Get the look: Rita West of Westside
We're hooked on TV3's Outrageous Fortune prequel Westside, and while the show is great, yes, we'd watch it for Rita West's styling alone.
With big lashes, bigger hair and sharp black winged eyeliner, her whole vibe is a bogan 1970s dream.
Personally, we want to look like this every day, if you do too, here's how.
Maya Bailey, hair and makeup designer for Westside says she wanted Rita's look to reflect her character - "very sensual, strong minded and a little dark".
Sounds good to us. Here's how to get the look - which, because it has a muted colour palette, is a good one to adapt to your purposes.
Fresh faced and ready for some light criminal activity. Antonia Prebble as Rita West in Westside. Photo: South Pacific Pictures/Supplied
Antonia Prebble, who plays Rita, has beautiful skin, so Bailey kept the base pretty minimal. On screen, it comes across as fresh and translucent, but not especially glowy.
Go for whatever level of coverage you feel most comfortable with, but lean towards a more matte finish.
Bailey used NARS tinted moisturiser ($68 from Mecca Cosmetica) for the look, which we've found to be pretty decent coverage for something that isn't a full foundation. It's a beautiful product, and oil free.
She also used Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage for a little extra coverage, and to keep the base even in tone. For this kind of sharp, monotone look, she didn't want any natural flush to show through.
Laura Mercier isn't available in New Zealand, unfortunately, but MAC's Studio Finish ($38 from MAC stores) or Bobbi Brown's Creamy Concealer ($50 from Bobbi Brown counters) would both work well.
Rita West isn't an especially warm woman, and with that in mind, Bailey wanted to emphasise the angles of Prebble's face. That means a fair amount of shading around the cheekbones and jaw, but honestly, that's not something to get too deep into if you're not confident.
If you're a contouring goddess, we salute you, and recommend MAC's sculpt powders, which are available at their pro stores. If not, use a reasonably low-key blush, as really, this isn't the feature here and so the look doesn't hinge on it.
MAC Cubic ($42 from MAC stores) could be a winner, or any other soft, muted tone you have.
You want to draw attention to your bone structure, not the apples of your cheeks, so anything too pink or shimmery isn't going to work.
Is it in poor taste to say "Goals" about career criminals? Photo: South Pacific Pictures/Supplied
Bailey also used a NARS Multiple, in Bronze ($62 from Mecca Cosmetica), on Prebble's cheekbones. Used sparingly, this adds a highlight without too much extra colour or sparkle.
For this look you want to define your features without adding a lot of obvious colour, so make sure you keep stepping back from your mirror and checking your work. Like when you're plucking your eyebrows, this is a good way to check on the overall effect rather than getting stuck in detail.
True romance. David de Lautour and Antonia Prebble in Westside. Photo: South Pacific Pictures/Supplied
This is the real powerhouse of Rita's look, and what grabbed our attention in the first place.
Wanting to keep it as clean and sharp as the rest of the look, Bailey started with the same concealer she used on Prebble's cheeks as a base. You could also use a cream eyeshadow in a shade close to your skintone - work with what you have.
She then worked gold and bronze eyeshadows across the upper lid, focussing right down by the lashline. We used a mix of Chopper and Half Baked from Urban Decay's Naked 2 pallete (AUD$75.20 from Beauty Bay), but anything along those lines will work. That's another thing we love about this look - it doesn't rely on any products we didn't already have an equivalent of. Good stuff.
For Rita's signature cat eye, Bailey started with a liquid liner on the top lash line, extended out into a wing. We love Stila's Stay All Day pen liner (AUD$24.60 from Beauty Bay), but stick with what you know here. Getting a pair of clean, reasonably symmetrical eyeliner flicks is hard enough without getting your head around a new product.
Rita West's look is tough but sensual, and we're very into it. Photo: South Pacific Pictures/Supplied
She then pushed a black eyeshadow over the liner and into the lower lash line, to give the liner a matte finish and smoke it up a bit.
Bailey used false lashes for Rita's look, and while they finish it beautifully, we're unlikely to reach for the lash glue on a typical Wednesday. For a similar kind of sensuality, go for a really powerful mascara.
A recent discovery of ours is Rimmel's Lash Accelerator ($14.99 from The Warehouse) which is satisfyingly black and gives impressive volume and length. A few coats of that isn't quite as good as falsies, but it's a lot easier to handle. Bonus: affordable enough that we're actually replacing it every three months like you're meant to.
Bailey says she imagined Rita had formed her makeup identity in the late 60s, which means a nude lip for sure. In keeping with the limited colour pallette, you want to go for a creamy lipstick that works on you.
If you don't already have a favourite, try Maybelline's Colour Sensational nudes. They're $21.99 at Farmers, and they have a good colour range, so you'll be able to find one that doesn't wash you out like a nude lip sometimes can.
With that all done, tease your hair, chuck on a mini skirt, and try to convince your hairdresser to cut you a blunt fringe (ours refused). You're now ready to bury some gold in the backyard, dob the neighbour in for selling pot and support your partner through a prison sentence. Perfect.