Sunday, 15 January 2017

Hollywood Beauty, 1920s Style

I like to try something new in my make-up every now and again.  But this week I tried something old - Hollywood beauty tips!  I was recently send the book Hollywood Beauty to review, and was challenged to try out some of the how-to guides it features.  With beauty tips covering decades from the 1920s to the 1960s, and featuring stars from Sophia Loren to Elizabeth Taylor, there were plenty of looks to choose from.  In the end I went for something a bit out of comfort zone and followed the steps in creating Clara Bow's iconic 1920s' look.  But how practical was it?  And what are the best modern products to help pull it off?  Read on!

1920s makeup

1920s makeup

Base - pale, with small amount of rouge worn high, and a cheeky beauty spot
To be honest, I fell at this first hurdle, as I didn't have any foundation pale enough.  I think if you just went a shade lighter than your usual foundation you'd probably get the look sufficiently (especially in contrast to the modern trend to wear a shade darker than your usual colour), or the book suggests to be generous with the powder (I'd run out of my usual face powder too...).  I added a touch of blush too, which I don't normally wear as my cheeks are rosy enough, and pencilled in a dark beauty spot.

Brows - drawn on in black pencil, straight and thin.
I refrained from shaving my brows off (like many stars of the time did) and instead masked my existing brows with foundation (not difficult - my brows are very fine and sparse!) and then drew in new lines.  I could have gone thinner and straighter, but it felt quite Halloween-like as it was, especially going over them in black rather than my usual brown.  My current hairstyle hides my brows, so to show them off I used a headscarf to sweep my fringe off my face.  I think this added to how severe the whole look was on me though, so a 'windswept bob' like the book recommends might work a bit better.

Eyes - kohl lined, with shiny lids
For the shiny eyelids, the book recommended using a little baby oil blended with your eyeshadow to get the look.  I didn't have any, so tried a lip glossy by Rosie for Autograph at M&S.  It didn't work at all!  I have greasy eyelids at the best of times, and so the colour just sort of seeped outwards, merging with the kohl liner, turning that grey and runny.  It felt disgusting!  So, I'd recommend not trying petroleum jelly, lip gloss, or anything else like that.  Best to try out a modern product that's designed to stay on your eyelids and won't bleed into your other eye makeup.  A quick search showed that brands Mac, Jane Iredale and Rimmel all have eye glosses.  I'd be interested to hear if you have any recommendations.

Lips - dark red, drawn in a 'Cupid's Bow'
I have to admit I was flummoxed as to what a 'Cupid's Bow' looks like?!  I resisted the urge to search the internet for more tips, determined just to see how far the book's instructions took me.  I tried to copy the picture of Clara's lips as best I could, but I don't think I quite got the shape right.  The colour I used was very 1920s' appropriate though - 'Merlot' by Besame.

1920s makeup

1920s makeup

1920s makeup
Above: gloopy eyes.  Urgh!

The overall look
I have to admit that I didn't feel like the peppy. fun-loving flapper that Clara Bow was.  I felt severe, you can see that I wasn't even smiling in the photos.  I normally don't wear a large amount of make-up, so this felt very dramatic and harsh.  My husband's verdict was that it was 'terrifying'!

Ah well, there are so many other looks to emulate in the book that might suit me better.  Next I might try the 1930s Golden Girls' look.  Oh dear, I've just read that Beyoncé's makeup artist mentions in that section to dab a bit of lip gloss on your eyelids...!

Published by Plexus, Hollywood Beauty is out now.  I was gifted a copy for review.  All words and opinions are my own!

 Linking up with: #iwillwearwhatilike, Visible Monday, Passion for Fashion

16 comments:

  1. You have styled the look beautifully! Maybe not an every day look, but would work for a flapper type party! Not the eyegloss though. That is maybe a step too far. I love the scarf though! Fabulous!

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  2. It may have felt terrifying in real life, but you look gorgeous and dramatic in the photos. I can imagine this look being perfect for the black and white movies Clara appeared in.

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  3. I actually really like this - love the headscarf and slip too! I have always been afraid to rock the strong 20s brow, I need some more practice. I do love this look on you, I think you pull it off well! I don't think I will be applying lipgloss to my eyelids anytime soon though, I prefer to go for a shiny gold or bronze shadow instead :P I would love to see you try the 30s look next!

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  4. I think you done a great job with your 1920's makeup, love how you styled this look with your scarf and nightwear! :)

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  5. This is certainly a more creative review than I attempted ;) I don't think it looks as bad to me as it probably does to you because it's always more of a shock seeing severe styles on ourselves (my wig experiments have taught me this!) I think you did a pretty fine job actually! Although gloss on eyes... I will never attempt that!! xx

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  6. This is beautifully done - I love the pale foundation and of course the cupid lips. Very inspiring to try! xo

    -Patti
    http://notdeadyetstyle.com

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  7. The style does indeed look a little severe on you, but I think that overall that wasn't a bad attempt at all. You managed that cupid bow very well. xxx

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  8. This is less Clara Bow and more Louise Brooks! I think it would work for an evening look in a dark cabaret joint but definitely not for everyday. In terms of the Cupid's Bow, it looks like you've got the top lip correct but the bottom lip needed defining more inwards towards the outside edges of the mouth. I do it every now and again when I'm putting on my lipstick because I find it funny to see my lips like that. I then quickly fill it in for a fuller 1930s look as I think I'd scare everyone outdoors! xx

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  9. This is off topic but I love your pink pressed glass vanity accessories, so deco! It is so easy for the dark and heavy 1920's make up to feel severe, I can't even get away with thin eyebrows as it would be impossible to hide mine! A bit strange that shiny wet eyelids were a "thing". I'll have to look out for this book next time I'm at a big bookshop!

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  10. You might have missed the mark a bit for Clara Bow, but I think you're right on target for some of the vampier stars of the era - like a Gloria Swanson, or even Theda Bara. I'd say this suits you pretty well, since it really emphasizes how large your eyes are.
    I would also have so many issues with the glossy eyelid look - I have a hard enough time getting powder eyeshadow not to migrate right into my creases, anything oily would end up there in a heartbeat.
    I'd love to see you do some other looks from this book! Maybe something 40s inspired?

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  11. Oh my god, this looks amazing on you! I'm not a big fan of those strong 20s eyebrows but I must say they go pretty well on you. Can't wait to see the 30s inspired makeup!

    xx
    Sandra <3

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  12. You've done an amazing job, I really love this look on you. It may not be an everyday look but it does look really good. That hair scarf is such a nice touch for completing the look. Looking forward to seeing the 30's look x

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  13. I saw your picture in Instagram and loved it - I thought you looked fabulous Porcelina.
    And I still think you do - the only thing I don't like are the eyes when closed.

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    1. Yes it's a bit of an acquired taste those eyelids!!

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  14. I think you have done a great job even if it feels all wrong to you. I don't think I would like the feel of glossy eyelids.

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  15. Wow! Even though you and your husband didn't like it, I think you really nailed the 1920's look! Well done! :D

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