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Vintage Inspiration: Marisa Berenson in Cabaret


Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Marisa Berenson wasn’t just one of Vogue’s top cover girls in the late ’60s. She wasn’t just the woman that Yves Saint Laurent christened “the girl of the ’70s.” She wasn’t just a fashion icon, or the ultra-glam, jet-setting daughter of Gogo Schiaparelli, the famed Italian/French/Egyptian socialite. She was an actress, damnit. Not a profoundly capable one, but did anyone care? The green-eyed, golden-skinned beauty was so breathtaking in the 1972 Cabaret (an Oscar-winning peek at nightlife decadence and the ominous rise of the Nazis in ’30s Berlin) that her wooden line readings were totally beside the point. Berenson played Natalia Landauer, a German Jewish heiress with a possibly doomed fate, but her most lasting impression was that face—powder blue shadow, mile-long Marlene Dietrich lashes, and bright, rosy lips. Borrowing from her beauty playbook is still just as relevant today.

Baby blue eyes

Opaque baby blue shadow can easily lapse into ticky-tacky ’70s territory—so it’s important to keep the texture sheer, Cabaret-style. Go for a robin’s egg blue hue, like Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow in Blue My Mind ($20). The creamy texture is buildable, so you can wear it as strong or subtle as you’d like. Try applying with your finger instead of a sponge or brush; you have more control that way.

Cabaret (1972)

Massive lashes

The key to this look is the lusciously battable, Greta Garbo–style lashes. Lengthen and volumize your situation with Blinc Mascara Amplified ($26), which is, in the humble opinion of this mascara-obsessed writer, the best formula for pumping up sparse lashes. Plus, it’s smudge-proof, sweat-proof, and water-resistant (a summer non-negotiable). For extra length, always curl your lashes first; try the cult-favorite The Eyelash Curler from Kevyn Aucoin ($21).

Cabaret (1972)

The not-red lip

Marisa-as-Natalia’s lips aren’t red red. And they’re not properly coral. No, they’re some utterly enchanting color in-between—the perfect “who me, sexy?” shade. Hot without being overt. Try Tarte Power Pigment in True Love ($24), a jumbo pencil loaded with moisturizing shea butter and tingly mint. Yum.

Tia Williams has been a beauty editor for 15 years, at publications like ElleGlamourLucky, and Back in 2005, Tia created one of the first beauty blogs, Shake Your Beauty, where she wove her love of products through hilarious vignettes from her life as a beauty expert and mom living in Brooklyn. She’s also written several books, including the best-selling novel The Accidental Diva and supermodel Iman’s The Beauty of Color. Follow Tia on Twitter @shakeyourbeauty.

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