Beauty / Pre-Raphaelite Hair & Makeup

I quite often get compared to the women in Pre-Raphaelite paintings, solely based on the fact that I have long red hair and pale skin (I’ll take it though!). So it only felt like a natural and fun challenge to really and truly try to emulate the beautiful women from those paintings. This actually ended up being extremely enjoyable for me. When I was a teenager, I absolutely loved makeup ( I still do) – I’d try out different styles, colours, you name it – the crazier the better. But as I got older I fell into a routine with my makeup, and rarely change it up, so it was fun for me to look at images from Brotherhood’s art and recreate the hair and makeup.

If you are interested in recreating this look, I have written a wee tutorial at the end.
To get this look:

The wavy, crimpy red hair is probably the most discernible feature of the Pre-Raphaelite look. To achieve the waves I used my hair straightener. I sectioned my hair with an elastic, working from the bottom of my head to the top to ensure I get all the hair as wavy as possible. Take a section from your hair and using you straightener, clamp it near your scalp and turn the straightener towards your head and hold for a few seconds, then pull the straightener down the hair ever so slightly and this time turn the straightener away from your head. Your hand should be doing a sort of rocking motion that is folding the hair under itself and over itself. Repeat this all the way down, until all of your hair is done and wavy baby. Also, to keep the look as authentic as possible I center parted and crimped my fringe since most of the girls from the paintings do not have a fringe.

The Pre-Raphaelite look is a pale one, with glowing skin and slightly dark, sunken eyes with a rosey-red lip. I used this image as my guide. To create this look I did my normal bb cream/concealer/pressed powder routine, and instead of adding blush, I used a light shimmery cream shadow on my cheek bones with my finger in a dabbing motion. For my brows, I tried to make them a bit thinner than usual (although maybe not successful) – I use an angle brush and shadow for my brows and a pencil to sharpen them. For the eyes, I used a mix of a neutral flesh tone shadow and a white shadow on my lid to create a light, glowing base. To create the sunken look I used a mix of brown shadow and blush pink shadow and blended around my top the lid and under my bottom lid, creating a sickly, but striking look. I finished off the eyes with my angle brush and black shadow along the top lid, creating a faint eyeliner. For the lips I used my favourite red “So Chaud” by Mac, although a little less tomato red and more rosey red colour would feel more authentic, but we work with what we got.


DSC_3962Often times, I’m uncertain from where I draw inspiration. Our minds are so filled with information – information we may not even be consciously aware of – that we can think we are creating something genuine and new, when really we are pulling reference from something we have seen or read without being fully aware of it. When I posted the image above to instagram it was met with such sweet and kind words, and many people commented “So Millais” and “Ophelia”. It was an Aha! moment for me. The painting called ‘Ophelia’ by Millais is an image I was immediately taken by when I first saw it (it was actually the cover photo on my FB for a long time). I’ve always been quite interested in the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the art they produced during this time period, so in a way, it only makes sense that these images have been deeply rooted in my mind, siting there, waiting for me to pluck little bits of inspiration from them. And because of my long, wavy red hair, it’s easy for people to make a connection between me and the women in these paintings, heck, I even feel a connection sometimes.
All this to say, it has got me thinking about consciously producing work inspired by some of these Pre-Raphaelite paintings – putting my giant red mane to work and creating something from the images that I have so often reveled in.DSC_3983DSC_3959