before and after

Classic vs Modern

Sunday, March 07, 2010

While watching a movie or television show that is set in the 1940s, 50s or 60s, like Mad Men or The Edge of Love, I find myself distracted by how much better the actresses look in period hair and makeup then in the hair and makeup of today. It is obvious, from this blog alone, that I prefer the aesthetic of the mid-twentieth century but why have I formed this preference? Perhaps the photographs and stills below will explain.


When I saw this Vanity Fair spread of Amy Adams, I couldn't believe how swell she looked. Adams is adorable to begin with but she wears the classic look with the air of a true femme fatale, a great contrast to her more innocent modern look. In the photograph on the right Adams looks like she could be any girl, while on the left she looks the part of a movie star, someone extraordinary.
After watching the films The Edge of Love and Atonement, I have most certainly decided that Keira Knightly is more beautiful with classic hair and makeup. The photograph on the left, from The Edge of Love, shows a fresh faced, classically styled Keira. Her hairstyle plays up her wonderful bone structure while her light eye makeup makes her skin look absolutely flawless. The photograph on the left, showing Keira in modern hair and makeup, is less flattering. Keira's hair covers her face in a way that is not flattering to her forehead or cheekbones, while her intense eye makeup gives me the impression that her skin is, well, dirty.
January Jones as Mad Men's Betty Draper is convincingly a woman of the 1960's. Jones wears the classic style well, bearing a striking resemblance to Grace Kelly or Elizabeth Montgomery. On the left, as Betty Draper, Jones looks sophisticated yet youthful and her hair looks chic and healthy. On the right, Jones looks much the way that Adams does, like any ordinary girl. While she is still beautiful, her look is quite plain and her hair is far from chic.

The mid-century look is that of sophistication, understated beauty and well coiffed hair, demonstrated well by the photographs above in the left hand column. The comparisons above also make plain the fact that mid-century hair and makeup makes even the most glamourous even more so.
Classic style, the secret to transforming an ordinary woman into the extraordinary.

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