Soft & Cozy Fall Beauty: Anouk Aimée In 'La Dolce Vita'

Vintage-inspired hair, brows, and lashes that are the beauty equivalent of a fuzzy sweater.
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Vintage-inspired hair, brows, and lashes that are the beauty equivalent of a fuzzy sweater.

I take plenty of inspiration from leading ladies of eras past, and come autumn, I find myself wanting to really vamp it up. Cue vision of Fellini's women dancing in my head. 

While Fellini had a complicated relationship with women that is easy to see in his films, he viewed us as goddesses--otherworldly and sometimes animalistic. 

One such lady is Anouk Aimée, the striking French actress who appeared in Fellini's 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita.

anouk aimee la dolce vita

Quick, I need this dress.

In the latter, Anouk plays Maddalena, a wealthy and extremely beautiful heiress, and I'm obsessed with her look in the film. She wears the best little black dresses, sunglasses indoors, and tops it all off with voluminous, piled-high soft curls, full, bushy brows, and extremely lush lashes poking out of the blackest liner. 

She looks sexy and intimidating while still appearing soft and fuzzy, like a newborn kitten with teeth that bite.

anouk aimee la dolce vita

The perfect tousled curls and slightly slept-in eye makeup.

The Hair

This look is all about the soft texture and the waves--perfection isn't what we're aiming for here. That means it's OK if a few strands fall loose or your hair looks a bit fuzzy.

I started off by curling the top layers of my hair with a 1-inch curling iron and then pinning them in place as they cooled. The lower, longer layers stayed down as they will be getting pinned up and under.

hair pin curled

Top: my top layers pinned after curling with a 1-inch curling iron; bottom: the funny ringlets before teasing them out.

After about 10 minutes, I took the pins out and had some silly looking ringlets, which I back-combed with a boar-bristle brush to loosen them up and start to build height. I also teased and hair-sprayed my hair for more heft. 

pinned hair updo

From top to bottom: The hair pins I used; the view from the back (afterwards I pinned up some of the loose lower pieces); a side view.

To get the updo, I grabbed the bulk of my hair and gathered it loosely near the nape of my neck and then began rolling it into a sausage shape, making sure the ends were tucked under and close to the scalp. To secure, I used Parcelona's French Tortoise Shell Hair Pins, twisting into the roll of hair until they were snugly in place.

Any pieces that were too loose, I gently brushed back and then sprayed liberally with more hair spray. If they were particularly stubborn, a couple of bobby pins did the job.

The Eyes

To begin this sultry eye look, I used Lise Watier's Double Definition Automatic Brow Liner in Châtain, sketching on fine brush strokes to fill out my natural brows and create a rounder arch. Then I used Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Gel in Clear to brush up my brows to really get that caterpillar effect.

For my eyes, I began by applying MAC Eye Shadow in Wedge, a light warm beige, all over the lid and then smudging Urban Decay Eye Shadow in Desperation, a slightly-sheeny medium-toned brown-gray into the crease.

Next up, I began defining the lash line using Essence's Gel Eye Pencil Waterproof in Black Blaze along the outer two-thirds of my upper lash and water line, and then Urban Decay's 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Desperation, a matte deep taupe along the outer two-thirds of the lower lash line, smudging at the outer corner.

brown eye shadow

From top to bottom: brows done; both shades of eye shadow applied; both pencil liners applied.

For the lashes, I chose to apply strip false lashes to the outer half of my lash line because my lash extensions have almost all fallen out. I used Kiss Ever Pro Lashes in 02 and Kiss Strip Lash Adhesive with Aloe in Black. Because the lashes came with a super-easy applicator, and the glue was black, application was incredibly easy and seamless.

Finally, I created a sharp, angular cat eye with Eyeko's Alexa Chung Lash Enhancing Eye Do Eyeliner.

black cat eye

From top to bottom: The false eyelashes and glue that I used; my eye with false lashes added; liquid liner applied.

Finishing Touch

Last, I applied NARS Audacious Lipstick in Anita, an antique rose, to both my lips and cheeks. This lipstick is my perfect shade of "my lips, but better," and the formula is moisturizing while still being packed with pigment.

anouk aimee la dolce vita look

After all that, it was time to channel Anouk as best as I could.

up do hairstyle side view

A side shot of the hair and its swirling sections.

And, just for fun, how about a black and white shot?

anouk aimee la dolce vita look

With sunglasses indoors, of course.

  • Is this a look you could see yourself copying this fall? 
  • Who are your old movie beauty icons?