Pin-Up Cosmetics

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Green beauty goes glam…

Pin-Up Cosmetics photos: we heart this

I grew up in Baltimore, a city that can give a girl strong opinions about hair and makeup. For better or worse, when it comes to beauty, Baltimore girls never give up on a good thing. Even in 2010, it’s common to see women sporting Priscilla Presley up-dos, Sophia Loren eyeliner, white go-go girl lipstick; glamorous tidbits from every era of style. (Aha, now we know how John Waters found his style – wht) My eccentric city, plus a steady childhood diet of movie magazines and classic films on late-night TV, gave me a deep appreciation for Hollywood’s glamour girls and all their makeup tricks.

Which is why I’m so excited about Pin Up Cosmetics

Loose Mineral Eye Liner & Shadow in Raven Pin Up Cosmetics bills itself as Retro Glam for the Modern Woman, handmade cosmetics created with retro flair. At first, you might think Natural and Vegan Beauty doesn’t exactly scream Bettie Page, but really, what could be more hip than turning your back on chemical-laden beauty? No animal testing, hand-mixed in small batches, free of sketchy chemicals, and packaging featuring the coolest beauties of every modern era. I’m sold. But really, with colors as gorgeous as these, like the blackened teal Damsel (shown above) how could I not be?

The first product I tested was Pin Up’s Loose Mineral Eye Liner & Shadow in Raven, “a dramatic black with amazing staying power.” Raven is the deepest black powder packaged in a tub featuring a portrait of a 20’s Hollywood starlet with kohl-rimmed Cleopatra eyes. Besides a straight Cleo look, this magical little pot can be used in so many other ways! With a big, fluffy brush and a lot of blending, I was able to create a restrained smoky eye. I was also able to layer the product for a seriously dramatic look. Using a pointy liner brush, I created a cat’s eye that would make Brigitte Bardot proud. Because my brows are very dark, I even played around with Raven as a brow powder. This made me look a little “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” but those of you with an outrageous, theatrical style might like it.

Pin Up’s Blushing Betty Mineral Blush in Desire

My second product was Pin Up’s Blushing Betty Mineral Blush in Desire, “a pure pink blush with a soft shimmer.” Unlike other mineral blushes I’ve tried and hated, Blushing Betty is sheer, smooth, easily blendable and the prettiest color I’ve ever seen! For daytime, a light dusting gave me a natural glow that wasn’t disco-shimmery, just rosy and pretty. For evening, I layered Betty for a little more color, which left me looking radiant and a bit more sparkly. Desire is a neutral pink that could brighten any skin tone. In fact, Betty has sent my regular blush to the bottom of the makeup pile.

For me, Pin Up Cosmetics is a modern green line I can embrace: beauty products with all of the glamour and none of the guilt! The we heart this review team got to test a full range of colors and products, let’s see if they agree…

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.


  • turboterp

    Melissa loves road trips, bargain shopping, drive-in movies, lip gloss and rock 'n' roll. She lives in Baltimore with her precious pup Bellarina. skin tone: NC20 skin type: dry to normal favorite beauty product: skincare


  1. I am so excited to the review up for this line. When I received my first product to test I had never heard of the company. But I quickly fell in love.

    I received Pin Up’s Glamour Eye Shadow & Body Shimmer. It is described as a shimmering bronzed brown that is appropriate for all skin tones. I would mostly agree with that. But I would suggest that it is a very light brown.

    I have only used this as a shadow. And it is so darn pretty. It can be used as a base or alone. It blends beautifully with virtually any color that I pair it with. And alone it really looks natural and serves to brighten up my face.

    The company calls is luminous. And I would really have to agree. But don’t think that it is crazy glittery for a minute. It manages to be fun while still be tasteful and appropriate for those over the age of 12.

    With my UDP the product stayed put. I experienced no fallout. It really is a smooth application with no creasing afterward. Also anyone with sensitive eyes should be happy to note that my sensitive eyes were just fine with this gorgeous shadow.

    I really recommend this great shadow. I give the product 5 stars. But I had to actually rate it a 4 up top because like all mineral products tend to be this one can be a mess! Keep your jar upright at all times. Otherwise when you open it up you will have a mess and loose a lot of product. Be careful and enjoy!

  2. I received Pin Up Cosmetics loose mineral eye shadow in Art Deco. I’ve always been a fan of mineral “anything”, so I welcomed this with open arms. The shadow is very pretty and so shimmery at first, yet blends well once it’s on my lids. I prefer not to apply eye primer with this product. I think it looses its color when you do. Another great thing about loose mineral eye shadow is it will last a very long time! I like how it gave me a smoky silver eye without much fuss. Great for my blue eyes and last all day long. The only thing that I don’t like is how I must keep the container in a flat position or the product fills up the lid.. I’ve already had to open (carefully) the lid from the pot to dump it back where it came from. Other than that, it’s fantastic stuff and made completely with 100% natural ingredients! Four Stars from me!

  3. Wow! This line sounds great! I will be looking out for these great mineral shadows!

  4. Oh wow, I love the look of Damsel! How cute! Vegan makeup can sometimes have the tendency to borderline on boring with lots of neutral shades so it’s really exciting to see an independent line that is having fun with colors without going too crazy. I can totally picture myself wearing most of these colors to client meetings!
    Great review :)

  5. When I first saw this mineral eyeshadow, I totally thought it was a new mineral line from Benefit…in fact, I thought this until this review! It has the same retro-cute packaging that I’ve come to expect from that fab line, and the quality is nothing short of superior.

    The color I received is “Cookie” (I think…the name partially rubbed off the bottom of the container). I think it is best decribed as a rusty eggplant. The color is definitely a throwback to the thirties-era pincurled pinup movie stars like Jean Harlow and Loretta Young, dark and smoldering. One can picture their kohl-smudged mugs and see shades of Cookie. But what makes this modern is the shimmer–barely there, but it’s what keeps this color from being the flat, matte kohl facsimile of the past. Dimension, baby, dimension.

    This color is, though really dark and quite saturated, amazing on its own when you’re feeling like a dollface Clara Bow. It is also a great crease color or liner on your less than smoldering days. I’ve also found that since this color is so dark, it workes exceedingly well with the previously reviewed Smashbox illusion. Yellow illusion makes this a dreamy gold/red/brown.

    Wear this color with a lavender or lilac and the aubergine in Cookie comes out to play (so pretty!). Wear this with a beige or brown and the rust takes over.

    This shadow is extremely versatile, long-lasting, long-wearing and simply beautiful. Of all the shadows I’ve recently tested, this is by far my favorite (and I’ve really, really liked the others).

    Happy days are here again, doll.

  6. When I first opened my review box and saw Pin Up Cosmetics Blushing Betty packaging, I thought I was seeing something from Benefit. I just love the sassyness and demure sexiness of retro pinup girls. (Sometimes, I imagine I would emulate Dita Von Tesse’s pin up girl style more if I were more confident.) Hence, every time I open my blush I felt a bit more sassy and sexy.

    I wasn’t a fan of loose powders when I first started using make-up just about ten years ago, but now I’m quite a fan. I was able to easily apply the blush using a combination of buff and swoosh movement. It was a very pretty pink color that wasn’t cartoonish on my brown skin. The color I received was Dolce Vita–a dusty rose color. The color lasted all day no matter how I applied it–over foundation; on bare skin; or just over primer.

    For $10, it is a good buy. It will last a long time and it is natural!

  7. When I first rec’d Lulu Luxe for review (a gorgeous “soft shimmering smoky brown” mineral eyeshadow), I immediately thought, “Uh oh.” For some reason, loose shadows and me don’t tend to get along. I haven’t yet mastered the technique of using them without fallout, but the color of Lulu Luxe totally sucked me in and I knew I had to give it my best shot.

    I am SO glad I! The color is absolutely perfect for hazel eyes like mine, and the texture of this shadow is smoooooth and buttery. It doesn’t fly all over the place when you’re applying it–it really glides on like silk across your lids.

    I’m such a huge earthtone eyeshadow person (thanks, wht, for sending me this color and satiating my ferocious earthtone appetite!) and I’ve got to say that if you’re also an earthtone person, you need Lulu Luxe in your life. It’s a perfect all-over brown great for work and also for evening. Love it.

  8. Kellie makes a great point about the mess of mineral products – but these are so beautiful I’m willing to give them a try anyway…so glamorous and vegan too? I can’t wait to try Blushing Betty – sounds devilishly similar to a MAC blush that they put to bed a few years back and I’ve never been able to replicate…let’s see if this one is my ticket to blush nirvana!

  9. I tested the Ginger Mineral Bronzer for face and body, and I’d echo much of what many have already said: 1) I thought I had a Benefit product at first! and 2) Keep it upright or you’ll have a MAJOR mess on your hands! My other word of caution with this particular product is to go extremely lightly – I dipped my kabuki brush in it and went to town on my upper cheeks…well I had the darkest, shiniest brown racoon stripes you’ve ever seen! Now that was of course way too much to use, but even so, it spread pretty well to even out. It was still a little too much color for me though after spreading, so I had to scrub it off before going out. The next time I used a much lighter hand…but it’s still very dark and shimmery. It is an adult shimmer, but it’s still a little too much for my taste. The only time I actually felt comfortable wearing this out was when I went to an outdoor wedding and then I just put it on my arms, shoulders, decolette, and very lightly on my upper cheekbones. This may work better with dark or tan skin, but my paleness right now just can’t hack it. 3 stars.

  10. I love the whimsical packaging – so cute. You would definitely want to pull it out of your bag just so others can see it!

  11. Not a tester of Pin-Up, but as always I gave it all a nice looking over at the distribution for our testers – I’m loving the packaging and colors – Damsel (the blackened teal) is fabulous. They have a fun site too – love the blue damask background. Pin Up is a fairly new company (launched in 07) that seems to be doing everything right – can’t wait to see what they have in store for us!
    .-= Tyna Werner´s last blog ..Green Tea Goods – a Green Monday review =-.

  12. I got the same color as @Sherri and it’s full name is Tuff Cookie. :)

    And like she said it is very versatile. I have been wearing it with purple eyeliner and the plum/ eggplant color comes out. On occasion I have worn it with brown hues and the rust comes out. It’s flattering either way you wear it. I love the sparkle in it as well. It’s not crazy with glitter but has a hint of shimmer.

    I don’t have a sponge brush so I have been applying this with a Q-tip. Not the best application process, I know, but it has been working. I only have a bit of a fall out on my upper checks. I have noticed it does wipe off easily if you don’t blend it. Great product and pretty color.

  13. Ok, before I review Damsel (the blackened teal shown above, and yes-it’s as fab as it looks!) I’ve got 2 tips for you gals…

    -(it might be a bit late but) Keep the stickers that cover the holes on ALL loose powders! Peel them back to use, then put them right back in place. If you peel them off and throw them away, the products just keeps building up and eventually fills the top and makes a total mess. I don’t know how many BE shadows I had to go through before I finally figured this out!

    -If you haven’t already tried, try these with a wet brush! OMG, they are amazing.

    Damsel dry is a black teal. Blended heavily in the outer corner of my eye and up through the crease, over a neutral beige base makes a super sexy, green smoky eye.

    BUT when I dipped a damp eyeliner brush in in and used it as a liner? Forget about it! It’s so gorgeous. You get all the intensity of the color (not losing anything like you do when you blend) and all the deep shimmer as well. Bonus, because it’s wet you don’t get nearly as much fall out (like, next to none). You could even use a damp flat shadow brush and lay it on your lid for an intense foiled-looking shadow.

    (@melinda – Since it’s too dark for your face or body, I say to try your product as an eyeliner with a wet brush. Bet it’s pretty!)

    Yes, I do prefer pressed shadows. Loose takes a bit more work. But from what I’ve seen, I think the work is worth it for Pin up Cosmetics!
    .-= Stef´s last blog ..AmorePacific Introductory Collections =-.

  14. I was so excited to get to try out the Pin Up Cosmetics Blushing Betty mineral blush in Desire. On me, the color was a shimmery, warm pink with a hint of coral. I have a weakness for blush and while I typically gravitate towards cream formulas, mineral powder blushes are probably my runner up favorite because they tend to blend really well. Desire was no exception. I only needed to shake the teensiest bit into the lid and then I swirled my blush brush into the powder, tapped the excess off, then applied it to the apples of my cheeks. This gave a really natural looking flush with a kick. Since I loved the color on my cheeks, I got creative and decided to use this as a lip color as well. I scrubbed my lips with a wash cloth to make sure they were smooth, applied a lip balm, tapped some blush into the lid, then I gently pressed the pigment into the lip balm using my finger. I then topped it with more lip balm–this was almost prettier as a lip color! It showed a little more pink on my lips (whereas I had some coral show up when I put this on my cheeks) and you definitely noticed the shimmer. I thought it gave a really lovely Spring/Summer look. If you received one of these mineral blushes, you need to try it as a lip color. All I can say is WOW! Definitely a 5 star product for me :)

  15. I am really loving my Darling-Eye Shadow & Blush, it’s the perfect pink. And as far as mineral eye color goes, this stays really well and the color pops on first application. Of course you can build it up with layers, but right away the pink comes through… on the blush end it is the ultimate pink, pink. a light blushing pink, not over the top or too pale. The glittery effect makes it perfect for a good night on the town, I use it more for my eyes on a daily basis, as I’m not big into the glitter on the whole face for every day, but hey, why not :) I definitely give this 5 stars and am wanting to try even more after this fab write up!

  16. Oh good call on the wet application @Stef the color really pops! I like it so much more now.

    Tuff Cookie when wet has some black in it, so it looks more like a chocolate with hints of rust. I think I’m describing the color all wrong, but it is really pretty. Thanks for the tip!

  17. I’m late! Sorry- been visiting grandparents in the rural sticks. ;)

    I really like the light eyeshadow I received! I think it is great that everyone thought this was Benefit quality – speaks highly of this small brand.

    I like mineral powders/shadows/blushes. I just took the leap into that world this year so I don’t know much about them. But I like the lightly shimmery shadows in this line! They aren’t full out glitter, which can be overwhelming for me. Just a medium level shimmer. Pretty!

  18. I tested the Lulu Luxe loose mineral shadow which is a gorgeous dark brown shadow. I instantly fell in love with the rich pigmented color. @Stef love your tips. Going to definitely try this with a wet brush. I bet the color will be even more stunning and would look great as an eyeliner too. Love that they are not too glittery. Just a nice all over shimmer. The packaging on these is adorable and the product lasts forever. 5 stars from me!

  19. As soon as you look at the packaging you can see that this is a quality product.

    With more and more “bad stuff” finding its way into our makeup its probably worth mentioning some of the dangers associated with certain brands of makeup. Its worth knowing what to look for to make sure there are no hazardbous substances in your makeup

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