Recreate a timeless look

Cover Media
Recreate a timeless look
Max Factor

On Christmas Eve, Hollywood screen siren Ava Gardner would be celebrating her 90th birthday. Her striking combination of dark lips, strong eyebrows and loaded lashes led the way for strong independent females around the world and her look is still the epitome of classic glamour.

Widely described as one of the most beautiful women of the Hollywood Golden Era, it was Mr Max Factor in the 1940s that designed Ava’s glamour statement of sultry eyes, strong lips and lustrous brunette curls.

Max Factor make-up artist Caroline Barnes shares how to recreate Ava Gardner’s timeless look today with a contemporary twist.


The key to carrying a strong eyes and lips look is to follow Ava’s lead with perfectly smooth and fuss-free skin.

1. Apply Max Factor Facefinity All Day Flawless 3 in 1 Foundation using fingertips, working the foundation into the skin like a moisturiser. Also use the product across the lids to create a gorgeous uniform beauty.

2. Using a small to medium sized blusher brush sweep a small amount of colour just under the cheekbones to add definition and warmth.

Eye and brows

Strong, defined eyebrows frame Ava’s look and these were beautifully complemented by long and feathery lashes, plus her signature slick of heavy upper-lid eyeliner.

3. Start by defining brows with pencil, using the a brush to round off afterwards for precise definition.

4. Using Max Factor Colour X-pert Waterproof Eyeliner neatly line the upper lids with a gentle flick outwards and upwards to give the illusion of bigger eyes. Repeat the line a few times to gradually thicken the flick.

5. To finish, layer lashes with a volumising mascara – don’t forget to sweep it onto the outer lashes for extra feline eyes.


With her colouring, Ava carried off a strong burgundy lip shade with confidence. Straying from the much loved pillar-box red, which was often seen as flirtatious and playful, burgundy tones made Ava look even more striking. It’s also a hot shade pick for fall/winter, which sees a rich russet palette at the fore.

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