There may only be three episodes left of Black Mirror, but that doesn’t mean you should stop obsessing over Mila Kunis’ character this season.
If you’ve been watching every episode multiple times already then you probably noticed something else too: That girl isn’t always wearing much makeup. In fact, sometimes she barely has enough time to put on clothes before shooting scenes — which means there’s no room for Photoshop here. She needs to get ready quickly, and maybe even go full-out glam if they want to shoot closeups.
We spoke with an expert who specializes in working with actresses to prep them for their roles, so we did what he asked us to do, and made up a quick guide for anyone interested in emulating Kunis’ selfless beauty routine. Here’s everything you’ll need to make yourself just as pretty.
1) Makeup artist trusty tools
Milanese makeup artists often don’t spend too long fussing over clients. “They usually come in really fast,” said Karine LeBlanc, owner of KLB Cosmetics & Image Consultants, who works regularly with actors including Sarah Michelle Gellar, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Amanda Seyfried. “I’m not gonna lie. I love my job.” Her biggest tip? Start using more eyeliner.
“It looks great on screen because it draws attention away from other parts of the face,” she explained via email. It also helps create depth. And don’t forget about mascara! “That gives eyes definition and makes lashes appear thicker.” If you’re new to applying eye liner, LeBlanc recommended starting off by lining the upper lash line, connecting it where the lower lid meets the outer corner. Then add color at the inner corners.
Using waterproof eyeliners, pencils, and liquid liners can save you time later when editing, since you won’t have to worry about smudging. But remember: Your makeup shouldn’t compete with your actor counterpart. “You want people to notice your natural features,” LeBlanc continued. “Your foundation shade might be darker, or lighter, depending on your skin tone.”
To find the right colors for your wardrobe, try visiting dressing rooms during shoots. Most showrunners keep extras waiting outside until everyone arrives, allowing them to pick outfits themselves. This is especially true when it comes to women of color. Actresses can wear whatever they’d like, but for nonwhite characters, directors typically require specific clothing options.
Karin Esposito, founder of New York City-based makeup brand My Beauty Addiction, agreed with LeBlanc’s advice on foundation application. Because Mila Kunis wears very little makeup, hers definitely looked dewy rather than matte, she noted. To achieve a similar effect, apply foundation onto bare skin instead of powder. Apply it in small amounts, let sit for 10 seconds, followed by two layers of translucent setting spray. Repeat the process once more. Finish with another dusting of loose powder.
Esposito added that keeping your eyebrows straight during picture taking is important too. Before makeup photography begins, set your brows beforehand using concealer or eyebrow gel. Don’t use anything containing waxes, oils, or alcohol, she warned. When you’re done, wait 15 minutes to allow your makeup to fully dry, then brush through your brow hairs lightly with a comb.
2) Use lighting tricks for flawless skin
Skin care companies spent years perfecting products designed to prevent sun damage. Unfortunately, they didn’t invent airbrushing technology. A lot goes into making sure Mila Kunis appears flawless in each photograph taken, whether she’s starring in Black Mirror or not. It’s easier to edit imperfections after the fact.
Most photographers prefer studio lights and flash whenever possible — which can cause harsh shadows, glare, and redness under the eyes. Luckily, these effects are easy to fix with proper preparation. First, start by washing your face with cleanser, toner, and moisturizer — unless instructed otherwise by your photographer. Next, apply sunscreen SPF 30+ daily. Set your alarm clock to wake up early enough to avoid squinting during photo shoots, and wash your face immediately afterwards. This will ensure your skin retains moisture throughout the day. Remember, you can never protect against wrinkles, fine lines, and crow’s feet 100 percent.
Finally, pack plenty of extra lip balm. No matter how careful you are, the heat coming off your phone could still burn your lips. Try applying Vaseline on your lips to lessen irritation caused by hot flashes. Otherwise, you may want to consider investing in high quality chapstick to combat dehydration.
3) How to fake black hair extensions without ruining them
When it comes to faking dark locks, there are few rules. As far as we know, none of the actresses featured in Black Mirror ever wore real human hair wigs in order to film. Instead, most relied on synthetic ones, such as Remi, Remy, and Wahlquist’s Real Look collection.
Keep in mind that human hair costs money, so you’ll likely pay more per piece than if you purchased artificial alternatives. However, many brands offer affordable bundles. For example, Wahlquist sells 12 pieces for $120, whereas Remi offers a six month subscription for $60.
Once you decide upon a wig company, it’s time to choose between human or synthetic hair. Human hair tends to last longer, but its price tag makes it less desirable for everyday wear. Synthetic hair is cheaper, but takes shorter maintenance breaks due to chemical treatments. Once you select a type, figure out exactly what kind of texture you want. Whether highlighting or dying, consult product instructions to see what types of chemicals are used.
Also, consider buying several cheap wigs to rotate. We recommend trying to match the length of your hair to the length of the wig being worn. Take note of the neckline and cut of the dress or top you plan to wear with the wig.
For tips on maintaining your wigs, check out our extensive list of articles on getting the most life out of your ‘do.
4) The power of blurring faces
Nowadays, it seems impossible to escape social media posts featuring blurred faces. Thankfully, BlurCam is available for iOS users who would like to blur certain areas of their own images.
This free app allows you to adjust opacity levels for various body parts. Simply hold down anywhere on your frame to begin. You can experiment with different settings to discover which combination looks best on you.
However, if you’re looking to improve your appearance overall, you should consider enlisting someone whose specialty lies within retouching. There are numerous agencies across the country specializing in helping individuals enhance their figures and cover up blemishes. Many charge hourly rates based on experience level. Typically, senior members of staff receive higher fees than entry-level employees.
According to industry professionals, the average cost starts at roughly $300/hour, plus expenses. While the lowest prices tend to range between $100-$150/hour, you can expect to pay upwards of $200 for a professional’s services. Check out our list of recommendations below for trustworthy, experienced firms near you.
5) Know when it’s okay to use filters
Filters are fun, but they can also distort reality. On Instagram, for instance, it’s common practice to crop your photos tightly to fit square dimensions. Doing so removes space surrounding subjects, creating unrealistic expectations. In addition to altering perspective, filters can change proportions, causing heads, hands, and arms to become disproportionate relative to the rest of a person’s body.
In these cases, it’s advisable to ask a friend or family member for honest feedback regarding composition. Their opinion can provide valuable insight into how well your image turned out.
While it’s tempting to rely solely on editing apps to give your pics a polished finish, doing so can result in unattractive results. Sure, Snapchat filters can be flattering, but they can also warp facial expressions.