How to get the look of 1930’s Hollywoods first Zombie Girl – Madge Bellamy –
The 1930s pre-code film White Zombie, co starring Bela Lugosi.
Our friend Talia Felix – curator of the fabulous but sadly departed Gibson Girl Glamour blog kindly offered to recreate this classic early Hollywood makeup look of actress Madge Bellamy’s ‘zombie girl’ look. Even if Halloween is over, I think this look would stop anyone in the street for a second glance.
Over to you Talia!
” During the Halloween season, I was frequently dazzled by the looks of the actresses in classic horror flicks. Many of The Big Ones came out of the early 1930s — Dracula, Frankenstein, The Mummy. One lesser known but important film from this era is White Zombie, starring Bela Lugosi and Madge Bellamy. It’s the first known “zombie movie” (although its zombies stick close to Haitian Voodoo traditions of being victims of mind-control, rather than rotting corpses reanimated.)
- foundation — use an appropriate color for your skin. Madge was probably still using theatrical grease paint at the time this film was made, but any full-coverage liquid foundation will do. I am using L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Liquid Foundation in Soft Ivory.
- powder — popular colors in this time were very pale, and powder was quite matte. Avoid any powder that contains mica or other sparkly pigments, for this look. I recommend Palladio Rice Powder in Translucent.
- soft red lipstick — her mouth is photographing dark, but not black, indicating it’s not an extremely deep red or burgundy. I’m using a homemade mixture with carmine color for it — see Salve Rouge at GGGtG
- cream eyeshadow in dark brown — Madge’s actual eye color here is unknown, but brown seems to get the best effect in transferring this look using modern aesthetics, and it was a color used at the time. I’m using the darkest shimmer shade from Revlon’s Not Just Nudes Illuminance Creme Shadow set.
- eyebrow pencil — Madge was a blonde in White Zombie, but was using a relatively dark brow color. I’d recommend using a shade darker than you’d think looks “natural.” I am actually using a brush-and-powder eyeliner mixture for this: Bare Minerals brand Liner Shadow in the color Bark.
- black liquid eyeliner — I am using Stila Waterproof Liquid Eye Pen in black.
- black eyeliner pencil — something more blend-able than the liquid. Madge might have actually been using a wet/dry cake eyeliner for gaining both solid and smudged effects, but for the sake of using standard modern cosmetics I am just going to use two different kinds of black liner.
- white eyeliner pencil — I am using Make Up For Ever Aqua Eyes 14L.
- black lengthening mascara — Madge might have still been using the beading technique at this point, where one utilized melted black wax painted on the individual eyelashes. Any good lengthening mascara will serve to replace.
- false eyelashes, black — use thin “spike” style eyelashes.
- makeup tools (brushes, sponges, etc.) as you need.