My 50’s Hollywood Glam Makeover

How to create that oh-so-glam 50’s movie star look.


While I’m a seasoned pro when it comes to applying eyeshadow (I learned a few things back in my modeling days), I am definitely still a newbie to the world of contouring — which is actually kind of crazy, considering how much more a little contouring can do to emphasize your strong points and change the way you look for the better. I also wear very minimal makeup usually, so a refresher on how to create a full-faced glam look was definitely in order.

My 50’s Hollywood Glam Makeover

For someone who loves the natural look, and is always pressed for time, contouring has become my magic secret, thanks to the tutorial I got from Make Up For Ever. With just a few strokes of bronzer and maybe a little blush and highlighter, I can make myself not only look much prettier (especially in photos), but still look completely natural, as if I wasn’t wearing makeup at all — in about 2 minutes flat. Brilliant!

My 50’s Hollywood Glam Makeover

Hilary Rowland learning how to do a 50’s Hollywood look

I’m sure you’ve already heard of the super-famous makeup brand called Make Up For Ever. Their Director of Artistry, Lijha Stewart recently taught me a few new tricks for my beauty arsenal. Specifically, she showed me the best ways to contour, while giving me a “modern Grace Kelly” look. The end result was pretty glamorous, if I do say so myself!

My 50’s Hollywood Glam Makeover

How the end result should look

Here’s a fun little video they put together of my transformation from a plain Jane to glam starlet:

Here’s a quick rundown of what they taught me:

1. Foundation doesn’t have to look obvious. You can put a lightweight foundation all over your face or just on certain spots (which is what I normally do) …but that’s a bit more risky and could end up looking blotchy, so if you’re going to be on a red carpet, make sure to check yourself in natural light and take a quick selfie to see if it shows up on film before you go out. Make sure you match the color exactly to your chest so your face doesn’t look like a different color than your body.

2. Contouring can subtly modify your face shape and nobody will know. All you have to do is use some contouring powder or bronzer with brush-strokes from the middle of your ear to the side of your mouth, and from the outside of your eye in a half-circle to the top of your head. See the video for more details on that.

My 50’s Hollywood Glam Makeover

Hilary Rowland with makeup artist Lijha Stewart from MAKE UP FOR EVER

3. A great brow and false eyelashes can make a huge difference. Seeing is believing. My straight eyelashes were given major Oomph! with false lashes, and my brows were filled in with brow pencil (but eyeshadow applied with a small angle brush works just as well).

4. Shiny lips and flush cheeks are uber sexy. Try a few to find the perfect shade that looks natural on you. The result? Va-va-voom!


Disclosure: This post is sponsored by MAKE UP FOR EVER and Style Coalition.
Avatar of Hilary Rowland

A writer, artist, and designer since she was young enough to put pencil to paper, Hilary taught herself code and created Urbanette when she was a teenager. Currently, she lives in Monte Carlo, but spent the past decade living in NYC, still considers herself a New Yorker, and visits regularly. She's always traveling, looking for hot new topics, destinations, and life hacks to bring to Urbanette readers.

Reader Discussion: 65 Comments

  1. Avatar of LEONA


    I have a love and hate relationship between makeup. I got very dependent on makeup before and suddenly I just felt like I didn’t want to wear it all the time anymore. My boyfriend told me that I looked okay without and he doesn’t see the point why I want to keep covering my face with it.

    • Avatar of LISA Bryson

      LISA Bryson

      It’s your choice if you want to wear it or not. Learn to love your skin as it is.

  2. Avatar of Marguerite Poole

    Marguerite Poole

    My favorite EVER step in makeup is highlighting and contouring. I feel like I look ugly without it and I always enjoy enhancing my features with these products. You can’t live with just foundation because you’ll end up with a flat looking face that doesn’t have any dimension. Makeup is all about enhancing dimensions and that’s what makes the look well put together. This doesn’t always mean that you have to cake on a lot of products either. It’s just matter of using products that is seemless on your skin.

  3. Avatar of Alicia Parker

    Alicia Parker

    Once I used Make Up Forever, I stopped using other brands. Their formulas are perfect and you really can’t ask for more.

  4. Avatar of Cassie Johnston

    It’s great when you really opt for shades that look natural on you instead of a pop of color, especially on a daily basis.

  5. Avatar of Lucia Lucero

    This made me want to try Make Up Forever. I really want to try their brand but I don’t like the fact that it doesn’t have any skin care benefits. No sunscreen or any serums included in their foundations. Some would say that you shouldn’t really rely on makeup as skincare. Actually, I do have a separate skincare but it’s just great when your makeup also has skincare benefits to double the fun. I use makeup everyday for work, which is why I prefer makeup with skincare benefits.

  6. Avatar of Jeanette Bouvin

    I find it weird because western YouTubers choose foundations a few shades darker than their actual skin tone. Why???

  7. Avatar of Devon Carlson

    I really want to try Make Up Forever but I swear they’re a little expensive for my liking. I don’t really splurge on makeup.

  8. Avatar of Lucia Slaninkova

    Make Up Forever HD foundations are the bomb. The liner they used on you is also good. Doesn’t smudge.? Lasts the entire day too.

    • Avatar of Eloise Ferris

      Eloise Ferris

      True! Those are also the products that I have here with me and I could never find anything better than them.

  9. Avatar of Chelsea COSSEY

    Chelsea COSSEY

    You’re definitely looking glam and fab with this makeup look. It’s worthy of the Hollywood red carpet.❤️

  10. Avatar of Tasha Daniel

    Tasha Daniel

    Wow you look really awesome with bold makeup, Hilary. It looks great on you probably because we’re so used to seeing you looking simple but still beautiful. I really admire your skin, it’s very flawless and it’s like you don’t even have pores. It’s very rare for American women who have perfect looking skin. Asians always have the best skin as far as I know. However, yours look really great. I know you only use natural products and it probably plays a big factor to how your skin looks.

Load 10 more comments

Join in the Conversation! Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Urbanette moderates and edits comments for grammar and to facilitate an informed, substantive, civil conversation. Abusive, profane, promotional, misleading, incoherent or off-topic comments will be rejected. Please use your full name. Moderators can only approve comments written in English.

All content is strictly copyright. Contact us for permission.