Perfect Pinup Foundation for a Vintage Look

Hello Lovely Pinups,

Foundation is the canvas for any Vintage Makeup look. There are a few important steps to achieving the perfect foundation to compliment your glamorous skin. The key to foundation is to enhance your natural beauty, so try not to think of your foundation as a mask but rather more of a tool to enhance your stunning features.

There is no right or wrong way to select or to apply foundation. Foundation like other makeup products is a personal preference so do what works best for you & most importantly do what makes you feel beautiful! Below are just a few of my tips & tricks for choosing & applying foundation to achieve a basic Vintage Makeup look. Feel free to adapt these to suit your preference & style. I have supplied a list at the bottom of this page with a selection of products that I use to achieve my look.


First things first, get to know that amazing skin of yours. If you have dry skin, use a hydrating liquid or a cream foundation. If you have oily skin, then a mineral, powder or oil-free liquid foundation is best. If your skin is normal to combination choose a foundation that is water based or feels comfortable on your skin. There are a few factors to consider about the finished look that you are hoping to achieve. These include, the amount of coverage you expect from your foundation (light, medium or full coverage) & the foundation finish (matte or dewy). Vintage Makeup looks traditionally have a matte finish apposed to a dewy finish.

Unmasking your hidden Undertone:

Before selecting your foundation it is important to establish the undertone of your skin. Doing this will help you to achieve that perfect colour match, allowing your foundation to seamlessly blend into your gorgeous skin.
The undertone of your skin is the subtle hint of colour that appears under your natural skin tone.
There are many variations but all of us ladies generally fit into one of three categories of either; warm, neutral or cool undertones.

The easiest way to discover your undertone is to look at the skin on the inside of your wrist. Does the colour of your wrist appear to be more pink, yellow or is it somewhere in-between?

Pink = Cool Undertones
Yellow = Warm Undertones
Somewhere in-between = Neutral Undertones

If looking at your wrist doesn’t prove helpful, take a piece of pink or yellow fabric, press it against your lower cheek. Which ever colour matches your skin the closet is your undertone colour. If neither of the colours match then you have a neutral undertone. My beautiful Nana taught me this little trick & it works a treat every time!

Remember undertones are subtle, therefore don’t be discouraged if you can’t find your undertone at first glance.

Let the fun begin!

It is essential that your foundation matches both your skin tone & your undertone to ensure a flawless match to your skin. For example I look for a foundation that matches both my pale skin tone & my neutral undertone. Most good quality foundations are created with a pink, yellow or neutral base colour, this allows you to narrow down your selection a tiny bit. When deciding between foundations, choose three foundation colours that you think best match your skin. With a foundation brush apply three strokes of each colour on your lower cheek from your ear to your chin. Using a mirror step outside into natural light. Which ever of the three colours blends or disappears into your skin the most is the best match for you! If all three of the colours stand out then start over with another three colours. Take your time when finding that perfect foundation.

NOTE: Viewing foundation colours on your skin in natural light apposed to artificial light will provide you with a truer colour match.

If you struggle to find a perfect match to your skin tone then don’t be afraid to mix the two foundation colours together that most closely matched your skin tone. This will create your own foundation colour. We are all unique so it only makes sense that our foundations should be too.

Perfect Pinup Preparation:

Preparing your skin is an essential part of any makeup routine & ensures your foundation remains flawless through out the day whilst protecting your skin at the same time.

  1. Cleanse, tone & moisturise your skin using your favourite products. Allow approximately 5 minutes for your moisturiser to absorb into your skin. Doing this will prevent your primer/foundation mixing with your moisturiser & slipping all around your face.
  2. Apply a facial sunscreen. This is essential for protecting your skin against the sun & other elements.
  3. Apply a small amount of foundation base or primer over the surface of your skin. Always starting at your nose & working outwards. Using a foundation base or primer helps to absorb any excess oil on your skin & helps to create a smooth surface for your foundation application. Allow a few minutes for the base or primer to settle before applying foundation.

Clever Concealer:

For Vintage Makeup looks it’s best to use a matte concealer that is approximately one shade darker than your foundation colour & a Brightening Concealer for under the eye area. This ensures an all over even coverage & colour.

  1. Using a small concealer brush lightly dab concealer on any imperfections (Don’t worry we all have them!). Give special attention to blending the concealer in to the surrounding areas. Doing this prevents patches of concealer becoming visible under your foundation.
  2. Use a Brightening Concealer for under your eyes. These types of concealers are slightly thicker & have wonderful brightening properties to lighten dark circles under your eyes. Using a foundation sponge lightly dab the Brightening Concealer under your eyes, being carful to only use a small amount. Using too much can cause a build up of product under your eye.
  3. Allow the under eye concealer to settle for a few minutes then lightly dab with pressed powder on a cotton pad to set the concealer in place. (Apply foundation over the top as per below).

Application Time!

Use as little foundation as possible to start with. You can always touch up & add more foundation as you go along.

  1. Using a foundation sponge or brush start by applying your foundation to your nose as this is the centre most point of your face. Work your foundation outwards from here in soft sweeping motions. Then move onto your chin & jaw, again working outwards using sweeping motions. Gently blend your foundation down your neck to prevent a “mask of foundation” forming. Once complete move onto your forehead and work your foundation out and across, avoiding your hairline. Ensure all areas of your face are evenly covered.
  2. Lightly apply foundation to your eye lids & surrounding areas. Be gentle to avoid causing any redness or irritation to your eye area.
  3. Touch up any areas that may require any extra coverage with a foundation sponge.
  4. To achieve the porcelain pinup look, dust over the top of your foundation with pressed or loose matte translucent powder. Using a large powder brush to do this will ensure an even coverage of powder. I find that pressed powder is a great deal less messy than using a loose powder…..especially if you’re a Pinup in a hurry!
  5. Set your foundation in place by using a makeup setting spray. If you don’t have a makeup setting spray then lightly spray your foundation with hairspray. Hairspray works wonderfully to hold your foundation in place, but be mindful that it can be dehydrating for your skin if exposed to sunlight or air-conditioning. Oh & be sure to avoid getting it in your eyes!

NOTE: You can apply your foundation in a number of different ways. You can use a foundation brush, a foundation sponge or your finger tips. Experiment to establish which application method allows you to create the seamless foundation finish.

These are just a few of the basics of foundation selection & application. Experimenting with colours, textures & coverage is the best way to achieve a foundation look that you feel comfortable with. So don’t feel silly to sit in front of your mirror at home & try different looks or methods of application. Have fun with your makeup!

For my everyday Vintage Makeup look I keep my foundation matte, with red lips & winged eyeliner. However when I’m performing in a Burlesque production or appearing in a photo shoot I tend to incorporate more colours & sparkles into my Vintage Makeup look. So don’t be afraid to adapt your classic vintage looks for different occasions. There are some fantastic resources & examples on the internet of vintage makeup, do your research & adapt specific vintage looks into your own style. Practice makes a Perfect Pinup!


Some of the products that I use to create my Pinup Foundation look

MAC Pro Long Wear Foundation in NC15 (daily wear, light coverage)
MAC Studio Fix Fluid Foundation in NC15 (performance, photographic & heavy coverage)
Lancôme Maquimat Foundation in 01 (daily wear)
Chanel Poudre Universelle (pressed powder)
MAC Select Sheer Pressed Powder in NW15 (daily wear)
MAC Studio Care Blend Pressed Powder in Light Plus (performance, photographic & heavy coverage)
Clarins Shine Stopper Powder (daily touch ups)
MAC Prep + Prime Foundation Base (daily wear)
Lancôme La Base Pro Foundation Base (performance, photographic)
Benefit Pore-fissional, pore minimising base
MAC Select Cover Up Concealer in NC20
Clarins Instant Light Under Eye Concealer
YSL Touche Éclat, Highlighter (under eyes)
Benefit Erase Paste Brightening Concealer in Light
Clarins Make-Up Fix Spray
Clarins Multi-Active Day Lotion SPF 15
Clarins UV Plus Protective Day Screen Lotion SPF 30+ (Facial Sunscreen)
Clarins Multi-Active Serum
Lancôme Kabuki Powder Brush
Dior Concealer Brush (Fine Tip)

Choosing & applying a foundation doesn’t have to be a chore!
I really do hope this helped to answer some of those tricky foundation questions! If not please feel free to email me. I enjoy reading your emails via the feed back forms & on the Miss Ruby Ribbons Facebook page, so please do keep them coming!

Keep a look out for the Miss Ruby Ribbons website coming this week. I will be linking all photos & blog posts to the website once complete.

Don’t forget that you can follow me on Facebook at

Miss Ruby Ribbons x



Red Lippy Tips for a Vintage Look

Hello Lovely Pinups,

After receiving many wonderful emails asking me how to create the perfect red lips for Vintage & Pinup looks, I’ve decided to create a blog with some of my tips and tricks that I’ve learnt as a Makeup Artist & Pinup Model. There is no right or wrong way to apply your lipstick, have a go & adapt techniques to suit you and your preferred look.

Towards the bottom of this page I have supplied a list of products that I use to create my Ruby Red Lips. However these are always changing as I discover new products. So once again experiment with what works for you!

Preparation is the key!

A smooth surface is best to apply your red lippy (or any lipstick colour for that matter). This will make your finished look far more polished and will allow your lippy to stay put longer without flaking.

Here are two of my favorite methods for polishing those pinup lips:

  • After a shower when your lips are soft from the warm water, take a new dry tooth brush & gently rub it across the surface of your lips. This process removes any flaking skin and helps to brighten the surface of your lips. Apply your favorite lip balm once complete.


  • Two to three times a week use a sugar scrub on your lips to remove any dryness & dull areas. Rub the scrub across your lips gently then rinse off with warm water. Apply your favorite lip balm to seal in the moisture.

NOTE: Both methods are best done at night time before going to sleep. After all what is another 5mins added to your vintage nightly beauty routine.

Your lips will be smooth & glowing within no time!

Let the out-lining begin!

Your lip liner is just as important as you lipstick. It helps to create the perfect lip line and prevent that beautiful lippy bleeding! Red Lipstick does have a tendency to bleed or run more than other colours, however this is nothing that a little preparation can’t fix….so don’t let it put you off!

Choose a red lip liner that is as close to the shade of your choosen red lippy as possible. Doing this will prevent any nasty miss matched outline when your lippy wears off during eating, drinking or those lovely chats with the ladies!

  1. Apply a lip base or primer to your lips. Try to avoid using any greasy or high shine lip balms as this can cause your red lippy to bleed.
  2. Bottom Lip: With a sharpened red lip liner gently out line your bottom lip, being careful not to go too far outside of your natural lip line.
  3. Top Lip: Place the sharpened point of the pencil at the highest point of your cupids bow, draw a line diagonally downwards until you reach the bottom of your top lip. Repeat on the other side until you have a small cross in the centre of  your top lip. This will create a perfect point for those vintage lips!
  4. Outline your top lip, ensuring the lines are even.
  5. Carefully colour in your top and bottom lip with your lip liner. This will help your lippy hold onto your lips longer but will also provide a more intense colour.

Let the Lippy Begin!

There are two basic types of lipstick finishes for vintage looks. Matte & Gloss. Choose which ever works best for you & the look that you are going for. Experimentation is your best friend!

I tend to use more Matte Reds for photo shoots and classic pinup looks & use the Gloss Reds for more seductive Burlesque looks.

  1. Gently coat a lip brush with your lipstick of choice, completely fill in your lips covering all areas outlined. Using a lip brush with such intense colours ensures a more precise and controlled finish, no going outside of those beautiful  lip lines!
  2. Intensify your lip colour by using the lip stick directly on your lips. Do this by dabbing the lippy gently in the middle of your top & bottom lip to create a pout effect.
  3. If your lipstick is more of a matte finish you can apply a clear lip gloss over the top to create a wet look.
  4. Fold a tissue in half and gently place between your lips to blot off any excuess lipstick.
  5. Dab a small amount of liquid highlighter between the two points of your cupids bow, this will create more depth to your lips.

NOTE: If any lipstick or liner has been smudged outside of you lip area, carefully take a small amount of concealer on an sponge eye shadow applicator & dab away the red. Apply a small amount of foundation & powder over the top of the correction.

Remember keep you lipstick in your handbag for any little touch ups.

Practice really does make perfect when applying Red Lipstick. There are many methods of application out there, so mix & match until you find something that works for you!   

Some of the products I use to achieve my Ruby Red Pinup lips:

LUSH Bubblegum Flavour Sugar Lip Scrub
Elizabeth Arden 8hour cream (my lip balm of choice after a lip scrub)
MAC Pro Base for Lips
MAC Red Lip Liner Pencil in Cherry
Lancôme Le Crayon Contour des Levres in Berry
MAC Lipstick in Ruby Roo or Russian Red (Matte Finish)
Dior Serum De Rouge in 840 (Gloss Finish)
Estee Lauder High Gloss Ultra Shine in 01 Clear
Lancôme Juicy Tube 95 Marshmellow Electro
Clarins Retractable Lip Brush
Mac Cosmetic Pencil Sharpener
Clarins Instant Light Complexion Perfector (Liquid Highlighter)

It's not necessary to stick to this colour chart, however it can be helpful if you are new at buying Red Lipstick x

It’s not necessary to stick to this colour chart, however it can be helpful if you are new at buying Red Lipstick x

I truly hope this helped answer some of the red lipstick questions. Please feel free to ask me any questions. If you have any tips or products I should try let me know!

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Miss Ruby Ribbons x