Blending Is the Secret: A Pinup Makeup Tutorial

Everyone wants to look their best. How better to do that than to learn new makeup techniques? Burlesque performer and leader of the Atlanta Burlesque Society, Taloolah Love, took time to sit down and share her process for creating a pinup model look on the Fan Tracks channel, Sunday at 5PM.

The purpose of makeup is to bring out your features. In today’s climate of constant social sharing, you want your images to show the best side of you. Without makeup, you could look flushed or flat in your pictures.

Beginning with safety and hygiene, Taloolah said she doesn’t do anything until her face, hands, and tools are squeaky clean. To clean your tools, use a mixture of dish soap, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and water to remove old makeup and disinfect the bristles. Make sure you don’t get the mixture or any water in the barrel of the brush in order to keep mold from growing.

Before getting started, pull back your hair and wear a top that you won’t have to pull up and over your head. Once everything is clean and out of the way, be sure to moisturize your face and neck and spritz with a little rose water. Let it dry before moving on to the next step. TIP: always allow time for drying between steps.

Next, to create a blank canvas, start with primers for both your face and your eyes. Apply the facial primer with an upward sweeping motion (gravity is not our friend). For the eye primer, apply it to the entire eye area. An eye primer will help your eye makeup stay in place and not bunch in the crease of your eye.

If you have any facial redness, use a little green primer. The green will counteract the red. It may seem odd to remove the red only to add rouge later, but the point is to manage where the color is. Once your primer is dry it’s time to add your foundation. Using a foundation brush smooth your foundation over your skin. Stipple when needed to get the foundation into areas like the crease of your nose and chin. Be sure to bring the foundation down to your neck, too!

Before adding any contouring or coloring, know what lighting you will be in. A dark club calls for darker colors and less need to worry about details, as opposed to an afternoon wedding where lighter colors are a better choice.

Once your foundation is dry it’s time to start highlighting and lowlighting to sharpen your features. Starting with the darkest contour color, Taloolah showed how to accentuate the cheekbones, the temples, the nose, and the jawline. She suggested looking at yourself from different angles to see if everything is even and symmetrical.

She mentioned that, at this stage, it might seem like what you are doing is messing up your look but to think of it like a Bob Ross painting. By the time you are finished, you will have a happy little look.

Once you are satisfied with the contouring, it is time to add color. For the pinup look, which is typically considered a look from the 1950s, you want a red rouge and you want it just on the apples of your cheeks. After rouging be sure to set what you’ve done so far. Use a packed powder to help set your makeup and soften it a little. This will mute your contouring and colors just a bit. But don’t worry, when you take those pictures or videos your features will definitely stand out.

After everything is set it is time to move on to your eyes. Frame your eyes with your eyebrows. Use an eyebrow pencil and your nose to determine where your inner and outer eyebrows should be along with the peak of the curve. Color in your eyebrows with a lighter color to get the shape then the darker color to set accentuate it. If you have a heavy-lidded eye, Taloolah suggested watching Violet Chachki’s Leather and Lace look for how to create a higher arch.

Now that your eye has been framed, it’s time to color it in. Using the darker color, create your crease from the outer edge and down on the lid. Using a lighter color, soften the dark color and highlight under the brow. Then blend, and blend, and blend. Just like in Edward Scissorhands, blending is the secret.

Add your eyeliner by starting in the center of the eye and pulling out to the edge. Add your mascara next. To make an inexpensive mascara work like an expensive one, heat it up with a little body heat. This will make it easier to apply. Instead of pumping the wand in and out, be sure to twist to load the bristles. For health and safety, replace your mascara every month and don’t share your eye makeup with anyone.

Finally, it’s time for lips. To make a perfect bow, use a lip liner to make three dots on your upper lip in an upside-down triangle shape where the bow should be, then a single dot on the lower lip below the middle dot on the upper. Connect the dots and pull the line out to the corner of your mouth. Once you have your lined lip, fill in with the red of your choice. Taloolah suggests using a matte lipstick because a gloss can be sticky. You don’t want your hair sticking to your lips, do you? To get some shine, use a makeup grade glitter on your lips.

Once your makeup is applied, use a setting spray to keep everything in place. This is essential, especially in hot and muggy Atlanta! And that’s it. Be sure to follow your favorite artists and entertainers to show your support and hopefully we’ll see each other next year!

Author of the article

Colleen Callahan is a freelance content writer and social media consultant specializing in food and beverage, writing blog posts, newsletters, and managing social media accounts. She recently sold her house and most of her possessions and moved into an RV with her two doggos. They live the full-time nomad life, traveling the US and chasing 70 degrees. Starting with A Wrinkle In Time and never looking back, Colleen is a huge fan of science fiction, fantasy, and the supernatural. Favorite time burners are anything by Joss Whedon, the entire Outlander universe, the occasional Neil Gaiman rant, and as many geeky TV shows as she can lay her eyes on. Recently, Colleen has decided to go back to her first love - writing. Since the third grade, creating neighborhood newsletters with a typewriter and copying them with a mimeograph machine (remember those?), the writing flame has been kept alive through short stints in industry magazines, copywriting for marketing projects, and writing on her blog, Volunteering for the Daily Dragon was the first stepping stone in a journey towards her Destiny. Colleen can also be seen on her YouTube channel, Sunrise 2 Sunset RV.