Nancy's Beauty Blogger for Prom '10 Series: Adding Old Hollywood glamour to your prom look
Published: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 - 9:51am
The golden age of Hollywood, or "Old Hollywood" as we know it, ranged from the 1910s to the late 1950s. Although it covered nearly half a century, classic Hollywood style always recall images of simple elegance and effortless grandeur. Trendsetting actresses left marks on the style of the time with their own iconic beauty statements. Marilyn-esque lips are among the ways to steal some glamor from this time period for your own prom look this weekend. See below for more.
Makeup Tips: Getting ready for prom
1. Red Lips
Nothing screams Old Hollywood more than the bold red lips of such classic stars as Marilyn Monroe (photo). To achieve this you need to first exfoliate your lips with a toothbrush and then moisturize with lip balm. Apply lipliner that is one shade darker than your lipstick. This step is important for prom since you don't want your lipstick smudging all over the place throughout the night. When choosing the lipstick, try and look for a firetruck red. If you’re going to go for the bold red lips, you might as well go all the way. That means no muted reds, plums, or mauve-y combinations. If you're not a fan of lipstick like myself, you can still go for a sheer red gloss.
Tip: Try applying color with a lip brush. It's especially important for the application to look immaculate for red lips, so the more control that a brush offers is ideal.
2. Flawless Skin
Classic Hollywood starlets were always photographed with perfect porcelain skin, as exemplified by Jean Harlow (photo). Though they were covered in the thick, heavy foundations from the time, the look can easily be replicated as long as you have the right product. Look around for a matte foundation that is long-lasting and has no shimmer whatsoever. Mineral foundations are best for nights out since they're usually lighter and won't feel heavy or gross. If you're wearing a warm colored dress, dust on some bronzer or shimmer. If your dress is cool-toned, go for a pink blush.
Tip: Don't use foundation with SPF. It reflects light and is unflattering with flash photography (you will look ghastly white).
3. Dramatic Eyes
Think Elizabeth Taylor (photo). No matter what she starred in, Taylor usually had her eyes rimmed with black liner. Thick, winged eyeliner on the lids and false lashes epitomize the eye makeup from Old Hollywood. It isn't too complicated since you rarely see Hollywood starlets with lots of eyeshadow on. All you need is a buildable black liner of some sort, false lashes, and some concealer for the eye area. However, there's no better time to break out the smokey eye than prom, so go for it if your color scheme permits.
Tip: If you wear false lashes, carry around a toothpick and a small lash glue with you in case you need to fix it throughout the night.
Eyebrows frame the face and can alter your look. I would recommend going to a professional to really get this done right. Classic Hollywood actresses had a defining arch to their brows, whether thin or full. Silent-film era actress Anna May Wong (photo) always had extremely thin and dramatic eyebrows drawn on. Though American-born, racial discrimination prevented her from expanding her acting career beyond typecasts the industry put on her. Nevertheless, she became a style icon with an award-winning wardrobe, signature hairstyle, and, of course, crazy eyebrows.
Tip: If you're tweezing, pull skin taut in the opposite direction of hair growth and also pull hair out in the opposite direction.
Guys' Hair: Getting ready for prom
You can still look the part even if you're a guy who is not too inclined toward the red lipstick and whatnot. All you need to do is gel your hair back. I used to think achieving that hairstyle required lots of complicated maneuvering, but after doing makeup for the recent spring play, I realized that it really doesn't require much more than a comb and some gel. While easy, there are still useful tips that makes the process faster and less messy.
1. Comb your hair and try to find a natural part in your hair. It should generally be about 3/4 the way across your forehead from the opposite side of your part.
2. Take a walnut-sized dollop of gel and rub it between your palms.
3. Run the gel through hair on the top of the head first to hold the general shape of the part. Try to distribute the gel evenly and don't just slap the whole thing on one spot. Don't try to slick this part back unless you're confident in your hair styling abilities.
4. Comb through to even everything out.
5. Take a smaller dollop and run it through the sides (the region above the ears). You're trying to slick it all back.
6. Take an even smaller amount of gel to smooth hair in the back of the head and make sure your bangs are in place.
7. Use hair spray to set everything.
Girls' Hair: Getting ready for prom
Here I've asked fellow Gargoyle reporter and resident hair expert Kahlilah Cooke to share her secrets to achieving a pin-up look.
1. Wash your hair and wait for it to be just a bit damp. If your hair is dry, you will need a spray bottle with water to wet your hair.
2. Use a rattail comb and make a deep part on the side.
3. Use the comb to separate a one-inch section.
4. Straighten out the section of hair and fold the end in. Keep turning.
Recommends Cooke: "Don't twist the hair. Just rotate it into a circle. When you get to the end, you can take a bobby pin and just clip it together. It's better to use a pin without ridges so that you won't have dents in your hair. It's better to do it overnight."