classic makeup: the modern pinup

This post is the final installment in my eight-part classic makeup series. Today we're looking at the Modern Pinup. I really adore this look. It has all the cheekiness of Vargas girls past, but is fine-tuned to match today's aesthetic sensibilities. What makes it modern? More natural skin, less contouring on the cheeks and eyes, and a simplicity that would have been considered borderline lazy back in the pinup's heyday. This streamlined version is perfect for anyone who loves all things vintage, but prefers not to apply makeup with a trowel. Mastering the modern pinup adds the perfect dose of va va voom into a makeup routine, or pretties you up perfectly for a special event.

The key element of this look lies in the playful flick of liner at the outer corners of the eyes. Sculpted brows and lightly flushed cheeks help out too. When it comes to the lips, you can choose to go nude or with a rich tone. Either will work well. For me, I like to go full-tilt when it comes to color, so today's tutorial features berry lips. Let's get started! 

Here are some examples:

Here's what you need:

Here's how to do it:

Start by doing your foundation. You might want to consider a tinted moisturizer or something with a nice, light formulation to keep your skin showing through. Feel free to skimp on powder or use one with a luminous finish to avoid the over-powdered really matte look.

Let's move on to brows. A strong, nicely arched, filled brow really adds to this look. I'm not the best example, as my brows have almost no natural arch, sadly, but there are certain tools and tricks you can use to fake or accentuate an arch. The absolute best would be Anastasia Brow Stencils. If your brows give you any kind of trouble, invest in these. They take the guesswork out of shaping perfect brows. Simply find the shape that's closest to your natural brow shape (I'm "petite arch"), hold it in place over your brows, and use a brow pencil or powder to follow the stencil and fill in your brow. Once you use them long enough, you start to memorize the shape, and can fill them freehand. I've seen these stencils transform the brows of many of my friends. They're so helpful. 

If you don't have access to the stencils, you can try this trick to lift your brows slightly. Or, if you are blessed with naturally perfect brows, simply use an angled brush with powder to fill in your brows using short, light strokes. I used MAC Charcoal Brown eyeshadow.

Next up, use an all-over colour on your eyes, from lashline to brows. I really like Covergirl Intense Shadowblast as it's both a primer and a shadow. Beige Blast is the perfect shade for lighter skin. Brown Bling works well on darker skin tones. A traditional pinup look would include some contouring in your crease, so feel free to add that if you like. For this look, however, I've decided to skip the shadow to create a more simple look.

The eyeliner, as I mentioned, is what really shines here. My favourite liner to use for a cat eye effect is MAC fluidline in Blacktrack. Apply it using a squeaky clean angled brush. I start by doing the outer flick first. Hold your brush over the outer corner of your eye. Angle your chin upwards and press the brush lightly at the corner of your eye, angling outward to the end of the brow. Repeat on the other side. Check to make sure they're symmetrical, and use a Q-tip dipped in moisturizer to correct the angle. Then, continue the line inwards from the flick, stopping at the halfway point. Finish the line by starting from the inner corner and working outwards until you meet the line halfway across your lid. Go over the line once more to clean up the edges. Curl your lashes, and load on some mascara. You can also add false lashes for more drama. Optional: line your lower lashline too for a bit more oomph.

Line your lips and fill them in using a deep red pencil. I used MAC lipliner in Brick. I then mixed a red (NARS Vesuvio) and dark berry (Joe Fresh Berry) lipsticks together on the back of my hand until I got the perfect deep red. Apply the colour using a lip brush.

For the last step, dust a pretty pink blush on the apples of your cheeks, blending upwards on to the cheekbones. I used NARS Gaiety. It's okay to apply blush higher than usual for this look as it mimics a natural flush and that's what we're going for here.

That's it! Final look:

Now that I've shared the final look in this series, feel free to leave a comment or email me (dallascurowphoto[at] with any requests or questions you might have. I'll do my best to include your ideas in future tutorials!