Black Swan – The Makeup – Q&A

Q&A with Black Swan Makeup Department Head Margie Durand and Makeup Designer Judy Chin

Q: How does a makeup artist prepare to work on a film? Do you receive guidance from the director or collaborate with the costume designer/art director/key hair stylist on the makeup look?

Margie: When I begin working on a film I speak to the director and all of the creative team if possible. The directors inspiration and vision really drives the process and I try to deliver that vision in makeup.

Judy: As I read the script, I try to envision the characters, taking into account their background (age, personal history, affluence, profession). As I see the plot develop in the story, I make note of how these events might affect their appearance. When I’m designing the looks for a film, it’s very important to consider the director’s visual style and tastes. Occasionally, I get to collaborate with the costume or production designers. I always try to find out how the actors will be dressed, as that can have a significant influence on the makeup look. While our designs are often created independently at first, I find that the hair stylist and I work very closely to be sure that our looks fit together and bring the characters to life.

Q: How long does it typically take for you to prepare to start working on a movie like Black Swan?

Judy: I spend a lot of time drawing and doing practical makeup tests. Depending on actor availability and camera tests, it could take three to four weeks of preparation.

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What would you pair with MAC Highland Honey Blush?

If you were using MAC Highland Honey Blush?, what look would you create with it?

What shadows would you use? What would you use on cheeks? Anything added to the lips? Create a look using whatever you want, as long as you include today’s look book product!

Did you come up with a look you’d like to share featuring today’s product? You can link to your images, embed your images using HTML, or you can submit your images via e-mail to share them with readers to help give them inspiration on how to use the product!

Black Eyeliner Comparisons

Black Eyeliner Comparison

Are there shades of black? Indeed there are! Not every black eyeliner is the same. There are soft blacks, medium blacks, and deep blacks (and of course, variations within those categories). To try and make some sense of it all, I’m going to assign numerical ratings based on how black each liner is, with 10 being deep, dark black, 1 meaning so light that it’s almost no longer black, and 5 meaning a medium black.

I included review links when I had them to share, but I had some wear issues with YSL’s #1 Eyeliner, Bobbi Brown’s Black Kohl Eyeliner, and Benefit’s BADgal.

The darkest: MAC Black Black Chromagraphic Pencil, MAC Feline Kohl Power, Urban Decay Perversion 24/7 Liner

Dark: Shiseido Black Noir Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil, YSL #1 Eye Pencil

Medium-dark: MAC Smolder Eye Kohl, Milani Black Liquif’Eye Liner, Stila Stingray Smudge Stick, Bobbi Brown Black Kohl Eye Liner, Benefit BADgal Liner

Medium: MAC Engraved Powerpoint Eye Pencil, MAC Graphblack Technakohl

The lightest: Urban Decay Zero 24/7 Liner

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Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

Estee Lauder Sumptuous Extreme Mascara

New for December, Estee Lauder’s Sumptuous Extreme Mascara ($23.50) promises to deliver a volumizing mascara that never clumps and “[makes] eyes look outrageously big and amazingly bold.” The brush even has its own name–Extreme BrushComber–which has a new shape that is said to hold more mascara, be easy to use and get to all your lashes in spite of its size. The formula has “Tri-blend Multiplying Fibers,” which include “Hollow Tube Fibers” for curl and length, “Solid Rod Fibers” for volume and length, and “Micro-Locking Fiber” for thickeness and length. Finally, it contains Lash-Advancing Vitamin Complex, which has Vitamin B5, designed to condition lashes and keep lashes flexible. It will be available in four shades: Extreme Black, Extreme Brown, Extreme Indigo, and Extreme Violet.

The brush itself is quite large–a full 1 3/4″ in length when I measured–but the way it narrows and tapers does make it easier to maneuver around the inner corners of eyes. I do find it more difficult to use it on lower lashes, just because it is so large, but I think users of Dior’s DiorShow won’t find it much larger. After using this mascara for a couple of weeks and alternating with other mascaras, I did feel like the brush itself was more helpful in defining lashes–just separating them as I was applying the mascara–than the average mascara wand.

My fringe definitely looked longer and fuller–it had a slightly feathery quality to it–but the richness of the black made the overall effect more dramatic. I was able to do several passes through my lashes without getting any clumping, and this is a mascara that you can easily do a second or third coat of, too, if desired. It doesn’t dry immediately (15-20 seconds), but it’s not so wet that you’ll have mascara residue underneath your eye if you blink. My lashes felt incredibly lightweight and soft–flexible and bendable. I was able to push and rub (gently!) against my lashes and didn’t experience any flaking either.

I was most impressed by the richness of the Extreme Black shade–deep dark black, very inky and solid. It’s definitely one of the blackest mascaras I’ve tried in recent memory. It volumizes nicely, and it gives enough thickness to my lashes to make them more noticeable, but it still feels like I’m wearing one of the lighterweight, more natural mascaras (think Maybelline Full ‘n Soft) but I get the effect of dramatic mascara. I experienced no flaking, smudging, budging, or other ill effects after twelve-hour wear.

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Urban Decay 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set

Urban Decay 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set

In 2011, Urban Decay will turn 15 years, and to celebrate, they are releasing a set of 15 24/7 Eyeliners. The 15th Anniversary 24/7 Eyeliner Set ($92.00 for 0.04 oz. x 15) includes full-sized eyeliners in:

Stray Dog (shimmering brown taupe), Corrupt (dark metallic brown with silver glitter), Bourbon (medium brown with gold sparkle), Midnight Cowboy (beige with gold sparkle), Baked (bold bronze), Stash (dark olive with gold sparkle), Mildew (deep mossy green), Perversion (blackest carbon black), Electric (bright aquamarine blue), Binge (deep metallic navy blue), Ransom (bright iridescent purple), Asphyxia (pinky iridescent purple), Rockstar (darkest eggplant), Zero (zealous black), and Uzi (gunmetal grey with sparkle).

All of the eyeliners included in the set are full-sized (0.04 oz. each), and a full-sized eyeliner retails for $17, which means you are getting $255 worth of eyeliner for $92, plus Urban Decay’s Grind House (their sharpener, retails for $9), which is actually my favorite sharpener–use it for all brands myself.

It is a great set for someone who is new to Urban Decay or who hasn’t yet stocked up on their 24/7 Eyeliners, because there are a lot of permanent inclusions and overlap with previous holiday mini-sets. This holiday’s Jackpot 24/7 Eyeliner Set included seven that overlapped (Stash, Mildew, Electric, Binge, Ransom, Rockstar, and Zero), while last year’s Super Stash Eyeliner Set included six that overlapped (Stash, Rockstar, Ransom, Binge, Corrupt, Zero).

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