Makeup transformation: Recreation of the 60s Iconic Brigitte Bardot Look

No one knows  exactly when makeup had become an indispensable part of human life, but its history can be traced back to at least 6000 years ago in every society that has existed on earth. So why has human civilization been so imprinted with makeup? This certainly attributes to its unquestionable power to change and transform physical appearance. We all have witnessed its magic on big screen to turn anyone into creatures that you dare to imagine, but on a day to day basis, makeup is used not only to hide imperfection and enhance beauty, but to create powerful personal images, that are so distinguishable and have become an inseparable part of stardom. For example, Marilyn Monroe would only be recognized as Norma Jeane, the pretty girl next door, rather than the ultimate symbolic bombshell, until she established the iconic image with her very own makeup look created by makeup artist Whitey Snyder.

As a makeup artist, I often see star qualities which only need the right type of makeup to be brought out, in people from everyday life. Therefore, I was on the mission to find a girl, to make her up and show you the power of makeup. The first time I saw Eleanor, I noticed that she is such a classic beauty with an intriguing mixture of young girl innocence and mature woman seductiveness,  reminding me of the sexy 60s icon Brigitte Bardot. Yes, I want to make her Brigitte Bardot with a modern twist!  Luckily, she is such a sweetheart and generously donated her time to the makeover.

Makeup break down:

The Bridgett Bardot look is really simple to achieve.

1. The complexion:Focuses on flawless skin, with soft contouring and peachy blush. (Perfect complexion can make such a difference, as in the second photo, there is no other makeup applied on Eleanor except the base. )

a. I used a cream foundation matching Eleanor’s chest and neck, to even out skin tone and cover up her otherwise gorgeous freckles, as Brigitte always had perfect skin.

b. I placed a light pink highlighter on the centre of the forehead, above the eyebrow bone, on the bridge of the nose, underneath the eyes, and the centre of the chin.

c. I chose a foundation about four shades darker to her natural skin tone; placed it underneath the cheek bone, on the temple and side of the forehead, as well as along the hairline and jaw line.

d. All colours were blended together carefully with a damp sponge, without any noticeable demarcation.

e. I then added a peachy cream blush on the top of the cheek bone and blended it out with a small stippling brush. The whole face was not powdered to keep it slightly satinish.

Note: I am a dedicated practiser of proper contouring, but I’ve seen so many “over-contouring” recently thanks to Kim Kardashian.  I am not saying her contouring doesn’t look good, but not all looks/face shapes go well with the dramatic triangle lightness under eyes and darkness under cheekbones. A soft well-blended contouring without harsh lines and shapes is much more natural and flattering under most circumstances.

2. The eyes: Focus on dark liner and full lashes.

a. I lined the upper and lower lash lines, and the inner rims with the blackest eye kohl. To prevent smudge, a black shadow was pressed on top of the liner and blended out slightly to soften the edge.

b. I added a set of thick feathery fake eyelash onto Eleanor’s eyes, as Brigitte always had very long and dramatic lashes.

c. I then washed the entire lid with a soft taupe coloured eye shadow. The shadow used was minimal due to the drama created by the liner and lashes.

Note: I know many girls love lots of drama on the eye makeup. Heavy shadow, liner and lashes can work together. But at most time, especially in a real life situation, this combination can be too overdone and distracting.   Remember, for daily makeup, less is more.

3.  The lips: Focus on fullness.

a. Voluminous lips are definitely the most critical element in Brigitte’s look. To achieve so, I firstly used a neutral mocha colour to outline and fill in Eleanor’s entire lips. As her lips are already full, it was not necessary to overdraw, but I slightly rounded the outer edge of the upper lip.

b. I then used several coats of a peachy coloured nude lipstick on the top of the liner. I chose a colour that is lighter than the liner, and left the dark edge of the liner uncovered, to create the illusion of fullness. Although it may not be very practical in a day to day life, thick layers of lip products can add fullness.

c. To enhance the illusion of fullness, I lightly dabbed a white eye shadow in the centre of the lower lip.

Note: The technique described above can be used with any colour of lipstick, to create an illusion of fuller lips. It works really well with red lip sticks.



Eleanor before, during and after the make over. The middle photo demonstrates how the proper application of base products can enhance your complexion and features. All photos were taken under the same light stetting and are 100% un-retouched to honestly reflect the makeup.  Photos by Geoffrey Jones.


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From girl next door to sexy kitten in no time........Thanks again to my super talented husband Geoff (, for capturing the stunningness of Eleanor!

Copyright © 2013 Mary Li Makeup artist, Canberra, ACT, Australia

Nothing within this post, including text or images may be reproduced without my expressed permission.