mina of bram stoker's dracula inspired look #astorybookseries
Hello, October. Oh how I've missed you...
"There are darknesses in life, and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights." — Bram Stoker
Seeing as Halloween, makeup, and literature are among some of my most favorite things, I thought it would be fun to share a look (that is quite easy to recreate, might I add) inspired by one of my most beloved characters and stories.
Growing up, books, film, and shows 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 undying love for the Victorian era began, leading me to study it throughout my years at university.
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 pop culture, in the original story, Mina *SPOILER ALERT* is ultimately freed from his curse after Dracula is killed. Therefore, she is never actually allowed to fully transition into 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.
As always, moisturize and prime your skin to prep for laying down the foundation of this look. For foundation, it was important for me to use a full-coverage foundation that was buildable and dried not-so-dewy. I wanted to lighten my skin a touch, so I went with my winter foundation shade as my summer glow has yet to fade. Tip: 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.
High Street: Huda Beauty's FauxFilter Foundation
Low Street: L'Oréal's True Match Foundation
To set the foundation and create an ultra-matte look, I went over the high points of the face with a translucent powder so as to not 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.
High Street: Laura Mercier's Loose Setting Powder
Low Street: Flower Beauty's Miracle Matte Finishing Powder
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. Go for a grey-toned eye shadow or bronzer, allowing you to create deep shadows, and steer clear of any unwanted glitter or sheen — matte is better in this case. Focus on contouring the nose, concentrating most of the pigment near the brow bone and blending to diffuse the color. Then drag the color along the eye crease, placing more pigment at the outer corners. Lastly, blend the product to hollow out your cheeks to your liking.
High Street: KVD Vegan Beauty's Shade + Light Powder in Taupe
Low Street: NYX's Nude Matte Shadow in Confession
Normally, I would cover my dark eye circles, but for this look, I wanted to draw attention to them. Use a rusty, purple-toned brown shadow is perfect for creating a warm halo around the eyes, ultimately creating a bit of an irritated and bloodshot look. Take your time with this step and slowly build.
Low Street: Colourpop's Pressed Powder in Feathered
Finish off the eyes with some black mascara, lashes completely optional.
High Street: Chanel's Le Volume de Chanel in Noir
Low Street: Maybelline's Great Lash in Blackest Black
For gradient, vampire-esque lips, grab a warm, brick red/brown-ish lip pigment and carefully start pencilling in soft strokes, focusing most of the pigment at the center of your pout. For a more realistic look, try filling in the wrinkles in your lips to deepen the shadows that are already there. 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. Tip: 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 that coveted ombré effect.
Low Street: Milani's Matte Lipstick in Style
Whenever I dress up for Halloween, I always like to wear real pieces (or 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 volume 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, accessible costume.
Et voilà — happy Halloween, loves!