Sunday, January 26, 2014

Style Icon: Hedy Lamarr, Classic Hollywood Beauty With Brains

By Randi Reed

When I hear the words  “Classic Hollywood Makeup” “Film Noir Makeup” or “1930’s and1940’s Makeup” I immediately picture actress Hedy Lamarr, circa 1938 to ‘42. Nobody wore the smokey eye or dark lips better than Hedy, and various Hollywood luminaries including Errol Flynn proclaimed her “The Most Beautiful Woman in Hollywood (or in Films, in Europe, or even in the entire world).

Hedy Lamarr. (Photo: unknown, via )
Hedy Lamarr wearing the best smokey eye ever, IMHO, in 1939 for Lady of the Tropics. Note the gloss in the center of the lower lip. (Photo: unknown, possibly George Hurrell, via Hedy Lamarr gallery,

Hedy Lamarr in 1941. (Photo: unknown /AP via

But Lamarr was no brainless babe. During World War 2, Hedy Lamarr and composer George Antheil invented and patented an early version of frequency-hopping spread-spectrum technology, with the idea that it could be used for remote controlled torpedoes. Although their invention wasn’t used until decades later, it would eventually become the basis for modern wireless technology. If you’re reading this on a Bluetooth-enabled device, you have Hedy Lamarr to thank in part. How’s that for a full circle moment? I’d say all that kinda makes up for being stuck with a first name like Hedwick, wouldn’t you?

You can read more about Ms. Lamarr’s fascinating life here. Meanwhile, here are a few more photos of the fabulous Hedy Lamarr:

A "lighter" version of the Lamarr look in 1939. The gloss on the eyes was often achieved with Vaseline or an early version of potted lip gloss atop the eyeshadow. Note that here, too, the lip isn't matte. (Photo: unknown, possibly George Hurrell, via Hedy Lamarr gallery,

Love the lashes! Hedy got away with the cigarette because starlets of the day were sent to classes to learn to hold objects and smoke elegantly for the cameras. Fortunately we know better now. (Photo: unknown, via
Classic Hollywood glamour at its best. (Photo: unknown, via Hedy Lamar gallery, )

Jane Greer, doing her best Hedy Lamarr in 1949.
(Photo: unknown, via Photobucket user Francomac123)
“I dyed my hair black, parted it in the middle, wore masses of white makeup, and very dark lipstick. I was trying to look exactly like Hedy Lamarr.” – actress Jane Greer
Who would you like to see as a Cosme-Haul icon? Follow us on Twitter @CosmeHaul and let us know!

©2014 Cosme-Haul and Randi Reed. Images copyright their respective copyright holders and are included in this blog solely for purposes of discussion under the Fair Use provision of US Copyright law. No infringement is intended, and take down requests will be honored if issued in writing by the legal copyright holder. If you feel your copyright has been violated, contact us in writing at Cosme-Haul 2219 West Olive Avenue Suite 136, Burbank CA 91506 or via email at cosmehaul (at) gmail (dot)com.