Arwen - Galadriel - "Elven" cosmetics from other lines - Test for an Arwen make-up - (Elven) hair / wig suggestions

Make-Up and hair is essential as it's what makes a costume complete. A costume can look exactly like the original down to every detail, but it won't' work when the look isn't right. Haven't you often wondered - "The dress looks good, but why does she just not look like Arwen/Galadriel/Éowyn...?" Yep - it was the Make-up then. If you want the perfect costume, your Make-up has to be,too (and hair, and accessories...but that is a different story *g*) .
So, here's a little guide to the elven look.

I'm ***not*** in any way affiliated with the companies mentioned below!

As always, we are best informed about Arwen. This is why she makes the start here.

If we can trust the following inteview, we're in the lucky situation to know exactly what Make-Up Liv was wearing as Arwen. The interview with both Make Up artist Noreen Wilkie as well as costume designer Ngila Dickson was published in InStyle Magazine. It was available online for a short time, but now the site is closed and only available for AOL and InStyle customers. Here's the link over at that takes you further to the InStyle page. Although Google shows another result at, I wasn't able to find it anywhere on their site. Luckily, I saved the whole interview as a .doc file when it was published.

liv tyler: the lord of the rings

As the heavenly elf Arwen, Liv Tyler "had to look, 'Wow!'-like she was this goddess," says Noreen Wilkie, makeup artist for
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. And not just when the ethereal princess locked eyes with her mortal beloved Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen). Even when engaged in battle against the dark side, Arwen had to appear a creature to behold. This meant keeping Tyler in perfect porcelain makeup with her crystal blue eyes played up and full lips played down. Of course, Tyler's to-die- for looks didn't hurt. "I would never say Liv is pretty," declares makeup and hair designer Peter King. "She's stunning." Adds Wilkie, "She takes your breath away-which makes it hard for us mortals."

Tyler's dark luscious locks in the film weren't actually hers - she wore a wig. But, notes King, "You still treat it as normal hair." Which meant making the tresses shiny and soft by applying Joico K-Pak Deep-Penetrating Reconstructor and Clynol Hair Shine spray. Inspired by the Pre-Raphaelite period, King went for wavy hair that flowed down to Tyler's waist. Explains the hair designer, "We tried her with long, straight hair, but that didn't look romantic enough."

For a delicate porcelain palette, Wilkie sponged on MAC Studio Finish matte foundation in NC15 all over the face and down the neck. Afterwards, she pressed on Lancôme Photogenic powder in Ivoire and brushed MAC blush in Shy Pink on the apples of the cheeks. To soften Tyler's "perfect lips," Wilkie dabbed on Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey.


To make Tyler's eyes stand out, Wilkie started with MAC eye shadow in Vanilla from lids to brows. She then applied MAC Spice shadow on the crease and Clinique Brow Shaper in Shaping Taupe on the top lash line only. "I didn't put anything under the eyes because I wanted to open her eyes up," explains Wilkie. One coat of Lancôme Définicils mascara in black completed the wide-eyed look.


* What I could find out about the products so far

- These products will only work on you when your skin-type and color is similar to Liv's, i.e. if you have a very pale, porcelain skin (= what is called the 'Winter type' or 'Snow White Type'). Little spots and such can be covered with other products and shouldn't spoil the overall impression, but a fairly clean, smooth skin is the basis if you want to work with the original products used on Liv. For example, the MAC foundation 'nc15' is a very light, almost white tone and shouldn't be used on tanned or darker skin types.

- In general: All the make-up products listed here are from older lines that are partly discontinued now. No surprise; they were probably the newest lines when the movies were made, but 5 years have passed from then on and the lines have been re-styled and developed in the meantime. Finding the exact products is difficult in some cases.

MAC Products

Almost everything by MAC has been discontinued except the Vanilla eyeshadow. The foundation has been replaced by a new ("better") one, the blush and the Spice shadow are also not in their product range anymore. They recommend a light beige or brown instead.

But: Do NOT trust what the shop assistants recommend you "instead" or think is "very similar"!

You might end up with a totally different product, that doesn't match the others! Rather check online (hint: a certain auction website can be quite helpful *g*) or ask around at your friends and family.

Clinique Products

Clinique has obviously discontinued the "Almost Lipstick" line, but it is still available widely through eBay.
Check also the 'gift sets' that have more colors, or lipstick palettes - sometimes "Black Honey" is included in them.
This is was says about it:

Not quite lipstick, not quite lip gloss but works like a little of each. Looks sleek, moist. Sheer non-stain shades.

And in another offer I read:

This just tints your lips.

Which is
what we see on Arwen. Her lips look like natural color, no lipstick at all.

The BrowShaper is still in their program and one possibility to get it is to order on

Lancôme Products

Lancôme items are pretty good to get; and nothing is discontinued.
The powder is a LOOSE powder, do not confuse it with the pressed powder from the same line!
Mascara "Définicils" can be bought at stores (it's the one I'm using as my regular mascara anyway *g*).

Photos from ;


As soon as I have all the products together, I will run a series of tests.


There's only one certain statement about Galadriel's make-up. In "The Making of The Lord of the Rings", a book by Brian Sibley published in 2002, make up artist Peter King says:

"Everything on Galadriel we held very pale; there's almost no color on her lips and cheeks. I mixed her a special powder, to give her a hint of a shimmer - no glitter, you know, that would have looked ridiculous and unrealistic".

So, since they used a custom made product on her, there's no chance to find the real thing out there. We have to improvise...
There are a few powders that have a slight shimmer to them:

Another possibility is mixing shimmer powder with normal loose powder. This way, you will get an individual mixture that you can make to match your skin color - but be careful not to add too much of the shimmer!

Good shimmer powders are:

Other products suitable for the elven looks

Names given below are the exact names written on the products, so you can find them easily.

If you've now read enough about Make-Up, go on to (Elven) hair / wig suggestions :-)

All original work is protected by intellectual property laws. No copyright infringement is intended - copyrighted images are being used for costume study purposes only. © for images from 'The Lord of the Rings' movies is with New Line Cinema / the Saul Zaentz Company. Names of places, people and things from 'The Lord of the Rings' books are © The Tolkien Estate. Site design, graphics, and content is copyright © Ela unless otherwise indicated.