The "Gossip Girl" Makeup Is the Perfect Marriage of Classic Looks and Today's TikTok Trends
Hey, Upper East Siders. Gossip Girl here — and I've got the inside scoop on the show's reboot makeup looks.
They're exactly how you would picture them to be: cool-girl aesthetic that's dripping in the same class of all the beloved characters from the original show, just more Gen Z-approved.
And it makes sense, considering that Amy Tagliamonti, the makeup department head, told InStyle that mirroring the original characters' clean and fresh looks that she created on your favorite Constance girls back in 2008 was important to her.
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"I am still aiming for a clean, consistently beautiful look for everyone. Like before and definitely now, Gossip Girl is a show that is filled with heightened reality," she tells us. "I think the makeup gets to be a part of that."
While Tagliamonti's goal was to maintain that similar elevated "no, makeup makeup" look seen on the original characters, she wanted to give the characters more modernized drama — given the evolution of makeup trends in the age of TikTok and YouTube beauty tutorials.
"The makeup on this new version is darker or bolder at times which differs from the original," she explains. "The new cast and their characters offer a new opportunity to continue playing and pushing with makeup."
But even though the makeup looks in the reboot get a bit of bolder treatment, Tagliamonti notes that she always wants her work to "enhance, not compete."
"I want the makeup to feature each actor's natural beauty while still getting to experiment at times with new ideas," she says, adding that not only does it highlight their beauty, but it also aids in the telling of each character's story.
"It helps tell their story," she says. "It's like every woman or man out there who wears makeup — if you are feeling good, your makeup is most likely going to be sharp and on point. If you're having an off day, most likely you will not focus on your face. If you are going to a fun or fancy event you let your inner peacock shine and makeup helps express that."
Of course each makeup look is inspired by different things — whether that be by the gorgeous, ridiculously rich costumes thought up by the show's costume designer Eric Daman, the characters, or the makeup product itself, like the MAC Cosmetics Frost Lipstick in Model Behaviour ($19, maccosmetics.com), which she says inspired her for a whole look.
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"I kind of create a makeup story in my head and when it's appropriate for the scene or character I use the color and the actual product as my inspiration for the entire look," she says. "Sometimes the scenes dictate the inspiration for the look, the actress themselves, or even a hairstyle will inspire me."
And the good news is, the makeup looks are easy to emulate (good news for me, as I spent all of high school trying to obtain Blair Waldorf's headband-wearing aesthetic), despite the characters' privilege, and therefore access to endless beauty counters at Saks Fifth Avenue or Bergdorf Goodman. A lot of the products used on set by Tagliamonti are actually affordable.
Her favorites and most used on set include the MAC Cosmetics powder blushes — she says the "Melba" color works on everyone ($25; maccosmetics.com). Another versatile product for any skin tone is the MAC Cosmetics eyeshadow palette in Burgundy Times Nine ($32; maccosmetics.com). And the MAC Frost lipstick in On and On actually helped to create Tagliamonti's favorite look so far: one party look of Julien Calloway's (this iteration of GG's "It" girl, played by Jordan Alexander) which includes a dark shimmery green shadow from the Melt Cosmetics Recently Deceased palette paired with MAC lipstick in On and On, a dark purple, sometimes blue frosted hue ($19; maccosmetics.com).
They key to obtaining flawless makeup looks comparable to the privileged characters? Clean and quality makeup brushes, says Tagliamonti.
"It makes the application process so much easier and the results so much cleaner," she explains. "You can have the most beautiful makeup but if you can't apply it correctly you won't get as gorgeous a result. It's kind of bananas how many brushes my team and I have and the massive stack we each clean everyday."
But clearly, it's well worth it.
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