Black Swan (2010) starred Natalie Portman as Nina Sayers, a goody-two-shoes ballerina who takes trying to be “perfect,” as she says repeatedly throughout the movie, to scary levels after being cast in the lead role of Swan Lake. Nina’s obsessions often manifest themselves visually in completely terrifying ways, like when long black feathers start sprouting from her skin, but the movie is also full of crazy eye candy thanks to the professional dancers in the ballet scenes and the gorgeous costumes designed by Rodarte. The dark, elegantly spooky makeup Nina wears as she plays the Swan Queen is particularly eye-catching and easy to re-create at home, even if you don’t intend to go out in toe shoes and a tutu.
What you’ll need:
- A smoky gray cream eye shadow. I used Maybelline Color Tattoo Eyeshadow in Audacious Asphalt.
- A felt-tipped black liquid eyeliner. Mine is NYX Cosmetics Felt Tip Liner.
- A very fine-angled makeup brush, like this one by e.l.f.
- A black cream eye shadow. I used Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 27 Black, but a more affordable option is NYX Cosmetics’ Gel Liner and Smudger in Betty.
- A white cream eyeliner. Try Inglot Matte Collection AMC Eyeliner Gel in 76.
- A deep-berry lipliner and lipstick. I used Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Lip Pencil and Revolution Lipstick, both in Venom.
- An angled blush brush like this one from e.l.f.
- A deep-berry powder blush. Try NYX Powder Blush in Silky Rose.
Use the gray cream eye shadow to cover your entire eyelid and just slightly above it, as well as your lower lash line. You can apply this using your ring finger or a Q-tip if you’d like to be more precise.
Trace your upper and lower lash lines with the black liquid eyeliner, staying as close to your eyelashes as possible. Connect the top and bottom lines at the inner and outer corners of your eye. At the inner corners (by your tear ducts), extend your lines toward the bridge of your nose. At the outer corners, draw and fill in a small wing shape.
Coat your angled makeup brush with black cream eye shadow or gel eyeliner and use it to make diagonal upward strokes at the outer corners of your eyes. Continue the lines upward, towards the outer points of your eyebrows, until you’ve created two dark wing shapes extending out almost to your temples.
To create a feathered effect, clean off your angled brush and dip it into some white cream eyeliner. Dab small white strokes over the black from the last step, then draw a small white line along the inside of each vertical line you drew in step two.
Use your your lip liner to lightly outline your natural lip shape, then use the same liner to fill them in completely. Blot your lips with a tissue and then apply a matching lipstick over the whole thing—this method of applying lip color makes sure it’ll stay in place for a good long time.
Finally, use an angled brush to apply blush along your cheekbones. Suck in your cheeks like you’re making a fish face and brush the blush along the hollows, starting at your hairline and brushing in toward your mouth. Then slick back your hair in the tightest, sleekest bun possible and feel as perfect as you look—no scary feather outbreaks required. ♦