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Breakfast at Tiffany’s Brings Forties-Era Glamour To The Stage


Eating a flaky croissant in front of a store window never looked as chic as it did in the 1960s cinematic production of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This month, the iconic story, penned by Truman Capote, will be staged on Broadway, and while the characters will be recognizably familiar, the makeup might not be. Taking on the role Audrey Hepburn made famous, Emilia Clarke—she of Game of Thrones fame—stars as the gamine Holly Golightly. But don’t expect sixties-era cat-eyes and nude lips, says makeup maestro and Target beauty design partner Sonia Kashuk, who designed the looks for the production that began previews this week and opens on March 20. “The makeup is a lot different,” she reveals. Here, Kashuk chats with about creating a retro-modern look for the big screen’s most iconic characters, the beauty of a well-defined brow, and how a classic red lip “holds the stage.”

So why go against previously held cosmetics conventions with the Broadway production of this famous film?
At first, I had all these playful thoughts in my head of the movie and those iconic Audrey Hepburn looks. But the play is more based on the original novella [by Truman Capote], which takes place in the forties. So in terms of establishing Emilia’s look, it’s anti-winged-eyeliner, a complete 360 from where I thought we were going.

How did that impact Holly Golightly’s character onstage?
It was about creating dimension. Emilia has a great face, even without a stitch of makeup. So we just used a little bit of cream bronzer, which becomes one with the skin and creates contours under the lights on the stage. Her skin is fantastic, so we focused on adding luminosity and radiance—just lifting and playing with the planes of the face. In the forties, there was more of a matte finish given to the face, no sparkle. I looked at old Vogues and Bazaars to research the makeup.

Can we still expect to see her in some of her former glamorous glory?
Yes! But for the party scene, we didn’t do big lashes and obvious eyeliner—if anything, the clear voice I had from the director [Sean Mathias] was, “It’s not Audrey Hepburn.” So I just created definition at the lash line with my Sonia Kashuk Instructional Eye Shadow Palette in Eye in Neutral and contoured the eyes into the crease with Monochrome Eye Quad in Textured Cocoa. We did false lashes, but it wasn’t about adding a lot of length, just volume and fullness to the eyes.

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