The Normalisation of Tilda Swinton

The Normalisation of Tilda Swinton

Not usually one for the "softer" beauty look, Tilda Swinton goes normcore for her latest movie role.

You can barely even recognize Tilda Swinton in the stills of her new film Trainwreck.  In place of her now iconic androgynous look, the actress has been utterly transformed into a run of the mill blonde – smoky eyes, tea stain tan, streaky highlights – the works!

The Swinton metamorphosis is fascinating glimpse into a world where stronger individual looks are wiped out and one where “normcore” beauty prevails.  In real life Swinton prefers a punchier look.  Her choppy asymmetric close back and sides juts out at angles against her incredibly stark cheekbones and although she is often partial to wearing lip and cheek colour, she tends to leave her brows and eyes totally bare.  It’s bold look and she’s probably the only woman in the world (save Gwendoline Christie) that could pull it off but that’s why we love it.  

Of her new “makeover” Swinton says: ‘I’m delighted to say that I’m unrecognisable,’ and as an afterthought,  ‘I don’t know whether one would really want to be recognisable in this role.’  In the film Swinton plays a fairly unpleasant men’s fashion magazine editor, complete with an on trend bronde blowdry and a pearly white smile.  Laughing off the new look she said: ‘It’s a lot of makeup and a kind of tandoori tan and a wig.’  Good to know it’s reversible then…!

Let’s break down the look in a little more detail.  Aside from the wig the first major difference is the Trainwreck Tilda has eyebrows.  Sounds like a minor tweak but brows can really morph the overall look of a person’s face.    Secondly she is wearing eye makeup.  A lot of eye make-up.  Gone is the slightly Scandinavian stare and in it’s place something more familiar, a soft charcoal smoky eye.   Interestingly, although the addition of eyebrows and an eyeline should draw attention to your features, on Tilda the effect seems reversed and we loose a bit of her character – ah the anti-power of make-up!   Her skin colour is also radically different – usually a translucent ivory, Trainwreck Tilda looks as if she has been trialling the new St Tropez Gradual In Shower Tanning Lotion with some success!




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In the past Tilda has played roles strong enough to match her iconic hair and makeup – Eva in We Need to Talk About Kevin, The White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia, Margaret in The Deep End (back in 2001) and of course the deranged housewife in David Bowie’s recent music video.   She certainly has never played the fashionista before, which has us wondering what transformation will be next – the girl next door? Now that really would be unrecognisable. 

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