“Yes, frosting. The final defense of the dying.” Suzanne Collins’ epic series makes sly commentaries on war, death, politics, fashion, love, hunger, bravery, cowardice, history, destruction, life, birth, and even reality TV, so it’s no surprise, she has something to say about makeup, too. Three-time Academy Award winner Ve Neill (Beetlejuice, Mrs. Doubtfire) was the head makeup artist on The Hunger Games, and she did some truly exceptional work: making Jennifer Lawrence look striking using very little makeup, giving Lenny Kravitz just a slick of gold eyeliner, and designing Seneca Crane’s infamous beard. Besides creating the crazy faces of the wealthy people of Panem, she also had to do extensive work on burns, blood, gashes, and other injuries to demonstrate the true brutality of the games. Avoiding starvation is usually the main thing on the minds of the people in District 12 – not selecting the perfect shade of lipstick. But it turns out, makeup will help Katniss and Peeta in ways they never imagined when heading to the arena…
- Lose Your Brows: Costume designer Judianna Makovsky insisted that Capitol citizens’ eyebrows be powdered into nothingness. She told Vogue, “It immediately takes the face somewhere else. It takes it high fashion, but also a little scary. And also beautiful, funnily enough.” The ghostly look certainly makes the Capitol creeps look soulless – maybe to show the monsters they truly are.
- Make those Lashes Flutter: Effie Trinket always brings to mind a small, skittish animal or a spastic butterfly, running and teetering around on her heels, so it’s no surprise that on closer inspection, you can actually see the little bugs and antlers accenting her eyes. The fake eyelashes were created by PAPERSELF.
- Wig Out: Katniss’s hair, face and body are au naturel, so it makes sense that the decadent denizens of Panem are completely fake from head-to-toe. The people in charge of hair on the film were Cherry Petenbrink and Linda Flowers (God, those certainly sound like Hunger Game names!) Flowers told ELLE, “When you’re doing bright colors for hair it can look kind of Mardi Gras-ish. This was a very sophisticated group of people, so it had to be classic.” Capitol wigs are most often pastel-colored.
- Too Matchy Matchy: According to Allure, Ve Neill always made sure to match Effie Trinket’s makeup to her outfits. She used Obsessive Compulsive Lip Tars in lavender and pale blue to match Effie’s pale purple suit, showing her cool demeanor.
- Tie Up Those Lips: In the same article in Allure, Neill told the magazine why Effie’s lipstick was always in the shape of a bow, “That’s Effie’s signature. Her lips have a bow in every scene. We wanted her to be the perfect picture, always.”
- Paint by Numbers: Choose your favorite tribute by selecting a nail polish representative of each district (which is now available by China Glaze). Luxe & Lash for the luxury of District 1; Stone Cold for the masonry of District 2; Riveting for the technology of District 3; Hook and Line for the fishing of District 4; Electrify for the power of District 5; Fast Track for the transportation of District 6; Mahogany Magic for the lumber of District 7; Dress Me Up for the textiles of District 8; Harvest Moon for the grain of District 9; Foie Gras for the livestock of District 10; Agro for the agriculture of District 11; and Smoke & Ashes for the coal mining of District 12 (our personal favorite – from the rubble will rise a burning phoenix!)