Friday, February 8, 2013

"Let's Kiss and Makeup": Part Deux - Pin-up Style

I am invigorated Poodles! By my own blog post!


Seriously though *wink*, I was inspired by all that adorable makeup in my last post. So today I decided to do a tutorial featuring my interpretation of a classic pin-up makeup look.

When I think pin-up, I first and foremost think Betty Grable; and I always picture her in her famous pin-up pose, looking over her shoulder while showing off those amazing legs!

Did you know that Betty Grable's legs were insured for a $1,000,000 by her studio? Crazy!

LIFE photographer Walter Sanders putting
cold cream on Betty's $1,000,000 legs
source: via Pinterest

After Betty, I think of all those iconic pin-up images created by artists like Gil Elvgren and Art Frahm. Wide-eyed, gorgeous gals, sometimes caught in innocent, if compromising situations. They always make me giggle.

Pin-up girls are also eternally connected in my mind with WWII and the servicemen who would "pin-up" images of Hollywood stars or their sweethearts, to help them through the long, wretched days at war.

A couple of my friends and I have this silly thing that we do at parties; parties where we know we are likely to feel awkward or out of place. We adopt alter-egos for ourselves to help us not be wallflowers all night. It's basically an Anne "call me Cordelia" kind of a thing.

We are dorks, I know.

My alter-ego is invariably Betty Grable. If only I had blonde hair and blue eyes...

"Betty" and "Tippy"

Anyhoo, here you go Poodles: A classic pin-up makeup look, minus the million dollar legs! And to make the process easier, I'm going to break this up into three parts for you Poodles; face, eyes, and finishing touches.

Part One: The face base!

Step 1: Start with a freshly cleansed and moisturized face. I have yet to find a face makeup primer I like, so a good moisturizer is essential.

I cannot believe I am posting this hideous picture of myself online!
Aaaaaahhh!!! No Makeup!!

Step 2: Choose either a liquid, creme, or powder foundation. I use a combination of two; I like more of a sheer tinted moisturizer, followed by a mineral foundation powder. Full coverage liquid foundation makes my skin itch. And no, despite what some companies recommend, you cannot use a tinted moisturizer instead of your regular moisturizer. That is gr-ross to me; makeup is makeup, not skincare. Just my opinion! Or as my brother is fond of expressing, "I'm just sayin'!" (Let's see if he actually reads this blog, and responds to that quote. HA!)

If using a liquid or creme foundation, or a tinted moisturizer, apply to the high spots on your face; i.e. forehead, cheekbones, chin, and nose. Spread with a foundation brush. Then using circular motions, blend the foundation in, using a round flat-topped blending brush, towards your hairline and along your jawline, making sure there are no visible lines of makeup. I use Mirabella's foundation brush, and MAC's #130.

Equally as frightening!!!

**A note about makeup brushes, INVEST! I know they can be expensive, but the superior one's will last for years with proper care. A good makeup brush can take the work out of doing your makeup, and that's something this procrastinating poodle recommends! Mirabella beauty products are of excellent quality, if somewhat boringly packaged. Their brushes, in my opinion, are just as good, if not better than MAC's. (I purchased several MAC brushes while still in esthetician school, ages ago. I did purchase them at a discounted price, but if I had known about Mirabella then, I probably would've invested in their brushes instead.)

Step 3: Take a concealer brush, and using a dab of concealer, touch-up any spots that still need attention, such as under-eye circles, scarring, or breakout spots.

Apparently humiliation is the order of the day.
This stupid spot will not go away!

Step 4: If you used full coverage liquid or creme foundation, move on to #5! If you have used a tinted moisturizer like me, finish off your makeup base with a light dusting of mineral foundation powder. I use a kabuki brush for this step.

Step 5: Using an angled contour brush (MAC #168), suck in your cheeks and apply bronzer under cheekbones up to the hairline towards your temples. Then apply it at the corners of your forehead/hairline. If you have jowls like me (thank you Great-Grandma Kent for that), applying a darker powder like a matte bronzer, can help disguise them. Starting under the center of the chin, apply outwards below the jawline, and blend, blend, blend!

Lookin' hot!!
*This is not MAC's contour brush, it's just a
random one I got in school. 

Step 6: Apply a cream rouge to the apples of your cheeks, and blend with your fingertips towards your temples. I use Besame Cosmetics Crimson Cream Rouge. It is awesome!! Using barely any product, your cheeks will look naturally rosy all day!

Look how pigmented this rouge is!
I love how the vintage tin packaging complements
my Coty Airspun setting powder.

What is with my bruised eyes in these pictures?!
Get some sleep Poodle!!!

Step 7: Apply a highlighter, like theBalm's incredible Mary-Lou Manizer, to any spot you want the light to catch. I place it sparingly under my outer eyes along the top of my cheekbone, as well as along the bridge of my nose. I also put a bit at the tip of my chin. I use MAC's blush brush #116 for this.

And now it's time for...

Part Two: The eyes have it!

Step 1: Apply a tiny bit of eyelid primer. Allow to dry.

Step 2: Using a shadow brush, apply a neutral, matte shadow all over your eyelid. When applying any shadow to your eye, first flick the handle of the brush with your ring finger. This will rid the brush of excess powder. Blend shadow with a tapered blending brush like MAC's #224. This is the one MAC brush I can't live without!

Step 3: Next apply a white shadow to your lid and brow bone. Blend again.

Step 4: Choose a taupe or light brown shadow for your eyelid crease. I actually used the shade Sultry from my Nude'tude palette! Apply shadow with a stippling effect (like when painting with a stencil) from the center of the crease to the outer corner, and then blend. A MAC manager told me once to imagine the blending brush is like a windshield wiper; sweep it back and forth till the shadow is well-blended. It so works!

Blurry & Blotchy picture #1
Blurry & Blotchy picture #2

Are you sensing a pattern? Blending is the most important technique in applying eye makeup.

Step 5: Apply a slight sweep of highlighter to the brow bone under your arch.

Step 6: Fill in your brows. My best advice on this one is to watch Cherry Dollface's youtube tutorial. She uses the same Bomber Betty Julia Brow Wow as I do, and we use a similar technique.

Can you see the difference?
 Husband just said, "Nope."
Sooo helpful!

Step 7: Using a white eye pencil, line the waterline of your lower lid. This will help your eyes to have that wide-eyed pin-up look. I use NYX's Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk. Before I found this pencil, I NEVER lined my waterline because everything always immediately disappeared due to watery eyes. Go figure?! But the NYX pencil has staying power!!

I'm glowing! It's not your monitor, it's the
reflected light of my oh so cute
Hello Kitty light-up makeup mirror! 

Step 8: Winged liner. This is an only-if-you-want-to step. A true 1940's makeup look rarely included eyeliner; a winged cat-eye didn't gain in popularity until the 50's. Which is yet another reason why I love the makeup looks of the 40's.

I am soooo not going to instruct you poodles on how to do a cat-eye! Cat eyes and this poodle, do not like each other!! I have a hand tremor due to Parkinson's Disease, and a cat-eye is not something I do well without the use of multiple cotton swabs. Not to mention, it takes me FOREVER. I'll just post a great instructional picture I saw on Pinterest. Ok? Ok.

image via Pinterest

Stupid cat-eyes. Why do you have to look so fabulous and easy to do, and yet be so hard?!! Isn't it just like a cat to pull us in with it's good looks and then reject us??


I clearly have cat issues. I'm more of a dog person.

Moving on... How long is this tutorial anyways???? We're almost done poodles, I promise!

Step 9: Apply mascara lightly to top and lower lashes.

Step 10: Apply false lashes. I use Ardell lashes and their LashGrip adhesive (for a lashes how-to, check out Ardell's website). This step is purely for a Pin-Up Look. I never, ever, ever do this on a day-to-day basis. So you can skip this step if you'd like to. If you do skip it, apply a thicker coat of mascara to your natural lashes.

Step 11: Place a small dot of highlighter at the inner corner of your eye. I use Pixi's Fairy Dust. The applicator tip is the exact right size for the inner corner.

Part Three: Finishing Touches... Really!!!!

Step Uno: Using a big ol' soft powder brush, dust your face and neck with setting powder. This will not only keep your makeup in place, it will give your skin that porcelain-like 1940's Hollywood look.

Sooo soft

Step Dos: Put on your red lips and dance! Because this tutorial is finally over!! I used my favorite Besame Red lipstick. I did not line my lips first (this poodle doesn't have time for liner!); if you do want to line your lips, I lo-ovv-e Boots No.7 Line & Define Lip Pencil in Fire.


  1. You lost me at the Hello Kitty light up mirror ;-)

  2. Not a Hello Kitty lover?? ;) I have to admit to a huge weakness for Hello Kitty. She's so kitsch!