Read on for my version of the look, more photos, and a tutorial on the products…
For short haired gals, you can follow my lead and flat iron, pull, coerce your hair into a stick straight style. I used a smoothing serum (Alagio’s Silk Obsession) and then a flat iron. When you’re all super-straight, use your flat iron to twist the sections by your face to curve forward. Use a bit more smoothing serum or a dab of pomade to enhance the “points”. Finish with an all-over, generous spray of a shine spray (I used Biolage’s Color Care Shielding Shine Mist).
For longer haired gals, or curly-girls, play up the curls! We all know that curls and body were big in the roaring twenties and thirties. You could even rag-set your curls the night before and sleep on them. Again finish with a shine spray.
Makeup and Tools I used for this look:
- Everyday Minerals makeup in Olive Fair
- NARS lipstick in Tamango
- Three Custom Color lip liner in Burgundy
- Anastasia Brow Filler in Blonde/Brunette
- Anastasia Eye Lights Matte pencil in Camille
- Elke, The Model Brow brow tamer pomade
- Physician’s Formula Mineral Wear mascara in Ultra Black
- Clinique Stay Matte eyeshadow in French Vanilla
- Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof eyeliner in Black
- e.l.f. Cream Eyeshadow duo in Black Licorice
- e.l.f. Concealer in Light
Start off with foundation across your entire face… your goal here is a flawless complexion and that one tone look that was so popular during the silent film era. I used mineral powder makeup (#1 above) in a few shades lighter than my skin tone. I always keep lighter foundations on hand just for looks like this. I wanted that super-pale look without throwing on white powder.
Next fully powder your face to get an even matte finish if you used a liquid foundation.
For Louise Brooks’ classic look, brush your brows as straight across as possible. Mine are highly arched, but I just did the best I could. Then fill your brows with a darker shade to really bring them out (product #4). (I probably should have gone with a slightly darker pencil on my brows to get a better result.)
Set your brows with an eyebrow pomade (product #6) or just use a few dabs of clear lip balm.
Moving on to the eyes, use a black or deep smokey gray matte eyeshadow (the darker color in elf’s duo, product #10). Start with placing most of the product by your lash line and slowly blending it up your eyelid until the end line disappears. Place a little extra along the lash line and outer corner for accent. Smudge more eyeshadow under your lower lash line.
Dust your entire eye lid and brow bone with a matte cream or white eyeshadow (product #8). This sets the darker color and helps it look “smooth” and classic.
Line your lower inner eyelid rim with a white, beige, creamy pink pencil (product #5). I chose the Anastasia matte liner because it’s so soft and the staying power is amazing. This line helps open your eye and gives you that wide-eyed starlet look.
Finish with 2 coats of a long-lasting, lengthening mascara (product #7). If your lashes are on the straight side, I suggest curling them for this look to further open the eye.
Louis Brooks lips are more narrow and more pouty than mine and have a bit more “peak” on the upper lip line. I studied her picture and then sketched a similar outline onto my lips with a dark matte lip liner (product #3). To narrow my lips, I filled in the edges of my lips with a cream concealer (product # 11) and then set it with powder. My outer lip corners virtually disappeared! (pretty cool, eh?)
Fill in the sketched outline with a deep, dark, semi-matte lipstick (I chose NARS’ Tamango a brown-based maroon, product #2).
Finally, just for fun, I added a beauty mark. Since I don’t actually have one, sometimes it’s fun to pretend. I used a waterproof eyeliner in black (product #9).
Ta-da! Just be sure to pout a lot, since it seems like no one smiled too much in those days.
For the costume, I’d suggest sticking with black, white and gray clothing. Keep yourself in that “Black and White” film star frame of mind. Black stockings, a pencil skirt, and a flowing blouse (silk, velvet or other texturally alive fabrics). Closed toe pumps and even a rounded bucket hat. Carry your essentials for the night in a beaded clutch. And don’t forget to bat those lashes!
Alternatives to this look and further inspirations- check out your favorite classic Hollywood film stars, or watch movies that have great looks. For instance, I love watching Titanic and both versions of King Kong for ideas.