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Bella Donna: Clara Bow

Legendary film star Clara Bow first gained notice as a 16-year-old, winning Motion Picture Magazine's "Fame and Fortune" beauty contest in 1921. The va va voom knock-out with the free_spirited personality was selected for her "genuine spark of the divine fire."

This genuine spark would forever be her trademark, and the fiery-haired silent film star became known as the first "it" girl, due to her role in the 1927 film called — well, It. The now-common phrase defines that certain unequivocal charm and magnetic charisma possessed by a young woman — and in Clara's case, it also meant an undeniable sex appeal.

From a beauty perspective, the wide eyed actress was the trendsetter of her time. Women tweezed and tweezed (and tweezed) some more, penciling in their sparse eyebrows to a highly arched fine line in attempt to copy her style. Bow's tousled bob was one of her most distinguishable features, and when fans discovered she used henna to color it red, sales of the dye practically tripled. Now that's loyalty.

And then there are those lips — perhaps one of the most duplicated features of all time. To this day, accentuating one's lips into a heart shaped, cupid's bow style with a dash of red lipstick is called "putting on a Clara Bow." I've even attempted this one myself. What do you think? To see a photo gallery of Bow, and to get a few tips on how you can create her 20s era look,

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To try out Bow's legendary style:

  • Lips First, create a blank palette on your lips by lightly applying foundation or concealer. Next, draw on a heart shape, focusing on the center of your pout, all while sharply defining the cupid's bow on your upper lip. Try a red liner such as Nars Lipliner Pencil in Jungle Red ($20), a classic red. For longevity and shine, add Urban Decay Lipstick in Revolution ($22), a true red.
  • Hair If your hair is wavy or curly, try René Furterer Anti-Dehydrating Volumizing Mousse - Strong Hold ($23). For a tousled scrunchy look, apply mousse to damp hair and diffuse or air dry. For straight hair, apply mousse, blow dry, and curl.

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JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 7 years
I see a little Debra Messing in there especially the scene in starter wife (mini series) that they do in black and white. Weird, I know.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Adorable.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
Adorable.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 7 years
There's a wonderful biography on her life called "Runnin' Wild." I highly recommend reading it. And I love the movie "It." Isn't it everybody's ideal in life to be an It Girl? ;-)
chippyshero2066 chippyshero2066 7 years
Thanks Bella for this story about Clara. I read a book about her years ago. She was a beautiful woman whom had a hard life as both a child and adult with mental issues due to a bad childhood. Not to mention life as an actress was easy either. I think her hair color was a fire engine or candy apple red color one of the two. I do know she wanted the walls of her house to match the color of her hair. She also held alot of parties in that house too. Plus in some odd way she helped John Wayne become a movie star after he was accidentally injured himself at her house. Apparently Clara was holding a wild party at her house for some frat college football players and John Wayne was one of those players at the party. According to biographical sources the party got out of hand and I guess some were injured at the party including John Wayne. So due to that injury, John couldn't play football anymore. So he took the hollywood road and became an actor instead. So for him, a bad situation turned into something good lol.
chippyshero2066 chippyshero2066 7 years
Thanks Bella for this story about Clara. I read a book about her years ago. She was a beautiful woman whom had a hard life as both a child and adult with mental issues due to a bad childhood. Not to mention life as an actress was easy either. I think her hair color was a fire engine or candy apple red color one of the two. I do know she wanted the walls of her house to match the color of her hair. She also held alot of parties in that house too. Plus in some odd way she helped John Wayne become a movie star after he was accidentally injured himself at her house. Apparently Clara was holding a wild party at her house for some frat college football players and John Wayne was one of those players at the party. According to biographical sources the party got out of hand and I guess some were injured at the party including John Wayne. So due to that injury, John couldn't play football anymore. So he took the hollywood road and became an actor instead. So for him, a bad situation turned into something good lol.
WiCkeD_LaDy WiCkeD_LaDy 7 years
i like all the dramaticfaces she makes.
WiCkeD_LaDy WiCkeD_LaDy 7 years
i like all the dramatic faces she makes.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
I really recommend it. Depending on how long or thick your hair is you might want to pick up two packs. Gonna PM you in a minute.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
Thanks a bunch for that link. That's exactly the one I was going to buy but my mother said I wouldn't be able to fix it if the color didn't come out right. But after checking the website I mentioned reading I realized that I could easily test it on a bit of hair anyway to see how it comes out. I'm getting it.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
Francoisehardly, this one is very wonderful - http://www.sallybeauty.com/Hair-Color-Conditioner/ARDELL2,default,pd.html?cgid=Hair05-02 I've used it several times. (You can look at my photographs from when I had red hair.. I'm sure I had that in my hair in one of those photographs.)
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
Francoisehardly, this one is very wonderful - http://www.sallybeauty.com/Hair-Color-Conditioner/ARDELL2,default,pd.html?cgid=Hair05-02I've used it several times. (You can look at my photographs from when I had red hair.. I'm sure I had that in my hair in one of those photographs.)
Renees3 Renees3 7 years
she's adorable. I love that era so much!
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 7 years
She is stunning. I never knew that's where the phrase "It girl" came from. Very interesting.
bellaressa bellaressa 7 years
I love her hair. She is beautiful. Great pick!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
I wanted to dye my hair red with henna, but according to a website I looked at it's hard to find pure henna and if it's not pure henna and you use it after regular hair dye, it can turn hair green so now I'm reluctant to bother. I love the lip makeup from that time period. I think I read something that said that the lipsticks of that time were all cherry flavored or scented.
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
She's really great
g1amourpuss g1amourpuss 7 years
She's really great
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