Classy beauty tips from pinup star Vanity Kills.
I adore make-up, it's any woman's best friend and I wish more women were confident to experiment with it.
I apply my Chanel liquid foundation using a foundation brush for a very fine but flawless finish. Concealer is a must for anyone to even out the complexion. I like a matte finish to my face so I use the palest loose powder by Nars - finding foundation and powder to match my complexion has been a trial!
I draw in my very distinctive eyebrows every day with an eyebrow pencil. I then set this with a dark eyeshadow. This is not for everyone! However, defining your brows can really change the whole look of your face. I like to wear a champagne colour eyeshadow over the whole lid area (my favourite at the moment is "Midnight Cowgirl Rides Again" by Urban Decay), with a lighter shimmery powder over the brow bone to lift the eyes. I always wear black liquid eyeliner by Ruby & Millie, to line my eyes, extending well past the outer lashes to create very feline flicks.
During the day I like to wear a nude lipstick with moisturising properties. This is classy without being showy, and helps prepare my lips for the red lipstick I prefer to wear in the evening. I love matte red lipsticks and must own about 50 of them. My absolute favourite is MAC "Russian Red. I always put foundation and powder under my lipstick to prevent it wearing off or bleeding, and always use lipliner and "Lipcote".
My toenails are always painted red and I like to paint my fingernails in a vintage manicure style for shows, with gold moons and the rest a vibrant red.
Like all burlesque performers, I just love false eyelashes! I have tens of pairs. I always wear Eyelure lashes for evenings out. If you're not confident enough to wear the full "strip" on your eye, then a good tip is to cut them in half and wear them on the outer corners of your eyes. It makes you look very feline but is also very subtle. For shows I wear 2 inch long lashes from Charles Fox. Nothing is too much for onstage!
I also like to wear a pearlescent body powder from MAC for shows, to give me that extra sparkle.
I don't believe in dressing down, but when travelling to or from a show lugging suitcases it is a necessary evil so I tend to wear plain wrap dresses and ballet pumps - the only time you will ever find me in flat shoes!
I make almost all of my costumes myself - in burlesque you have to be very creative and handy with a needle and thread or glue gun! If you must buy underwear or similar "off the peg" for a costume then you should transform it with fringing, sequins, glitter etc. I am obsessed with anything that sparkles or shimmers, but for my stage costumes only Swarovski crystals will do. At Hogmanay I performed an homage to Dita Von Teese, and my costume was a gorgeous burgundy colour. I stuck over 5000 crystals to the costume by hand myself, as well as making hundreds of fake feathers out of chiffon. Burlesque is truly a labour of love!
My overall look is very 1940s - corsets and pencil skirts with gloves, seamed stockings and cute little hats. I do however flirt with 50s fashion and I am obsessed with latex clothing and uniforms. I absolutely adore dressing up and will take any opportunity to do so. Heels are an absolute must. Try buying heels with a slight platform if you find that regular heels hurt you - platforms are much kinder to the feet!
Day to day I am inclined to wear my hair down with a quiff, in a 50s style high ponytail or in a 1940s style bun.
For nights out or shows I usually wear it in a 1940s style wave, similar to that of Dita Von Teese. I love to wear crystal hairclips and fake flowers to dress it up. I also have a stock of fantastic, good quality hairpieces which I love to wear to change my hair length or style. These are a godsend if you are travelling to perform somewhere far away and don't have time to do your hair (or don't wish to travel in rollers!).
If you would like to find out more about Vanity Kills, please visit her myspace. Photography by Alan Cox Photography, Lorenzo Dalberto and Desova/Murray Anderson.