Thursday, September 6, 2012

Beauty Sightings: Showgirls

Ah, Showgirls. If ever there was a piece of trash that I truly enjoyed, it was this melodramatic softcore porn that masquerades as a serious commentary on the hazards of fame. I actually don't think this movie is as downright terrible, at its roots, as some claim it is, nor do I think Elizabeth Berkley is as horrible of an actress as people make her out to be. But there were a lot of little problems, like the pointless and excessive-even-by-Vegas-standards nudity and the occasionally awkward dialogue, that added up and really killed the flick.

And yet the makeup--infamously heavy and overdone--has inspired me. Blame it on my early introduction to drag, but I always loved the uber-thick layers of lip product and blatantly fake false lashes, albeit not for everyday wear. The makeup takes a slightly creepy turn if you switch from watching Showgirls in standard definition--which is what I did for 10+ years--to watching the Blue Ray I currently own...but more on that later. For now, BEAUTY SIGHTINGS! (No fears, parents: these images are censored.)

Penny applies a pinky-red lip pencil. Someone told me that these are Lancome pencils, but it's hard for me to tell.

These red lips intrigue me: Julie is seen applying a red lipstick from a purple-and-gold foiled tube (which I couldn't get a picture of), but Nomi is clearly using a gloss or a stain, the packaging of which is vaguely reminiscent of CoverGirl. Of course, the makeup does vary from skintone to skintone. You can also see red nail polishes and a tube of the infamous Maybelline Great Lash mascara on Nomi's vanity.

I think this is the same lipstick Julie applies for this "firebird" makeup. Again, it's gold and purple, metallic...anybody have any idea what mid-90s packaging that might be?

Check out Cristal's epic vanity! I see a few things that look like Estee Lauder and Tresseme, but I could be completely off the mark.

Cristal rubs what appears to be Ponds cold cream in to her skin to remove her heavy theater makeup.

Another lip pencil; again, these are purportedly Lancome, but I can't exactly tell.

Nomi rushing to smoosh even more makeup on her face.

Lots of familiar goodies in this shot--definitely click to see the full-sized image! I spot cotton rounds, fake eyelashes, Q-tips, and nail tools, plus stand-bys like lotion, water spritzers, and tissues. And of course, on the left, our dear friend Coty Airspun.

MOAR MAKEUP!!! This particular eyeshadow seems to be a cream formula, but it's hard to tell...

...and we see ladies holding palettes of powder shadow mere moments later. Again, check the vanities for staples like deodorant and sponge wedges.

This was incredibly hard to capture, but Julie is either using lash primer or brow tamer. The tube is black.

Nomi adds some nude pencil to her eyes. This looks eerily like a MAC Chromagraphic pencil that I own, but those are relatively new...right?

Nomi applying some really gorgeous lipstick. I can't tell what the bottles on her vanity are for...nail stuff, maybe?

A close-up of the lipstick Nomi puts on, plus plenty of nail art porn!

And now, inspiration images! Again, the makeup from Showgirls has always inspired and interested me, but it's only now that I have the blu-ray that I can really see every little brush stroke and highlight. To be quite frank, it's a tad scary. Yes, everyone knows that the makeup in Showgirls is downright excessive, especially since we only rarely see the leading ladies on stage, but the super-mega-definition of this HD version makes it very clear that...well, Showgirls wasn't made with modern HD technology in mind, yes, but furthermore, it makes it all too evident that they absolutely CAKED makeup on Elizabeth Berkley and, to a lesser extent, Gina Gershon. With women like...

 Elizabeth Berkely and...

Gina Gershon, who are, to this very day, naturally lovely ladies, what's the purpose of pancaking them? Especially disturbing are the scenes where their characters are supposed to be bare-faced, but with the power of modern HD video, you can see just how much they smacked on to their faces (eyeliner, lipliner, false lashes, etc.)'s just baffling.

But you didn't come here to read a crotchety rant. Here are some inspiration pictures, plus a few shots I took to show you just how much they overdid it, sometimes making the beautiful Berkley look like a creepy plastic elf doll that fell face first in to a vat of flour.


  1. i looove your movie makeup commentary! more, more! :D

  2. ha excellent, this is one of my favourite great bad films

    1. I can basically quote it from start to finish.