How to Be a Bombshell on a Budget

Budget beauty can be yours!

Forget traveling from department store to department store in the hopes of snagging a great deal on beauty products. With a little creative thinking, budget beauty can be yours!

Just ask model Gina Elise who knows a thing or two about creating beautiful looks for less. When Gina first started Pin-Ups for Vets, a non-profit organization that creates and sells calendars of vintage inspired pretty-girl images with proceeds going to help raise money for veterans and military hospitals, she had to be very budget-conscious. Gina had to come up with creative, budget-friendly ways to obtain classic pin-up beauty. Gina would buy makeup from drug store chains, scour discount department stores and thrift stores for costumes and shoes, and even snag wigs from Halloween stores!

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Wondering how you can become a bombshell on a budget? Check out Gina's top 5 calendar girl secrets:

1. Take full advantage of your local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift stores

Thrift stores contain treasures for anyone looking to conjure up their inner bombshell. Look for dresses that are below the knee (polka dots and floral patterns create an instant retro vibe). Hunt for fun belts to combine with dresses, as belted waists are essential for creating unstoppable pin-up curves. And of course, be on the lookout for pencil skirts. Keep your eye out for sexy platform and peep-toe shoes. Don't forget to peruse your local outdoor flea markets for vintage jewelry, jeweled broaches, and replica bakelite jewelry.

2. Pay a visit to your local drug store

Thanks to bombshells like Adele, Lana Del Rey, Katy Perry and Dita Von Teese, the cat eye is back in style! My go-to liquid liner to create this look is Revlon's Colorstay liquid eye pen in "Blackest Black." The eye pen is perfect for first time cat-eye fans because it’s drip-proof. To enhance this look, grab some false eyelashes while you’re in the cosmetics aisle (Psst! Ardell makes self-adhesive lashes so you don't have to mess around with glue). Finish off the look with red nail polish and red lipstick.

3. Do-It-Yourself Locks

Ladies, allow me to introduce to you the best thing since sliced bread: Wrap, Snap and Go Hair Rollers available from Sally Beauty Supply. For years, I’ve spent hours standing in front of my bathroom mirror with a curling iron rushing to get ready (and have the burns to prove it). Take the drama out of creating perfect curls with these hair rollers that will have you saying hello to gorgeous, bouncy curls without all the fuss.

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To dress up any alluring hairstyle, purchase a flower from your local craft store to tuck behind one ear. You can also hot glue the flower to a comb or clip so it stays in place.

4. Use You-Tube!

There are so many incredible makeup and hair tutorials on You Tube to choose from! Type in key words like "1940s hairstyle" or "1940s makeup" to get started. The wonderful thing about watching online tutorials is that you have the ability to do your hair/makeup right along with the tutorial, pausing, stopping and starting as needed!

5. Free hair and makeup? Yes, please!

Give your local cosmetology school a call; their students often need hair and faces to practice on! This is a great way to get pampered while helping students perfect their skills under the watchful eye of experienced instructors.

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