Intro to Pin-Up with #squadbettie

Just starting out in pin-up? Looking for new tips, tricks or ideas? Want to be a part of a positive community?

We had a candid discussion about all things pin-up with three knowledgeable and established pin-up models and one very talented hair and makeup artist.  (Plus we had burlesque performer and vintage clothing aficionado, Maid Marian!)


Our class started off with Mod Bettie’s own resident rockstar and vintage styling queen, Jen Bartlett.  Jen walked the class through a quick hair and makeup styling session with model Catherine Sercy. There was SO much great information presented.  Here’s a simplified list of Jen’s Dos/Don’ts and a few tricks:

  • Always pin your curls after curling and let them dry

  • Don’t force it-- your hair, relationships or that last slice of pizza

  • Hats, hair flowers, and scarves can be great tools for unruly hair

  • Might be a good idea to have a glass of wine handy

  • Let your eyelash glue set before attaching them, your lashes will stay on better and you won’t end up with clumpy glue on your eyelid

  • The black eyelash glue is nice, but it burns if you get it in your eyes

  • When using liner or doing your brows, think of them as sisters or cousins; they do not have to be twins.  Don’t stress, have a sip of that wine

  • Classic lip colors: Red (duh), pink, orange, and coral

  • Makeup, soft and matte

  • ABOVE ALL: have fun with it and make it your own.  Do what makes YOU feel amazing

Check out Jen’s makeup tutorial:

Next, blogger and self-described pin-up princess, Sassy Scarlett, talked a little bit about the history of pin-ups and styling.  Pin-up got its start in the late 1800s. Through the liberation of women in the 1920s with the flapper movement, the 40s with their empowerment in the workforce during WWII, and the sexual revolution of women in the 60s, being a pin-up is ALL about feminism.   

Pin-up fashion does not have to be expensive.  Checkout antique stores, thrift stores, and garage sales. If you are looking for something special, there are lots of amazing online shops and local seamstresses that can help.  If you are local, we recommend Sew Retro Fashions and Iconoclasp. You can accentuate your look with vintage accents like broaches, parasols, scarves, purses, and tiny dogs (if that’s your thing).  Just as with hair and makeup, make it your own. Wear what makes you feel great! Find your style and rock it.

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Pin-up Godmother Valerie Voiture walked us through classic pin-up posing.  Val’s step-by-step guide:

  1. Make a V with your feet, move foot A in to the curve of foot B

  2. Slight bend in the knee of foot A

  3. Pop your hip/butt and put the weight on to leg B.  Shoulders back, tits up!

  4. Hand B on your natural waist, hand A is free to position elsewhere

  5. Pretend that you are holding an orange in each hand

  6. Turn your body slightly to the side.  Not straight on, not completely on the side.  45 degree angle

  7. Eyes at 2, 4, 7, and 11 (Think old-school clock with hands.).

  8. Mouth the vowels to get different classic pin-up expressions. A,E,I,O & U

  9. BREATHE, maybe grab that glass of wine again

It can be difficult to remember all the steps, but remembering the most important -  pop the butt and hips, shoulders back, and breathe - your photos and stage presence will improve greatly!!

Pictured below is Valerie demonstrating proper form. Photographer: Roy Varga


Now that you have the tools, you are ready to attend pin-up events or compete in a contest. Mod Bettie’s resident pin-up model, Trixie VonHopps, talked all things contests.  Pin-up contests can be amazing opportunities to make friends, get inspiration, and (possibly) win awesome prizes! Remember, it is just as important to be a gracious loser as well as a gracious winner.  Contests should be fun. Just by getting up on that stage, you are SO brave. Remember to rock your individual style and be true to yourself.

What should you bring with you to pin-up contests?  Here are some suggestions for your Go-Bag:

  • Bobby pins, a small comb, hairspray

  • Safety pins

  • An extra pair of shoes (flats)

  • Eyelash glue

  • A mirror

  • Lipstick

  • Makeup wipes

  • Gum, snacks, water

We hope to see all of you stunning pin-ups at our Mod Bettie Pin-up contest!

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Vodka welcome.
Vulnerability encouraged.

You've seen posts, read the comments and heard statements like, "Selfies are so vain," "Why does she take so many pictures of herself?" "Who does she think she is?"


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