David Bowie has been dubbed a style icon countless times—accruing honors, making movie cameos, and having magazine pages dedication to his distinctive fashion sense. But few have paid homage to Bowie the beauty icon. And really there is so much to honor—chiseled cheekbones sharp enough to cut glass; sexy, pronounced canine teeth; hair that whether platinum or copper, spiky or slicked back, is always impeccable; and those foxy eyes. As legend goes, Bowie—whose natural eye color is blue—got in a fight over a girl with school chum (and future Bowie album cover artist) George Underwood in the early ’60s. Their schoolyard scrap left the burgeoning rocker with a permanently dilated left pupil and two different colored peepers; one blue, and one that hovers between brown and green depending on the light. While his clothing has always been legendary, from the one-arm spandex ensembles in the ’70s to the slim-cut, ankle-grazing Savile Row suits he wears nowadays, it was his beauty routine during the Ziggy era that really left an indelible impression on salivating fans like myself. It wasn’t merely Bowie’s commitment to makeup—the man would spend hours kneeling before his mirror like an altar—but also his wild creativity. He painted delicate lightning streaks on his cheek and often-exposed upper legs, he coated his lids with acidic shades of red and yellow so bright they glowed like traffic lights, and then there was, of course, the infamous gold circle. Bowie’s version of the third eye (Which I’m convinced is what inspired Gwen Stefani’s foray into bindhis in the early ‘90s) was painted on his forehead repeatedly with thick gold cake makeup and when he was feeling extra special, outlined with tiny gold rhinestones that he would affix with eyelash glue. Bowie’s look was artistic, over-the-top, and best of all for those among us who are tired of articles insisting that we “simplify our routines,” totally impractical.
FIORELLA VALDESOLO1. SHU UEMURA FACE POWDER IN SHEER PEARL
Bowie’s already ghostly pallor became shockingly stark in his Thin White Duke period, though much of this could be attributed to the usage of an entirely different type of powder.
$33, shuuemura-usa.com2. MAKE UP FOR EVER TWELVE GREASE PAINT CASE
Bowie would have loved the rainbow of creamy colors in this backstage staple for re-creating the Kabuki styles he picked up from Japanese theater star Tomasu Boru in the ’70s.
74.80 €, makeupforever.com3. THE DIFFERENT COMPANY JASMIN NUIT PERFUME
This rich unisex fragrance, a mélange of 700,000 Egyptian jasmine flowers star anise, sandalwood, bergamot, and amber, could only be pulled off by a certain breed of man.
$135 FOR 90ML, luckyscent.com4. L’OREAL COLOR PULSE MOUSSE IN COPPER BLAST
The inspiration for his orange/red dye job was a Masayoski Suikita photograph in a 1971 issue of Honey magazine.
$5.59, drugstore.com5. CHRISTIAN BRETON NAIL POLISH IN NIGHT RAIDER
Pale pink or taupe simply would not do for the space oddity himself. A deep blue was his shade of choice for everyday wear.
* BOWIE BALL *
Jan. 20 @ Don Hills, 511 Greenwich St., NYbowieballnyc.com