Makeup Breakdown: Black Magic

This week we’re going to perform a little makeup alchemy and breakdown photographer Julia Pogodina’s “Black Magic” shoot, featured in Zink’s May edition. Model, Asia Bugajska puts us under her spell, conjuring swirls of ink-black smoke that dance around her and lie in direct contrast to the stark, white backdrop. Using NARS Cosmetics, Anetta Klemens perfectly marries this blend of hard and soft with a makeup look that is both dramatic and full of romanticism.

So man your kits people and let’s see if we can’t conjure some magic for this dramatic look.

Step I: Before we do anything, we’re going to let the brows take a backseat, allowing the other aspects of the look to stand out. For this I am going to call on an old drag queen work of trickery and apply glue stick to the eyebrows. I would suggest using one coat of Elmer’s Disappearing Purple WASHABLE School Glue Stick. It dries clear, giving you the perfect clue that it’s time to move on to the next step. Gluestick, a fantastic tip that I learned from one of my all-time favorite Queens, Miss Venus Starshine.

Step II: For the next three steps we’re going to be repeating the matte skin from last week’s matte, retro look. I suggest using Make Up For Ever products for all three steps, to give that unified feel. First up we’re going to apply Make Up For Ever’s Full Cover Concealer under the eyes and on top of the, now dried, brows.

Step III: We want to make sure everything we’re doing allows the eyes and lips to really pop against the canvas of the skin, just like the wisps of black smoke does against the backdrop of the photo shoot. This calls for a matte foundation. Make Up For Ever’s Matte Velvet + Matifying Foundation will do the trick here. Make sure to cover those brows.

Step IV: To finish this flawless look, apply Make Up For Ever’s Duo Matte pressed Powder, once again covering your brows. Now we have our base ready, let’s add the drama!

Step V: “Black Magic” plays on exaggeration and one of the best ways to do this, while still being subtle, is to contour the hollows of the cheek with non-shimmer bronzer. Staying to form, you can’t go wrong with Make Up For Ever and their Matte Bronze, but anything non-shimmer in your kit will work just fine.

Step VI: Anetta really finds a great contrast with the eyelids. They positively shine against the stark black that surrounds them. MAC’s Dazzlelight Eye Shadow in a neutral tone with shimmer is perfect for this job.

Step VII: The fun of this look comes from the drama that the dark lines conjure. Using NARS’ Eye Shadow in “Bali”, start right below the eyebrows and fade down into the crease. You definitely want a harder line across the top, emphasizing the hollowed-out look of the eye. Make sure to continue along the nose and out towards the temples, being careful to blend towards the crease. Now, take the same Taupe Shadow and, with a tapered-liner brush, sweep a healthy amount from the outside corner of the eye, along the bottom lash line, continuing past the tear-duct. This will exaggerate the size of the eye. Also, be sure to “Smoke” out the outer corner of the bottom lash line to give a bit more drama.

Step VIII: With such a stand-out eye shadow, we need to pump up the lash line, so it doesn’t get lost in the framing. Make Up For Ever has just the product with its Aqua Creamliner in black (No 1). Now, apply a couple of coats of mascara. Whatever is your go-to brand, will do fine, a great standby is Great Lash by Maybelline.

Step IX: For added drama you can also line the waterline (the rim of your eye). Anetta finds a way to add even more contrast to this look by lightening this area. A great choice is Baby Eyes Enhancer by Paula Dorf.

Step X: Asia’s pout positively pulls you in as if under a spell. Anyone else want lips that can do that?  Okay then, firstly we need to complete a quick color prep. Once again using Make Up For Ever’s Aqua Cream liner, we’re going to mix a little of the black (No 1) and Purple (No 5). Apply to a bare lip and finish with a LIGHT, and I mean light, coating of gloss after it has dried.

And presto, your spell is cast! Bear in mind this isn’t a look you’d want to “glamour” anybody with while grocery shopping, but there’s a time and place for everything, even something this dramatic. Complete the look with a smooth, sheek, slicked back hairdo, something between (more subtle) Bjork and a retro 80’s up-do. A simple black and white outfit with some clever usage of accessorizes continues the narrative and is guaranteed to work its own magic.

So, to all you “fashionistas,” this completed look is your chance to get out there, get noticed and work a little Voodoo!


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