Considered one of the most beautiful women of her time, Ava Gardner began her movie career with a host of small roles before becoming one of Hollywood’s brightest stars of the 1940s and 1950s. She had a classic heart-shape face with softly sculpted cheekbones, large eyes and full lips that were invariably painted a sophisticated red. Framed by neatly arched brows, her eyes were subtly defined, with the outer third accentuated with shimmery eyeshadow and false lashes.
Ava Gardner’s sultry beauty is easy to emulate with precisely painted red lips, polished skin and contoured cheekbones.
Keynotes of the Ava Gardner look:
Full, glossy red lips are the epitome of Hollywood glamour. Draw the outline precisely but keep the shape natural and blend the gloss with a lip brush for a light, all-over sheen.
Brows must arch softly with the highest point two-thirds of the way along, tapering gradually to a point at the outer corners.
Keep eyeliner thin and precise for subtle definition.
Accentuate the outer third of the eye to draw the focus upwards and outwards and make the eyes look farther apart.
Contour the cheeks, using matte bronzer to deepen the hollows and highlighter to bring the cheekbones forward.
To make your lips look fuller, after priming them, use a waxy red lip liner to draw just outside the natural outline, taking care to make the bow precise and the shape symmetrical. Fill in the colour and blend with a lip brush. Then apply lipstick and top with red gloss.
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Subtly defined wide-apart eyes
1 Use a natural brow powder to create a neat arch two-thirds of the way along the eye, tapering it to a point.
2 Prime the lid to create a smooth, neutral base. Use a white or nude eyeliner along the inner rim to brighten and open up the eyes.
3 Brush a nude powder eyeshadow over the lid and up to the browbone. Then define the socket with a soft pearl taupe eyeshadow. Blend it from the lashes at the outer third of the eye, up and out towards the bottom of the brow. Blend a little eyeshadow under the bottom lashes to create a shadow.
4 Draw a fine line of black pencil or gel eyeliner along the upper lash line, starting at the inner corner and taking it horizontally just beyond the end of the lashes at the outer corner.
5 Curl the lashes and coat them with mascara. Apply corner lashes to emphasize the outer part of the eyes.
Polished skin and sculpted cheeks
6 Use a primer to create a smooth base. Then blend medium-coverage foundation where you need it and cover any under-eye circles or blemishes with concealer. Set with translucent powder, polishing it well with a large soft brush.
7 Contour the cheeks by blending matte bronzer just under the cheekbones and along the hairline.
8 Blend crème highlighter along the cheekbones, the bridge of the nose and under the arches of the brows.
Full glossy Hollywood-red lips
9 Exfoliate the lips and then prime them with my Lip Perfector or foundation.
10 Outline the lips with a waxy lip liner that matches your lipstick. Fill in the shape and blend it with a lip brush.
11 Paint red lipstick over the top with the lip brush and then add a dab of red gloss and blend.