Meet the 15 beauty teams on The Hollywood Reporter's seventh list celebrating showbiz’s most influential hairstylists and makeup artists, who create the looks that will take A-listers to new heights this awards season.
When it comes to red carpet beauty this year, what's behind the curtain is more revealing than ever. From the increasing popularity of stars prepping for awards shows on Instagram (hashtag #BTS for "behind the scenes") to a move toward more natural looks, authenticity is ascendant among insider groomers and their A-list clients. "The need for a full-coverage look is declining," says Pati Dubroff, O.G. makeup artist to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star Margot Robbie. "It's empowering not to feel like one needs to mask who they are." Adds Coree Moreno, hairstylist to Harriet star Cynthia Erivo: "Hollywood is just becoming comfortable with seeing naturally textured hair as acceptable. Presenting my client closest to who she is just continues the conversation."
That doesn't mean that envelope-pushing creativity isn't embraced — and rewarded — with stars touting glitter and bold statements alongside low-key looks, and gaining endorsement deals in the process. THR cover star Zendaya's pact with Lancôme ("contracts can be worth millions for A-list" talent, says Stacy Jones, CEO of marketing agency Hollywood Branded) is one recent example.
Also earning green on the red carpet? "As an ambassador, makeup artists or hairstylists receive from $7,500 to hundreds of thousands," notes Jones. Adds Scarlett Johansson's makeup artist Frankie Boyd, "People want an invitation to the dressing room." So come on in — and see how Hollywood's top 15 glam squads elevate the beauty and power of their star charges.
With Lucy in the Sky and Joker both out Oct. 4, Beetz, 28, will have ample chances to exhibit more of her "incredible sense of style," says Chanel makeup artist Machhausen, adding, "She's unafraid to express herself." The Atlanta breakout trusts Machhausen to push the red carpet envelope and be "a bit more wild with my makeup: He's meticulous and precise, even if it's a smudgy punk-rock eye," she says. With Redway, Beetz declares: "In creative tongue, we speak the same way," adding that this becomes especially true when "I have obscure references … '80s cowgirl going to prom and 1970s starlet with a dash of rococo." This awards season, Redway (whose other clients include Anne Hathaway and Tessa Thompson) plans "to play with period-inspired hairstyles, but with natural texture."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK "We love bringing elements to the red carpet you have not seen before," says Redway of Beetz's thick long braids and silver-swept eyelids at the Joker premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (where the star also was promoting Seberg and Lucy in the Sky). Machhausen says he "created a platinum eye using actual silver leaf applied in a crushed technique, to have it look rather tough. With the cool braids Lacy created, it had a chic grunge vibe."
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel star scored a beauty deal with Cetaphil this year, which Aharon calls a perfect fit: "People relate Cetaphil to simple, healthy skin, and that's exactly what Rachel brings." Brosnahan, 29, attributes her big-event wins to good skin care and verve, naming Keira Knightley as an inspiration "because she has a similar complexion to me," and Tessa Thompson "for the fun she has on the red carpet." For upcoming carpet turns, Aharon aims "to play with glitter or sequins" and Gould "would love to do a sleek bob. She has classic features and a long neck, so a dramatic bob would suit her."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK At the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January, Gould, sponsored by Dove Haircare for the event, coaxed "sleek hair behind the shoulders" to show off the clean neckline of Brosnahan's strapless Dior. Aharon, sponsored by Dior, offset eyes that were "the dramatic star of the look." Brosnahan views her hair and makeup looks on the red carpet as bolstering: "It makes me feel empowered."
Clarke, 32, has worked with Lee for five years and Cho for eight ("since the beginning of Game of Thrones," says the hair pro), in part because they let the star call the shots. "I love pushing boundaries, but it's important that it's still within the comfort zone," says Cho, who also works with Scarlett Johansson. Adds Chanel artist Lee: "I always try to take my lead from Emilia." Though Clarke has said she loves classic looks, the Emmy nominee wasn't afraid to have London-based colorist Nicola Clarke concoct her platinum-blond hue for a Dolce & Gabbana fragrance ad, which garnered nearly 20 million views on a single Instagram post. "Emilia's been posting a lot with her glam squad. She wants to shine on them," says Instagram's head of beauty partnerships, Kristie Dash.
TOP RED CARPET LOOK For Thrones' final-season premiere in New York, Clarke donned icy-blue Valentino with an intricate updo, pink shadow and strong lips. "I wanted to incorporate a braid as an ode to Daenerys," Cho wrote on Instagram. Lee feted the fiery character with House of Targaryen red: "Emilia asked for a dark lip, so I used a metallic eye shadow over the lip color to add intensity," she says.
Moreno likens working with Erivo, 32, to being "a kid in a candy store — she allows us to go crazy with our creativity." The duo, who recently wrapped on-set looks for 2020's HBO series The Outsider, will reunite for promotions of Harriet, which is gaining awards buzz for Erivo. "For Harriet press, we plan on making her as glamorous as possible," says Mullin, who has done makeup for the Tony, Grammy and Daytime Emmy winner for three years. Moreno says she's "excited to dive into hair color" — pastel hues will "definitely be incorporated." Erivo is game for anything. "I love it all, I do not discriminate," the actress says, citing only sitting in the prep chair for over an hour as a downside: "I get so fidgety."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK For the June Tony Awards, the team was inspired by Josephine Baker, Diana Ross in Mahogany, the Harlem Renaissance and old Hollywood. "Coree made my hair creamy white with a soft wave, and Terrell made my eyes go whoosh with these feathery bottom lashes," says Erivo. "My face felt flawless and glowy and it was just the best."
Who does Hollywood's highest-earning actress book to maintain her status as a red carpet bombshell? Boyd and Cho, known for imparting what the latter calls "cool girl, French girl, California chic" on clients Jennifer Lawrence and Carey Mulligan. With the press tour for Marriage Story, which bows in November, Boyd says he "would like to explore graphic shapes and vivid colors on the eyes" to parallel the "free-spirited moment makeup is having now."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Boyd calls the tousled hair and glowing skin that the 34-year-old star exhibited at the April Avengers: Endgame premiere in L.A. his "absolute favorite look ever" on Johansson. Cho sculpted her signature waves to play off the silver chainmail Atelier Versace dress. "Effortless actually takes time to create," says Cho with a laugh, adding that "Scarlett looked like the most gorgeous version of herself."
The client roster between the two artists captures the wide range of Hollywood's fashion "It" women: edgy Cara Delevingne (Synnott), gamine Kiernan Shipka and intellectual-cool Rashida Jones (Heath). And they both work with Kidman, 52, a face of Neutrogena since 2017, and star of The Goldfinch and Bombshell (debuting in December). Synnott and Heath credit Kidman's clothing, curated by stylist Julia von Boehm, as inspiration for their looks. For upcoming press tours, Synnott will focus on "fresh, glowy skin" while Heath hopes to demonstrate "a blunt lob look — chic, sleek and modern."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK "Kylee and I wanted to keep the glam look effortless to complement the dress," says Synnott of the Armani Privé that Kidman wore to January's Critics' Choice Awards, where she was nominated for her supporting role in Boy Erased. "We went for a Bardot-inspired look with a '60s eye" and half-up waves, Synnott adds. The look landed Kidman on best-dressed lists and earned nearly half a million likes from the star's 5.3 million Instagram followers.
Together two years, this squad, with Larson, could qualify for most congenial. "That we have fun would be an understatement," says Park. Global press tours allow them "to explore wherever we travel together, experiencing the culture, seeing the sights and eating local foods." They also "have a similar taste in music — early-2000s songs," which feature on a playlist the trio compiled, says Scarlett. Park, a Kiehl's ambassador, attributes the mood at glam time to "so much prep beforehand" with power stylist Samantha McMillen. "Bryce and I mood board a lot, referencing iconic women," says Park of the "light, clean" looks they perfected this year promoting Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Just Mercy, for which Larson, 29, received strong reviews after its Toronto International Film Festival debut. "Nina and I feel as though we are just getting started with Brie," says Scarlett. "We are looking forward to pushing the envelope."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK The dramatic blue Valentino dress that Larson put on for the Captain Marvel London premiere in February dictated an easy, elegant updo and "bare-faced and naturally beautiful" makeup, says Park. This and the subsequent tour appearances established Larson as a red carpet force — the kind that fashion and beauty brands notice. Though she has no deals announced yet, insiders say it's inevitable. Reese Witherspoon's comment on the look on Larson's Instagram sums it up: "Watch out world!!"
The reach of this trio — 100 million Instagram followers for J.Lo, with 2.4 million and nearly 1 million for Appleton and Achemyan, respectively — ensures that their #BTS posts are some of the most viewed on the platform. (Lopez also often enlists longtime hairstylist Lorenzo Martin and makeup pro Scott Barnes.) Says Instagram's Dash: "It's fascinating that when Chris breaks an image about J.Lo's hair, it does go viral. When you work with someone with a following themselves, it amplifies their reach." Appleton, a Color Wow ambassador, says the secret sauce is curation: "People want to see what goes on in glam, but we always have to be respectful of what we show, in a tasteful way." Lopez, 50, is also doing her part: Since 2002, she has launched 29 fragrances, generating nearly $2 billion in sales.
TOP RED CARPET LOOK September's Hustlers premiere at Toronto prompted early Oscar buzz for Lopez as she debuted a fresh shoulder-grazing haircut, something Appleton and the star "had mentioned for months and months and finally did." Achemyan used warm peach shades on the eyes and lips to "play off the undertones and hues" of the yellow mesh and satin Maison Yeya dress, finishing with extra-long faux lashes. "Jennifer knows how she likes to look, which makes my job a lot easier," says Achemyan.
For the past five years, François and Barose (with stylist Micaela Erlanger) have helped Nyong'o, 36, wrangle maximum impact from the red carpet. "I feel very fortunate to have found two artists who are turned on by playfulness and spontaneity as much as I am," says the Us star. "I love not knowing what we might discover next together." Adds François, who also works with Amandla Stenberg and Serena Williams, "We live in the moment and are flexible with the end result." Barose admits he doesn't "work well with actresses that are too married to one idea." (Also on his flexible roster: Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Rachel Weisz.) Says Barose about Nyong'o fronting for both Lancôme and Calvin Klein fragrance: "Having fun and playing different parts not only gets the beauty industry to notice you — producers, directors and studios notice you too. With the red carpet, people get to see your different sides." Expect continued risk-taking as this team gears up for Little Monsters (out November) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (bowing in December). What not to expect: "We usually abandon a look if it's too trendy," says Barose.
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Nyong'o says the trio began "exchanging images and finessing our ideas" weeks before the Metropolitan Museum's camp-themed gala, where she donned Versace. "I wanted to make a conscientious effort to be on theme, and Nick and Vernon knocked it out of Central Park" with gold Afro combs accentuating a Marie Antoinette-esque wig and makeup inspired by drag queen Divine. "Together, we seize the opportunity to make bold statements and moments of art," says the actress.
Already touted as the breakout of this December's Little Women, Pugh — who also co-stars in the upcoming Black Widow — is in line to graduate to red carpet A-lister. The 23-year-old has wasted no time securing top beauty pros Lux and Scintu for when she's at home in the U.K. (Pugh calls on hairstylist David Stanwell and makeup artist Vincent Oquendo, among others, when stateside.) "She doesn't have many reservations," says Lux, who aspires to create a Veruschka-inspired braided topknot and "soft, fluffy" Jerry Hall curls on upcoming red carpets. Scintu, a Clé de Peau ambassador, wishes to execute a "classic Anita Ekberg style" with a "pared back" look that includes "lots of drawn-on freckles." Both artists agree that modern hair balances out retro makeup and vice versa, to ensure "it looks cool and not dated," explains Scintu.
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Pugh earned the Chopard Trophy, awarded to one up-and-coming actor and one actress, after her first appearance at the Cannes Film Festival this year. For the event, Lux sought to "expose her striking face and the shape of her neck," using "a compact topknot with the ends out to add a sculptural element." Scintu achieved a "pop of interest on the eyes," with bright blue Dior eyeliner drawn "in a feline flick."
The trio's big glam moment wasn't designed for the red carpet, but for Robbie's birthday, which fell during Paris couture week in July. "Wigs, lots of glitter, crazy friends — it was a big 29th," says the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood star. "I don't need to have a 30th." Announced as Chanel's fragrance ambassador in May, Robbie thinks of her team of four years as "visionaries." Scarlett, a Moroccanoil ambassador, acknowledges that he's "always dying to push boundaries and try looks that no one else is doing," and Dubroff credits Robbie for allowing "a lot of creative expression." Of the upcoming Bombshell tour, Dubroff divulges only that "the vibe will be quite different than what we will do for Birds of Prey," referring to the star's Harley Quinn feature scheduled for a February release.
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Robbie says the look at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January "kicked off the Lauren Hutton" theme they've been improvising on this year, adding: "There's an effortless quality about her that we are striving for." For Scarlett, that translated to "polished and completely effortless" center-parted hair, while for seasoned pro Dubroff, who has worked with Hutton, the look manifested in layers of gold on the eye and a coppery-peach lip.
Over the three years of working together, Yoshimoto Bua says she "has been adventurous with Saoirse's face," from "a vampy lip to a fresh look," like the one she did for the 2018 Oscars "with the pink Calvin Klein dress. I kept in mind that she might be working with them in the future." Four months later, Ronan, 25, was announced as the face of the label's Women fragrance, a contract she still holds. Chanel artist Yoshimoto Bua says her next goal is to experiment with "some colorful watercolor accents on the eye" or "some glitter — just a simple line" as the team gears up for Little Women. Skervin has produced everything from effortless waves to a textured bun and would like to see "a scraped-back boyish look" as a nod to Ronan's character, Jo March.
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Mimicking the flames on Ronan's Gucci that she wore to the Met Gala, Skervin created voluminous waves "inspired by Debbie Harry — rock 'n' roll, camp fun." To keep the makeup "soft yet dramatic," Yoshimoto Bua used shimmering opal in an exaggerated almond shape around the eyes, finishing with brown liner and mascara.
"I don't normally wear my hair up unless Laura does it — she kills an updo," says the star and executive producer of Apple TV's Dickinson, a modern, comedic take on Emily Dickinson's coming of age that debuts in November. The 22-year-old actress gives an example of relying on her team to nail her signature edgy-meets-elegant aesthetic: "When we did our glam test the night before the Met Gala, we were short a special contact lens that Carolina then scoured all of New York City to find," says Steinfeld. "She makes it happen!" For the Dickinson promotional tour, "We'll amp it up," promises Polko. Gonzalez is gearing up to try "a modern-day Liz Taylor" on Steinfeld: "She has the perfect face to pull it off."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Steinfeld showcased all-cherry hues at the MTV Video Music Awards in an Aadnevik gown, matte nails courtesy of pro Tom Bachik, and a power pout. Gonzalez, sponsored by YSL, created "an iconic red lip" by layering the brand's Mystery Red and Red Enigma lip colors. Polko used T3 and Pai-Shau tools to style long, loose waves, resulting in nearly 1 million likes on Steinfeld's Instagram.
Since her Hollywood debut in the late 1990s, Theron, 44, has enlisted the top names in the glam game — makeup artists Lee and Sabrina Bedrani, hairstylists Abergel and Renato Campora and stylist Leslie Fremar among them — who have helped establish the Bombshell star as a carpet exemplar. In 2004, Dior signed her to a three-year contract for a reported $3 million to $5 million per annum; the partnership has continued for 15 years, one of the longest-running in the industry. Theron's hair of late has encompassed more drama. Abergel orchestrated a striking dark color that debuted at the Oscars, a faux mini-bang in May at the Long Shot premiere and a "wheaty-blonde" bowl cut this month for Fast & Furious 9. "He will give me ideas sometimes and I'm like, 'There is no way in hell that will work on me,' but I just trust him and it always ends up working," says Theron. "Do I love when he traps me in a salon chair for 12 hours to complete his vision? No, but the end result is always worth it!" As for makeup, other than enhancing the eyes, says Bedrani, "I keep her face from being too pale by adding color to her cheeks" or "a bright lip."
TOP RED CARPET LOOK For the U.K. Long Shot premiere in April, Theron called on Abergel and, for the first time, Kay Montano (Julianne Moore and Thandie Newton are clients). Montano chose Marc Jacobs Lip Crayon in Flaming-Oh to coordinate with the fuchsia skirt of her Givenchy gown. In response to unpredictable London weather, Abergel pulled a sleek ponytail, using anti-frizz cream and a hair mask. Says Montana, "Luckily it wasn't raining."
The 23-year-old star-producer's profile (and bankability) continues to grow with the announcement of a Lancôme contract in February, a second fashion collection with Tommy Hilfiger and well-reviewed turns in Spider Man: Far From Home and HBO's Euphoria. With her confident delivery of stellar red carpet looks and a following that numbers 61.8 million on Instagram, Zendaya "has netted Lancôme over 3 billion digital impressions, at an earned media value of over $86 billion," says Stacy Jones, CEO of marketing agency Hollywood Branded. Her feed has even featured the occasional updo, which the actress used "to be against," says Stephen. "I always heard her say, 'My edges look so thin.' I said, 'You haven't had my ponytail.'"
TOP RED CARPET LOOK Channeling Cinderella — or Zenderella, as Daley called it — for a camp-themed Met Gala look exemplified the actress' "transition from childhood life to her adulthood." Zendaya's stylist Law Roach masterminded the princess-blue Tommy Hilfiger gown, which lit up as Zendaya arrived on the red carpet. Says Daley, "Law wanted to embody the whole look from the movie, from the dress to the hair to the makeup," which included blue shades from Lancôme's Teal Fury shadow palette. For her Instagram fans, Zendaya, a former child star who became famous for her roles on Disney Channel's Shake It Up and K.C. Undercover, acknowledged the symbolism: "A fairy-tale ending to my Disney days."
This story first appeared in the Sept. 25 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.