A Guide To Unapologetically Girly, Old-Hollywood-Inspired, Pink-Loving, Bombshell Beauty

How to make your bath-taking, nail-painting, perfume-spritzing, powder-puffing experience a little more Marilyn-Esque.
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Kara
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How to make your bath-taking, nail-painting, perfume-spritzing, powder-puffing experience a little more Marilyn-Esque.

I was an exceptionally girly child.

I wore a dress to kindergarten every day and pretended I had a headache so I could escape gym class. I spent a lot of time digging through my mom’s mail-order Victoria Jackson makeup (is that still around?) and trying to make blue eyeshadow “work” for me. I was a cheerleader and a devoted prom-goer. When my girlfriends were going to state volleyball tournaments, I was wearing vintage pearl cardigans and pencil skirts and setting my hair with hot rollers. When my senior class visited the Mall of America, my classmates went to the amusement park while I went to MAC.

My grown-up décor tends to run a little (who are we kidding--a lot) feminine, too; think lots of grandma-style gilt flowers and knick-knacks. I have a pale pink French-style settee, a small but growing collection of vintage pink Pyrex, pink wineglasses and a pink and gold bedroom that I created to look like a mix between your grandma’s spare bedroom and a ‘50s Vegas hotel room.

It should come as no surprise that I have long been enchanted with the Golden Age of Hollywood. I like my stars with swelling curves, cotton-candy blonde hair and sparkly gowns that cling and glitter. I loooove a healthy dose of glamour. I love my Lululemon leggings as much as the next girl, but I also like to swan about in a pretty dress and a fur coat.

My Marilyn Monroe fascination is such that I read every biography published one summer and, at one point, owned a cardboard Marilyn cutout. Putting my hands in Marilyn’s prints a few weeks ago was a huge moment for me, cheesy as that sounds.

I heard angels sing, and they all sounded like Marilyn.

I heard angels sing, and they all sounded like Marilyn.

Give me your Jayne Mansfields, your Mamie van Dorens, your Jean Harlows and Carole Lombards; those chicks who dripped with diamonds and wore pristine white fox fur coats on a daily basis.

When I wanna pour myself a glass of (pink) champagne and get all Old Hollywood girly, this is what I do to channel my inner Jayne Mansfield. (I cannot get over her legendary Pink Palace. Go look at it! Don’t you wanna live there and sit on that little balcony while your bodybuilder husband plays the piano below you? Romance!)

THE BOMBSHELL BATH

Baths are my favorite thing in the entire world. If I’m sad/sick/bored/tired/stressed, chances are I’m in the tub. And my baths are always a production; I’m talking a concoction of whichever bubble baths, oils and potions I’m feeling that day. And when I’m getting ready for a special occasion, I like to get primed by taking what I call a Bombshell Bath.

The recipe:

  • ½ Lush Pink Bath Bomb: It turns your bathwater pink!
  • ½ Lush Sex Bomb Bath Bomb: It’s full of sexy jasmine.
  • Drizzle of Trader Joe’s Vitamin E Oil or Monoi Tiare Oil: I always put a little oil in my baths; it makes your skin super-glowy and soft. (When I was using vitamin E oil on the regular, I noticed a serious improvement in my skin tone.)

Light some candles (I like Minnesota-based Illume), put on some Sinatra and voila! Insta-bombshell.

PINK PALACE-WORTHY NAILS

For some reason, I’ve always struggled with finding a great pink polish. I just wanted one pastel bubblegum pink and one bright Barbie pink. Why is that so hard?! Everything was too chalky, too muted, not nearly Jayne-worthy.

Thankfully, Butter London had my back. Snog 3 Free Nail Laquer is the perfect shiny, happy hot pink, and Teddy Girl the ideal cotton candy. (For some reason, I can only wear pale pink on my fingers and hot pink on my toes. Hot pink looks funny on my hands.)

Jayne and her cohorts would’ve gone nuts for Orly Nail Lacquer Rage, a shimmery rose gold. I like to imagine painting my nails this shade right next to the Pink Palace pool. Layer on Sally Hansen Gem Crush in Big Money for sparkly pink champagne nails.

If you’re like me and don’t like the way pink polish looks on your fingers, go big and go red. I am a collector of red polishes and my current fave is CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Ever Reddy, a super-shiny orange-based red. CoverGirl’s new polishes last for days and maintain their shiny finish even without topcoat.

CINEMATIC LIPS

Obviously, the most Hollywoody lipsticks come from Mr. Hollywood himself, Tom Ford. Retro red Cherry Lush was given to me as a gift, and while the packaging is gorgeously fancy, I would say maybe don’t drop $48 on it unless it’s a color you can’t live without.

Go ahead and draw on a beauty mark. Unless, of course, you already have one.

Go ahead and draw on a beauty mark. Unless, of course, you already have one.

Personally, I think Marilyn would have been happy with CoverGirl LipPerfection Lip Color in Hot, a long-lasting bright red.

Fancy, high-maintenance Jayne might have preferred an ice pink to match her palace--perhaps Bobbi Brown Brightening Lip Gloss in Pink. The subtle sparkles make your lips look bigger and more kissable. (If you own white cat-eye sunglasses, all the better to glam up with, my dears.)

SMELLING LIKE A STAR

While my Old Hollywood idols wore fragrances of their time, like Chanel No. 5 (Marilyn), Jicky (Bardot) and Mitsouko (Harlow), the modern palate has changed, and many, classic perfumes smell “old.” I don’t necessarily agree with that idea, but I do like to imagine what Marilyn would’ve worn if she were a starlet today.

Frederic Malle’s line of luxe, perfect fragrances would definitely decorate the vanities of yesterday’s celebs. I know they’d love Carnal Flower, the heady blend of green, lush tuberose and coconut. I lust over this little jewel. LUST, I tell you. It’s my dream perfume.

When I smell Lipstick Rose, I imagine Rita Hayworth spritzing it on while wearing her Gilda gown and long gloves. It practically screams glamorous Hollywood ladies at their dressing tables, which just so happen to be covered in roses from an admirer or five.

YOU NEED A POWDER PUFF. YOU JUST DO.

What is more old-school glam than a powder puff? Nothing. Except those pretty perfume atomizers, but we all know those are useless ‘cause all the perfume seeps out before you can use it.

Powder puffs are the epitome of girly-girl products. My favorite was Benefit’s Kitten Goes to Paris, a glittery body powder that they discontinued.

Go old school with the Estee Lauder White Linen Perfumed Body Powder. The packaging is so classic and Art Deco that Carole Lombard totally would’ve dug this stuff. Plus, if you’re not into “old lady” scents, body powders are usually much more subtle.

If I had fuzzy mules, I would definitely be wearing them right now.

What about you guys? What do you use when you wanna feel ultra-glam? DO you wanna feel ultra-glam?