As soon as Glow, the '80s-rewind original series dropped on Netflix, it was celebrated as a love letter to feminism, with episodes that tackled real world issues along with a generous side of Aqua Net and blue glitter.
This month, the premiere of the follow-up season had us asking so many questions: Would the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling bring fresh, binge-able drama? Would their stage makeup get even wilder? Could the perms possibly be bigger, higher, and curlier than before?
Desperate for answers, we sat down with the show's glam team, lead hairstylist Theraesa Rivers and makeup pro Lana Horochowski (who previously worked together on Mad Men), to find out how they fought the sophomore slump and brought the '80s back to life all over again.
Glitter, Glitter, & More Glitter
The hair-and-makeup crew built on the established looks from season 1, then added "even more glitter" says Horochowski. "Each character has her regular look and her wrestling look, but this season's makeup is actually bolder." As for hair, Rivers' team knew just what to expect. "The new season features many of the same hair looks from the first season, but they're better this time around because we have it down to a science," Rivers says. "It's still set in the ‘80s, but we have new cast members, so we're able to play with new hairdos."
And yes, being on set is just as fun as it sounds. "The writing on the show is so good, and the characters are all dynamic, so the beauty in the new season is just an extension," explains Horochowski. "We're all inspired by the '80 — the art, clothing, music, hair, and makeup — so the set is really like a glitter-filled party every day."
The Hair Is 100% Real
Wigs are often the quick fix to streamline the tedious process of teasing, crimping, and curling hair, but the Glow team isn't here for shortcuts, even in the rapid-fire filming of season 2. "Even though we were on a tight production deadline, we didn't use any big, permed wigs — it's all real," says Rivers. And depending on the actress's natural hair texture, the process can take hours, plus pounds of hairspray. "Alison Brie, for example, her normal hair is naturally a little fine, so there’s a lot of teasing, mousse, and hairspray we have to pack in there, which takes around 30 minutes, but that's what they did in the '80s," Rivers says.
Because Glow shows each character in two different personas — an everyday '80s look and a wrestling alter-ego — the set can get chaotic when the actresses have to switch between their characters in the middle of the day."Wresting looks have way more product; we use hairspray and strong-hold mousse," Rivers explains. "We have so many different hair textures on set, it takes a long time to style everyone in a unique, killer '80s look."
The Styling Products Are A Total Throwback
To get those gorgeous full perms to stay high and fluffy, Rivers and her team use decades-old products from the time period. "I put mousse in almost every girl's hair," Rivers says. "I really like the hold of the JoiCo Whipped one, but the sculpting mousse Paul Mitchell makes is my favorite, probably because it was around in the '80s — it's what the girls actually used."
The makeup department prefers classics, too. "MAC and Make Up For Ever shadows and lipsticks are strewn throughout my kit," says Horochowski. "But I also like to use professional-grade pigment colors. It's an imperfect science, I mix a bunch of products together and add glitter on top." And the point isn't to look perfect. "It's all messy on-purpose, so it looks natural."
The Glue That Holds Them Together
When every actress is spending two hours in the glam trailer before each scene, it's important that her look holds up in the ring — even with real-deal hair pulling, chaffing, and puddles of sweat. "For the wrestling scenes, we glue everything down pretty good," explains Horochowski. "We use heavy-duty glitter glue, the prosthetic kind. Then, because there's so much glitter everywhere, sometimes we have to lint-roll the girls' faces to clean it up a little, so I always keep a bunch of lint rollers around set."
When the set wraps for the day, the real party begins, as all 14 actresses rush the trailer to de-glitter. "To get it all off, the chaos at the end of wrapping is insane," Horochowski explains. "We use coconut oil and all the girls pour it all over their faces and wipe all the gunk away with hot towels. The glitter gets everywhere, but all the girls have great energy, which makes it a fun time."
No Touch-Ups Allowed
One of the biggest lessons the whole glam team took away from season 1 is that makeup smears and out-of-place hairs make the show believable. "Now that they’re established as characters, we try to work as fast as we can, not stressing on the details," says Horochowski. "We want it to look as natural as possible, because it’s suppose to look like these women did their own hair and makeup — that adds to the storyline," she continues, adding that as a pro, it can be tough to not go in and touch up runny mascara. "It’s really hard to not perfect it, but it's what gives the show its genuine authenticity. We want the looks to be bold and beautiful, but when they starts to deteriorate with sweat, we let it happen."