Pinup Pageant Guide: Planning your Hair and Makeup

When it comes to pageants of any kind, your grooming is always very important. Pinup pageants generally don’t give points for physical beauty, but some are awarded for hair and makeup mainly depending on how close to vintage it is. Of course, you may be thinking that you are not an amazing hair stylist and will lose points but I assure you, judges know this and will not deduct points for a few stray hairs.

Basic Makeup for a Pageant
When it comes to your makeup for a pageant, my best recommendation is keeping the look clean. You don’t have to go crazy with mad colours and the longest wings you can do, just keep is clean and simple. Look after your skin a few days before the pageant so your foundation sits well on your skin and isn’t flakey. Personally, I prefer to look matte over dewy so I will always make sure I have my face powdered to avoid shine but that’s up to you. A bit of blush will also warm up your complexion. If you aren’t confident with contour, don’t worry about it too much; I’d much rather see you looking clean and fresh as opposed to blotchy and unblended.

Miss MonMon during a pinup pageant in 2019

For your eyes, I’d recommend the classic wing. Yes I know it may be a bit daunting but if you can practice for a few weeks before hand, you might just boost your confidence. Of course, you can always try something like the Quick Flick which can help your makeup come pageant day. You don’t have to wear winged eyeliner, especially if you prefer a more natural look or a more 1940’s look, so it’s completely up to you. I’d recommend sticking with complimentary and neutral tones when it comes to eyeshadow. If all the attention is on your bright coloured eye makeup, it can be really distracting. If you do want to ham up your eyes a bit, you can add a bit of sparkle to your shadow. Keep in mind that glitter can get a bit messy so I like to use the Urban Decay Heavy Metal glitter liners as they are cosmetic grade glitter liners which leave no mess and don’t get everywhere.

I do recommend false eyelashes if you can handle them as they can really brighten up your eyes and make them look wide. On stage, you are quite far away so false lashes can really aid in your appearance from a distance and add fullness to your lashes. I have been trying out some magnetic lashes as I’m not that great with normal lash glue and find them easier so give them ago. Don’t go too bold with the lashes, you want fullness, not spider legs that reach your forehead.

I’d always suggest a red lip as it’s classic, elegant and suits most complexions. You can get various shades of red depending on your skin tone, personally I go for a blue-red over a yellow-red as it suits my skin better. For pageants, I generally opt for a liquid lip as I find the colour is super bold, it doesn’t budge and it can last for several hours.

Miss MonMon at the Miss Sou’West Vintage Fest 2017

Hair Styling for Pageants
Don’t worry, this is the part I find the most daunting too. I am not a hair stylist and my hair styling skills are pretty basic so doing my hair for a pageant can be a bit stressful as I never know what my hair is going to do. I do recommend putting a curl into your hair of some kind as it reflects the style of the 40’s and 50’s which is where most pageants draw their inspiration from. Sometimes a simple victory roll or a pair of victory rolls can be a great hair style if you have the skills but something as simple as a bumper bang can also be enough.
You don’t have to do anything overly extravagant with your hair; sometimes simple is best. A single roll at the front of your hair and a high ponytail at the back can be perfect for a pageant look if you are going for a simple style or theme. A brush out can be enough for an evening look as can an up-do.

Miss MonMon’s hair and makeup for Miss Sou’West 2018

Try to make your hair big. On stage, the bigger you can get it, the better as the audience will be able to see it. Get lots of tease and product into your hair so it stand up and forms the shape you want with ease. If your hair is like mine and it can flatten quickly, tease it to Jesus! Get it as high as you can and use lots of spray. Your hair will need to last and hold for several hours so spray it until it becomes a helmet.

If your hair is looking a bit plain, whip out the hair accessories. As mentioned in the post about styling your outfit, you hair can also be a great part of your outfit to accessories. A simple hair style can be boosted through the use of a hair scarf or a hair flower. It may also help in smoothing out and hiding lumps and bumps in the hair. A big hair flower can also make a simple style really fun and exciting. If you are struggling with a brush out as opposed to an undo, a thin hair net can help calm your frizz and stop your brush out from falling and dropping.

Miss MonMon at one of her better hair days for the Miss Dirty Love 2018

Wearing fake hair can be a bit of a controversial topic but I’m going to include it. Before you go ahead and buy a wig for a pageant or any fake hair, contact the event organisers and ask if it’s ok. Some pageants require the girls to style their own hair from start to finish so using an already styled hair piece is not recommended. Other pageants allow fake hair as long as your record yourself styling it.
Some pageants do not care if you wear fake hair (as long as you’ve styled it) as it can really be helpful to girls who really struggle or cannot style their own hair due to medical reasons. One of my favourite pinups cannot lift her arms above her shoulders so she can’t curl her hair. But she can style a wig and get a friend to help her put it on; she should not lose points because she can’t lift her arms.

When a pageant has several rounds, changing your hair slightly between rounds can really boost your score with the judges. It shows you have hair styling skills and can bring different looks to the stage. Be smart about your hair styling for various rounds; If I can start with a poodle style and not comb out my curls, I can save that for future rounds. Use your skills to your advantage and practice doing your hair styles quickly at home from one style to another. You might have to change it on the day if your hair is not playing ball so have a back up. It’s a bit stressful to change your hair between rounds but I think it’s worth it as pageant day is always the day to bring your skills to the table.

Miss MonMon madly trying to change her hair for the second round of Miss Memphis Vintage 2019

As fiddly and stressful as it can be, hair and makeup are really important when it comes to pageants. These skills are things that take practice so don’t leave it to the night before to start watching video tutorials on brush outs and wet sets. If you have a style you have mastered, do it for the pageant. Find what makes you comfortable, make it big and clean, and have fun with your hair and makeup. Good luck with your pageant!

This post is part of a Pinup Pageant Guide mini-series. Feel free to find more posts from this series here:
-Writing a Pinup Bio
-Sending in Pinup Pageant Applications
How to Plan a Routine
-Planning your Pageant Outfits
-Planning your Pageant Hair and Makeup
-Using Props on Stage
-Posing on Stage
-What to do on Stage – COMING SOON
-What to Pack for Pinup Pageant Day – COMING SOON
-Pageant Etiquette – COMING SOON


Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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