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Pin-Up Eyeliner Can Make Any Look a Modern Classic—and These 15 Examples Prove It

Rihanna wears winged liquid liner and burgundy lipstick

It’s no secret that makeup trends come, go, and come back around again. While certain beauty tips have dominated specific decades, several trends have transcended their original eras to remain relevant today when it comes to doing our makeup.

Pin-up eyeliner debuted as a top-tier makeup trend in the ’50s, yet the look remains classic as ever. Using your favorite liquid liner in collaboration with the rest of your eye makeup look, the technique makes your eyes pop as if you’re one of the mid-century beauty icons that remain inspirations today. And in the modern era, you have more possibilities than ever: Be sure to play with color, shape, and level of drama to create a look that feels true to you.

Ahead, we’ve compiled a lust-worthy list of pin-up eyeliner looks that will have you reaching for your liquid eyeliner, stat.

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Chic Classic

Amy Adams wears a subtle liquid eyeliner look with warm-toned eyeshadow
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Chic, classic liquid eyeliner paired with subtle shadow and shaped eyebrows is all you need to complete your pin-up-inspired makeup look. The glossy lips add a modern touch that’s suitable for any special occasion.

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Red Carpet Worthy

Choi Hee-Jin wears liquid eyeliner and red lipstick
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Gorgeous pin-up eyeliner paired with a red lip is as classic as it gets. There’s nothing more you need to add. This makeup look is always a good idea if you’re not sure what to wear and need a staple that looks great each and every time, no matter the event or occasion.

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Make it Modern

Livia Nunes Marques wears a classic smoky eye and nude lipstick
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Take your pin-up eyeliner look to the next level by making it modern with a touch of smoky eyeshadow. While smoky eyes can be intimidating at first, the more you practice blending your shadow, the better you’ll get. This dresses up your eye makeup in a way that separates it from classic liner looks, yet the liner is still visible and gives your look a timeless feel.

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Double the Liner, Double the Fun

Jessica Wang wears a black and white double-lined eyeliner look
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We love a creative take on classic makeup looks, which is why this double-layered liquid liner moment is so intriguing. Apply black liquid liner to the base of the lash line, then follow up with a white eyeliner right above it, mimicking the exact shape for a double liner look that blows everyone away. Not into white? You can pair this liner look with any color of your choosing.

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Stunning Combo

Eva Longoria wears liquid eyeliner, pink lipstick, and emerald earrings
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Pair your liquid liner with a bold lip and you’ve got a stunning combo that’s sure to turn heads. The liner, brows, and lips all work so well together, and there’s nothing we would change about it.

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Nothing Else Needed

Rihanna wears liquid eyeliner and burgundy lipstick
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As classic as it gets, this makeup look gives a lot of pin-up eyeliner inspiration and then some. Let’s start with the eyebrows. The subtle, slightly pronounced arch is very much the trend you see in pin-up makeup looks, the liquid liner is precise and beautifully applied, and the Bordeaux-colored lips don’t compete with the look—they complete it.

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Dreamiest Liner

Zoe Kravitz wears black liquid liner and a rose-toned makeup look
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Paired with bold brows and soft lips, liquid liner makes the perfect statement to go with Zoe Kravitz’s dreamy pink dress. Each feature complements the next—it really doesn’t get any better.

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Add Some Glimmer

Lupita Nyong'o wears dark liquid eyeliner, shimmery gold eyeshadow, and red lipstick
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When recreating pin-up liner looks, add a gilded touch to your lids as something fun and different. Apply the liner in a winged shape and add any shade of metallic shadow to lids by lightly pressing it on with a flat eyeshadow brush.

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Classic Pin-Up Liner

Lady Gaga wears black liquid eyeliner, lashes, and light pink lipstick
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This makeup look is seriously inspiring for the next time you’re looking to wear pin-up eyeliner, and the touch of white liner in the bottom waterline adds a unique twist to it all. This is also a trick you can use when you want to add some brightness to the eyes and counteract redness. Soft pink lipstick and natural shadow shades make the liner the focal point, and for good reason.

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Pinpoint Precision

Kerry Washington wears classic black liquid eyeliner and neutral makeup
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The precision this liquid eyeliner was applied with is quite impressive, and the entire makeup look overall is a great choice for subtly standing out at a big event. Warm, earth-toned shadow and lipstick look divine with the eyeliner. Practice makes perfect when applying liquid liner, so don’t feel down if you need a few takes to get your application technique just right.

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Make it Fun

Zendaya wears metallic smoky eyeshadow and liner
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No matter the trend, makeup should always be enjoyable and fun. Zendaya’s look here starts with liquid eyeliner as the base and uses metallic shadow under the eyes for added impact. The attention to detail in the corners defines her eye shape in the best way possible.

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Bare and Bold

Maude Apatow wears minimal liquid liner with dark red lipstick and old Hollywood waves
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Blink and you might miss it: This ultra-thin liquid liner, applied to the top lash line in an incredibly precise way, is the perfect complement to the rest of Maude Apatow’s makeup look. With a few coats of volumizing mascara, matte skin, and deep burgundy lips, this look couldn’t be any more pin-up worthy, period.

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It’s All in the Details

Blake Lively wears sparkling eyeshadow, pink lipstick, and a crown
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If you want to wear a pin-up makeup look and have deeper-set eyes, this is a lovely example of how you can work with shadow to give the overall aesthetic of ’50s makeup. The light, sparkly shadow in the corners helps to highlight and brighten the eyes, while liquid liner on the top lash line adds definition.

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’50s Aesthetic

Gigi Hadid wears red lipstick and contoured makeup including subtle eyeliner
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Matte skin, contoured features, defined red lips, and tight liner is another way to showcase ’50s makeup in a way that’s suitable for current times. Pin-up eyeliner doesn’t always need to be the star of the look; it adds subtleties that can complement features in the best way, making it extremely versatile.

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Falsies Allowed

Anne Hathaway wears a warm-toned makeup look with subtle liner and lashes
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Add some volume to your pin-up liquid liner look by placing false lashes on the outer corners of each eye. Since there are a few types of faux eyelashes to choose from, you might want to practice first with strips, individual lashes, and corner pieces to see which ones wear best for you. After the glue has dried, you can apply liner to hide any remnants of the strip, and add a few coats of mascara to lashes to help them blend in and appear more natural.

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