The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today interrupted their tour of Australia to send a heartfelt message of sympathy to the Duchess of Cornwall following the death of her brother Mark Shand in New York.
Police today smashed a “fake Californian gold” fraud racket being run from offices in the heart of the Square Mile.
14 May 2012
Dita Von Teese, the world’s best-known burlesque star, is perched on an armchair. She is sitting elegantly upright, her feet tucked to one side, and the train of her green couture dress is swirled around the bottom of the chair — on to a real tigerskin throw. Her hair is posed in smooth curls around her shoulders and her lips are a kissable scarlet bow. She always looks like this. Never is there a paparazzi picture, or any other evidence, of the mortal Dita these days. However, she was born human, back in the days when she was plain old Heather Renée Sweet.
“I have been developing my look for 22 years,” explains 39-year-old Von Teese. “I was first inspired in 1991 by the Fifties pin-up Bettie Page, then by many other glamorous women of the Thirties and Forties from musicals, like Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda.”
As a burlesque dancer myself, I know how much more work it is to paint yourself into a throw-back bombshell, but does anyone look as perfect as Dita? Here she tells me — and you — how to recreate her beautiful, timeless look.
“I start by brushing my teeth, of course. I use about six products.” It’s a moment before I realise she means six facial products, not toothpastes. She starts with a Darphin cleanser, then exfoliates with a Clarisonic brush — an electronic brush designed to stimulate skin cell growth. Her choice of moisturiser is a £95 pot of Crème de la Mer as well as its partner eye cream. Finally and, she says, most important, is her Christian Dior Diorsnow UV Illuminating Protective Base, to protect her delicate fair skin from the sun, even when in England. She then home-brews her daily “green smoothie”, the recipe for which she got from a book called The Beauty Detox Solution by Kimberly Snyder. “It glows green,” Dita says. At night she uses a Lumiere night cream, and Refissa eye cream, which she recommends for women in their thirties.
Dita has often said, “Glamour is about creation and any women who desires it can learn to create it for herself, as I have” — so she decided to create her own make-up range, The Dita Von Teese Classics by Artdeco, due out in London this summer. “I’m really excited about it,” she tells me. There are six lipsticks (all shades of red, of course), a black eyeliner to create her famous flicked cat eyes, foundations and a pressed powder for the matt silver screen look.
“I style my own hair, usually,” she adds. This is very impressive, seeing as you would usually have to be a professional stylist to get it this perfect, but she tells me her best tricks. “I buy three sets of hot rollers, and throw away the large rollers and just keep the small and medium sizes. The tighter the curls, the better, as my hair is naturally very straight.” Once set, she manipulates her curls into the correct position with her brush. She uses Garnier hair dye, black and sometimes with a blue-ish tone, and Obliphica Professional shampoo, mask and serum.
“I have a fantastic Lithuanian waxer in LA called Marina at Smile salon. She gets right in there with a magnifying glass and has a wall of fame for all her famous clients.” And how does she keep her skin so smooth for her stripteases? “I use NUXE Huile after a bath.”
Dita’s nails, rounded to an almost pointy tip, are cat-like on her lap, laquered scarlet with the half-moons at the bottom painted in white. This nail style was popular in the US in the 1940s — you can see lots of it in portraits of stars at the time. “I’ve created my own press-on nails by Kiss.” That’s good news for copycats because they are an exact mimic of Dita’s difficult manicure.
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