Hooray! It’s July! Here at CBMA we’re going mad for the eyebrows and a 60’s make up because today the Audrey Hepburn ‘Portraits of an Icon’ starts at the National Portrait Gallery.

This photo exhibition chronicles the life of the icon from chorus girl on the West End stage to her charitable work for UNICEF. Classic portraits as well as rare works will be on display from photographers as amazing as their subject; Richard Avedon, Cecil Beaton, Terry O’Neill, Norman Parkinson and Irving Penn. The photographs will be shown alongside vintage artefacts; magazine covers, and film stills, as well as talks, workshops and film showings.

When we talk of the actress, we have to mention her favourite makeup artist Alberto de Rossi, who was famed for creating her iconic doe eyes. Hepburn liked to darken, plump, and lengthen her lashes. She had one trick to ensure that her lashes looked naturally fanned-out and clump-free—and it wasn’t a magic mascara wand. After applying a layer of mascara, her makeup artist would take a pin and meticulously separate every lash. It was a slow process but to create an enduring look these things have to be done.
Rossi, worked on many artists and designed the classic “Cleopatra’s Elizabeth Taylor look! An interesting philosophy of Rossi was his common sense approach to makeup. He believed the environment dictated the style of the makeup; as an example, he would use the analogy of a woman going to play tennis and a woman going to dinner to make his point.

If we are writing about Audrey Hepburn and makeup looks then we do have to mention her putting on her lipstick on in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. the film is brilliant, the look absolutely nails it. With Givenchy designing the costume, the film was bound to be stunningly visual.

Wally Westmore was the makeup artist who created the simple natural and sophisticated look. We have to mention the Westmore family who were an incredible talented family of makeup artists. George, the father, was Winston Churchill’s barber. One of Wally’s brothers created the Hunchback of Nitre Dame. Perc, was innovative and used the moulded foam to create the heavy look of Quasimodo upon the face of Charles Laughton.

Yet this is for another blog at a later date.