How To Apply Red Lipstick That Stays Put

Lucille Ball with Red Lipstick

Lucille Ball with Red Lipstick

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wear red lipstick.  It’s an easy way to add instant retro glamour to any look and  perks up your complexion, especially if you’re fair skinned, like I am.

But it was through much trial and error over the years before I came up with my favorite way to apply it so that it stayed on.   Knowing how to apply properly, and what types of  red lipsticks work best, enables you to set out for a night of wining and dining without having to touch up constantly.

So here are some of my tips along with a few more from some other red lipstick wearing  gals.   You can experiment with which way works best for you.

Step 1- Foundation
I always start by applying some foundation to my lips.  You could also use a lip primer. That’s going to help create a base to which everything else will adhere.

Step 2- Lip Liner
I like to use a red lipliner pencil. You can use nude, but I find the red liner adds more depth to the red lipstick shade that will go over it.  First outline the lip, then completely fill it in with the lip pencil.  My favorite is the  Lip Liner  by Palladio.  It’s a retractable pencil, which I love, and has a nice creamy matte finish that stays in place, but is not too dry.

Step 3-  Lipstick Brush and Lipstick
A lipstick brush will give you much more control when applying your lipstick over your liner. With red lipstick you want to make sure you you have a defined lip line.  Using a brush helps immensely with this and it is perfect for shaping the lip outline as well, i.e. creating more of a pout.  I also opt for the retractable type so I can throw it in my purse.

As far as lipstick I have found that some types are much better for longevity than others.  Glosses and real creamy lipsticks are going to slide off at the first sip of a martini.   Lately the ones that work best for me are M.A.C. Lipsticks (Russian Red is a fav) and Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick. My current fav is Fiery, a beautiful true red.

With the MAC Lipstick,  I apply with the brush,  blot a bit of powder on lips, then apply a second coat. With the Stila, since it has a wand applicator, I apply, then use lipstick brush to even out and define lip edges.  With either of these my red color stays on pretty much all day or night!  The Stila is especially amazing. I’ve gone out for a full dinner and a couple of glasses of wine and that color has not budged.  The MAC sometimes will need a little touchup.

More advice from other gals who know a thing or two about rocking a red lip!

From the lovely and stylish Jessica of the Chronically Vintage Blog 

Jessica Cangiano

Jessica Cangiano of the Chronically Vintage Blog

A smooth canvas is key, especially with bold and/or dark lip colours, and since I’m prone to very dry lips, I’ll usually take a dry toothbrush and gently exfoliate my lips before I start. Once the skin is silky (or at least not rough as sandpaper! ;), I trace the natural lines of my lip with either a red or clear lip liner (in the case of the latter, such as Revlon’s Color Stay) and then fill them all the way in, too. If I’m out of liner or think I’ll be eating/drinking a lot before I reply my lipstick next, I’ll sometimes swap the liner for a red (as close to my lipstick hue as possible) lip stain instead.Then, either straight from the tub or with a lipstick brush (I’m keen on Clinique’s, but there are tons of great ones out there at all different price points), I apply an even layer of red lipstick all over (my red of choice is Russian Red from MAC). I blot gentle with a Kleenex, apply a light second layer of red lipstick, then blot once more and am good to go.”


From the stunning Pin Up Model Amanda Lee

Amanda Lee aka The Jitterbug Doll

Amanda Lee aka The Jitterbug Doll

“My favorite lipstick is a product called Lipsense. It is a sort of lacquer that you apply, let dry, and then top with a gloss. It’s very long-wearing and comfortable to wear (I describe it as a lacquer, but it   doesn’t feel heavy or sticky at all), and I love not having to worry about my lipstick fading, smearing, or bleeding. I wear the color Blu Red–Christina Aguilera wears the same shade, in fact. I first heard about the product when I read an interview with her.

 For traditional lipstick, my two tips are to outline and fill your lips with a matching lipliner, and to blot your lips after applying the lipcolor. I usually apply a layer of color, blot, apply a second layer of color, and blot again. You can also lightly dust translucent powder on your lips (over a sheet of tissue) to help lock the color in place even more. My favorite traditional lipstick shades are Besame Red Hot Red and Besame American Beauty. Revlon also makes some lovely reds that have been around since the 1950s.”

From Dollie Deville, pin up model and darling doll of the Rockabilly Socialite Blog
Dollie the Rockabilly Socialite

Dollie the Rockabilly Socialite

“My favorite lipstick is Red Hot Red by Besame. I read that it was a recreation of the color Marilyn Monroe wore. It has a nice med red tone, not too blue and not too orange. My tip for making lipstick last is to apply a matching liner underneath. Line the lips and fill them in. Then lipstick over that. I like to over line the outer edges of my top lip in a very heart shape. I don’t like the top lip too pointy! Another good trick is to apply translucent loose powder over your lipstick to set it, then apply another coat over that. Your lipstick will last forever! “


Anyone else with helpful tips on keeping your red lipstick lasting please fee free to share!

Have a glamorous day !

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Book Review on “Retro Makeup-Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look”



Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look

Retro Makeup: Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look

Lauren Rennells, author of Vintage Hairstyling, (see my review here)  has recently published another fantastic guide for helping gals get an authentic vintage look, this time with makeup!  Retro Makeup:Techniques for Applying the Vintage Look  has easy to follow tutorials on how to achieve your favorite era specific makeup look.   As you can see from the table of contents, every decade is covered from the 1920s through the 1960s. And you can purchase it here.

Retro Makeup-Table of Contents

Retro Makeup-Table of Contents

There is also plenty of really interesting information on the history of cosmetics and some really fun facts about makeup fads through the ages. For instance, there is something very cool that flappers did to their knees that I never knew about!  But you’ll have to get the book to find out, because I’m not telling!

Retro Makeup-1920s

Retro Makeup-1920s

Just like nowadays, makeup trends were often fueled by celebrities. The chapter for the 1930s explains how to get the glamorous looks of Claudette Colbert, Jean Harlow and Hedy Lamarr, among others!


Retro Makeup-1930s

Retro Makeup-1930s

The chapter on 1940s makeup is fascinating, with information on what women did to  conserve lipstick and alternatives they used for various cosmetics due to war rationing.  Some of the tips are certainly still useful today! Makeup tended toward a more natural look and there are tutorials on getting  a Rita Hayworth or Billie Holiday look.


Retro Makeup Book-1940s

Retro Makeup-1940s

Here’s the chapter you go to when you want to channel Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn or famous 50s supermodel Suzy Parker.   Lots of variations on the “cat eye” or “winged” liner look, which I absolutely love, but have yet to master. And I’m hoping with the tips in the book, I’ll finally pull it off!

Retro Makeup-1950s chapter

Retro Makeup-1950s chapter

The 1960s chapter covers all the brighter, more colorful,  eye makeup techniques worn with a paler lip. Trends fueled by models like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton.

There is also great information on makeup brushes, their different sizes and uses, which I found extremely helpful. I don’t know about you, but when I walk into an Ulta and see the vast array of brushes, I am totally baffled by what to do with all of them. Now I know.  Also, great tips on how to decide which red lipstick shades and eyeshadows are most flattering to your skin tone.

And for those who want to delve even further into the whole vintage makeup history thing, there is an extensive bibliography in the back of the book.

In my opinion, this book  is a must have for every vintage loving dame out there!

Have a glamorous day !

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New Year, New You: Four Style Ideas to Add Vintage Glam to Your Look


Ladies in 1940s dresses


Image source NY Public Library

It’s a whole new year with a chance to be a whole new you. Here are four ways you can put your best vintage fashion foot forward as you step ahead—or should we say back?!—into vintage 2014!

1. Pick styles that make you feel great One of the best things about vintage clothes is they never go out of style. While trendy looks don’t necessarily work for everyone, vintage silhouettes are flattering to many body types, and you can pick and choose among the vintage styles of different eras to find the ones that fit your personality.


2. Add some flair Stylish clothes are great but you know what they say: accessories really make the outfit. Spend some time—check Pinterest for ideas!—and find the perfect vintage piece, whether it be jewelry, scarf, purse, gloves, or shoes to make your outfit really sing. You can go completely vintage glam or add just an element or two to highlight your look. Pay special attention to your hair—look for that perfect pinup style and complement with a gorgeous comb, hair flower or maybe even a snood, those fun crocheted hairnets from the 40s!


3. Go for the perfect fit Women back in day, if they didn’t sew their own clothes, often relied on a trusted seamstress to ensure a perfect fit. They understood that well fitting clothing was the key to a more polished, classy look. If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get in shape…then resolve to make sure your clothes follow suit. Go through your wardrobe and discard clothes that no longer fit and find yourself a professional alteration person that you can depend on to make your clothing flatter your figure. You’ll look better (and feel better, too!). Also, remember there are no sizing standards in today’s garment industry and sizing conventions have changed over time. Make sure to have your measurements handy for your online orders and bring a tape measure when out shopping to save time when trying on clothes.


4. Make sure make-up is flawless No matter how classy your clothes are, style can fall flat when your make-up isn’t working for you. Plus, this is where you can really have some fun. Your make-up style can reflect the vintage times. Classic red lip and nails, a defined brow, the proper matte foundation and powder, and even trying the cat eye look with your liner can really make you stand out.


Have yourself a glamorous New Year and set the world on fire with style in 2014. Don’t forget to make fashion fun!

And if you have any style tips of your own, please feel free to share:)

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How to Get the 1920s Screen Siren Make Up Look


From Boardwalk Empire to Downton Abbey to the remake of the Great Gatsby, the interest in Roaring 20s fashions has never been hotter.  The 1920s was a liberating time for women,  resulting in less restrictive clothing that downplayed a woman’s curves.   And just like today, young women emulated celebrities, resulting in the popularity of  make up looks worn by their favorite silver screen stars.  This very feminine, dramatic look contrasted nicely with the looser, less curve revealing silhouettes.

To recreate the 1920s make up look you need  dark, smoky, kohl-rimmed eyes,  high thin eyebrows and heavily rouged cheeks,  along with the iconic ‘cupid’s bow’ lip inspired by the  actress,  Clara Bow. Women would accentuate the curve of their upper lip – so it resembled a bow – and fill in their bottom lip to meet the top, almost like a permanent ‘kissy’ face.  The vogue lip colors were plums and deep reds. There were even metal lip tracers to ensure women got that perfect ‘bow’ shape.

Below is a photo of the beautiful Clara Bow. Notice those adorable “cupid’s bow”  lips?  And I love how she has the head scarf wrapped!

clara bow

Clara Bow in 1926. Photo by Eugene Robert Richee

This is a cute and entertaining video from the  Glamourdaze  YouTube channel of actress Colleen Moore and her flapper makeup routine in 1923.

I love cupid’s bow lips but I’m not sure I could pull off those eyebrows – what about you? Would you wear this look out on the town?







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The Beauty Secret Shared by Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly


Want to know how many of  the beautiful stars of the silver screen got their flawless and glowing skin? Leading ladies such as Marilyn Monroe, Katherine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, Greta Garbo and Audrey Hepburn credited one man – Erno Laszlo. Audrey Hepburn said “50% of my beauty I owe to my mother, 50% to Erno Laszlo.”

Laszlo brought his innovative skin care regime from Hungary to Fifth Avenue in 1939. ‘The Institute’ was so prestigious that reportedly 99% of applicants were turned away and was often referred to as the House of Silence – because so many of Hollywood’s elite secrets filled its walls.

Laszlo said ” I taught the high society ladies in America to wash their face.” He later introduced a line of skin care products sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Ave New York including the famous pHormula 3-8 that was designed specifically for his close friend, Marilyn Monroe. Today the company offers pHormula 3-9 a powerful healing treatment based on handwritten notes and formulas found in Erno Laszlo’s vault in 2001 by a researcher at The Institute.
hollywood collection

Like this vintage ad states below “One simple reason your Erno Laszlo skincare ritual hasn’t changed since 1939. It works!”

ernos laszlo advertisement

ernos laszlo advertisement

And because Marilyn Monroe was such a devotee, some of her Erno Laszlo products were part of an estate auction in 2011. The jar below sold for $1750.00!

Erno Laszlo cosmetic jar owned by Marilyn Monroe

Erno Laszlo cosmetic jar owned by Marilyn Monroe

The company recently introduced “The Hollywood Collection” – custom-blended skin care formulas inspired by Laszlo’s most iconic clients.

MM make-up

“Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle.” Erno Laszlo

Do you use Erno Laszlo beauty products? If so, what are your favorites?






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The Facts on Max Factor


Everyone is familiar with the brand. But do you know how the most famous cosmetics company started? Max Factor is considered the father of modern makeup and the company he built literally changed the face of cosmetics history.  He built a giant cosmetics empire with its roots in the  film industry.   Though the business no longer operates in the US,  Max Factor was a household name for decades, bringing the glamour of  Hollywood stars to women the world over.

Originally a chemist, Max Factor became fascinated with cosmetics, opening his first shop in Moscow  selling his hand made rouges, creams, fragrances and wigs.   In 1904 he became the official beautician and wigmaker to the Russian Royal Family.

He moved his family to LA in 1908, where he opened a cosmetics and wig shop in the theater district.  In the early years of film it was very difficult for actors and actresses to find make up that was appropriate for wear on  the big screen.  The greasepaint worn for the stage was much too thick and didn’t hold up well under studio lighting.  Determined to make a mark in the film industry he worked his magic and created a special  make up that  would look more natural on film and  not crack or cake under the hots lights of a movie set.   More and more actors and actresses started showing  up at his shop eager to try his new “flexible greasepaint”.

After Max Factor’s death in 1938, the company was taken over by his son  where he continued the business of being the top innovator in the beauty industry.

Here’s an abbreviated list of products pioneered by Max Factor.

1914-First makeup to give more natural look on film.
1918-Color Harmony, a face powder line in many shades to allow customizing.
1925-Supreme Nail Polish, a powder that was sprinkled on the nails and buffed off to give them tint and shine.
1930-Introduced lipgloss
1937- Introduced Pan Cake Makeup for color film and in 1938 a concealer called  Erace.
1940-True Color smearproof lipstick
1948- Pan Stick Makeup
1971-First waterproof makeup

Because of his strong link to Hollywood, most of  the advertisements  for the company consisted of endorsements by famous actresses.

1940-Maureen O’Hara  in RKO Radio’s “Dance, Girls, Dance” endorses Max Factor Hollywood Face Powder, Tru Color Lipstick and Rouge.

Maureen o Hara max factor 1940

 With the advent of Technicolor in films actors and actresses needed a new makeup that would flatter them in color.  Many of them refused to appear in color films because the old style makeup didn’t show them in their best light. So Max Factor created Pan Cake Makeup. It was so popular workers would steal it off of movie sets for personal use.  So eventually it was made available to the public  and it ended up becoming the best selling foundation in history.  You can still purchase it online and many women swear it gives a flawless finish, but takes some practice to apply correctly.   If  anyone reading this blog has used it, let me know how you liked it. I’m curious to try.

Claudette Colbert in Max Factor Ad 1943

Claudette Colbert in Max Factor Pan Cake Makeup Ad 1943


Ginger Rogers Max Factor 1944

Ginger Rogers Max Factor Pan Cake Makeup 1944


Loretta Young Max Factor 1947

Loretta Young Max Factor Ad 1945

Barbara Stanwyck Max Factor Ad 1947

Barbara Stanwyck Max Factor Ad 1947

Lana Turner Max Factor Ad 1951

Lana Turner Max Factor Ad 1951

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Easy Moon Manicure Nails a la Dita Von Teese


A while back I did a blog post on how to recreate the half moon manicure that was so popular in the 30s and 40s.  But recently Dita Von Teese  partnered with the Kiss cosmetic company and introduced a set of ready to go moon manicure nails. Just glue on and go!  A  fabulous touch of vintage glamour at your fingertips in bright ruby red with a pearly white half moon shape.  A great look for the holidays.


You can find these at Dita’s site for only 9.99!

Dita Von Teese Moon Manicure Nails

Dita Von Teese Moon Manicure Glue On Nails

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Beauty and Personal Hygiene Ads-1925 Delineator Magazine


Modern day women are certainly familiar with ads hawking various beauty products for ways to make themselves either look or smell better. And while many of them live up to their claims, are quite lovely and even beneficial,we all know  there are plenty out there that just play on a woman’s insecurities about herself, but don’t do a darned thing!

And this isn’t something new. Just take a look at these ads from the April 1925 edition of Delineator Magazine to see how advertisers even back then operated the same way!   Apparently the suffragette sisters of the 1920s also had a myriad of dreadful cosmetic flaws that needed tending to,   including superfluous hair, relaxed contours, unsightly skin eruptions,  intolerant perspiration odor, dried up mouth glands, and, of course feminine hygiene issues because they were so germy “down there”


This ad for Elizabeth Arden Skin Tonic supposedly made your face look younger and firmer.  Your “relaxed contours” (aka sagging jowls) are to be dreaded as much as wrinkles or skin blemishes.  I don’t know about you, but I am totally terrified of my contours relaxing and wish I had a vat full of this stuff!

Elizabeth Arden Treatment Delineator 1925
Elizabeth Arden Skin Treatment- Delineator 1925

And there’s nothing like a sulphur preparation to heal your “unsightly skin eruptions, rashes and blotches on face,neck, arms or body. You do not have to wait for relief from torture or embarassment.” So what if you smell like rotten eggs. At least you’ll look good!

Beauty ads delineator magazine april 1925
Sulpur to heal your skin-Delineator Magazine 1925 Beauty Ad

Superfluous hair no more, with Zip depilatory cream.  Apparently permanent removal was achieved, even for bearded society ladies. A five o’clock shadow would look so inappropriate with their country club attire!

Beauty Ad Zip Depilatory Delineator Magazine 1925
Zip Hair Remover-Beauty Ad Delineator April 1925

Then there was the dreaded “dry mouth glands”. Happens from lack of chewing. Who knew?

From the ad-“Dentists say that practically no mouth today is normally moist and safe for teeth. Modern cooked food, too soft, too quickly swallowed, does not require enough chewing. From sheer lack of exercise your mouth glands dry up.”  What the heck were they eating back then that didn’t require chewing?  Was pureed meat and vegetables a big fad? I’m going to have to look into this.  The claims in this ad in particular really seem a bit of a stretch.

Toothpaste ad Delineator Magazine 1925
For Dry Mouth Glands-Pebeco Toothpaste Ad-Delineator Magazine 1925

No careful woman in the 1920s would “Tolerate even the suspicion of perpiration odor.” That’s why she had to use MUM deodorant cream.

And to ensure they weren’t offending anyone once a month, thousands of women even used it regularly with their sanitary napkins.  Gotta safeguard that feminine daintiness and charm at all costs!

Mum Deodorant Ad- Delineator Magazine 1925
Mum Deodorant Ad- Delineator Magazine 1925

Speaking of feminine daintiness and charm.  How about  Zonite? It’s was so much safer than the dangerous poisons of bichloride of mercury and carbolic acid that women used to use.  Of course the ingredients in Zonite aren’t  listed. But supposedly it was more than 40 times as strong as hydrogen peroxide. For decades women have been brainwashed into thinking they were dirty, smelly and germy in their nether regions.   Because ingredients weren’t  required on the packaging, many products actually ended up burning and permanently scarring the ladies who used them.

This particular product was also recommended for use as a mouthwash, antiseptic for cuts, wounds, burns, and prevention against colds, coughs, grippe and influenza.  It does all that and leaves you fresh as a daisy down there!  Better to risk permanent scarring than rejection by male suitors because of imaginary feminine odors.


Zonite Ad-Delineator Magazine 1925

Zonite Ad-Delineator Magazine 1925

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Jacqueline Cochran Stackable Makeup-1947


This ad caught my eye while browsing through a Vogue Magazine from 1947.  It’s for a stackable makeup kit by Jacqueline Cochran Cosmetics called the “Perk Up Stick.”   I was fascinated by the product because I love the idea of a portable little beauty kit that can fit right in your overnight bag or purse.  It includes just enough cleansing cream, foundation, night cream, cream rouge and face powder to last the weekend!    It’s so adorable, and practical,  that I started looking for something modern that can compare, so I could get one for myself.  But I’ll get to that in a minute.

perk up stick makeup jackie cochran

1947-Jacqueline Cochran Perk Up Stick Stakable Makeup Kit

I had never heard of this line of cosmetics, so I did some research into the brand.  Well it turns out  that  Jacqueline Cochran was a heck of a lot more than just the owner of a successful cosmetics company.  So much more, in fact,  that I’m embarrassed to say her name wasn’t familiar to me.

She was also an aviatrix who is considered one of the most talented race pilots of her generation!  Not a small feat for someone who began her flying career in the 1930s, which wasn’t exactly the height of the women’s liberation movement!  And she grew up in extremely disadvantaged circumstances, which makes her accomplishments that much more impressive.   From day one nothing was going to stop this fearless, fiesty female from attaining her goals.

Here’s just a SHORT list of some of her amazing achievements.

1. In 1937  broke the speed record for flight from New York to Miami.
2. Won Bendix Trophy Race in 1938, which is a famous transcontinental race from California to Ohio.
3. In 1939 she set a new international altitude and speed record, and became the first woman to make a blind landing.
4. She received the Clifford Burke Harmon Trophy for most outstanding female flier of the year 15 times!
5. In 1944 the first civilian woman to ever receive a distinguished service medal for organizing and leading the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots.

So she did all this, and more,  while also running her own company.  Holy cow! Makes me feel positively inept.

Anyway,  it completely explains why the text in the ad says “everything you need for a compeltely “fresh face” at a moments notice. Your wings to beauty travels with you.”

So I went a-googling to see if there are any companies who now make something even remotely similar. There are a few that sell stackable mineral makeup like the the ones below from HoneyBee Gardens.  Their little pots of portable,  mineral makeup can be twisted together to travel with you, and used as eyeshadows, eyeliners and blushes.  It’s totally vegan and does not contain any icky chemicals.  Very nice!

honey bee gardens mineral makeup

Honey Bee Gardens Stackable Mineral Makeup

But, because I can’t go anywhere without my lipstick, I was wondering how that could be incorporated into a little beauty stack too.
So another good option is to buy MAC’s Stackable Cosmetic Jars and fill them up with whatever you  need to make yourself gorgeous. You can de-tube your lipstick into one of these little pots. Just don’t forget your lipbrush!

MAC stackable jars

MAC Stackable Cosmetic Jars

If anyone else  is aware of other types of stackable makeups, please be sure to include it in a comment.  Thanks:)

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In Vogue November 1963-Makeup and Hairstyles


My fourth and last post on fashion trends shown in Vogue Magazine, November 1963, highlights hair and makeup.

In the photo below you can see that the eyes have it! The focus was on a heavily lined cat eye, framed by long dark lashes. Blue, green and purple eyeshadows were also very popular.   Of course, the darker the eye, the paler the lipcolor, so as not to look overly made up.   If you care to try it, you can refer to my previous post for creating the cat eye look. It’s quite the sexy, dramatic look for evening.

Makeup trends in 1963

Makeup trends in 1963

When most people think of hairstyles from the 60s, the flip and the beehive are the first two that come to mind.  But if you look below, you’ll see there were other popular hairdos, all very sleek and sculptural.   In the 60s there is no doubt rollers and hair lacquer were two very important items in the fashionable woman’s beauty arsenal, as were wigs and falls, which allowed for the creation of some very elaborate updos.  Since the November 1963 Vogue focuses on fashions for the holiday season, many of the hairstyles are shown on models wearing evening dresses. Notice the  glittery  jewelled accents in the hair.  Tres chic!

Hairstyles for evening-November Vogue 1963

Hairstyles for evening-November Vogue 1963

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