An ornate hair pin that doubles as a shiv. A spritz of poisonous perfume that suffocates your enemies (and maybe your lover). On Killing Eve, beauty isn't just cosmetic — it's used as a weapon. And it's something that makes the show's hair and makeup designer, Lucy Cain, excited to come to set every day.
Cain, who primarily works with stars Jodie Comer (Villanelle) and Sandra Oh (Eve Polastri), says there is even more to the show's hidden beauty messages than meets the eye. Ahead of Killing Eve's season 2 premiere on April 7, we asked Cain all our burning questions — from the hidden meaning of Jodie Comer's pink hair to what really gives her that killer glow.
The Secret Behind Sandra's Curls
"I would say that with Sandra, I really wanted to play on the feeling that she’s just rushed out the door. When we’re establishing her character, she’s in a comfortable marriage, just pulling through life. Then, when she starts to notice her appearance or consider what she was doing with her hair, it helped show a development of the relationship she was building with Villanelle. If she’s unraveling a little bit, perhaps her hair isn’t as neat. When she’s frustrated, she'll take her hair down and rub her head. It’s a real character mark for her.
"I don’t really want it to look 'done.' I wet it and put some of the products in, and she puts her head upside down to diffuse it for however long it takes to get that shape. She uses Aromatherapy Associates shampoo and conditioner, and then I put in SachaJuan Leave-in Conditioner and Shu Uemera Wonderworker Blow Dry Primer. Then, there’s this one product she loves that's discontinued, but I managed to find four of them: Kerastase Nutritive Oléo-curl. We call it 'Precious.' Finally, I'll put in Oribe Curl By Definition Crème."
If Looks Could Kill
"When you see her in a wig, like the pink wig in episode 6, it’s a flag to the audience that she’s about to commit a murder. It always help build the, Oh, here we go feeling on the show. The pink wig came from seeing people with that washed-out hair look on Instagram. Two or three days before we started filming, that was an ashy blonde wig and then we decided to change it to pink. It was really difficult to get the color. I spent 16 hours lifting the original blonde color and doing tests and putting different colors on. I had to go through it inch by inch.
"With Villanelle, she's quite childlike. So the makeup is a bit more uniform for her, unless she is playing a character, meaning that she's about to commit a murder. Then we fill in her eyebrows a bit darker, throw on a smudged eyeliner, and maybe even play with a lip. She takes great care of her skin, and used Crème de la Mer face cream this season. For makeup, we were using a Murad primer and Crème de la Mer foundation in Linen, which Jodie really liked. She uses a little bit of the Glossier mascara and Bobbi Brown eyebrow pencil in Mahogany, By Terry Expert concealer just a bit under her eyes, Becca cream blusher in Watermelon, and then a Bobbi Brown lip liner in neutral."
Pinning Villanelle Down
"We talked a lot about the hairpin — a lot. It was a beautiful hair pin, but the reality is that it had ridges on it, so it was actually really hard to get in her hair. We had one made where it was just the top, so that we could push that in and you’d think the whole thing was in the bun. She had to twist it up and push it in, and then we’d just be like, 'Please stay in.' I'd love to never think of that process again."
This story has been updated.