6 Iconic Makeup Looks Inspired by Hollywood Stars
Beauty inspo—from then to now.
The beauty of Hollywood movies is that it not only serves as a form of entertainment, but also as an inspiration for makeup looks aplenty. Throughout time, actresses have become known for their roles on-screen as much as their looks off-screen. From iconic editorials to red carpet events to social media, stars have become synonymous with their signature styles.
Explore the likes of Marilyn Monroe’s classic red lipstick to Lupita Nyong’o’s bright eyeshadow. Read on for makeup looks inspired by the stars to try now.
AUDREY HEPBURN: Winged Eyeliner
A true style icon, Audrey Hepburn is still known to this day for her little black dress, string of pearls, and yes, her winged eyeliner. In roles from Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Funny Face to photos of her from way back when, she almost always had that cat eye that complemented her wispy bangs, bold brows, and short hair.
Get the look: Try the Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eye Liner in Intense Black to get an impactful look that doesn’t smudge, even if you’re wearing it from day to night. In my mind, I always associate this product with Hollywood glamour after attending the brand’s event a few years ago at Dear Irving, a speakeasy in New York. It’s easy to see why this eyeliner gets so much attention in the sea of black eyeliners out there: it has a smooth marker-like tip that lets you draw precise lines or thicker, more dramatic looks.
MARILYN MONROE: Red Lipstick
What’s more iconic than Marilyn Monroe and red lipstick? The it actress of Hollywood’s Golden Age had a distinct style—a few of the many looks associated with the bombshell blonde included the white dress she wore in the 1955 film, The Seven Year Itch, her pin-curled hair and her red lips. The color itself is symbolic of many meanings: passion, courage and energy (all of which she’s shown on-screen). “[She] was not pretending to an emotion. It was the real thing. She would go deep down within herself and find it and bring it up into consciousness,” The Misfits film director John Huston once said about Monroe’s acting.
Get the look: Speaking of classics, let’s discuss MAC’s Ruby Woo Lipstick. This best-selling red shade was the one that made the brand famous in 1999—and still maintains its popularity around the globe. Created in a vivid blue-red, it’s universally flattering on all skin tones, fade-proof, and lasts eight hours. The formula gives off an intense color that finishes very matte.
OLIVIA MUNN: Bronze Glow
From X-Men to Love Wedding Repeat, Olivia Munn constantly shows us the range in her talent. When it comes to beauty, bronzer and beach waves are both signatures of the actress, who pulls off that effortlessly cool look to a T. Her glowy skin has us thinking about a getaway to St. Bart’s, but even if you don’t plan on traveling or basking in the sun, there are ways to get the just-back-from-the-beach look.
Get the look: The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette makes it easy to get a bright complexion no matter where you are. It combines three shades of soft-focus finishing powder so you can instantly look more rejuvenated upon applying. Thoughtfully formulated with Photoluminescent Technology, it diffuses surrounding light so that your skin looks lit from within.
LUPITA NYONG’O: Colorful Eyeshadow
Now that it’s spring (and sooner than we know it, summer), the warmer weather calls for more colorful, uplifting looks. Lupita Nyong’o is known for eclectic makeup, from coral lipstick and pink blush. The fact that her style is everchanging makes us all the more interested to see what she’ll try next. In the meantime, we can’t get over the Us star’s ocean blue eyeshadow looks.
Get the look: For a quick pop of color, try the clean beauty brand Kosas’ 10-Second Eyeshadow in Nitrogen. It goes on like a dream—the lightweight liquid has a consistency like watercolor and won’t crease. Another plus? Not only is this product makeup, but it’s skincare, too. Star ingredient galactoarabinan smoothes the look of fine lines and wrinkles, while jojoba oil soothes your skin. Orange flower water also helps brighten and tone.
LILY COLLINS: Bold Brows
Lily Collins is known for her roles in Emily in Paris and Rules Don’t Apply perhaps just as much as her big, bold brows—so much so, that years ago, there was even a Twitter account dedicated to them. In countless interviews, the actress noted that while growing up, she actually plucked her brows to try to fit in, and it was her mom that encouraged her to embrace what makes her unique.
Get the look: As brows are one of the first things people notice, it can be intimidating to attempt to make them look good. The Charlotte Tilbury Supermodel Brows collection makes it easy with a few key products that come in eight shades. The process is simple: fill (with Brow Cheat and Brow Lift), feather (with Legendary Brows), and fix (with Brow Fix). The result? Natural-looking, full, luscious and fluffy brows. Whether you’ve got thin brows or are looking to fill in sparse spots, look no further than this innovative brow routine.
SOFIA VERGARA: Long Lashes
The Modern Family star is often seen glammed up on screen and off. One factor that stays pretty consistent is her long lashes. The look has us wondering, are they real or just really good false lashes? Either way, it complements her brown hair and facial features well and will always be in style.
Get the look: I was shocked by how dramatically different my lashes looked after using Benefit Cosmetics’ They’re Real! Magnet Mascara for the first time. Especially after you apply it on one eye and compare it with the other, you can tell it’s doing the job of lengthening lashes (by 40%!). Its power comes from the magnetic mineral-enriched formula that draws your lashes up. Plus, it’s buildable, water-resistant, smudge-free, and removes easily.
Wendy Sy is a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle writer based in New York City. In addition to her editorial website, Style Meets Story, her work has been featured in Allure, Avenue Magazine, InStyle, and more. When she’s not brainstorming ideas for upcoming articles, you can find her spending countless hours searching for lost treasures at vintage shops. Photo by Sophie Elgort.