BY ISABELLA STRAZZABOSCO
When I was little, my mom had huge coffee table books full of art piled around the house and I was always transfixed by what was inside. I brushed past the descriptions and biographies, looking for the pictures that caught my eye. Although I never lingered at Rockwell or Renoir, I would always stop when I got to Klimt. Feeling a little bit like Alice, I became totally engulfed in the gold-leafed wonderland of his paintings. They reminded me of Greek Gods and Goddesses, beautiful, surreal, and a little scary. His paintings seemed to breathe, the shimmering textures and lush colors of his pieces made them feel alive. They were magical.
Even after I grew tired of my mom’s books and looked for art in new places, Klimt’s influence stayed with me, manifesting itself in a love for jewel tones, metallics, the surreal, and the majestic. My first tarot deck was the Golden Tarot of Klimt, and my connection with the deck came easy, because I already had a strong and intuitive bond with the images on the cards.
When I decided I wanted to make a makeup look inspired by art history, it’s hard to think of an artist better suited than Klimt. This look is great for when you want to get a little dreamier, a little darker, and a little more glittery. As much as I would love to walk down the street streaming golden tears and draped in velvet every day, this is probably the closest I’m going to to living like one of the characters in a Klimtian fever dream.
First, prime and prep your skin. I opted for a heavier coverage foundation and matte powder, because I wanted a smooth and even base to add color back into later. I also contoured my cheekbones with a cream contour. I wanted my eyebrows to be very defined (à la Klimt’s muse, Adele Bloch-Bauer), so I filled them in with a pencil and then brushed them into shape with a gel.
My favorite aspect about the people that Klimt paints are their cheeks. They all have a dreamy blush that flushes over nearly the entire face, like they just. To make it wearable, I opted for a rosy beige with a cream formula, which lets you really work it into your skin for an *ethereal glow*. It also lets you be in control of building up the amount of color you want, to make sure you lean more towards Marie Antoinette's cheek rouge than sunburn.
I used a berry lip stain, followed by a darker lipstick in the middle of my lips, and avoided any harsh lines by smudging my lip line with a q-tip. I dabbed my fingers on my lips to pick up some of the color, and then pressed the leftover lipstick onto the tops of my cheekbones over the blush I already put on.
For the eyes, I drew inspiration from two very Klimt-esque pieces, "Larme d'or" (Tears of Gold) by Anne Marie Zilberman, and Nan Goldin’s Joey at the Love Ball. The first time I saw Nan Goldin’s photo at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, I was hypnotized by the same elements that had always drawn me to Klimt. It instantly became my favorite photograph, and its beautiful colors and textures have been floating around my head ever since.
Using the same berry lip stain from earlier, I blended it all the way from my lash line to my brow bone (Warning! Red pigment can be irritating to some people’s eyes, so if you decide to do this step, proceed with caution), and then took a shimmery grey-brown and blended it over my lid. I drew a thick line with gold liquid eyeliner, flicked it out at the ends, added some mascara to my bottom lashes, and ta-da! I was done.
To finish the look I took some glitter and placed it on my cheekbones, cupid’s bow, and the end of my nose, to mimic the kaleidoscopic, bejeweled feeling of Klimt’s work.
By this point you’re left glowing and glittering like a post-impressionist angel. You can totally play up any of the features in this look to up the dramatics, or to play it down if you want to rock the gilded goddess look on the day-to-day.
Nature Republic Cell Boosting BB Cream in shade 01
Maybelline Dream Wonder Powder in shade 03
Glossier Cloud Paint in shade Dusk
Lime Crime Diamond Crushers in shade Choke
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in shade Copenhagen
Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette, shades Mugshot and Darkside
Jordana Cat Eye Liner in shade Future
Maybelline Great Lash Mascara
NYX Auto Eyebrow Pencil in shade Black
Glossier Boy Brow in shade Black
NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in shade Copenhagen
Bite Beauty Creme Lipstick in shade 001
Isabella Strazzabosco is an artist, witch, and triple air sign from Chicago. She currently resides in New York City, where she is studying visual and global studies at The New School. Isabella has been an artistic associate and core creative at Free Street Theater since 2014, and a member of the Goodman Theater slam poetry team in the 2016-2017 season. Isabella loves Nick Cave, Gemini season, and the strawberry cheesecake pancakes from IHOP.