The 10 Best Movies to Watch for the Beauty Moments, According to Makeup Artists

Diana Ross in Mahogany

Getty / Sunset Boulevard 

While new shows and movies are always fun, there is something quite wonderful about settling down to watch a golden oldie or a movie that we remember from our childhoods that conjures up comforting feelings of nostalgia. And since we're all about beauty moments here at Byrdie, we thought we would ask some of our favorite beauty creatives for the films they find especially comforting, as well as the beauty moments in them that have inspired them the most. Personally, while I wouldn’t rock a perm anytime soon, I have a huge appreciation for the power hair being served in the '80s picture Working Girl, starring Melanie Griffith and Sigourney Weaver; Byrdie’s former editorial director Faith Xue turns to the mid-nineties road trip flick To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar, that follows Patrick Swayze and Wesley Snipes as elite drag queens ("It's heartwarming, funny, and the beauty looks and costumes are a visual delight," she says).

The next time you're debating what to watch (which will probably be very soon), consider one of these 10 comforting flicks with some seriously iconic beauty moments. Popcorn, optional (but recommended).

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Audrey Hepburn
 Getty / Donaldson Collection

"I have so many movie beauty moments I love, but I think the one character I have to mention is Audrey Hepburn’s character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I feel like it resonates with my style the most nowadays. It’s so soft and pretty, with the gentlest wash of taupe across the eyelid. The cheeks in this particular still look so fresh to me, which is something I aim for with my clients in real life." - makeup artist Kale Teter / @kaleteter


"I’d always study Cher’s makeup as a young girl and imagine creating the lines and shapes and details. She looks a little like my mom, so I guess it was always a relatable look I found extremely beautiful." - makeup artist Nikki Wolff / @nikki_makeup

Valley of the Dolls and Death Becomes Her

Sharon Tate, Valley of the Dolls
Getty Images

"My favorite movie for makeup inspiration would be Valley of the Dolls, circa 1967. I think it’s one of the most impactful movies for beauty. The glam! The hair was big! It was coiffed! Sharon Tate was a bright young star at the time and the shape that she gave her eye was amazing. There was one scene where she was sick in bed or about to pass away, and she had the most perfectly cut '60s crease with the most beautiful application of mascara. I remember I had the flu at the time—this was about five years ago and we were rehearsing for a show for Beyoncé at the Barclays Center for Title and I just remembered that gave me the inspiration to just get out of bed and get it going. Valley of the Dolls with all those amazing stars—I couldn’t take my eyes off that movie." - makeup artist Sir John /@sirjohn

She had the most perfectly cut '60s crease with the most beautiful application of mascara.

"One of my favorites of all time—because of the glam and how it inspired me—wasn’t just about how the makeup was applied, but the theory behind it all. Death Becomes Her with Goldie Hawn and Meryl Streep is a movie I grew up off. I can’t see the name of that movie or a picture without it bringing up feelings of nostalgia. And it’s where we are now, in terms of the magic potion that they were fighting so hard for we now know is fillers and Botox. Death Becomes Her it’s such a classic, while Valley of the Dolls is something everyone needs to take a look at and archive and reference, or even try to recreate." - Sir John / @sirjohn

Mahogany and Funny Face

Diana Ross Mahogany
 Getty / Sunset Boulevard

"Both the movies I love for makeup and costumes are actually movies about fashion, so the looks are also very glamorous. I love the fun, dramatic over-the-top looks on Diana Ross in Mahogany. It blew me away when I first saw it—everything was so extravagant." - Nick Barose /@nickbarose

"Also, Audrey Hepburn in the movie Funny Face is so elegant and the OG supermodel Dovima is in it too, serving fierce couture looks." - Nick Barose /@nickbarose


Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra
 Getty / Silver Screen Collection

"My favorite, and probably first, film beauty moment was Elizabeth Taylor in Cleopatra. I remember watching this with my mother when I was about five or six on Christmas, and being absolutely mesmerized by Elizabeth. Her skin was, and always has been, a skin goal for me. Then the black eyeliner and the incredible blue over her eyes was absolutely incredible to my five-year-old eyes. To me, she was the most captivating woman I’d ever seen. There are many many remarkable faces on-screen but Elizabeth in Cleopatra will stay with me for life." - Emma White Turle / @ewtmakeup

Dark Shadows

"I would say any Tim Burton film because of the wonderful tones that are used within his films. Even the color grading—the makeup artists will have to honor that. A favorite would have to be Dark Shadows—Eva Green’s red lips and her’s all so iconic." - makeup artist Katie Jane Hughes / @katiejanehughes

The Devil Wears Prada

"I loved The Devil Wears Prada because of the story and the fashion, which for me was key as I worked in fashion first! And then I ended up in the movie industry working with Anne Hathaway and Gal Gadot [on the Wonder Woman movies], who are telling stories that the world can enjoy." - Sarah Brock / @sarahbrockmua

Marie Antoinette

"My favorite beauty movie moment it was a few months ago when I was researching for Camila Cabello's performance at SNL. She had a performance inspired by Marie Antoinette, so I started watching the 2006 Marie Antoinette movie. Literally, my jaw dropped! It was so well done, all the costumes and beauty in the movie.

I’m a big fan of all eras of movies but sometimes it’s very tricky, as the hair can look tacky rather than cool. In this movie, the hair struck the perfect balance of these big wigs that were made in a really modern way. I ended up keeping many of these ideas on my books." - Dimitris Giannetos / @dimitrishair

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