Beauty Makeup

Get the Look! Mad Men Makeup


In this short interview by Beauty Press, Lana Horochowski, the Lead Makeup Artist on AMC’s hit TV show, Mad Men, tells us a bit about what it’s like creating vintage beauty looks on the show. Eluxe’s Makeup Consultant Cara Silverman then tells us how to get the Mad Men Makeup look, but organically, of course. 


BP: What kind of research did you do to get inspired to create 1960’s looks?

LH: We ordered so many fashion and vintage magazines. Like when we had to prepare looks from 1968 I ordered the entire year of 1968 Vogue magazines. I would observe the cosmetic advertisements in the magazines those are the most telling of how women were wearing makeup at that time.

BP: Where does Peggy’s cosmetic transformation come from?

LH: Peggy comes from a religious family, she moved up in a man’s world really quickly. Peggy never learned how to put makeup on so she’s learning, that’s why her makeup always looks a bit off. Like when I saw an advertisement from the time era for this makeup palette with various different colours I thought Peggy would totally use all of these colours at once trying to look the best she can.


BP: How long does it take to apply the makeup on set before shooting? 

LH: For the girls, they’re usually done in an hour and a half to two hours. The guys are fast, 45 minutes and they are ready.

BP: What’s your favourite look from the 1950’s?

LH: There’s nothing more perfect than a matte red lip with a full brow. So clean, simple, and timeless.

BP: Can you explain what goes behind Pete’s receding hairline?

LH: Pete gets shaved every day, sometimes a couple times a day. Then we paint out the shadow that is still left on the head. His head gets shaved with an actual blade to get a really close shave. Whenever it’s time to shave Pete’s head we yell “SHAVING!” and everyone just clenches tight until we’re done. It takes around 40 minutes to get Pete’s shaved head perfect.


Get the Look: To achieve a bold, natural red lip, Cara Silverman recommends Tarte’s Natural Lip Stain with LipSurgence™ Technology, which is a natural lip stain that is clinically proven to increase lips’ moisture content dramatically. You can choose from Matte (which is a solid, classic pigment), Natural (which goes on like a cream lipstick with minimal shine), Lustre (which is glittery and sparkly) and True Blood (which is a very sheer, shiny but non glittery red). Cara recommends the Lust or True Blood for a soft red that will give your skin a pop without being too intense or dramatic.

For the flawless, naturally pale skin that was popular at the time, you will need a good foundation. Cara recommends KORRES’s Wild Rose Mineral Foundation to have a natural, fresh glow all day and night long. This 100% natural brightening mineral foundation is a talc-free, loose powder contains brightening Wild Rose extract. Its texture allows skin to breathe, and its healing formula helps to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles while repairing uneven skin tone.

A true, late 50’s look needs a nice, strong brow, and to define the arch and darken brows a bit, Cara recommends using Tarte’s EmphasEYES™ For Brows; High Definition Eyebrow Pencil. This waterproof pencil is a super-slim brow pencil that glides on smoothly and will last all day thanks to a patented plant-wax system infused with natural botanicals, aloe, vitamins A and E, and mineral pigments. Unlike thick wooden pencils that tug and look unnatural, this awesome pencil is four times smaller, so it perfectly mimics actual brow hair for a more natural effect. This dual-ended pencil also features a precision brush to help groom and tame unruly hairs into place.


Of course, thick false eyelashes were a mainstay in the late 60s, as shown by Mad Men’s Megan, but you can just about achieve the look through makeup with Tarte’s Lights, Camera, Flashes™ Statement Mascara, which features a dual-moulded brush for an instant increase in lash volume of up to 700%. This is an amped up, ultra black mascara that lengthens, curls and magnifies lashes for an intensified look, while instantly increasing lash volume. Powered by Tarte’s proprietary triple black complex, this long-wearing, vitamin-infused formula emphasises length and volume while conditioning lashes for a dramatic look that won’t dry out, flake, or budge. The custom-engineered, dual-moulded brush boosts even the skinniest lashes for an exaggerated, voluminous look.


Finally, to mimic the Mad Men cast’s very coiffed hairstyles, a good hairspray is needed, but finding an eco-friendly, high-quality spray can be a challenge. Cara strongly recommends ALTERNA’s Bamboo Smooth Anti-Humidity Hairspray. This is made with sustainable ingredients that are ethically traded, eco-certified, fair-trade compliant, and certified organic. The product does not contain sodium chloride, gluten, TEA, or phthalates. It’s a weightless, ultra-dry, humidity-resistant hairspray that combines strengthening pure Organic Bamboo Extract and smoothing Organic Kendi Oil.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Brooke Vlasich
    Jan 24, 2015 at 9:56 pm

    Not only is it great to learn about natural and Eco-friendly beauty products, but it is also great to learn about the intricate process and details concerning make-up. People think hair and make-up for TV, film or similar media is easy, but there is a lot of research and thought behind the final result.

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