The typical 50s makeup with winged black eyeliner and red lips has become such a pinup/burlesque staple that I wanted to do something a little different. I found a 1956 Revlon ad with a rather unusual dramatic eye makeup. Instead of the iconic black eyeliner and a very light (white or a pastel hue like blue or violet) eyeshadow, here's a 50s makeup using black eyeshadow.
Face: I applied my fairest foundation, aiming for porcelain-perfect. However, my skin is really angry right now - I blame pollen, or maybe it's the spring sun - so I wasn't able to completely cover up the redness and rashes. I also painted a large beauty spot next to my right eye using black eyeliner pencil. (I think it's maybe an actual mole on the model in my reference picture but it looks very chic either way!)
Blusher: It's a bit hard to tell from the original picture if and how blusher is applied since the lighting is kind of rosy-warm, but based on other pictures of 50s makeup I decided to apply a sheer wash of pink blusher on a wide area in front of my ears, all the way from the jaw up to the temples, and in to about halfway to the nose. I used Sleek's "Flamingo", a cerise pink colour that looks really intense but that's not too pigmented so it's quite easy to blend and build up gradually.
Eyebrows: The eyebrows in the reference picture are black or almost black but I thought my ordinary brown eyebrow pencil was dramatic enough. The eyebrow shape is a little unusual for the 50s - this was when more angular eyebrows really became the fashion after the rounded eyebrows of the 30s and 40s. These are rounded, but thick and dramatic like typical 50s eyebrows. I rounded my naturally angular eyebrows by drawing slightly outside their actual shape. I then filled them in completely with eyebrow pencil, not drawing little fake hairs or leaving any space between strokes like you would for a softer, more natural look. These brows really made me feel like a drag queen (in a good way, of course)!
Eyes: First of all I used a black eyeliner pencil along my lashline, just to make sure there wouldn't be any gap with skin showing between the lashes and eyeshadow. Then on to the eyeshadow. It might actually be black eyeliner applied all over the lid, but I used a black eyeshadow that I applied wet for maximum coverage. I applied it on the area up to the crease in my eyelids and tried to get it as crisp as possible with no blending. The eyeshadow I used happened to have silver glitter in it but I think any matte or shimmery black eyeshadow would work, just as long as it's completely opaque. I also applied an off-white eyeshadow on the rest of my lids all the way up to my eyebrows just to keep the black eyeshadow from smudging. If your eyelids are not oily or baggy like mine you or if you're using some kind of setting product you might skip this step. I curled my lashes and put on quite a lot of mascara. I also put mascara on my lower lashes but I think I might have overdone it compared to the original look - it's not necessary if your lashes are naturally dark.
Lips: The lipstick I used is YSL Les Mats 202 "Rose Crazy", a lovely rose colour in between red and pink (it also has a delicious rose scent - I normally don't approve of scented lipstick but this is so yummy). As usual, it looks too red in the photo.