It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I’m going to be upfront with you: This entire article was written so that I could have a reason to make spaghetti and meatballs. I could eat that shit every day. But, alas, that would take both time and metabolism, neither of which are things that I posses a high amount of. So here’s how this high-carb crack ties into my “Spaghetti Western” cop-that-look tutorial:
Get it? Spaghetti Western has the word spaghetti in it. So there are some pictures of me, in full hair and makeup, eating spaghetti. It’s cutesy and stuff and a win-win situation because now I’m going to school you guys on how to look like the most ultimate lady babes of the Sixties on a full stomach. Also, I’m putting my creepy new roommate’s freezer full of mystery meats to good use. I could be dabbling in cannibalism at the moment; I’m not even sure. It’s delicious.
My creepy new roommate is also into fashion and has, like, every September issue in our apartment.
As I was flipping through this textbook-sized ad fest, I noticed that Moschino is continuing their sick 90s Italian cowboy steez courtesy of Anna Dello Russo. The styling is so tacky and overdone and amazing, just like Dello Russo herself. I mean, just look at her blog before you twerk your head to the side and raise your eyebrows and get all, “Nuh UN! She’s a fashion goddess genius and you’re just some scrub nobody’s ever heard of!” …All of what you say is accurate, but see what I mean?
Back to those Moschino ads, I’m from Texas, so I purse my lips around my tongue and blow almost every time I see another “take” on western/cowboy/rodeo/whatever style. My mom is pretty much a badass and grew up doing the whole rodeo thing when it was glamorous and sexy and covered in rhinestones. (Real talk moment: Mom even named me after Annie Oakley a.k.a. HBIC, Cowgirl Edition.) She has crazy stories about secret party rave rooms inside the Houston Astrodome where oil billionaires would hang with Elvis and sexy models in the raddest disco clothes ever. So when I see hay, plaid, frayed light-wash denim, and “natural” makeup, I cringe a ‘lil. Then -- out of nowhere -- Anna and Moschino were all, “Ciao, y’all!” and I squealed in delight. Cowgirls are fabulous as fuck, but apparently only the Italians know this.
They’ve known it for a while, too. Which brings me to the meat of my article: Spaghetti Westerns -- specifically speaking, their female leads. To get familiar quick, these low budget cowboy action/dramas were directed and produced almost exclusively by Italians throughout the 60s and 70s (hence the nickname). These dudes had good taste and cast only the most gorgeous women in the films. Their feline beauty and romantic style, along with the obligatory curious yet vapid facial expressions as they stare into a faux horizon line, remain the epitome of sexy glamour to this day.
First things first: The hair. It’s big, it’s fluffy. It’s been done, but come undone after long days on the prairie being kidnapped by lecherous drunks, before being rescued by sexy cowmen who further muss it up during the overly passionate kiss. To get the effect, I recommend using large Velcro rollers for the volume.
After washing and conditioning, apply smoothing serum to the ends (I do this no matter how I plan to wear my hair to keep my ends protected) and then run some mouse throughout the length of your hair and into your roots. Let it air dry about halfway and then blow the remaining moisture out using a hot setting to heat your hair before using the rollers. Roll combed sections of hair away from your face, and fasten with a clip to make stable if your hair is too long for the rollers to hold themselves in place. Blow hot air on the rollers once more, heat will help the hair set.
While waiting for the curlers to do their thing, apply makeup. Although these chicks are supposed living in obscure desert towns in the 1800s, they all had heavily shaded cat eyes and false lashes: the simple bare necessities.
Some of you –- okay, two of you -- requested a cat eye tutorial in my last article, and European actresses from the 60s really do it to it in that arena. As a matter of personal preference, I normally don’t fuck around with anything but thick black eyeliner and highly pigmented neutrals on my eyes if I wear eye make up at all. I prefer to use gel paint in pot form (Maybelline New York Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner $10.99) more than anything else because I like the matte, heavy look of a painted-on cat eye. Basically, I really identify with those bitches. We’d have been best friends. Spoiler alert: these are mostly the same products I recommend in my last article, don’t hate.
This is my first foray into both makeup tutorial videos and, if you can believe it, editing! I tried to do the fast forwarding for you guys, refer to the text below if you get lost. Find comfort in the fact that I, too, am so very, very lost.
So, after dabbing on Revlon Photoready Eye Primer, I use my inexpensive but AMAZING angled paintbrush to paint on my “wings.” The angle of the line is the most important and fuck-up-able part of this look, especially when it comes to symmetry with the other eye. Expertise comes with practice, but having a good angled brush to make the first stroke at the outer edge has a lot to do with where you’ll fall in that awkward space between perfection and Melanie Griffith as Honey Whitlock.
Are you still reading this insanely long article? Cool, thanks. For the Spaghetti Western look, I go way thicker than I normally would with the liner. As you apply, consider how the liner will look when your lids are closed, not just as they’re open. I like a really angular, continuous line rather than one that curves. For this look, I also line my bottom lashes, adding a second tiny wing at the outer edge -- double the pleasure, double the fun.
Next, take your pointed chubby round brush, usually labeled “defining” if you’re buying an actual makeup brush, to shade the outer part of the crease with a dark, contrasting powder. I used Guerlain Terracotta Loose Powder Kohl Liner, just tap a little out of its vial. Use a fluffier angled brush to blend black or dark eye shadow into any areas of the liner that you prefer softened. For me, this is the bottom lash line.
False lashes only add to the look, and the easiest way to apply them is by cutting a strip into smaller sections and gluing them on piece by piece until you reach your lash limit. (An entire strip is a hard look for anybody to pull off, let alone apply correctly.) Gently curl your natural lashes along with the falsies before blending them together with a light-handed mascara application. If the adhesive doesn’t dry to invisibility, paint a little black liner over the glue, just like how my apartment maintenance paints over the ominous-looking water damage on my walls. Its like it was never there in the first place!
For a polished eyebrow, brush those bad boys into submission with some eyebrow mascara (I use lash mascara, Le Metier De Beaute Anamorphic Lash Mascara in brownish black $34). Then, take a stiff, flat liner brush like Chanel Ligne Précision #5 $28 (note that I said like, if you’re broke: art store brushes! I bought this before Neiman’s got all Fort Knox with letting you buy on your parents’ account. LAME.) and buff some eye shadow that coordinates to your hair color onto the skin below your brow hairs. (I used Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Espresso $21.) The stiff brush allows precise color application, but use a light hand so that your brows don’t look drawn on, a.k.a. not sexy.
Bronzer is a must -- these actresses were mostly of Italian origin. But looking tan isn’t the ultimate goal of bronzer for this look, creating cheekbones by lightly buffing and blending the bronzer (Bobbi Brown in Golden Light $36) horizontally on the sides of your face is what we’re really going for. A classic pinky blush (Bobbi Brown in Rose $25) adds to the girly femme-ness.
The sixties were all about heavy eyes and pale lips, and it was no different in the Spaghetti Westerns. If my “before” lips in the video aren’t evidence enough, “nude lips” don’t mean naked lips -- dab on a creamy beige color to add moisture and definition. I used Essence Lip Liner in In the Nude, $.49 and Kate Moss for Rimmel lipstick in #14, $5.19.
After taking the rollers out of my hair, I was left with that perfect fluffy but not frizzy volume. Do some teasing if you wish, but this look is way sexier with less-than-perfect hair. I just pulled back the top section of hair at the crown and lifted it a little before clipping into place with a sick vintage silver thunderbird barrette that I should have snapped a photo of. (I’m a complete and utter failure, sorry.) I gave myself a gentle noogie at my hairline so that my bangs fell free.
Add an off-the-shoulder blouse (aren’t those the sexiest things you could ever wear?!), or a super fitted collared button-down shirt, and an A-line skirt that nips you in at the waist. Bellissimo! Y’all are gonna look like a buncha molto caldo donnas. Vino! Parmesan! Et tu Brute?!
Insta (@annieokay) me some pictures if you try this out. Also, I finally got a Twitter -- @annie__okay. That’s TWO underscores, thankyouverymuch. I’m awkwardly spreading myself all over the Internet like cold goat cheese on soft bread; take a bite if you didn’t just brush your teeth.