There are a few mysteries that died with Elizabeth Taylor in 2011.
For one thing, there were her trademark violet eyes—just a genetic lottery jackpot, no color contacts or Panamanian surgeries required. And whether or not Marilyn Monroe actually ordered up a nude photo shoot to eclipse Taylor’s spotlight. And how she was able to nail the Cara Delevingne bold brow at the tender age of eight, we’ll never understand. Then there’s giant question mark that is Liz & Dick, starring Lindsay Lohan. We won’t even go there.
In addition to being hailed the most beautiful woman in the world (let’s all exit the bitter barn now, single file please), Taylor was also a multi-hyphenate actor-activist-aristocrat—fact: she was inducted to the British Empire as a Dame. Because why not. Whether it was as Cleopatra, starring opposite then-lover Richard Burton on The Liz and Dick Show, as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof or just a regular day-in-the-life, Taylor’s pin-up figure and glamorous get-up was nothing short of iconic (except maybe this. But everyone has an off day).
With the salacious details of her personal life supplying enough tabloid fodder to upstage all of the Kardashians combined (hey, it’s an octo-bride’s prerogative to change her mind—eighth time’s the charm, right?), Taylor managed to stay top-of-mind well into her golden years. She pretty much epitomized everything we want to be as seventy-somethings—dripping in diamonds and overdressed-to-impress, encircled by an XXL puff of curls. Just add a vodka cran, a cat to stroke, and a few unapologetically offensive remarks for good measure.
In honor of her would-be 82nd birthday, we donned her signature cat eye and penciled-on pout to celebrate Liz—and as anyone who’s survived the black-eyeliner-as-brow-filler fiasco can attest, it ain’t easy. Here’s a Coveteur toast to Elizabeth Taylor, in all of her winsomeness and worldliness (alright fine, so the only Italian word she knew was Bulgari. A girl after our own heart).