I can’t really remember a time when Doctor Who wasn’t a part of my life.
Growing up in Australia, even during the time when there were no new episodes being made, there were always reruns on TV. I would watch Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor, running around with his long, stripy scarf, and I would think, Yes. This is good.
The show was a part of my life in the same way air was a part of my life.
I understand that in the US, you guys didn’t really have this show woven into your culture quite as tightly as it was woven into ours. Until recently, it didn’t seem to have much of an audience.
But the 2005 reboot changed all that. Suddenly, more people than just me knew about Time Lords. Now, I can talk about the Daleks terror of my childhood with practically all my friends, and even if they don’t think they’re scary, they at least know what I’m talking about.
The Doctor has gone mainstream, and I couldn’t be happier.
For those of you reading this and going, “What is she talking about?” allow me to summarise: Doctor Who is a science-fiction TV show made by the BBC that has been running more or less constantly for 50 freaking years. It is about the Doctor, who is an alien called a Time Lord, and he travels through space and time in his ship that looks like a blue police box. He, and his frequently human companions, explore the universe, fight evil and generally right wrongs wherever they find them.
If you’d like a three-minute summary of the show that features Scottish accents and singing, watch this little video from Craig Ferguson. It is adorable, and admirably sums up the basic premise of the show. As Craig Ferguson sings, the show is primarily about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. If you haven’t watched it, you should definitely give it a chance. It’s charming, and incredibly easy to love.
November 23rd marks the show's 50th anniversary, and all the Whovians in the fandom have been going crazy to see what awesomeness is going to happen to celebrate this milestone. I’m going to see it simulcast in a movie theatre, and I’m really excited. I’ve got my TARDIS-blue sweater and stripy scarf all ready to go.
But that excitement is tempered with sadness, because this will also be "The Day of the Doctor." And on the 23rd, on the fields of Trenzalore, the Eleventh Doctor will fall.
I’ve really loved Matt Smith’s run as The Doctor, and I’m totally going to cry my head off when he regenerates into Peter Capaldi (who all right-thinking people already know and adore as Malcolm Tucker). Eleven has been my favourite Doctor incarnation so far, and I’ll miss him dreadfully when he’s gone.
So to celebrate-slash-preemptively-mourn, I have put together a list of 11 ways to take beauty inspiration from Doctor Who. I limited myself to the seven seasons of the reboot--so, Doctors Nine through Eleven--rather than the entire 50-year run, because that would be impossible. And as it is, I still had to make some tough decisions.
Also: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS, SWEETIE. If you are not caught up through season seven, please turn away now!
#11: Martha Jones’s perfect brows
Poor Martha. She got a raw deal. She’s super-smart, resourceful, unflappable, funny... and practically NOBODY likes her.
As the companion after Rose, I suppose it was inevitable that people would be smarting, as was the Doctor himself. But I feel like she gets overlooked a lot, and that’s a bummer, because out of all the companions, she’s the one I’d most want by my side when stuff gets real. I mean, she defeated the Master, saved the world AND went back to med school. What’s not to love?
Plus, I really want to talk to her about her eyebrow game, because they are PERFECT.
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: Martha’s look for her entire run on the series was pretty simple--and that’s one of the best things about her. She looks like the kind of woman who has a really busy life, and counts on her perfect eyebrows to pull a simple look together. Although my eyebrows are not as glorious as Freema Agyeman’s, they work for me.
I keep them looking good with Tweezerman slanted tweezers. Every other day, I pluck any stray hairs under the arch to keep them shaped nicely.
But really, the secret to my nice eyebrows is that I always fill them in with a matte brown eyeshadow, no matter what other makeup I’m wearing. It really makes a difference.
See? Make Martha proud. Save the world; fill in your eyebrows.
#10: Astrid Peth, aka KYLIE MINOGUE
If I did not include Kylie Minogue’s appearance in "Voyage of the Damned" in this list, the Australian government would force me to turn over my passport immediately. Kylie is a medium-strength pop star in the US, but in Australia, Asia and Europe, she’s the brightest star in our firmament. So having her in the 2007 Christmas episode of Who was a very, very big deal.
And rightfully so, I think. A lot of people didn’t like her as a waitress with dreams of exploring the universe, but I did. I especially liked her hair.
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: Is anyone else getting shades of Nurse Chapel from Star Trek here? The simple liquid liner, long eyelashes, your-lips-but-better lipstick shade and glorious blonde curly bouffant serves up some serious Majel Barrett realness. And that is a compliment in the best way possible.
Her curly hair is a look that works for even we shorterhaired lasses. Curl all your hair, taking special care to get the locks near your face curling forward and under, then loosely pull the majority of your hair back into a small ponytail or pinnedup twist. Pull a couple curls down to frame the left side of your face. You’re ready to serve cocktails, and get excited about London stinking!
#9: Clara “Oswin” Oswald’s red lips
When first we meet Clara-slash-Oswin, this is the visual we’re given to go along with her cheerful, clever voice.
I liked her immediately. Red dress, slightly wavy hair, muted red lipstick, smart as all get out, helping the Doctor kick some crazy Dalek ass.
But oh, how our emotions were toyed with! Because it turns out that this version of Clara actually looked like this:
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: OK, so let’s hope none of us are turned into Daleks with tenuous grasps on reality anytime soon. But if we ARE, I’d hope that we all have a flattering red lipstick about our person.
Finding your perfect red is a challenge sometimes, but it’s worth it. No other colour makes such an immediate change to your face and your makeup look in general. It can say “I am powerful” or “I am adorable” or “I am definitely NOT a Dalek,” depending on the context.
Clara’s red is slightly sheer, with a lot of warm tones. Try Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic for a shiny tomatoy red.
If you’d like a bit more shimmer in your formula, check out Dior Addict Lipstick in Rock N’ Roll. It’s sheer but buildable, perfect to wear when you’re making souffles.
There are a lot of variables when it comes to picking red lipsticks; these are just a couple good places to start.
#8: Rose in the '50s
When The Doctor and Rose head back to 1950s England, they find bunting, a nation excitedly waiting for their Queen to be crowned... and an insidious alien plot to steal the soul energy of a nation and use it to rebuild a body. Y’know. Normal, everyday stuff.
Even though Rose is not my favourite companion--yes, I know, and I await your letters--I cannot deny that her look in this episode is flawless. She pulls off retro glamour with a bit of a nod and a wink, which keeps it from looking costumey. Honestly, I wish she did her hair in this beehive every week.
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: Over at xoJane, Kristina shows you how to style a magnificent beehive and/or bouffant with simple instructions that seriously cannot be beaten. To get Rose’s undone style, leave your bangs (if you have them) and a few tendrils out at the front, then loop a medium-width pink ribbon around your hair, tying it securely at the base.
Makeup is pretty standard for Rose: eyes are dark and smoky--here’s a link to my tutorial on how to do that--with peachy blush on the apples of the cheeks and beige lipstick. Oh, that lipstick. The episode is set in the fifties, but Rose is a mid2000s girl through and through.
Make sure you make your brows extra dark for the authentic Rose experience.
#7: Madame Vastra’s Silurian scales
Maybe my favourite character in the show’s entire 50-year run, Vastra is a fierce (female) Silurian warrior awoken by construction in London. Along with her human maid-turned-wife Jenny and Sontaran “butler” Strax, she uses her formidable intellect and combat skills to solve the crimes that Scotland Yard cannot, all against the eerie backdrop of Victorian London.
I mean, the woman ate Jack the Ripper in 1888. How can you not love someone that great? Someone give this crew a spinoff, please. I could watch Strax yell at horses for an hour every week and not get tired of it.
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: Obviously, when one thinks of Madame Vastra (and the Silurians in general), one thinks “green.” But rather than covering ourselves with scales and drinking human blood like it’s wine, let us instead turn to the wonderful world of verdant eyeshadow.
My favourite green shadow ever since I was but a wee teenager, is Moss by AMAZING Aussie brand Bloom Cosmetics. I’ve written about it before.
Moss is a truly amazing metallic true green that stays shiny and vibrant all day, blends like a dream, and the colour... oh, swoon.
It really makes me think of sinuous reptilian scales. Paired with lots of black mascara, and the feathery darkness makes me think of long black veils. The REAL Great Detective would be pleased.
#6: Donna’s '20s Murder Mystery Party look
Donna is my FAVOURITE companion. For one thing, she’s hilarious. For another, her grandfather is the voice of The Wombles. Oh, and I guess she’s brave, takes no nonsense, and is a clever and awesome friend. In short, she is my everything.
Let’s talk about the time she went to a garden party with Agatha Christie in 1926.
I love Donna all the time, but I don’t think she’s ever looked prettier than in this episode.
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: To recreate this (and avoid giant wasps), keep your makeup very simple: a little smudged black eyeliner, subtle blush along the cheekbones, a dusty rose kind of lipstick. The hair, though, is really the stunner.
It’s pulled back into a loose, coiled bun, then wrapped up either with beaded ribbon or maybe even an unclasped necklace.
Wrap it first around your head like a headband, then loosely coil it up around the bun, holding it in place with a couple of pins. Curl some small parts near your ears, and you’re done! Get ready for a very eventful weekend in the country. Hope you’re not allergic to wasps.
#5: TARDIS blue
The TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space) is a spaceship-slash-time-machine that is supposed to be able to blend in to the local scenery by means of a chameleon circuit. The Doctor’s TARDIS broke, though, and it’s been stuck as a '60s police box in a resplendent shade of blue for the last several thousand years.
And WHAT a blue she is!
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: I’ve been thinking about what to wear to the screening of "The Day of the Doctor" that I’m going to, and I’ve decided that bright blue eyeliner is a must.
This is Chaos by Urban Decay. These 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils are perfection, and Chaos is gorgeous--it photographs a little brighter than it looks in real life, but the formula applies easily and stays for ages without smudging off like so many pencil liners do.
It also says it’s waterproof, which will probably be necessary. I get the feeling I’ll be crying quite a bit.
#4: Lady Cassandra O'Brien.Δ17’s moisturiser
Lady Cassandra, aka the bitchy trampoline, is the last “pure” human in the year five billion. Or that’s what she thinks, anyway. She’s kind of an arrogant jerk... but talk about great skin!
Oh wait. That’s all she’s got.
Having had her life extended many, many times through surgeries (708 of them!), all that’s left of her human form is a stretchedout piece of skin pinned to a frame with two eyes and a pair of lips. Glamourous…?
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: As, essentially, a talking hide, Cassandra lives in fear of drying out and is constantly telling her servants to moisturise her. I don’t have servants, unless you count my dog, but it’s getting colder here, and I, too, worry about my skin cracking and drying.
You guys know what my skincare routine looks like, and because I’m so regimented about it, my skin can usually survive the polar Midwestern winters without too much damage. But when it’s really bitter out and the heaters are drying out my face, I mix a blob of Burt’s Bees Radiance Night Cream in with my usual CeraVe moisturiser for an added boost of hydration. It feels lovely on my skin, sinks in a little slowly but well, doesn’t make me feel greasy and stops me from drying out.
Which is great, because I can’t transfer my conciousness into anyone else if my skin starts to go to pieces. Don’t get me wrong--I’ve tried. But nobody will fund my Kickstarter.
#3: River Song’s majestic hair
Whether she’s rocking a head full of amazing natural spirals, or making all the men say “Yowza!” with softer, glamourous waves, River Song’s hair is one of my favourite characters on this show.
Consider its range: It looks amazing under a fedora, a cowboy hat, a spacesuit... How does she pull it off?!
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: Annie’s curl tutorial is the the gold standard for amazing bouncy “why wasn’t I born with hair like this?” hair. Follow these steps and wake up looking like a seductive badass.
For soft waves, a 1” curling iron, some hairspray and a soft brush will give you what you need. Check out my Call The Midwife tutorial for proof and a more comprehensive how-to.
#2: Amy Pond’s nails
While everyone else was staring at Amy’s long red hair and legs for days, I was ogling something completely different: her nails.
Not only does she have an incredibly long nail bed, they are always painted the most awesome colours. Pale lilac! Bright red! Gold shimmer! Deep blue! Chartreuse! She really makes travelling through space and time look incredibly glamourous. I would sign up for the gig myself if it meant I could have an hour every week to give myself a manicure.
ALLONS-Y! Let’s get this look: I sat and stared at my (extensive) nail polish collection, and matched up a few of my favourite nail looks with similar colours from the show.
"Let’s Kill Hitler": Army green.
Similar to: OPI Uh Oh Roll Down The Window.
"The Big Bang": Bright, deep red.
Similar to: Essie Fishnet Stockings.
"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship": Light bright blue.
Similar to: Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear Blue Me Away!
"The Curse of the Black Spot": Intense grape-y purple.
Similar to: Deborah Lippmann Call Me Irresponsible.
This is by no means a complete list, it’s just a few of my favourites. Amelia Pond had a LOT of fantastic nail moments.
#1: The Doctor’s sideflip
Nobody else could have the #1 spot but our beloved Eleventh Doctor and his floppy hair.
Not only can he pull off fezzes, Stetsons and bowties, but Matt Smith makes the deep side-part and side flip look totally endearing, yet still intimidating enough to scare away a horde of invading aliens armed only with a screwdriver that doesn’t work on wood.
Plus, I happen to think that the hair really brings out the angles of his cheekbones. And we all know how I feel about dudes with great cheekbones.
ALLONS-Y! To get this look: We talk a lot about side flips here because they are AWESOME. Nothing switches up your entire hair vibe quite like parting your hair on the opposite side and getting a giant '90s voluminous flip going.
For styling your hair like this, I really do recommend a set of big velcro rollers. When I was a senior in high school, very voluminous yet immaculately styled hair was Totally In. You basically wanted to look like a beauty pageant contestant in an Abercrombie sweatshirt, or possibly a cable news anchor wearing flip-flops.
Velcro rollers were the key to this, I learned. And they were really simple to use. Part your hair deeply to one side, then roll sections of slightly damp hair facing that direction up and onto the rollers. Set your hair with your blowdryer, then leave the rollers in for about half an hour while the hair cools. Pull the rollers out, brush through your hair with a paddle brush--no round brushes; they might get stuck!--and finish with a blast of hairspray.
You’ve got an Eleventh Doctor approved side flip now, baby.
Even though the Doctor never exactly dies, I still get very emotional when he regenerates and a new actor ascends to the throne. I’m excited about Peter Capaldi (aka MALCOM TUCKER) as Twelve, but I’m going to miss Matt Smith’s balance of madcap humour and pathos, youth and extreme age, an awful lot. I’m preparing myself to cry BUCKETS on the 23rd, and I suspect many of you reading this are, too.
I conclude this list on a happy note, before we all succumb to our Feels. Captain Jack Harkness is maybe the most handsome man in the entire universe... but did you know that John Barrowman is also STUNNING in drag?
This is a publicity photo from when he was in La Cage Aux Folles. I could not believe it at first. Not only is he an amazingly gorgeous man, he’s also a drop-dead gorgeous woman? Some people have all the luck.
And so, my fellow Whovians, I turn it over to you: What are your favourite beauty moments from the last seven seasons? Who is your favourite companion, and which one had the most enviable beauty game? What waterproof mascara is everyone wearing for the anniversary? I’m wearing MAC Splashproof Lash for sure. And also, if Peter Capaldi could please fall in love with my dear friend Helena, I would be OH SO GRATEFUL.