Beauty Flashback: This Week’s Retro Beauty Icon Is Vanessa Paradis – The Original Gap-Toothed Girl

01 March 2013 by

Long before we dreamed of a gap-toothed smile a la Georgia Jagger; a sultry, Parisian teenage Vanessa Paradis was flying the flag for gap-toothed gals everywhere. Back in the day Paradis preferred to pout rather than show her trade-mark teeth (We wonder if some short-sighted person told her to hide them???) but today her smile is her fortune and we know her best as a Chanel muse and for her 15 year relationship with a certain Johnny Depp.  Teeth aside, there’s a lot to be taken from her first flush of youth signature beauty look this season. Here’s what we love the most…

1) The First Flush Lips

Remember when ‘natural lip colour’ meant your own actual lip colour?  Those were the days.  For Vanessa that meant enhancing her own deep, berry lip colour with those classic late 80s, early 90’s wine and spice lip liners. Remember them??? If you’re well and truly out of the first flush of your youth then take heart that there are lip products to bring it back.  Try Dior Addict Lip Glow, £22.50.

2)  That Gap

No, not the gap (or lack of in our case) between your thighs, this is the other gap. The French call her teeth ‘lucky,’ (dents du Bonheur) and Paradis has claimed she can suck water through them and even eat an apple through a tennis racket with them!  While we’re not suggesting you chisel your own gap you could take a leaf out of make-up artist Andrew Gallimore’s book and create your own bespoke gap.  At Holly Fulton we witnessed him blacking out a gap in models teeth before applying bold red lipstick.  Very next season and much less painful than the surgery Madonna was rumoured to undergo in order to get her own VP toothy grin.

3) Her Virgin Hair

Unlike many other famous women, Vanessa has managed to retain a sense of her natural hair colour which despite her Parisian wrinkles (way too cool for Botox) gives her 40 year old self a girlish edge.  Although in these pictures she’s obviously a mere whippersnapper, you can see the same sun-kissed chestnut tones in her hair today. ‘Going back to old pictures of yourself on holiday can often be a good indication of the most youthful and flattering hair colour,’ say hair stylist Luke Hersheson.

4) The Paradis Powdered Down Pale Complexion

Like all good French women she smokes, she tans and she drinks red wine.  Can you see it in the skin? Well yes but that’s part of the appeal of VP today. Back in the day however her powdered down, porcelain skin was de-rigour for every teenage temptress and thanks to a fresh new wave of face powders hitting counters, it’s also very now.  Swap your cream foundations for a transformative application of powder one; Chanel Les Beiges £38, and Mac Mineralize Skinfinish Natural, £21 are the ones to try.

5) Mascara Free Lashes

Another annoying trick those French women have mastered is to go without some of the more obvious items of make-up in order to appear ‘un done.’  ‘Leaving lashes free of mascara is the easiest way to give that effect even if you’re wearing a full face of foundation,’ says make-up artist Mel Arter.  Her teenage flutter was always naturally curled and glossed but rarely painted; today we have an armoury of products to boost our own natural lashes. Prevage Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum, £85 helps growth and thickness and will give you the confidence to go sans mascara.


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