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Get the look: Veronica Lake

I've been an MPAA-Accredited film critic and reporter since 2001 and have worked (freelance) for She Knows, About.com, Yahoo! Movies, TV-Wire, Buzzine Magazine, and many more.

How to channel your inner screen goddess of yesteryear.

Meet this week’s va-va voom vintage vixen, Veronica Lake, the sexy screen siren of the 1940s whose iconic roles include movies such as Blue Dahlia, Sullivan’s Travels and I Married A Witch.

Veronica Lake

Famous for her cascade of golden tresses, her peekaboo side-swept bang and her voluptuous figure, this little lady was just that: She stood a mere 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighed just 90 pounds. Ms. Lake made the most of what she had with a unique signature look, which endures and enchants to this day.

"I never did cheesecake like Ann Sheridan or Betty Grable. I just used my hair." –Veronica Lake

Here’s how you can use your hair to wow

To get fab finger waves like Veronica's, the first thing you need to do is part your hair heavily on one side. Long bangs help, but this look can also be achieved with straight drapes framing your face. (Sorry… short bangs are a no-go… so try the Betty Page look instead.)

Veronica Lake

Having done that, assemble your arsenal.

Supplies:

  • Duck-bill clips
  • Rat-tail comb
  • BioSilk Silk Therapy Serum (pretreatment)
  • 1-inch curling iron (quick) or 1.5-inch rollers (overnight)
  • Dry hair for the heat, wet-set for the rollers
  • Megahold hair spray (afterwards, to set)

Instructions:

  1. Comb out all tangles.
  2. Finger-comb with a dime-sized dab of BioSilk.
  3. Curl the hair in an approximately 1-inch section under (toward the scalp), and on the front go forward toward your face (cheat it: Just do the front, leaving the back long, silky and straight).
  4. Do 1 curl after the other in the exact same pattern, starting at the top and working your way down toward your nape.
  5. Spray the curls.
  6. Let it set for 10 minutes.
  7. Comb through the curls, gently and one at a time, keeping the sweep toward your face.
  8. With your iron, curl any straight stray ends under.
  9. Peekaboo over 1 eye and spray into place.
Fun fact:

Did you know Lake once sacrificed her sultry ‘do in honor of the Women's Army Corps?

Vintage video: Veronica drops her hang-down hairdo!

"You could put all the talent I had into your left eye and still not suffer from impaired vision." –Veronica Lake

Ms. Lake projected more sex appeal through one eye than most women wearing half as much and trying twice as hard.

Veronica Lake

The makeup

To get those sultry, love-lidded bedroom eyes, you will need what women once called "war paint." Here’s a great selection, most of which can be found in your local drugstore.

  • Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse foundation (in your shade)
  • Cover Girl red lipstick Hot Passion 305
  • Cover Girl LipPerfection lip liner Passion 215
  • Sephora liquid eyeliner Noir Black 01
  • Maybelline Mascara The Falsies Big Eyes (does upper and lower lashes) Very Black 205
  • Ardell accent lashes Black #318
  • NYX eyebrow pencil Brown, Auburn or Blonde
  • Revlon Brow Fantasy gel Neutral
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo 24HR eyeshadow Tough as Taupe 35
  • NYX Rouge blush Rose
  • Elf HD finishing powder Natural

Veronica Lake

Quick tips

Apply foundation first, then work on your eyebrows, then your eyes. Be sure to start your liner before you do mascara, and begin from your iris moving outward toward the corner. Be careful not to wing up and out… that’s more of a 1960s look. Do not line the lower lashes. Put mascara on upper and lower lashes. Use false eyelashes on top if you like. Do them after mascara and liner, then re-line over glue. Lips are done last. One of the best, most affordable vintage vixen reds is Cover Girl’s Hot Passion (that’s the one Taylor Swift wears). Finish with blush and setting powder.

With a little practice and a lot of attitude, you’ll be very Veronica in no time!

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