The dress diaries: makeup moguls and iconic inspirations

Jeffree Star Lipstick image

Marilyn Monroe once said, “Give a girl the right pair of shoes and she'll conquer the world.”
And, paired with the right bold lipstick, she’ll conquer the universe.

Makeup is the expression of self. It’s our best face forward (literally), and the opportunity to accentuate our features, or completely change ourselves into someone we wouldn’t usually be.

I’m in awe of vintage makeup and hair looks, inspired by 1950s starlets like Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly. The post-war 1950s meant women were more experimental with their appearances, and made the shift from the subtle beauty of the 1940s to something a lot more chic, elegant and bold. The classic 1950s look just screamed glamour and helped define the era.

At Sarsparilly, we’re all about having fun, being ourselves and wearing our true colours—be that printed fabric or eyeliner.

I’ve worked around the clock, gone through a few too many makeup wipes and have watched ALL the YouTube makeup and hair tutorials to come up with some killer vintage inspired and rockabilly looks that’ll turn some heads and drop some serious jaws.


Jaw Drop Gif

Image sourced from


Here’s my top three Sarsparilly makeup looks for your style books:


1. Classic: Beauty, grace and cateyes


She Walks in Beauty Moodboard image

Collage images sourced from


As classic as Elizabeth Taylor, the defined brow, black winged eyeliner and bold red lip will never go out of style. It’s timeless, and works with so many different faces and features.

Our She Walks in Beauty dress is a picnic with your sweetheart, or brunch on a Sunday followed by an afternoon stroll. The pretty rockabilly style and dainty attitude of this dress just begs for the classic winged liner and a red lip, à la Marilyn Monroe in the 1955 film, “The Seven Year Itch”... cue subway grate breeze.

I recommend accentuating your natural skin tone and creating an even and flawless finish with not too much contour or blush to really make that cateye go “meow.” As you can imagine, this porcelain skin look was a must for this era. A 50s babe wouldn’t be caught dead without her compact and puff for when she needed to pop to the ladies’ room and ‘powder her nose’.

As red lips go, the bold effect of a red lipstick is well known to be showstopping. It’s no lie that red is considered to be one of the sexiest colours. An article from Stylish Lady explains that during World War II, cosmetic production was banned in the UK. Well, except for one: red lipstick. Winston Churchill made an exception for red lipstick as he thought that it “raised the morale of the population”.

I recommend Lip Ammunition by Jeffree Star Cosmetics, in the shade Redrum. This bullet shaped lippy is the perfect addition to your makeup bag that will arm you for the day. Pow!

Style this look with the Rockabilly Quiff and some soft curls, and you’re ready to go.


Jeffree Star Cosmetics Redrum Lipstick image

Jeffree Star Cosmetics - Lip Ammunition in Redrum


2. Grunge: Shadows, smokey eyes and pouts


The Perfect Storm Moodboard image

Collage images sourced from


The Force is with us with the The Perfect Storm dress. I’m fast forwarding the clock a few decades here, and drawing inspiration from the 1990s grunge makeup era.

In an article by LEAFtv, 90s grunge makeup is described as “slept-in, heavily-applied black eyeliner, [and] (sometimes smeared) red lipstick and black nail polish. Lips that weren't red often were a dark metallic colour.”

To be honest, you can never go past a smokey eye. Lots of deep brown shadows, and the right pair of fluffy lashes, will increase the flirtiness and drama to the eyes. Smudged dark eyeliner on the upper and lower lash line increases this dramatic effect, and finally finished off with a deep-toned lipstick to draw attention to the pout of the lip.

I’m hugely crushing on the work of @lupscuevas, especially this amazing dark and grungy look. Major Wednesday Addams vibes here. What do you think?


Makeup Artist Instagram image

@lupescuevas on Instagram


I recommend Tattoo Liner by Kat Von D in the shade Black Trooper. This liner is destined to give you the perfect definition to the eye every single time, no matter how shaky the grip.

Pair this sultry and smokey look with a voluminous 1950s Ponytail to draw attention to the gorgeous dark tones of the eyes and lips.


Kat Von D Beauty Eyeliner Image

Kat Von D Beauty - Tattoo Liner in Trooper


3. Colour: Vibrant, playful and bold


The State Fair Moodboard image

Collage images sourced from


At Sarsparilly, colour is a huge inspiration for my design, and also plays a big part in my life. Without colour, we wouldn’t have the same experience of retro neon nail polish and old school treats like gummy bears, love hearts and candy bracelets, #vintage.

The State Fair skirt is my perfect representation of colourful fun. It’s riding the ferris wheel, biting into a delicious candy apple, munching on sugary cotton candy and winning a three-times-the-size-of-you bear from the arcade.

Carnivals are all about bright lights, multi coloured signs and colourful foods. I love pairing bright, fun and expressive eyeshadow looks with this skirt. It accentuates the fun and liveliness of the print, and takes you right back to summer evenings at the fun fair.

Experiment with this one. Use your favourite colours and create some exciting and dramatic looks to best show your personality and individuality.

I’m so inspired by @swayzemorgan on Instagram. She creates vibrant looks that are crazy-fun to duplicate and experiment with. Take a look at this bright look she created that I think will pair perfectly with this skirt.


Makeup Artist Instagram Image

@swayzemorgan on Instagram


I’m also loving the pressed eyeshadows by Sugarpill Cosmetics, like this beautiful coral shade, Suburbia. These eyeshadows are guaranteed to bring a fun, playful pop to your eye look. They make for awesome transition shades, or pops of colour for the outer corners or lower lash line.

Combine this colourful creation with 1950s Victory Rolls and a beautiful printed head scarf to match.


Sugarpill Cosmetics Eyeshadow image

Sugarpill Cosmetics - pressed eyeshadow in Suburbia


With the makeup industry evolving more and more into a place of inclusion and individuality, there has never been a better time to create and try crazy, out-there looks. Remember, makeup is merely a mask that you can wash off at the end of the day. Crooked eyeliner? It’s a quick fix with a makeup wipe, or rock it with confidence like I know you can… (it’s called crooked chic, it’s totally hot in Milan right now…)

So, to all my Sarsparilly women, go forth with your new found makeup knowledge and show off your true colours. Do you have any looks you’ve paired with one of our gorgeous dresses or skirts? We’d love to see them! Use the hashtag #sarsparillystyle on Instagram so we can admire them.

Until then, may your wing be sharp, and your brow on fleek.


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