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,


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.