It was the summer after 6th grade when I was finally allowed to stay up late once my siblings went to sleep. The house would be quiet and dark with my brothers and sister tucked safely in their beds and my parents ensconced in the peace of their bedroom. I OBVIOUSLY wasn't allowed to watch MTV, so I would stay up every single night and watch old movies on TCM and AMC (back when they played old movies.) I'd lay on the living room floor with my feet up on the TV stand watching women from decades past float onscreen. Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Rita Moreno, Natalie Wood. I could go on and on. Their style, grace, and strength left a truly lasting impression on me, and my perception of beauty. The winged liquid eyeliner has long since been a beauty staple of mine, and I have them to thank.
That's not to say that I immediately knew how to translate their looks into my own personal style because I most certainly fell victim to the styles of the late 90s/early aughts. I was all pale blue eyeshadow, glittery cheeks, and butterfly clips. But their influence showed up in other ways. I ditched the unruly triangle bob for soft 40's inspired curls. (Which my mother would re-create EVERY MORNING before school with hot rollers in my hair. #bless) I hoarded red lipstick samples that my grandmother would get for me when she went to the mall and slather them on once I had changed out of my school uniform. Never has there been a more glamorous sight than 12 year old Lourdes, riding her bike with a giant helmet on her head and bright red lipstick, on her way to get some ice cream at Baskin Robbins.
These days, the looks that inspire me the most have come from across the pond: Jane Birkin, Francoise Hardy, and Anna Karina. Before Zooey Deschanel did the "long bangs, long layers" look, I had the same thing but I called it the "Jane Birkin." And no one did a long bob and baby bang like darling Anna, my girl of the moment. I also tend to look back to these ladies when it comes to brows. A heavy, Cara Delevigne inspired brow is everywhere, but my sparse little caterpillars just can't hang.
The only look from my own time that really ever made an impression on me was Liv Tyler in Empire Records. But I mean, how could it not? Liv was and still is the prettiest girl in the world. I tried to copy her cool-but-sweet girl look for years, though my style was severely cramped by the fact that I wasn't allowed to wear crop tops. And let's be real, if I had any sort of street-cred, I'd still try to rock this look.