The Halloween Beauty Round-Up: Marie Antoinette

It's actually so easy to get this look, you'll have plenty of time left over to piss off the people of France AND try on shoes.

Oct 11, 2011 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

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Ahhhh, Marie Antoinette, the Austrian girl-child who would become the Queen of France, spending the country into the poorhouse, pissing everyone off and looking fabulous all the while.

Yes, she's a frivolous icon to feature but you can't deny the gorgeousness of 18th-century fashion. It's practically where fashion began.

When the women of Paris got word Le Reine was wearing her hair a certain way or buying shoes from Monsieur So-And-So, they wanted in on it too. An original trendsetter!

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While I don't have a team of maids and Parisian hairdressers to fuss over me, I do have ingenuity and access to modern wonders such as aerosol hairspray and electric curling irons, so I decided to do a quick cheater's version of the Marie Antoinette look, free of any mop-like wigs. Let's get goin'.

That Gigantor Bird's Nest 

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To create this look with my own hair, free of wigs or any hair pieces, I required a LOT of hairspray. I started off using baby powder to give my hair a nice working texture and soak up any oils, and then moved along to backcombing the top with a natural bristle brush to begin building volume. I looked a bit like Snooki at first.

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Next, I repeated the backcombing on the sides of my head and pinned the pieces into little poufs an inch or so above my ears. Any small pieces hanging down I curled with a half-inch iron to create tight ringlets.

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I continued the pinning process until all that was left was a small bit of hair near the nape of my neck. I gathered this on the side, under my ear, tied with a ribbon, and curled the ends into the same tight ringlets. Plenty of hairspray was used throughout.

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The next step was getting that powdered wig look. I used a can of white-tinted hairspray from the Halloween supply store to coat my hair, and added some spray dry-shampoo too. Try Trésemme's Fresh Start Volumizing Dry Shampoo ($2.99, amazon.com).

Final details for me included a few loose white feathers and a pink feather hair clip I purchased at H&M a few years back. Other options could be pastel-coloured birds from a craft store, clip-on rhinestone earrings, bejeweled bobby pins, or a rhinestone necklace or bracelet pinned at  an angle.

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That Porcelain Doll Face

Everything was super-duper powder-y looking back then, like little frosted cakes dusted with much too much icing sugar. After applying your foundation and any needed concealer, use a generous application of a loose translucent face powder like N.Y.C.'s Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder in Translucent ($2.99, drugstores)

Cheeks were heavily rouged and doll-like, so try a super-pigmented powder formula for an authentic look. NARS' Blush in Exhibit A ($27, narscosmetics.com), applied to the center of the cheeks, is a great pick.

Again, lips would have had a bright reddish tint. For that "I spend my days sipping wine" look, try applying a bold red lipstick with your fingers. Focus the colour in the center of your lips and then blend outward for a Bordeaux-stained tint. (I'm wearing Dior's Rouge Dior in Ara Red [$32, sephora.com] in these shots).

Eyes were pretty simple. I used a shimmery burgundy shade on the outer corners of the upper and lower lashline and blended into the crease, then applied a bronze-toned shadow to the rest of my upper lid. I used a single coat of mascara on the upper lashes only and for a final touch I applied a little beauty mark with liquid liner above my cheekbone.