(0) 1940 hayworth brunette BLOG

Henna and electrolysis were only two of the ingredients that transformed Rita Cansino, contract player, into Rita Hayworth, love goddess.

Bob Schiffer, Hayworth’s regular makeup man for years, considered her a great natural beauty but remembered that — as with most glamorous women — there were always a few minor adjustments to make before she was considered camera-ready:

One eye was a little smaller than the other, so I used to take a false eyelash and place it at an angle, then glue her own eyelash to it, just to even her eyes out.

Rita was always lit, in those early pictures, for one particular close-up. What the cameraman would do is take a baby spot and he would look for little rings under the eyes — which Rita had a habit of getting — and he’d bring that spot up until he had eliminated them, then he’d take a huge key light and bring that up till it shadowed the baby spot. That’s one reason she looked so beautiful in those days — they’d throw four or five of those long, static close-ups into every picture.

Once the cameraman had done all that, I’d come in and work around the eyes. I had a little palette with different colors, and they’d wait till I was satisfied.

(0) 1942 ritah 2 BLOG SM