October 17th 2021
Beauty icon: Jerry Hall
October 15th 2012 / 0 comment
Striking a pose: Jerry Hall as Eighties icon, and below pictured in 1979, 1987 and 2005 (Getty)
Our resident make-up artist Kay Montano explains how to get the Strictly Come Dancing star's look
Clothes and make-up may change over the years, but our basic style references stem from those who inspired us at an early, formative stage. For my 12-year-old self, that was none other than Texan supermodel and rock star wife, Jerry Hall.
As an only child in the Eighties I was left to my own devices to devour copies of Cosmopolitan, and so it was that Jerry Hall became filed in my brain under “a” for awesome. Long before she signed up for Strictly Come Dancing, there was something decadent about her take-it-or-leave-it attitude, something admirable about the way she ensnared men with her impossible tresses and strident model poses. She was the sassy, clubbing, bad-girl auntie I dearly wished I had.
Even though I had short, brown curly hair and looked like Starsky (as in Hutch), Jerry was my inspiration. I was convinced that it was only a matter of time, the correct electrical tools and the right make-up before I too would be hanging out with her at Studio 54, the legendary New York club.
Jerry was also the first woman who really brought home to me the power of make-up. Of course, she was a natural beauty to begin with, but she was also something else: a product of her incredible hair and make-up teams.
There may have been retouching of sorts; but the kind of zealous, manipulated digital modifying that anyone with a laptop and a mouse can use to change a face or a body nowadays simply didn’t exist. What was in the picture was pretty much what was before the camera and exceptional lighting aside, that was down to the make-up artist.
Make-up artists such as Way Bandy and Barbara Daly blended strong pigment with painterly skill, creating an abundance of colourful contours that are forever imprinted in my consciousness. It was all just so perfect.
I would gaze at Jerry’s face, soaking up her spellbinding glamour, divining the work of these masters, and then get to work with my Mary Quant duos in an attempt to perfect that half-moon eye shape of the Eighties, a kind of post-punk, disco take on Hollywood’s Golden Age.
This multi-coloured, heavily contoured look so inextricably associated with that era gave birth to a new concept in make-up: the super-make-up-palette. Brands such as Pupa came in multi-layers of cosmetic possibility; suddenly, you could become a make-up-artist-come-cover-girl in the privacy of your own bedroom. So much more fun that maths homework.
More was more in the Eighties. Full-on foundation, powder, blusher, eye make-up and lips were the norm. It’s a look that is rarely done today. Modern make-up is all about sophisticated, versatile textures and formulations, which make even the brightest of shades very wearable. The Essential Eye Shadow Kit in Palette 5 by Kevyn Aucoin, for example, has a very pretty selection of soft violets and peaches, ideal for experimenting (£44, Spacenk.co.uk).
Contouring (the use of colour to enhance the shape of the face) and blusher have also come a long way since the exaggerated stripes that characterised so many Eighties cheekbones; but bear in mind that good blending relies on good brushes. The new, animal-free brushes by Neal’s Yard Remedies (Nealsyardremedies.com) are surprisingly soft, and do the job very well. As to the colour itself, Tom Ford’s contouring cream is the best by far, (Tom Ford Shade and Illuminate, £55, 0870 0342566) with its believable tone and blendability; but alas, it is very pricey. As with all industry faves, however, it won’t be long before the affordable lines follow.
The easy-to-apply, natural finish of cream blush such as Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge ((£18, bobbibrown.co.uk),
meanwhile, is a staple in my kit and is suitable for all ages and most skin types (unless you have very oily skin on the cheek area). Apply with a brush, sponge or fingers.
The unkempt Brooke Shields brows may have been the defining Seventies brow, but Jerry’s were always to die for. Natural and wide, yet subtly arched, rather like Grace Kelly's, another "eyebrow icon" of mine. But go easy on the plucking ladies. Try to avoid an overly neat line as it’s a little hard, and also quite ageing. Clear mascara is a wonderful product that I often use to give a lifting effect to the eyes, and it is useful if your brows are overly thin.
Lastly, Jerry has always had ultra-glossy lips too, and that megawatt smile we see as Anton du Beke glides her around the dancefloor on Strictly is a trademark. In real life heavy lip gloss over lipstick can be a bit impractical, which is why we should all give thanks to the Chanel Rouge Coco Shine lipsticks (£24, 020 7493 3836). Designed for the lip-gloss generation, these modern lip pigments can be applied straight from the case like a lip balm with no fussing around with lipliners to create a perfect line.