Behind the Scenes with the Makeup Artists for Black Swan
The buzz about Black Swan has been intense the past few weeks, with whispers of Natalie Portman nabbing an Oscar nom to some serious girl vs. girl rivalry between Portman and the stunning Mila Kunis (who doesn't love a good mentally unbalanced catfight?).
Aside from the plot, makeup tutorials have been popping up all over the Internet, the beauty world fascinated by the makeup behind the film. That's why we got the scoop with the help of M.A.C. Cosmetics from Margie Durand, makeup department head and Judy Chin, makeup designer for the film. Read below to find of what they were thinking when they set out to create the looks in the film and how you can tone them down to wear without the tutu.
What did you use to create the dramatic Black Swan look (pictured left) in the film?
Margie Durand: We applied a pale ivory foundation with a white cream highlight on the forehead and cheekbones. To create the swan eyes, we used M.A.C. Chromaline in Black Black. Using M.A.C. Pigment in Silver combined with Mixing Medium, we applied feathery brushstrokes over the Black Swan's eyes. The lips were lined with M.A.C. Lip Pencil in Vino and topped with M.A.C. Lipstick in Dubonnet. We then lined the under eye with a thin line using M.A.C. Chromaline in Red.
The ballerina's performance makeup in the film is pretty dramatic. What inspired this dark, romantic makeup?
Judy Chin: The look was inspired by the story and by the director, Darren Aronofsky. I felt that he was looking for something dramatic and visually striking, so all of the intensity was focused in the eyes. Margie realized that there were elements of our beautiful set design that should play a role in our makeup. Thus, the delicate silver branches that played across the swan's faces came to be. The ensemble swans and the Swan Queen are delicate and romantic with a soft pink lip color, whereas the Black Swan is dark, sharp, and angular.
What products did you use in the film to be certain that the looks would hold up to the lights, movement, and constant sweating?
Judy Chin: We used pancake makeup with a spray sealant to ensure that it wouldn't rub off on the costumes. We also used M.A.C. Paint Pots, M.A.C. Powerpoint Eye Pencils, and M.A.C. Pigments. In addition, we applied some alcohol-based pigments that are virtually waterproof and rub proof.
How can someone translate the dramatic makeup in the film into a wearable evening look?
Judy Chin: There are a lot of aspects to this makeup that are standard elements for a classic beauty makeup. The highlights and contours along the cheekbones, nose, jaw line, and the pout of the mouth can all be adapted to a contemporary makeup. I also think one could incorporate the dramatic eyeliner the angles and the intensity - into a very seductive, catlike smoky eye.
Margie Durand: Think 1920's vamp makeup create the smoky Black Swan eyes with slender, silver eye liner applied under black wingtip liner and add thin wisps of silver liner over the eyelid, too. Rim the waterline with black liner and top it off with full, feathery false eyelashes. Apply a very matte foundation with contoured cheekbones and a hint of shimmery blush on apple of cheeks. Lips can be matte or glossy in dark eggplant, wine, and even black colors!