After having so very much fun doing makeup inspired by desserts for Valentine’s Day, I have decided to start doing other beauty looks that use fun things as a reference point to start with. Each week, I will be doing a different tutorial with a new theme, and this week, that theme is comic strips. More specifically, comic heroin Brenda Starr of Brenda Starr, Reporter, created in 1940 by an awesome female illustrator and writer named Dale Messick.

Brenda was a character ahead of her time: she held a great job, had sexy romances and wore stylish clothes. She married a fellah with an eye patch, divorced him and became tight with his new wife. She was a far cry from the passive, demure ingenues written into most comics — you know, the stereotypical “always needing to be saved” characters who cringed at blood and were constantly carried over shoulders by the men who did all the actual interesting stuff. But Brenda Starr had responsibilities and dimensions, opinions and thoughts.

Plus, she was super glamorous, making her a perfect candidate to copy!

So, if you’re planning doing a similar look, start with a clean and moisturized face. When it comes to more dramatic makeup, this is especially important because otherwise, you’ll look cakey and overdone.

Apply foundation, concealer, BB cream, CC cream or whatever else you do to even out your complexion. I personally use Smashbox BB Cream, MAC Pro Longwear Concealer and Make Up Forever HD Powder. By the way, I apologize in advance for the grainy iPhone photos; my DSLR is presently incapacitated until next week, when it shall return!

This is how I started. I am indeed anemic.

This is how I started after base. I am indeed an anemic alien.

Next, use your fingers to apply some cream blush, concentrating on the tops of cheekbones rather than just the apples. For a longer-lasting, more dramatic cheek (a la comics, in general), use a bit of sheer hot pink powder blush, as well.


An anemic alien with a neck rash.

Besame and Smashbox.

Besame and Smashbox.

For the eyes, apply a bright turquoise shadow all over the lid, then lightly blend upwards. Add jet black liquid liner (I used Urban Decay 24/7) that tapers to a wide shape outwards, then wing it in a curved shape to mimic a large outer lash. Add one coat of Lancome lash primer on upper lashes, then two coats of Smashbox black mascara on upper lashes, tilting the brush vertically on the second coat.

The makeup I used.

(From top) Smashbox, Smashbox, Lancome, Anastasia, Sonia Kashuk, Clinique.

Note: I personally don’t love false eyelashes and they make my eyes water, so I didn’t use any here, but if you’re a fan, feel free to go for it!

As for the brows, be sure to fill in any sparse spots. I chose to accentuate my arches with a little extra Clinique brow powder in a medium brown (slightly lighter than the natural hair to avoid looking overdone) at the most angular spot, then brushed them into place using Anastasia brow gel.

eyes 2

Yes, I know I need to pluck/wax.

Yes, I know I need to pluck/wax.

Apply lip balm (I used Nivea) to make your mouth softer and more supple. Because her lips are a rounded, exaggerated shape, you should use a lip liner the same color as your lip tone and apply it in a smooth line, emphasizing the Cupid’s bow. If you’re comfortable with it, you can even go slightly outside of your lip (very slightly — seriously — because this can look too cray cray if you go too far). Fill in with liner, then add a bit more lip balm to keep your pout from looking dry. The liner I used here was Rimmel Exaggerate Liner in Epic.


Let down your hair, brush it out and voila! You’re all done. Give a little wink, you sassy heroin, you. (I would now post a photo of me winking, but all the ones I took just look like I have something on my contact.)

me 1

Oh, hello MySpace angles, it’s nice to see you here.

You got that right, kid.