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Get Her Look – Dita Von Teese

February 6, 2010

The women we celebrate at Beauty Bombshells are mostly from an earlier era, when the glamour aesthetic meant that every girl could look like a star, whether she was a natural beauty or not.

Every so often,  however, we just have to make an exception and pay tribute to a modern-day bombshell – and there is no 21st Century bombshell more worthy of tribute than international burlesque queen Dita Von Teese whose distinctive retro look has been inspired by the bombshells of the past.

When Beauty Bombshells met Dita, we quickly realised that this is a gal who loves nothing better than a girlie chat about cosmetics – and that, like us, she spent much of her adolescence in front of the box, watching old movies.

She told us: “When I looked at the stars of these films, I saw that they were very artificial with their false lashes, red lipstick, heavy blush and blue eyeshadow. They epitomised real glamour, and for me glamour is the art of creating an illusion, of magic. What really appealed to me was the fact that I could paint my way to look like them.”

By studying the make-up she saw on the great Hollywood stars, Dita learned how she could transform herself from a fairly average-looking girl into a head-turning glamourpuss.

“I was never going to fit into the image of the tanned, blonde, natural beauty,” she explains, “so the classic movie-star look was an easier image to attain.”

Dita’s main sources of inspiration were the colourful musicals which starred pin-up Betty Grable (above left, with Carole Landis in Moon Over Miami) during the Second World War, especially The Dolly Girls, a period musical about showgirls.

While Betty was famously bottle blonde, Dita – naturally a mousey blonde – opted for raven black hair which she often styles a la Grable.

If you’re considering hitting the bottle – of black hair dye, that is – take heed of the advice of Jane Stacey, the International Artistic Director of Toni & Guy, who points out that going for black is not a decision to be taken lightly.

She says: “If you have mousey or fair hair and want to go black like Dita, I would definitely recommend seeking a professional technician to colour it, because it involves a complicated process, and shouldn’t be tried at home unless you want to risk having khaki green hair. The hair has to be fully prepped and filled with other colours before the black is applied.”

Jane also warns that wearing your hair black involves a level of commitment –  if you want to wear it well. “It’s quite a harsh colour but as long as you style yourself and have confidence, you can carry it off.

“Dita Von Teese may be very fair-skinned but black hair works beautifully on her because she is always so well-dressed and so immaculately made-up. If you decide to go for black hair, you must be prepared to maintain yourself as well as your hair at all times.”

If you want to keep dyed black hair looking great, look after it with label.m Colour Stay Shampoo (£9.25) and Colour Stay Conditioner (£11.50). To further enhance gloss and shine, use label.m Warming Oil Treatment (£15) once a week, and, counsels Jane, make sure you get regular trims to keep the ends looking clean and tidy at all times.

Of course, like Snow White’s, Dita’s jet black locks contrast strikingly with her scarlet lips – her favourite lipstick is MAC’s Ruby Woo (£12.50 , www.maccosmetics.co.uk ) and porcelain complexion. She told us that she maintains her paleness by always wearing sunscreen and avoiding the sun as much as possible (to the extent that she only swims in her outdoor pool when it’s dark).

Pale skin shows up flaws much more readily than a tanned complexion so make sure you have a really good foundation, preferably one which evens out the skin tone – we love Clinique’s Even Better Make-up SPF 15 (£20, www.clinique.co.uk), which comes in very pale shades – backed up by problem-solving skincare that tackles such specific concerns as spots and redness. Clinique has anti-blemish and anti-redness ranges which can’t be beaten in these departments.

And what about Dita’s top tip to ward off wrinkles? “I swear by good sunglasses,” she says, “because they stop you from squinting in the bright sunlight- which can eventually cause wrinkles.”

* label.m products are available at Toni & Guy salons and at www.lookfantastic.com

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