Fashion types have been kvelling over the documentary Grey Gardens, long before it was reworked into the big Drew Barrymore film that airs this Saturday on HBO.

Little Edie (above left, portrayed by Drew Barrymore, above right, in the HBO feature) invented all kinds of (frankly bizarre) uses for one single garment, giving her top marks among designers and stylists. But as both a fan of the film and a beauty editor, I feel that Little Edie hasn't been given her fair due on the beauty front, where she's been equally as inventive with limited means. I'll leave it to makeup artist and Grey Gardens enthusiast Craig Jessup to break it down.

"Little Edie's sense of style was born out of her need to be resourceful," he says. Since she was a recluse, weekend jaunts to Bloomie's weren't in question (and Sephora.com didn't exist yet). "She had to edit down her look to the items that she felt were absolutely necessary, or perhaps down to the only two items she had at hand; a bright red lipstick and a black eyeliner pencil."

Little Edie Beale - From Socialite to Grey Gardens

    American socialite Edith Beale 'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002), a cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, circa 1935.

    Archive Photos/Getty Images

    American socialite Edith Beale (1917 - 2002) models a dress outdoors during a fashion show at the East Hampton Fair, East Hampton, Long Island, New York, c. 1938.

    Morgan Collection/Getty Images

    Edith Beale as a child, posing with her mother, Big Edie.

    Archive Photos, Getty Images

    'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002), a cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, modeling swimwear during her job as a fashion model, circa 1935.

    Archive Photos/Getty Images

    Eccentric American model and singer Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002) sits on the back of a beach chair and smokes a cigarette, Village Fair at Easthampton, New York, late 1930s. Miss Beale and her mother were the subjects of the Maysles brothers' documentary 'Grey Gardens.'

    Morgan Collection/Getty Images

    American socialite Edith Beale 'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002), posing with her dog.

    Morgan Collection, Getty Images

    Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002), a cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, at home with her cats in Grey Gardens, a run-down mansion in East Hampton, New York, circa 1975.

    Tom Wargacki/Archive Photos/Getty Images

    Edith Bouvier Beale in front of Grey Gardens, her family's South Hampton estate.

    Hulton Archive, Getty Images

    American socialite Edith Beale 'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002), wearing one of her eccentric head "scarves."

    Archive Photos, Getty Images

    American socialite Edith Beale 'Little' Edith Bouvier Beale (1917 - 2002), at Grey Gardens, her family estate.

    Ron Galella, WireImage



But that didn't stop her from working multiple looks.

"The lipstick would serve as both lip and cheek color, and the pencil would could be eyeliner, brow pencil, and sometimes eye shadow in the crease of her eye."

Those of us trying to consolidate our makeup kits -- and save some cash -- could benefit from some Little Edie-inspired wisdom. Here goes:

• Ignore the packaging. Look at the pigment, not the packaging, says Jessup. Little Edie saw color and texture, so she could reassign a lipstick and make it a cream blush.

• Look for multipurpose products. "In recent years, cosmetic brands such as Make Up For Ever, Benefit, and Trish McEvoy have launched multipurpose products with the goal of editing the consumer's makeup case," says Jessup. Oh, how Little Edie would have loved them.

• When in doubt, think red. Red lipstick is a statement all its own. It instantly makes you look way more glamorous than you might feel at the moment. Think about it -- even in a condemned estate, Little Edie looked completely in charge with her scarlet lipstick.