to do it anymore as it doesn’t fit, that’s not an issue either. Your goal should always be about working on your own happiness and your own life rhythm, something unique to you.

Pinup doesn’t fix body image either, which is a notion I’m seeing in increasing amounts which worries me. It’s not a magic wand waving transformation that cures all your body woes. But it is what you make it and it can be a great tool for helping you learn to embrace your body. You are ‘good enough’ from the start because pinup is all part of the journey. It’s one reason I love it so much, it’s not stagnant. My style evolves and grows with new things. We all keep learning new things and that’s one reason it’s so awesome. Please try and focus on the things you achieve (nailing that eyeliner, getting through a day without your stockings unclipping, a great wetset, an awesome etsy find) and not the comparisons that will steal your glory. Remember, another woman’s beauty doesn’t make you ugly by default. Rejoice in your own unique you.

Sadly, like all ‘scenes’ pinup can be clicky. It’s just a fact. But you don’t have to be part of a scene just because you dress pinup. I only had ‘online’ pinup friends for ages before I developed real life ones. Again, there are no set rules or guidelines for how to pinup socially. Socialise with who makes you feel good, embrace what works for you and just keep rocking it. In regards to Tall poppy syndrome change starts with you, so try and lift others up and in turn you will be lifted. That’s my motto in life anyway.

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this post and as always I am more than happy to answer any comments or questions in the comments.

Please ladies know you aren’t alone in this. But also know you aren’t inferior either. You are all such amazing women, no matter how you dress or how you look.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Pinup Flicks with Le Keux Cosmetics

Wearing Pinup Powder, Cadillac eyeliner and Whistle Bait Lip paint
Looking back, I find myself swelling with pride at how much my makeup skills have come along in the past few years. I come from a family where make up wasn’t really worn. My mum worked in roles that didn’t allow make up and as such, I never really felt much drive to wear more than a swirl of lip-gloss growing up. I kind of fumbled through most of my early 20’s, still without a clue and not wearing much make up until I got into dressing retro. Looking back at my first make up attempts from my baby pinup days I can’t help but giggle: I was a novice with eyeliner, I didn’t wear lipstick as I found it too intimidating and wore a translucent powder as a foundation. I’ve certainly come a LONG way since then and wanted to start sharing more of my makeup journey with you all as well as make up reviews! I felt the best way to do this was to share now only on my YouTube, as I was previously doing but also on my blog! So this week I wanted to share some goodies with you all that I recently got sent by Le Keux Cosmetics!

Lip Paints in: peachy keen, Cherry Bomb and Whistle Bait. Cadillac eyeliner and pinup powder
Le Keux Cosmetics are a UK based cosmetic brand which make paraben free and cruelty free cosmetics with a retro vibe. Beautifully packaged and each with a lovely subtle smell, these will definitely give your dressing table a touch of glamour. They arrived quickly in the post from the UK, wrapped up in a hot pink mailer bag which caused the postman much amusement and me a lot of excitement. For my first review I decided to share my thoughts first on the Pin Up Powder and Cadillac eyeliner as I wanted to review the lip paints separately, as there are a few different ways to wear them!

Fresh Faced
Liquid foundation and Pinup Powder applied
Liquid Foundation applied 

As my previous setting powder had just run out, I was super excited to give the Pin Up Powder a try. I was super excited to open up the box and find the pretties packaging inside. Size wise this powder container fits in the palm of my hand and is a pretty pink colour. When you open this container it features a sealing top under the lid, to help stop you spilling your powder and the powder itself has a soft smell to it that is really quite pleasant. I personally like to apply this powder with a powder brush and a little definitely goes a long way. I found it wore well and I didn’t get oily through it by the end of the day either, which is something that’s super important to me! It also held up well against my morning walk to the station, which can normally REALLY trash my makeup. I also haven’t reacted to it, which is another plus as my skin is quite sensitive. I now jump between wearing this powder and my other one, depending on the look I want to get.  Definitely something I’ll keep on wearing!

Brows and shadow applied. Time to Apply the Cadillac Liner
Cadillac Liner Applied
Cadillac Liner Applied
 I will admit, the Cadillac liner took me a little while to get used to using. My first attempt was disastrous as I didn’t read the instructions on the packaging which was totally my bad. After some investigation and seeing where I went wrong I re-tried to delightful success. The Cadillac liner is high pigment liner, which is a bold black. To activate the liner, you need to swirl your brush (which I didn’t do initially!) and evenly coat your brush before applying. I found using both a liner brush and an angled brush gives me the best results. This liner wears well and I found it had minimal smudging throughout the day. To increase its long life you can even set it with the Pin Up Powder, which also gives it a more ‘matte’ finish. For someone who is completely new to liner, this product may take a little getting used. As someone a bit more practiced with liner, once I got the hang of the angled brush I didn’t find I had any problems applying it.

Complete look with Pinup Powder, Cadillac Liner and Lip Paint in Whistle Bait. 
The finished look when teamed with the Le Keux lip paints is a strong pinup look. As I said before, I’ll be reviewing the lip paints in a separate review as they have multiple wears that I wanted to cover in greater detail! To finish this look I teamed it with the colour Whistle Bait, which is one I’ve been wearing a fair bit of late! Overall I’m super happy with my goodies from Le Keux and cannot wait to try different styling combos and add to my collection. For gals who love a bold pinup look, this is a brand to look at!

I hope you’ve all enjoyed this review and I’ll be doing a YouTube video of the application of these goodies soon! Also, for my followers! If you use coupon CURVECREATION10 you’ll get 10% off your own Le Keux goodies!

Til next time darlings!

Disclaimer: Whilst I received these items in a collaboration from Le Keux Cosmetics, all opinions expressed are honest to help ensure the most accurate information for my readers.