"There are darknesses in life, and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights."
Dracula by Bram Stoker
Hello, sweet October!
Seeing as Halloween, makeup, and literature are among some of my most favorite things, I thought it would be fun to share some looks (that are quite easy to recreate) inspired by some of my most beloved characters and stories.
Growing up, stories, film, shows, and books on vampires were always my obsession - (any Vampire Diaries fans out there?!). Bram Stoker's Dracula, written in 1897, especially captivated me... I remember being buried in this book, literally unable to peel my eyes from the pages... and because of this novel, my love for the Victorian era began without relent.
Miss Wilhelmina 'Mina' Murray Harker, a beautiful and intelligent schoolmistress, is a victim of Dracula's curse after being bitten by him and fed his blood. Though there are many versions of this character, in the original story, Mina *SPOILER ALERT* is freed from his curse after Dracula is killed. Therefore, she is never actually a vampire.
For this look, I wanted to portray Mina as a woman more "undead" rather than youthful, glowing, and alive. Overall, I wanted a hallowed look that seems a bit sleepless and thirsty for blood.
First step: moisturize and prime your skin as usual to prep for laying down the foundation of this look.
+ True Match Super Blendable Makeup in N1 Soft Ivory, L'Oreal Paris
For foundation, it was important for me to use a medium/full coverage foundation that was buildable and dried not-so-dewey. I wanted to lighten my skin a touch, so I went with my winter foundation shade (my Summer tan has still yet to fully fade). Make sure to fully coat your lips to strip them of any color, and drag the product down your neck for a more seamless finish.
+ Miracle Matte Translucent Finishing Powder, Flower Beauty
To set the foundation and create an ultra-matte look, I went over the high points of the face with a translucent powder with a little powder puff so I didn't deposit any color or warmth on the skin. Be sure to brush away any excess powder with a clean brush - in certain light, an over-powdered face can be visible.
+ Nude Matte Shadow in Confession, Nyx Cosmetics
Now, time for some light contouring... Normally, I'm more of a "soft, natural glow" girl rather than a contour fan, but in the spirit of Halloween, I went for something a bit more dramatic. This mossy, grey-toned eyeshadow is super pigmented (a little goes a long way) and perfect for creating deep shadows. Make sure, if you choose a different shade, it is completely matte so you don't add any unwanted glitter or shimmer. Mostly, I focused on contouring the nose, concentrating most of the pigment near the brow bone and blending to diffuse the color. I also dragged this color along the eye crease, placing more pigment at the outer corners, and filled in my brows with soft upward strokes. Lastly, I blended the tiniest bit of product to hollow out my cheeks, but kept it simple in the hopes of making my eyes and lips the focus.
Let's finish off those eyes...
+ Nude Matte Shadow in Skinny Dip, Nyx Cosmetics
Normally, I would cover my dark eye circles, but for this look, I wanted to draw attention to them. This rusty, purple-toned brown is perfect for creating that warm "halo" around the eyes, creating a bit of an irritated and bloodshot look.
+ Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black, Maybelline
This no-clump mascara gives the lashes a silky appearance, and is the perfect finish for this strange eye.
And last but certainly not least, those gradient lips...
+ Exaggerate Full Colour Lip Liner in Obsession, Rimmel London
With a warm, brick red/brown pencil, carefully start pencilling in soft strokes, focusing most of the pigment at the center of your pout. For a more "natural" look, try filling in the wrinkles in your lips to deepen those shadows. With your finger or a lip brush, blend outwards to begin creating that vampire-looking gradient, as if you fed on blood hours ago and are incredibly thirsty for some more.
+ Crème Blush in Truly Daring, Honest Beauty
This red-toned plum blush is nearly a perfect color match with the liner Obsession, but definitely adds to the look. Not only is this stuff hydrating (trust me, with this look you'll need all the hydration you can get), but it creates a soft glow with buildable pigment. With this shade, pat the color over the lip liner, and carefully start fanning the pigment outwards. You may need to go back with a beauty blender and a drop of foundation if you put too much color on your lips and begin to lose the ombré.
Here are some of my tips on costume/finishing touches...
Whenever I dress up for Halloween or cosplay, I always like to wear real pieces (not necessarily bought in a plastic bag at a costume store) that fit the vibe and the time period I'm dressing for. This peasant top I happened to have in my closet, but any loose, flowing top or dress would work.
The corset I'm wearing is a vintage steel-boned piece (yes, it is lined in steel, just like they once were in the Victorian era) and is perhaps one of my most adored items. The corset, as well as the corseted collar I'm wearing, gives off the feeling of being tied up or restrained. Considering Mina was weak under Dracula's curse, these pieces compliment the lack of freedom this character has.
For this look, I would most likely wear a bustle under a white skirt or on it's own to add some drama and "weight" to the bottom half of this look, though black jeans and some heeled boots would pair nicely as well if you are looking for a more casual costume.
Which vampire in literature, film, or television is your favorite?
Let me know in the comments below!
Olivia Rose | 25