Black Swan: getting the look

April 22, 2012

Story and sketches by Valeria Safonova

Black Swan, a psychological thriller starring Hollywood actresses Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis, became an instant success in 2010. Its popularity has generated a high demand for the Black Swan and White Swan make-up looks, with numerous tutorials spreading over the Internet in a matter of days. Here is my take on both looks – my versions are slightly different from those created in the movie. I have re-created the dark sensuality of the Black Swan and the innocent naiveté of the White Swan, based on my own perception of the film.

White Swan

The White Swan look.

Unlike the movie’s version, I added more pink to this look, to make it somewhat more natural and very soft-looking, with no harsh lines or dark shades around the eyes.

Eyebrows. Define your eyebrows very lightly with a powdered crayon.

Eyes. Use a light silver-base colour (MAC in Silverthorn) to bring out the eyes, a darker grey around the eyes for light definition and a pink (MAC in Pink Venus) on the crease.

Eyelashes. To imitate “feathers” of an actual swan, opt for white eyelashes. If your natural lashes are dark, you can use a mascara base in order to colour them white, then top it off with a pair of fake white lashes.

Face. Use the lightest foundation for your skin type (if you are naturally pale, try Lancôme’s Teint Idole in Ivoire 1), and add white powder to get a porcelain white finish.

Blush and Contour. Use a very light cool pink (Nars in Sin) to add definition below the cheekbones and around the nose.

Lips. A pink shade, which matches the blush colour, is a good choice here. Some gloss will make the lips appear fuller.

Black Swan

The Black Swan look.

I kept the cat-eye look, but added more berry and brown colours to the face to give it a more sculptured and “harsher”-defined feel. It looks almost more “aggressive” and very sensual.

Eyebrows. Dark, thick eyebrows.

Eyes. In order to demonstrate the dark side of the Black Swan, go for “cat eyes” with a lot of mascara, and fake lashes on the top lid. Add white eyeliner in the inner bottom to make the eyes appear larger. On the bottom lid, draw a parallel thin line to intensify the cat eye look.

For the base colour, use a darker shimmery golden (Mac in Goldmine) and a rich burgundy for the crease (Mac in A Little Folie).

Eyelashes. Use a lot of volumising mascara on the top lid, adding a pair of fake lashes for extra volume.

Face. Keep the face colour natural. Don’t forget to add concealer under the eyes to bring them out!

Blush and contour. Using a bronzer and a blush which matches your crease’s eyeshadow colour, heavily define your cheekbones, nose and forehead in harsh lines to create a “sharp” look.

Lips. Add a dark burgundy lip colour (Mac in Paramount).


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One Comment »

  • Marta said:

    maz I suggest, for the next one, put movie stills of Natalie Portman’s face, so the reader can see how you modified it (the article has a lot of ‘I softened it-I kept the cat eye, but added xzy..’).
    …using concealer under your eyes really makes a difference!
    Will try this :)


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