8 Iconic Makeup Looks To DIY This Summer

Illustrated by Us.
What says summer to you? A nice setup on the beach? A trip to a tropical locale? If we had to choose, it'd be a nighttime film festival at the park. After all, those outdoor cinematic moments provide us with everything we want this sweltering season: good music, great friends, and grand adventures.
But, some nostalgic summer flicks take it a step further and bring us beauty moments that can never be forgotten. Remember Milla Jovovich's red hair in The Fifth Element? Of course you do. "Go get my lipstick" might go down as my favorite part of David Lynch's Wild at Heart. Even a Schwarzenegger movie offers up A-plus beauty looks — just trust me on that one.
Advertisement
Consider these flicks (plus five of my other favorites) my proposal for your agenda these next few months: looking through incredible summer films and discussing how we can glean beauty inspiration from them. So, pull out your projector or fire up your Instant Queue, because they're about to do work.
1 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
Conan the Destroyer (1984)
This is the second film in the Conan series, but it features Grace Jones, so it's really the only one that matters. Conan the Destroyer is, by every account, a B movie — a fun romp with kings and queens and warriors and princesses. And, that makes it the perfect flick to watch lazily in the backyard with some friends.

But, the real reason it's on this list is Grace Jones' perfection. Observe her perfect flat top (with the red detailing!!), her glowing skin, the surprisingly summery leather outfit, and the permanent scowl. Her character here is also sharp but committed to her friends, and she even helps teach other women how to fight — kind of iconic, no? Imagine if Jones taught a self-defense class. Sign me up!
2 of 24
Photo: Via Supergoop.
Until then, I’ll just cop her look. Some quick tips to take: sunscreen oil for glowing skin, fiercely perfect eyebrows, leather cutout tops, and a permanent scowl for the peons. Supergoop! Sun-Defying Sunscreen Oil Broad Spectrum SPF 50 is a great bet. It’s infused with argan oil and other essential oils, so it not only protects your skin but pampers it.
Advertisement
3 of 24
Make Up For Ever Aqua Brow is perfect for long-lasting and smudge-proof eyebrows, too — and those are something every wannabe warrior needs.
4 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
What a Way to Go! (1964)
This entire film is eye candy, from the cast to the wardrobe to the set design. Personally, I sort of wish I had Louisa May Foster's (Shirley MacLaine) curse in this, because who wouldn’t want to make the people you love wildly successful?
5 of 24
Photo: Via Revlon.
The wardrobe in this flick is killer, and Louisa’s vintage glamour feels elegant and edgy at the same time. She completely owns a pink beehive and open-back swimsuit in the '60s, and that would look just as cool now.

After watching this, you'll want to invest in some vintage cat-eye sunglasses from Etsy and a classic Revlon lipstick like Fire & Ice. This shade's been around since 1952, so it’s a color a character like Miss Foster would have had in her imaginary makeup vanity.
6 of 24
If you want to go the full Louisa May way — pink bouffant and all — protect your shade with Wella Brilliance Leave-In Balm. It will shield your color-damaged hair while nourishing it, allowing you to style your 'do into whatever look you’d like.
7 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
Faster, Pussycat! Kill, Kill! (1965)
This movie was the inspiration behind Quentin Tarantino’s Death Proof, and you can tell. It’s an exploitation movie that embodies an "ideal" summer: all crop tops and bad girls and eyeliner sharp enough to kill.

Of course, that's the easy way to describe this movie, but I actually find Tura Satana’s character and the rest of the girls truly fascinating in their rebellion against the desire of men.
Advertisement
8 of 24
Photo: Via Benefit.
To channel your own killer girl gang, do the sharpest cat-eye known to man. The new Benefit They’re Real! Push-Up Liner is great for this because of its gel liner properties in pen form. The makeup in the movie was likely cake liner or gel — not liquid or pencil — but this gives you the longevity and pigmentation of the film version's with the convenience of a pen.
9 of 24
Photo: Via Elizabeth and James.
I can also imagine these women wearing musky, dark perfume, something very sensual. Nirvana Black by Elizabeth and James comes to mind.
10 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion (1997)
There are so many perfect beauty looks to copy from this movie, but the most important ones to me are the prom flashback outfits. Romy’s (Mira Sorvino) braid used as a lethal dancing whip with the inch or two of visible roots pulled back unapologetically? So good. I also dig Michele’s (Lisa Kudrow) smoky, blue eyeliner and lace gloves.
11 of 24
Photo: Via Maybelline.
I'd like to think Romy and Michele were Maybelline and Hard Candy and Wet n’ Wild fangirls. They’d have every color of Maybelline Baby Lips, hoard Hard Candy nail polish, and have their Wet n’ Wild eyeshadow palettes color-coordinated in a row on a magnetized wall like artwork.
12 of 24
Photo: Via Ulta.
Oh, and you know they would also have Chi flat irons that matched their outfits.
Advertisement
13 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
The Fifth Element (1997)
I dyed my hair red because of this movie. Thankfully, though, mine didn’t fall out like Milla Jovovich’s did while filming, so I’ll count my blessings. Aside from Leeloo's iconic 'do, you can find epic beauty inspiration pretty much everywhere in this film, including in characters like Ruby Rhod (Chris Tucker’s best role, in my opinion) and the movie's supporting and minor roles.
14 of 24
Photo: Via Redken.
If you, too, colored your hair in an effort to become a badass alien heroine, I suggest pampering your (likely) fried locks with Redken Diamond Oil Deep Facets. It’s my favorite hair mask, beating out old standbys like Kérastase and my drugstore standby L’Oréal.
15 of 24
Photo: Via MAC.
I also really dig Leeloo's orangey-red lipstick, and you can find a similar shade in Lady Danger by MAC.

I am still waiting on that Chanel machine that automatically does your makeup when you put the device on your face. First, 3-D makeup printing; next, robot makeup machines — get on it, people.
16 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
2046 (2004)
This is a futuristic Wong Kar-Wai movie, and it’s hard to follow just like every other Wong Kar-Wai movie. But, it's worth the experience (just like every other Wong Kar-Wai movie). For one, Faye Wong is a fashion icon seldom given enough praise, even though she’s basically the personification of Céline’s aesthetic. But, it's also her beauty look in this movie that really stands out.
17 of 24
Photo: Via Urban Decay.
Wong plays a delayed-reaction android in a world drowning in a luscious palette of deep reds, sea greens, yellows, and purples. Coincidentally, these are all my favorite eyeshadow colors and can be found in the Electric Palette by Urban Decay.
Advertisement
18 of 24
Photo: Via Bumble and bumble.
Her hair is also gigantic — maybe it’s filled with wires? She is a robot, after all. And, you can mimic the volume with ample Surf Spray and maybe even some Bb. Gel.
19 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
Before portraying a wise-cracking, lesbian jailbird in Orange Is the New Black, Natasha Lyonne played a lesbian cheerleader among a cast that included RuPaul. If you're not familiar with it, you've got to put this one at the top of your movie-marathon list, pronto. It’s a visual feast and a satirical comedy about those “Scared Straight” camps. (I went to one for a few days once! It was...interesting).
20 of 24
Photo: Via Soko Glam.
Anyway, aside from the incredible set design and wonderful characters (love you, Sinead; hey, Julie Delpy), the fashion and beauty looks are pretty on point. To cop 'em, pick up one of those Yoko Ono Opening Ceremony unitards, super froufrou strawberry hair rollers for their over-the-top femininity, and this lipstick called Queer Theory.
21 of 24
Illustrated by Us.
Wild at Heart (1990)
Fashion may have a love affair with Lynch’s Twin Peaks, but my favorite work of his is Wild at Heart. In addition to the beautiful, gruesome characters who pop in and out of the story line, the movie is also filled with hardcore femme lipstick moments. One of my favorite parts is when a dying character utters (not really a spoiler), “Get my lipstick.” Talk about dedication.
22 of 24
Lipstick is actually the link between many of the characters in this flick. Whenever I mess up my lippie, I say these words: “I’ve done something so bad. My Wild at Heart-inspired pout? I'd opt for this really delicious Grandifolia lipstick from Bite Beauty — it's a fiery red but also really yummy.
23 of 24
Photo: Via Bumble and bumble.
When it comes to coiff, I’d make my hair gigantic like Laura Dern’s by using Bumble and bumble Thickening Dryspun Finish volumizing spray. Or, you could just go the wig (and unibrow) route like Isabella Rossellini, who plays a bizarre yet inexplicably iconic bit role here.
24 of 24
Like this post? There's more. Get tons of beauty tips, tutorials, and news on the Refinery29 Beauty Facebook page. Like us on Facebook — we'll see you there!
Advertisement