Black Swan: Review and How-To

Black Swan

“Every so often a film comes along that reminds me why film, not fashion is my first and greatest love. Even less often comes along a film that beautifully and subtly combines the two.” I couldn’t have said it better myself… so I didn’t. Darren Aronofsky has mesmerized audiences everywhere with his artistically dark and almost uncomfortably powerful Black Swan. Natalie Portman is terrifying as Nina, a deeply disturbed, perfectionist ballerina starring in the infamousSwan Lake. Slowly she unravels, loosing touch with reality as she is consumed with the stresses around her and a wicked desire to be perfect. Her wildly twisted imagination becomes intolerable and pulls her toward insanity.

Head of the make-up department, Margie Durand, and make-up designer, Judy Chin, take us on a visual journey into the fascinating world of movie make-up. Going from dramatic special effects, stage performance make-up, to sheer natural radiance, they have done an incredible job bringing these characters to life on the silver screen.

Their rendition is much more dramatic than the actual stage performance of Swan Lake. It’s much more an operatic make-up application and style rather than that of ballet. The highlights and shadows, perfectly contoured facial bones, bird-like eye candy and all-around pristine definition dramatize a cold, dark and intense experience. And we are given Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan.

To translate the drama of Black Swan into a wearable evening look, Durand suggests going with a 1920s vamp make-up inspiration. Create those smoky Black Swan eyes by applying Black Eye Pencil to the lower lash line. Using Graphite Eye Color and the #800 Crease Brush, evenly distribute the shadow over the entire lid for a sultry look. Using Tinsel Eye Color and the #210 Angle Liner Brush, add thin wisps of silver over the lid and lower lash line. Rim the waterline with our Black Eye Pencil and top it all off with a generous coat of Cream Mascara and feathery false lashes.

— Reiva Cruze

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