How To Channel Your Inner First Lady: A Jackie O Tutorial

Bring your own pillbox hat and pearls to this party.
Publish date:
September 3, 2013
beauty tutorial, history, best beauty tutorials ever, jackie o, JFK

Obviously Jackie O is an icon of beauty and style, but my favorite fashion period is definitely the Kennedy era with pillbox hats and that chic pink suit. Of course, I'm especially taken with her perfect, bouffant-esque hair.

An older woman recently stopped me on the street. She told me, “You might be too young to know who this is, but your hair reminds me so much of Jackie Kennedy. It brings back such nice memories.” I’m standing there stunned just like, “Ohmygosh, that's the most amazing compliment I've ever received,” and thinking, “What kind of weirdo doesn't know who Jackie Kennedy is?” Probably the same kind who thought Titanic was just a movie and doesn’t know who NSYNC is.

Ever since then, I've been dying to channel my inner first-lady. I’m going to start with the makeup, but, in terms of hair prep, right after I get out of the shower I put mousse in my hair and spread it thoroughly around, especially around the roots. Lately, I’ve been using TRESemme Climate Control, but I’m generally not picky about mousse. I’m normally a night shower-er, but I get the same result either way.

Last night was one of those wipe-your-makeup-off-and-fall-into-bed kind of nights so today I showered in the morning. I did this hairstyle two days in a row, but in between styles I made sure to use leave-in conditioner. This much teasing can always do damage so it’s good to detangle and nourish before starting all over again. You could also go a couple days in this hair, but when I woke up, it was too much of a crazy, zombie bouffant. After I showered, I let my hair half air dry and then blow-dried the rest with my head upside down.

When it comes to makeup, I start with moisturizer, BB cream, foundation and pressed power. This seems like a lot, but I’ve accumulated over time and I like the difference they each make. I’m all about drugstore brands (and recommendations) so here are the products, in order, that I’m currently using for one reason or another:

Olay Complete All Day Moisturizer With SPF 15

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Skin Perfector with SPF 30

Maybelline Dream Smooth Mousse Foundation in Classic Ivory

Revlon Nearly Naked Pressed Powder in Fair

I literally just switched powders yesterday. I used to use Covergirl Pocket Power and it was ok, but the case just broke, and halfway into my day, I was noticing some oily T-zone action. In generally, I’m all about matte skin so I’m always looking for a powder that will stand the test of time.

I asked xoVain beauties Alle and Hannah for matte skin advice and they actually recommended trying Milk of Magnesia as a makeup primer. This might be an interesting beauty experiment sometime soon, but for now, we’ll see how this powder holds up.

Let’s start with the three most important things: eyelashes, eyebrows and blush. I could argue for the importance of each step, but I feel a lot more myself once the eyelashes are curled, eyebrows filled in and my cheeks have a bit of color! I only recently started filling in my eyebrows, but now I can’t image why I never did before. I also tried something new with my eyelashes. Using my hair dryer, I heated up my eyelash curler right before curling my lashes. It worked better than ever, but definitely make sure it’s not too hot when you do it.

Now down to Jackie O specifics! I noticed that, at least in some photos, her eyebrows had a high arch that is slightly tapered down in a circular fashion. They were also pretty full so I used my eyebrow fill-in/brush to shape the hair and it fill it in upward fat the top and inward towards the end. I used a brand called NYX that I got at a beauty supply store. It doubles as a brush and a pencil, which is useful.

Jackie O never seemed too keen on a lot of blush so I just used a gel that I got from Target called Pixi Sheer Cheek Gel. I started at the round apples of my cheeks and spread a very light layer upward. It should look like a very subtle pink.

Next I put a subtle, pinkish color on my eyes. I barley own any eye shadow whatsoever, but I do have a few random sets. For this tutorial, I used a Hard Candy shade that was part of a pack of four soft colors.

I added liquid liner to create a nearly unnoticeable cat eye (that was kind of hard for me!) and then I used a black pencil to line the bottom of my eyes for something more subtle. I even added a bit of white pencil in my inner eyelid to make myself look more awake. Don’t forget the mascara, only one coat is necessary.

Although it varies from photo to photo, it seems to me that Jackie O enjoyed a nice pink lip, which I greatly appreciate. She’s full on fuchsia here, but most of the time, it was a more subtle pink.

I lined my lips with a pencil from NYX and used a lipstick my mom gave me, which was Estee Lauder Wildly Pink Shimmer. It’s a lot less shimmery than the name suggests.

Time for hair! How do we get that perfect bump of a bouffant? Lots and lots of teasing, or ratting, as Tracy Turnblad would call it.

Tracy Turnblad: Our first lady, Jacqueline Kennedy does it!

Edna Turnblad: I don't believe that.

Tracy Turnblad: What do you mean you don't believe that? How else would it look that way?

Edna Turnblad: I believe that it is naturally stiff.

Unfortunately my hair is not naturally stiff so I start teasing at the top of my big chunk of a bang. I only tease a little with the fine-tooth comb and then curl it upward using a curling iron. Once it’s shaped the way I want it, I spray it with hairspray till there’s no doubt it will stay in place.

A lot of the time, her hair was a sort of a half bob/half flip hybrid, which is how I imagine it. I used the curling iron to flip the right side up and the left side inward.

Once curled the way I want it, I flip my head over and start teasing from my roots all the way down. You can use a little hairspray underneath your hair, but try not to use too much until you have the general shape that you want. Feel free to go a little tease-crazy. I know I did. I mostly used a bristle brush, but I also used a fine-tooth comb for smaller sections of hair.

Once you flip your head back and your hair is generally shaped like a bob-flip, you can use the fine-tooth comb to tease the inside sections of your hair. This will make the sides as equally big as the top. Keep hair spraying under each layer as you go. Give it all one good spray once you're done. These days I'm using Herbal Essence Body Envy Hairspray. It definitely stays once you spray, but try not to mess with it too much after spraying the top layer.

Throw on a pillbox hat and a set of pearls, I'm good to go. How did I do?