Villainess Makeup: A Look To Try When You're Having An Evil Queen Kind Of Day

Spiked gold headband optional but encouraged.
Katherine D
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Spiked gold headband optional but encouraged.

I always end up siding with the evil chicks in movies. I mean, villainesses have it all: ambition, power, independence and mad style. 

Looking retroactively at children’s movies, these supervillains and evil queens actually, and ironically, provide far better feminist role models than their oft-bland protagonist foe. Disregarding the malice of these ladies’ plans, they lead their own lives independent of men, pursuing their own dreams. Villainesses hold actual opinions, ambitions, and personality traits; in many films, even outside those for children, female protagonists are allowed no such luxury. 

As such, the evil chicks are also afforded a bolder wardrobe to match their bolder lifestyles: they get the golds, the the blacks, the purples and the reds that fictional princesses tend to shy from.

With the release of Maleficent, villainesses have fallen into bed with another favorite of mine, Angelina Jolie. Upon seeing promotional stills, I fell in love with the way that Maleficent’s character was modified and adapted to Jolie’s own face, emphasizing her cheekbones and iconic lips. 

I pondered how I would look as an evil queen: what is the most luxurious, daring and dark look that I love, but is only appropriate for something as intense as manipulating a kingdom? As I gathered my minions, it came to me. 

I chose two of my cardinal colors, black and gold--one, the basis for every outfit; the other, for all jewelry--for a saturated smoky eye; I complemented the eye makeup with a cheek contour and, of course, a scarlet lip. A spiked gold headband is optional, but encouraged.

I started as I aim to start every day: flawless skin and defined brows, albeit man-made on both fronts. Despite my aversion to foundation, evil queens have perfect and even skin, so I used Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation in tandem with my usual Touch Up Stick and Tinted Eye Brightener to achieve this look more exactly. 

Bold brows help support a bold eye and connote attitude, so I made mine slightly darker and more angular than usual using Benefit Brow Zings.

Note to self: strong brows apparently beget crazy eyes. 

Note to self: strong brows apparently beget crazy eyes. 

Before shadow, I applied primer all over my eyelids and lower lash line. As a side note, I used the Urban Decay Naked 2 palette for my shadows, but that is by no means integral to the look, as the colors involved are fairly common. 

I added shadow slightly lighter than my own lids; on my skin tone, Bootycall, a slightly shimmery nude champagne, was a good fit, but this part of the look will change for everyone. This layer will largely be covered up by other products, but I still like to add it because it softens the blow of any patchiness; in addition, if (read: when) I were to mess up a part of the look, I could use a jojoba oil-dipped Q-Tip to remove the mistake and not worry about removing the eye primer, since this extra layer of shadow provides a “barrier.”

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Next, I used Busted, a dark grey-brown, to outline where, approximately, I wanted dark and light to meet on my eyes so I had a guide when I went in with more intense colors. I followed the start of my orbital bone; this is a natural crease on me, but should give the same effect if no crease is present.

Then, I drew a line up from the outer corner of my eye to meet the one along my crease. This angle should extend the natural angle of the lower lash line and/or follow the bottom edge of the natural shadow that appears above one’s cheekbone, creating a prototype of the general shape of the eventual wing. Don’t worry if this part is messy: it just has to serve as a guide for more exact color.

I switched eyes here. I promise it is the same look on both.

I switched eyes here. I promise it is the same look on both.

Using that outline, I filled in my mobile lid, inner corners, and the inner half of my lower lash line with Sephora Jumbo Liner 12HR--effectively a cream shadow stick--in Gold. A cream gold shadow isn’t absolutely necessary, but it gave the look much more opacity and vibrancy than just powder shadows would have. Additionally, I really like the effect of blending matte powder shadows into shimmery cream; it looks almost “foiled” and doesn’t muddy either color. 

On my inner lid, I went over the Jumbo Liner with Naked 2’s Half-Baked, a warm gold, because I’ve found that a layer of powder shadow in a matching color helps prevent creams from creasing as they are wont to do.

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Next, I went over my dark outline with Blackout, a generic matte black, and blended it into the gold shadow, extending black shadow slightly onto my outer upper lash line. I faded Blackout as it curved along my crease to the inner corner of my lid; the outline of Busted aided the color transition here. 

Connecting from the outer corner, I also brought Blackout in to meet the gold shadow on my lower lash line.

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Then, I made a thin line of black liquid eyeliner along my top lid and extended that into a long, thin wing. The angle of this wing was much easier with the outline; if the outline follows one’s bone structure, tracing its bottom edge should give the wing the ideal angle for one’s face.

I used Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion. I really prefer my Stila Stay All Day Liquid Eyeliner, but I had some serious mishaps last time I used it in a major look and didn’t want to risk drying the pen again. The Urban Decay liner is a great runner-up and uses a brush instead, so it goes on more like paint than Stila’s pen and ink structure, which creates much easier and more flawless application over a slew of other products.

My apologies for the egregious hair. It comes in peace.

My apologies for the egregious hair. It comes in peace.

Next, I made a matching line of gold liquid eyeliner above the black; I also traced this along the inner corner of my eye and along my bottom lash line to meet the black wing from below. I used Urban Decay 24/7 Liquid Eyeliner in El Dorado, which is a much brighter and yellower gold than what I used on my eyelids.

After I was satisfied with the liner, I went back to make the black shadow more intense. First, I traced a more exact line under El Dorado on my bottom lid; then, I built up the color on my outer crease and extended the shadow in a similar shape to my wings—avoiding the wings themselves—out to below the end of my brows. 

I broke out Busted again to blend the color up and out; this provided a much more satisfactory gradient than black immediately meeting champagne.

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Finally, I added a layer of mascara--I used my trusty Benefit They’re Real!--and took a moment to plot against the powers that be (orange foundation and the patriarchy, namely).

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Then, I got to work on making the rest of my face match my eye vibe. I created a contour below my cheekbone, but instead of using a neutral brown, I used Naked 2’s Tease, a matte gray-mauve. This is almost the exact color that I use for creating shadows on light skin tones when painting; in real life, it created a moody—but still plausible—shadow. To translate to other skin tones, a color that is cooler and darker than your normal contour will create the same look. Think, “What color would Edgar Allen Poe use if he were doing my makeup?” and you should be good. 

(This, incidentally, would be the best Boyfriend Does My Makeup series ever. “Is the--is the Chanel lipstick any good?--tell me--tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven ’I’m never sure.’”)

I finished with a layer of Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella, a deep blue-red that’s named for a favorite villainess and fictional beauty icon of mine. She understands my commitment to glamour, and we maintain the same color palette; in fact, I even drew a picture of her for my door nametag when my dorm theme was changed to “Disney Alter Egos.”

She also may or may not be my Disqus surname.

She also may or may not be my Disqus surname.

This color is a perennial favorite of mine, and I thought it was perfect for this look, in both color and connotation. I precisely filled in my lips and made my cupid’s bow a bit more geometric and triangular to evoke a touch of evil.

Did anyone else endlessly practice the “evil-yet-seductive” smile as an adolescent?

Did anyone else endlessly practice the “evil-yet-seductive” smile as an adolescent?

How would you style yourself as an evil queen?

“Mirror, mirror, on the Betsey Johnson necklace…”

“Mirror, mirror, on the Betsey Johnson necklace…”