Love it or hate it, Netflix period drama Bridgerton took the world by storm. The eight-part book series written by best-selling author Julia Quinn is well-loved by bookworms around the world and for the books to be blown up into a series was something that many looked forward to. Netflix is available in 190 countries and except for Japan. The Wrap reports that Bridgerton has reached number 1 overall in 76 countries and top 10 in 189. While the show's scandals and romances kept audiences riveted, Bridgerton's outstanding hair and makeup were also showstoppers. Here's how Marc Pilcher, Bridgerton's head hair and makeup designer, and his team, achieved the beautiful (and numerous!) looks for the show.
Marc Pilcher tells Vogue he's been working in the TV and film industry since 1998. He started in the West End theater scene and a TV movie in Romania was his first foray into film. Claire Matthews, another makeup artist on Pilcher's team, also started in theater then landed a job at an ITV company and has been working in the industry ever since.
For Bridgerton, Pilcher said that he turned to books and paintings that depicted the Regency era, then added his own touch with inspiration from old Hollywood movies and other periods, as well. He shares that the Regency look drew from the shapes of Ancient Greece and those Grecian shapes are so classic and beautiful that they will continue to re-emerge in the fashion scene time and time again. As for the hair, particularly Queen Charlotte's outrageous wigs, Pilcher did his research and found out that the Queen was of African descent. While this remains to be a highly debated subject among royal historians, Pilcher used that detail to broaden the scope of her looks. To stay true to her ethnicity, he incorporated braids, locks, and Afro-textured hairstyles. Her attention-grabbing giant afro in one scene was inspired by Beyonce's Foxy Cleopatra from the 2002 movie, Austin Powers in Goldmember.
Pilcher also used hair to emphasize a character's personality. For instance, for the character of Eloise Bridgerton, a feminist and free thinker, he gave Claudia Jessie a mullet. Meanwhile, Cressida Cowper, one of the show's antagonists, was based on Nellie Oleson from Little House on the Prairie. She had elaborate hairstyles with very feminine ringlets, flowers and bows, topped with pearls and ribbons. As Pilcher describes, Cressida is "pretty on the outside, but mean on the inside."
As for the makeup, the female leads had soft and feminine looks. Since most of young women in the show were debutantes, the key words were youthful, feminine, and elegant. Pilcher tells Harper's Bazaar that Daphne Bridgerton's look was based on Audrey Hepburn in the movie War and Peace. She started with micro bangs, then progressed to softer and feathery bangs as her character matured and evolved. To recreate her soft makeup, Matthews says go for a tinted moisturizer or a fine foundation. They used Laura Mercier, Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation, Clarins, and Bobbi Brown. Use an illuminator like Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Luminizing Fluid Foundation and run it lightly under the jawbone and cheekbones. Add a cream blush in pink and set the makeup with a fine powder.
Related article: Regency Era Fashion Has Been Revived Thanks To Netflix's Bridgerton
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