PRESS UPDATE : THE TELEGRAPH .. OCTOBER 15TH 2015 ..
My Beauty Life: Dame Joan Collins
The legendary star takes us on a journey from ‘existential’ eyeshadow to Dynasty and beyond
The first beauty look I ever tried was the smoky eye. I was about 16 and it was a time of existentialists – people like Juliette Gréco and Dovima – who had very pale faces with smoky eyes and black eyebrows. I loved Elizabeth Taylor’s eyebrows in A Place in the Sun, so I gave myself very thick black brows, with lots of black eyeliner and a nude lip. I was pretty popular.
My mother and aunts always wore red lipstick and not much on their eyes. My mother would use a face powder by Coty, and I also remember she had a lipstick by Revlon called Fire And Ice, which she would wear with a matching red nail.
My sister Jackie and I never employed stylists or make-up artists, preferring to do our faces ourselves. What we wore and how we looked epitomised who we were. I’ve never had a better girlfriend than Jackie, with whom I shared so much. We enjoyed talking about everything when we were together. She will live on in the wonderful memories I have of her from our childhood and particularly from the last 15 years, during which we were closer than ever.
It seems that in the late 1940s and ’50s there were only a few colours – vermilion, cyclamen and deep red. If you look at the movie stars of that time, though, their lipstick always looked pretty good. Rita Hayworth always had very glossy red lips.
The perception of what is beautiful today has totally changed. It’s fascinating to see newsreels of bathing beauties from the early 1950s. Those girls all have a waist, and the hourglass figure was in. Now people seem to be more or less straight up and down. People are three to four inches taller than they were 50 years ago; it’s the development of the human body and the food we eat. I believe avocados are good for you on the outside as well as the inside, so I try to eat one every day.
I think a woman should do everything she can to make herself look as good as possible. If you want to have more defined cheekbones, it’s good to contour. And Photoshopping? I say do it! I just feel too much of it for advertisements gives people the wrong idea. I always say you can photograph me in whatever light you want.
Actresses have a tougher time of it today. Those paparazzi pictures are not retouched as they used to be. When I was a young actress, if someone took a picture of you, the publicist would go to the photographer and make sure the picture was flattering.
In terms of products, I think women today are spoiled for choice. Girlfriends of mine say they go into the beauty department and it’s coming at them from all directions. Which is why they should choose Joan Collins Timeless Beauty, of course.
The best advice I was ever given was to keep my face out of the sun. When I was 20, I was in California and I was deeply tanned. A girlfriend of mine took me to the Beverly Hills Hotel, where there were lots of older women sunbathing. She said, ‘Do you want to look like that when you’re 40 or 50?’ When I said no, she said, ‘Then keep your face out of the sun.’
If I could give my 20-year-old self a piece of beauty advice now, it would be to appreciate how good looking you are – and know you will never look this good again!