Brigitte Bardot’s hair and makeup is one of the most referenced styles of our time. As a professional makeup artist, I cannot count the number of times I’ve been asked to re-create a variation of her iconic look.
People often refer to Bardot’s style as sex kitten adjacent, with her voluminous hair and smokey bedroom eyes. She was the epitome of a French cool girl with an undone messiness that seemed effortlessly chic.
From her teased bouffant to her signature nude lip, Brigitte Bardot’s hair and makeup will go down in beauty history. Keep reading for an in-depth breakdown of her many looks, plus discover how to re-create them on your own.
GET THE LOOK // BRIGITTE BARDOT HAIR BREAKDOWN
When you think of Brigitte Bardot hair, several styles come to mind but the common thread between all of the actress’ most famous looks involve an undone touch and a lot of teasing.
UNDONE SEX KITTEN HAIR
If you want to re-create Brigitte Bardot hair at home, it’s important to start with the right base. Brigitte has rocked everything from curly to straight, but the majority of her hairstyles involve a lot of texture and even more volume.
If you have thin or straight hair, throw in some texture spray or volumizing mousse while your hair is wet and give yourself a rough blow dry. When blowdrying, I like turn my head upside down to add even more volume to the roots.
If you’re going for Brigitte’s more wavy/curly bedhead look, wrap your hair around a curling iron to add in some waves once your hair is fully dry.
Finish the style by teasing your roots and adding a texturizing paste on the ends of your hair.
Wavy hair is the most ideal hair type to achieve Bardot’s iconic texture.
If your hair has a heavy wave, use a round brush during the blow dry process to pull out some of the curl. How much you straighten depends on which look you’re wanting to achieve.
Tease your roots and add a texturizing paste on the ends of your hair to give it that sexy, piecy look.
If your hair is curly, apply a heat protectant spray and a blow out creme, then start by blowing drying your hair with a round brush.
Once your hair is fully dry, go over your strands again with a flat iron, separating it in very small sections at one time.
I usually find curly hair has the perfect texture and volume for this look after the hair is straightened. Depending on your specific texture, you might want to add some light teasing at the roots or texture creme on the ends of your hair for that rough, bed head look.
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HALF UP HALF DOWN
One of the most classic Brigitte Bardot hair styles is her half up, half down look.
She wore different variations of this style but it almost always included a lot of teasing, a center part and long bangs to frame her face.
Brigitte Bardot’s half up style usually involved soft waves or curls. Prep your hair according to your hair type (instructions above) and then add in some curls with a curling iron .. or a flat iron for a more undone look.
Part your hair down the middle and section off the back half of your hair at the crown of your head.
Take a teasing brush or a fine toothed comb and back-comb like you’ve never back-combed before. As you go, spray each section with a light hairspray to lock in the tease.
Once the top of your hair is fully teased, use a boar bristle brush (a Mason Pearson is ideal) and lightly start brushing the hair backward and into place. Be careful not to pull out what you’ve just done, you are just smoothing out the very top layer to hide the ratty look that happens when you tease.
Pull the top half of your hair back into a half-up half-down pony tail, leaving out the 2 very front pieces of your hair.
Secure with either a clear elastic band or with bobby pins, and go over the hairstyle with a light finishing spray to keep it all in place.
THE BEEHIVE UPDO
Nicknamed the “choucroute,” Brigitte Bardot’s low, disheveled beehive is one of her most iconic hair looks.
To achieve this tousled style, start with your hair prepped, teased and thrown up into your half up, half down style (instructions above).
Take the remaining hair from the nape of your neck and pull it up. Twist the hair and pin it vertically, securing it off the neck, white leaving the ends loose.
Next, roughly tease the ends and wrap them into a high bun. You can also tuck them into the twist for a cleaner look, or twirl and pin the strands in different directions for a messy, tousled style.
THE HAIR ACCESSORIES
From headbands and ribbons to silky scarfs, Brigitte Bardot utilized a variety of hair accessories to liven up her styles.
If you ever shop vintage, keep your eye out for silk scarfs with pretty patterns. I always find tons of them here in LA and they are perfect for tying around a ponytail or weaving in through a braid.
Adding a headband or ribbon to any of the above hair styles will also give you the signature Bardot look.
In addition to her many famous hair styles, Brigitte Bardot’s bangs became a trend all on their own.
Her signature fringe is shorter in the middle and longer on the sides, and the actress usually parted them down the center. They’re sexy and a little messy, and the look continue to be replicated decade after decade.
TIPS FOR RE-CREATING BRIGITTE BARDOT HAIR AT HOME
DON’T USE TOO MUCH HAIRSPRAY
If you look at pictures of Brigitte Bardot, her hair always looks like she’s just rolled out of bed. Don’t get too caught up in the details and embrace the effortless vibes that she is known for.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT
Brigitte Bardot’s signature style is natural and a little messy. Adding too much hairspray can quickly make your style too stiff and overdone.
While these are technically period hairstyles, Bardot hair is timeless and her styles continue to be copied and modernized. Use the styles as inspiration and throw in you own twist for modern take on a classic look.
GET THE LOOK // BRIGITTE BARDOT MAKEUP BREAKDOWN
Brigitte Bardot’s signature makeup look is just as iconic as her hairstyles. From her trademark feline flick to her classic nude lip, the actress basically invented the 60’s sex kitten aesthetic.
It was common for Brigitte Bardot to do her own makeup, but for her films she often brought on French makeup artist, Odette Berroyer. I have done a lot of research and I can’t find much information about Odette but I speculate that she is the artist behind Bardot’s most iconic makeup looks.
In the 60’s, powder and creme foundations were trending and matte skin was in.
It’s nearly impossible to find a photo of Brigitte Bardot with any sort of highlighter or dewiness to her skin so opt for a foundation with a matte or natural finish.
To get the look, try Lancôme’s Dual Finish Multi-Tasking Longwear Powder Foundation. This classic powder foundation can provide sheer to full coverage (it’s highly buildable) and comes in 32 different shades. For a budget option, check out L’Oreal’s True Match Powder Foundation.
If you prefer a liquid foundation, check out Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay in Place Foundation for a matte, velvety finish. This is one of the best reviewed, long wearing foundations eve, and there are over 55 shades. For a drugstore matte liquid foundation, look into Maybelline’s Matte and Poreless
THE SIGNATURE CAT EYE
While the 60’s were partly famous for their round, doll-eyes and mod shapes (a la Twiggy), Brigitte Bardot led women of the decade in the opposite direction by popularizing elongated feline shadow shapes and the famous cat-eye liner flick.
Cat eyes have the reputation for being difficult to achieve but the look can actually be quite easy to apply.
I like to start with a sharp, liquid liner pen. One of my favorites is the Tarteist Double Take eyeliner pen which has two sides, each with different shapes. For a budget option, try the NYX Epic Ink Eyeliner.
My best tip for applying a cat eye is to draw out the shape while your eye is still open.
Take your eyeliner pen and line it up along your lower lash line. Where the pen naturally extends out past the lash line is where your liner should be drawn. This is going to give you the best cat eye shape for your face.
Draw your guide first ( a thin line) and then slowly fill in the rest of the shape little by little. If you make a mistake, no problem, use a pointed q-tip and a little bit of Bioderma (or any micellar water) to clean up your mess.
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Brigitte Bardot wore several different styles of eye makeup. Sometimes she stuck with liner only, while other times her entire eyes were completely rimmed in a sooty, deep black shadow
To copy her smokey eye, start with a grey or silver cream shadow base (for dimension) and then blend grey or black shadow over your entire lid.
Brigitte Bardot’s smokey eye was usually a little messy, like she woke up in last night’s makeup, so don’t be afraid if it’s not perfectly blended.
After you apply your eyeshadow, use a pencil liner on your top lash line and smudge it in with a short haired blending brush. Take the same pencil liner and line your bottom lash line as well as your waterline, then smudge that out too.
I like MAC’s Smolder Kohl liner for this type of look because it’s super creamy and it moves around the perfect amount to give you that lived in look.
COOL TONE SHADOWS
While the signature Bardot eye makeup is dark and smokey, the actress actually did play around with color too.
It was not uncommon for her to use purple or blue eyeshadow (in true 60’s fashion) on her lids, paired with her famous cat eyeliner.
To get the look, brush a cool toned purple or blue shadow over your eyelid before applying your liquid liner.
Mascara played a big role in Brigitte Bardot’s makeup looks, and the actress piled it on for a thick, almost clumpy look.
Accentuating your bottom lashes was big in the 60’s and Bardot did this often. Apply a few coats of a volumizing mascara to your top and bottom lashes to get the look. Check out Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara or try L’Oreal’s Lash Paradise for a budget dupe.
If you want to go extra glam, add in some false lashes or individuals. I prefer individual trio lashes when applying lashes because I feel like they’re more comfortable on the eye and they are easier to apply than a strip or single individuals. This is my favorite brand of individual trios.
Most of the photos of Brigitte Bardot are in black and white but if you look at the color versions, you’ll see she often wore a rosy peach color on her cheeks.
Apply the blush onto the apples of your cheeks for a rosy glow. In the 60’s there was no creme or liquid blush, so opt for a powder if you want to be authentic to the period.
However, I think a creme blush would be more fitting for the overall look as the goal is to look naturally flushed.
LIGHT TO MEDIUM SKIN TONES: NARS TORRID POWDER BLUSH | GLOSSIER CLOUD PAINT IN BEAM | WET AND WILD POWDER BLUSH IN MELLOW WINE | TAN TO DEEP SKIN TONES: REVLON CORAL REEF CREME BLUSH | COLORPOP POWDER BLUSH IN QUARTERS | SLEEK MAKEUP POWDER BLUSH IN CORAL
THE BARDOT NUDE LIP
There is no makeup look that screams Brigitte Bardot more than than a nude lip and a smokey eye.
Bardot has naturally full, pouty lips and it appears as if she sometimes over lined her top lip.
If your lips are on the thinner side, don’t be scared to over draw them slightly with a natural lip liner that matches the color of your lips, in order to mimic her signature pout.
As far as lipstick color goes, she was most often seen wearing an opaque, peachy nude. While I have seen a few pictures of her with a bit of gloss, her lipstick was almost always matte.
LIGHT SKIN MAC PEACHSTOCK | NYX HIGH VOLTAGE LIPSTICK IN MIRAGE | MAC SUBCULTURE LIP LINER MEDIUM SKIN CHARLOTTE TILBURY LIPSTICK IN KIM KW | MAYBELLINE BLUSHING BEIGE LIPSTICK | KEVYN AUCOIN FLESH TONE LIP LINER IN MEDIUM TAN SKIN MAC HONEYLOVE LIPSTICK | RIMMEL NUDE DELIGHT | CHANEL PRECISION LIP LINER IN MORDORE NUDE DEEP SKIN MENTED PEACH PLEASE LIPSTICK | REVLON CREME LIPSTICK 671 MINK | MAC CHESTNUT LIP LINER
While they were usually hidden with makeup, Brigitte Bardot had epic freckles. It was also not uncommon for her makeup artist to add in fake beauty marks for some of her looks.
If you are creating a Brigitte Bardot makeup that needs to be authentic (Halloween, film etc), dot some freckles with a brown eyeliner pencil right across the bridge of the nose and onto your cheeks.
Then take you ring finger and lightly tap the freckles, pressing them into your skin.
DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO RE-CREATE BRIDGET BARDOT’S HAIR AND MAKEUP AT HOME? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW!
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