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Secrets of a glam goddess
by Joy Fang

Her skin, in real life, is truly lily white. There is a mysterious, knowing look in her brown eyes, and her hair is of the blackest black.

Yes, American burlesque star Dita Von Teese is a classic beauty. But it's a look that has been honed over the years - hence, its perfection.

The look has won her fans worldwide, and has made her a muse to rock stars, artists and designers like Jean Paul Gaultier. To be considered a muse, says the 39-year-old, who was married to controversial rocker Marilyn Manson in 2005 for about a year, is "the highest compliment".

"Most people, when they are looking for someone to be their muse, look for someone who has a sense of self, who isn't just trying to fit into mainstream standards of beauty or style," she told my paper.

And style is what Von Teese, a classically trained ballet dancer whose passion for beautiful lingerie led her to become a pin-up model and then a burlesque star, is all about.

Von Teese - who is reserved and soft-spoken in person - started experimenting with style in the 1990s, when she dressed up for parties on the Los Angeles rave scene.

Then, she would obsess over certain eras - the 1940s, for instance - and would "want to emulate that era...down to every detail", she said.

Now, "my hair is mostly 1940s, my make-up is probably more 1950s, my nails are very 1930s, and my clothes...I just look for things that have the spirit of retro style, that speak of glamour and elegance", she said.

Von Teese - who is also famous for using a corset to bring down her natural waist size of 22 inches to 16.5 inches - added that her style icons are "eccentric and unique" women, such as American socialite Babe Paley, American actress Marlene Dietrich and British magazine editor Isabella Blow.

The star was in town late last month in her capacity as the global brand ambassador for liquor brand Cointreau. She staged special burlesque shows at Zirca and at Sky Bar at Resorts World Sentosa.

An ambassador for the brand since 2008, the sultry woman said it made sense for her to team up with a spirit brand, given that a famous part of her shows has her bathing in a giant cocktail glass - something Singaporeans got to see here last month.

But for those who marvel at her looks, take heart. To keep herself in tip-top condition, she doesn't do anything special.

"I don't smoke, I don't sunbathe, I try to get enough sleep, I eat healthy. Basic stuff," she said. Her morning fix, for instance, includes "green" smoothies made of vegetables and fruit.

Fans dying to get her look can rejoice, as the self-professed make-up junkie is looking to launch her own line of make-up next year, with a focus on lipsticks in vibrant shades first.

"I feel like many great lipsticks are missing from the market. So, I'm trying to fill...the gap with things that I wish I could have," she said.

my paper tells you what this glam goddess uses to get her distinct look, in the meantime.

Dita's top make-up picks


Dita Von Teese's retro look is usually topped off with a bright slash of scarlet on her lips.

She told my paper that her favourites include Guerlain KissKiss lipstick in Exces de Rouge. She also loves Christian Dior's Rouge Dior Haute Couleur in Bingo and Diorific in #014 Dolce Vita Red.

my paper recommends: Red Muse, Blazing Red and Zinnia Red from the Rouge Dior Haute Couleur range ($44 each, from Christian Dior beauty counters at malls such as Takashimaya).

Get your Guerlain KissKiss Exces de Rouge lipstick ($47, pictured above) at the Guerlain counter at Tangs Orchard Beauty Hall (level one), or at Takashimaya.


Any beauty expert worth his salt would tell you that when one's lip colour is striking, one should go easy on the eye make-up.

For Von Teese, barely-there colours for eyes are her pick. Light ivory peaches and warm taupes for the eye crease are her must-haves.

my paper recommends: Christian Dior's Dior 5 Couleurs Lift ($95, pictured). The palette includes ivory and shades of rose. Get it from Christian Dior beauty counters.

Also try Shu Uemura's Drowning In Flame eye and cheek palette ($115), which has colours such as golden dust. Visit Shu Uemura's counters at Takashimaya, Metro at Paragon and Robinsons Centrepoint.


The cat's eye is the look of the season, and liquid liners are the way to go to get the look. Don't forget to add a little flick at the tail-end of the line you draw for the true retro look.

Von Teese's favourite eye- liner is, without doubt, M.A.C's Fluidline in Blacktrack, which gives a smooth, clean finish.

my paper recommends: Get your M.A.C Fluidline gel liner ($28, pictured) from M.A.C stores - located in malls such as Bugis Junction or Ngee Ann City. You can also try Shu Uemura's Drawing Pencil in black ($34). Visit Shu Uemura's counters at department stores such as Takashimaya, Metro at Paragon and Robinsons Centrepoint.


Asked what are the products she cannot live without, and Von Teese cited foundation and lipstick.

"You can't have one without the other," she said. For foundation, she uses Christian Dior's Capture Totale and M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural powder. my paper recommends: Christian Dior's Capture Totale Compact Foundation ($110, pictured).

This cream-infused compact will be available from January next year. Get it at Christian Dior beauty counters.

M.A.C Mineralize Skinfinish Natural ($46) gives skin a natural matte finish. Use to set foundation and as a touch-up throughout the day. Get it at M.A.C counters islandwide.


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