FOTD, Made-Up History
Comments 14

Made-Up History: Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red)

I initially planned to do this series, Made-Up History, at least once a week. For a total of 52 looks and works of art by the time this beauty blog turned a year old. Funny how things turned out. For this installment, I want to base a look off of a work by Mark Rothko.

markrothkosmall Mark Rothko is an American artist whose abstract expressionist works—a label that he rejected—shot to fame when Modern Art gained popularity after the Second World War.

I’m sure you’ve seen his works! The most famous are typically blocks of color that almost touch or sometimes run into each other. People’s reactions to the paintings are often, “I could do that,” but I will tell you now that “No, you could not.” There is a rare quality of rawness and honesty present in Rothko’s work. It is inimitable because it’s the outpouring of his soul.

One of my favorite quotes by Rothko is from an interview with Will Gompertz by Interview Magazine:

Somebody said to [Rothko], “Why do you paint these great, big maudlin canvases?” And he said, “Because if there happens to be somebody who’s feeling a bit lonely and they come and stand in front of one of my works, they know they’re not alone.”

Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red), 1949

I chose this particular piece because of the colors, which don’t seem hard to work with in terms of face color. I’ve been wanting to try out a cream shadow I got from Benefit. It’s a deep red-violet shade called Stiletto. I can’t really say if this was a hit or a miss, but I do think I could have made it a lot warmer. Ah, well.


On eyes: Benefit Creaseless Cream Shadow/Liner (Stiletto), theBalm Nude ‘Tude Eye Palette (Snobby, Stubborn), Laura Mercier Artist’s Palette for Eyes (Café Au Lait, Coffee Ground, Vanilla Nuts), K-Palette 24H Real Lasting Liner (Black), K-Palette 24H Real Lasting Eyebrow Liner (01), Maybelline The Falsies Mascara


On cheeks: The Body Shop x Lily Cole Lip & Cheek Dome (Crazy for Coral) On face: Guerlain x Emilio Pucci Météorites (Perles d’Azur) On lips: Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet (La Distinguée)



Excuse my hair (and general demeanor)! I took a break from working because I got bored. Hehe. Anyway, I hope you liked the look. I had fun trying to make a new look, especially a darker-than-usual eye. 🙂

Art work credit:

Mark Rothko

Untitled (Violet, Black, Orange, Yellow on White and Red)
Oil on canvas
207 x 167.6 cm
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Gift, Elane and Werner Dannheisser and The Dannheisser Foundation
© 2012 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


  1. The colors show up over your hooded lids! I can never get my eyeshadow to show up on these darn lids. I should try this. Thanks.

    • Funny you mentioned that! I actually applied the shadow a little bit above the line that I normally stop at, so that it hits the brow “protrusion.” I don’t know if that makes sense, but good luck!

  2. I love Mark Rothko’s works. They convey certain moods so well, just through color and placement of shape. And LOL I hear that from people a lot. I think another relevant question would be…but did you?? I think part of what makes Rothko’s works unique is the time period and culture in which he created them, and that he was the first express his ideas in this particular way. To look at it after the fact and say “well I could do that” ignores the fact that he brought something new to the spectrum of art history, and that he said something with his art that we can now understand BECAUSE he said it already. Ah yes, and I really like your makeup hahahha. It’s a wonderful recreation, and a great series!

    • Exactly! That’s what my dad (he works in art) always tells people who say that they could have done what so-and-so did. “But you didn’t!” I can’t imagine what it was like to just really break the mold that people seemed to follow and coming up with something new!

      Also, thank you so much 🙂

  3. Danielle says

    That’s a stunning look, and the whole concept of interpreting a piece of art into a makeup look is brilliant. Bravo!

  4. Pingback: Elevate Your Look with Benefit Creasless Cream Shadow/Liner in Stiletto « Softly Sometimes

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