Tag Archives: Louise Brooks

Q&A With Poppy King

Australian make-up guru Poppy King has long been a champion of the lipstick – and in her mission to spread the word about just how fab this most classic of cosmetics is, she has just collaborated with No7 to produce a capsule collection of lipsticks.

In tribute to No7, the collection comprises seven lipsticks (£12) – and matching glosses (£11)  – each named after the reasons women wear lippie: Power, Seduction, Confidence, History, Glamour, Allure and Intrigue. Sounds like the cosmetic equivalent of the Seven Dwarfs from the Snow White fairy tale …  Here’s what happened when the Lipstick Queen granted Style Matters an audience on all things lipstick-related.

Style Matters: Is a girl’s best friend her lipstick – and, if so, why?

PK: I believe a girl’s best friend is her self esteem, and lipstick can help with that – so, indirectly, yes.

SM: Who is your favourite famous lipstick wearer?

PK: Of today? Chloe Sevigny. And of all time? Louise Brooks (pictured below).

SM: What advice would you give someone who is lipstick shy?

PK: To start sheer. These days there are a lot of options in sheer colour, so you can have almost a hybrid of lipstick and lip gloss until you get used to the idea of lipstick.

SM: What are your golden rules for applying lipstick?

PK: I always believe the best way is straight from the tube and then if you want, use some lip liner AFTER you have applied the lipstick where you see any gaps or where to define the line.

SM: Do you believe that lipstick should only be applied in private – or do you love the theatre of applying it in public?

PK: Whatever makes you more confident. I would rather see a woman applying her lipstick in public than being on her Blackberry constantly!

SM: Any tips on shopping for a lipstick?

PK: Don’t make snap judgements. Try something on and walk around in it. It takes a while to really know if something different feels right on you.

SM: Which is your personal favourite of the lipsticks in your new collection for No7?

PK: I adore each shade of course, but the colour that I am most myself in is History because I have worn red pretty much for 20 years in many different forms and textures.

SM: Bright lips are big news this spring/summer. Do you have any tips on how best to wear it?

PK: It’s not so much the application as it is minimal eye make-up. When you wear bright lips then you don’t want your eye make-up competing.

SM: What are your top tips for getting your lipstick to last?

PK: Blot with a tissue and start again; apply lipstick from the tube; choose less glossy lipsticks; use a lip liner over the entire lip first before applying the lipstick; after lunch, take the lipstick off and re-apply from the start and it should last right through the afternoon.

SM: And what about tips for finding the perfect shade for your colouring?

PK:  I have just one – the right lip shade(s) lights up your whole face!

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The Wisdom of Pearls

Pearls are big news this season in the beauty world, with Chanel and Guerlain both paying tribute to that most flattering of jewels in their spring make-up collections.  How better to complement a pearl-inspired make-up than with the real thing? Here, then, is a selection of stylish ladies who knew how to work their strings of pearls. Josephine Baker (sometimes nicknamed the Black Pearl),  knew how to get mileage out of her beads – both offstage (above) and on (below). Given that she made her name on the Paris stage, there’s a good chance that some of these pearls came from the boutique owned by one Mademoiselle Chanel ..

Silent movie icon Louise Brooks got in on the pearl trend when she played Lulu in Pandora’s Box in 1928.

By the 1940s, multi-strand necklaces which sat at the collarbone had become the “in” way to wear pearls, and, as screen siren Hedy Lamarr demonstrates here, it was particularly effective with a black chiffon. Anything else would have been too heavy-looking..

In the 1950s, a single strand worn high at the neck was a favourite way of wearing pearls, especially if you wanted to achieve a demure, ladylike look – which is clearly what a certain Miss Monroe was going for in this next photo.

And Elizabeth Taylor (almost) managed to deflect attention away from her low-cut dress with her ladylike single strand of pearls..

Of course, the reason for pearls becoming so strongly associated with a ladylike look was the fact that they were – along with white gloves – a key component of the signature style of Grace Kelly, the Hollywood star who became a real-life princess. Here she is in one of her beautiful Edith Head gowns from Rear Window (1954), a film in which her character’s chic wardrobe was designed to reflect the star’s own.

Jacqueline Kennedy was another American aristocrat who was known for her penchant for pearls – simple jewellery to complement the unfussy lines of her much-admired clothes.

Just when pearls were at risk of becoming too conservative a style choice, along came Sophia Loren – whose bib-like multi-strand was clearly a favourite, as she was often photographed wearing it.. If anyone could inject some va-va-voom into the art of wearing pearls, she could..

These days, anything goes – pearl-wise. Heaping them on to create a mess of pearls has become a statement-making way of of wearing them. Sarah Jessica Parker worked this look in Sex and the City but I don’t think it’s been done better in recent times than by the singer Rihanna whose pearls were the talking point of the Inglorious Basterds premiere in 2009.


But the pearly queen of them all – the woman who stayed true to the jewel throughout her life and who is still teaching us how to wear it- was Coco Chanel (pictured below with Serge Lifar in 1937) who was layering real and faux pearls of different sizes from early in her career. Vive les perles!

(c) Lipnitzki / Roger-Viollet


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