As I’ve spoken about before, suicide is not conducive to anything particularly beautiful. It took a long time growing up before I realized that the romance surrounding mental illness as it is often depicted in film wasn’t a reality – a mental health disorder isn’t actually as cool or quirky as a lot of films make it out to be. Being a bit crazy doesn’t make me look like Angelina Jolie in Girl.Interrupted; when I’m at my worst I’m less Prozac-Nation-effortlessly-cool, and more too-miserable-to-bathe.
However, Kirsten Dunst as Lux Lisbon could not look more radiant in Virgin Suicides. There is something about the film that just makes me breathless with how incredible the Lisbon sisters look – ethereal, melancholy, Seventies purity at its best. Sofia Coppola is the queen of bleached out, under saturated film production and Josh Hartnett rivals Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano for biggest babe of the 90s in my eyes. And Lux has awkward, upsetting sex with him on a football pitch so I’m dead jealous. That probably says more about me than them, but whatevs.
She looks young and glowy and she’s always hanging out in meadows when she’s not sitting in the garage and running the car engine. So here’s how to make yourself up to look fresh, young and babetastic like Lux Lisbon – even though she is a pretty sucky role model for my mental health, she’s a rad one for my face.
I’m going to start out with a face mask, because you must know by now that they are my favourite. Clarks Botanical’s Intense Radiance Mask (£58) is absolutely ace – it’s not cheap but it is incredible. It’s a light, clarifying clay mask, so it absorbs oil and is ideal for light breakouts. Often, I find that clay masks can be drying but this is surprisingly hydrating; it draws out impurities but also contains White Genepi which acts as an anti-inflammatory.
It also boosts collagen, which seems to be my favourite gimmick at the moment and I guess is how it makes you so plump and luminous. If there is anything that a face like Lux Lisbon demands, it’s a youthful glow. Also, you only need an incredibly thin layer so I feel that, although it is really expensive, it lasts – I hate when beauty products say ‘apply liberally’. Of course they want you to apply it liberally, duh, business or something.
To further aid with the youthful glow, Benefit’s POREfessional used as a base means that you can use less foundation and therefore keep your natural skin glow visible, because it does a wonderful job at covering up visible pores and lightening blackheads. I use it exclusively as a primer around my T-Zone, because I like keeping foundations as light as possible on my cheeks, and then I can use a different product on my cheeks if I feel I need the extra glow to give face like Lux (like Laura Mercier’s Radiance Primer). POREfessional feels a little more like makeup than I usually like in my primers but, used sparingly, it is incredibly effective at giving airbrushed perfection aka the Lisbons.
For the overall coverage, YSL launched Le Teint Touche Eclat recently – which is a foundation version of their infamous highlighter pen. I never really understood Touche Eclat – everyone at school used to rave about it but I was never particularly enthusiastic. The smell of the foundation is exactly the same as it though, and so it takes me back to feeling awkward during bathroom makeup reapplications at pre-teen houseparties. I mean, it is hugely anxiety inducing.
It says a lot about the product itself that I am willing to work through reminiscing about why the boy I had a crush on wanted to make out with the girl from the netball team and not me. It is creamy and the pale version is pale enough for my face, which is nothing short of a miracle. It’s really pale. However, it’s also very light upon application and blends beautifully. It gives your face incredible luminescence but without the glitter flecks that are often chucked into products that are meant to make you look lively. It is dewy and beautiful. I don’t know what the difference between dewy and shiny is, but to quote Potter Stewart completely out of context, ‘I know it when I see it’ – and this is less 10-mile-run and more 16-year-old-in-a-meadow.
All you need is a little powder to set it (I like MAC’s Transparent Finishing Powder, £19.50, because it is completely colourless and therefore doesn’t compromise your youthful makeup-free look) and a rosy blusher. NARS do a great cream blush stick (called The Multiple) in Riviera that is just the right side of rosy pink for your cheeks and you can also use as a light stain to give a tiny bit of tint to your lips.
Onto eyes. I am using Bobbi Brown’s Bone eyeshadow (which is a fantastic nude eyeshadow that I use as to even out my eyelid tone) and a little bit of MAC Pro’s Longwear in Endless Passion (£14.50) to give a little colour. I just want to look rosy like Lux, and if that means dusty pink eye colour, then I’m gonna do it. It is really subtle when applied gently with a wide brush and it really is long lasting. One of my problems with eyeshadow is that often it smudges or just vanishes, and this stays put. You could coordinate a bizarre hookup situation on the roof of your house à la Lux and it probably still wouldn’t come off.
A little eyebrow grooming, and then all that’s left is your eyelashes. I’ve been using Queen’s eyelash cream (£10.25) to condition my lashes because they keep breaking (yet another rubbish side effect of winter). It’s been about since the 30s and works to slightly define lashes if you want the really all-natural look, but since I hate the idea of not wearing mascara, I use it before I go to bed. I smear so much stuff on my face that it seems silly to leave out my eyelashes, and it really helps prevent them getting brittle.
A major requirement for Lux Lisbon vibes is that doe-eyed feel, and Eyeko have released a new mascara called Black Magic (£18) which is one of my all-time favourites. It is just dramatic enough to give your eyes some definition without it looking like you’re wearing falsies and it contains Shea butter and Keratin to help maintain your lash condition.
The other day I spent a good few hours asking myself the question ‘is it possible to have sleek and voluminous hair before I realized that it was one of the most boring questions I have ever asked myself. I started using Ojon’s Rare Blend oil because, although I am obsessed with looking like I have more hair than I do, I also don’t want it to frizz up in the rain. It makes your hair sleek and shiny even when I have straightened the fuck out of it to get Lux-y, and if applied mostly around the ends, it gives hair weight without making it greasy. You only need the tiniest bit, and you shake it up before you use it and all of the colours mix together and it looks pretty as well as practical. I'm down.
To finish up, if you want to go a little heavier on your lip than just using the NARS tint, I love the Benefit Lala Land lipstick in Gabby (£14) for a really natural, almost-nude, hanging out in a meadow vibe. All you have left to do is write Trip Fontaine in your knickers and there you go, you have it, you’re Lux Lisbon. Dreamy.
Did you love Virgin Suicides as much as I do? Do you want to make out with Josh Hartnett? Whose name do you want to write in your panties? Come back at me, ladies.
Olivia is on Twitter @oliviasinger