Rockin’ the Classic Pinup Look
By Melissa Gulden
Story by Melissa Gulden
Photos by Eva Ochoa
MORE THAN 80 years after pinup girls first appeared on World War II fighter jets, they have continued to serve as the standard for classic, feminine and glamorous beauty.
It’s fashion and style that serves to accentuate a woman’s shape and curves. Pinup is all about subtle sexuality and glamour and has no age, height or size requirements. It’s all about taking what you have and enhancing it. Since this month is all about cowboys, classic cars and those Kool April Nights, here are some tips for DIY pinup beauty.
First, the makeup. Pinup girls are known for flawless skin, winged eyeliner, luscious lashes and bright red lips. Use references such as Marilyn Monroe and Bettie Page, as well as Dita Von Teese, a modern-day pinup who re-popularized burlesque and glamour modeling. Go on YouTube and study makeup artists Boogie Bop Dames and Cherry Dollface to recreate the look yourself.
The trend in the 1940s and ‘50s was partially dictated by what was accessible at the time—there weren’t a lot of lip colors available yet, so pinks and reds dominated. The classic look also includes strong brows and a defined lash line. In the midcentury, thick strip lashes were in style, and brows got fuller than the skinny arches of the ‘20s and ‘30s. Recreating retro eyes is easier than it seems. No need for a flawless winged liner—drawing the edges out about a quarter inch past the outer edges provides the same effect, especially once paired with lashes. Customize strip lashes by trimming them shorter on the inside and longer on the outside edge to avoid that heavy, squared-off look. And although some women rock the retro look as a lifestyle, you do not need the same amount of product for daily life as you would in a photo shoot. The look should be fresh, not heavy.
Now for the hair. Think you could never pull off those glamorous, high maintenance hairstyles your grandmother used to wear? Think again. Victory rolls look complicated, but are actually easy once you know how. Scour YouTube for pinup beauty experts to show you how. (You can learn anything by watching YouTube, right?) The key is a lot of backcombing, hairspraying and using the right sections of hair. If possible, don’t wash your hair for a couple days—freshly-washed hair is slippery and smooth, while slightly dirty hair is much easier to style.
Just because life isn’t a photo shoot doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strike a pose anyway. Posture is everything. Pinup is all about curves, so arch your back, suck in your stomach and pop your booty! Make an effort to stand straight and carry yourself with poise. You’ll look slimmer and have a shapely silhouette. And finally, find your retro style by looking for pieces that accentuate your curves. It’s a feminine silhouette to suit every shape and size. Think sweetheart necklines, petticoats, high-waisted pants and pencil skirts. Accentuate your curves and find the most flattering fit for your body shape. Vintage never really goes out of style, so search for authentic pieces that are still in good condition. Check linings, buttons and zippers, and if there are sequins, shake the garment to see whether anything falls off. It may take a bit more time and effort to find that perfect piece, but when you do, you know you’ll be wearing something unique and special with a history and a story all its own.
Don’t want to do it yourself? Right here in the North State there is Glamourpuss Pin-up Studio, owned by photographer and all-around beauty queen Eva Ochoa. Whether you DIY your look or seek help from the professionals, pinup beauty can be yours. Embrace what God gave you and above all, have some fun! •