Pinup style can seem far off and aloof but I guarantee you, it’s actually just a combination of several quite basic makeup techniques. This post will take you through each step so don’t fear!

Pinup makeup red lips cat eye Model Jesse Sage

Pinup Makeup – Historically Simple

Pinup makeup style came onto the scene during WWII, when makeup was scarce, and so was time to primp since many women during the 1940’s in America were entering the workforce for the first time. There were also rations in many countries on most basic items, but in America, it was decided that red lipstick would not be rationed because of its importance in lifting the morale of soldiers (and probably everyone)! So for some, to have a red lipstick which could double as a rouge (blush),  a good powder, and Vaseline for taming brows, they would be doing pretty well.

A woman perfecting her “glamour” stocking seam

Nowadays we have endless choices and products that can do the Pinup/retro style job well, & so affordably! We don’t have to use an eye pencil or gravy juice (!!) to draw the seam in our stockings down our legs like some people did back then.

These are all the steps you need to get my basic pinup look, & I promise, you can do it!

Step 1 – Set Hair

Getting a good set is the key to a vintage look. Sometimes hair that’s curled with an iron will work, but when it goes wrong I can spot it a mile away. Why? Because hair curled by a hot iron doesn’t set on the barrel, right? The hair is uncurled and then cooled. When a curl cools like this the effect of gravity can sometimes give the curl a stiff, slightly melted look:

How you don’t want your curls to come out!

On a hot roller set, on the other hand, the curl cools down before you uncoil it from the roller. I love the bouncy curl effect this gives because I can always take volume out, but it’s hard to add it.

Basic Pinup look 1

A post shared by Jesse Sage II (@boomerangsagejesse) on

Make sure your hair is brushed out & use a heat protectant/setting spray if you like. I can’t brush my hair without my Wet Brush. I don’t have a favorite heat protectant so let me know in the comments if you do!

Basic Pinup look 2

A post shared by Jesse Sage II (@boomerangsagejesse) on


I also like being able to put my curls in, and let them cool while I do the rest of my makeup. Always let your hair sit in your rollers until the hair is totally cooled down.

Basic Pinup 3

A post shared by Jesse Sage II (@boomerangsagejesse) on

See Step 2 on next page

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15