Beauty Icon: How To Look Like Elizabeth Taylor Even If You Don't Have Two Rows Of Eyelashes

I can't show you how to get the men and the diamonds, but I CAN show you how to score Elizabeth Taylor's look.
Publish date:
August 27, 2013
tutorials, Elizabeth Taylor, How-To, retro, hair, makeup, vintage, muses, vintage beauty, icons

When I was a child, I, like most little girls, loved horses. And with a love of horses comes a love of everything related to them, including movies. Black Beauty was a favourite, but the best, in my teeny-tiny little-girl opinion, was National Velvet.

National Velvet told the story of 12 year-old Velvet Brown, who wins a horse in a raffle and trains him for the Grand National steeplechase. The tale of a young girl WINNING a horse, and WINNING a race in a world dominated by men appealed to feisty young me, and of course I immediately fell in girl-crush love with the film's star, a cherub-faced, fluffy-haired young Elizabeth Taylor.

As I grew older and learned more about Elizabeth, and saw more of her films, I became even more enamoured with her. She was outspoken, funny, glamorous, passionate, and she loved sparkly things. And since I consider myself a bit of a magpie, I definitely feel like I connect with her on that level. Plus the men. I think I can get down with having a string of eight marriages (to seven men, of course). Especially if I get diamonds out of it, ya know? Ha. I'm just kidding. If I ever get married, it will be for love! And hey, that's why Elizabeth married the men she did too! For love! The diamonds were just a perk of it all, mmmkay?

Elizabeth was crazy-beautiful too, and so obviously I'm going to focus in on her look for this tutorial. Specifically, her early- to mid-1950s look, when Elizabeth was starring in films like Father of the Bride (1950), A Place in the Sun (1951) and Giant (1956).


Much like Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor had full, gorgeous brows, but they were quite different in shape. Where Audrey's brows were geometric and angled, Elizabeth's were softer and rounder throughout.

To get the look, I began using the darkest shade in my trusty Clarins Pro-Palette Eyebrow Kit. I sketched out a rounded arch that went above my natural brow and curved it down at the outer corners. Once I filled it in (top, right), I applied my NYX Wonder Pencil over the stray hairs below to "raise" the brow up higher, and then applied a dusting of the white shadow from Kevyn Aucoin the Essential Eyeshadow Palette in #6.


I began by covering my entire eyelid with the soft pale green in the top-left of the Kevyn Aucoin palette. I then lined my upper lid with Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Junkie, a deep sparkling emerald. I chose to go with a green palette as I'd noticed Elizabeth didn't shy from wearing colour on her face, and frequently had sultry shades of blue, green and gray defining her eyes.

I also figured that, if I DID have violet eyes, the green would be a nice contrast.

Next, I used an angled liner brush to tightly line my entire lower lashline with the deep wine shade in the palette, and did the same to my upper lashline with the black, smudging it into the green liner to deepen and define.

Finally, I used a fluffy shadow brush to blend some of the darker green shade and the black together on the heel of my hand, and then applied it to my crease and the outer third of my upper lid.

Elizabeth was blessed with a genetic mutation that gave her two rows of eyelashes. I don't know how someone could call that a mutation, but alas.

I'm terrible with false lashes and frequently allergic to the glue, so I opted to use two mascaras instead. I love me some Clinique mascara, so I began with a healthy coating of their Lash Doubling Mascara (the name sounds promising!), combed that out with a lash comb, and then applied a nice helping of their High Lengths Mascara to extend my lashes a little further, and combed that out too. I think they looked pretty lush, but you be the judge.


For my lips, I again used the Wonder Pencil to create an outline so that my lip colour would not bleed.

For my lipstick, I chose OCC's Lip Tar in Harlot, a near-neon red. Elizabeth's lips had a very delicate, round shape, and so I enlarged my cupid's bow and made the peaks very curvy, and made sure my lower lip had the same curvy, roundness to it.

Elizabeth and I both have pretty round faces, so I added in a bit of definition with Kevyn Aucoin's The Sculpting Powder in Medium, and also used a tiny blending brush to dust it along the sides of my nose and between my nostrils (to narrow the bridge and give it the slightly upturned shape that Elizabeth had).

I gave myself some colour with NYX Powder Blush in Pinky, dusted near the outer edges of my face and fading inwards near my apples.

My hair is getting too long to really recreate Elizabeth's waved bob, so I pinned it back and curled my bangs with my flat iron. A pair of (faux) diamond earrings seemed to be the best finishing touch.

So, did I pull it off?