Brigitte Bardot’s life reads a little like a French film. Born in Paris in the thirties, she was an aspiring ballerina before she appeared on the cover of Elle Magazine at just 15. This was the moment that defined her career as a glittering Parisian actress, model, and singer to say the least. Elusive affairs with French songwriters, playboy husbands, partying in the French Riviera and a tumultuous relationship with fame were all part of her story. But then, at the height of her career, she decided to turn her back on stardom and fight for animal rights instead.
Her career was short lived but Brigitte Bardot well and truly left her mark. Some fifty years on, she is still considered one of the most breathtakingly beautiful women in the world. She was a unique mix of explicit seduction, insolence and virtuousness, and could wear bedroom eyes like no other woman in history. She wasn’t big on revealing the secrets to her beauty repertoire, so we searched through the archives and our favourite Bardot-moment to unveil the ways you can recreate a temptress look Brigitte would most certainly approve of.
Like all beauty icons, Brigitte Bardot had her signature look.
Soft, pillowy lips painted pinky nude, creamy skin and her infamous winged smoky eyes. Her look is timeless, and effortlessly balances playfulness with seduction. In regards to foundation, Brigitte always had a gorgeous velvet finish. Look for a formula that promises a semi-matte result, or lightly dust a pressed powder over your current favourite.
THE ULTIMATE BOMBSHELL WORKS BEDROOM EYES
BRIGITTE SHOT BY SAM LEVIN IN THE RETRO 'TOWEL SESSION'
“I absolutely loathe luxury. It is one thing I cannot stand.”
Miss Bardot’s look was effortless and low maintenance, so little mistakes and imperfections only add to the lived in, sensual ‘I woke up like this’ vibe. Miss Bardot was the original poster girl for a plump, soft pout. Her lips were already full, but if you need a little help, a nude lip liner works a treat. Over line your lips very slightly using feathery strokes with a soft pencil. To fill them in, Bridgette always had the perfect shade of peachy pink. It’s a secret what she used, but we think Lancôme Rouge in Love Lipstick in Jolis Matins is pretty damn close.
The sultry look would hardly be complete without her famed kitten eyes.
Using a black liner, trace your upper lid before flicking out at the corners (be sure to keep both eyes even). If you like a clean line that won’t smudge, use a gel liner. Try Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner for a look that lasts. For a smokier look, a kohl pencil is perfect as you can soften the line and blend as desired. We love Lancôme Crayon Kohl in Noir. Add mascara, and if you’re feeling dramatic, a set of false lashes. We love Demi Wispies in Black by Ardell- soft and feathery, they’re perfect for a come hither gaze.
THE ORIGINAL SMOKEY EYE
HER BLONDE LOCKS WERE EQUAL PARTS SEXY AND PLAYFUL
“I always hated people fussing with my face and hair. I could get by on my own, pinning up my hair any old way.”
Brigitte’s messy blonde bouffant was just as iconic as her sultry eyes. A natural brunette, she followed the path of iconic bombshells before her (we’re looking at you Marilyn), and lightened her tresses. Her hair was never too ‘done’, emulating her sexy, ‘I didn’t even try’ appeal. Her look was a cross between lived in texture and loose, bombshell curves. To imitate your own laissez-fare style, become acquainted with texturising product. We love Bumble & Bumble Prêt à Powder (the French name is so fitting). Now use a curling iron to take medium sized sections of hair, curling loosely. Tip your head upside down, rake your fingers through and et voilà, sexy, tousled locks.
From Paris to St. Tropez…
In 1959, Brigitte went to the French Riviera to begin shooting “And God Created Woman” with her then husband Roger Vadim. At the time, the sun-drenched backdrop was a popular spot for artists, but as soon as the glamorous blonde with legs that went on forever arrived, St Tropez was put on the map. Her lure was irresistible, and it wasn’t long before playboys, royals and movie stars were parking their yachts. It was here that she paraded resort wear and popularized the bikini, as well as the ultimate beach hair. If you can’t make it to the French seaside, try a sea salt spray like Tony & Guy Sea Salt Texturising Spray. Meanwhile, we’ll start planning our next coastal vacation…
THE GLAMOROUS LIFE IN ST TROPEZ
BRIGITTE CARED NOT FOR FAME BUT ONLY FOR ANIMALS
“I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.”
Miss Bardot had a very unconventional approach to her fame. She was more or less tortured by it, and found herself disinterested by her career. She had become fed up with being view as a sex symbol, so at the height of her career, she left behind the glamour to follow the path she was truly passionate about, becoming an outspoken activist who campaigned for animal rights. From this passion, she founded the Foundation of Protection for Distressed Animals. Her work led to the Council of Europe banning the importation of fur seals as well as the French Government banning ivory imports, two major successes for Brigitte, as well as the animals. She carried on this work for the rest of her life, leaving her stardom as just a memory. Her status as a beauty icon, however, remains as we continue to recreate the smoky eye and full, nude pout Brigitte made oh-so-chic. Innocent and seductive in one heady mix, Miss Bardot was the ultimate Parisian bombshell.
Story by Rikki Hodge-Smith; Interview by Sigourney Cantelo; Photography by Myles Pritchard; Hair and Makeup by Isobel Claire