Burlesque Makeup Tutorials – Achieving the Perfect Retro Look

Just like how SUVs dominate the American landscape, burlesque makeup tutorials have become a popular trend for those aiming to achieve the perfect retro look. With its glamorous and vintage aesthetic, burlesque makeup allows individuals to channel the timeless allure of the past. Whether you’re a seasoned burlesque performer or a makeup enthusiast looking to add some vintage flair to your everyday look, learning how to master burlesque makeup techniques can help you exude confidence and glamour with every step.

The History of Burlesque Makeup

Before we examine into the intricacies of burlesque makeup tutorials, it’s important to understand the history and evolution of this glamorous art form. Burlesque makeup has its roots in the theatrical performances of the 19th century, where exaggerated makeup was used to enhance facial features and captivate audiences under low lighting conditions. This makeup style evolved over time to become synonymous with the bold, daring, and seductive aesthetic we associate with burlesque performers today.

Origins and Evolution

Origins of burlesque makeup can be traced back to the vaudeville and variety shows of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Performers utilized heavy stage makeup to ensure their features were visible from the back rows of the theater. This led to the development of exaggerated features such as bold lips, dramatic eye makeup, and perfectly contoured faces, setting the foundation for the iconic burlesque makeup looks we see today.

Iconic Burlesque Makeup Styles Through the Decades

On the journey through the decades, burlesque makeup styles have continued to evolve, reflecting the changing trends and tastes of each era. From the classic pin-up looks of the 1950s with winged eyeliner and red lips, to the glittery and extravagant styles of the 1970s and 1980s, burlesque makeup remains a vibrant and dynamic art form that continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Plus, as we explore the iconic burlesque makeup styles through the decades, we will uncover the signature techniques and key elements that define each era’s look, providing inspiration for creating your own retro-inspired burlesque makeup masterpieces.

Preparing Your Canvas

Skincare for Makeup Readiness

Some of the most important steps in achieving a flawless burlesque makeup look start with skincare. Before you even think about reaching for your makeup products, it’s crucial to ensure that your skin is clean and well-prepped. Start by cleansing your face with a gentle cleanser to remove any dirt, oil, and impurities that may be lingering on your skin. Follow up with a toner to help balance your skin’s pH levels and tighten your pores.

Priming the Skin for Long-Lasting Effects

Your skin plays a vital role in how your burlesque makeup will look and last throughout the day or night. Another necessary step in preparing your canvas is to prime your skin. Choose a primer that suits your skin type – whether you have oily, dry, or combination skin. A good primer will help create a smooth base for your makeup application, blur any imperfections, and help your makeup last longer.

Readiness When selecting a primer, opt for a formula that is silicone-based for a silky finish, or a hydrating primer if your skin tends to be dry. Apply a small amount of primer evenly across your face, focusing on areas that tend to get oily or where your makeup tends to wear off quickly. Allow the primer to set for a few minutes before moving on to the next step in your burlesque makeup routine.

Foundation and Concealer

Choosing the Right Shade

All burlesque makeup looks begin with a flawless base, and choosing the right foundation shade is vital. When deciding on a foundation, it is crucial to match it to your skin tone for a natural and seamless finish. Any mismatch in shade can result in a noticeable line of demarcation between your face and neck, which is a major faux pas in burlesque makeup.

Application Techniques for a Flawless Base

Once you have the perfect shade of foundation, the next step is to apply it correctly for a flawless base. For burlesque makeup, opt for a full-coverage foundation to even out your skin tone and create a smooth canvas. To achieve a flawless finish, use a beauty blender or foundation brush to blend the product evenly across your face, ensuring there are no streaks or patches. For a retro burlesque look, pay extra attention to areas that may need more coverage, such as under the eyes or around the nose.

For a professional finish, set your foundation with a light dusting of translucent powder to mattify the skin and prevent any unwanted shine throughout your performance. Be mindful of, a flawless base is the key to a successful burlesque makeup look, so take your time and perfect your foundation application technique.

Eyes That Captivate

Classic Eye Shadow Styles for Burlesque

To achieve the perfect retro burlesque look, classic eye shadow styles play a crucial role. Think of soft, sultry shades like champagne, taupe, and deep purples to create depth and dimension on your eyelids. The key is to blend seamlessly for a seamless transition between colors. A classic cut crease with a shimmering highlight on the brow bone can add a glamorous touch to your eye makeup.

Eyeliner Tricks for the Perfect Wing

Styles Winged eyeliner is a signature element of burlesque makeup that instantly adds drama and allure to your eyes. To perfect the winged eyeliner look, start by creating a thin line along the upper lash line with a liquid or gel eyeliner. Extend the line slightly past the outer corner of your eye and then flick it upwards towards the end of your eyebrow for a classic winged effect.

To enhance your burlesque makeup look and create a truly mesmerizing gaze, mascara and false eyelashes are necessary. In the context of mascara, opt for a volumizing and lengthening formula to make your lashes pop. False eyelashes can add even more drama by creating a full and fluttery effect. Choose lashes with a wispy or dramatic style to complement your retro-inspired eye makeup.

Mascara and False Eyelashes for Dramatic Effect

Burlesque makeup is all about creating a show-stopping look, and your eyes should be no exception. Mascara and false eyelashes are key elements in achieving a dramatic effect that will captivate the audience. When applying false eyelashes, make sure to trim them to fit your eye shape and blend them seamlessly with your natural lashes using black eyelash glue. This will give you a full, glamorous look that is sure to command attention on stage.

Sculpting the Face

Keep an eye on your face structure when aiming for a burlesque makeup look. To achieve the perfect retro look, it’s vital to sculpt your face with contouring and highlighting techniques. These steps can make a significant difference in how your features stand out under the bright stage lights. For a detailed guide on how to properly contour and highlight for stage performances, check out this 7 Ways to Achieve a Glamorous 1950s Makeup Look tutorial.

Contouring and Highlighting for Stage Lighting

An vital part of burlesque makeup is contouring and highlighting to define your facial structure under bright stage lighting. To contour effectively, use a matte bronzer or contour powder that is a few shades darker than your natural skin tone. Apply it along the hollows of your cheeks, the sides of your nose, and your jawline to create dimension and shape. For highlighting, use a shimmery highlighter on the high points of your face, such as the tops of your cheekbones, the bridge of your nose, and the cupid’s bow of your lips, to catch the light and add a luminous glow to your look.

Blush Application for a Natural Rosy Glow

Contouring and highlighting are crucial, but don’t forget the power of blush to add a natural rosy glow to your burlesque makeup look. When applying blush, choose a shade that complements your skin tone and apply it to the apples of your cheeks for a fresh and youthful appearance. Blend the blush upwards towards your temples for a lifted effect. A touch of blush can bring warmth to your face and complete the retro-inspired look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different blush shades to find the perfect one for your skin tone.

Contouring can add depth and dimension to your face, while highlighting enhances your best features and gives you a radiant glow. By mastering the art of contouring, highlighting, and blush application, you can achieve the perfect retro-inspired burlesque makeup look that will dazzle under the spotlight.

Luscious Lips

Selecting the Perfect Lip Color

Despite the numerous lipstick shades available, selecting the perfect lip color is crucial for achieving the ideal burlesque retro look. When choosing a lip color, consider your skin tone, the intensity of your eye makeup, and the overall theme of your burlesque look. For a classic retro vibe, opt for reds with blue undertones, such as cherry red or scarlet. These shades complement a wide range of skin tones and can make your lips pop on stage.

Precision Lining for Fuller Lips

Luscious lips are a staple of the burlesque makeup look, and precision lining can help you achieve fuller-looking lips. To create the illusion of fuller lips, use a lip liner that matches your lipstick shade or is slightly darker. Start by outlining your natural lip shape, then slightly overline the top lip and round out the cupid’s bow for a more pronounced pout. Blending the lip liner with a lip brush can further enhance the fullness of your lips and create a seamless base for your lipstick.

To ensure a flawless finish, it’s vital to sharpen your lip liner before each use to maintain precision and prevent smudging. Additionally, consider using a clear lip liner to prevent feathering and keep your lipstick in place throughout your performance.

Understanding The Art of Applying Lipstick for Longevity

An important aspect of achieving the perfect retro look is mastering the art of applying lipstick for longevity. To ensure your lipstick stays put throughout your burlesque performance, start by prepping your lips with a lip primer or foundation to create a smooth base. Next, apply your lipstick using a lip brush for precision and even coverage. Blot your lips with a tissue, then reapply a second coat for long-lasting color.

This technique not only ensures your lipstick stays vibrant for longer but also helps prevent feathering and smudging. To enhance the longevity of your lipstick further, consider setting it with a translucent powder or a setting spray for a flawless finish that lasts all night.

Setting the Scene

After carefully applying your burlesque makeup to achieve the perfect retro look, it’s time to set the scene with the right hair styling to complement your glamorous appearance. A key element in completing your burlesque ensemble, your hairstyle can enhance the overall vintage feel and add an extra touch of authenticity to your look.

Hair Styling Tips to Complement the Makeup

  • Consider iconic burlesque hairstyles such as victory rolls, pin curls, or a classic bouffant to elevate your retro look.
  • Accessorize your hair with vintage-inspired hairpieces like feather fascinators or decorative hair combs for that extra flair.

Recognizing that the right hairstyle can make all the difference in capturing the essence of burlesque, focus on achieving a polished and sophisticated look that ties in seamlessly with your makeup and outfit.

Accessorizing Your Burlesque Look

Complementing your burlesque makeup with the appropriate accessories is vital to complete your vintage-inspired ensemble. From statement jewelry to elegant gloves, each accessory plays a vital role in enhancing your overall burlesque look and capturing the glamour of the era.

Styling your look with bold statement pieces like chandelier earrings or a sparkling necklace can add a touch of sophistication and luxury to your burlesque outfit. Additionally, consider incorporating items such as satin opera gloves or a feather boa to elevate your look and embody the drama and extravagance of burlesque performance.

Bringing It All Together

Your Burlesque Eye Makeup Tips for Beginners should now be perfected, and it’s time to complete your full burlesque look. Let’s probe a comprehensive guide to achieve a flawless retro appearance that will turn heads wherever you go.

Step-by-Step Tutorial for a Complete Burlesque Look

Step 1Apply a matte foundation that matches your skin tone for a flawless base.
Step 2Define your brows with a brow pencil or powder for a bold, vintage look.

Tips and Tricks for Touch-Ups and Quick Changes

One important tip for maintaining your burlesque look throughout the night is to carry a small touch-up kit with you. Include compact powder, lipstick, and a small mirror for quick fixes. The key to a successful burlesque makeup look is to keep it fresh and vibrant, so don’t be afraid to touch up when needed.

  • Quick touch-ups can make a big difference in maintaining your retro glamour.

Tips and Tricks for Touch-Ups and Quick Changes

Tricks to keep your burlesque makeup looking flawless include using setting spray to keep everything in place and prevent smudging. Additionally, carrying blotting papers can help control any excess oil and shine that may develop throughout the day or night. The key is to be prepared and have the right tools on hand to maintain your burlesque beauty.

  • Effortless touch-ups will ensure that your retro look stays picture-perfect all day or night.


Presently, burlesque makeup tutorials are a popular way for individuals to achieve the perfect retro look. By following these step-by-step guides, anyone can transform themselves into a glamorous and seductive burlesque performer. From the bold eye makeup to the classic red lips, these tutorials provide all the tips and tricks needed to master the art of burlesque beauty.

Whether you’re preparing for a themed party or just looking to add a touch of vintage glamour to your everyday makeup routine, these tutorials offer a wealth of inspiration and guidance. With the right products and techniques, you can channel the spirit of iconic burlesque performers and bring a sense of old-school Hollywood glamour to your own look.

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