Gold Flakes with Gustav

If you are like us, then you probably love Gustav Klimt and the beautiful creations he brought into the world. At Elements of the Beautiful, it is our job and pleasure to seek out elements of beauty. In a much more literal sense, is there a more beautiful element than gold? As we take a closer look at the man who incorporated gold into his art, we will focus on two of his most iconic paintings. We will also talk about the details behind our Klimt inspired makeup looks and what drew us to these iconic paintings.

“Whoever wants to know something about me – as an artist which alone is significant –they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want”. 

Gustav Klimt

First, let’s take a closer look at our beloved artist, Gustav Klimt. He was born in 1862 in Vienna, Austria, and created many coveted works throughout his life. Klimt is primarily known for his Golden Phase which occurred in the early 1900s. During this phase, he created masterpieces such as the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, The Kiss, and Denae to name a few. Klimt’s Golden Phase is characterized by the use of gold leaf throughout his paintings which lead to the creation of these beautiful and highly sought after works of art.

Natalie Setareh working on Water Serpents II Face Sheet
Media provided by Natalie Setareh

For a different perspective of this look, we collaborated with Makeup Artist Natalie Setareh. After a facetime meeting with her and speaking about our vision she provided us with two face sheets depicting the makeup looks to follow. The use of gold leaf in this process was very important to us so that we could truly pay homage to Gustav Klimt’s unique talent. Follow Natalie on Instagram to see more of her work.

The Kiss
Gustav Klimt


Our first beauty look is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s most famous creation: The Kiss. It was between 1907-1908 that he painted this masterpiece using oil on canvas and gold leaf. The Kiss is currently on display in Vienna at the Austrian Gallery Belvedere and is 6×6 feet in size. Milaya chose this painting because it is reminiscent of how her husband holds her.

Interpretation of The Kiss
Makeup collaboration with Natalie Setareh
Photo by Milaya C Photography

To create this look, we used Too Faced HangoveRx primer, then Bare Minerals Matte powder foundation. For the eye makeup we used the teal eyeshadow from the “Bloom Baby Bloom” palette made by Essence, we put it all over the eyelid and used it as eyeliner underneath the eye. Then we used an eye pencil from Essence in the color of “Cool Down” to create slight wing lines from the eye corners as well as color in her left eyebrow. We used Wet n’ Wild “Dulce de leche” contouring for the cheeks and collar bones. For the lips, she is wearing Too Faced Lip Injection Extreme mixed with “Apricot in the Act” eyeshadow from Too Faced to create a soft gold lip. Gold flakes were cut to shape for the side of her face and eyebrow, all of them were applied with eyelash glue for easy removal later. The geometric shapes on the right side of the face and art on the left shoulder were painted by Milaya using body paint.

Water Serpents II
Gustav Klimt

Our second beauty look is inspired by Gustav Klimt’s painting Water Serpents II. This painting is oil on canvas with gold leaf throughout and was painted in 1904. This creation is currently part of a private collection and is not available for display to the public. Crysten is drawn to this painting due to the color pallet and mysticism of the image.

Interpretation of Water Serpents II
Makeup Collaboration with Natalie Setareh
Photo by Ashley Moreland

To create this look we used Anastasia Beverly Hills Luminous foundation with Smashbox Contour stick and set with Bare Minerals Bare Pro powder Foundation. Contour is set using Urban Decay Naked Skin Shape Shifter and highlighter is placed along cheeks and temples using Fenty Beauty “Trophy Wife”. Blush is applied to cheeks using Laura Mercier in the color “Soft Iris”. A brown smokey eye is created using “In The Flesh” pallet by MAC. Eyes are lined with Revlon Photo Ready Eye Art in “Lilac Luster” on the top lid and Maybelline Tattoo Studio Liner in “Rich Amethyst” along the waterline. Color Pop Volumizing mascara is used on lashes in color “Blue Ya Mind”. For the eyebrows, we used Martha Stewart craft paint in “Metallic Gold” and for the lips, we used Sephora Cream Lip Stain in number 06. Gold flakes are applied using a firm hold hair spray, headpiece, and flowers made by Crysten.

Interpretation of The Kiss
Makeup collaboration with Natalie Setareh
Photo by Milaya C Photography

We loved bringing a little bit of gold into our life with this project thanks to Gustav. We love Gustav Klimt’s art and we hope to have the privilege to see them in person someday. Until then, we will settle for celebrating him in our own way.

Interpretation of Water Serpents II
Makeup Collaboration with Natalie Setareh
Photo by Ashley Moreland

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