Kiss Them For Me: A Jayne Mansfield Tutorial (Kind Of)

You’re going to need a few things to get my goth-y Mansfield look: a thick curling iron, heavy duty hairspray, a dress to show off all them curves and swerves, and some dark and daring makeup choices. Let's get started, divas.

Oct 2, 2012 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

The other night, while half-watching Donald Sutherland get hacked to death by a miniature old lady serial killer in the 70s flick "Don’t Look Now" and simultaneously painting my nails a delectable lime green, I felt so much gloom and doom that I just had to put it to use. 

My level of Halloween spiritedness is usually pretty intense year round, but once October hits it’s hard to get me away from candy corn, theatre makeup (including fake blood and liquid latex -- but that oozing wound tutorial will come closer to the 31st, natch) and trashy gossip bios written about dead starlets.

I’m serious! I’ll spend hours listening to Marilyn’s final interview with LIFE magazine or hounding Natalie Wood’s Wikipedia page. Then I’ll just reflect for a bit while I listen to weird old recordings of Rockabilly music. It’s all very David Lynch. And now I want to punch myself in the face for throwing all those references around like I know something! I really don’t know anything. 

Anyway, since I just got my roots done and am ever so slightly blonder (I’m getting there, guys), I began to think about Jayne Mansfield. Well, actually, I started thinking about Jayne a few months back when I reintroduced myself to that amazing Siouxsie Sioux song “Kiss Them For Me.” Listen to it on repeat. Or until the end of this post.

Known as the "Working Man’s Monroe” (what does that even MEAN? Also, rude), Jayne was known for her constant publicity stunts and her never-ending desire for attention and fame. This all culminated with her role in a sexploitation film in which she got totally naked and subsequently slut-shamed by the likes of a none-too-pleased Roger Ebert. (Psh, whatevs Roger, ya prude!)

Her whole life seems like it was littered with a bunch of dudes who kept telling her she wasn’t good enough, she was no Monroe -- and then she got nearly decapitated in the most gruesome fatal car wreck ever. It's all so dark and sad.

Oh yeah, and she was rumored to worship Satan in return for fame and riches. 

OBVIOUSLY I decided to throw together a sinister, goth-friendly Jayne-Mansfield-inspired photo shoot in honor of this gossip-y factoid. But before we move forward, I’d ask that you forgive me for not taking my pictures in a makeshift version of Jayne’s bright pink, fuzzy girl-haven bathroom. 

You’re going to need a few things to get all Mansfield: a thick curling iron, heavy duty hairspray, a dress to show off all them curves and swerves, and some dark and daring makeup choices. Here’s what I did to get my goth Mansfield on.

The Hair: I used my big Vidal Sassoon curling iron (that I stole from my sister -- I can’t actually afford non Conair brand hair appliances) to make big, dreamy curls. 

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After putting up with how annoying curling irons are for few chunks of perfectly curled hair, I heavily sprayed my locks and ran my fingers through them to get a softer look. The result?

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The Makeup: I mentioned before how I put that Great Lash Green Envy mascara on my eyebrows. I put that weird little fashion tip to good use with this look and paired that with a thickly drawn cat eye and some dark lipstick. I’m still using Revlon’s Va Va Violet for my darker lips, but I’ve heard great things about Black Cherry.

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Shameless self pic, y'all.

The Dress: I loved the idea of using a skin-tight, black velvet dress for this tutorial. It seems like it would be more fit for a Morticia Addams commemoration post, but a Satanist diva is also worthy. 

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I got this from (everybody, say it with me) the thrift store, BUT, as always, I won’t leave you hanging. I’ve scrounged the Internet for some glam accessories and vampy vixen dresses. Be warned, though, glamour and starlet swag comes at a higher price. That doesn’t mean I don’t pine for these:

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The sexy dress on the far left is so beautiful, dramatic and dark. It'ss a whopping $1,49, but that doesn’t mean I can’t feel inspired and tingly over it.

The sweetheart-cut cocktail dress is from Etsy and is way, WAY more affordable (yet out of my current price range) at $96. This dress is actually labeled as 90s vintage, but the cut and shape make for one smokin’ sinister diva dress. 

The necklaces on the bottom left are both close to a hundred bucks each and can be found at Bloomingdales and Saks. How swanky!

Finally, those devil doorknocker earrings (let me reiterate that: DEVIL DOORKNOCKER EARRINGS) are the cheapest things on the menu at $55 from Etsy again, obviously. 

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Workin' my smug diva attitude.

Do you guys throw together weird photo shoots to commemorate dead stars when you’re feeling Halloween-y? Would you rock a goth diva look even if you don’t have a swanky, sexy, after-hours party to go to? ARE YOU A SATANIST? Details, details!