FaceTime and Forced Creativity: Behind the Scenes at Our Fall Cover Shoot With Kristen Bell

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FaceTime and Forced Creativity: Behind the Scenes at Our Fall Cover Shoot With Kristen Bell featured image
Photography by John Russo

In line with Kristen’s current state of “forced creativity,” we had to think a bit outside-the-box with how we shot this cover and inside feature. For starters, the COVID-tested skeleton crew (hair, makeup and an assistant) were the only ones physically present on-location in Los Angeles, as photographer John Russo cued up for the FaceTime-powered “camera click” from his remote location in Montana.

The luck of a solid Wi-Fi connection, two trusty iPads, great lighting, a close friend’s apartment, and a lot of preparation made for a successful shoot—even across 1,000-plus miles and a few states.

“I’ve tried everything, but the night before the shoot, Dax and I did our masks and—in addition to our faces—I found a foot mask. I’ve never done a foot mask before. They were these little plastic slippers I popped on and I think they worked. There’s a mask for everything!”—Kristen Bell

“I’ve been working with Simone for years. She taught me how to open my eyes,” Kristen says. “I have really tiny, deep-set eyes, and makeup can make or break them. It can accentuate them one way or the other. If you’re not doing it in a specific way with shading, they will look even more deep-set.Simone taught me how to open up my eyes and wear makeup that actually makes me look awake. I’m very grateful for that.”

“I create a new ‘COVID kit’ for each of my clients, so they all have their own products that are sanitized!”—Makeup artist Simone Siegl

“For the first few years, I couldn’t figure out what my glam squad was doing and how they did it. I was so frustrated with the fact that I loved them and their work, but I simply could not replicate it. As soon as my hairstylist Jenny [Cho] taught me how to use a curling iron correctly, I stopped looking like Shirley Temple. She does this technique where the curling iron goes horizontal across your head, and she’ll roll it down, and then open it up. Then, she’ll go under the hair and she’ll roll it out again. There’s no hard edges. It makes these wonderful waves that look much more modern.”

To get the “undone wave” cover look, Cho used Davines Liquid Spell for volume, and layered a few drops of R+Co Sun Catcher mid-shaft through the ends pre-dryer. Then, she sprayed Oribe Superfine Hair Spray on each section before creating the “bend,” and finished with Sam McKnight Cool Girl Texture Mist to add body and texture.

Stylist Nicole Chavez is the same size as Kristen, so during the pandemic, she’s done all of the fitting and styling on herself. “Luckily, Kristen and I are the same height and have similar proportions. We have worked together for so long that I know what will fit her and what she will like. I am now a fit model and a stylist! It’s actually super efficient and I don’t think Kristen misses all the fittings!”

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