Image: ©2016/Dana Edelson/NBC
Politics is a serious and often anxiety-inducing business, which is why we always welcome the opportunity for a more lighthearted take on current affairs. One of the most longstanding traditions that we have come to look forward to during election years are SNL presidential skits that always end up filling us up with laughter and awe—especially when it comes to how spectacularly the actors can get into character, style and makeup included.
In a new video, the hair and makeup team behind SNL lets us in on a few secrets how they transform comedians Kate McKinnon and Alec Bladwin into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, respectively. Included in the beauty routine? Prosthetics, custom eyebrows and wigs that take more than 50 hours to create.
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To turn Alec Baldwin into a convincing Trump, the hair and makeup team added on “crazy huge eyebrows with over-the-top, huge arches,” a lot of “bright orange” paint and under-eye highlighter.
For previous Clinton characters played by Amy Poehler and Vanessa Bayer, prosthetics were used to get the character’s nose shape just right. But for Kate McKinnon’s Clinton, the key was getting the wig sized proportionally for McKinnon’s petite frame. The rest of McKinnon’s getup is actually relatively simple and mostly focused on shaping her eyebrows and matching her lipstick colors. The surprising reason for such a light makeup routine? The overall look has to be able to be dismantled in less than two minutes for McKinnon’s next skit.
Watch the full video below:
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