Dita Von Teese isnt the only modern-age pinup with beauty advice. In the worlds of burlesque and rockabilly revival, the pinup look is as popular as ever. After attending the Vintage Glamour seminar at the New England Shake-up, we caught up with Jessica Sawicki, a makeup artist and the founder of Bomber Betty Custom Cosmetics, and Cherry Dollface, a pro pinup model who collaborated on the brands Cherry Dollface Collection of lipsticks. Heres what they had to say about what makes classic pinup makeup and how to pull it off.
Forget You Ever Met Bronzer
The classic pinup look — strong brows, a defined lash line, and red lips — is defined by the era it came from: the 40s and 50s. Stars were wearing it and so were women on the street,- says Sawicki. The trend was partially dictated by what was accessible at the time. There werent a lot of lip colors available yet, and most of them were in the red or pink family. As for bronzer? Never heard of it.
Play Up the Eyes
In the midcentury, thick strip lashes were in style, and brows got fuller than the skinny arches of the 20s and 30s. And re-creating retro eyes is easier than it looks. Definition at the lash line is the goal here, so theres no need to master liquid-liner cat eyes—simply dragging your liner past the outer edges a quarter inch provides the same effect (once you pair it with lashes). Sawickis trick for a perfect fit: Customize strip lashes by trimming them shorter on the inside and longer on the outside edge, she says. Youll avoid that heavy, squared-off look.
Real Life Is Not a Photo Shoot
Some women rock an everyday retro look (or a modern twist on one) as a lifestyle thing. Thats cool, but even Bettie Page didnt take out the trash in full makeup. The look should be fresh and not heavy. You dont need the same amount of product for daily life as you do for a photo shoot, says Sawicki. It should be classic and understated.
But You Should Strike a Pose Anyway
Your go-to poses (chicken arms, Angelina leg, extreme head tilt) wont cut it in the world of pinup. Pinup is all about curves, so arch your back, suck in your stomach and pop your booty, Dollface says. Dont forget about whats your happening below the wrists and ankles. Dead fish hands and sickled feet are not cute! Shake out any tension in your hands. Long, graceful fingers are great. Feet should be the opposite—always pointed, she says.
Just Know Some People Wont Get It
The simple fact is, a pinup look is always going to look like a costume to someone who wouldnt wear anything you cant buy at the mall. Lets be honest—we are not trying to fit in, Sawicki says. If you own that and respond to peoples comments in a positive and informative way, you may open a few minds. Go out there and do your thing.