Style Your Hair With Glitter And Other Life Lessons From Liberace

This is not a joke.

May 30, 2013 at 10:00am | Leave a comment

There are endless fashion and beauty tips to steal from HBO’s Sunday night presentation of “Behind the Candelabra,” starring Michael Douglas as piano legend Liberace and Matt Damon as his long-time lover Scott Thorson. I just finally watched it, 4 days after it aired, because I am a dope and didn’t realize that we actually do have HBO at my house. I almost never watch any TV. Someone else pays the cable bill in my house, and if I saw it, I'm sure I would die of a heart attack. I hate the idea of paying for television.

The movie was hilarious, but it irks me to no end that HBO doesn’t offer any way to watch it except as a cable subscriber. Don’t they understand that there are people like myself who don’t watch TV religiously, but still want to view special stuff like the Liberace flick? And are willing to pay for it? On iTunes! HBO’s stuffy stance on the whole “subscription-only” model reminds me of this email I received from a concerned xoReader:

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You guys have hereby been 'advised'.

Get with the program, HBO and concerned xoReader. The future is now! We like to curse and we will pay you good money to watch HBO on our computers.

Liberace had mad style. His jewelry alone was just so, so sick.

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The real Liberace and his fantastic ring collection. Photo courtesy of Liberace.org.

It’s one of my great regrets in life that when I visited the now closed Liberace museum in Las Vegas, I passed up the chance to buy this rhinestone encrusted reproduction of his famous piano ring:

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Photo via PurpleRoofs.com, an awesome gay travel blog!

It was like $29.00, and I guess I decided I’d rather be able to pay for the cab ride back to the airport? J’boring. (The museum is allegedly reopening in January 2014, so there is still hope for me.)

It’s amazing to think that ANYONE believed Liberace was straight during his heyday. I mean, he sued the Daily Mirror in 1956 for saying he was gay -- AND WON! The man really knew how to live. You can re-create a little of the Liberace magic in your own life by following a few of his golden rules. 

PUT RHINESTONES ON EVERYTHING YOU OWN.

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Screenshot via HBO's "Behind the Candelabra".

Matt Damon in this bedazzled swimsuit is the answer to everything that’s wrong with the world right now. Your life would be at least 47% better if everything you owned was covered in crystals. But don’t bother with the cruddy Bedazzler you see on late-night TV -- it’s nothing more than a toy. If you really want to live that rhinestone life, invest in a proper stud/nailhead setter. I own this one in my work kit and it is SO MAGICAL.

Anyone who leaves their jacket in my office comes back to find that I have set a random hidden rhinestone somewhere on it. 

NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF A GREAT TAN.

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Screenshot via HBO's "Behind the Candelabra".

Rob Lowe is spectacular as Liberace's egregiously tan personal plastic surgeon in the film. I have never been a big self-tanner, because every single one I’ve tried has smelled like, well, ASS. There just isn’t a better way to put it. The vaguely barfy, chemical smell has always turned me off to it. Tan Towels in particular are so, so disgusting. (If you haven't watched that video of Cat applying self-tanner recently, go do it right now! It holds up, a full year later. Fast forward to the 5:40 mark for the actual tanning part.)

Even the one time I paid the cash for a spray tan at a salon, I couldn’t wait for the smell to subside. It’s gross. I tried some (OK, a lot) of this fancy self-tanner made by Vita Liberata while staying at my aunt’s house and was shocked at how non-disgusting it smelled and how well it worked. (It lasted almost 10 days!) It also didn't come off on my (her) sheets, and I lazily crashed out almost immediately after applying it.

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Vita Liberata self tanning mousse, $54.00/4.22 oz. YIKES!

I used the mousse version of it, and I am planning to buy a whole bottle for myself just as soon as some producer decides to hire me and pay me money. Because it's $54.00! In case you can’t tell from the recent deluge of posts by me, I am gleefully on hiatus from my show. I am also on hiatus from a steady paycheck, so in the meantime I'll use the $17.00 Body Drench self-tanner that xoReader @mrsalthea turned me on to. 

LIFE IS TOO SHORT NOT TO DRINK CHAMPAGNE.

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Screenshot via HBO's "Behind the Candelabra".

There isn’t one single scene in the movie where those cats aren’t busy drinking champagne. I always think champagne is something totally fancy and really expensive, meant only for birthdays and special occasion dinners. But Liberace deemed any event cork worthy, and you can, too. I recently found the greatest, most economical champagne, perfect for drinking every day. Well, errr, "sparkling wine". Make that PINK sparkling wine. 

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Gruet Brut Rose Sparkling Wine, $16.99/bottle. 

As you may know, champagne can only be called champagne if it is from the Champagne region of France. Ain't nobody got the money to drink that fancy stuff in the middle of the day on a Tuesday.

WEAR GOLDEN SLIPPERS IN THE DAYTIME.

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Screenshot via HBO's "Behind the Candelabra".

Liberace greeted houseguests in an incredible array of caftans, always with matching slippers. The exact old lady gold wedge slippers he wears in the movie are still for sale today.

SUPER GLAM. In addition to giving you some height via the wedge, these classic slippers actually have a pretty stellar arch support. If you care about that sort of thing.

STYLE YOUR HAIR WITH GLITTER.

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Screenshot via HBO's "Behind the Candelabra".

Take a page from Liberace’s playbook and glitz your hair with a light dusting of glitter everyday, even if you’re just en route to the grocery store. But forget the sticky, clumpy Halloween-time glitter hair spray of your youth -- today’s glitter spray is pure class.

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Brocato shimmer spray, $11.99/4.3 oz.

This super-fine shimmer spray makes it look like you are possibly just a casually glowing angel. It’s like crushed-up diamonds and pearls in a spray can. I sometimes cheaply make my own homemade glitter hair spray by adding the finest glitter there is to a regular old pump bottle of hairspray.

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Glitter Ritz micro-fine glitter, $7.30/half oz. This stuff is the Rolls Royce of glitter. 

A little bit of glitter really does make everything in life better.

I’m on Twitter: @IveyAlison.