The Beauty Desk
The latest beauty news & views, direct from PRIMPED HQ!
All in a Flapper About 1920s Makeup
Fri, 23 March 2012 10:42AM
The poster for Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby was released this week, and the gorgeous close-up shot of Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan suggests that it’s going to be one big beauty moment of a film. How is that perfect sweep of liquid liner? Those just-so spiky lashes? The rosebud of a red mouth? And then the porcelain skin, plus the sweetest little beauty spot ever. Look:
I don’t know about you, but it’s enough to make me want to dust off my pearls and dance the Charleston.
Written in 1925, The Great Gatsby is set in the midst of the flapper era. The flappers were the girls of the time who rebelled against every style rule there was. They cut their hair into bobs (the shock!), they wore shorter knee-length skirts (the horror!), and they smoked and drank and danced until the wee hours (there was no such thing as PC back then).
Because flappers had such a strong, fabulous look, because The Great Gatsby is an icon of a book, and because Baz is Baz and known to start a trend or two, the thinking is that everything 1920s will come back in a big way this year. You’ve probably already seen all sorts of fringed and beaded dresses on the runways, such as at Gucci …
… and at Ralph Lauren …
… and Vanessa Hudgens …
All this means that the flapper beauty trend is probably not far behind. So let’s do a little breakdown of the look …
Think super-smoky. In the early 1920s, King Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, and everyone went bananas for everything Egyptian. That included kohl, which Cleopatra and co used to ring around their eyes as a way to 1) look fabulous, and 2) protect themselves from the elements and the evil eye. You probably have your own version of doing a smoky eye, but I like to get a soft kohl-based liner, like Laura Mercier Kohl Eye Pencil in Stormy Grey, $40, Adore Beauty, and use a smudge brush (Laura Mercier also has one, $58) to soften it out. While I do love Carey Mulligan’s liquid liner in the movie poster, it doesn’t seem particularly 1920s to me, although King Tut’s death mask – which was found in his tomb – rocks some pretty fabulous liner work (see below) so perhaps some flappers were known to do that style of eye too… At the very least, you could use a liquid liner to make yourself a beauty spot.
You know how Carey Mulligan’s lashes are so ridiculously perfect in that poster? I’m 99% sure this is what the makeup artist would have done:
1 – ensure the lashes are first completely clean.
2 – curl the lashes, working the lash curler from base to tip of hairs in several stages, to get a beautiful, smooth and even curve.
3 – take a defining or curling mascara, wiping off any excess, and wiggle the wand through the lashes.
4 – and here’s the clincher: quickly get a spoolie brush (Jane Iredale has one, $20, at Adore Beauty) and work it through lashes before the mascara sets, to make sure you ensure all the hairs are evenly spaced out and clump-free. Seriously, it’s all about the spoolie. If you don’t already have such a brush, get thee one immediately; a spoolie makes even the most ordinary mascara look incredible.
To get the 1920s-style cupid’s-bow mouth, as perfected by the decade’s it-girl Clara Bow ….
… you’d probably have to first cover your lips with foundation, then paint a pert, peaked lipline back on with dark red liner, and then layer on a matching berry-toned lipstick. You could try this, but it all sounds a little like hard work to me … I think simply a deep red stain will get the look in a modern way, especially considering you’ve got all that eye makeup going on. Try Benefit Benetint, $55, Adore Beauty.
Flappers would have probably packed on the pancake makeup … again, we don’t need to be too literal – anything medium-coverage and not-too-gleamy would do the trick, followed by a dusting of translucent powder to set. Skip blush; there’s too much going on everywhere else.
If you have a bob, you’re already there, give or take a beaded headband or feathery embellishment. If not, you might want to consider trying the finger-waved look that Vanessa and Emmy both have going on above. Here’s one way to do it, according to Schwarzkopf:
- Work mousse through freshly washed hair, then part hair low on one side using a styling comb.
- Use a comb to create a kind of scalloped effect along the front of hair; secure each peak at the hairline with wave clips (FYI: they’re easy to find in hair supply stores).
- Blow-dry your hair completely and allow it to cool.
- Carefully remove the wave clips. Don’t to comb hair, rather pull it into shape using your fingers.
- Long hair? Simply twist the lengths into a low bun at the back or side.
- Use sufficient high-gloss hair spray for hold and a glamorous finishing touch.
And there you have it, the new flappery you. What think, Primpettes?
Are you going to try flapper beauty style any time soon?
Or leave it to the big screen?
Posted by: Katrina Lawrence