Vintage Vamp: Lonette McKee in "Sparkle"

We love to oomph up a rainy day with little icon-worship! Right now, we're obsessing over Lonette McKee's sassy turn as Sister in the 1976 cult classic, "Sparkle." Set in late-1950s Harlem, McKee plays the gorgeous lead singer of a Supremes-esque local girl group along with her two sisters (the youngest was played by a fresh-faced Irene Cara!). True, Sister eventually succumbed to a drug overdose at the hands of her dangerous hustler BF--but based on the deliciousness of her hip-swiveling, shoulder-shimmying performance of "What Can I Do" (which inspired En Vogue's classic video for "Giving Him Something He Can Feel"), Sister goes down as one of the great glamour goddesses of black cinema. Try Lonette McGee's 1950s femme fatale makeup look at home with these retro-chic products.
ESSENCE.COM Dec, 09, 2009

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Lonette McKee was every bit the 1950s vamp as Sister in the juicy cult classic, “Sparkle.”

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In the late 1950s/early 1960s, it was all about supremely matte, powdered skin. Cover Girl Queen Natural Hue Minerals Pressed Powder ($8) gets rid of oily spots, leaving skin looking satiny-smooth.

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In “Sparkle,” Sister didn’t step out of her mom’s Harlem brownstone without rocking her signature crimson lipstick. A warm brick red like Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick in Shanghai Express ($24) looks stunning on brown skin.

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Jet-black liquid liner swooped along the lashline and winged out at the corners was the cornerstone of the ’50s glamour girl eye. Hard Candy Walk the Line Eye Liner in Asphalt ($6) is virtually smudge-proof.

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On stage with her girl group, Sister always wore a shimmery pearl shadow from her lashes to browbone.
Urban Decay Eyeshadow in Midnight Cowboy ($16) is a pearlescent, silvery beige that flatters all skin tones.

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Sister’s mile-long, battable lashes were a part of her flirty-girl charm. Go there with Benefit BADGal Lash Mascara ($19)—the huge brush makes your lashes look a zillion times bigger.

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Lonette McKee’s precisely arched brows in “Sparkle” were very on-trend for the late ’50s. Anastasia Brow Ex-press in Brunette ($38) comes with four brow stencils, two powders, a wax cream to hold hairs in place (love) and a highlighter to accent your browbone.

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Okay, so Sister wears glamorous velvet gloves for all the musical numbers, but we’re almost positive that, underneath, she was rocking scarlet nail polish. Rescue Beauty Lounge Polish in Glamourpuss ($18) is one of the sexiest red polishes on the planet.