This is a little step by step demonstration of my basic, everyday classical pin up make up look. Disclaimer: I’m not a make up artist, and I’m not trying to be a make up artist; I’m simply demonstrating how I achieve my everyday look.
I start by prepping my skin. This morning I used the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair foaming cleanser (£25.00, Debenhams), followed by the Loreal Pure Clay Blemish Rescue face mask (£7.99, Superdrug), which I left on for ten minutes before rinsing off with warm water. I find that although I have natural dry skin, my pores are pretty enlarged and do get clogged, and I do have some blemishes at the moment due to the time of the month rapidly approaching. Therefore, a detoxifying face mask that focuses on unclogging pores is needed but it risks drying my skin out even more as most are aimed at oily skin types. If I follow one of these face masks with an intensely moisturising face cream, my skin is radiant and clear but not overly dry. I followed the face mask with the Estee Lauder Nutritious Vitality day cream moisturiser (£48.00, Debenhams) to provide intense hydration.
The first step in my make up routine is always a primer. As previously mentioned, my skin is dry but I do have open pores that make up can sink into. My all time favourite primer is the Benefit Porefessional (£36.00, Benefit Cosmetics) – I have used this for approximately six years now, so it’s not just me being biased towards the brand I work for! The mushroom extract minimises my pores and creates a smooth surface for my foundation to sit on without drying my skin out. I use a pea-sized amount and massage over my whole face, focuses on the areas where my pores are extremely visible, for example, cheeks, nose and chin.
The next step is to colour correct. I don’t always do this as I don’t have areas that need correcting, but at the moment I have a few blemishes that are very red. When I need to correct redness I use the Benefit Cosmetics Lemonaid (£17.50, Benefit Cosmetics). It was actually released as a colour correcting eye primer, but it works amazingly to neutralise all redness and sits under foundation really well too. At this stage I also apply one layer of concealer. The application of concealer is something that is widely debated; some people apply under foundation, others apply over, and I personally apply both. I like to double up on my concealer, especially on the undereye area to give a really full coverage. My current go to concealer is the new Benefit Cosmetics Boi-ing Airbrush concealer (shade 01) (£17.50, Benefit Cosmetics). It has a light whipped texture that works amazingly at evening out skin tone and can be built up without feeling to heavy or cakey. To blend out my concealer I use the Real Techniques Complexion Sponge (£5.99, Superdrug) which I dampen with the ELF Aqua Primer Mist (£9.00, Superdrug).
Next I apply my foundation using the same sponge. I am currently using the Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation (shade ‘shell’) (£32.50, Debenhams). Everybody in the beauty world knows Double Wear – it’s the number one foundation in the UK! Known for it’s full coverage and all-day staying power, this is a staple make up item for anybody who wants a flawless finish that is going to last all day without the worry of having to reapply. Usually these full coverage, matte finish foundations are a nightmare for dry skin sufferers, and I have had had problems in the past with Double Wear clinging to dry patches of skin. However, since using my Nutritious Vitality moisturiser before applying my foundation, it sits on my skin lovely and last all day without going cakey. I apply approximately three pumps and blend all over my face, leave to set slightly before topping up with another pump and another layer of concealer. I cannot stress the importance of letting this base set before you try to do anything else, even if it’s just adding more foundation! If it’s not set properly it will just move around your face!
This is the step I like to call ‘war paint’. It’s channeling my inner tribal goddess to create light and shadow and give my face a minute amount of structure instead of resembling the moon. For this I use the Kat Von D Lock It concealer (shade ‘white out’) (£20.00, Debenhams), Benefit Hoola Quickie contour stick (£23.50, Benefit Cosmetics) and NARS Copacabana illuminator (£23.00, NARS). Using the KVD white concealer to draw triangles under the eyes, on the forehead and on the chin, and then stripes down the centre of the nose, under each cheek bone and on each brow bone, lightens the area and creates a highlight. Using the Benefit contour stick to draw lines under each cheek bone, along the hairline and down each side of the nose creates shadows to strengthen the bone structure and bring emphasis to the cheekbones, a key feature of the pin up look. Although pin ups are delicate and flawless, they show strong features that contrast with the porcelain complexion they wear. I add the NARS illuminator simply as a starting point for my highlight along the top of my cheek bones, because, let’s face it, you can never have too much highlight. Once I’ve drawn the war paint, I blend it all out with my trusty Real Techniques Complexion sponge.
Now you want to set all of that in place. I’m in the lucky position that I don’t have to worry about my make up sliding off throughout the day because of my dry skin, but I still like to make sure everything is going to stay put and I have that classic matte finish to my make up. Once my foundation and war paint have set, I dust over the top with Benefit Hello Flawless powder (shade ‘I love me ivory’) (£28.00, Benefit Cosmetics). Powder can allow you to build up the coverage of your make up also, if you apply it using a sponge compact. However, my pesky dehydrated skin means that packing too much powder on my face creates patches and a cakey look that no one wants. Therefore I dust over my make up simply to set and keep everything in place. I absolutely love the Benefit Hello Flawless powder because it is custom wear (you can build coverage or using it as a setting agent) and it is super silky and soft.
Now that I’ve set everything in place I just want to emphasise the contour lines and add a bit of colour back into my cheeks. I use NYX High Definition blusher in the shade ‘taupe’ (£6.00, Boots) to contour with. Although it is marketed as a blush colour, the cool grey tones work perfectly as a contour shade for paler skin tones and I actually prefer the overall softer effect I get using this. My blusher changes depending on how I feel on the day. Today I chose Benefit Rockateur blusher (£24.50, Benefit Cosmetics) which is a beautiful rose gold toned shimmer that really warms up the complexion. I also find it’s easy to take this blusher from day to night because of how buildable the formula is.
Next it’s onto brows. Working for the queen of brows means I’m obsessed. When I’m doing a brow consultation with my customers I always ask them what they love about their brows and what they would change about them to determine the correct products for them, and that’s exactly what I do with myself when choosing my own brow products. I love how dark my brows are; as previously mentioned, pin up is all about those strong features contrasting with an element of delicacy. Because my brows are so naturally dark, they become a strong feature on my face when made up and really help to frame my more delicate features. If I could change one thing about my brows it would be how and wear they grow. I would love my brows to be thicker and have a higher arch to really lift the eye area, but what really bugs me is how far back they start to grow. If I don’t fill in the fronts, they end up way too far apart. Taking this into consideration, in order to create my perfect brow I use Benefit Precisely My Brow pencil (shade 06), (£20.00, Benefit Cosmetics) and Benefit Kabrow cream gel pomade (shade 06) (£20.00, Benefit Cosmetics). After cleaning my brows with a cotton bud to make sure there’s no foundation on them, I line the outer shape of my brows with the super precise pencil to create a slightly higher arch. Then I fill the shape in using the pomade, taking the product a little further forward than the actual hair growth, before going back with the pencil to create hair-like strokes at the front of the brow where the hair doesn’t actually grow. If I’m going out/having a photo shoot/etc, I will carve the brows using Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength concealer (shade 01) (£17.50, Benefit Cosmetics) to get a really strong edge. Abracadabrow – perfect brows!
Eye make up in the pin up scene is a lot simpler than the make up that fills instagram feeds these days. There’s no cut creases or fancy glitters and bright colours, just simply nudes to give the eye area some depth. This is another part of my make up routine that changes everyday – today I decided to use The Balm’s Nude Tude palette (£31.99, Superdrug) using the shades ‘sultry’, ‘stubborn’ and ‘sophisticated’ (if you could describe yourself in three words, right?!). I used ‘sultry as a crease/transition colour as it is a standard matte brown, and ‘stubborn’ all over the rest of the lid as it is a pink toned nude, and then ‘sophisticated’ in the magic V on the outer corner of the eye. As well as a nude eye colour, no pin up eye make up is complete without a bold winged liner. In my opinion, the bolder the better – I love a huge flick in a deep jet black colour. I use the NYX Epic Mousse gel liner (£9.00, Boots) applied with a Morphe M217 bent liner brush (£3.50, Beauty Bay) to get a striking wing, and clean the edges with the same Benefit Boi-ing Industrial Strength concealer I use to clean my brows. Lastly, a coat of Lancome Monsieur Big mascara (£21.00, Debenhams) before applying Ardell Demi Wispie false lashes (£4.95, Beauty Bay) really finish off the doe-eyed look that all pin up girls dream off.
Potentially the most iconic feature on a pin up girl is the bright red pout. You can create a porcelain complexion and a perfect winged liner, but without those cherry lips, it’s just not pin up. I must admit I don’t particularly like my lip shape. I feel my lips are pretty small in comparison to the rest of my facial features and I really struggle getting a pout. My lip piercings also make it difficult to overline my lips so I just have to work with what I’ve got. My favourite lip liner is the Estee Lauder Double Wear lip pencil (shade ‘red) (£18.50, Debenhams). Just like the foundation of the same name, it stays on all day and is the perfect base for any lipstick. I team it with MAC’s Retro Matte liquid lipstick (shade ‘dance with me’) (£17.50, Debenhams) which is a very true blue-based red that dries completely matte without being too drying on the lips and stays put all day.
For some reason, I always apply my powder highlighter last! I have no idea why, I just always have! This is also something that changes day to day, depending on what kind of mood I’m in. Today I used Jeffree Star’s Skin Frost highlighter in the shade ‘ice cold’ (£25.50, Beauty Bay). It gives a totally blinding white highlight that is super pigmented and stays put all day. The very final stage in my make up application is using Urban Decay’s All Nighter setting spray (£23.50, Debenhams) to really make sure everything stays in it’s place while I go about my daily business!
So this is the final look! Once in natural light and once in my dressing room with the lamp on me. I really hope you like it and that you found my post interesting/useful. Like I said to begin with, I’m not a make up artist and I don’t pretend to be one. I apply things in my own way and probably use products and tools wrongly, but I’m okay with that!
*prices correct at time of publication*