Make Your Look POP: Lichtenstein-Inspired Beauty

Published on May 24, 2014 by   ·   1 Comment

I adore Roy Lichtenstein and his fabulous comics-inspired artwork!  I’ve seen Lichtenstein-inspired makeup before, but I decided that I wanted to create a post collecting some images of looks people have put together as well as makeup tutorials to help you create the look yourself!  For those times when you aren’t feeling quite so avante garde (I mean, dots all over your face just doesn’t mesh well with a PTA meeting!), I’ll also include some ideas for putting a little POP! into your everyday makeup routine!

For those who don’t know Roy Lichtenstein of the Pop Art movement…well, shame on you!  His work is absolutely fabulous!  Here is a sampling of some of his more famous images:

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Lichtenstein used a lot of primary colors and the style of comic books to bright, powerful images, many of women facing relationship problems – a lot of people don’t know about the early history of comic books which included a lot of romance story comics aimed at women, before comics became so heavily focused on spandex-clad superheroes!  Not only are his pieces colorful and provocative, they also translate well into fabulous avante garde or costume makeup looks!

One of the signatures of Lichtenstein’s pieces is the use of dots to create a skin tone – this is taken from the comics themselves: because early comics had limits in the variety of ink colors available, they would use dots with white spaces in between to create lighter colors, especially for skin tones.  For those who want a true Lichtenstein look, that’s the first thing to consider: dots!  Many people stick with the usual Lichtenstein red dots:

0000000000 Lichtenstein Oh Alright LookThat look is definitely a more complex look, as she also used a white foundation all over her skin to mimic the white canvas Lichtenstein created his pieces on.  That’s dedication!  You can also help enhance the look without going full on Ben Nye Clown White by mixing a lighter foundation to lighten up your skin tone.  In addition to the dots, another important thing to remember to create a true Lichtenstein reproduction on your face is the bold, true black lines that defined the edges and contours of the face.  The most effective recreations feature strong black around the edges of the face, the brows, around the lips, etc.:

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If you really want to take your look in a bold direction, Lichtenstein used blue to indicate shadows on faces, and a look that incorporates this detail will definitely show off your makeup skills!

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Want to create a Lichtenstein-esque look and make it your own?  You could always mix up the colors!  In the photo below, the artist used white dots instead of the traditional red (this works best on medium to light skintones) and used bright pink and purple for the lips and eyes in place of the traditional primary colors.  A Pop Art look with a fun twist!

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Who says that Lichtenstein looks can only be for the ladies?  Many of the women in his pieces were worrying about their relationships with shady fellas like Brad and Jeff, so why not transform the man in your life into a fabulous Pop Art Prince (or Playboy!) and make it a couple’s costume!

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And don’t forget that accessories can be just as effective in putting together a great costume look as the makeup itself!  I love this photo for the use of the speech bubble headband and the phone.  Fabulous!

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I love looking at photos of great makeup looks, but even better is the ability to see what the artist is doing and what products they are using to create their sensational transformation.  I’ve included a number of tutorials from YouTube that I think present great Lichtenstein makeup looks and different ways of doing them.  Enjoy!

The first video is a great basic Lichtenstein look with a natural foundation base.  The video below is a much more costume-y/editorial look that features blue shadows and a white foundation base:

Who says Lichtenstein looks are only for white girls?!  I love this tutorial because I think makeup looks and cosplay and the like should be open to new interpretations by people of whatever race, skintone, gender, and body size – it’s not about creating an exact replica (although that can be fun, too) but about enjoying yourself, playing with your favorite characters and looks, and showing some love to the body you have!  For another perspective on this, check out an amazing blog by Briana Lawrence HERE.

Yasmine Alom has created a very short but very useful video that shows an AMAZING Pop Art lip look, and this would make a great standalone makeup project to try out or use her techniques to complement your Lichtenstein look for a flawless Pop pucker!

I love all of these looks, but not everyone can rock this crazy look at the office or their kid’s piano recital.  Want to add some Lichtenstein-esque glam to your usual makeup routine?  The key is primary colors!  Lichtenstein’s signature colors are red, yellow, and blue with strong black and white accents.  Try a bold eye look with yellow and blue shadows and a Marilyn Monroe red lip.  Dynamite!  Yellow has been a pretty on trend color for the last couple of years, so it should be hard to find bright, true yellow eyeshadows.  Makeup forever has a great bright yellow shadow single, and a matching Aqua Cream; if you picked up their Techni-Color palette from a year or so ago, you also have a pretty fabulous yellow to work with.

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Sephora’s house brand also has “The It Palette” currently which has a great yellow, though it does tend to run toward the pastel a bit so I would recommend using an eye primer with it, and maybe even putting down a thin layer of NYX’s jumbo eye pencil in milk to help it hold the color; putting it over the Makeup Forever yellow Aqua Cream would be simply divine!  The Sephora palette is still available in store and online at as of this writing.

000000000000 Yellow Sephora

Luscious red lips?  Yes, please!  There is no better way to get a pop of Pop Art than to go with a classic red lip – true red, cherry red, fire engine red!  Whatever you want to call it, you want a nice primary red without too much blue tone in it to create a fabulous pouty lip.  Instead of outlining in the same color, think about using a darker red, like a wine or maroon, to echo the strong lines of the comic book without going total drag queen and using black!

And nobody said you had to be limited to your face!  Nail Art is HUGE right now, and what better way to show off your Pop Art passion than through a great manicure!

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I love both of the looks above, but this one really tickled me – it captures the Pop Art look with only red, blue, and white.  From far away, it might just look like a mixed polka dot manicure, but up close you get the Pop Art feel.  Delicious!

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However you decide to Pop your look, just have fun with color and create a fabulous look that you really enjoy.  Makeup is supposed to be fun, and what could be more fun than the super-satured primary Pop Art looks of Roy Lichtenstein?!

Now Go Forth And Get Painted!

0000000000 Lichtenstein White Dots

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