How Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren are STILL more glamorous than today's starlets

In the Hollywood landscape of new, new, new, what really stands out is that today's starlets still emulate the looks of classic screen beauties, including Elizabeth Taylor, Marilyn Monroe and Rita Hayworth, who ruled the red carpet in the 1950s.

Funny, you don't hear that much about Cher, Sharon Stone, or even Demi Moore and Julia Roberts, all very popular stars of the awards-show circuit in more recent history. Could you imagine Angelina Jolie all done up as Sally Field

But Jolie made most of the best-dressed list from the Golden Globe awards earlier this month with her bright red lips and neat hair that complemented her glamorous gown.

Sophia Loren in one of her film costumes in Witness to Our Time

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie has been compared to Sophia Loren, whose classic beauty is still admired today

'To reference the bygone era of past
screen sirens, there's something about that genre that women gravitate
to, men gravitate to and fashion gravitates to,' says Jenn Karsten,
director of education and artistry for the cosmetics brand Make Up For

'I think it's the essence of the
real woman,' she says. 'If we referenced the 70s, 80s and the 90s even,
the culture was shifting so much. It was a sexual revolution but with a
strong androgynous look. It was, “Don't look at me for my beauty, look
at me for my brains, my power.”

'But if you look at Liz Taylor, Sophia
Loren or Marilyn, they're all mega stars that were proven talents and
proven beauties.'

Lori Taylor, global pro lead makeup artist for Smashbox, says Hollywood back in the day was more about crafting a lasting image instead of jumping from trend to trend.

'The 1940s and 50s had a ladylike glamour. Everything worked! These women weren't testing anything out. If you look at the women of the '80s, it was more about pushing the edge – and that's not as timeless.'

Rita Hayworth

Scarlett Johansson emulates the look of the Holllywood golden age

Scarlett Johansson, right, emulates immaculately groomed look of the 40s and 50s like Rita Hayworth, left – and as a result has a more timeless elegance than some of her contemporaries who push the style boundaries

It was a pretty rare occasion that the Monroes and Hayworths of the world would turn up somewhere without a well-planned outfit and full made-up face, adds Wende Zomnir, founding partner and creative director of Urban Decay.

Their appearances were more staged than the paparazzi snapshots of today's stars, of course, but they also had fairly simple beauty routines, even if they wore a lot of product, she says.

Red lips like Marylin Monroe's are crucial for creating Hollywood star style

Red lips like Marylin Monroe's are crucial for creating Hollywood star style

Right, Michelle Williams – who recently played
Marilyn Monroe, left in a biopic of the star – knows that red lips like
Marylin's are crucial for creating Hollywood star style



'Pamela Anderson ruined brows,' declares Zomnir. 'Brows are hard to do right, but people are scared to let them grow.'

She'd like to see more people take their cue from Elizabeth Taylor, or at least Brooke Shields in the 80s.


This isn't carte blanche to be natural, however, says Karsten.

goal is a look that's simple, but well groomed, with flawless skin and a
few big statements, such as a bright lip color and jet-black lashes.

might need foundation, you'll need a good skin-care routine, you might
even need time-consuming false lashes to make it look like you barely
gave it a thought.

Balance those one or two bold moves with neutral-tone eyes and cheeks, she says.


Many ingredients commonly used in skin care today were virtually
unknown 50 years ago, like antioxidants and peptides, said Charles
Denton, CEO of skin-care company Erno Laszlo, but Laszlo, the company's
late founder, was an early proponent of lifestyle approaches. He also
personally worked with Monroe and Ava Gardner.

He actively promoted a good diet, the idea of avoiding the sun and getting a good night sleep,' Denton explains.

'He supported antioxidants that do good, like drinking red wine and eating dark chocolate.'

Elizabeth Taylor's full eyebrows and perfectly set hair are emulated by today's stars

Pamela Anderson 'ruined the brow' by plucking hers so thin

Full brows are the key to the Hollywood glamour – but make up artist Wende Zomnir says Pamela Anderson 'ruined the brow' by plucking hers so thin


Targeting skin blemishes will mean less makeup – and less room for error, says Denton.


'Red lipstick makes you walk a little taller, stand a little straighter and you'll get more attention and compliments,' says Karsten. 'Why not do it'

Lori Taylor says there is a right shade of red for everyone. Most people can wear a warm red, but you have to try it on, she says. If it doesn't work, move toward something with a little bit more orange.

It'll have the same effect but be friendlier to both pale and olive skin tones, she says.

Elizabeth Taylor made candy-apple red her signature, and Hayworth wore the red that really looks like real red. Monroe leaned toward a really rosy pink. A berry-tone fuchsia also turns heads and is easy to wear, especially for daytime, says Zomnir.


Contouring makeup that took advantage of staged lighting is clunky and cumbersome for a modern on-the-go lifestyle, says Lori Taylor.

The modern version is highlighting (for example, by using bronzer), which adds dimension with just a few strokes here and there. Kim Kardashian and Beyonce are masters, she says.


A sultry star – she has Eva Mendes, Megan Fox or Jennifer Lopez in mind – can do Hayworth with a good glow on the skin, Lori Taylor says, while a blonde can do the contrast of pale skin and highly pigmented cosmetics.