Get the look: How our model and makeup artist married 'Black Swan' and Ravens

(Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
July 27, 2011|By John-John Williams IV

Like the fancy Ravens wings that model Haley Higgins wears on the cover of this week’s b?

The look requires a little imagination, a lot of patience and a very willing participant.

I’ve been in love with the haunting image of Natalie Portman in the “Black Swan” promos since I first saw them last year. When I heard that my editors wanted to use face paint, I knew I had to try to do this look. Luckily, I had a fantastic makeup artist in Leah Sarah Bassett, and a equally fantastic and willing model in Haley Higgins.

Bassett, a makeup artist who works for T.H.E Artist Agency, looked up the “Black Swan” image on her iPhone and then outlined the wings on Higgins’ face using a MAC liquid eyeliner pencil.

“It’s sort-of like a marker,” Bassett explained.

Then she filled in the sketched outline with Ravens purple. No fancy makeup here. She used face paint that she purchased the night before. The silvery look was achieved when Bassett allowed the black paint to dry. She painted over it with white face paint, which gave the illusion of silver.

Bassett recommends using a variety of brushes to create the look.

“Make sure to use a thinner brush for thin lines and an angled brush for filling in the angles with precision,” she said.

The biggest challenge Bassett faced was creating the perfect consistency and color with the face paint.

“It was a little difficult to find the right consistency for it,” she said. “Never be afraid to mix colors. Be ... experimental.”

When I was chatting with Bassett, I learned that she created those sparkly lips with a combination of face paint, lip gloss she purchased at Sephora and a fantastic, metallic shimmery glitter she got at Party City. It was the perfect final touch for the fashionable Ravens fan look.

Patience is the key, according to Bassett.

“Make sure you are patient, and not rush,” Bassett said. “It’s very easy to wipe off the paint with a baby wipe or toilet paper. For details, use liquid eyeliners.”

Higgins also loved the look, remarking that she might have to become a Ravens fan because she was so in love with the makeup. In fact, she left the shoot with most of her face covered in purple and black paint.

Bassett said she wouldn’t be surprised if a number of fans tried to re-create the same look this coming season. A word to the wise — Bassett is a trained professional. She makes it seem easy, but this isn’t as simple as putting on Halloween makeup.

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