Popsugar Article on Impeachment: American Crime Story
September 29, 2021by DANIELLE JACKSON
Image Source: FX
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You can count on any major Ryan Murphy production to have extravagant hair and makeup looks from beginning to end. For the third installment of the anthology series American Crime Story, for instance, the beauty pros on the set of the show clarified that a lot of “movie magic” went into transforming each character into the infamous people involved in the scandal surrounding former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment. All of that glam included loads of ’90s-style hair and makeup products and so many wigs that the show’s hairstylist eventually lost count of them all.
“We had wigs and pieces all throughout,” hair department head Natalie Driscoll told POPSUGAR. “I stopped counting at about 30, and that was at the middle of the show.” After an official count, Driscoll clarified later that she designed around 65 wigs for the show, which often had to be designed, fitted, and styled in a matter of days.
“There are so many things thrown at you as a hair department that we have to get wigs made in three to five days when normally they should take at least two weeks,” she said. “There were a lot that were done and designed quickly.”
Of course, there’s much more where that came from. Keep reading to find out what other beauty magic went on behind the scenes of Impeachment: American Crime Story.
Image Source: FX
Speaking of wigs, the reason so many of them needed a re-design is because just about every character on screen is wearing one — which shouldn’t be a surprise considering all the historical references.
“Beanie Feldstein [as Monica Lewinsky], Annaleigh Ashford [as Paula Jones], Judith Light [as Susan Carpenter-McMillan], Sarah Paulson [as Linda Tripp], Clive Owen [as Bill Clinton] — we had so many wigs,” Driscoll said.
Image Source: paulmitchell.com
Since the show is set in the ’90s, the hair and makeup team wanted to stay true to the trends that were prevalent during that time period.. According to Driscoll, one hair product that almost never lasted on set is the Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Sculpting Foam ($25).
“It’s an affordable product, but it also just works,” she said. “Over the season, people would try to use more modern-day products, but they didn’t act the same.”
On the makeup side of things, key makeup artist Karrieann Sillay connected with several beauty brands to source some of the same major products for the show. “MAC was huge in the ’90s,” she said. “The Spice Lip Pencil ($19) and all the muted browns and earth tones were huge back then. A lot of the shades are still prominent in the line, they’ve just been renamed, so we were able to connect and get a lot of those products.”
Paul Mitchell Flexible Style Sculpting Foam
Spice Lip Pencil
Image Source: FX
One thing viewers may notice as the season moves forward is the way the beauty team used makeup to further tell the stories of the characters. In the case of Feldstein’s Monica Lewinsky, she begins the show wearing a visible amount of makeup that coincides with the normalcy of her current situation, though as the scandal unfolds, there’s a noticeable difference in her appearance, according to Sillay.
“We transformed her makeup to what she was going through at the time,” she said. “At the beginning of the show, she has these red lips because she’s bright and cheery. But as the show progresses, we tone everything down to play into what her mental state was at the time and to complement the colors and look of the era. We played the makeup to the emotion for her.”
Image Source: target.com
Because of Feldstein’s allergies to certain products, there were limits to what the makeup artists were able to use while transforming her. One product that came in handy during the entire production process, according to Sillay, was the Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick ($6).
“That was one thing on [Feldstein’s] list that she didn’t have any allergies to,” she said. “Revlon was one of the main cosmetics lines we used because they still have everything that they sold in the ’90s. It was really easy to pull those colors for her because a lot of them still have the same names.”
Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick