Nostalgic Nordic beauty moments from the past to inspire your 2024 look

By Josefin Forsberg

Photo: Getty

There is a constant cyclical nature to trends, and beauty is no exception. Looking ahead to 2024, there are undeniable parallels with the past: From the perennial allure of Greta Garbo's classic bob to Anna Karina's bewitching gaze. Here, we rev-up to revive the legendary looks of Nordic style icons – with a modern twist, of course


Greta Garbo's fluffy butterfly bob

The bob – what we've come to call the chop of the year – already has us calling our favourite salons to book an appointment for the first half of January. Considering the various cuts we can go for, our pick of the crop is a voluminous, free-flowing butterfly bob – popularised lately by the likes of Zendaya and Jenna Ortega.


Photo: Getty

That said, we're bringing the original butterfly bob as our inspiration: Greta Garbo. The Swedish actress and her hairstyle plucked straight from the golden age of Hollywood glamour is the perfect baseline for cutting a more contemporary version of this iconic style.


Anna Karina's smokey 1960s eye

Danish-French actress Anna Karina got her start after a chance encounter with Coco Chanel and Pierre Cardin in Paris. The model-turned-actress became the poster child of French New Wave cinema and the face of the 'Godard Girls' (after French film director Jean-Luc Godard) – sporting figure-hugging fine knit technicolour tops and the quintessential French stripe.

Photo: Getty

But, it is Anna Karina's emblematic mod-eye that has us inspired for 2024. Soft, sultry, smokey, with feathered lashed, it is the predecessor to today's 'espresso' makeup – and we are craving another shot of caffeine, stat.


Lisa Fonssagrives carved dark lip

No list of nostalgic beauty moments to inspire would be complete without Lisa Fonssagrives. Widely considered to have been the world’s first supermodel, she graced the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar throughout the mid-1900s – pictured by prominent photographers like Man Ray to Richard Avedon.

Model Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn wearing a black dress with a white scarf, gloves, wide-brimmed hat, and belt, holding umbrella

Photo: Irving Penn / The Condé Nast Publications

Always put together with a hint of Scandinavian nonchalance about her, Swedish Fonssagrives was more often than not spotted wearing a signature carved-out scarlet pout. A polished look we can't wait to replicate in 2024.


Anita Ekberg's original Hollywood curls

Few actresses can claim the title bombshell, but Anita Ekberg was certainly one of them. After her first appearance in Federico Fellini’s 1960s classic La Dolce Vita, she quickly became known for her ultra-feminine glamour, possessing Marilyn Monroe level sex appeal.

Anita Ekberg

Photo: Getty

A signature for Ekberg was her va-va-voom hair, large cascading curls that we've recently seen crop up on the runway of Chanel when the French fashion house opted for glamorous curls with mega volume when presenting its resort '24 collection. All we can say is grab your Dyson and teasing comb.


Ingrid Bergman's matte complexion

One of the most prolific Swedish fixtures in Hollywood during the golden age of cinema, Ingrid Bergman was a bit of a beauty rebel. She refused to conform to the glamorous standards of the time: declining to pluck her eyebrows or to cap her teeth.

Ingrid Bergman

Photo: Getty

That said, she was (and still is) considered a Scandinavian beauty. For 2024, it is Bergman's flawless complexion – powdery soft on screen – that inspires us and the rest of the industry. There are, after all, undeniably similarities between Bergman's blurred visage and the makeup at Armani's spring/summer '24 show.


Britt Ekland's blunt fringe

Doe-eyed Britt Ekland is most famous for her Bond girl past, starring as Mary Goodnight in the 1974 James Bond film The Man with the Golden Gun (and rapidly becoming one of the most photographed actresses of the '70s as a result).

Britt Ekland

Photo: Getty

One of her most famous portraits (here above) sees the blue-eyed Swedish beauty with strawberry-blonde hair and a blunt fringe. A fringe that, coincidentally, has been tapped as one of the most covetable hair cuts 2024 by industry insiders.


Maud Adams' punchy '70s blush

The second Swedish Bond girl on our list didn't appear in one, but two 007 movies. Maud Addams first appeared in The Man with the Golden Gun in 1974 and in 1983, Adams played the legendary Octopussy, a wealthy businesswoman and jewel smuggler, in Octopussy.

Photo: Getty

Maud's signature look at the time is one that has entirely overtaken the spring/summer '24 runways: a punchy, peachy blush sitting high on the cheekbones and temples. So might we suggest you put down your bronzer and contour in 2024, and try to carve out your cheekbones with carefully placed blush instead.