All The Beauty Secrets Behind Pretty Little Liars' 5-Year Time Jump

After a purgatory of six years spent in high school, the Pretty Little Liars are jumping forward five years into the present — only to return to Rosewood, run into their old high school love interests (Haleb4ever), and presumably confront a new Big Bad. Since Aria, Hanna, Spencer, Alison, and Emily are now on the #girlboss track (well, the first four at least — poor, poor Emily), they’ve matured and transitioned to more polished hair and beauty looks.

Gone are the days of voluminous sausage curls, not-appropriate-for-a-school-day smoky eyes and shimmery, glossed lips. “They’re older and we want them to look more mature,” explained department head of hair Kim Ferry. “They've all come down [with hair and makeup]. It’s less about their looks and more about their careers and what direction they’ve moved onto.”

And the actresses playing the Liars were all on the same page. “They wanted less of everything,” said makeup department head Cindy Miguens, who was also inspired by her own experiences paring down her beauty closet after graduating high school. Well, except for one Kardashian-approved makeup tactic. “They just love contour,” she added. “The more contoured they are, they’re happy girls.”

As season 6 finishes out with the time jump, the show will enter its final season next year. Or will it? “I’m going to say it — there’s a really strong possibility there could be as season eight,” said Ferry. “That could be great.” Oh yes, it could.

Click through to see the Liars’ new hair and beauty looks, five years forward.
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Photo: Courtesy of Adam Taylor/ABC Family.
Spencer Hastings (Troian Bellisario)
Possibly the biggest bombshell of the time jump was teased in the midseason finale: Spencer has bangs! After graduating from Georgetown and starting work for a lobbyist in Washington, D.C., a major change was in order for the youngest Hastings. (Although moving back into older sis and accidental murderer Melissa’s old digs in the Hastings barn seems like a bit of a step backwards, but whatever.)

“She was really open to it,” said Ferry about Bellisario’s reaction to the new look. Although — SPOILER — the fringe is a bit of a cheat. They’re clip-in, custom-made pieces by Hollywood wig maker Natascha Ladek. “Troian can wear [the bang clip-in] for the show and she could pop them out and be herself again,” she said.

For the aspiring D.C. power broker’s makeup, Miguens was inspired by a mix of the ‘40s-throwback noir episode from season four and the classic Audrey Hepburn cat-eye. She used a Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Damsel to draw the winged line between the crease and waterline. “It’s a bit thinner and not so pronounced,” Miguens said.

She also deepened and defined Spencer’s eyebrows with Anastasia products and went for a darker lip than seasons past with Burt’s Bees Tinted Balm in Hibiscus and Red Dahlia or Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, depending on the scene. “That just goes more with who her character is and who Troian is, as well,” Miguens added.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ron Tom/ABC Family.
Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale)
Writer/photographer Aria is making her way in the publishing industry and dating a guy other than Fitz, who seems to have joined Fight Club in her absence — although her gig does reunite her with her a former teacher-slash-ex-boyfriend. “She is definitely having fun in her life and enjoying her new romance. Her makeup is a reflection,” said Miguens. “She has this confidence about her that I haven’t seen in the past years of Pretty Little Liars as much.”

So less smoky eye and more softer shades of lavender, light greens, and soft browns on her eyes. Due to Hale’s role as brand ambassador of Avon’s Mark cosmetics, Miguens had an arsenal of Mark products at her disposal, including Hale’s favored Juice Gems High Shine Lip Gloss in Plum Crazy. Miguens also used the soft pink AJ Crimson lipstick in Pillow Talk on Hale.

While the colors were muted, the contouring was amped up, courtesy of an It Cosmetics Contour Kit. The trick: highlighting the bridge of the nose and top of the cheekbones.“[Her look] is a lot more toned down, because Aria was always the one who was very glamorous,” Hale said at a Mark event in October. “You’re going through turmoil, but you’ve got lashes on. What are you doing? But it’s a lot more natural, which I like.”

Post-grad Aria is sticking with her textured bob, but with minimal tweaks. “It’s a little bit sharper and shorter and it was the shortest she’s ever been,” said Ferry. “That was something she really wanted to do on her own, because she wanted to change from the long, really wavy hair.”

Ferry first preps and heat protects Hale’s hair with Aquage Body Sealing Spray before going in with a GHD flat iron. “That’s something that Lucy turned me onto, I like it,” said Ferry. The trick to sleek, but tousled, waves: flat-ironing all the hair, but then adding texture on the top layer by slightly bending sections with a curling iron in alternating directions. “Just put a little wave on top, so it looks softer and sexier and it's not as little girly,” said Ferry.

“I can’t even remember having long hair now,” said Hale.
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Photo: Courtesy of Adam Taylor/ABC Family.
Hanna Marin (Ashley Benson)
Remember that time Hanna was prepping for an interview with “the hottest designer in Philly?” Oh, how times have changed. Now, she’s assisting Zac Posen in New York City — so obviously, she needs to look the part.

Ferry and Benson — who apparently has a wealth of useful information stored on her iPhone — jointly brainstormed for Hanna’s new, longer ‘do. “We pulled a lot of images,” Ferry said. “She was pulling up images as well on her phone. We were looking at a lot of women in New York — how their hair is straighter, smoother, they might throw their hair up in a bun or it’s kind of messy and tucked under a scarf — and that’s kind of the look we were going for.” So extensions were added to Benson’s hair, which is also straighter, smoother, and less “beach wavy” than seasons past.

Ferry tries to avoid stiff, crunchy hairspray on the Liars at all costs, but will use the Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray. “It really gives you that little bit of a hold, but still allows you to move,” said Ferry, you know, in case you’re chasing after or running from A 2.0.

Hanna’s dropping her signature smoky eye after the time jump in exchange for softer, sultrier tones. “She’s kind of like the Lana Turner of the flash forward,” said Miguens. “She’s a more bronze-y, lighter version of her old self, basically.” The makeup artist used lighter shimmery colors on the eyes with Viseart Eye Shadow Palette in Paris Nude. “I put the lighter shimmer on her lid and a bronze on the crease,” Miguens explained.

Like a true fashion girl, Hanna is also referencing the ‘90s this season. “We use a lot of nudes and browns on her,” said Miguens. “That’s the thing this season: nudes and browns. Everyone wants dark brown.” Her favorite nude lip pencil: Sigma Lip Base in Go Dutch. “Everything about Hanna this season is sophisticated and classy,” she added. “It shows throughout the whole entire look. It’s just on point.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Ron Tom/ABC Family.
Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell)
While the rest of her squad has grown and changed for the better, poor Emily is stuck in a rut. “She’s had the hardest time,” explained Ferry. “She’s the most tormented by things that have gone on in her life. She’s gone through a lot and her father’s passed away. She wouldn’t be changing and worrying about her hair.” Plus, actress and social media superstar Shay Mitchell “loves her hair how it is.” So that works out.

But she still goes through the same amount of damaging heat styling and moisture-sapping time under lights on the show. So Ferry sends Mitchell and the girls all home with Chi Argan Oil Plus Moringa Oil shampoo, conditioner, and rejuvenating masks.

At first, Miguens wanted to explore the darker side of Emily’s point in life. “We wanted to do a lot more with tattoos and things, but we stayed on the safer route,” the makeup artist said. So no tats, but still lots of signature Shay Mitchell-contour. “Shay is all about contour,” said Miguens. Jouer Mineral Powder Bronzer in Sunshine on Emily’s cheeks added to her bartending-in-SoCal vibe.

And in Shay-Mitchell-is-naturally-blessed news: Emily doesn’t really ever wear lipstick. “Shay’s lips are always herself,” Miguens said. “Honestly, we just apply just a honey lip balm. She’s got these beautiful lips that are a natural ombré with natural shading. That’s it. It's crazy.”
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Photo: Courtesy of Adam Taylor/ABC Family.
Alison DiLaurentis (Sasha Pieterse)
Resurrected and reformed mean girl Ali DiLaurentis is now a teacher at Rosewood High, where A — or Charlie/CeCe/Charlotte — delighted in tormenting her friends. “She was always the teacher, in my mind, and the leader of the bunch,” said Miguens.

She went with a noir-inspired classic look for Alison, complete with a cat-eye liner complemented with softer, shimmery hues from the Stila In the Light Eyeshadow Palette. “She’s still a vixen and a little minx,” the makeup artist added, so she went with a sassier bright pink on the lips with MAC Patentpolish Lip Pencil in Spontaneous.

Like Hanna, Alison goes longer via extensions for the time jump forward. Ferry had fun styling Pieterse’s longer locks and experimenting with braids and other styles on her. “It was a blast,” she said.

Ferry also shared a little trick she used on Pieterse and the girls during filming. To smooth and tame wayward baby hairs and flyaways — which make distracting guest appearances on brightly backlit television sets — she’ll run a small toothbrush over the top of a Tancho stick and lightly brush the wax at the part. Pro tip for us non-Liars to use, especially during these staticky, wintry months.
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Photo: Courtesy of Ron Tom/ABC Family.
Final burning, but non-spoiler, hair-related question: Will Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) ever grow his oh-so-pretty long locks back? “Probably,” Ferry teased. “I just saw him and I didn't take that much hair off.”
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