The much-anticipated "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" drops on Friday, and Netflix's update of the comic book (and the '90s/early-aughts TV series) starring a beloved teenage half-witch, half-human heroine is a much darker look for a new generation — as expected from the same creators as "Riverdale."
Similar to its sister city on The CW, Sabrina Spellman's hometown of Greendale — where "it always feels like Halloween" — aesthetically nods toward the '60s, from the sets to the costumes to hair and makeup. So much so, in fact, that homebound cousin Ambrose (Chance Perdomo) tapping away on a skate sticker-covered laptop at one point and boyfriend Harvey answering his iPhone (connecting with Sabrina's landline call) almost feel anachronistic.
"We take the best of different decades and create this timeless look," says Candice Stafford-Bridge, the head of the show's makeup department, about the on-screen visual style.
The release also comes just in time for Halloween, in case you're in the market for a last-minute-but-timely pop culture costume. Repurpose a vintage '60s-era red wool coat for Sabrina, or cop a trio of Peter Pan lace-collar mini-dresses (and recruit two friends) to terrify everyone at the party.
Of course, you'll also need to coordinate the appropriate hair and beauty looks, so Fashionista went straight to the experts: Stafford-Bridge and Lisa Leonard, head of the hair department, who jumped on the phone with Fashionista from Vancouver, where they're hard at work on season two. Read on for all the spoiler-free how-tos behind the signature hair and beauty looks from "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina," which we assure you will look appropriate long after the spooky Halloween decorations are put back in storage.
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Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka)
While time is a flat circle in Greendale (when it comes to style trends anyway), the season is perpetually fall. So Stafford-Bridge wanted to give Sabrina, played by Kiernan Shipka, a natural, fresh looking "rosy glow" — as if "we've all just been outside, sitting around the campfire or been apple picking" she says.
To blend with Shipka's fair complexion and the warm, sepia tones of the show overall, Stafford-Bridge relied on a deep "orange-y red" cream blush: MAC Cream Colour Base in Rich Coral. Depending on what a scene entails or how ominous the lighting dims, she may dust on MAC Powder Blush in Desert Rose at varying different levels. "Her eyebrows and her lashes are all natural," says Stafford-Bridge. "So she does a lot of the work for me just by showing up."
In some instances, Sabrina's darker (read: magical) side appears, along with a lip color to match the mood or spell. For those witchier moments, Shipka wears the highly-pigmented Christian Louboutin Very Prive Velvet Matte carefully applied with Kevyn Aucoin The Flesh Tone Lip Pencil in Bloodroses. "Which is just a great name for that look," Stafford-Bridge says. But the dark berry stain colors aren't always conducive to multiple takes of intense mouth-to-mouth scenes, as Shipka revealed on Instagram. "If people kiss, we try to keep it closer to the nude aisle," laughs Stafford-Bridge.
Leonard looked mostly to the "Sabrina" graphic novel series for inspiration surrounding Shipka's "chopped bob," which was lightly layered for movement. The iconic black ribbon headband, which she wears for most scenes — aside from sleeping and dream sequences — was made by the costume department. To keep Sabrina's chopped bob in place without stiffness, Leonard looked to Matrix Biolage Styling Thermal Active Spray. "It's not crunchy, but it just really protects the hair," she says. Like a spell? (Sorry, we had to.)
Sabrina's signature style undergoes a drastic change at a pivotal point, but Leonard consistently sprayed Shipka's hair with Olaplex Hair Perfector No. 3 to protect and strengthen from all the styling.
The Weird Sisters: Prudence (Tati Gabrielle), Agatha (Adeline Rudolph) and Dorcas (Abigail F. Cowan)
No disrespect to Sabrina, but the Weird Sisters — aka the Mean Girls of the Academy of the Unseen Arts — really do have the best hair and makeup game in all of Greendale. Especially since they're always coordinated like an evil girl group or dark magic Plastics, who can literally curse you for life. Prudence is clearly the Regina George in this scenario.
"We kind of broke the rules. Instead of sticking to any one era, we just went over the top," Stafford-Bridge says about the the sisters' matching smoky, metallic-inflected eyes and dark lips. The diverse trio's blackberry lip shades differ to ultimately create their signature matching palette. Prudence wears a combo of Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in Squid Ink, a deep navy, and MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Bespoken For. Agatha bewitches in Bite Beauty Amuse Bouche Lipstick in and Lip Liner in Black Violet complement. Dorcas's lips in Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Glastonberry and MAC Lip Pencil in Currant perfectly complement her Cheryl Blossom-y red hair.
"We do gray lips, green lips, blue lips and the girls love it," Stafford-Bridge says about getting creative with the sisters' dark shades as the episodes progress. She also "used all of the lashes in the lash drawer" (a mix of Ardell Individual Lashes and i•Envy Trios) and amplified with multiple layers of Dior Diorshow Mascara.
The three do have their own individual timeless hairstyles inspired by a spectrum of old Hollywood movies. To style Prudence's eternally glam finger waves, Leonard works in a setting lotion as she squeezes sections of hair into an "S," in alternating patterns, working from one side of the head to the other. "It's all [done] by hand," she says, about the heat tool free technique.
Agatha's double braids and Dorcas's milkmaid styles are straightforward in terms of the plaiting. But to keep the looks smooth, flyaway-free and in place throughout long hours of filming (and intense dark magic moments), Leonard first works in DevaCurl Styline Cream Touchable Curl Definer, creates the "braid-y" styles and then sets it all with Oribe Superfine Hairspray.
Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto)
Sabrina's domineering and never-not put-together Aunt Zelda (Miranda Otto) is clearly inspired by the Golden Age of Hollywood, with her '40s furs and nipped waist skirt suits, impeccable jewelry including that cigarette holder as an accessory, screen siren waves and coral lips. For her perfect brows, Stafford-Bridge looks to Anastasia Beverly Hills and just a touch of powder and foundation for filming since Otto is blessed with skin "just like butter — it's flawless."
Zelda's signature matte rose-pink comes from Charlotte Tilbury Hot Lips in Secret Salma lined with Lip Cheat in Iconic Nude. But for more devilish occasions, like her niece's dark baptism, Charlotte Tilbury Matte Revolution in Love Liberty, matched the mood with a deep pink berry. "We just adjust the lip color, depending on how we feel and the mood of the episode," Stafford-Bridge says.
For Aunt Zelda's "smoky, sultry" looser version of Veronica Lake waves, Leonard uses an '80s go-to tool: hot rollers. But first she sprays on Matrix Biolage Styling Thermal Active Spray to protect and set.
Aunt Hilda (Lucy Davis)
The good cop to Zelda's disciplinarian — well mostly, heh — Hilda is the fun aunt, for sure. Her beauty and hair aesthetic comes from a wealth of just as spirited and lively sources. "Young Goldie Hawn," says Stafford-Bridge. The actress in the late '60s/early '70s sketch comedy show "Laugh In" was the inspiration for Hilda's "piled on" Makeup Forever Artist Color High Impact Eye Shadow in Matte Baby Blue and glossy bubble gum lips lined with Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat in Pink Venus.
Leonard immediately went with two other TV icons of the late '60s and early '70s: Elizabeth Montgomery from "Bewitched" and Marlo Thomas from "That Girl" for the tousled flip. "They were both so cute, playful and sweet and that's how Hilda is," she explains. But the overall hairstyles are created by a bit of conjuring on Leonard's part. The retro flips and waves are actually wigs hiding Davis's "long, long, long" hair.
Top and homepage photo: Courtesy of Netflix