Wrapped in plastic

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Twin Peaks haunted my imagination from the moment it aired in the UK. Not that I was allowed to watch it then – my parents rightly decided I was too young. But it gripped people in a way few shows had done before and in the days before social media, they would gather round the water cooler at work the morning after each new episode was shown to discuss what had happened. The famous image of Laura Palmer wrapped in plastic was everywhere and fascinated me – more enigmatic in death than she could ever be in life, I wondered who she really was. People talked about “damn fine coffee” and cherry pie like the kind they served in the Double RR diner and a gorgeous actress called Sherilyn Fenn who played Audrey Horne appeared on the cover of our Radio Times and became my new beauty icon with her dark retro waves and arched eyebrows. Occasionally, I could find a pretext to go into the living room while it was on and get to see a few minutes but that wasn’t really enough. I got my hopes up when my mother bought a copy of ‘Laura Palmer’s Secret Diary’ to give to my father but it was returned to the bookshop after he complained about the bad language and violence in it (why he watched the show, I’ll never understand) without me even managing to open it. It only took me 17 years to finally get around to watching it myself.

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Fast forward to winter in Berlin, 2012. I immediately regretted my choice of footwear the moment I stepped out of the door because it had started to snow. A white blanket covered the city, muffling the sounds of traffic and giving the streets a mysterious quality. Hurrying across Alexanderplatz to change U-Bahn lines, I slipped on a grate and landed flat on my back. This being Berlin though, nobody so much as batted an eyelid as I got up and dusted myself off. Outside the venue for the all night Twin Peaks event in Neukoelln, just one other person was there, a young performance artist who had just moved to Berlin and was working as a waitress to earn some extra money. When doors finally opened, inside I was amazed to find the Black Lodge from Twin Peaks faithfully recreated with its zigzag floor and red drapes and wondered how on earth the large numbers of people who were attending could fit into such a tiny space. I reserved two wooden chairs and was soon joined by my friend Gabi who had never seen the show before. As Angelo Badalamenti’s famous music began, coffee and cherry pie were served and later on red wine. People sat on the floor or crowded round at the back and soon the room was filled with cigarette smoke. Watching Twin Peaks there all night, I realised why I love it so much – part detective story, part teen drama, it manages to be in turn funny then scary in a way no other series has managed to and has a wonderful retro look and a quirky charm.

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I realise it isn’t a show for everyone and has its flaws – too weird or scary for some, it lost its way in the middle of second season which led to a fall in ratings and ultimately its cancellation – but whenever I watch it, I’m reminded of my childhood obsession with it and that wonderful snowy night in Berlin just before I returned to the UK and can still smell the freshly brewed coffee in the Black Lodge. For that reason, it’s like a comfort blanket I reach for whenever I’m ill or in need of cheering up.

Twin Peaks makeup inspiration

The women of Twin Peaks are fabulous and I love the fact that they all have their own looks. I’ve limited myself to focusing on just four – Audrey, Shelley, Donna and Josie.

Audrey

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The most iconic and popular character from Twin Peaks, Audrey has the most classic, retro makeup, harking back to the Old Hollywood actresses of the Fifties with a flawless base, a soft smoky eye and red lips. Strong brows are the key to this look.

BaseGuerlain Parure Gold Fluid Radiance Foundation, £55

EyesCharlotte Tilbury Sophisticate palette, £38

Guerlain Liquid Eyeliner in Noir Ebène, £23

BrowsAnastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade, £15

LipsNars Audacious Lipstick in Rita, £24

Shelly

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Glamourous waitress Shelly is always groomed to perfection with her strong brows, full lips and thick wavy hair.

BaseCharlotte Tilbury Light Wonder Foundation, £32

EyesTom Ford Cocoa Mirage Eye Colour Quad, £64 (I know it’s expensive but this is my favourite nude palette ever)

BrowsAnastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, £15.50

LipsMac lipstick in Whirl, £15.50 (those with very pale skins might prefer Bobbi Brown Lip Color in Brownie, £21)

Donna

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Donna Hayward is always fresh faced and glowing. She doesn’t seem to wear much makeup so opt for a light base that lets your skin show through and subtle touches of colour to accentuate your natural features.

Base – Laura Mercier Illuminating Tinted Moisturiser, £34

Cheeks and lips – Stila Convertible Colour Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in Peony, £16

Josie

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Described as the most beautiful woman in Twin Peaks, Josie has a gorgeous red lip and soft smoky eyes but is there a dark secret behind the exquisite face?

Base – Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick, £42

Eyes – Topshop Smoky Eye Palette in Enigma, £12

Lips – Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet in La Fascinante, £26

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Mad men beauty

A friend of mine once criticised me for being as obsessed with the costumes and look of Mad Men as I was with the plot developments but it’s hard to ignore them when they’re such a key part of what made the series so compelling, almost becoming a character in their own right. The show raised the bar on stylishness and though others might now follow suit, it’s difficult to overestimate its influence. So let’s revisit some of the key makeup looks and products used on the main female characters throughout the seven series. The costumes deserve a post in their own right so I’ll be returning to them soon.

The makeup artist Lana Horochowski is an absolute stickler for historical accuracy and mainly based her research on vintage ads to create an authentic feel. I’ll focus specifically on the looks she created for each character in a moment but here are some of the products she used on set.

Base – Koh Gen Do Aqua foundation. Actually, when the show begins in the ’60s, there was no such thing as water based foundation and the products around then tended to be much heavier and matte. However, for a more flattering and buildable finish, I’d opt for a  modern base like this one.

Blush – MAC Cream Colour Base in Virgin Isle – Powder blush wasn’t available until 1963 so this bright coral cream blush is perfect and Lana says she used it on everyone.

Eyebrows – brows are super important for this period. They need to be really well groomed and defined. Forget the natural look. Lana used Anastasia Perfect Brow pencil to get the shape, then filled them in with the Brow Powder Duo.

Lips – I’ll look at specific colours used below but matte is definitely preferable over gloss. Nars, Tom Ford and Revlon lip colours were the main ones used apparently. Lana doesn’t specify exactly which character wore them but I do know that Revlon Really Red and Cherries in the Snow were definitely used throughout the series for as they’re so highly pigmented and true retro colours.

Joan

Most women I know would love to be Joan Holloway/Harris. Maybe it’s because of her amazing figure or stunning red hair but for me, it’s because of her extraordinary pale skin which positively glows.

Despite what you might think, Joan rarely has a red lip. Apparently Christina Hendricks has naturally bright lips and normally wore Laura Mercier’s Baby Lips or MAC Fanfare. I also know for a fact that Joan often wears Tom Ford’s True Coral which is the ultimate retro colour and a great favourite of mine. She also often wears Nars Dolce Vita blush.

I also love the flashback scene with her and Roger in the hotel when he gives her a fur coat. Joan’s makeup is classic ’50s with stunning red lips and pin curled hair.

Betty

When Don and Betty take a trip to Rome, Betty tries out the beauty parlour at the Hilton and emerges looking absolutely incredible. Lana used Kevyn Aucoin’s Snow/Coal Duo Shadow on her eyes and did the perfect flick with Smashbox Limitless liner pen. Apparently, the lipstick used was Besamé Debutante Pink which no longer seems to be available but their Portrait Pink looks similar and any nude lipstick will do.

For her everyday look at home, Nars eyeshadow duo in Madrague and Nars lipstick in Barbarella were used. Betty is a classic Grace Kelly type and her cool look reflects this.

Peggy

Peggy’s look is very minimal and barely there. And when she does wear makeup, it’s deliberately applied to be imperfect so that we know that her career comes before her image. She’s bang on trend with her colours but doesn’t quite know how to apply them properly. Lots of mascara was used though, particularly Lancôme Hypnose. For the episode where she decides to seduce Ted and wears this dress with the huge pink bow, Nars Velvet Matte lip pencil in Pop Life was on her lips.

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Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson – Mad Men _ Season 6, Episode 13 – Photo Credit: Courtesy of AMC

Megan

Megan’s transformation at the beginning of Season 5 is one of my all time favourite moments. As much as I love the classic ’50s red lips and flicky eyeliner, there’s something so sexy about a smokey eye with a nude lip. Lana applied Nars eyeshadow in Heart of Glass (sadly now discontinued) which is a beautiful pale blue and then Nars Thunderball was used in the crease.  A thick line of NARS Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo (this shade seems to have been discontinued but the eyeliner is still available) was applied, followed by lots of Lancôme mascara and false eyelashes top and bottom (I suspect MAC or Shu Uemura). Nars blush in Desire and the velvet matte lip pencil in Belle De Jour added the finishing touches.

For her more natural office look, Megan’s makeup is kept to a minimum – NARS Madrague Duo Eyeshadow (see above for link) on the eyes or NARS Lili Marlene Cream Eyeshadow with Nuits Blanches Eyeliner Stylo and Nars Velvet Matte lip pencil in Dolce Vita.

For her honeymoon look, Megan seems to be wearing no makeup at all but Nars Velvet Matte Lip pencil was applied to give her that lovely touch of colour.

I hope you’ve enjoyed thinking about the makeup as much as I have and that you’ll feel inspired to try out some of the looks yourself.