Elizabeth Taylor was known for her violet eyes, her numerous husbands, her extensive jewelry collection and her acting talent. Starring in movies in the 1940s up to the '90s, her beauty and style oozed glamour and Hollywood dazzle. Her makeup consisted of bright red lips, thick brows, heavily made-up eyes and a nicely done contour accentuating her cheekbones. Her makeup in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof is the closest to the iconic look she most commonly wore during her younger years.
Crafting Silky and Luminous Skin
Taylor was known for her luminous skin, so start with a smooth complexion. Smooth on a face primer or a moisturizer to prep the skin. Dot concealer one shade lighter than your skin tone over any blemishes. In the 1950s, cream and liquid foundations were primarily used. Apply foundation with a slightly damp foundation sponge if using a liquid foundation. Liquid foundation is best for dry or normal skin, cream-to-powder foundation is best for combination or normal skin, and powder foundation is best for oily skin. Flesh-toned powder was used to set makeup in the '50s, but for a modern-day product, use a finishing powder to give a pearly finish; apply lightly with a brush.
Making up the Eyes
Put an eye primer lightly all over the eyelid to set the eye makeup. Select two shades of the same color eyeshadow, one a slightly lighter version of the second. To channel Liz, go for two shades of grey, blue or lilac/purple. If you have fairer skin, choose lighter shades; darker skin can choose deeper tones.
Apply the lighter eyeshadow to the eyelid with a soft eyeshadow brush, tapping it on then slightly rubbing the brush to smooth the powder. Apply the darker shade to the lid's crease with a firm eyeshadow brush, again gently tapping to apply. Blend the two colors together with a soft brush.
Creating Lush Lashes
Taylor had a mutation known as distichiasis, a condition that gave her an extra set of eyelashes on the waterline of the eye along with the usual lashes just outside the waterline. While it may help to create her long, double-thick lashes by adding fake ones, you can also just stick to using a lengthening black mascara. If choosing to use fake lashes, apply them before putting on mascara, then blend your real lashes with the fake ones by running mascara lightly on both. Generously apply several coats of mascara on lower lashes as well.
Lining the Perimeter of the Eyes
Using black liquid liner, on the upper lash line draw a bold line that ends in a slight, elegant point just a bit flared out from the eye. Take a black pencil liner and lightly draw a black line on the water line on the bottom of the eye. End the bottom line in the outer eye corner by slightly connecting to the black liquid liner on the top lash line.
Filling out the Brows
Elizabeth Taylor had very bold, dramatic and elegant brows. Take a brow pencil in either brown or black -- whichever more closely matches your natural brows -- and fill in your brows. Give the brow a decent arch, and more thickness if brows are thin.
Creating Bold, Luscious Lips
Elizabeth Taylor's go-to lip color during the '50s was a bold red. Select a light red or pink red lipstick if your complexion is light, a basic or deep red for a medium tone, and a deep red or raspberry lipstick for deeper complexions. With a lip liner that matches the chosen lip color, draw a carefully defined line around the lips. Apply lipstick inside this line. Use a lip brush if you prefer or apply directly from the tube.
Applying Blush for Contour
Using a blush brush, apply blush to the hollows of your cheeks to create a cheekbones accent. Pucker your face up to make "fish lips" -- apply the blush in the cheek hollows that form. Select shades of raspberry or plum if your complexion is dark, pinks for a medium tone and pink or peach for a fair complexion. You don't have to go crazy with blush; just lightly apply it. In the 1950s, the focus was mostly on eyes, not on cheeks.
- Imdb; "Elizabeth Taylor"
- Vogue; "Photos of Elizabeth Taylor"
- Allure; "An Allure Tribute to Liz Taylor: Seven Decades of Iconic Beauty"
- People; "Elizabeth Taylor Cover"
- Glamour Daze; "Elizabeth Taylor Makes Up Her Eyes (from the movie The Driver's Seat)"
- NBC; "The Secret To Elizabeth Taylor's Lush Lashes: A Genetic Mutation"
- Daily Mail; "The Genetic Mutation that Gave Elizabeth Taylor Lashings of Sex Appeal"
- Glamourdaze; "History of Makeup: The 1950s"
- Into the Gloss; "Wet-Dry Eyeshadow"