Applying Makeup Retro Style

Hollywood Vintage Glamour

'Old Hollywood' starlets made applying makeup this way famous.  Bombshell beauties like Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, and Jane Russel of the 40's and  50's dazzled their audiences with their sexy glamour. 

The look of Vintage Glamour is distinctive with a bright red mouth, neutral eye makeup color, and black, dramatic lining of upper lashes.  The lower lash line is light weight, no lining, just mascara. Designers who have paired this look with their fashion styling in ad campaigns, include Chanel, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Kate Spade, Bebe and many others.

Actresses like Kate Winslet, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Alba and Charlize Theron frequently capitalize on this look for trips down the red carpet. Other famous names that draw on this retro style include Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguillera, and Taylor Swift.

Apply makeup in a vintage style needs clear cut design elements to successfully render the look.

  • FACE - Flawless, even toned with a touch of brightly hued pastel blush.
  • DEFINED EYES - High impact, strong black upper lash lining, extending beyond outer corners, big lashes AND brows are groomed, medium to thin in scale.
  • LIPS - Very bold definition, in red.
  • LOOK - Hollywood starlet.

The Steps To This Look:



vintage glamour graphicThe objective of applying makeup for the complexion is matte, very even toned skin.

Choose a formulation that does not exceed your coverage needs.  An application should be applied in small increments to allow for effective blending, and monitoring of reaching objective of even skin tone.



An opaque creamy consistency will allow the greatest coverage when addressing dark circles, shadows, translucent skin areas around the eye zone.  This is also a great choice for blemish coverage staying put (even better with the help of a little powder on top ).  Again, not exceeding your coverage needs will deliver the freshest finish.



Translucent loose powder to will set base application and deliver the desired matte finish.

More help on how to apply makeup; foundation, concealer, powder...

TRY Bobbi Brown foundations if you are looking for brilliant perfection in color and finish.  She has a number of formulations that address all skin type needs, and an amazing array of skin tones from 'alabaster' to 'espresso'. 

Looking for a foundation product you CAN'T lose with?  This, is an absolute makeup bag must, multi tasking, will travel, quick coverage and so easy to use-Bobbi Brown Foundation Stick  .  ( I have it  in sand and use it for quick eye zone coverage.



When applying makeup for this style, the look of blush on the cheeks is soft, light, bright and at the apples of your cheeks.

Take a nice soft dome shaped blush powder brush, and with a light hand and a circular swirl, add your blush to the apples of your cheeks (fleshy mound when you smile).

TRY NARS , Bobbi Brown  or Benefit award winning powder blushes.  You will find gorgeous shades like 'Nectar', 'Apricot', and 'Peony' with Bobbi Brown, with NARS, shades like 'Gilda' and  'Desire'. and with Benefit Cosmetics Dandelion, would be perfect.



NEUTRAL LOW KEY - Take a powder or cream shadow in a light neutral (sand, taupe and gold are all beautiful choices) and sweep the upper lid from lash line to brow bone using your medium eye shadow brush, staying within the eye shadow zone area (zone in between imaginary vertical line upwards from inner corner of eye AND diagonal line from outer corner to outer brow bone).

OPTIONAL- A more modern twist to applying makeup for this look, is also lining the lower lash area with same low key neutral shadow.  Using the same medium eye shadow brush at its  tapered end, sweep under lower lash line.

OPTIONAL FALSE LASHES - Read instructions that come with your false lashes.  Gently curl your band of lashes.  Apply glue as directed.  Using your application tool, or careful fingers, place along lash line.

apple makeup tip graphicAPPLYING MAKEUP TIP FOR FALSE LASHES- Each company issues their own set of instructions specific to their product, so they should be followed.  However, you can fine tune and improve this tricky technique with some tips.  One is to bend the lash band so it is not perfectly straight on the natural curve of your lash line.  Second would be to consider using a smaller snippet of false lashes at the outer corner, for a less over the top look.

If you are looking for some of the best quality false lashes, consider Shu Uemura's line up.  They are gorgeous and range in styling from natural to luxe to fantasy, all well made.  Make Up For Ever also has a great lineup of false lashes, including individual ones that can be used for more subtle effects.



liquid eye liner cat's eye makeupApplying makeup with a Hollywood Vintage Glamour styling is probably most distinguished by its heavy black upper lash lining paired with no lining of the lower lash.

Lining your upper lashes with black liquid or gel liner may take a little practice to get a nice, clean, fluid looking line.

Using the wand supplied or a very fine eye liner brush, tilting your chin up and looking toward the mirror, start with a very thin line close to inner corner of the eye.  As you move along the upper lash line, stay as close as possible to the lash line.  As you move past mid point the line will gradually thicken, eventually  "winging" out over the outer corner.

apple makeup tip graphicAPPLYING MAKEUP TIP-Make sure there are no gaps between your lashes and liner.  Your lashes should appear to extend from the liner.

There are lots of great liquid or gel liner options, however, two real standouts are made by MAC and Bobbi Brown.  They also happen to be GEL FORMULATIONS which I find more forgiving application-wise, than their liquid counter parts.



DEFINITELY for this look.

Looking in the mirror, chin pointed toward the mirror, bring open eye lash curler to base of the lashes and  GENTLY, SLOWLY squeeze and hold for a count of three. CAREFULLY  release lashes and slowly remove.



BIG LASHES need several coats of mascara. 

Start with the top lashes, grabbing the very tips with a horizontally held wand and wiggling the want to grip and coat as many lashes as possible.

Immediately follow this with grabbing the base of the upper lashes (with the same wiggle action to grip as many as possible) and pull all the way through the tips.

Repeat with one more coat and 'work' the lashes with the wand, as you coat  (while lashes are still wet they are more easily placed or separated and will not shed mascara dust).

TRY Dior Diorshow Black Out Mascara Kohl Black 099  for high volume and drama.



Very groomed and defined.  To really deliver this look, you will need to officially "coif" your brows.

TRY Anastasia Eyebrow products,  including makeup, tools, and stencils, for grooming and  'fool proof' shaping.



Applying makeup for this look is about as bold and glamorous as it gets.  Lips are big, bold and red, or dark pink.

Start with a lip balm or primer to create a base for long wearing capabilities.

Line your lips a well matched liner to your lipstick.  As you line, consider these  lip strategies; line outer edge of small lips, line inside edge of large lips, and balance uneven lips by lining outer edge of smaller lip and leaving the other lip.

With a lipstick brush, go over the lining to soften the hard edge of the line.  Using your lipstick brush, apply the lipstick.

apple makeup tip graphicMAKING YOUR LIPSTICK LAST-Fill, blot into a tissue, and lightly dust with translucent powder. Go over with lipstick again, dust again.

TRY Bobbi Brown Lip Color line up is absolutely gorgeous.  Reds are as follows; Hollywood Red (a candy bright red), Vintage Red (a medium cool red),  and Red (a fire engine red).  If you want to put an on trend spin on this look, try her new shade, Atomic Orange (electric orange).


word on Applying Makeup 'old Hollywood' Vintage Glamour style...

There are three things you need to remember about applying makeup for this look.

  1. Your skin should not look over done (even, flawless and matte, but not cakey).
  2. Although the makeup details have a lot of flare, they should still appear polished with distinctive design details.
  3. Products and tools that lend themselves to the style, will make achieving the look a lot more successful and applying makeup, a whole lot easier.

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Spring 2018

Happy Spring 2018!

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