Top 10 Femme Fatales in Modern Movies
How to Be a Femme Fatale
Femme fatale literally means "fatal woman" in French. According to the movie Mildred Pierce, it can be defined as "the kind of woman men want...but shouldn't have!". Ever seen females who are seductive and alluring, yet clever, a bit evil, and mysterious? Like Poison Ivy or Cat Woman? Alluring, mysterious, and classy, dark glamour embody the femme fatale. You can become one too!
Getting the Look
Dress like a femme fatale.If you want to be a true femme fatale, then you should wear dark, sexy, and retro clothes. Pick clothes that are well-cut and draw subtle attention to you in a tasteful way. Opt for darker colors such as black, maroon, or emerald green. Clothes that are flattering are important, too; if you don’t look great in a black cocktail dress, try another design instead. Pair your look with high heels, but make sure you know how to walk in them to pull it off. Here are some clothes that you can try:
- Silk cocktail dresses
- A bold red dress
- Leather pants
- Dark-wash, high waisted jeans
- Fishnet tights
- A fur coat
Wear a signature scent.Femme Fatales typically have a signature scent, so you need to find the one that suits you the best. It shouldn’t be anything too fruity or girly, and should give off a sexy and seductive scent instead. Try something like sandalwood or lavender that will make men remember you everywhere you go. There’s no need to overdo it; just a tiny bit of the scent on your neck will make you even more appealing.
- If you don’t like perfume, you can opt for a bit of scented lotion instead.
Have seductive hair.There are a number of hairstyles that can help you get the femme fatale look you’re going for. You can wear your hair in an extreme side part with Veronica Lake-esque waves. Wearing it in a dramatically short style is also a good choice. Stick to true, bold hair colors, like platinum blonde, dark brown, black, or auburn, and you’ll be on your way to seducing any men who cross your path.
- Try not to reveal your entire face. Letting your curls or waves fall over the side of your face can help you keep some of your features shrouded and mysterious.
- An A-line cut can also give you a severe and mysterious look.
Rock the red lipstick.To be a true femme fatale, you have to know how to wear red lipstick. Just apply the best lipstick that fits your skin tone, consider using some lip liner to emphasize your look, and check those lips every few hours to see if you need to reapply it. This is a signature part of the femme fatale’s look, so you should commit to it, even if you don’t want to wear too much other makeup.
- Only reapply your lipstick in the bathroom; don’t let people see you doing it, or some of your mystery will be gone.
Get the rest of the makeup down too.To get the makeup of a femme fatale, wear pale foundation, give yourself a bit of blush for color, and work on getting that smoky-eyed look. Just put some dark eyeshadow, such as a brown or a gray, on your eyelids, use eyeliner to trace the top of your eyelids, and wear a black or dark mascara on your top lashes to emphasize those long lashes. If you want to make cat eyes for an added effect, that can make you look even more seductive.
- Avoid wearing glittery or shimmery makeup if you want to be a femme fatale. That may look too young and playful for the mysterious look you’re going for.
- You can also play around with fake lashes for an added touch.
Accessorize like a femme fatale.The right accessories can go a long way if you want to be a femme fatale. You don’t have to overdo it, but you should find one or two signature items that you’re known for so you can rock the most seductive, mysterious look out there. Here are some accessories that you can try to complete your femme fatale look:
- 1940s sunglasses
- A hat with a veil
- Black gloves
- Fur collars
- A vintage compact for applying lipstick
- Classic diamond or pearl earrings
Part 1 Quiz
What sort of makeup is essential for the femme fatale look?
Having the Personality
Be mysterious.Don't let everybody know what you are feeling or what's going on. The very mystery proves to be the allure of the femme fatale. If you have to leave to go to your aunt’s birthday party, don’t say so; just say you have an urgent matter to attend to and lead people to wonder. If you get a text from your mom, don’t tell people who you’re talking to; the more you keep to yourself, the more you’ll leave to the imagination.
- Make people work to learn things about you, such as whether or not you have siblings or what you’re studying. If you reveal too much, you won’t be mysterious.
- Even if you’re having a bad day, don’t put all of your complaints out there. Learn to have an inner strength and a strong will, not letting people think that it’s easy to get under your skin. Keep things mysterious instead of detailing every little thing that went wrong for you today.
Be smart.Being well-educated is something that will set you apart from the flock. Being beautiful with brains adds sex appeal. Don’t ever be afraid to show off your brains or to let men see that they’re dealing with an interesting, intelligent woman who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind. Be proud of how hard you work, how much you read, and how well you do in school. Your intelligence will be yet another trait that makes men flock to you.
- Don’t be afraid to challenge people. State your ideas and back them up with evidence. You’re smart enough to do it.
- Don’t think that acting like a clueless girly girl will get you very far. Instead, make a point of showing everyone that you know what’s what.
Be sexy but not trashy.Femme fatales are famous for how sexy and seductive they are, but that doesn’t mean they have to put it all out there, either. In the words of the great Bette Davis, “I often think that a slightly exposed shoulder emerging from a long satin nightgown packs more sex than two naked bodies in bed.” You can show off a bit of your legs, wear low-cut tops, or show off your gorgeous back, but you should also make sure to leave something to the imagination.
- Femme fatales don’t need to wear extra revealing clothes because their personalities and the way they carry themselves do that work for them. Acting in a way that is sexy, mysterious, and seductive will be what draws the men in.
- Leaving something to the imagination is part of the mystery that will make men so attracted to you.
- If you’re wearing a more revealing top, then wear a more conservative skirt with it, and vice versa.
Always put yourself first.In the words of Katherine Hepburn, “If you always do what interests you, at least one person will be pleased.” If you want to be a true femme fatale, then you can’t let anyone else determine your self-worth or happiness. Work on doing the things you love and pursuing what makes you happy. Don’t give in to needy friends, overbearing men, or rude bosses. Make it clear that you’re looking out for #1 first and that everyone else can take a number.
- Remind yourself that your self-value is what will draw the men to you. Don’t think that worshipping them will do the trick.
- Though it’s good to care for other people, too, don’t ever stop taking care of yourself because you think someone else is more important.
Be fascinating.Femme fatales are more than just pretty faces. They have charming personalities that are endlessly fascinating. If you want to be a femme fatale, then you have to do your homework. You have to read the papers, be up to date on politics and pop culture, master another language, or just do whatever you can to make yourself an interesting person to talk to. The men will like more about you than just your mystery and your allure, and they’ll be drawn to how fascinating you are, too.
- This doesn’t mean you have to talk too much or spout off all the facts you know. It does mean that you can be sharp, quick-witted, and make yourself stand out during a conversation as someone who knows the score.
- Being fascinating isn’t just about having knowledge; it’s about knowing how to keep a person’s interest, and how to find something exciting to talk about. Every person is different, and you should be aware of what makes a person tick before you start talking.
Have a sense of humor.You don’t need to be dark and serious all the time if you want to be a femme fatale. You can learn to laugh at yourself and to have a quick wit and the ability to make clever banter to keep a conversation going. Some of the greatest femme fatales are known for their funny and incisive comments, such as Ingrid Bergman’s words, ““Happiness is good health and a bad memory.” Work on looking at the world through a clever lens, and don’t think that you have to be stone serious to be a femme fatale.
- In fact, your sense of humor should be one of the things that makes you fascinating as a femme fatale. Make the most of it.
- If a man says something funny to you, don’t just laugh and say, “That’s funny.” Instead, fire back with an equally funny comment.
Be independent.To be a true femme fatale, you have to depend on yourself and yourself only. Don’t spend your time pining away for men who you don’t really care about, or waiting for your friends to call you up so you can have a good time. You have to make your own fun in this world, and you have to be happy being on your own if you want to be a femme fatale. Work to have your own interests, whether it’s singing or belly dancing, and make sure you have plenty of time for personal growth and self-improvement. True femme fatales don’t need anyone else to be happy.
- You can form meaningful relationships with people, but you should always make time for yourself. Even if you’re dating the man of your dreams, you can’t let yourself get too co-dependent.
- You have to have your own goals and dreams, and not let anyone get in the way of them. Don’t let a man change your ideas about your career or what you’re capable of.
Part 2 Quiz
When displaying the attributes of a femme fatale, it’s important to:
Walking the Walk
Speak in a seductive voice.Make your voice sound low and attractive, but not creepy. Work on speaking in a softer, lower, more seductive way. Don’t mumble, and make sure you articulate your words without sounding too formal. Avoid saying “um” or “uh” a lot and talk with conviction. A femme fatale doesn’t like to repeat herself. Work on sounding like you know what you’re talking about and letting those words out in the sexiest way possible.
- Listen to Scarlett Johansson or Joan Crawford for an example of this kind of voice.
Hang out in mysterious places.You don’t need to go anywhere that doesn’t make you feel safe, but you should spend time in more interesting, less expected places. This is the best way to meet more interesting people, after all. Try an obscure, artsy coffee shop, a clandestine nightclub or speakeasy, or even a unique antique shop. Don’t make it obvious when you enter or exit a new place, and work on slinking in and out of rooms.
- Pick places with darker lighting to help maintain your dark, mysterious image. It’s hard to be a femme fatale under fluorescent lights.
- Don’t do the expected. You can find a place you like, but you don’t need to be a regular anywhere, or you’ll become a bit too predictable.
Watch old movies for inspiration.Femme fatales made a name for themselves in the 1940s, so watching some films featuring these seductive ladies can help you get an idea of how to look and act. Mildred Pierce is a great starter. The film noir classics of the 40s can help you get inspiration, such as movies like Double Indemnity (1944), Naked City (1948) and Kiss of Death (1947).Watch as many as you can and learn.
- You can also check out more modern femme fatales, such as Fiona Apple in the “Criminal” music video or Curve in “Chinese Burn.” But don’t let these images define you—each femme fatale puts her own spin on her image.
Have a signature drink.Femme Fatales are known for having a signature drink that they order whenever they’re out. It doesn’t matter what it is, but it should be consistent and it should make people impressed by your decisiveness. It can be a glass of merlot, a Dark and Stormy, a whisky on the rocks, or even just a glass of iced tea with a sprig of mint in it. You have to order it with decisiveness and you shouldn’t waste time looking over a drink menu, either.
- You can avoid overly girly or fruity drinks like a Cosmo, Sex on the Beach, or a piña colada, if you want to be taken seriously.
- You may also want to avoid drinks that are known for getting people drunk as fast as possible, such as Margaritas.
Be a lady.To be a true femme fatale, you should be a real lady to boot. Treat yourself and the people around you with respect, have dignified manners, and make sure you look pretty self-possessed and put together. A true lady doesn’t get too drunk in public, she doesn’t curse up a blue streak, and she doesn’t reveal too much personal information to someone she’s just met. Just carry yourself with dignity and poise and the rest will follow.
- To be a true lady, you have to be proper within reason. You don’t have to be all buttoned up and demure, but you shouldn’t push people around, leave your trash everywhere, or burp without excusing yourself, either.
- Stand tall with good posture. Ladies don’t tend to slouch or sit in an undignified way. Having good posture shows that you have confidence and poise.
Don’t open up too fast.Femme fatales are known for their shrouds of mystery. You can open up to a man little by little, but you should make him work to get to know you. Don’t tell him every little thing there is to know about your childhood, your five favorite foods, or tell him every little detail of your school experience. Instead, reveal the information about yourself little by little, making a man feel like it’s a privilege to get to know you.
- Take your time. When the opportunity presents itself, you can talk about growing up in Seattle or your love for archery. But don’t put it all out there all at once, or your element of mystery will fade away.
- Make sure the man is telling you about himself, too. You don’t want to be the only one who is opening up.
Don’t let a man determine your value.A femme fatale doesn’t sit at home crying because her man won’t call her back. She doesn’t get down on herself if a careless man makes a condescending comment to her. She doesn’t let anyone tell her who she is. You can have fun dating men, toying with them, seducing them, or even falling in love with them, but you can’t let them determine your self-worth. True femme fatales know that no one can get rid of the power they posses.
- True femme fatales have a healthy dose of confidence. Work on loving the person who you are and accepting the things you can’t change about yourself. If you’re uncertain about who you are, then it’ll be easier for a man to get you down.
- If a guy hurt your feelings, take some time to let your emotions out, talk about it to a friend, and then work on moving on. Don’t be in denial about how you feel and let it keep you from fully recovering. Once you deal with your feelings, you can kick those feelings of pain and inadequacy to the curb.
Part 3 Quiz
In order to maintain your femme fatale image, you should:
QuestionIs it possible to be a femme fatale with curly hair?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerCurly hair will work just fine! Most of the allure of femme fatales comes from their charisma and confidence. Any woman can be a femme fatale when she puts her mind to it! Rock your curly hair!Thanks!
QuestionI have natural curly hair. I've never met a guy who found curly hair sexy. Should I straighten it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't change your hair solely to get attention from guys. If YOU really dislike your curly hair, then maybe consider straightening it, but don't do it for someone else. There are plenty of guys out there that like curly hair.Thanks!
QuestionHow old do I have to be to try it out?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerI would say that it's more a matter of experience than age. Don't try this if you are at your first experiences with men. A true femme fatale has to be confident in public, on dates, but also during intimacy. I would therefore recommend waiting until you really ARE confident, and don't just fake it for the style. You will feel more fulfilled and happy that way, and so will your partner. This might not happen before the mid-twenties.Thanks!
QuestionCan a girl with scoliosis be femme fatale?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course. What makes a femme fatale is less of what she wears and more of how she carries herself, and how much charisma and confidence she has.Thanks!
QuestionCan I do this if I am in middle school?Ivy BarnesCommunity AnswerIf you are that young, it may be better to not follow the "seductive" part of the femme fatale lifestyle. However, you should definitely be confident, a lady, and independent. Just make sure to keep in mind that it's nearly impossible to be sexy without being trashy before adulthood.Thanks!
QuestionIs this a good option if I want to attract a guy?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes! You can sport the femme fatale look to captivate him, as well as using beauty and brains to help win him over!Thanks!
QuestionWhy would anyone want to live like this?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDifferent sort of things attract people based on their personality and choices.Thanks!
QuestionI am 18 and studying engineering in second year. Can I be a femme fatale?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerOf course! Anyone can do this, as long as you follow the steps. Don't reveal too much about your life too fast, though. Be mysterious and sexy.Thanks!
QuestionI have a high voice and I struggle to make it lower. If I speak softly and half-whisper it tends to work, but do I need a low voice to be a femme fatale?Community AnswerLike it says in the tips, be real. You don't have to have a low voice, but try to avoid shouting or laughing loudly.Thanks!
QuestionIs it ever too young to start this lifestyle?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes. Don't try going this route before high school or even college. You'll look trashy.Thanks!
How can I achieve this look while i have a pixie cut? (Using this as a reference for live clue)
To be a femme fatale, look the part by dressing in dark, retro outfit, like a cocktail dress, fishnets, and a fur coat. Then, tie the look together with bold red lipstick, black gloves, or a hat with a veil! Much of a femme fatale’s alluring charm comes from her intelligence and independence, so you don’t need to be too revealing to be seductive. But remember, while you can have fun flirting and toying with men, never let them determine your worth!
- Have an air of charm about you. It's not enough to just be withdrawn, quiet and therefore "mysterious". Mysterious human beings are also very interesting they might know meaningful, famous quotes; speaking sultry, and a touch of aloofness; never being direct, desperate, or obnoxiously immature; you have a brain & you're gonna need to use it now; and always be classy. Never be obnoxious to downright trashy. Mysterious people don't stand for all that fake and commercial behavior. Carry yourself at all times with elegance and poise; and remember: every move you make from removing a glove to lighting a cigarette is capable of seducing men. Never concern yourself with the moral preoccupations of society: a femme fatale is amoral; like the cat.
- Remember meaningful, famous quotes perhaps like:
- Kurt Cobain's trademark quote "I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not."
- "Nothing in life is to be feared, but rather, understood."
- "When life sucks, it's your karma. When you do something about it, it's your mission."
- "If it's wrong, then I don't want to be right."
- "People in hell want ice water."
- "I might not always like you but I'll always love you."
- "Well, maybe you can save you and your lectures for a convention of people who like lectures."
- Person 1: "Be careful when you say mean comments." Person 2: "Why?" Person 1: "Just be careful." Person 2: "Because you have nothing clever to say back."
- "Be yourself. Everyone else is taken."
- "Carpe Diem. A Latin phrase for 'seize the day' (it means live like there's no tomorrow and you'll have less regrets)."
- "Never reveal that you've taken a computer programming course."
- Do not be an "available" girl. A femme is always classy.
- So as future femme fatales, be wise as to who you accept advice from. If you'd truly like to become a femme fatale, you should have a mind of your own, and develop your own ideas of what a fatal woman is. If you need a bit of guidance, observe footage of women from the 1920s; they knew what it was to be voluptuous and ALL woman. Not all of them were oppressed housewives who hid behind their husbands.
- The above quotes are typical and extremely commercial (Hollywood). This will work depending on the type of person you're trying to attract (superficial and mainstream).
- If you'd like to look deeper, find quotes by maybe Darwin or Aristotle. Some of the above "quotes" aren't actually quotes, but sayings.
- Don't be mean! Femme fatales generally end up killing the man they love or destroying his life. Be femme without being literally fatale. If you can't say something nice -- 'tis better to say nothing at all.
- Balance your attention to another woman who is around just enough not to pick a fight but not too much that you pay more attention to her needs than the man you are trying to seduce. If you pay too much attention to another woman in front of the man you are trying to charm, he may begin to see the interest in her that you see and you will lose all you have obtained.
- When wearing stockings, if you have black then wear sheer ones as it gives an elegant and classy look or skin colour would work fine but make sure they match your skin tone. If you can, buy stockings with a seam up the back of the legs. You should also practice doing suspenders if you’ve never worn them.
- When choosing heels, choose ones that have bright colours such as a glossy red or glossy navy. You could also choose heels with patterns (eg bows or polka dots) to add variety. Wear your stockings when trying on heels to get the full effect and to make sure they fit.
Things You'll Need
Eye-catching, classy clothing
A mysterious allure
Unique, memorable perfume
A mink fox or sable fur coat
Gloves [no fingerprints]
A withering stare
Sources and Citations
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