February 15, 2012

Pin-up Beauty Jessica Lynn Gahring

Makeup: Genn Shaughnessy
Photographer: Lorraine Murphy

I’m excited to have one of my favorite retro girls here today - the beautiful Jessica Lynn Gahring of the hit reality show, NY Ink on TLC. She’s a smart, funny, completely down-to-earth gal who loves vintage pin-up and old world glamour. She lights up NY Ink with her gorgeous style and sweet-meets-spunky personality. Here are some of Jessica’s best kept pin-up secrets for the modern retro girl!

RGG:  Hi Jessica! You have such a great style. Who are your glamour inspirations?
  • JLG: I wouldn’t really say that my glamour inspirations were a specific “who” but more of a ‘what’. I am completely inspired by anything retro, vintage and glamour. I enjoy taking little pieces of a million different images and tying them together to create something that resembles a “Modern Pinup”. To be specific, I love soft curls in the hair, make up that says “I’m sexy enough to refuse you dinner if you don’t kiss me once you walk in the door from work”, clothes that cover enough of the female form but leave enough open to the imagination where a male can linger in thought at what may lay behind her concealed walls. I find glamour inspiration in classic films, pinup magazines and models, fashion blogs catered to the beautiful pinup and friends that I meet along the way... such as you, my beautiful vintage friend, Rosina! <3  

RGG: If you could go back in time and meet one famous bombshell, who would it be and what would you ask her?
  • JLG: I feel like it goes without saying that I’d want to meet Marilyn and have endless deep conversations with her. I wouldn’t be content asking her just one question and my ability to converse with people would get her to open up comfortably with all of her deepest secrets (which of course I’d keep hush hush!). Specifically, I’d want to know how she dealt with that moment in time when she went from your everyday unknown pretty face to one that was recognized nationally. I would love to know what went through her mind in those moments and who she relied on for trust and inspiration.

RGG:  You have done pin-up modeling and you are on film all the time. Do you have any tips for getting comfortable in front of the camera?
Photo by Steve Prue
  • JLG: There is no possible way to prepare yourself to become comfortable in front of the camera other than just becoming comfortable in front of the camera. You can practice those pinup faces in the mirror all evening long but when you start working with those photographers who have their own ideas of pinup beauty then you realize that it has to be a dual effort. I watch every episode of our show and make mental notes consisting of things like, “Ohhh, those pants are exceptionally flattering” or “Damn, I look great in that dress!” or “Do not EVER wear my hair like that again!” and then I just laugh at myself! You learn by trial and error and then improve upon that process. There is no true 360 degree mirror that gives you a complete sense of yourself like that of being on film and in front of the camera!
RGG:  Your outfits on NY Ink are gorgeous! Where do you find most of your ensembles?
  • JLG: I compile my outfits from a number of locations, including my closest friends vintage businesses. However, my favorite pinup retailer is Pin Up Girl Clothing (www.pinupgirlclothing.com). They have a high-end pin up line that can be made professional or ‘dressed down’ for a naughtier look. The clothes are cut in all the right locations and are meant to flatter a curvy woman’s figure. Dear Pin Up Girl Clothing, I truly love you! <3
RGG: If you were stranded on an island, what is the one beauty item you could not live without?
  • JLG: If I was stranded on an island I would never wear makeup! I’d give my face the chance to breathe and revel in the beauty of my island which I would of course rename “Dixie Island” (laughs). However, if I had to chose one item that I could not live without then it would most definitely be a bandanna. How else could I grab coconuts from the tree tops and keep my hair out of my face?! Bandannas are by far my favorite retro accessory (wig wearing or not!).
RGG: What is/are your favorite shade(s) of Red lipstick? (Every retro girl wants to know!)
  • JLG: I am VERY picky about my favorite red lipsticks! I need my reds to have a hint of frost while also matching my skin tone. If the red is a matte then I apply a little bit of frost gloss just on my bottom lip to perk up the color. Currently, I have two (2) favorite reds and I choose which one I wear based on my clothing & wig choices. Enough of the tease, here are the color names: MAC VIVA GLAM III & MAC VIVA GLAM IV. Sadly, these are limited edition colors so I may have to eventually find others that grab my attention.  
RGG: I love listening to Marilyn Monroe and Anne Margaret when I’m getting ready for a night out on the town. What music do you listen to when you are channeling your inner bombshell?
  • JLG: I absolutely love listening to strong female voices with a hint of rasp and blues living somewhere deep within there. To be honest, I could listen to Etta James, Imelda May and the blues side of Eric Clapton all day long. The sound is so deep and sultry that it makes me apply my lipsticks with even a hint of sexy (winks).
RGG: What is/are your favorite vintage/classic movie(s)?
  • JLB: My top two (2) favorite classic films are Some Like It Hot (for it’s humorous story line) & It’s a Wonderful Life (for it’s strong focus on the devoted family)!
RGG: My personal style tends to resonate the early 60s. Do you have one particular decade that you draw your style from?
  • JLG: I definitely draw a lot of my style tastes from the late 50s into the early 60s so I’m right there with you hot mama! <3
RGG: I won’t leave the house without my red lips and groomed eye-brows. What is your out-the-door must have?
  • JLG: I can absolutely go without a bright red lip but I cannot go anywhere without my eyebrows groomed! My hair is so light blonde naturally that if I don’t pencil in my brows then they look as if they aren’t even there. All retro ladies know that a beautiful brow arch is cornerstone to that beautiful vintage look! I will leave the house with no other makeup on then just my brow pencil, eyeliner and mascara... but those are absolute must-haves!
RGG: Jessica, thank you so much for visiting with Retro Girl’s Guide today! You truly have a special spirit and beauty that shines both inside and out! XOXO
Jessica's beautiful artwork
  • JLG: You are very welcome, Rosina! Thank you for having me! You know that I always jump at the opportunity to feel the beauty of your spirit, as well. Thank you again for my beautiful Ginger’s Jewelry Box ring and for naming that ring after me. I can’t tell you how many compliments I receive on that ring! Kisses to you, beautiful, and to all of those beautiful retro divas out there! XO
You can watch Jessica on NY Ink Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. on TLC. Be sure to visit her website www.jessicalynngahring.com, Facebook page and follow @MsRetroDixie on Twitter.