Katunayaka Where did you look for references when designing the looks for the characters on this show?
During the initial research phase, I looked at the pop culture of the time, staying specific to the early ‘70s and late ‘60s, including the most significant influences from fashion, models, and icons of the time. I utilized Pinterest a lot and found makeup manuals that showed everyday makeup placements on the face and facial hair options. I pulled from ‘70s cosmetic ads, magazines, Sears catalogs, nude magazines, history write-ups, TV Guides, and so much more. I also looked up adult actresses/clips of the late ‘60s/early ’70s, which influenced many of the Bottom Dollar models’ looks.
buy Lyrica tablets uk How did you stay true to the era when designing the makeup for Minx?
The 1970s were all about light foundation, bronzers, slim eyebrows, soft upper liners, light mascara, muted earth tones, and muted pastel colors. The styles were more expressive with groovy facial hair. For the individual characters, I broke down the script and imagined the world they were in, their experiences, and their characteristics. I began putting together photo boards with tones and influences and would pick the color, look at original research ideas, and then specify depending on the character. An example of this is the character Bambi (Jessica Lowe), a bombshell babe ex-adult model. Her board was made entirely of bronzed models, smokey shimmery eyes, and influences like Goldie Hawn and Susan Anton. On the other hand, the character Shelly (Lennon Parham) comes off as a slightly sheltered housewife, so her board and makeup erred more in the late ‘60s since she wasn’t as up on the latest fashion trends.
What was the process like for creating the penis prosthetics?
The first part of the prosthetic process always began with a discussion with Ellen Rapoport, the showrunner and creator, about the characters and overall concept of said prosthetic. After meeting about the design, function, and scene context, Ellen or myself would pull images to reference—my favorite image Ellen has sent me was a reference photo of a Shar Pei dog! Then, Jason Collins and Mike McCartney at Autonomous FX would take over the prosthetic creation from there. Depending on what was needed, Autonomous would sculpt, mold, and create each prosthetic with different techniques. We had two types of prosthetics, either it was glued straight on the body and edged off near the crotch, or the prosthetics were silicone with a belt attached to secure it. After the prosthetic was created, Jason and his team gave it back to us on set. From there, a team of two consisting of myself and/or a handful of amazing artists who came out to play would apply the prosthetic, paint match, lay hair, and off they went.
Tell me about Joyce’s (Ophelia Lovibond) subtle makeup transformation once she becomes more established.
Joyce goes through a bit of a transition during the season, which was fun to play with. She starts off a bit conservative with her makeup and hair, mostly makeup consisting of light neutral tones. There’s an assumption she had played with makeup before because we see her pop up her eyes and lips for events. As she becomes more engulfed in Minx and more comfortable in her skin and pushing her boundaries, her look is bumped up and elevated. Everything about her became more playful so we would throw a light pastel or shimmer on her eyelids, a brighter color lip when going out, and for press and interviews, we added lashes and liners. I was fortunate to be putting these looks together daily with Christopher Fulton (Head Hair) and Beth Morgan (Costume Designer).
What are some key products you couldn’t have done Minx without?
To get the mood of the ‘70s, we took modern brands and thinned them down or used light washes of color. Overall, Armani and Koh Gen Do liquid foundations; my go-to concealer was Cle De Peau; Viseart, Urban Decay, Anastasia, MAC, Senna, and Mented powder eyeshadows. I fell in love with the bronzers from Kosas and Mented. Red lips were always Armani liquid, and lip liners included Armani, Besamé, and Charlotte Tilbury. When called for, Ardell and Kiss lashes and nails were used.
We had a ton of tattoo cover and body makeup throughout the season. Both of Richie’s (Oscar Montoya) arms are tattooed so for coverage and evening out skin tone, some of the products used were Skin Illustrator, Dermablend, and MAC Face and Body. Alcohol colors and either Telesis Matte or Super Baldiez were used for facial hair.
What has been the biggest challenge in terms of makeup/prosthetics on this show?
I put a lot of pressure to be correct about the period and help make the audience feel they are thrown back into the early ‘70s without distraction, so that’s an overall challenge I push myself on every time. I would say the most challenging makeup was the Billy Brunson (Austin Nichols) penis prosthetic. It was about 8.5 inches long and needed to be erect when on and off set throughout the day. Because we saw the character 360, we wanted to do a silicone prosthetic that would stop around the front of the crotch area and not have a belt attached. To make it movable, Autonomous FX created a prosthetic with a wire inside that could manipulate the piece’s angle. Penis prosthetics are already in a delicate area and position to stay properly glued in for 12-15 hours a day before adding a gag. Throughout the day, we wrapped a fishing line around the prosthetic for a couple of shots to help with the weight after many hours and ensure the prosthetic sat right where everyone wanted. Shout out to Mark Neiman for applying, troubleshooting, and “fishing” with me that day.
Words: Shannon Levy
Photos: Courtesy of HBO Max