The Best Classic Beauty Looks from Holiday Movies

Keira Knightley
Photo: Mary Evans/Universal Pictures/Working Title Films/DNA Films/Ronald Grant/Everett Collection

Some of our favorite holiday beauty looks—red lips, rosy cheeks, and plenty of Old Hollywood-inspired curls included—aren’t necessarily trends at all, having been donned at holiday parties for over a century. That’s why, when debating our makeup and hair combos for when the clock strikes midnight, we’ll be drawing inspiration from classic holiday movies, swapping a night in pin curls (sorry Donna Reed) for 20 minutes with a curling iron.

Keira Knightley in Love Actually (above) If there’s one makeup look we hope to replicate from a film full of beauty inspiration (read: Natalie’s Audrey Hepburn-esque bangs and Mia’s layered bob), it’s Keira Knightley’s aptly-named Juliet, who, as a newlywed, nailed the dewy look with bare, yet radiant skin, groomed-to-perfection eyebrows, and the early 2000’s piecey, face-framing layers.

Courtesy Everett Collection

Donna Reed in It's A Wonderful Life Finger waves are one of the most revisited of old Hollywood styles, just consider Charlize Theron’s winning Oscar look or Julianne Hough at the 2012 Emmys. Although the style originated in the 1920s, we can’t help but think that Donna Reed’s finger waves (and milkmaid braid) in the Christmas classic, It’s A Wonderful Life, may have had something to do with it.

Keira Knightley
Courtesy Everett Collection

Rosemary Clooney in White Christmas Decades prior to the development of blonde essentials (i.e. purple toning shampoo and conditioning masks), Clooney managed an enviably shiny, baby blonde tone with soft, inward-facing curls that somehow remained in place throughout the film’s many musical and dance numbers. If you're playing up the hair, opt for minimal makeup, like an appropriately festive red lip.

20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection

Sarah Jessica Parker in The Family Stone In a look far, far away from anything Carrie Bradshaw would touch, Parker played Meredith, an uptight executive, who is met with friction upon meeting her boyfriend’s family in 2005’s The Family Stone. Thankfully, Meredith has an eye for beauty and nails the whole chic businesswoman thing with a tight chignon and sleek blowout.

Zooey Deschanel
New Line Cinema/Courtesy Everett Collection

Zooey Deschanel in Elf Bangs are her trademark, but back in 2003, Deschanel rocked blonde curls as Buddy’s love interest in Elf, somehow managing to make a knit cap look purposeful (and not just as a cover up for second day hair).

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