Who Are Madonna's 'Old School' Beauty Icons?

05/04/2012 at 09:00 AM ET

MadonnaKevin Mazur/WireImage

She may be a Material Girl, but Madonna loves her budget buys, too. In fact, the singer told PEOPLE that when she’s hanging out at home, she wears basic Victoria’s Secret sweatpants.

However, Madonna does have some bigger beauty buys; she said she can’t live without Yves Saint Laurent mascara in aubergine (it highlights her favorite feature, her eyes) and often has to hide her makeup bag from her daughters. According to the star, “Lourdes steals my tweezers, and Mercy [takes] my pink lip gloss.”

Though Madonna herself is a style icon, she draws inspiration from a roster of famous women. “Wallis Simpson, fashion-wise,” she told PEOPLE at her recent fragrance launch in N.Y.C. “Sophia Loren, what a great beauty. I’m old school — I like a lot of the actresses from days gone by, like Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis. Women who are strong and opinionated and hardworking, productive, resourceful, working girls, working mothers, but they manage to look good, too.”

Perhaps that’s where her current mantra comes from; when asked what she’d tell her younger self about life, she replied simply, “Looks aren’t everything.”

–Pamela Edwards-Christiani

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FILED UNDER: Beauty , Exclusive , Fashion , Madonna

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Beauty Counter blog: Insider tips on beauty products, hair, makeup, skincare, fragrances, spas, and salons » Blog Archive » Madonna Talks Beauty Icons; Setting The Bar For Brunete; And More… on

[...] She might be one of the defining beauty icons of the eighties, but Madonna herself is inspired by icons of yesteryear. “I’m old school—I like a lot of the actresses from days gone by,” the new fragrance mogul says. “Like Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth, Bette Davis. Women who are strong and opinionated and hardworking, productive, resourceful, working girls, working mothers, but they manage to look good, too.” [People] [...]

Susan on

Madonna says, “Looks aren’t everything.”, and in the same article–she said she can’t live without Yves Saint Laurent mascara in aubergine (it highlights her favorite feature, her eyes). ummmm, Madonna, which is it?

Adriana on

I think it means that even if you are beautiful, which she was, an still is, it’s just not good looks that get you far, it takes hard work and personal strength to get where she is now.

jozhue on

WE LOVE YOU MADONNA !!!♥

Jessica Simpson’s Fiancé Eric Is a Natural Dad – All Urban Radio on

[...] Who are Madonna’s old-school beauty icons? [...]

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