The Great Gatsby is getting all the credit for bringing the flapper look back, but honey, the flapper never left. A flapper is just a pretty word for a girl who gives conventional style and social norms the middle finger. That’s why I never enjoy reading beauty columns that show 21st century girls how to achieve the flapper look to an absolute T. The flappers rocked because they broke the beauty rules of their generation with a dose of sophisticated androgyny, but if we 2013 girls did the same, we wouldn’t being defying the aesthetics of our time. We could shave our heads and tattoo “home wrecker” across the back of our skulls and the worst thing that would happen is that we wouldn’t get that job at Lululemon that we’d been coveting.
Cupid-bow lips and overly plucked brows belong to the ladies of the ’20s, women who paved the way for ladies like me to stay up all night to get lucky, and for that I am forever thankful. I’m sure the original flappers helped in some way with giving us ladies the right to vote, and that’s pretty cool too, but right now Pharrell is playing on the radio in the cafe where I’m working because I’m a modern girl with a full-time writing gig, and how awesome is that? Take that, Hemingway! Thanks, flappers of Yesteryear! Today, I’m paying tribute to the rebellious ladies of the last century with a modern take on their beauty routine. Here’s how to update your inner flapper for 2013…
Even Out Your Skin Tone
Some people just blindly believe that women of the early-20th century had a deep affection for evenly toned skin. I’m pretty sure I know the truth: these women were partying so hard that they needed something strong to cover up their ruddy, alcohol-infused faces. Fortunately, these days a true party girl doesn’t have to resort to a routine that involves gluing powder to her face with the tears borne of the mistakes made the night before. I am obsessed with Dior Hydra Life BB Crème SPF 30-PA+++ because not only is the coverage unbelievable and works on almost any skin tone, it also has SPF and acts as a moisturizer. That helps your skin recover from last night’s party without forcing you to miss out on whatever happens the morning after.
Go for the Doe-Eyed Look
The flappers were notorious for having smoky eyes. I believe this was because they made like modern-day Berlin underground club kids and raged for days without taking off their makeup. The smoky look was made for the kind of girl who isn’t afraid to go for a greasy spoon breakfast at 4pm after an all-nighter and then back out on the party circuit with no break in between. Chanel Les 4 Ombre Quadra Eye Shadow has everything you need to go smoky, and it’s Chanel, so it only adds to your flapper-inspired look when you carry it around in your clutch.
Define Your Brows
Flappers had tiny little brows, but going full flapper in the 21st century screams “personal meltdown,” and you only really want your look to be flapper influenced (that was Baz Luhrmann’s idea behind The Great Gatsby party scenes that half the world didn’t seem to understand, right?). I’m all about Lancome Hypnose Brow Shaper, which lets you give your brows a little shape and then holds it in place with a light gel for a sexy dose of femme fatale fabulousness.
Rock Wine-Stained Lips
The flappers were all about cupid-bow lips, but you’ll just look batsh*t Grey Gardens crazy if you do this for anything other than a costume party. Instead, opt for a lip with a dark wine hue, which was actually one of the hottest runway trends of 2012. I like Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick in Bordeaux. Not only is it dark and mysterious, I imagine that actual flappers would have been all about this shade simply because it matched their go-to libation.
Throw on A Hair Band
When choosing a flapper-inspired hair band, opt for something that could have transcended the decades and worked just as beautifully backstage with The Doors as it could have at a West Egg party. This ASOS Flapper Hair Band can easily be dressed up with a short fringe dress or rocked hard with a pair of cut-offs and a bra-let. The idea is to be an authentic party girl, someone who’s unafraid to make a statement no matter what decade, city or party she finds herself in.