Retro Essentials: Expanding Makeup Options

I truly do love classic red lips, smokey eyes, and winged eyeliner. However, it is my firm belief that the pinup and vintage community could benefit from expanding its horizons. Our collection of styles that form this subculture is one that emphasises the ability to express yourself with clothes and hair, yet we often fall into the trap of emphasising one particular way of doing your makeup.
This post is meant to highlight some options to this classic style that still work well with the elegant eccentricity of the retro subcultures.

For a decadent option to red lips, lipsticks that are the colour of rich metals can provide perfect event makeup. I combined golden lips with gold eyeshadow and black eyeliner to still keep some of the classic pinup elements in this makeup. Although it can’t be seen in this picture, I’m wearing a white/beige/soft pink hair flower to enhance the colour theme. This is a great option for an event where you dress up in full vintage garb, due to the light colours it works well with day time fancy events.

A more casual option is seen to the right. This is another daytimewpid-20150623_112835.jpg look
that I created when I used Western brands to create a look inspired by Korean makeup trends. When we look back at images from vintage eras, we often forget that people tended to take photos on days when they dressed up. We seldom see casual images of people from the 1930’s because it was more rare to have access to a good quality camera in those days and thus it was saved for special occasions or celebrity photo shoots. This doesn’t mean that more casual looks didn’t exist. This is one step up from No Makeup Makeup but is a look that enhances features that exist naturally as opposed to creating a radically different look (such as dark red lips).

wpid-20150910_110116.jpgThis is what I’m wearing today. I’ve opted for classic pinup/vintage features but have changed the colour palette and didn’t do a full wing. My lipstick is a frosty pink colour, the eyeliner is a dark navy blue and the liner along my upper lashes is a mint green metallic colour. This is a great way to experiment with colours without having to use elaborate eyeshadow designs. And I still haven’t gotten the hang of the ‘only take photos of your face when you’re not nearly dead’ thing.


A more extreme variation of switching up colours is seen on the right. Yes, that is blue lipstick. I’m a firm believer in trying new things and so I did. This is the same concept as with the golden look above, if you have an event where you can go all out, go all out.


What’s the idea behind the one on the left? The idea is to allow one feature to stand out (in this case lips) rather than always opting for a look that is a full face of makeup. This is a very time saving trick as it only requires foundation + feature. This is pretty much my go-to makeup for days when I want to be out of the house 15 min after I get out of bed.

On the right, we see a design where I’ve flipped that around.


This time it’s the eyes I’ve  spent time on and then just applied a lip balm. I mainly use heavy eye makeup at night and would wear this kind of thing if I attended an event where I would be eating and drinking a lot, especially foods that are not lipstick friendly. It’s quite practical in that it still features a classical pinup element (I avoid wings because it looks weird with hooded eyes and thus this is another way of doing a heavy smoky eye) but takes into account the fact that you might not be able to reapply lipstick or have access to a mirror to check for bleeding.


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