Isabella Rossellini, 66, is not only known for being an accomplished actress, model, filmmaker, and artist, but also for her very elegant, very recognizable signature style.
Throughout her years in the spotlight, Rossellini has certainly showcased a variety of styles and looks, but two things have always seemed to remain constant – her red lips and stylish short hair – both of which comprise her signature look.
In a recent interview with InStyle magazine, Rossellini opened up about her signature look and on how she approaches age with grace and confidence.
In her late twenties and thirties, Rossellini spent much of her time modeling. In fact, from the age of 30 to 42, she was the official face of Estee Lauder beauty products, her image gracing ads in magazines, television, and billboards.
Several years before she began working for Estee Lauder, she received a piece of advice from several makeup artists regarding a simple makeup tip that she could use to achieve a chic day to day look. Their consensus was this, “Pick a feature you really like and emphasize it.”
For Rossellini, the feature she liked was her lips and she chose to emphasize it with red lipstick, which quickly became part of her signature look.
While, to this day, she is almost always seen with some version of red lips, she does enjoy experimenting with different shades, opting for brighter reds in the summer and reds with darker tones in the winter. She also prefers matte as opposed to gloss.
Rossellini is so fond of bold lips that she puts lipstick right up there with eating healthy and exercising in terms of ways to feel good about yourself, saying, “Although it can’t save your life, it can be a step toward feeling good. If you put on lipstick, exercise, eat healthy, dress nice, and clean your house, you become happier and things look better.”
In the same way that Rossellini purposefully accentuates her lips, she also purposefully downplays a feature that she is less proud of – her hair.
“Lips may be my strong point, but hair is my weak point.”
Rossellini describes her hair as being “fine and straight” and therefore often wears it quite short, almost like a man’s haircut; which is interesting considering that her beauty icon is the antithesis of masculine style – Jackie Kennedy.
Rossellini says that she admires Jackie Kennedy for her “elegance” and the way that she presented herself in a way “that was American and well-put together”.
Rossellini maintains a very balanced and comfortable perspective on aging, recognizing that while there are some drawbacks (“OK, the neck I don’t love! And I’ve certainly lost agility. I can’t do somersaults anymore, but it’s all right”), there are also plenty of benefits.
She says that her approach to aging is to simply “embrace it”. And in an effort to do just that, she tries to focus on the positive benefits that come with age, like the freedom and time to do more of what she loves.
“When you’re young, you have the pressure to earn money, prove yourself. I had to be a beauty, an actress, and do the red carpet. The fact that I was interested in animals or running a farm had no value. So, age has given me time to do all the things I’ve always wanted to do. I feel richer in a way.”
Embracing her age, highlighting her strong features, and focusing on doing what she loves all seem to be working well for this Hollywood icon as she looks as beautiful and happy with her life as she did when she first broke onto the Hollywood scene years ago.
Want to try out a bold red lip like Rossellini’s? Here are some products that can help you achieve the look.
Rossellini begins with a lip liner that is a shade or two darker than her lipstick. Try The Lip Liner by Lancome, $26.
When it comes to the specific lipstick that Rossellini uses, she tends to change it up frequently. One of her favorites, though, is Lie de Vin by Lancome, $32.
As for the application, “I apply straight from the tube, blot with tissue, then swipe it on again.”
What do you think of Isabella Rossellini’s signature look? How do you highlight your best features? Share your thoughts and join the conversation below!
Photos: PETER LINDBERGH