If you play for Team Aniston in 2011, you probably wouldn't have played for Team Taylor in the '60s. Hollywood's original homewrecker definitely had her critics, but not even they could deny that Elizabeth Taylor was and will remain -- after her death last week at age 79 -- a beauty icon.
We've seen a lot of pretty eyes in our time. Icy blue always has a way of piercing the closest heart. Deep green captivates, as do hazel and light brown. But, Taylor's eyes were especially mesmerizing in that they had the ability to not just turn heads, but tilt them a little and maybe even have them shaking in disbelief.
That's the effect a pair of violet-hued eyes can have on a person. Pair them with long dark eyelashes, thick beautifully shaped brows and a blacker than black mane of waves and you have the kind of rare, once-in-a-lifetime beauty only Old Hollywood was capable of producing.
Perhaps it was the eyes that hypnotized Eddie Fisher into leaving his wife Debbie Reynolds and their two children for Taylor after her husband and his best friend died in a plane crash. Or, perhaps it was the body.
It's said that her MGM costume designers dressed the actress in clothes that either highlighted her face, her breasts or her waist. We like to think of her bustline as the first jewels Taylor ever discovered. Like her famous pear-shaped 69-carat diamond from two-time husband Richard Burton, she loved to show them off. Even as recently as her 75th birthday party in Vegas, when she rolled the red carpet instead of walked it, Taylor donned an off-the-shoulder white gown that revealed plenty of cleavage. The woman was well aware of her assets.
That said, we realize no one's perfect. Sure, she had the face, but she didn't always have the best beauty judgment. Remember the crispy tan phase? Taylor liked her a good tan. The kind of tan that looked warm to the touch. She had a habit of wearing deep V-neck Halston dresses in colors bright enough to punctuate her roastedness, which was always even more remarkably contrasted by those eyes. Surely, that was the point, but like the tan, it was a bit of overkill.
While some might point to her hair in the '80s as a beauty flub, we beg to differ. It was the '80s. Her big hair, with wings ambitious enough to fly away and bangs teased enough to make a bully proud, defined the era.
Furthering her commitment to the decade of excess, Taylor caked on the makeup. Not since her "Cleopatra" days had her eyes seen so much of the eyeshadow brush. Her on-trend look only proved that she refused to let her Hollywood star lose its shine. She was as coveted as ever, both as a star and a trendsetter. It explains why contact lenses became available in violet in the '80s.
One of the first celebrities to have her own fragrance, Taylor's Passion and White Diamonds were must-have's. The ad campaigns glamorized a woman over 50, something rarely seen even today.
Still, the "Butterfield 8" image of her holding a cocktail in that beautiful white slip, her elbow resting on one hip, will forever go down as her finest moment. Unlike actresses today, she looks like a woman who knows the power of looking like a woman.
That's not to say modern Hollywood hasn't churned out several stunners. Angelina Jolie, Halle Berry and Salma Hayek come to mind, but it just isn't the same. Unless the camera pops instead of clicks when her photo is taken, unless her bosom knows the restraint of a bullet bra, unless her lips are loyal to red lipstick and red lipstick alone, then it just isn't the same. Elizabeth Taylor's beauty just isn't the same.