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Get Her Look – Bette Davis

March 2, 2010

Bette Davis may not be as beautiful in the traditional sense as many of the other bombshells on this site, and dare we say it, she didn’t age particularly well. However, she was an Oscar-winning actress with a rapier wit, and those eyes.

Kim Carnes even wrote a song about ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ back in the 1980s – something that tickled Ms Davis, as her granddaughter though it was ‘cool’. So much so that Ms Carnes received a letter from Bette expressing her delight.

So, when we were deciding what to do for a Bette Davis Get Her Look – well, it wasn’t too difficult!

We asked Pearl Drops spokesperson, and celebrated makeup artist Ariane Poole for her tips on how to achieve those huge, beautiful Bette Davis eyes.

“Firstly shape your brows,” said Ariane. “Giving them a great arch will open up your eyes.”

To do this, we at BB HQ recommend a visit to the nearest Estee Lauder Brow Bar, where you can have your brows shaped through plucking or waxing. The wax used is made with the finest resins, natural ingredients and aromatherapy oils, and will remove hairs as short as 1mm!

It costs £15, which is redeemable against any Estee Lauder purchase you make on the day.

See for details of your nearest brow bar and how to book.

“The next step would be to start on the makeup, using a light ivory coloured shadow all over the eyes from the lash line, right up to the brown. Then you would use a taupe-coloured shimmery shadow on the lids,” says Ariane.

Here at BBHQ, we recommend  MAC Brule Satin shadow (£11, to apply all over the eye, followed by Bobbi Brown’s Shimmer Wash Shadow in Ash (£14.50, on the lids.

Or you could try using this cute as a button kit, Big Beautiful Eyes (£21.50, which contains all you need to contour the eyes, and handy instructions included.

“My next tip would be to define the eye shape,” says Ariane. “To do this, use a brown gel liner close to the base of the top and just in the centre of the bottom lashes – this will show a larger shape to your eye.”

For this, we’d recommend Bobbi Brown’s fantastic Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Sepia Ink (£15), and of course the Ultra Fine Eyeliner brush (£20.50) to apply it.

“Next, and this will really open up the eyes, run a white pencil along the inner rim of the eyes,” says Ariane. Try Illamasqua’s Elate Medium Pencil (£12.50,

“Finally, Bette’s secret – brown mascara,” says Ariane. “it’s softer, and opens up the eye more.”

So, while most of us would reach for the black mascara immediately, apparently brown will make your eyes look more naturally open. We’ve tried BeneFit’s Badgal Brown (£15.50) and we loved it. Alternatively, go for a black/brown  – Revlon’s Fabulash Mascara in Blackened Brown (£7.49,

We can’t promise that anyone will write a song about you, but we do think you’ll have Bette Davis-esque eyes!

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