When it comes to celebrity lookalikes, I have a few. My best friend swears Nicole Kidman will play me a movie about my life. I get a lot of Liv Tyler, or just “an elf” if people are feeling lazy.
And Cher. People loooooooove telling me how much I look like Cher. Which is fine with me, because I love Cher. No really. I LOVE HER.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been listening to her music all my life. Before my life, even. My mum is the OG Cher superfan, and I’m pretty sure I knew all the words to every song from Dark Lady while I was still in utero.
Maybe it’s because I watched Mermaids once a week, every week, like it was my little baby job. Even though the majority of it was totally over my head.
Maybe it’s because The Sonny and Cher Show is partially responsible for my deadpan, sarcastic sense of humour, my love of snappy comebacks and also my lifelong goal to be a V-A-M-P...VAMP.
Or maybe it’s because I’ve always been fascinated by beautiful people who are also a little odd looking, as I am a little odd-looking myself. So when I was thinking about beauty muses, this is obviously where my mind went. I was super excited to research her thousands of looks & pick my favourite makeup.
But while I was researching this article, I noticed a couple of things...
One: Almost everything Cher has ever worn is PERFECT. Two: Cher’s basic makeup style really hasn’t changed very much since the early seventies.
Isn’t that weird? She’s known for changing with the times! But it’s true. Girl figured out pretty quickly what worked the best on her face and she ran with it.
Broken down, the individual parts are: lots of gorgeous, shiny hair (usually dark, but she pulls off a coloured wig like no other). Big eyes with a very defined crease. Heaps of lashes. Incredible, defined cheekbones. Glowing skin (tanned or otherwise). Neutral lips (all the better to use THAT VOICE).
This is Cher’s look. It’s what she wore on The Sonny and Cher Show. It’s what she wore in the eighties with a massive perm and tattoos. It’s what she wears in almost all her movies, and it’s probably what she’s wearing right now as she adjusts her Queen of Twitter crown (tweet me, girl, you’re my hero!).
Cher is the patron saint of The Signature Makeup Look, and I love her for it EVEN MORE (if such a thing were possible, which it isn’t, because I already love her the maximum amount).
And it just so happens that a lot of the things that work on Cher work on me. So it stands to reason that I’d try them all out, while hoping with every fiber of my being that she does decide to go on tour again.
(If she does, I’m wearing this to her Chicago date. Even if it's in the dead of winter. I DON'T CARE.)
My basic face stuff is almost always the same: Smashbox BB Cream all over, Mac Mineralise Concealer on zits and scars, YSL Touche Eclat under my eyes and set with NARS pressed powder applied with a fluffy brush.
To really emphasise my cheekbones, I got to some light contouring. This involved a smallish blush brush and a light brown matte eyeshadow (Wedge by MAC is my go-to). I pursed my lips like I was ready to make a duckface, which shows me not just where my cheekbones are--y’know, in case I missed them--but also where they join up with the apples of my cheeks. It’s sort of a Nike swoosh shape.
Then I brushed on my light brown shadow, making sure to keep it UNDERNEATH the cheekbone/chubby apples. Make sure you really blend this well--Cher would never be seen with stripy cheeks!
I used a very seventies coral blush (Boots No7, Coral Flush) along the brown contour, then up onto the bottom of my apples. Really enhance dem cheeks!
Then I used a gold-bronze shimmer (MAC Mineralize, Soft and Gentle, claims to be a bronzer but is more or a shiny powder) along my cheekbones, up along my temples, along the sides of my forehead, over the tops of my eyebrows and down the bridge of my nose. This gave shimmer and a little additional colour.
Condragulations, you’ve just done some easy contouring.
Cher was known for her low-cut tops, and has the distinction of being the first woman on tv to show her bellybutton. So get ready to show off your decolletage.
Using a big fluffy brush, I dusted my gold-bronze MAC shimmer all over my chest and arms. I'm pretty fair, so I'm not gonna worry about getting myself as bronzed as Cher was back in the day. That would require three weeks on a tropical beach (I would not say no to this) or some serious self-tanner. I'm gonna work with what I've got.
Here are swatches of the products I have used so far:
This is the big one. I was not going to mess around with dyeing my hair black--been there, done that--and there was no way I could magic away my bangs. So I went online and found an inexpensive lacefront wig.
Lacefronts are awesome because they give you the look of a more natural hairline in front, and you can also part them more naturally (essential for Cher). They usually come with about an inch and a half of lace that comes down onto your forehead, which you have to cut off. But if you cut too straight, you can see the lace and you will look crazy. So what’s a girl to do?
You go slowly, that’s what. I used my very sharp hair cutting scissors and carefully cut around the individual hairs, which are slightly staggered along the hairline. This gave me a really nice, non-straight line along my forehead that blended in more nicely than a straight across line would do.
Because I’m just wearing this dude for this photoshoot, I’m going to skip a wig cap and pin my hair back in a low, flat bun and push my bangs back with a headband.
This wig is made of kanekalon, which is a high quality synthetic. You can heat style it if you really want--keep your tools on low, though--and brush it without much trouble. Always comb wigs from the ends up, and keep a grip on the hair so that you don’t pull a handful out with a tangle.
If you’re not going the wig route, make your hair as dead straight and as shiny as you can. Part it right down the middle. Remember to flip it over your shoulder whenever you need to make a point.
How do I look?
As always, the eyes are the key to this entire look. So let’s get detailed.
Using my usual medium-sized eyeshadow brush, I applied the palest shade from the Lancome x Alber Elbaz Taupe Craze palette all over my eye up to my brow. It’s an eggshell white, almost matte shadow.
Next I used a little MAC Glamour Check! (a shimmery red-brown) all over my eyelid, extending out in a wide almond shape, and blended it up to the crease. Because this didn’t quite give me the colour I was looking for, I layered Lancome Pose (a very bright bronze) overtop. Then it was perfect.
Cher has a really deep eye crease, which she emphasises no matter what colour palette she’s using for her makeup. I’m going to use black and brown.
First I took a matte dark brown (Studio Graphix, Dark Chocolate) and lightly contoured around my browbone from about the bridge of my nose to the outer corner of my eye, then down to meet my lashline in the outer corner. As always, blend blend blend. It makes a serious difference, as you can see.
Next I took my matte black eyeshadow (MAC, Carbon) and drew in the socket. Remember how I did the cut crease in the Powerpuff look? It’s exactly like that, only not bright pink. Use your brown contour as a guide and draw a line of black out from the edge of your eye, then around the browbone. Blend it out and up towards your brows. If you feel like the black is looking a little harsh, you can blend it with the matte brown shadow which softens it up.
Finally, I took a little shimmery ivory shadow (Bare Minerals, Celestine) and dotted it in the center of my lid for depth. This pretty much blended itself, which is good--you want it to look dimensional, not like a blob of light.
Here’s how it looks so far:
And here are swatches of everything I’ve used:
Now it's time for eyeliner. Yay! My favourite time!
I used black liquid liner and drew a fairly thin straight line from the very inner corner of my eye all the way to the end of the lashline. Then instead of flicking it up and out like a classic cateye, I extended the line straight. This makes my eyes look longer, rather than rounder.
I used liquid liner on my lower lash line, too. I kind of wiggled it in between my lashes so that there’s not that weird line of skin between lashes and liner. I think this is called tightlining? I HAVE NO IDEA. But it looks awesome.
I also took a little bit of black shadow on a teeny brush and softened the lower line on the very outer corner. It blends in really nicely with the drama of the top lid that way.
Now it’s eyelash time--and this means falsies. Curl your real top lashes first, then apply your favourite dramatic fake eyelashes. Use tweezers to help position the inner corner. Then apply mascara to the entire concoction.
Once the glue is dried, trace over it with your liquid liner to hide the band and make sure you don’t have any glue-related shiny patches.
I am not a fan of fake lower lashes. They itch my eyes like crazy and nothing I can do seems to stop that, so I skipped them and used two coats of waterproof mascara on my bottom lashes instead. Then I lined my lower waterline with white kohl to make my eyes look even bigger.
I then highlighted the very inner corner of my eye next to my nose with the shimmery ivory shadow (Celestial, Bare Minerals), as well as the inside corner of my lower lash line and the space under the arch of my brow. I will never NOT highlight, guys. It’s innate in me.
Finally, I used matte black shadow and a thin angled brush to turn my brows from blonde to black. I kept my natural shape because it’s pretty close to what Cher was working with back in the day.
And here’s the finished look. It’s dramatic, but it’s Cher. Go big or go home.
I’m in love.
This part is easy.
I lined my lips with Sonia Kashuk lipliner in Hibiscus, a matte pinky-beige, making my top lip shape a little more rounded than it usually is. Then I filled it in completely.
Then I applied a coat of Clinique Black Honey overtop, a cult favourite lipstick colour that is really hard to describe--reddish brown? Maybe?--but looks fantastic on almost everyone. Finally, I dabbed a very small amount of Kitten (Stila) in the very center of my top and bottom lip for an ombre-lite 3d effect.
Here are the lip swatches:
And now...are you ready to see the entire thing? Because I’m pretty pleased.
Also, my mum cried when I sent her this picture, so hold on to your butts.
Nailed it. Is it weird that I not-so-secretly hope that Cher sees this on Twitter? That would kind of make my entire life.
And now let's see some 1970s-appropriate black and white photos!
This is a pretty major look for every day, but I love it so much. I want to wear it to sleep. I want to wake up looking like this. I want to go to the grocery store in this makeup and a jumpsuit slit to the navel. I’m pretty sure that with a little Cher confidence--and a giant feathery coat, probably--I can pull it off.
So, okay. On a scale on 1-10, how much do you guys love Cher? Who is YOUR celebrity life inspiration? Do you think this look is dog park appropriate? WHO IS COMING WITH ME IF CHER GOES ON TOUR AGAIN?