Betty Boop: The Sexy, Wide-Eyed Cutie With An Easy-To-Steal Halloween Look

Boop-oop-a-doop! You can be a cartoon '30s babe, too.
Publish date:
October 22, 2013
tutorials, halloween, How-To, 1930s, cartoons, Betty Boop

Cartoons frequently offer up lots of style and beauty inspiration. There's Jem, Jessica Rabbit, pretty much any Disney princess (or villain). One of my favorites though, is the cute li'l lady known as Betty Boop. I mean, she's a pale, light-eyed brunette with a round face. Naturally, I relate.

Coming on the scene in the 1930s, Betty Boop made waves with her wide eyes, skimpy dresses and "who, me?" flirtatious attitude. Sure, she was only 2-D, but her boopin' and doopin' paved the way for curvy, red-lipped babes like Marilyn Monroe in years to come.

Her long lashes, round, rosy cheeks, Clara Bow-esque wild curls and adorably pouty little mouth are easy to recreate and perfect for a Halloween costume, but I also think the look is babely year-round. Follow the steps here, throw on a slinky little party dress and wait for the hound dogs to follow you like strays all night.

The Brows (And Skin)

I put these two steps together because they both required the use of the same product. Betty's brows are pencil thin, long, and rounded like many of the starlets of the 1930s (Jean Harlow, for example). Since I don't really pluck my brows, I covered up the lower half of them with Kevyn Aucoin's Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX02, which is so thick and you only need the tiniest amount ever.

I applied first by tapping it on and then brushing it into the hairs with a spoolie brush. I then dusted them with translucent powder and repeated, and re-powdered. Once I was satisfied with the amount covered, I used an angled brush to apply the darkest shade in my trusty Clarins brow palette into a thin, rounded line that extended at the outer corners past my natural brows.

I then threw some moisturizer on my face and then tapped the SSE all over my face to give me a pale, even complexion, setting again with translucent powder for a porcelain effect.

The Eyes

Betty's eyes don't really have any makeup or intense definition going on, except for her long, long, spaced out lashes. I blended a bit of black cream eyeshadow, Smashbox's Waterproof Shadow Liner in Charcoal, along my lashline starting in the middle and moving outwards and then smudging, because I didn't want to be completely eye makeupless, and this helped create the effect of roundness.

Then I used a very fine-tipped liquid eyeliner, Alcone's Perfect Eyeliner Pen (which is on par with this one but much more affordable!), to sketch on my cartoony lashes. I made sure to keep them extra thin and wide apart, and even drew two on my upper lid to really maximize the effect.

To look even more wide-eyed, I rimmed my lower waterline with a white eye pencil, Lancome's Le Crayon.

And finally, I added two coats of Rimmel's Lash Accelerator Endless Mascara in Extreme Black and combed through my lashes with a metal lash comb to separate. I'm really into this mascara because the wiper removes a lot of product when you withdraw the wand. I prefer to put on a bit of mascara one coat at a time as opposed to having my mascara wand loaded, I think the latter makes a huge mess whereas a teeny bit of mascara applied a little at a time will make your lashes look their longest.

The Cheeks

In Betty's first incarnation she looked like a dog, with slightly saggy jowls accentuating her puppy eyes. Thankfully as years went on her cheeks became perkier but her face still stayed sweetly round and plump. The key to this look is accentuating the roundness in the apples of your cheeks and giving them a healthy, just-danced flush.

I started by applying OCC's Creme Colour Concentrate in District, a bright, warm red to the edges of the apples of my cheeks while smiling big. The concentrate is very pigmented so I dipped my finger in a bit of moisturizer to thin it out and tapped it into my desired shape making sure to blend any hard lines.

To create even more of a curvy cheek, I also used Creme Colour Concentrate in Trick, a warm, mid-toned beige, just under the apples of my cheeks and blended it into the red. Finally, the give highlight to the depth, I used a final CCC, in Vice, a true white, right in the centre of my cheeks to really make the shape "pop".

The Lips

Betty has a pretty standard heart-shaped mouth favoured by fancy ladies of her era. To get this look, I blotted out the original shape of my lips by covering them in a thin layer of Sensual Skin Enhancer and then used a very thin lip brush to apply Ardency Inn's MODSTER Lipstick in Lovecat (remember?) in my desired shape.

When I was happy with the shape, I filled it in with the lipstick, blotted, and reapplied to make sure the colour stayed put.

After that I used Ardency Inn's Semi-Goth Lip Gloss pencil to go over the outline. It's a semi-sheer, glossy black pencil that darkens your natural lips to a nice berry shade or deepens the tone of any lip colour you wear underneath. I used my lip brush to blend the two shades into one another to create depth and make the lips look really, really round.

The Hair

Betty's hair is kind of difficult to recreate if you're me and have a normal-shaped head (Betty doesn't, hers is inhuman and shaped like a giant sideways peanut for some reason?) and hair longer than a bob. I did my best though by middle parting my hair and then gathering my longest layers into a low bun and securing with hairpins. I then teased out my shorter side layers and curled them around my flat iron until I created tons of little ringlets.

I pinned my bangs off to each side aside from a small chunk of each and curled those under with the flat iron to create Betty's signature above-brow curls. I styled them into shape with my fingers and then blasted with hairspray.

And that's that! What do you think?