Welcome to my newest installation of Inspired by Art! For February, I found myself gravitating towards the watery blues and greens of Claude Monet's Waterlilies (1906). This particular work hangs in the Art Institute of Chicago, where you'll always find visitors (myself included) clustered around it, admiring the century old lilies. Monet's Water Lilies (or Nymphéas) paintings are among the most celebrated of his works. They constitute a series of approximately two hundred-fifty paintings depicting the garden at Monet's home in Giverny, France during the last thirty years of his life.
Monet and his large family moved to Giverny in 1880; during this time his fortunes improved considerably, as his dealer had increasing success selling Monet's paintings. In 1890, he bought a house and surrounding land for his gardens. Monet was an avid gardener; he drew up precise designs that he meticulously carried out with the aid of his family. In his later years, Monet hired as many as five gardeners to implement his ideas! As his fortune grew, his garden evolved as well. Though his garden paradise contained countless varieties of flowers and plants, it is now best known for the waterlilies, of which Monet said:
"It took me time to understand my waterlilies. I had planted them for the pleasure of it; I grew them without ever thinking of painting them."
I've chosen some of my favorite purples, blues and greens from my eye makeup collection to represent the lily pond in Monet's Waterlilies. Starting from the background, I created the red-purple shadows in the water using a blend of Urban Decay Fishnet and Urban Decay Freakshow. The lavender side of NARS Nouveau Monde was a nice match for the lighter purple tones in the pool, while the olive half channeled trees' shadowy reflections. I created the bright green of the lily pads using a mix of MAC Sour Lemon and MAC Plush. I used the dark green of MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Shadow in #8E to mimic the undersides of the lilies. MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Cream in #25 and NARS Outremer eyeshadow (reviewed here) can be blended into beautiful water tones.
The bright lily flowers are focal points of Monet's painting. To celebrate the cool pink and red petals, I've chosen MAC Sunny Seoul lipstick (reviewed here), a spring pink, and MAC Heat Wave lipstick, an orange leaning red, from my collection. The former would be more subtle and the latter more daring. Both complement the aquatic tones beautifully.
In order to channel the reflections in the pool of water lilies, pick nail colors that mirror your eyes. Sephora by OPI Iris I was Thinner is an iris purple. Essie Lilacism is a light lavender. Essie Going Incognito is a dark leaf green. Sephora by OPI Ocean Love Potion is an aquatic blue-green. OPI What's With the Catitude? is a from-the-sky blue. Sephora by OPI Blue Grottois a deep underwater blue.
The bold aqautic colors married with the soft impressionist strokes in Claude Monet's Waterlilies has provided me with vibrant inspirations for my makeup colors this February. On an optimistic note, the bright lilies emerging from the inscrutable waters are a cheery reminder that spring will soon surface from the depths of winter. I would love to visit Monet's colorful garden in Giverny one day; it's been preserved as a public museum. Until then, I'll experience Monet's countryside paradise through the sublime lens of his artistic vision. Thanks for reading! What colors are you wearing this February? Have you seen Monet's waterlilies in a museum, or perhaps in person?
P.S. Be sure to check out more from my Inspired by Art series (here)!