When it comes to David O. Russell's dramedy American Hustle, there's no shortage of scandal, corruption, and of course, amazing hair. Mixed with the film's neck-plunging disco dresses and bold makeup, late '70s glamour is revitalized for the big screen. One of the behind-the-scenes wonders who helped bring that sexy vision to life was the film's makeup department head, Evelyne Noraz.
American Hustle, nominated for seven Golden Globes, tells the tale of a brilliant con man named Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale) who attracts Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams), a former stripper from New Mexico, to take part in his scheme. While first appearing onscreen as a small-town girl with minimal makeup, Sydney eventually evolves into a badass chick with the bronzed skin and heavy eyeliner to match.
To accomplish Sydney's '70s glam look, Noraz says she browsed the web, looked up old Cosmopolitan covers (Farrah Fawcett included) and referred to photos shot by renowned photographers Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton. The makeup artist adds that looking through costume designer Michael Wilkinson's outfits helped her decide how Adams' makeup would transform over time.
"Seeing all the clothes was really helpful to incorporate the makeup, from the first time we meet her until the end of the movie," says Noraz with her charming French accent over the phone from her hotel room in Austin, Texas (she's currently on location for Jason Reitman's Pale Blue Dot).
"In the beginning, when she first walks into New York, I wanted her to be this young girl who pretends to be English, living in the big city and not wearing much makeup," explains Noraz of Adams' beauty progression. "And then she starts working at Cosmopolitan, emulating what she sees at work on the posters and at photo shoots, so I looked at what she would have done in the late '70s by starting with her eyeliner."
Noraz adds: "When she meets Christian Bale, her makeup starts getting darker. It's part of the transition." Sydney's final beauty transformation leads her to a glowing complexion with the help of Guerlain Terracotta Bronzing Palette, Jouer Luminizing Moisture Tint and Nars Blush-Bronzer Powder Duo.
Adams liked the Nars product so much, the makeup artist says with a laugh, "she actually took that from me!"
While Adams' Sydney is the film's beauty star, Irving's nutty wife Rosalyn (Jennifer Lawrence) was thought to be someone "older and more mousy" -- at least that's what Noraz had envisioned before learning Lawrence, whom she describes as "a sexy young creature," was cast for the part
"[The character] was not who I thought she would be, so once [Lawrence] was cast, I had to rethink everything," reveals Noraz. Russell wanted her to apply crazy, over-the-top makeup on Lawrence, but kept telling him, "That looks like too much!" adding with a chuckle, "He gets carried away with that."
Lawrence's makeup may have been intended to look messy, but Noraz admitted it wasn't so easy with the actress' natural beauty.
"I used more lip gloss and didn't apply the eye shadow so well," says Noraz, who also used Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation on the Hunger Games actress. "Not sure if you'll be able to tell because I'm sure, sometimes, I got lost in her beautiful face and wanted to do a really nice job. I was going a little over the top, but when you've got a beautiful face, I can't help myself -- I'm a makeup artist!"
While Adams and Lawrence may steal the show with their alluring images, there's no denying the movie's male stars also channel the late '70s with, well, great hustle, given Bale's comb-over, Jeremy Renner's sideburns and Bradley Cooper's at-home perm.
See the star-studded cast's beauty moments when American Hustle hits theaters Friday, Dec. 20.