The Province has an interview with The Runaways make up artist Robin Mathews on how she got the different looks for Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning.
“During that time period, punk rock was just beginning,” Mathews says. “It was all about Suzi Quatro and the Ramones’ pale skin, heavy black eyeliner and hair, which was followed by ‘80s glam glitter and stripy blush. It was eccentric and over the top. Nothing was subtle.”
Mathews pored through thousands of photos and video footage of the Runaways, as well as makeup ads from the 1970s, to capture the look down to the tiniest detail. “We really delved into the research,” says Mathews, who discovered quirky cosmetic habits, including the fact that Jett and Currie each painted just one of their fingernails red.
Mathews eschewed any soft-lighted perfection when it came to getting Stewart and Fanning into character. “It was important to keep it true to life, realistic and not glossed-over Hollywood,” she says. “The Runaways were teenagers, so if we needed to add blemishes or to make them look like they had been out on the road, we did that. It wasn’t always dewy, beautiful skin. It was all about the eyes.”
Those strong, smoky eyes, which always seemed partly obstructed by a shard of Jett’s raven hair and stood in stark contrast to Currie’s platinum locks, were the centreof the band’s signature look. “For a small period of time, Cherie was heavily inspired by David Bowie and wore that stripy blush, but that only lasted for a little while and it always went back to the eyes,” Mathews says.
To get the heavily pigmented smudgy eye, the makeup artist used eye shadows and the Smoky lash mascara from Make Up Forever. And while some of the band’s onstage looks were too outlandish for today’s trend-watchers, there’s a way to create a smoky eye that can work for an everyday look — with an edge.
“First, apply eyeliner [pencil] to the top and bottom of the eye[lids] and smudge with a brush to cover all the little naked spots,” Mathews says. She cautions that eyeliner initially appears too harsh at first, so smudging is key, especially if you want to stay true to Jett and Currie’s look.
“Take different shades of [dark] eye shadow and smudge on top of the eyelid and also rim the inner lid with the eye shadow.”
That procedure is not authentic to the ‘70s, but Mathews says the smudging updates the look.