The Witty Vintage Vamp Look!

Polly Smith talks about the sultry and bold eye makeup of vamps from movies of the yesteryears that unknowingly introduced iconic trends in eye makeup

Sultry tones highlighting even shadier characters in Hollywood blockbusters have long since had a compelling influence over the world of beauty. As trends have come and gone – we can see the pattern laid out clearly on some of the films’ most unsavoury female characters – from the heavy, smokey eye of Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in ‘Batman Begins’ to the sweet, subtle and mean-spirited Regina George from 2004’s smash hit ‘Mean Girls’.

We’ve picked out four of the most iconic looks that have dominated films, the catwalk and our own high streets to show you what’s behind them – and how you can achieve them at home:

The Fatal Attraction

fatal-attraction4Glenn Close became a household name for both her aversion to pet rabbits and her bold eye makeup in 1987, and the key here is ‘more is more’ when it comes to your peepers. To achieve this, choose natural tones in peaches and pinks for your base, dusting right up to the brow bone, then carefully line your eyes with black kohl*, focusing on the upper lid and inner lower lid. Smudge very gently to soften the harsh line and finish with a thick sweep of mascara for a wide-eyed, dramatic effect.


*Try Rimmel Soft Kohl Kajal Eye Pencil in Jet Black for a soft line that works for both inner and outer lash lines. Perfect for smudging and creating the ultimate smokey eye.

Catwoman – The Original


Long before Halle Berry became known for her iconic role in Catwoman, Michelle Pfeiffer graced our screens and it wasn’t just the defining costume that caught everyone’s attention.  Sultry, winged black eyeliner was at the helm of this iconic look, which has remained on-trend even in the 24 years since it first debuted on screen. To achieve this, use a primer all over the lids, then dust with a soft pinky beige shadow with just a hint of shine**. Then, taking a liquid precision eyeliner in black, sweep along the upper lash line starting from the inside corner of your eye and finishing with a flick. Repeat to gradually thicken the line, whilst maintaining the original shape, then do the same on your lower lash line, bringing it up to meet the top to create a ‘wing’ effect. Finish off with mascara to really stand out from the crowd.


**Mac’s classic eye shadow in ‘Naked Lunch’ is perfect for easy, everyday wear with just a hint of glamour.

Cruel Intentions (but sweet underneath)
Sarah Michelle Gellar stormed our screens and soon became a household name in 1999, whilst we soon found out she is the quintessential girl-next-door, with her wide doe eyes and blonde locks. The look, however, that first captured our attention was that of her character Kathryn Merteuil in ‘Cruel Intentions’. While her on-screen behaviour left a lot to be desired, her eye makeup remained total perfection with smokey, alluring plum and gold tones***. This look can carry you from a day of meetings right on to dinner and even to the dance floor!



To achieve this, dust your whole lids with a soft gold shade, then using the ‘cut-crease’ effect and a sharper brush, choose a deep plum tone to sweep onto the socket of your eye and up, creating a cat-eye shape. In the same tone, bring the colour from the centre of your bottom lash line up to the outer corners to meet the line, then soften the lines by dusting a dusty pink along the top lid. To finish, add a soft sweep of black liquid liner along the top lash line and a volumising mascara**** for both the top and bottom lashes.pp-quad_the-vinatge-vamp_1

***Charlotte Tilbury offers a desk-to-disco eye palette which includes four harmonious shades and an easy way to achieve 4 flattering vamp eye effects

1216_xlarge****Try Maybelline’s Lash Sensational Mascara in black to volumise and define your lashes from root to tip. Start light and build up to create your desired look – ensuring the formula will remain clump and smudge-free for impact all day.

The Mean Girl (But Not Really)
Possibly the most iconic chick flick from the past 15 years, this movie created a whirlwind of memes and catchphrases, as well as a tongue-in-cheek insight into the modern day world of high school– so who better to draw inspiration from than the Queen of Mean herself, Regina George?  The saccharine exterior hid a multitude of sins and, whilst we’re not sure anyone in the real world could possibly be this mean, her go-to look of fresh, wide-eyed innocence, is one we would definitely recommend!


Choose a very soft grey eye shadow with a hint of silver and dust it all over the lower lid, and half way up to your brow. On the lower inside eye, carefully continue this along the lash line to brighten and widen your eyes. Using a dark grey kohl pencil, softly draw from the middle of the top lashes to the outer corner of your eyes, finishing up with a small, upwards flick to create a wing. Softly draw from the middle of your lower lashes and up towards the outer corner to bring these two lines together and top it off with black mascara to widen and define your lashes.