ON SET: ELISA MARSH + RACHEL HOKE + WESTWORLD

How did you come to work on Westworld?
Elisa Marsh: Christien Tinsley asked me to key season one. I was thrilled because he is crazy talented and we hadn’t worked together in ages, but mainly because he was so
excited about it! The pilot was epic, the creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, the scripts, the cast and it’s shot on film. Everything about it was exciting. I have been the makeup department head since season two.

Rachel Hoke: I day played on the pilot. As season one picked up a year later, I made myself available which led me to doing Evan Rachel Wood’s makeup. Here we are today, season three viewing it during a global quarantine.

Who made up your team this season?
EM: Jennifer Aspinall and John Damiani were my co-keys. Rachel Hoke took care of Evan Rachel Wood, as well as other cast, and Ned Neidhardt was in charge of background. We had lots of supporting artists come in on big days, a crazy
talented group of people. I am so grateful for their beautiful makeup, hard work and joy.

What was the design process like for season three?
EM: I met with Lisa and Jonah to discuss the look early in the prep period. We talked  about the arc each character would have. For example, when we first see Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood), bridging her Sweetwater look into a real world, more modern one; then her look evolves as she moves through the human world and finally landing on her bad-ass season three self. Rachel Hoke did an amazing job doing Evan. There were subtle hair and makeup clues to the class of the people you were seeing this season. Dolores and Hale (Tessa Thompson) mainly moved with the near perfect, almost robot-like uber-rich, the 1%. Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Caleb (Aaron Paul) were more in the middle class. The differences were pretty subtle; defined by a perfect look down to a non-conforming look. We used a different color palette for the different classes.

What are the keys to keeping Dolores’ skin flawless?
RH: Her doll-like look started with skincare. Cleansing with Collosol Cleansing Milk, prepping the skin with a light-wear moisturizer, followed by IS Clinical sunscreen. During season two, Evan and I decided that half-way through the day, removing her Estee Lauder Double-Wear foundation and reapplying was the best solution to keep the dewy fresh feeling of the Dolores skin. This season, we see much more of Dolores’ skin. Evan has quite a few tattoos so the up-keep landed in the realm of tattoo covering. Dolores is active; she’s fighting, her arms are bare, and back is exposed. As we got into the season, I started carrying the portable Temptu Air. I had colors pre-mixed for easy loading. That airbrush saved a lot of moments for me.

The first two seasons centered primarily on Westworld, the fictional old west-style theme park. How does the makeup for the hosts change in season three now that they are in the new world?
EM: Before season three, most of the looks were established in the first season — except for the Shogunworld episode in season two. The hosts stayed the same as they were continually being reset and sent back to the Westworld park. The humans who were employees of the park were purposely nondescript until Hale arrived. At the start of season three, we first meet Maeve (Thandie Newton) again in Warworld. It’s the end of World War II and she is reunited with Hector who is a member of the resistance and fighting the Nazis. It was fun to have a new 1940s Maeve. For her look, I used Chanel Les 4 Ombres and Bobbi Brown Luxe Lipstick in Red Velvet. They were perfection.

RH: Dolores is now operating in the real world blending into society. Ultimately, the hero look landed with a slightly smoky eye which would encapsulate a fierceness. It was important to Jonah and Lisa for her to look strong so I chose very specific colors for her eye. I wanted to create depth but also warmth with dimension that was pretty, yet strong at the same time. I used a blend of 6-7 matte colors and pigments with just the slightest hint of shimmer.

Key products you couldn’t have worked without?
EM: There are so many favorites: Spa water, Collosol and Ren for skincare; a grunge palette, KD101 for facial hair, Endura for a tattoo cover, Stila Convertible Color applied with an egg sponge. For beauty makeup Christian Dior, Chanel, and Pat McGrath is my new obsession. I used her eyeshadows and liners for Thandie Newton’s makeup in the scene with Serac. She looked amazing and that’s one of my favorite beauty makeups this season

RH: I couldn’t work without Collosol cleansing milk, IS Clinical sunscreen, Beauty Blender and Cinema Secrets Brush Cleaner. And Jao hand sanitizer all day!

Do you have a favorite makeup created in Westworld?
EM: I’m really proud of the work we did in Akane no Mai, the Shogun episode in season two, it’s the most impressive. The first day we filmed in the teahouse when all our hard work came together — we had Geishas, and Shogun, our main cast, all on that amazing set. It was quite a moment. Though I do love a good beauty makeup. When it all comes together, it’s magic.

RH: My favorite makeup in the series has truly changed every year. The show lends itself to being so hands-on along with out-of-the-box thinking. As the story unfolds each season, we really get an opportunity to dig deep as artists.

Words Shannon Levy
Photos John P Johnson