I am not a Halloween person. I am terrified of anything remotely scary. Plus, I’m too much of a nerd to be all confident dressing up as somebody else. I prefer being behind the scenes handing out (or noshing on) candy or helping other people with costume ideas. Anything that puts me in the spotlight isn’t my favorite. So of course, I tried to get out of our Yahoo Beauty Halloween shoot, I really did. But when I realized that my “Go on ahead without me!” pleas were being completely ignored, I had no choice. So I figured I might as well go for it. I knew it would be more embarrassing to half-ass it, so I put on my jumpsuit and went all in.
Coming up with who to be was pretty easy. I knew I wanted to go retro, so I chose one of my favorite icons ever — Cher. The barely there outfits (she’s pretty much been half-naked for most of her life), the confidence, the husky voice, the love affairs (Warren Beatty, Gregg Allman, Gene Simmons, Ritchie Sambora, even Tom Cruise), the outlandish style (no pants…ever! body stockings! sequins! headdresses!) — there is so much to love about the Oscar winner. My favorite version of the icon is ‘70s Cher, when she was all about rocking a middle part, out-to-there lashes, serious eye shimmer, and cutout clothes.
The inspiration: ‘70s Cher as seen on the cover of Cher: Strong Enough by Josiah Howard. (Photo: Plexus Publishing)
To come up with the look, we pulled this inspiration pic and MAC Cosmetics Senior Artist Gina Bettelli went all in on makeup while Honey Artists stylist Nathan Rosenkranz gave me some serious extensions. Here’s how to get the look:
Bettelli started with MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation ($27) applying it to my face and down my neck to my chest, creating a pale, even canvas for makeup. To set makeup and eliminate shine, she dusted MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Skinfinish powder in Natural ($32) over the T-zone. Blush in the ‘70s was applied a little differently than today. Think larger circles of more obvious color placed lower on the cheek under the cheekbone. To recreate that apricot/coral flush, Bettelli reached for MAC Powder Blush in Peaches ($22).
‘70s Cher was all about her eye makeup — crazy-long lashes, vibrantly-hued shimmer shadow, and intense liner all the way around the eye. Bettelli echoed the look in our inspiration picture, going with purple and apricot shadows. To mimic Cher’s deep set eyes Bettelli started with MAC Pro Longwear Paintpot in Let Me Pop ($22) applied to the eyelid and into the crease in a squared oval shape. MAC Eye Shadow in Crème de Violet ($16) was swept into the crease of the eye using the 221 Mini Tapered Blending Brush ($25) to define the oval shape and to create a richer warm tone of plum. For added dimension and brightness she buffed MAC Eye Shadow in Shroom ($16), a pale shade, into the inner crease of the eye.
To create the Cher lash effect, we made sure to line eyes first (it disguises the clear shiny band on the false lashes). Then we relied on false lashes to amp up the look. “MAC 33 Lash ($17) and 34 Lash ($17) combined mimics the look of a ‘70s Cher lash,” says Bettelli. “Both styles are a mix of black and brown hair, making them slightly softer and less synthetic looking. Cut 34 Lash into eight tiny, even bundles to get the right width. Use the longer bundles in the middle and the shorter bundles on the inner and outer corners of eyes.” We started by applying MAC Extreme Dimension Lash mascara ($22). Then we went with 33 Lash false lashes to the top lash line for spiky, yet soft, lashes. 34 Lash were cut into tiny bundles and placed like sunrays along the top lash line. 30 Lash was scattered along the lower lash line for added depth.
‘70s brows weren’t as tamed as they are now, so Bettelli went with MAC Brow Set in Clear ($17) combed up to look groomed and slightly unruly.
Since the focus is on the eyes and cheeks (and hair!), lips were kept pale and shimmery in apricot. MAC Lipstick in Half ’n Half ($17) was applied using a lip brush and blotted to look matte.
Rosenkranz, using Alterna Hair Care at Honey Artists, thought a wig would look too costume-y. Instead he parted my hair in the middle and applied 18-inch extensions that were slightly darker than my natural hair color. All there was left to do was blast “If I Could Turn Back Time” and get in the moment.