After reading Sheila’s entry about beauty idols, I figured I’d add one of my own. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve long been a fan of the late Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy’s style, both in clothing and hair/makeup. I still lament the fact that her life (along with John and her sister’s) was cut so short, but it’s nice to pay tribute to a woman who will always remain an example of how to do classic fashion and makeup and whose style transcends time, much like her mother-in-law, the late Jacqueline Kennedy.
I created a little collage of Carolyn from when she was in her early 20s up until her last year, and it’s really quite a study to see the transformations she underwent through the years. Her face never seemed to look exactly the same – it could look subtly different depending on what angle she was photographed at, or even just by a change of shape or color in her brows or a few tweaks to her hair color. Her unconventional beauty was refreshing. It showed us that you don’t have to be model-perfect to be beautiful and classy.
So, without further adieu, here is my little collage and below it, some random observations:
What’s interesting about Carolyn is that while it’s clear she didn’t change her face with cosmetic surgery, she was able to transform it by simply plucking and lightening her brows and then allowing them to grow back to their thick, dark, full arches once again, or just by adding a slick of what was her favorite lipstick – Bobbi Brown’s Ruby Stain/Sheer (now both discontinued).
Her hair was always long and classic in style, but her color underwent a drastic change before her wedding when she visited Brad Johns, the pioneer of the “chunking” technique. She first had just a few buttery blonde chunks with maybe some lowlights, but that eventually morphed into the full-on butter blonde that is still coveted by many women today. Eventually, towards the end of her life, her hair went back to a more natural blonde.
For further information about various beauty products she used, please visit the terrific blog CBK Beauty Products for detailed information.
I’m going to save her fashion style for a future entry as that deserves one of its own, but I wanted to shine a light on a woman who managed to cement her place in history as a classic fashion icon in the brief period that she was with us.
She was not only someone who served as simply aesthetic inspiration, but was also a dear friend of Carole Radziwill, who shared beautiful anecdotes of their friendship in her memoir, What Remains, which also chronicles her late husband’s battle with cancer. While the book can be a bit depressing, it is also uplifting to read how one person can make such a positive difference in another’s life while going through such a harrowing experience.
May Carolyn’s love and inspiration always live on.