Switch it up: Pin-up

Does makeup get more classic than the pin up look? Those slick black wings paired with bright red lips are almost timeless really. It’s normally my go to makeup if I want to feel a little glammed up as it’s simple, classy and it can make you feel a thousand dollars. What’s not to love?

But, whether I like it or not, there are some places I just can’t turn up with that kind of makeup – it’s that little bit too much for work, and I’m sure that grocery shopping doesn’t merit a red lip – so I’ve been changing a few steps to create a softer and more day friendly look.

Let’s switch things up:


Two options I like to change around here, firstly I amp down the eyeshadow (or skip this step altogether) and use a light brown to define the socket line instead of a grey. My favourite method is to use a fluffier brush too to diffuse the colour a bit more – the overall effect is a lot less harsh. Omega eyeshadow from Mac, Heroine eyeshadow from Illamasqua or the NYX high definition blush in Taupe are all great options for this. As they’re cooler browns they still keep that shadow effect, but it’s not as defined and striking.

Eyeshadows 1


Secondly I swap out the black liquid liner for a brown pencil, but I still draw out the wing. A soft pencil is a bit more forgiving as it’s easily wiped away and using a dark brown still gives definition. Sometimes I do go in and give it a good smudge to keep the whole eye looking soft and more on the natural side. Charlotte Tilbury the Classic eyeliner pencil in Audrey or Gosh velvet touch eyeliner in Truly Brown are both good dark browns and will give enough definition to your wing.

Eyeliner 1



Normally I like to do a bit of concentrated contouring when going in the pin up direction but to make it softer, more wearable and also a lot quicker I just swish some bronzy blush underneath my cheekbones and on the apples of my cheeks. Using a dusky pink still gives a bit of definition but doesn’t look too ‘done’. Benefit Dallas blusher the perfect colour – a gorgeous grey, dusty pink.


The lipstick – this bit is normally make or break for me. Pick the right colour and it’s magic. Instead of that bright fire engine red I like to opt for a red stain or a berry toned pink. Stick with matte formulas and colours that are only a step over natural – nothing too ‘wow’ to keep everything looking soft and more towards natural. Try Clinique pop lacquer in Lava Pop to get that hint of red – but tap it down so it doesn’t look too shiny. Go pink in Charlotte Tilbury’s Matte Revolution Lipstick in Amazing Grace or Benefit They’re Real! Double the Lip in Lusty Rose.

lipstick 1


And there we have it – a few simple switches that will make your pin-up look more daytime appropriate.


All images created on Polyvore.com.


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