One of the best things about swing dancing is how aerobic it can be, especially when the music starts to really get fast. One of the worst things is how sweaty you get when it gets aerobic, leading to sweaty clothes and, often, sweating the makeup off of your face. I’m here to give you a few tips and tricks to creating a classic 40s look that will, with the exception of perhaps a little lipstick reapplication, stay put for a whole night of sweaty, heart-thumping dancing. Let’s recreate a look similar to the one this vintage film suggests with a little bit of a modern twist so that it really stays put.
Where do I get the stuff for this tutorial? What if I’m on a budget?
I get a lot of my makeup from discount web sites. My favorites to shop at are Hautelook and All Wholesale Cosmetics. You can also try Beauty Boutique. Costco occasionally carries Stila brand makeup and brushes at extremely steep discount prices. L’Oreal HIP, Sonia Kashuk and E.L.F. make nice eyeshadows for the budget-aware beauty seeker. Another good way to save is to bundle. I didn’t have to skimp on my foundation, setting powder, or face brushes because I bundled – I got them in a bareminerals kit together. You can also bundle by buying a set of makeup brushes instead of one. Some good brushes come in sets like this one or this one. I also put some budget or beautiful recommendations below to give you some ideas of what might work for your budget needs or what you should buy if you like it fancy.
Quick Tip for Warm Climates
Putting your makeup in the fridge (especially your lipsticks and lip liners) for at least 1/2 hour before you apply can make the application process easier and can make the makeup stay put longer.
Step 1: Primp and Powder
Apply moisturizer over your whole face with a makeup sponge.
Do the same with your primer. Primer is important because it will keep your makeup in place for a long night out.
Apply foundation all over face with a kabuki or powder brush in an even, circular motion. Don't use liquid foundation. Liquid will seep into the cracks on your face as you sweat, making it look more lined than it actually is.
Apply concealer under your eyes - this should be applied in a smooth motion that sweeps from the outside corner to the inside corner of your eyes. Can be applied with a brush or finger.
Optional step: Apply a layer of finishing powder on top of your whole face with a kabuki or powder brush in an even, circular motion. This creates an additional barrier against your foundation running away.
Step 2: The Cat Eye
Use eyebrow powder or eyeshadow to thicken your brows and create a nice, round bow shape. If you are a brunette, go with shades of deep brown. Blonde, shades of taupe. Shade from the inside to the outside using a brow brush or eyeliner brush.
Apply a cream eyeshadow or eye primer with your finger in a bright, light, neutral color on your entire eyelid, making sure that you get the corners of your eyes and under your brow bone. This will help the eyeshadow adhere better to your lids and prevent creasing later in the night.
Select a mid- or deep-toned eyeshadow in the neutral brown, taupe or grey range (but not your eyebrow color!). Use a round eyeshadow brush to apply this by starting at the outer edge of your eye with circular motions and move up into your crease, using straight strokes as you travel towards the inside of the eye.
Pull your eyelid towards your hairline at the outside corner and use an eyeliner brush to line the edge from inner corner to outer corner. Pulling on the eyelid like this will eliminate creases when you apply the liner.
Use the eyeliner brush and your liner to create a diagonal line on the outer corner of your eye that points toward the outer tip of your eyebrow.
Then, starting at the center of your eye (right above the iris if you look straight ahead), draw a line that connects to the tip of the first diagonal to make a triangle. Fill in the triangle with eyeliner.
Optional step: To make your eyes appear larger, you can use a white eyeliner pencil on the water line (inside) of your bottom lashline from the inside corner to the outside corner of your eye.
Curl your top eyelashes with an eyelash curler.
Apply mascara on both the top and bottom lashes. Apply 2 coats to the top and 1 to the bottom. Make sure that you wipe off the applicator on a tissue a little bit before applying mascara to the bottom so you don't create spidery, giant lashes underneath your eyes.
Step 3: Laviscious Lips
Optional step: Follow the directions for blush from the vintage video that I mentioned at the top, minus the step where you put powder over it. I usually skip this step since my face gets really flushed when dancing, but feel free to try it out.
Select a shade of red lipstick that goes well with your skin and hair. Generally, true red looks good on everyone, while bright reds suit blondes and deep reds suit brunettes. Make sure you get a liner and lipstick that are about the same shade. The liner should be the same as or a little darker than the lipstick, never lighter than the lipstick.
Open your mouth in an "O" shape and line your lips.
Use a lip brush or angled eyeliner brush to fill in your lips with lipstick. It's important to apply with a brush instead of a tube because it will make sure that you get in all the creases.
Blot with tissue. Then repeat the previous step and this step 2-3 more times until you are sure the color will stay.
Apply a topcoat of lip gloss in any shade you like to help seal in the color and make your lips look bigger.
Lucca Couture dress ($16, Hautelook), fake pearl earrings (???, Belk)