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.
Publish date:
October 11, 2011
hair, history, marie antoinette, halloween, halloween beauty, make-up, halloween beauty round-up

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!

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

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.

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.

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.

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,

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.

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,, 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,] 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.