“Most women use more brains picking a horse in the third at Belmont than they do picking a husband.” – Schatze Page (Lauren Bacall), How to Marry a Millionaire
There’s a lot of old school movies that I love, but How to Marry a Millionaire is easily in my top three. There’s something about the writing, the cast (Monroe! Grable!), the clothes, and most of all: Lauren Bacall. As much as I love a good classic film noir, there was something about Bacall in a comedy that really hit all the right notes–between her dry delivery and superb timing, there’s a lot of reasons I always come back to this movie as one of my favorites.
In one of the ways to better marry (Eh? EEEH? Get it?) the makeup and vintage portion of this blog together, I’ve decided to try and make it a monthly challenge going into 2018 to do a makeup look similar to that of a particular starlet. I’ll do my best to also recreate the hair, but given that mine is feral, I’m not going to get worked up over it. Starting off, this series, I’m going to go off this movie to start and go with my favorite lady, Lauren Bacall.
Bacall, prior to being a leading lady was a model. She had gotten her start in 1944 with her future husband, Humphrey Bogart, in To Have and Have Not. From there, she worked on several other films with him (primarily in the film noir genre) before How to Marry a Millionaire in 1953 with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable. The movie itself is about three bachelorettes in New York attempting to find millionaires to marry before stumbling on love with men they least expected.
Though Bacall’s makeup is not particularly noteworthy in the movie, I’ve found an ad for her makeup I particularly like. This ad emphasizes a lot of blush–which is something I struggle with in terms of placement and amount (and exactly why I got for sheerer formulas). As this is something I want to get better at, this is why I focused on this particular one for a recreation look.
Looking at the picture, there’s some evident things right off the bat: this was likely something done in the very late 1940’s, early 1950’s. The eyes are generally clean (albeit, hooded) with a small, winged liner. It was all done in black. Blush was strong and on the outside of the apples of the cheek, but laid on thick. The lips were stereotypical red, but with a hint of shine.
The skin was very clean; Bacall had defined cheekbones so there wouldn’t be as much need for contouring and there was likely none of that present in this look for this advertisement. If I squint, I can pick up on maybe a very slight amount on her nose, but that’s only if I squint. Another observation is that her brows were very thick with a defined arch. This is definitely something that is within my skill set, but would force me to be cognizant of application, which is the name of the game here.
I always start with a normal skincare routine, but after having let it settle, I always go to the priming steps. In this particular case, I wound up using MUFE Step 1 Primer in Redness Reduction, BITE Beauty Agave Lip Mask, and the Urban Decay Anti-Aging Eye Primer. These products lay the foundation for a smooth, vibrant canvas.
Once they were set, I started with the eyes. The MUFE Artist Shadow in M500 as a base (this has since been discontinued, but has a sister shade in M500 in the new Artist Color Shadow in M500 which is slightly more yellow-undertoned.) After extending that up to the brow bone, I used MAC Omega in the crease. After that, a bit of MAC Nylon in the tearducts and inner eye to make it appear larger. (A trick Marilyn Monroe used to use!) From there, tightlined with the Marc Jacobs gel pencil eyeliner and the Physician’s Formula liquid eyeliner to get the smaller cat eye shape.
Once the eyes were complete, I moved onto my face. I started with the YSL Touche Eclat Radiant Touch for a color corrector for my under-eyes. After that was done, I used about 3 pumps of the MUFE Water Blend (my beloved) to even out my skin tone. From there, a healthy amount of MAC Blushbaby for a natural looking blush with a bit of the MUFE Artist Face Shadow in S112 for sculpting under my cheeks to give the appearance of a more chiseled cheekbone.
The finishing touches were Benefit Roller Lash in dark brown (used in upper and lower lashes). Then, the last little touch: BITE Beauty’s lip pencil in 076 to outline the lips and MAC Chili on the lips, with a patting of MAC Nylon in the center to make it look more “glossy.”
And below is the outcome from several angles:
And that concludes this month’s attempt. Each month will be a different Hollywood starlet, and I haven’t picked February’s, but I’ll be working on something I can replicate. Let me know if you have any ideas or thoughts.
Yours ’til Niagara Falls,