Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Old School Burlesque : Costume Makeup

I'm putting this right here and it's in the title, but I want to drive this point home: This is costume makeup. I'm not saying that you can't wear this out every day if that's what your heart desires, but for me and this purpose, it's costume makeup. I received a message on Facebook asking me about burlesque makeup. This tutorial was made with the idea of the stage being involved, so that's why it looks very garish. Stage makeup is often troweled on and it needs to be bright since you're going to have stage lighting and people need to be able to see it from a distance. Keep reading to see the process behind this look.

You actually don't need too many products to achieve a costume makeup look, but here are my most important pieces. I didn't picture foundation or powder because you can go with whatever you want for that. I used the following items:

Be A Bombshell Blush in Beach Please
MAC RiRi Woo (Ruby Woo is almost identical)
Wet N Wild Drinking a Glass of Shine Palette (I only used the matte black; all you need it a matte black and you can find this in several other Wet N Wild palettes or any other drug store brand)
Covergirl Clump Crusher Mascara
Jordana Easyliner in Red
Smashbox Limitless Eyeliner in Java
Noir Longwear Eyeliner

As always, these are just the products that I used and I'm not saying that you need to use the same ones; they are just color ideas.

I have on a CC cream that I wore throughout the day, but that's it. So, let's get started.

I used Laura Mercier's Tinted Moisturizer Crème Compact in Porcelain and then continued with my usual routine for face makeup. If you were to actually be wearing this on stage, I would recommend a much stronger foundation. If you have dry skin, I would recommend Laura Mercier's Silk Crème since it's fairly full coverage and it's a wonderful consistency. If you have more oily skin, I would definitely recommend Revlon Color Stay for Normal/Oily skin since it's full coverage as well, but it won't make you shiny. There is also Color Stay for Normal to Dry skin, but I've never used it, so I can't give you a well informed opinion on it other than it being full coverage.

I primed my lid with my Tarte 360 Creaseless primer. I love that stuff and swear by it or NARS Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base. I have oilier lids and those two are miracle products; Urban Decay Primer Potion does not work for me, nor does e.l.f.'s lid primer. 

I just slathered the black eye shadow on my lid and underneath the eye. I used the applicator that was in the palette for this step since I would be blending it out.

Then I took a brush and blended the black to make it look more sooty.

I applied the pink blush in a triangular shape on the cheek bone area and up onto the brow bone.

And then blended that out as well.

I then tightlined my upper lashes and put black liner on my lower waterline. I added a lot of mascara and for an actual stage performance, I would have included some false lashes. If you want to go more Christina Aguilera à la Lady Marmalade, you can add rhinestones to the look. All you need to go to attach jewelry to the face is to put a dot of eyelash glue (Duo is your best best!) on the back, let it get a bit tacky, and then stick it to your face.

Next up is ombré lips. I lined the outside corners with the dark brown eyeliner and the middle with the red. Generally speaking, if something is safe to put on your eyes, it's probably ok to put anywhere else on your face. Not always, but most of the time; just make sure to read the label!

And filled in.

And then blended out with a lip brush.

I guess I missed the last picture when I put Riri Woo over the top... but you can see it here! I did edit this picture with Lightroom, since it's stage makeup. Since most stage performance pictures are edited and manipulated, I figured it would be ok to do it this time for the "after" photos.

Obviously, the makeup is a bit garish and bright, but like I said in the intro, it needs to be for the stage. When I think of burlesque, I think quite old school and not the typical idea of burlesque, which is often misinterpreted and recreated as pin-up makeup; there's a big difference. This look can be made to look more glam very easily with the addition of false lashes and sparkly jewels on the face, but I wanted to keep it to the basics.

If you guys ever have any questions about stage makeup or makeup in general, feel free to shoot me an email (listed on the right hand side of the screen) or a message on my Facebook page.

(all photos copyright Allison Richardson Photography and not available for use without permission)


  1. I love the way you did your eyes. I am def going to do that. Thanks!!

  2. What you did that with blush? personally I didn't like this idea.