It feels as though Don’t Worry Darling has been trending in pop culture for over a year, but the film is just now finally out in theaters. Days after the drama leading up to the Venice Film Festival, I was able to catch an early press preview of the movie and let me just say it’s terrific. However, I wasn’t there to fawn over Florence Pugh’s acting chops, Harry Styles’ charm or Olivia Wilde’s one-liners, I was there to take in the brilliant work of Heba Thorisdottir, the makeup department lead for Don’t Worry Darling. Getting to chat with the woman behind Pugh’s “naturally sexy” look and Styles’ old-school glamour was a treat. You’ve been warned: Spoilers ahead.
Can you share any makeup or skin-care products you used on Harry for Don’t Worry Darling?
“On Harry, it was a lot of covering tattoos with an airbrush foundation. I hired a makeup artist who does straight makeup as well as special effects makeup. I knew she was super fast with covering tattoos. It was like a low-budget film, and we had certain shooting dates, and I knew we couldn’t keep the actors in a chair for a long time, so we airbrushed him. When he’s just coming home from work, and he takes his jacket off, he’s wearing a white shirt, and we saw the tattoos through with the studio light, so regardless of whether he had clothes on or not if he’s wearing a white shirt, we always had to cover all those tattoos from the waist up. It took like 45 minutes.
I think she used the Armani foundation ($69) on his face to kind of perfect him and just give him sort of a flawless look. I think she used Monastery Skincare Attar ($168) for him, and we used ARCONA Triad Pads ($38). They’re great for the morning because even when they have skin care on it’s often four in the morning, they’re blotchy, they slept with foundation over it and there’s no moisturizer on. So I always start the morning with that. I just wipe their face and moisturize them. The Attar balm is really lovely, and we can use that if there are any kind of cuts. Guys often cut themselves, especially shaving at that hour. We use it on their lips and the women as well.”
What about Florence?
“I used a lot of the Kosas Lip Balms ($18) when she was out in the desert, and it was super drying there. We used some of the Epicuren moisturizers, which were super dewy. Underneath everything, I used tons of sunscreen, of course. At the end of the night, I used the Cleansing Jelly from Organic Pharmacy ($75). It has an interesting texture, and it removes all the makeup and dirt from the desert as well, so it was just one step. I like to get them out in the evenings. I don’t want to linger, so we would just throw that on and give them a hot towel. Flo, I know, particularly uses the Vitamin C Moisturizer from Kat Burki ($75), so we used it after her desert ventures.”
You were able to perfectly evoke the era they’re going for in the simulation, the 1950s, so perfectly. What were some techniques you used?
“By the time I got into craft Arianne [Phillips] and Olivia had been working together for about a year, so they pretty much put together the mood boards, which we took the inspiration from. Costume designers are always there months ahead of us, so the first thing I usually do is go and visit them and see if they’ve made the costumes or what their inspiration is or fitting photos. So that’s kind of where I take my inspiration from. In this instance with Flo, for example, she was more Brigitte Bardot ’60s inspired, whereas everybody else was more Stepford wife-inspired, which was more like the late ’50s.
It totally makes sense when you watch the movie. When Alice is in the real world, she’s a surgeon, she’s independent, probably doesn’t want kids, she’s working on her career and she’s happy where she’s at with it. Whereas some of the other wives chose to be there, so it kind of makes sense that they would go back to the ’50s.
Growing up in Iceland, we always looked at America with the little house and the white picket fence, which was very ’50s well-to-do America, middle-class America. So it totally makes sense when you see the film that that’s where that stems from. They were the perfect background for Alice as she started to unravel. They were so picture perfect, and she started to unravel pretty fast into kind of a no makeup look. They’re such great bookends for her.”
How did you differentiate Florence’s character’s look from the other housewives, especially Olivia’s?
“That came a lot from Arianne with the wardrobe and us following that, and Olivia’s vibrant red hair. I don’t know if it was Arianne or Olivia who had first mentioned red hair for her. The hairdresser really took her to the next step to make it really vibrant, so it just instantly created such a contrast, and she’s the one who chose to be there. Her eyeliner is always perfect, and she’s just the picturesque housewife of Victory.
Flo was more in muted tones. She was in kind of beiges and coral and warm tones. We kept her purposely warmer than the other wives, who have kind of cooler tones and always wore red lips. When she starts trying to get herself together before dinner when Frank comes over, she really goes out of her way to be that housewife, so then we got to do a red lip, and she’s wearing that white constructed dress that really contrasts with her makeup. So she became kind of more like them for that night.”
Did you do anything special to show that Florence’s character was shifting into stepping away from the norm as the film went on?
“Yeah, definitely. I changed foundations depending on where she was in her unraveling. We started off with Armani Luminous Silk Concealer ($38) and foundation. Her morning look she’s not supposed to be wearing makeup, unlike the other wives that look picture perfect right when they wake up in the morning and walk their husbands out. She was just naturally sexy.
I tanned her up a little bit to show when she has foundation on or not, which is always a hard thing to do in a movie when you purposely want to show that they’re putting makeup on versus just them having a tiny bit of makeup on. You’re always kind of walking that line. You know, is it like she has foundation on for a natural look and you’re not supposed to see she has foundation on versus when she’s putting it on on purpose. I used Hourglass Foundation ($58) on her.
There were a couple of times when I wanted to have a little bit more coverage, and I would use the Armani foundation, and I would mix a couple of drops of the Saint Jane Serum ($125) with it just to soften it up a little bit, so she didn’t look as made up but still had the coverage. For her natural real-world look, we used the Hourglass foundation that was more matte but kind of shows the no makeup to differentiate the worlds.”
I was really impressed with the stark contrast between the real world and the simulation world. How did you create that? I feel like Harry looked especially different.
“There was nothing in the script or anything [about the look], so basically we just had to come up with something. I was talking to Olivia, and she was throwing out some things. We were talking about a scar, and she said, ‘maybe he can just have some pimples,’ and I was like acne scars. I know people with acne scars, and you get so self-conscious about it, and when it’s like pockmarks you can’t really cover it, especially as a man, you’re just kind of stuck with it. So we felt like it wasn’t too distracting, and at the same time, it was enough that you get that he’s that insecure man.
Then we kind of went out of our way with the dream world to have him look more perfect. We had a little bit more foundation on him than we normally would. I don’t know if you can make a more perfect man, he’s like the most perfect, but we tried to improve it a little bit.”