How to Apply 1950s Makeup

By LeafTV Editor

Blame it on our never-ending love affair with classic style icons like Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren, but '50s-era beauty looks are making a major comeback. From the red lips and perfect complexion to the flawless and sexy cat eye, here's exactly how to get that super-sultry pin-up look that simply never goes out of style.


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  • Makeup primer
  • Foundation brush
  • Tinted moisturizer, BB cream, or other lightweight foundation of choice
  • Concealer
  • Powder brush
  • Loose translucent powder
  • Bronzer
  • Blush
  • Brow brush
  • Brow powder
  • Eyeshadow brush
  • Beige cream eyeshadow
  • White powder eyeshadow
  • Taupe powder eyeshadow
  • Liquid eyeliner
  • Mascara
  • Red lip liner
  • Red lipstick, to match
  • Clear lip gloss (optional)

Step 1

Starting with clean, moisturized skin, apply a pea-sized amount of makeup primer over your entire face. The primer helps fill fine lines and wrinkles, creating a smooth surface for your makeup.

Prep the face

Step 2

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Step 3

Gently pull your eyelid taught, then use liquid eyeliner to draw a thin line across the lid, staying as close to the lashline as possible. When you come to the outer end of your lashes, create a winged effect by sweeping eyeliner up toward your temple in a diagonal direction. Repeat on the other side, then finish with two coats of mascara on your top lashes, focusing on the outer lashes.

Apply a cat eye

Step 4

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Cat eye

Step 5

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Step 6

Apply a pea-sized amount of foundation onto the back of one hand. Dip a foundation brush into the product, then buff it onto your face in a circular motion until it's applied in a light, evenly distributed layer. Apply concealer to the under-eye area and other dark spots. Finish the base by dipping a powder brush in loose translucent powder and applying it evenly all over your face.

Step 7

Using a powder brush, gently sweep bronzer over your cheekbones, across your forehead and down your nose. Next, apply a pink blush to your cheeks, giving yourself a natural flush. For bold pin-up-girl eyebrows, use an eyebrow brush to fill in and contour brows, giving them a slightly arched shape.

Contour face

Step 8

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Contour Face

Step 9

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Step 10

Dip your eyeshadow brush into the beige cream eyeshadow, then apply it over your entire eyelid, repeating on the other lid. Next, apply the white eyeshadow (one with a little shimmer is best) along the eyelid, eyebrow bone, and inner corners of your eyes. Finally, buff the taupe eyeshadow into the outer crease of each lid, working in a half-C motion from the top of the lid to the base of your eyelashes.

Apply eyeshadow

Step 11

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Step 12

Trace along the edges of your lips with a red lip liner, then lightly fill in the outline to evenly cover your lips. Next, use a matching classic-red lipstick (a velvety formula gives you the most luxurious look), and apply it to both the top and bottom lip. For a shinier look, apply one coat of clear lip gloss on top.

Apply lip liner

Step 13

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Fill in with lipstick

Step 14

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Finished look

Step 15

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Step 16

All images were shot by Shawna Henrie of Bluedog Fotography in Orange County, California. Hair and makeup done by Dee of Swell Beauty.