Beauty & Lifestyle

Get the Swingstar look

My crush on all things vintage doesn’t just extend to fashion. The trill of trumpets, the infectious rolls of drums and sultry vocals of swing music are one of the few sounds that will actually get these uncoordinated toes tapping and jazz fingers fluttering. So, when I saw the Swingstar Mansion event invite pop into my Facebook inbox for this coming Saturday 25 October, it was an instant ‘yes’. Centered around the album launch of Cape Town-based band The Swingsetters, the event looks like it’s going to be quite the spectacle, with live bands, burlesque, fire breathers, swing dancers and more. With such an awesome event on the cards, there’s just no way I go without looking the part. So I enlisted the help of makeup artist extraordinaire Quaanita Abrahams of Onq Makeup, to create the effect I was after. While there are a few different styles that one can associate with Swing culture (which was at its height in the 1930s), obviously I went with the pin-up iteration (obviously). So, without further ado:

How to get the pin-up makeup look:

There are four basic characteristics of the pin-up look that make it rock. 1. Flawless skin 2. Winged eyeliner 3. Arched eyebrows 4. Red lips

What you need:

IMG_1962.JPG Qaanita is like the Mary Poppins of makeup. She just keeps pulling new goodies out of her bag. Included in my look were:

  • Gosh CC Cream Illuminating Foundation – lightweight, oil-free formulation and is packed with pigment to even out the complexion which adds a luminosity to the complexion that lifts and perfects your skin.
  • MAC Mineralize skin finish in light – To set the foundation and also to give skin a light porcelain glow
  • MAC Prep+Prime – soothes the skin, blots away excess oil, and evens out skin redness. Improves application of foundation or powder.
  • Smashbox Iconic Photo Finish Foundation Primer – preps skin to create a perfect canvas for flawless foundation application which is used to give you beautiful mattefinish complexion.
  • Clicks full set lashes – elongates your lashes and gives that desired flirt & prominent effect.
  • Inglot Gel liner paste in jet black – to create winged eye which is critical for this look.
  • MAC liquid liner fine tip – makes eyes more dramatic which is used to create a perfect cat eye.
  • MAC Mascara Haute Naught Lash –  few coats gives an intense dramatic feel
  • Estee Lauder Brow powder in dark brown – to shape eyebrows
  • MAC Blush peach – defines your cheekbones and used to bring out and give a precision cheekbone structure with blush effect.
  • NYX lipliner – ensures that the product lasts and does not go outside the lines which makes it for a long lasting stay.
  • NYX Red Matt Lipstick – is  statement for this look which gives your lips fuller & desirable effect.
  • MAC Mineralize Charged Water Hydrating Mist Finishing spray  – sets the entire look and makes the  makeup last longer.


 1. Prepare the skin

Key to this look is flawless skin. Start by applying moisturizer. Prepared skin for makeup with moisturizer, then add a primer (e.g. the Photofinish Primer by Inglot and/or Prep and Prime powder MAC that we used). Use a brush to apply foundation all over and blend along the neck. Set with a natural satin finish powder. Apply a light, natural looking blush to the apple of the cheeks, sweeping back to the temple.

2. Add winged liner

Prepare the eye with concealer and setting powder. Apply a eyeshadow in a natural shade across the lid. Use a gel liner with brush to create your winged line, sharpening it up with a liquid liner pen. Follow the natural curve of your eye, as seen below. Add a coating of mascara. IMG_1963.JPG

3. Arch dem eyebrows

Using an eyebrow powder and angle brush, fill in the brows and darken them. Give your brows that je nais se arch with an eye pencil in a matching colour. 

4. Paint your lips red

Using the lipliner, outline the lips, then colour them in slightly. This will help the colour to last longer and prevent smudging or bleeding. Fill in with a matt lipstick for ruby red lips to delight in. IMG_1965.JPG

5. Finishing touches

You’re almost ready to go! Just add that fluttertastic falsies and a spritz of finishing spray and you’re good to go. Badda-bing, badda-boom! IMG_1951-0.JPG


Take some body positivity, add some plus-size fashion and lifestyle, sprinkle with humour and quirk, top with pearls and you have

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