Inappropriate Beauty Muse: Ophelia

Beauty products are better than drowning.

Let me start this off by saying I have never read Hamlet in its entirety. I was supposed to read it in 12th-grade English, and then I dropped out of school and the correspondence-learning English program I took had me read King Lear instead. Ugh, I nearly gouged out my eyes thanks to that one. I mean, the majority of my knowledge about ol' Hammy up until recently came from this.

I did do one of Ophelia's monologues in voice class last year, though (I can't remember much of it ... something about Hamlet with his shirt unlaced or something, the horror), and ended up reading various snippets of the play wherever she appeared.

I feel for the girl. Hamlet was a murderous asshole, and she totally had every right to say sayonara and jump in the river. Her prospects weren't looking great, y'know? Also, her fictitious death has inspired a lot of great artworks, from the many film and stage adaptations of Hamlet to the various paintings and photographs depicting her watery, flower-adorned death.

I mean, even Shakespeare's description of her floating down the river is pretty dreamy:

"There with fantastic garlands did she come/Of crow-flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples [...] and herself/Fell in the weeping brook./Her clothes spread wide;/And, mermaid-like, awhile they bore her up."

Uh, can I be "mermaid-like" with "fantastic garlands"? Except, like, not drowning?

Anyway, back to what I was saying: the inspiration. Mine has come from Jean Simmons (NOT Gene Simmons, thank you) in the 1948 version of Hamlet, and John William Waterhouse's vision of the doomed lady.

For my hair, I mostly took inspiration from Jean's version. I braided my it into two thickish, face-framing braids on either side of my head and secured them with elastics. Then, I curled the rest of my hair with a flat iron and teased it with a boar-bristle brush until I looked kind of cray. I added a few more messy, tiny braids for fun.

While Jean's curly bangs are sort of cute, I decided I keep mine out of my face and middle-parted and pinned them away. If you feel like taking it a step further, check out Annie's idea for floral-izing your head.

For my skin, I needed something that said Scandinavian AND high-class, so I went for super pale, matte skin. I started by prepping with Clarins Double Serum and then applied Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX 01 (the lightest shade) all over my face with my fingertips, blending by dotting it on really fast and gently. To seal the porcelain-skinned deal, I tapped on Lush Emotional Brilliance Translucent powder.

For a "last gasp" flush, I blended Clinique Chubby Sticks Intense in Mightiest Maraschino into my cheeks (again with my fingertips), and also onto my lips for a "faire maiden" vibe.

I wanted my eyes to look huge and innocent and a little wild, so I used the orange-y based OCC Creme Colour Concentrate in Trick, which is a perfect contrast to the green shade of my eyes. I blended this all over my upper lid with my finger tips again, and along my lower lashline with my ring finger.

For crazy-long, bright-eyed lashes, I used Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara which, shockingly, does what the name says it does.

Finally, I spritzed on a perfume that I felt was in line with Ophelia's vibe, Dior Pure Poison. Dior is classy, obviously, and Pure Poison is a heady, summery scent with loads of jasmine. It's fresh and awesome and I wore it religiously for a long time. I still reach for it, and it holds up. Plus "Pure Poison" sounds very Shakespearean, all though it would probably be spelled "Pure Poisonne." Oh, Bill.

For EXTRA Ophelia vibes, try throwing a Lush Tisty Tosty bath bomb into your tub. It's got tiny rosebuds inside that will float around while you soak and pretend you're floating away from your problems.