The art of makeup was given a new stage when the Los Angeles Philharmonic recruited NARS and makeup guru James Kaliardos to create looks for their recent production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni. The classic opera has been gaining a lot of attention since its debut on May 18th. Bold, geographic eyeliners, classic and dark lips, and stone-colored shadows stood out on the white stage set, making it impossible to go unnoticed.
The opera centers on the life of playboy Don Giovanni – a story of love, lust, and revenge. Mindful of each female character’s role, Kaliardos created looks based on their individual stories. For instance, beautiful peasant Donna Zerlina, the object of Don Giovanni’s affection, is decorated in an innocent lavender hue, while Donna Anna, seeking to avenge her father’s death after Don Giovanni murders him, wears a bold, graphic eye and statement red lip. The scorned Donna Elvira, determined to avenge herself after she is seduced and betrayed by Don Giovanni, wears dramatic black eyes and a deep wine lip.
Kaliardos was inspired by the uniquely designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, to create exclusive looks for the eight principle characters and the twenty-four-member choir. “Everything about the space – both on stage and in the concert hall’s structure – is about angled planes, no straight walls. So I created a facial architecture as a base, letting the characters drive each look. We chose a stony palette and strong lip color for each of the female leads. NARS gave us a great platform of color and texture to leap off of onto the stage,” Kaliardos said of his architectural muse. While the makeup does take eyes to new, geographic lines, Kaliardos insists that it is still rooted in “classical theatre” fashion. We’ll take two tickets, please. – Madeline Farina
On Donna Zerlina: NARS Cream Eye Shadow in Lili Marlene ($24; narscosmetics.com), Eye Shadow in Lhasa ($24; narscosmetics.com), Highlighting Blush in New Order ($28; narscosmetics.com), and Velvet Matte Lip Pencils in Train Bleu and Damned ($24 each; narscosmetics.com).
On Donna Anna: NARS Larger Than Life Eye Liner in Santa Monica Blvd ($23; narscosmetics.com), Duo Eye Shadow in Pandora ($34; narscosmetics.com), Lip Pencil in Amazon ($22; narscosmetics.com), and Semi Matte Lipstick in Red Lizard ($24; narscosmetics.com).
On Donna Elvira: NARS Eye Shadow in Zardoz ($24; narscosmetics.com), Eyeliner Stylo in Nuits, Blanches ($27; narscosmetics.com), and Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Damned ($24; narscosmetics.com).