Retro Red

Dress: Bettie Page Clothing

Belt: JAG

Shoes: Hush Puppies


Oooh! It’s such a lovely day in Melbourne today – one last little taste of summer, and the opportunity to wear my retro-styled polkadot dress with scandalous red lippy!

I’m so lazy about wearing make-up: I never really learned properly how to apply it, and while I buy the stuff with some regularity, somehow I never seem to have enough time in the morning to put it on. I’m always worried when I wear red lipstick that it makes my already full lips look a little… carnivorous, and I’ve yet to find an eye-liner that doesn’t end up smeared all over my cheeks by the end of the day. I do tint my eyelashes, a pro-tip from my time-poor friend Haz-Mo’s Ma; and I’ve got some powder that I swipe over my cheeks when I’m feeling particularly shiny, but apart from that I’m usually au naturale unless I’m going out somewhere fancy.

My little sister’s become a master at makeup application, and she always looks so stunning when I see her that I’m usually inspired to make a bit more effort afterwards, but I’m too shy to ask her what to do (eyeliner: where? how? Blush? On my cheekbones, or under?)

Probably I should take a day course of somesuch, but who’s got time, right? Between working, blogging, girlfriending and attempting to expand my horizons to include some kind of free-lance writing gig my days are usually pretty well full up!


67 thoughts on “Retro Red

  1. You look so polished and fun! I love this look. The hair accessories, the makeup, the belt. Very classic and modern at the same time. I feel you about the makeup. I buy tons…but usually prefer sleeping a little longer to actually putting it on, except if going somewhere special. But love the look and love this blog!

  2. Oh, I hear you – I’m pretty much a makeup moron as well, despite the hours spent as a young teen playing with cheap dime-store makeup in the bathroom. I love reading Keiko Lynn’s makeup tutorials, but they always seem so far over my head that I’ve never attempting any of them.

    I have a really hard time with eyeliner as well, and in truth you may not need it if you feel your tinted lashes do a good enough job of framing your eyes. I rarely wear it. If you want to give your eyes a little extra va-voom you might try an eyelash curler before you jump into eyeliner. But here’s what I HAVE learned:

    Eyeliner: Along your lashline, on the outside (ie, the side of your lashes that’s away from your eyes.) So above the lashes on the top lid and below the lashes on the bottom. I normally don’t line the entire lashline, I taper it so it ends about three quarters of the way from the outside of my eye. Looks less like racoon eyes that way. And they do make a waterproof eyeliner pen, which I’ve found to be best for staying put. However, I also like dark-colored creme eyeshadows (Benefit and Stila both make ones that go on creamy and then dry to waterproof) applied with a very short, small, sturdy brush. With a neutral base that can be applied by smearing it over your entire eyelid with a finger, the creme eyeshadow/liner blends nicely so that mistakes are less noticeable. Use short strokes for either product!

    Blush: I’m good with blush. Smile widely and apply blush in a circular motion to the apples of your cheeks, then blend outward along (not under) your cheekbone. You can try under your cheekbone, but this method was used mainly to create the illusion of shadow in black and white movies. It’s not going to look natural in real life! Think about where you color up when you get flushed, either from exercise or embarrassment or cold. You’re trying to replicate that look. Applying it this way works for whatever type of blusher you use – powder, cream, stain. If you’re using powder, use a big fluffy brush, not the little brush that comes in the compact. If you use a cream or a stain, you can use your fingers.

    1. I also recommend benefit’s concealer “stay don’t stray”, a base that makes the eyeliner stay where it is supposed to. And it does!

      Apart from that, your look is absolutely gorgeous!!!

      Meli (long-time-follower, first-time-commentator)

  3. 1. Your lips are lovely.
    2. When applying eyeliner, I find that it looks the best to line only above my top lashes. After I’ve swiped on a thin line with the pencil, I go over it and smudge it a little with an eyeliner brush and some matching eyeshadow. (Usually I use a shimmery black.) That will set the liner and keep it from smudging.
    3. Regardless of what makeup I am wearing, I set everything with a light brush of translucent powder (including my eyeshadow) before I put on mascara and lipstick.
    4. Personally, I don’t like to wear a lot of makeup, so I usually opt for a tinted moisturizer and a creme blush. It blends together quickly and easily and doesn’t feel at all heavy.
    5. This outfit is so adorable. I have a similar dress in opposite colors, and I will definitely have to break it out soon. 🙂

  4. Great look, you’re definitely rocking the red lip here! ps. that headband is adorable ? If you ever want some makeup advice feel free to drop me a line – happy to offer any advice that might help 😀

  5. This is one of my fave looks on you.
    Get the girls in the department store to give you a tute.
    I like red lippy – some of it and some black mascara – looks fab. You could get away with a bit ofgrey shadow or eyeliner on your eyelid because of your beautiful almond eyes.
    I am a blush on the cheekbones where they usually go pink with exercise/being flustered etc. I find this more natural.

  6. I hardly wear make-up. I have really sensitive skin that protests quite vigorously if I wear it for too long by coming over all blotchy and spotty! If I’m going somewhere posh I wear eye makeup. I have my eyebrows tinted and I should really get my lashes done as well.

    I’m so glad you bought that dress. I loved it when you did your post from the changing room. It fits you beautifully and you have that 50’s style glamour look going on. I am still looking for a 50’s style polka dot dress. Maybe Etsy will answer my wishes… ? Any recommendations surrounding where to look on Etsy would be much appreciated.

  7. I love red on you! The lipstick is great – you should definitely wear it more often.

    I always feel underdone if I don’t wear makeup – you are so lucky you can get away without wearing any and still look so great. My tips:

    1. Invest in a really good tinted moisturiser – it can even out your skin tone and protect your skin if it has SPF in it (Laura Mercier is great). I don’t wear foundation anymore. It’s just too heavy.
    2. Experiment with different blushes – I think NARS make the best powder blush and Becca makes a lovely tint that makes you GLOW beautifully rather than look like a dollie.
    3. Having good brushes are key – they are a wonderful investment and worth every cent. The finish a good brush gives makes the investment in good cosmetics worth it.
    4. Spend time on your make up – whether it’s taking a course to learn how to apply or having a professional show you how to do it or just playing with it yourself. The more you play the more natural it will feel.

    I did a post on my favourite cosmetics recently:

    K xx

    1. Thanks for the advice, Miss Kitty! I used to wear the Laura Mercier tinted moisturiser, but decided I needed 30+ because I’m so very pale. I’ll only wear foundation for REALLY special occasions! I’ve heard that makeups all about the brushes. Someone recommended the brushes at The Body Shop to me as a cheaper-but-still-good alternative. Have you tried them? Thankyou for the link too! It’s a very helpful post – the primer sounds great. I bought some from Napoleon Perdis and is ooookay, I guess.

  8. You know that I don’t wear much makeup either – despite owning about seven hojillion eyeshadows – but I found trial and error worked the best for me. Because my eyes are already big, if I wear eyeliner on the outside of the lashes they suddenly take over my whole face like one of those scary dog cards in the newsagency; but I have thin lips so liner on the outside makes them look more balanced. Lining my eyes on the inside works but needs constant reapplication and I usually look tired by the end of the day because of smudging, unless I remember to bring my makeup wipes to work. So I say: play around, don’t be embarrassed, it’s all in fun!

    Seriously though, don’t take advice from me – I match my nailpolish to my eyeshadow to my hair accessories. MAC also do great tutorials when they give you a makeover, explaining what’s going on, and you get to use the money to buy products. However they are mind-shatteringly expensive, but great for a few base products (foundation, good lipstick, etc etc.)

    1. Oooh – I remember how splendid you looked at your Not-Wedding ( not that you don’t ALWAYS look gorgeous). Maybe I need to do a MAC tutorial…. but first: to save the money!

  9. Love the outfit … red looks so amazing on you and that dress is stunning!!!

    However … I’m not a fan of those shoes with the dress. Imo, red shoes would have been sooooo much better than off-white.

      1. Ok, after seeing the back of the dress, I LOVE IT EVEN MORE.

        I fully admit, I’m not a fan of nude/cream/white shoes to begin with. I blame my mother, beige was always ‘her’ colour, so I grew up in a rather lackluster house so now I completely rebel in my own house and wardrobe. 🙂

  10. Lilli, you look picture perfect! And that red lipstick looks divine on you! I notice the subtle make up difference and while you are beautiful with or with out it, this does add a little drama to your look–the lovely kind! I love your hair band. I can’t believe how long your hair is already! Pony tails looks great on you!

    1. Thanks, Bella! My hair’s growing SO FAST, but my Hairy Godmother’s back from maternity leave, so I can start visiting the hairdresser again soon!

  11. This is a very classy look, and it looks amazing on you. Every time you update you inspire me to mix up my wardrobe. It’s always a lot of fun when I find something I didn’t think could work.

  12. You look so beautiful! And I like the neutral shoes, they lend an unpredictability to the ensemble.

    A note on eyeliner: Urban Decay 24/7. Best. Eyeliner. EVER. Yes, it’s a bit pricey, but you get what you pay for. Great colors, no drag, it smudges beautifully in the first thirty seconds. After that? It sets up perfectly & isn’t coming off for anything even sans primer.

    1. Frankie, does it work on the inner eyelid as well? I wear mine inside my lashes and eyeliner goes everywhere as soon as I am no longer near a mirror.

      1. I have allergies & wear contacts & UD has been the only pencil to ever stay in place through my furious fits of sneezing. I like to line my inner lids with UD’s Crash liner (dark brown with tiny gold glitter) & then my outers with Baked (a dark gold). It adds a subtle drama & brings out the green & gold in my eyes.

    2. I’ve been eyeing up the Urban Decay range – every so often one of the blogs that I read will review one of their products. I don’t know if there’s a stockist in Australia, but there’s always Strawberry net, I guess! Thanks for the suggestion, FrankieB 🙂

  13. love love love this look.
    Lilli I totally relate to your makeup dilemmas. I am also very rushed in the morning, but recently I have started using a gel eyeliner from Maybelline, it promises to stay put for 24 hours and guess what??it actually does 🙂 so little baby powder (which I use as a loose powder), coat mascara and eyeliner and I am done 🙂

  14. I had a makeup lesson from my beautician and it was so worthwhile. Really impartial advice (unlike when you go to the makeup counters) and she taught me how to use stuff I already had. I’ve saved a fortune on buying makeup too since I’m a lot more focussed. No more buying makeup that I never use 🙂

  15. As someone with similar coloring, and similar full lips, could you please please share the name of your lippy?

    I never seem to be able to find a proper red.

    (Also, love the outfit as always!)

  16. Wow you are looking pretty in red lipstick which is some colour that I think looks strange on me. I always ended up going for the slightly plum colour. Perfect outfit but it’s a little stepford wives!

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