Audrey Hepburn: How To Get Her '50s-Era Gamine Dream Makeup Look

Want to score Audrey's fresh-faced starlet look? It's perfect for eating gelato in Rome or lounging on a sailboat with Humphrey Bogart.

Like many girls, I've been a fan of Audrey Hepburn from a pretty young age. Her poised, graceful way of carrying herself-- learned from years of ballet training--her carefree and classic style, and her charming, talented performances on the big screen are all many of the reasons why moviegoers have fallen for her helplessly over the decades.

My admiration was solidified as a teen when I devoured biographies about her and learned of her years selflessly devoting herself to children's charities, such as UNICEF, and the humble, loving demeanor that she maintained throughout her life.

While she is obviously a style icon, she is also an idol of mine for proving that you can create lasting works of art while still devoting yourself to causes that you care for; that you can be a star and be kind, modest, private and giving; and that it is possible to balance all of "it"--whatever "it" may be to you.

Her childhood spent nearly starving to death in Holland during WWII, her years spent battling depression as she suffered multiple miscarriages and two failed marriages--all of these painful events shaped her rather than stinted her. She proved that you can fight through the tough stuff and come out on top without pushing anyone else out of the way to get what you want.

If there's one thing I can say I've learned from her, it's to treat others how you want to be treated, plain and simple.

But hey, this is a beauty site, and we all know how lovely and beautiful Audrey was, so I'm here to devote an article to her look.

I've chosen to focus in on the style she wore in the early '50s, around the times that Roman Holiday and Sabrina were released, and Audrey become a household name with her fresh, near-androgynous style, cropped hair, and wide, toothy grin.

Just check out her screen test for Roman Holiday below, where she strolls in, hands in the pockets of her cigarette trousers, neck adorned with a cute little bow tie, and quietly remembers her childhood to the interviewer. I can't help but find her beguiling.

For the look, I'm doing matte and sculpted skin, bold, angular brows, defined eyes, and bright, poppy-red lips. Let's get started!


For my base, which is pretty red and slightly broken out right now, I used my current favourite, Kevyn Aucoin Sensual Skin Enhancer in SX01 to even everything out. I patted it on very gently with my finger tips, starting at my nose and moving outward, and kept "stippling" with my fingers until my skin was even-toned and porcelain-looking.

In the '50s, skin was heavily powdered and matte, but I used only a light dusting of Lush Emotional Brilliance powder to set.

Audrey's nose is thinner than mine, so with my pinkie, I lightly dabbed Lush Charisma Skin Tint down the sides of my bridge, and then added the tiniest bit of Benefit High Beam to the centre to give the illusion of a narrower nose.

I also used Charisma to shape my cheeks, which are already quite round. Audrey and I both have heart-shaped faces, so I further accentuated that by smiling and then dabbing the Charisma on to the darkest spots of my apples to really shape them. A final light dusting of Emotional Brilliance made sure the lines stayed soft and diffused and that I didn't look like an overly contoured weirdo.


Audrey's brows were gorgeous and frequently filled in and shaped to epic proportions. Their style changed throughout the years, but they were always quite full and dark, and when she first burst onto the scene they were at their most angular.

I used Clarins Pro-Palette Eyebrow Kit and chose the darkest shade to create my outline, using the included angled brush. Below is a photo that shows my starting shape, which is fairly geometric and slightly larger than my own natural outline, with a sharply defined point at the arch.

I then filled in the shape with more brow powder until I had created the look I wanted, and finally sealed it with the wax and spoolie brush that came with the set.


Audrey's eyes were big and doe-like; brown with slight flecks of green and gold; and long, looong lashes. She had large eyelids with deep creases and frequently lined her entire upper lid with black liner to make her eyes look even bigger.

I chose to use two neutral shades to shape and enlarge my eyes, both from The Balm's Nude 'Tude palette, which is cruelty-free.

I used a fluffy brush to cover my entire lid and up into the crease with Sultry, a medium-to-light caramel-beige, and then used a crease brush to apply Sleek, a medium-to-dark chocolate brown. Then I took an angled liner brush, dampened it slightly with water, and used it to create a base line (still with Sleek) along my entire upper lashline. I then lined the outer two-thirds of my lower lashline with the same method.

To brighten my eyes even more, I used Lancome Le Crayon Khol in Blanc along the very top of my browbone to "lift" my brows, and also along the waterline for a wide-eyed effect. I then used Essence Stays No Matter What Waterproof Eyeliner Pen along my entire upper lashline, going over the line I had previously made with the dark brown eyeshadow. I like this pen because it's cheap, precise, and it really doesn't smudge.

For long, thick lashes, I used Benefit They're Real after using an eyelash curler. Audrey's makeup artist would separate her lashes individually with a safety pin after applying mascara, but that seems a bit too dangerous to recommend, so instead I used a fine-tooth metal lash comb. The exact one I used is not available online, but this one from Tweezerman is a super-fancy option.

I applied one coat of mascara, combed through, cleaned the comb, applied ANOTHER coat, and repeated.


In the '50s, lips were frequently overlined from their natural shape to create an exaggerated, wide-mouthed look. Audrey's mouth was already quite wide, but her lips during that time were frequently extended at the edges and rounded and enlarged on the top lip and around the cupid's bow.

I used a nude lip pencil from Joe Fresh (available in Joe Fresh stores but not online) to create my starting shape, filling around my own natural lipline and widening the look of my top lip. I added a bit more of the white pencil around my cupid's bow for a clean line, and then, taking a lip brush, I began applying FACE Stockholm Lipstick in Evita, a bright, matte, poppy red, over the outline and over my lips. I blotted and then applied another coat for lasting, rich colour.

That's it! Now, let's chat. What's your favourite Audrey role? What other retro beauties would you like to see on here? I'm all ears (or, er ... eyes).