Flapper Beauty: My Jazz Age Lawn Party Look

I headed to the land of flappers and fops with some on-point rouge slapped on my face.
Publish date:
August 21, 2013
How-To, nyx, retro, Urban Decay, tocca, lipstick, retro beauty, flappers, 1920s

This past weekend, I headed to Governor's Island for the Jazz Age Lawn Party. It runs for two weekends every summer and is an event completely dedicated to all things jazzy and 1920s.

There's an orchestra, a dance floor, a St. Germain bar, old cars, and loads of beautiful, stylish people dressed up in period-appropriate wear. It's basically a visual heaven. I mean, I already love beautiful people, but when they put on original vintage 1920s lace dresses and linen suits, I black out from joy.

My personal ensemble was inspired by hookers of the era, specifically the broads who live in Gillian's super-fancy "establishment" on Boardwalk Empire. They're beautifully made up ladies constantly in various states of undress, with robes and stockings and garters and teddies and scarves. It's all very glamorous and seedy at once.

I tried to keep my makeup period-appropriate, putting most of the focus on my mouth (because I was dressed like a hooker!) and chose a very deep plum from Urban Decay, their new Revolution Lipstick in Venom.

To get an authentic '20s era mouth, I began by filling in my lips with NYX Wonder Pencil in Light. I am a newfound devotee of this pencil. It can be used for the purpose I chose to use it for, which is to line lips as a reverse lipliner (that is, to create a barrier that will stop lip colour from feathering), as an eye brightener and brow lifter, gently penciled around the eyes to open them up, or as a precision spot corrector. I've been using it for all these purposes lately, and I'm really impressed. Plus, it costs less than five bucks!

Then I used the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil, also in Venom, to draw on a new lip shape. I made sure my cupid's bow was super-rounded and that my actual lip shape was more narrow than usual to give my mouth the heart-shaped look that era actresses like Clara Bow favoured.

I kept my skin super-matte with translucent powder, and made sure to really rouge myself up, using a healthy (read: heavy-handed) application of NYX Powder Blush in Pinky, a bright true pink. I focused the colour high on my cheeks and up towards my temples in an attempt to create a flapper-hooker's vision of a "healthy flush."

A black eyeliner "beauty mark" on my right cheek seemed like the perfect accessory.

Lastly, for my face, I kept my eyes simple with a wash of MAC Eye Shadow in Sable on the upper and lower lids to really make the green of my eyes stand out. You may remember me using this same shade in another "flapper-inspired" story.

My hair? It was really dirty and a mess, so I just pulled it back into a low bun and tied a fringed scarf around my head. Boom. Easy.

The final touch was a few spritzes of Tocca's Liliana Eau de Parfum Spray, a scent that was inspired by the wild spirit of a flapper at a jazzy lawn party. It's a snappy little floral scent, with lots of fresh notes but also dreamy, lush hints of gardenia and musk.

I was a wonderfully dolled-up little tramp! But I couldn't have done it alone. I'm going to leave you with a photo of my friend Charlotte, who looked like a total babe yesterday, and I keep pestering her to write for xoVain. Cheer her on in the comments, OK?