Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cleopatra Makeup (1962)

Good morning!

I ran across this 1962 Revlon ad for "Sphinx Pink" and "Sphinx Eyes" makeup this morning and just had to share it with you. Inspired by that year's famous film fiasco Cleopatra, I nevertheless ask: WHAT IS NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THE ABOVE SUZY PARKER BY AVENDON PHOTO? You've got a midnight black cat, a long pageboy wig in the style of Donna Summers...gorgeous and usually rousse Suzy Parker made over into the Queen of the Nile, and a necklace I would wear over t-shirts, formal dresses, pretty much every outfit in my life if I owned it, every DAY of my life. Oh, and then there's the makeup. What did you want to tell us about the makeup, Revlon copy men?

I love "Madly mysterious! Egypt-inspired!" and "Unforgettable! (And almost unforgivable!)". I really want to give the beige and grey accent shadows a shot to add to my normal out-to-there eyeliner. For goggle eyed girls such as myself, eyeliner really is the last word in beauty cosmetics. I wouldn't go as far as tattooing a permanent line to my lid, but I don't leave the house ever, ever, ever without a basic cat's eye. There was an article in Cosmo in the late sixties' that I'll have to drum up for you guys sometimes, showing a diptych of a gorgeous, Liz Taylor esque woman in a powder blue peignoir sitting up in bed, and the other a plain Jane in the same peignoir and stacked hair. They were the same woman, and the title of the article was "Why I Wear My False Eyelashes to Bed"! I always take it off at night, but you'd better believe it's the first thing I put on in the morning.

Did I mention the makeup comes in these pretty containers, and includes a matching lipstick and nailpolish? OH MY GOODNESS LOOK AT THE CLEOPATRA HEAD ON THE LIPSTICK CASE. I think I've died.

 I tried like heck to find a "sphinx doll" case for sale, but I only dug up two expired ebay listings from this year. This one sold in June for $178:

This slightly prettier version sold for $275 in January. All I know is, if they made a commemorative lipstick like this in 2012, I would buy like thirty of them.

While I'm a massive, massive Burton/Taylor fan (if you're not, grab a copy of Sam Kashner's superb joint biography of them from 2010, Furious Love, and you soon will be), I've never been able to get through the whole of the movie Cleopatra. Much like the Gigli/Bennifer connection of 2003, the main interest for me in the movie is the off-set romance-- compared to how exciting all those sneaky Italian paparazzi on-yacht photos of a still-married Burton smooching a still-married Taylor were, where's the spark in the movie? Gorgeous photography and costuming, yes, but overlong and stiff from a dramatic point of view. That said, can you believe these makeup and costume designs are from 1962? SCANDALOUS! Check out Elizabeth Taylor's down-to-there decolletage and up-to-there eyeliner to eyebrow pencil eyeshadow. Wow!

Revlon printed this Cleopatra Sphinx Eyes tutorial as a tie in with their makeup products. Wanna see how it's done?

 Don't act like I'm not going home and trying this TONIGHT.

What do you think? Would you buy a hundred of the little sphinx doll lipstick cases or are they too kooky? How far would you go with a Cleopatra eye? Do you habitually wear retro eyeliner? Let's talk girl talk!

That's all for today...see you tomorrow (with dramatic, dramatic eyemakeup)!


  1. That lipstick case is DIVINE. I would totally buy that today! As for eyeliner, I don't do a cat's eye but I do wear a pretty little stripe on my upper eyelid. Makes my eyes pop like crazy!

  2. oh that little lipstick! i'm not a makeup girl but i would jump at the chance to have one of those!
    i love the cat eye look, but i'm terrible at it! i probably just need more practice. my line is always wobbly and to compensate the lines just get thicker and thicker until my whole eye lid is a becoming black. haha. i need to print out those instructoins and practice!



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