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Makeup in Film: Emma Stone

Image of how Emma Stone typically looks

C’mon, admit it ladies, we all have our Celebrity Girl Crushes. For me, recently it has been the incredibly beautiful Jennifer Lawrence of Hunger Games fame. However, another talented young lady has really been setting our screens alight (perhaps not quite as literally as Lawrence’s character of Katniss!) as Gwen Stacy in the recent Amazing Spider-Man (2012), opposite Brit actor Andrew Garfield. She is of course: Emma Stone.

Emma Stone in Film

Known for her beautiful red tresses, and girl-next-door beauty, Stone’s makeup look is typically quite basic, cute and seems to focus on her eyes, as the above image shows. Various magazine cover shoots appear to utilise this cuteness about Stone, in ways that are sexy but often quite playful:

Images of Emma Stone on the front cover of various magazines

What is really interesting about each of these magazine covers, is that even though the general concept appears to be that cute and wholesome all-American type girl. You know, the girl that all the boys think is hot, and all the girls want to look like. Yet, each magazine has approached this notion in a similar, and yet quite different way. Personally, I think all of these covers have a very sixties vibe to them, which perhaps mirrors Stone’s 2011 success in 1960s-based film The Help (2011), also starring Octavia Spencer and Viola Davis. Whether this is a coincidence I can’t possibly say, but it definitely appears to be there.

All three magazines have opted to go for classic sixties styles with heavy emphasis on the eyes which was of course probably the most popular (and well-known) makeup look of the 1960s. Interestingly, Emma Stone’s actual look as Skeeter, in The Help, couldn’t be more different to the obvious stereotypes:

Image of Emma Stone as Skeeter in The Help

Well, except maybe in this scene…

Image of Emma Stone in The Help

But, even then her makeup still appears to have been toned down more than the typical makeup look of this period. Does this represent the characters inability (and unwillingness) to fit in with the fashions and trends of the women around her? I think it could be.

Emphasis on the eyes appears to play a bit part in the makeup in many of Stone’s major roles, including in her role as Amelia in The Rocker (2008), in which the heavy eyeliner represents the characters personality and lifestyle. It’s interesting, that even though this role was merely three years before her role in The Help, the playfulness of the makeup in The Rocker makes Stone look considerably younger.

Image of Emma Stone as Amelia in The Rocker

Emma Stone in Real Life

But Stone also often opts for the attention to detail of the eyes, in real life too, and it appears to be the feature that she chooses to concentrate on the most.

In the images above, it’s interesting to see how even though the eye makeup is very similar, the looks are so completely different for a variety of reasons:

First is the lipstick colour. In the first her lips are quite pale and nude which helps kind of blend her entire look together, pushing all the focus to her stunning eyes. The look feels a little bit “icy” and cool. Whilst in the second one, she is wearing a pale pink tone that adds more colour to her face.

The second reason is of course her hair. As a blonde, her skin tone appears to lighten a great deal which is complemented well by the nude lipstick. As a red-head, Stone’s skin seems to brighten up into a rosy-glow and the rose-toned lipstick works well with it.

Her eyes are without doubt, Emma Stone’s best feature and she’s right, in my opinion, to base her entire look around them. Nevertheless, it’s great to see that she’s not afraid to try other things, and use her other amazing asset, that is her lips, as a bigger  feature on occassions:

Image of Emma Stone wearing red lipstick

Whilst her eyes are played down, compared to her normal look, her eyes still make a statement alongside her stunning red lips and the boldness of the red looks stunning against her hair. Whoever said that red-heads shouldn’t wear red couldn’t have been more wrong. However, even beautiful girls like Stone can get it wrong sometimes:

Image of Emma Stone with blonde hair, sultry eyes and a dark lipstick

In this quite “gothic”-inspired look, I can’t help feeling that it just doesn’t suit Stone. The problem is that the shade of blonde washes her skin out quite a bit and makes her pale. Therefore, using such a deep and rich red doesn’t work in this case because it makes her skin even paler.

Personally, I think that this look would have been better suited with a lighter shade of lipstick that helped to add a little colour to her face, rather than draining it because previous images of Stone with blonde hair in real life, and in various film roles proves that she can pull off being blonde just as easily as she pulls off being a firey red head.

Becoming Gwen Stacy

Although perhaps not as iconic as the Spider-Man character of Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy was actually Spider-Man’s original love interest, and is still considered to be one of the comic world’s sexiest female characters. Intriguingly, she has only been portrayed (as far as I can tell) by two live action actresses, both quite recently considering how long the character and Spider-Man comics have been around.

Perhaps due to this lack of being portrayed in either live-action Film or Television, the appearance of Gwen has changed very little, with most of her look being about the blonde hair and the strong fringe/bangs:

Images of various animated Gwen Stacy's

Bryce Dallas Howard’s portrayal of Gwen in 2007 flick Spider-Man 3 kept very closely to the overall look of the comics:

Image of Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy

Howard’s look, however, was quite sexy thanks, in part, to the use of stong eyeliner on the upper lid that creates a sultry look. The makeup sort of creates a look that is quite seductive, perhaps because she was the character (in this film) who was supposed to be the main love rival against Mary Jane. In part, I can’t help finding the choice of makeup misleading, because I don’t feel that she was built up enough as a femme fatale to warrant the overall look in her makeup.

When Emma Stone was initially cast in The Amazing Spider-Man, there was a great deal of confusion regarding the character that she would be portratying. Considering her infamous red looks that have become a large part of Stone’s look, in most films, it isn’t surprised that a lot of fans jumped to the conclusion that she would play Mary Jane. However, remembering that naturally blonde Kirsten Dunst had played the red-headed Mary Jane in the earlier 2000s Spider-Man films opposite Tobey Maguire, I find it intriguing that Emma Stone would be doing the complete opposite and going from red-head to blonde.

Image of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

Similar to Howard, Stone’s overall look remains in keeping with how the character of Gwen has been portrayed in both comics and animated TV series. It is still all about the blonde hair, and of course the strong fringe/bangs. With regards to her blonde hair, the shade appears warmer than the previous “gothic” look and thus makes her face appear just as warm, and bright, and weirdly youthful.

However, the way that Stone’s Gwen differs completely is in the fact that her makeup could not be more different to Howard’s Gwen.

Image of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy

In terms of makeup, the eyes remain the key focus, in a similar manner to how Stone’s look is naturally. However, unlike in real life and also unlike Howard’s Gwen, Stone’s Gwen’s eyes are played down considerably creating a very natural look that is almost as if she isn’t wearing any at all. Instead of being sexy, like her predecessor, Stone’s look is cute perhaps making this version of Gwen to be a little more likeable.

The use of eyeliner also helps to accentuate Stone’s eyes making them bigger in a way that makes her eyes look doe-eyed, a look often used to make characters seem friendlier and “nice”.

Do you think that Emma Stone suits being a blonde or a red-head best?

Are you glad that they didn’t change the look of Gwen Stacy too much?

Which look, of Stone’s, do you prefer either in real life or on screen?

 

Kat Musselwhite

Kat Musselwhite

Kat is a freelance writer, who believes that everyone is beautiful, and make up just helps to enhance that natural beauty. She loves playing with make up, watching films, travelling and writing.

Kat Musselwhite

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4 Comments

  1. Sue Lin
    Sue Lin
    July 31, 2012, 4:44 pm

    I like Stone as a red head much more than a blonde. I think this may have to do with her overall features and skin tone. Stone has such pretty eyes but I always thought that her nose was her best asset. She has got a bit of a button nose and coupled with those freckles, makes her look really cute and likable.

    I’m glad she didn’t go platinum blond for her Gwen Stacy role. Strawberry blonde suits her way better. Casting Stone for Gwen is an undoubtedly smart move. Stone’s got a way of charming audiences over with her spunky gregariousness and yet remain feminine and elusive at the same time. With more films turning to character-oriented narratives of late, I’m beginning to think that cute wins over sexy big time.

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    • Kat Musselwhite
      Kat Musselwhite
      August 3, 2012, 7:44 am

      I’m glad that you mentioned Stone’s nose and freckles, because all the time I was writing this article I wanted to mention those freckles, as I completely agree they are definitely a strong feature of her face, but since I was concentrating on her make up it was difficult knowing how to mention them!

      I’m really glad she didn’t go for platinum blonde as Gwen as well, the blonde she went with suited the cuteness of the role completely :)

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  2. Taylor
    August 2, 2012, 3:10 am

    I like her with red hair, emphasis on the eyes (especially dark liner) and a subdued lip color.

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    • Kat Musselwhite
      Kat Musselwhite
      August 3, 2012, 7:45 am

      Thanks for your comments Taylor, and yes I’m in complete agreement with you, I love her red hair :)

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