A cupid’s arrow away from the long-stemmed roses and fluffy teddy bears, we are celebrating Valentine’s Day sans le mush, with our favourite beauty moments from rom-coms throughout the decades.
From John Hughes’s peachy teenage dream, Molly Ringwald, to the Queen of the romantic comedy, Ms. Julia Roberts (who features in two of our favourites), we round up our favourite lovers, paramours and proud singles in film. Plus, we pick out their perfect gift.
To the ladies who made us laugh, love and cry, we salute our champagne and chocolates to you. Be mine, Julia, Meg and Molly.
Vivian Ward, Pretty Woman
If there was one romantic comedy character who reigned above the rest, it would be Julia Roberts’ Vivian Ward. Firmly etched into our rom-com-sciousness, Ward’s fairytale-like transformation from call girl to class act remains filmic folklore, with Pretty Woman one of the greatest rom-coms of all time. Follow Vivian’s lead with strong arched brows, cascading curls and a slick of scarlet (just the thing to frame those pearly whites). Cinder-fuckin-rella? You bet.
Vivian’s Perfect Gift:
Yves Saint Laurent Hearts & Arrows Collectors Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-In-Stick, $57. shop now
Kat Stratford, 10 Things I Hate About You
When Heath Ledger’s Patrick Verona took the mic and sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” to a peeved Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) – we melted. Truly. The whip-smart teenage rom-com – a modern day play on The Taming Of The Shrew – made a bold statement about teenage love, but a minimalist one about beauty. Kat’s pared-back hair and makeup of was the decade; natural curls, loose tendrils and a peach lip. All hail 90s minimalism (and one of the best love stories of all time).
Kat’s Perfect Gift:
The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath, $25. shop now
Anna Scott, Notting Hill
Like Julia Roberts, Anna Scott was America’s Golden Girl, lighting up the big screen with that bouncy blow-wave, sparkle in her eye and that smile – sweeping, sparkling and very white. Follow her textbook beauty look by injecting some poof into your crown with a root booster, dust cocoa eyeshadow across lids and (try) to recreate those lips; Charlotte Tilbury’s Lip Cheat is your best bet. She is after all, just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to lover her. Sigh.
Anna’s Perfect Gift:
lancôme LA VIE EST BELLE L’ÉCLAT, $120. shop now
Sally Albright, When Harry Met Sally
Like Julia, Meg, too, is the queen of the rom-com, with When Harry Met Sally an icon. Ryan’s quirky and cute Sally Albright is one of the pre-eminent characters of cinematic history, with her 80s makeup and hair equally iconic. Those big flicked curls, blue eyeshadow and strong blush all redolent of the era. And with 80s beauty staging its comeback, we’ll have what she’s having.
Sally’s Perfect Gift
TOO FACED Sweethearts Perfect Flush Blush, $46. shop now
Andie Anderson, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days
That lemon dress, soft up ‘do, juicy pink lip; Kate Hudson’s Andie Anderson was magic. Perennially glowy, take heed of Andie’s beauty cues and slather on some tanning mousse, get the highlighter out and have the gloss on standby. And you never know, Mr. McConaughey might fall head over heels for us, too.
Andie’s Perfect Gift:
Silver Lady “Love” Fern, $10. shop now
Iris, The Holiday
The beautifully endearing Iris may be unlucky in love (until she finds Jack Black’s Miles), but she’s not in the beauty stakes. Winslet’s Iris makes a case for simple refinement; fresh skin, a creamy pink lip and natural, undone hair. Just lovely.
Iris’ Perfect Gift:
Davines Love Trio Pack, $109. shop now
Andie Walsh, pretty in pink
Long before the Hadids and Jenners, Andie Walsh was the original ‘it’ girl. Ringwald’s Andie became somewhat of a pin-up; a cult character whose fashion and beauty notes were mimicked for years. Riff Andie’s signature look with a red rinse and pink-hued beauty (of course), and you’ll be pretty in pink in no time.
Andie’s Perfect Gift:
Valet laura resin hair clip, $51. shop now
Juliet, Love Actually
The beautifully ethereal Juliet was just lovely. Love Actually’s classic English rose had equally rosy beauty notes; soft rouge, groomed brows and a salmon lip stain. Juliet, you are perfect to us too.
Juliet’s Perfect Gift:
DIPTYQUE Love At First Sight Eau Rose Cream Set, $149. shop now
Lucy Whitmore, 50 First Dates
With that classic Barrymore charm, we all fell in love with Lucy. Her beachy, relaxed look captured this perfected, with saccharine accents and scrunchy, salty waves. Evoke Drew’s Lucy with a glossy lip, radiant tinted moisturiser and sea salt spray. Waking up looking like this 50 times over is just fine with us.
Lucy’s Perfect Gift:
Lucy Folk Pharaoh gold-plated, pearl and Lurex earrings, $366.39. shop now
Helen Harris, Bridesmaids
With that meticulous blow-wave, strategic rouge and fluttery lash, Helen was the quintessential Little Miss Perfect. An ode to our own homegrown Rose (Byrne), sometimes we all need a little primp and preen from time to time.
Helen’s Perfect Gift:
Blow Bar Co His And Hers Date Night package (she receives a hair wash, blow-dry, + he receives a head massage + beer, bubbles and decadent cheese plate), $150. shop now