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"I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing...kissing a lot. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls."
Audrey Hepburn

Saturday, November 22, 2014

The Starlet Series Episode 1-1920

After the success of my initial Starlet Series,back when I first started filming tutorials for Youtube, I decided that I missed the challenge of recreating looks worn by my favorite Starlets in their heyday. My 'Diamonds and Dames' series is an all-request situation so it isn't something that necessarily caters to my own favorites. Therefore, I decided to revisit that original endeavor year-by-year, instead of decade-by-decade.

Choosing a film heroine from 1920 was relatively easy. The only film from that year that came to mind immediately was The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, the first successful movie of the 'horror' genre.

About the Film:

The story follows a young man named Francis as he tells a friend about some grisly and mysterious adventures he and his fiance' Jane experienced at a local fair. According to Francis, a man named Dr Caligari visited the fair to show the 'talents' of an ominous-looking 'somnambulist' (sleepwalker) named Cesare. In the exhibit, Cesare predicts the death of Francis' friend Alan, which comes true, beginning to rouse suspicions against he and the doctor.
Jane becomes the next intended victim, but is saved by the investigative efforts of Francis and the staff of a local asylum. The story culminates in what is one of the first 'twist' endings of cinema.

Robert Wiene directed the film, as well as more than 35 others between 1915 and 1938. This was his most acclaimed, though the film opened to booing and unimpressed audiences initially. The surrealistic mood of the film, coupled with the unexpected ending was something movie-goers did not understand or appreciate at first. However, after re-marketing the film as a horror film, German and other audiences began to respect and enjoy these changes. The story, written by Hans Janowitz and Carl Mayer, was seen as something that provided the perfect collaboration between writer and director, using props and performances to create a dreamlike atmosphere. The sets were created from paper, much like a stage production, with shadows painted on the walls. Even today, the stark shapes and structures are impressive and memorable.

While I would normally rate films with a scale of 1-10, I don't feel that this film qualifies. It is not as much entertainment as it is historical art, to me, so I will simply state that it should definitely be seen if you have interest in film at all.

The Tutorial:
For my first episode of my newly revived Starlet Series, I decided to do an homage-look inspired by Jane of the film, as portrayed by actress Lil Dagover:

Although her look in the film varies by scene and according to her state of mind, I love the previous photo because it showcases an ethereal and strange beauty that was not really revisited in many films. Only her top lip is accentuated, to lend a forlorn quality to her face, the lashes are longer and fluttery (a fact I overlooked, actually, in my tutorial), and the hair is long and unstyled, in keeping with the trend of the earliest part of the decade.

Here is the youtube tutorial, followed by a written list of the products I used and an explanation of why. Enjoy!

The hair was pre-set with Hot Sticks and installed hair extensions by Tressmerize. The length should actually have been longer, but these were the longest I had. While not curling them would have resulted in a more authentic look, I felt that the whimsical aspect of the character needed the curls. However, the style can be done without them certainly, and with great effect. My top hair was parted in the middle and pin curled in opposite directions so that the root hair waved a bit before cascading into the curls. I wanted to incorporate a tiara into the final look, to be more directly indicative of the inspiration photo, but knew that I wouldn't get much personal use out of one, so chose not invest in one at this time, opting instead for a simple beaded headband from Claire's. The effect is similar but subdued. Drawing the widow's peak in was an afterthought but one I felt helped promote authenticity as well. And it was super easy to do!!

For makeup:

Primer: Clinique Moisture Surge

I use this as my primer due to my dry skin and the heavy coverage of my foundation, which needed a smooth base. For oily skin, use a perfecting base to give more of a velvet finish, if you wish. I love the Clarins Instant Smoothe Perfecting Touch makeup primer for filling in pores and lines too!

Foundation: Double Wear Foundation by Estee' Lauder

Although there is a bit of SPF in this product, the coverage is remarkable and legendary for brides and photo shoots. I don't know what makes it different but I'm an avid fan. My shade is Ecru, but there are a ton of shades to choose from and for lighter coverage there is a 'Light' option and also a super heavy coverage option that is similar in finish to Dermablend.

Concealers: Maybelline Concealer Stick in White, Cover Fx Concealer in Light

The white concealer makes a good highlight for photography as well as a great means to cover brows opaquely. The Cover FX is super heavy coverage with an emollient quality that makes it perfect for dry skin. It can crease a bit after application but covers splendidly.

Powder: Dermablend Original Setting Powder

The best setting powder ever. Hands down. The same quality as that HD stuff by Makeup Forever but really cheap, at 25.00 for quite a lot of product. It sets concealer, lipstick, eyeliner, whatever you need. And if you press your hands into it right afterward, all the original finish of the product comes right back. I adore it.

Eyeshadows: Although I mention the Toofaced and Naked palettes in this video, because that's what I used, I don't necessarily recommend any specific ones. I could just as easily used Wet N Wild or Nyx. Just make sure that you are using a good matte shadow, in both a charcoal gray, a taupe, and a warmer nude. Layering these colors will give that 'dusky' quality to the final black and white photos that simple grayscale won't do. Going back over the applied shades, layering the colors and blending, will also add that hazy look.

Lashes/ Mascara: The Lash Doubling Mascara by Clinique is my current favorite and it worked well for this look. I love the tapered wand since it makes it easier to do mistake-proof application to the lower and inner lashes. For falsies, go for longer whispy lashes like the Ardell Wispies, or maybe even some lower single lashes to get a more accurate look to the inspiration photo. This is the one area I wish I'd taken that extra step, instead of just grabbing my nearest natural lashes that had that sort of voluminous 1920's look to them. The lashes of Dagover were not really typical for the era and I should have embraced that.

Lipstick: I chose my old standby by Besame, which is old and has developed that crayon smell. I need to replace it. However, any dark burgundy or brown lipstick will work, as long as it is low-sheen. Make sure to set it with Dermablend powder though, to prevent it transferring to the blank bottom lip.

So that's that! Thanks again for watching and reading...I hope to be more active here in the future.



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