Past, Present & Future: Star Trek Inspired Beauty

Have you seen the new Star Trek? It's been out for a while and generally kicking butt at the box office. My husband (who knows a lot more about Star Trek than I ever appreciated) was looking forward to this for months, so I saw it opening weekend. But, I'm not complaining because the movie is actually really fun and cool -- so much so that I kind of want to see it again.

The entire new cast was incredible, but one character in particular stood out: Zoe Saldana as Lt. Nyota Uhura. Of course Ms. Saldana is gorgeous to start, but I was completely mesmerized by the retro, 60's-inspired makeup design.

About halfway through the movie I leaned over to point this out to my dear husband, at which point he helpfully provided this head-slapping insight: "I think it's homage." Without a doubt, the winged eyeliner and nude lips are faithful to the original Lt. Uhura, Nichelle Nichols, and is just as fresh and chic looking today as it was then.

The look is deceptively simple and yet tricky to pull off. Surprisingly, there hasn't been much discussion on the beauty blogs about this, but I have a few suggestions on achieving this for yourself using some drugstore favorites. First, here is a closer look at our modern Uhura:

To get started, her complexion is kept simple with sheer coverage and a matte finish. Try Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse foundation ($9) which provides a smooth, air-brushed look or Rimmel London's Stay Matte Clarifying Matte Foundation ($9) for more intense, flawless coverage.

Zoe's look is notable for very minimal cheek color with just a the tiniest hint of sculpting bronzer under the cheek bones. Any bronzer would work as long as the contrast is not overly dramatic and the finish is again matte. A bronzer sans shimmer can be tricky to find, but luckily Physicians Formula Baked Pyramid Matte Bronzer ($12) should fit the bill perfectly.

Next, those killer cat eyes. Time to practice your steady hand techniques since this will most certainly take a few tries to perfect. This would best be achieved using a gel liner and a short bristled, angled brush. The movie's makeup artist reports using a Shiseido liner which rings in at almost $30. A more budget-friendly choice would be L'Oreal HIP Collection Color Rich Cream Eyeliner ($12) which helpfully comes with the exact kind of brush needed.

The key is to keep the line as neat and precise as possible, tapering near the inner corner and fattening up toward the outer. Finish it off with an impressive swoop extending a good 3-5mm beyond the end of the eye. For extra polish, add some light brown eye shadow in the crease just to bring the eye out a bit more. Finish with black mascara and a strip of false eyelashes, if feeling additionally ambitious. Be sure to keep eyebrows nicely shaped and groomed to frame the whole face.

Lastly, lips are kept natural with just the smallest amount of nude lip liner and finished off with a sheer, nude gloss. Cover Girl's Wetslicks Amazemint Lipgloss ($7) in No Care Bare would be perfect.

And there you have it! I think this look is absolutely stunning and would be perfect day or night. Thankfully, using drugstore choices, achieving it shouldn't require breaking the bank.

  • For more on Star Trek beauty, check out Beauty Blogging Junkie's interview with Mindy Hall, the head makeup artist from the film. Michelle at All Lacquered Up has the inside scoop on Uhura's nail color to add that final amount of polish.
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Trinh said...


June 22, 2009 at 2:44 PM
Trinh said...


Today is the first time I came across your blog. Just want to say hi and let you know I think your site is very cute. Love the pic of you on the couch...cute!

I am also a fellow blogger. Love for you to stop by and check out my site.

June 22, 2009 at 2:46 PM
Kyl said...

Hi Trinh:

I'm glad the commenting is working for you. All of the comments are submitted for review before being "published" on my blog; so there is a delay between the time that you submit it and when it appears. This is to prevent astro-turfing or people leaving unsavory content.

Sorry if that was confusing. I hope you comment again soon! I'll def check out your blog.
June 22, 2009 at 9:00 PM

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