Black Swan Make Up

13 Feb

As is evident in the striking movie poster for Black Swan, Natalie Portman received a dramatic makeover for her role as psychotic dancer Nina Sayers. With eyes the shade of burning coal, the image of Portman’s fixed and fiery gaze is a difficult one to forget.

(Image: onlinemovieshut.com)

New York resident and award-winning make up artist Judy Chin, who is responsible for Portman’s plumed eyes, used the following products to achieve the look:

  • For the white finish, I used Starblend cake makeup in the shade butterfly geisha 14B.”
  • “For the eyes, I started with a sharp line of red Kryolan Aquacolor for an intense, piercing look.”
  • “Then I used black MAC Chromaline eyeliner on top, and mixed MAC silver pigment powder with Ben Nye makeup sealer and applied it in feathery strokes.”
  • “On the lips, it was MAC Dubonnet with MAC Vino lip liner underneath.

Below are a few more snippets from Los Angeles Times’ interview with Chin, accompanied by images from Yesterface’s Black Swan photoshoot.

I was trying to create something that would be very striking visually, and help convey the idea of good versus evil.

A lot of people think it [cake makeup] is old-fashioned, but it can create a flawless porcelain finish. And I wanted the Black Swan’s skin to look almost stony.”

For the black eye makeup, I wanted something sinister and dangerous and deadly but still sexy and provocative.”

“The brush strokes made her look like a hunting bird in motion.”

Hollie Bond, who modelled for Yesterface’s Black Swan photoshoot, is a professionally trained dancer. For Hollie’s opinion of Black Swan, visit To the Pointe Ballet Blog. In the meantime, here are Hollie’s thoughts on the makeup featured in the film:

“You’ve got to hand it to Nina – Natalie Portman’s character in Black Swan – she’s obviously a dab hand with an eyeliner! Somehow in her ten minutes offstage she manages to apply stunning and intricate makeup and change her tutu and hairpiece, all at the same time as having a schizophrenic episode in which she stabs herself. That’s the beauty of film because, in a real life ballet dressing room, it really isn’t like that.

“While the corps de ballet may have to apply their own make up, principals definitely wouldn’t be expected to do so and there would be a wardrobe assistant on hand to help with the quick changes between Odette and Odile. We tested the Black Swan makeup, and while the end result looks amazing, it takes much longer than an interval and would be far too heavy to actually dance in.”

Thank you Hollie for being a beautiful ballerina!x

For the white finish, I used Starblend cake makeup in the shade butterfly geisha 14B. For the eyes, I started with a sharp line of red Kryolan Aquacolor for an intense, piercing look. Then I used black MAC Chromaline eyeliner on top, and mixed MAC silver pigment powder with Ben Nye makeup sealer and applied it in feathery strokes. On the lips, it was MAC Dubonnet with MAC Vino lip liner underneath.
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10 Responses to “Black Swan Make Up”

  1. Harri Davies February 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    Heledd this is amazing! Well impressed innit xx

  2. kiri williams February 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    hel this is amazing so glad i had a nosey xx

  3. Ruth Dawson February 13, 2011 at 5:36 pm #

    Heledd, these photos are absolutely amazing – well done!! xx

  4. Sarah George February 13, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Fab post Heledd – photos are awesome!! Hollie…you look amazing!!x

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Black Swan makeover « To the pointe ballet blog - February 13, 2011

    [...] One of the most striking things about the Black Swan film apart from Natalie Portman’s Oscar worthy acting was her makeup in the final scenes. Heledd Williams recreated the look and transformed me into the black swan in the flash of an eyeliner. See the photos and how she did it here. [...]

  2. Halloween beauty | Yesterface - October 31, 2012

    [...] like some makeover ideas and product recommendations, check out Yesterface’s Cleopatra and Black Swan makeup tutorials. Other than that, I hope you all have a ghoulish but glamorous [...]

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