The Beauty Desk
The latest beauty news & views, direct from PRIMPED HQ!
Beauty à la Brigitte Bardot
Thu, 2 August 2012 4:40PM
Try to secure an interview with anyone in Paris right now (as I just did) and chances are you’ll have no luck (as I just had). Because most Parisians have put up their version of the ‘Gone Surfing’ sign. Except they’ve gone to a seaside sans waves – the Riviera. And they’ve gone for a whole month.
Ah, the French. Don’t you love them? Not only do they know how to dress, perfume themselves and not get fat, but they know how to live la vie.
August is party month in Europe. But especially in the South of France. And especially in Saint Tropez.
All sorts of super-yachts come in to dock, spilling out socialites – like the Ecclestone and Hilton sisters, and Victoria Silvstedt, pictured below – who dance the night away at clubs like VIP Room, drinking their way through magnums of Moët.
Sure, not everyone who hits the Côte d’Azur morphs into a bandage-dress-wearing, big-lipped, balayaged-blonde, but it sometimes sure seems like it.
That’s because Saint Tropez is still – and probably will always be – all about the cult of Brigitte Bardot, pictured here in the late 1960s. Heaven, non?
Bardot moved to Saint Tropez in the 1950s. It was already a bit of a party town, but the actress glamorised it to a whole new level. And Saint Tropez in turn helped to shape the BB that we know as the ultimate beauty icon. Its shores were responsible for creating the original beach hair and its sun turned Bardot the golden-brown all tan-loving types lust for (of course, we’ve all gone for faux in recent times, partly due to seeing what all that Saint Tropez sun did to BB’s skin).
Thing is, while BB is known for her pink pouty lip or sexy, smoky eye, she was mostly very au naturel. And that was what made her so incredibly sexy. She wore very little on her skin or in her hair, and she felt completely comfortable in her own skin, wafting around town in bikinis or caftans.
As a BB worshipper myself, I have learnt over many years, after many attempts when younger to make myself up into the image of Bardot, that Bardot-style beauty is more than a look, it’s an approach. Sure, you could say it helps to be beautiful to start with, as BB was (and, in my opinion, still is, wrinkles and all). And it took me a long time to feel comfortable with wearing less on my face. But – at the risk of sounding a little twee – I honestly think that if you work on being a happy person, it will show through in your skin, eyes and hair. And that’s all you really need. From here, of course, you can stick a flower in your hair, twirl it into braids, or smudge liner around your eyes. But they’re simply the trimmings. At the base of it all, you must be able to look yourself in the mirror, after you’ve just tumbled out of bed, and be content with the bare face you see staring back at you.
That’s why, whenever I see pictures of women who have obviously spent many hours trying to recreate that clichéd Bardot-esque bombshell look, so much so that you can’t tell what they really look like, I just want to get out the cleansing wipes. While it’s fun from time to time to take inspiration from others when dressing (and making) up, it’s much more fun to be happy with yourself, don’t you think?
Posted by: Katrina Lawrence