Look of old Hollywood glamour is a modern favorite

The Associated Press
Modified: February 13, 2012 at 4:39 pm •  Published: February 13, 2012

In the Hollywood landscape of new, new, new, what really stands out is that today's starlets still emulate the looks of classic screen beauties, including Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth, who ruled the red carpet in the 1950s.

Funny, you don't hear that much about Cher, Sharon Stone, or even Demi Moore and Julia Roberts, all very popular stars of the awards-show circuit in more recent history. Could you imagine Angelina Jolie all done up as Sally Field?

But Jolie made the most of the best-dressed list from the Golden Globe awards earlier this year with her bright red lips and neat hair that complemented her glamorous gown.

"To reference the bygone era of past screen sirens, there's something about that genre that women gravitate to, men gravitate to and fashion gravitates to," says Jenn Karsten, director of education and artistry for the cosmetics brand Make Up For Ever .

"I think it's the essence of the real woman," she says. "If we referenced the '70s, '80s and the '90s even, the culture was shifting so much. It was a sexual revolution but with a strong androgynous look. It was, 'Don't look at me for my beauty, look at me for my brains, my power.' But if you look at Liz Taylor, Sophia Loren or Marilyn, they're all mega stars that were proven talents and proven beauties."

Lori Taylor, global pro lead makeup artist for Smashbox, says Hollywood back in the day was more about crafting a lasting image instead of jumping from trend to trend. "The 1940s and '50s had a ladylike glamour. Everything worked! These women weren't testing anything out. If you look at the women of the '80s, it was more about pushing the edge — and that's not as timeless."

It was a pretty rare occasion that the Monroes and Hayworths of the world would turn up somewhere without a well-planned outfit and full madeup face, adds Wende Zomnir, founding partner and creative director of Urban Decay. Their appearances were more staged than the paparazzi snapshots of today's stars, of course, but they also had fairly simple beauty routines, even if they wore a lot of product, she says.

Tips on recreating those looks:

— Beautiful, full brows. "Pamela Anderson ruined brows," declares Zomnir. "Brows are hard to do right, but people are scared to let them grow."

She's like to see more people take their cue from Elizabeth Taylor, or at least Brooke Shields in the '80s.

— A natural look. This isn't carte blanche to be natural, however, says Karsten.

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