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Burlesque has a lot of my favorite things rolled into one. Beauty, sex appeal, humor, choreography, and costumes. While a lot of burlesque acts firmly gaze at the past, Red Hots Burlesque splits their gaze between nostalgia and mixes it with forward-thinking, gender-inclusive, body-positive acts. As I grow more and more excited about the massive blowout that Red Hots has planned for September 11th, I cannot stop thinking about beautiful, over-the-top, burlesque beauty. (Buy tickets here)

Keep reading to find out how you can win free tickets to the show…

When I think of burlesque glam, a strong lip is a must. That can be anything, as long as it is done with an eye for the dramatic. Matte or gloss matters not – it’s the total cohesion of the look! I continue with a full face of makeup, which is something that I do not often do. I like keep foundation, concealer, blush, powder – the whole kit and kaboodle – just for special occasions. Burlesque is certainly one of them! The best part of burlesque is that it is an excellent reason to break beauty roles like not having dramatic eye makeup with a bold mouth. Glitter is welcomed and fake eyelashes top off the entire makeup look.

When it comes for to the coif, I think of a retro curls or waves. If you simply do not have it in me to spend time building a head of luscious curls, a sleek side bun could definitely be an great way of showcasing your dramatic face, perhaps even with a couple of spit curls for further effect. Be the hair large or sleek, I typically like to finish the look with a large faux flower or fascinator.

Laurel Dickman wearing Stila's "Beso," "Fiery," and the "In The Know" eyeshadow palette. Brow color is "Auburn" by Anastasia Beverly Hills.

Laurel Dickman wearing Stila’s “Beso,” “Fiery,” and the “In The Know” eyeshadow palette. Brow color is “Auburn” by Anastasia Beverly Hills.

For an absolutely classic red lip, you have many options, but I stand by few the way I do Stila’s Stay All Day lipstick and either Beso or Fiery. They are practically the same color, with Fiery having the slightest hint of blue behind it, just a hint darker than Beso.  I like to wear both with Beso in the middle of my lips and Fiery on the outside for an incredibly subtle ombre look that is nearly undetectable – it just looks like you have fuller, more luscious lips!  Other great dramatic colors to consider are Smashbox’s “Electric Pink;” NARS “Fire Below;” MAC “Candy Yum Yum,” “Ruby Woo,” “So Chaud,” and “Lady Danger.”  If you want to experiment a bit with intense colors like blue, green, black, or shades of purple, try LA Splash, Pretty Zombie Cosmetics, or Jeffree Star Cosmetics.  I’m really impressed with all three brands – their colors are vivid and all stay on very well.

As for eyes, the world is your oyster!  Choose a palette that works well for what you have going on and feel free to *s*p*a*r*k*l*e*. Burlesque is all about glam and it is one of the rare occasions that I toss a bit of glitter on.  My all-time favorite product for intense sparkle is Magnificent Metals Foil Finish Eye Shadow by Stila. It’s basically like goldleaf for your eye lids. You can build up from a little bit of sparkle to full-on GILDED GLORY! The best part is that it stays on incredibly well.

For liner, I see the options being between two classic beauty looks – the smoky, dark, blended eye or the crisp, winged liquid liner. Of course there are many other options, but these two are the most iconic looks for me. I think of wonderfully complex, pre-Hollywood code femme fatales from the 1930s with the smoky eye liner and deep lipstick or Josephine Baker shimmying in Paris. The liquid winged liner harkens stars of the 50s and 60s – women like Eartha Kitt, Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, and Sophia Loren. I love to take a classic liner look like theirs and give it a modern twist. Perhaps instead of a matte red lip you’ll substitute an electric blue pout.


The best part of going to a burlesque show like Red Hots is that everyone has their own style. There is no right or wrong way to do it! You have permission to push the envelope, just as these brilliant performers will never hold back from doing so. Burlesque is so much more about the skin – it’s about the tease, the expression, and the whole experience.

Join me on Sep 11th for the Red Hots Burlesque Show! To win a pair of tickets, post a photo of yourself on Instagram wearing your favorite glam look and tagging it with #redhotsburlyq, #wearyourvoice, and #wearyourvoicebeauty. The winner will be picked by Wednesday, Sept 9th and you will be contacted via DM on IG. We can’t wait to see all of your beautiful faces!


Laurel Dickman is an intersectional feminist, plus size model, stylist, and fat activist that can also be found via her blogs, Exile In Dietville and 2 Broke Bitches. She grew up in the south between Florida and North Carolina, migrating to the Portland, OR in 2005. All three places inform her perspective of the world around her a great deal. While in Portland, she worked with the Alley 33 Annual Fashion Show, PudgePDX, PDX Fatshion, Plumplandia, and numerous other projects over the near decade that she was there. In August of 2014, she moved to the Bay area with her partner, David and trusty kitty, Dorian Gray. She continues her body positive and intersectional feminism through various forms of activism, fashion, photography projects, and writing from her home in the East Bay. She can be reached at laurel@wyvmag.com and encourages readers to reach out to her to collaborate!

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