One undeniable thing about beauty trends is that they go through cycles. Many trends come — like crazy lipstick, graphic eyeliner and just about anything we saw at New York Fashion Week — and many trends go. But only a few stick around through the ages: those classic beauty looks that were just as bombshell then as they are now. Look no further than the red carpet to see that today’s starlets channeling some of the most iconic makeup looks of all time (we know we will be this Oscars’ Sunday!), from Marilyn Monroe’s red lips to Audrey Hepburn’s bold eyebrows to Bette Davis’ DDG gaze to Grace Kelly’s glow. So in the spirit of award show season and all things Silver Screen, we rallied some of the ladies here at Brit + Co to model these classic makeup trends in a way that you can wear everyday today. Scroll below to find your timeless beauty muse!
Marilyn Monroe’s Bombshell Lips
To say Miss Monroe was known for many things in her time would be an understatement. This blonde bombshell left a legacy that empowers women to be strong and confident with themselves and to own what they stand for with no apologies! Those red lips though! Here is a way to getting Marilyn’s perfectly precise red pout that will *actually* last you all day. Meet Kate our Style Editor doing her best modern MM. (Photo via Baron Hulton Archive/Getty)
Step 1: Prep Your Lips
Use a concealer like Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat Radiant Touch in Luminous Ivory ($41) and apply all over your lips using your finger to completely even out the base tone. This will make applying your lip liner and lipstick a little smoother.
Step 2: Line + Define
Use a red lip liner like Revlon Colorstay Liner in Red ($7) to outline and slightly fill in your lips. Pro tip: get a perfect line around your pout by applying small feather-like strokes with the pencil instead of drawing one solid line, which is very challenging to nail in one go for anyone. Fill in the inside corners on both your upper and lower lip and most of the center. This is going to help define the depth and shape, not to mention make your lips stand out.
Step 3: Liquid Lipstick
Instead of going for a red lipstick that can be challenging to rock if you are not rehearsed in lipstick wearing, use Stila Stay All Day Liquid LIpstick in Besso ($22). You have to be so careful to make sure you apply this only where you want it to stay put: once you get this stuff on your lips it is NOT going anywhere — both the blessing and the curse of this magic product. It may take a little practice, but once you get it down you can rest assure that you will get through your entire day with a perfect red lip that don’t smudge or fade.
Step 4: Seal the Deal
Use your concealer to outline your lower and upper lip with a concealer brush and blend in in very carefully. This will clean up any lines that may have been slightly out of place but more importantly it will make your lips stand out.
Audrey Hepburn’s Eyebrows
First of all, how cute is Alexis our Community Editor bringing out her inner Audrey?! Bold eyebrows are clearly a thing of the past and currently one of the most sought-after beauty features. Alexis is demonstrating how you can have bold but natural-looking brows like Audrey in five easy steps. (Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty)
Step 1: Enhance the Inside
Make sure you have a solid brow defining pencil like Billion Dollar Brows’ Universal Brow Pencil ($19). To get the natural look you want to apply with small strokes to replicate the growth of your eyebrow hair. Extend the lines slightly beyond the ends of your natural brows to get the bigger, bolder look started.
Step 2: Enhance the Outside
Continue the same motion as you shape and thicken the outside of your eyebrows. Your eyebrows will look crazy at this point, but don’t worry: you are on the right track.
Step 3: Blend
Switch to the other end of the brow pencil and gently comb through your eyebrows. You want to move the brush in the same direction that your hairs grow to keep them looking natural and soft.
Step 4: Highlight
Use a highlighting pencil like the pink side of this NYX Eye Brow Push-Up Bra, Lift and Draw Brown/Pink Highlighter ($10) to highlight underneath your eyebrows along your brow bone. Then blend in with your finger to really make your eyebrows pop and have a clean finish.
Bette Davis Eyes
Bette Davis Eyes…*sigh* The woman was known for her fluttering, larger-than-life lashes and that look to kill that our Editorial Director Lisa has down to a tee. Her’s the lowdown on how to brighten and enlarge your eyes. The look though, that you’re going to have to practice! (Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation)
Step 1: Highlight + Brighten
Use the pink side of NYX Eye Brow Push-Up Bra, Lift and Draw Brown/Pink Highlighter ($10) on your brow bone and inside corners of your eyes to brighten your eyes then blend it in using your finger. This will help make your eyes look bigger and rounder.
Step 2: Contour Your Crease
Overall we want a natural finish on the lids, so contour with a light neutral color like Urban Decay Naked Pallette in Naked ($54). Apply to the creases of your eyes to help add the depth.
Step 3: Highlight Your Lids
The last portion of eyeshadow will be applied to the center of your eyelids. Use Urban Decay Naked Palette in Virgin ($54) for the ultimate highlight. The white on the center of your eyelids will make that part of your eyes stand out, which ultimately will make your eyes appear to be larger.
Step 4: Eyeliner
Use a black gel liner and fine point eyeliner brush to apply a line in and slightly above your upper lash line. On your lower lashline, go for a brown pencil eyeliner to keep the look soft and more natural. Pro tip: only line ¾ of the way in on your lower lash line. By leaving the inside corners light, you will help keep your eyes from looking too drawn in.
Step 5: Highlight Your Waterline
Tightline means to fill in your waterline (the inside line of your lash line). You want to fill in your lower waterline with the same pink side of NYX Eye Brow Push-Up Bra, Lift and Draw Brown/Pink Highlighter ($10). This is going to brighten your entire eye and make them look bigger by enhancing the whites of your eyes.
Step 6: Comb Those Brows
Bette Davis has those piecy eyelashes that that can look messy if you are not careful to make the look intentional. To do this apply your mascara and then comb through with a mascara comb while your lashes are slightly dry to help piece them together.
Grace Kelly’s Flawless Face
A glowing complexion is something we all strive for on the real. Grace Kelly was the epitome of this natural, fresh-faced glow back in the day the way J-Lo often is now. Rosee our Visual Designer made her debut as a model here and while at it channeled the sweetest, most flawless Grace Kelly to the nine! Here’s how you can do it too. (Photo via Hulton Archive/Getty)
Step 1: Moisturize + Foundation
Apply your favorite moisturizer and then a pea sized amount of your foundation onto the back of your hand. Use a flat brush to lift the product and brush it on your face for a more even coverage.
Step 2: Hide Your Blemishes
If you have any blemishes, now is the time to cover those bad boys up! Make tiny little x’s with concealer over the blemish and blend in with your finger by tapping onto the product.
Step 3: Concealer
Apply your concealer under your eyes to brighten and hide any dark circles. We used Yves Saint Laurent Touche Éclat-Radiant Touch in Luminous Ivory ($41) on Rosee.
Step 4: Contour
When you apply foundation to your face you are taking away all of the natural depth and highlight to your face. Now it is time to put that back! Apply your bronzer to the hollows of your cheeks, your temples, along your hairline and down below your jaw line. Try Benefit Cosmetics Dallas ($28) for a natural looking effect.
Step 5: Blush
The best part of flawless face makeup is adding that pop of color back into your sweet cheeks! Apply a neutral blush like NARS Blush in Orgasm ($30) to the apples of your cheeks and blend back towards your temples.
Step 7: Highlight
Use a brightening highlighter like Benefit Cosmetics High Beam ($26) to get the ultimate dewy sheen. Apply with a flat brush just above your cheekbones and down the ridge of your nose.
Which classic leading lady is *your* beauty muse? Tell us in the comments below!