25 Beauty Lessons We’ve Learned from Dita Von Teese

Alle Connell
dita von teese book

Source: Dita Von Teese, Instagram

Dita Von Teese is a beauty icon. From the tips of her perfectly manicured half-moon fingers to the crown of her immaculately coiffed, blue-black head, Dita defines elegance and glamour in a way we’ve been starved for since the 1960s. No accidental beauty, Dita’s signature look is the result of years of practice, performance and dedication—and in her new book, Your Beauty Mark ($24, Amazon), she’s sharing all her secrets. But it’s not all basic lipstick application or retro hairstyle tutorial; Dita also breaks down the way she engages with beauty, sharing advice and inspiration that will definitely empower you to discover your own inner glamour girl. Here are the 25 best beauty lessons we learned from Dita’s new book.

1. “Finding and making your beauty mark is about living as your authentic, empowered self. If this is what the world calls being an eccentric beauty, so be it!”

2. “Strive for glamour! Glamour is enchantment, wonder. It is standing out from the crowd by way of flourish, manners and charm. Glamour is a thing of beauty—but it’s not about being born beautiful. Glamour doesn’t belong to to those naturally stunning, or to the rich, or young. Hollywood has no monopoly on glamour. Glamour is the creation of beauty and allure, and anyone can create it.”

3. “I’ve always considered myself a woman who knows that being around other great women is uplifting and inspiring and doesn’t detract from her own greatness.”

4. “Spending money you don’t have on a jar of hope isn’t going to change your skin or your life.”

5. “I keep two three-pound weights around to strengthen my arms. Traveling with them is not always possible. So imagine my joy during a hotel stay when I discovered I could optimize my morning lunges by clutching a in each hand an unopened bottle of Champagne by the neck!”

dita von teese 90s

Source: Dita Von Teese, Instagram

6. “A beautiful thing doesn’t have to be new, or even particularly valuable or precious, as long as it’s a thing to behold.”

7. “No matter what your calling in life, better nutrition means a better chance of looking and feeling glamorous all day.”

8. “Like lipstick, scent can change how we feel and how others perceive us. Because scent is so tied to memories, we often evoke the past wen trying to describe a smell. Like memories, scent is ephemeral.”

9. “Makeup is as essential as shelter and bread. Don’t just take my word for it: The US Government, in all it’s infinite wisdom, recognized during World War II that women considered lipstick not only a necessity, but representative of the very definition of freedom and democracy. So while seamed stockings made the list of rationed items, lipstick did not.”

10. “I never see the light of day—not even a cloudy day—without sunscreen.”

dita von teese nails

Source: Dita Von Teese, Instagram

11. “I wear makeup not because I am embarrassed about how I look without it. I’m not trying to hide anything. I just really, really enjoy it. I love what it does for me, how I feel with it on. What’s wrong with that?

12. “What I’m in a squeeze—for time, elan, comic relief—I think: What would Betty Grable do?”

13. “I’ll let you in on a secret. Sometimes when I am out flashing a prominently thickset cat eye, it can mean, just possibly, that I messed up. I likely started with the liquid liner wand between my fingers and the best intentions for a fine line. But on occasion, the wand has a will of its own. So instead of wiping the slate clean and starting over (because, really, who has the time?), I build on it.”

14. “Perfume is the veil of glamour that enhances a woman’s beauty. And no way was I going naked!”

15. “I always felt like the ordinary one between my two sisters. I could never claim any striking features. No full lips. No big eyes. There are many “ideal” traits I wasn’t born with. But in that moment with my lips painted Cherries in the Snow red, I felt like a million bucks. The siren call was clear: this was who I wanted to be.”

dita von teese cat

Source: Dita Von Teese, Instagram

16. “I never go to the beauty salon to have my hair colored…because of my blonde roots, I color my hair every two weeks.”

17. “So often, a stranger or friend will admire my look, and, in the same breath, hopelessly follow up that he or she can’t possibly achieve such “perfection.” I am not perfect. Who is? What is perfection anyway, but striving to be the best you can be?”

18. “When it comes to bright lipstick and applying it, men become as focused as babies during this simple act.”

19. “I learned from a hairstylist in Japan to take a cropped, flat-pile powder brush (a dome powder brush works as well, just reserve it for hair and not the face!) and spritz it with hairspray, Quickly run the moistened brush over any baby hairs on the top, sides, back, and hairline.”

20. “What’s my remedy for reducing cellulite? No overhead lighting!”

dita von teese MAC lipstick

Source: Dita Von Teese, Instagram

21. “Being sexy isn’t bout one look any more than it is about one thing. For me, it can be about gorgeous lingerie, stockings and garters. But it’s not because I want men to approve. It’s what I like. Ultimately, it’s what makes you personally feel sexy and confident. Plus, a smile is always part of the equation.”

22. “A woman cannot be expected to wear red lipstick and eat with joie de vivre and not check her makeup. A powder compact with a mirror is one of my most accessible beauty secrets.”

23. “Given the choice between a bad makeup or a bad hair day, I’ll always take the makeup. A wonky cat eye can be quickly fine-tuned with a Q-tip or more liner. But bad hair? Little more can be done with dull or listless or frizzy locks than wrapping up the entire mess in a turban.”

24. “Even on those days when you’re feeling the most beautiful, not everyone is going to agree. They may never. It requires a certain courage, a certain craziness, to be able to live life without compromise, to step out the door and risk ridicule. When someone calls another individual ugly, all I see is that the one doing the insulting becomes instantly less beautiful. Consider it a compliment to be mocked for being beautiful; energy is never expended on mediocrity.

25. “Be honest with yourself. If you can’t, after all, who can?”

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