You know witchy makeup when you see it: dark smoky eyes, sharp defined brows, and deep wine red or pitch black lips. And forget glowy skin: Instead of a shimmery highlighter or lively blush, it’s all undead pallor, all the time. It’s a look that’s equal parts sinister and chic, that’s marked an entire era of badass witches from The Craft to American Horror Story: Coven.
In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, now streaming on Netflix, that same look is apparent on the witches of Greendale—except for its titular witch. Sabrina Spellman, played by Kiernan Shipka, begins her story facing a supernatural choice—whether she will pronounce her loyalty to Satan and become a full-witch in the Church of Night at her “Dark Baptism,” or remain a mortal—in noticeably natural makeup. She wears a creamy lip gloss and a rosy blush. Her eyes are unlined and shadow-free; her brows are combed with clear styling gel. That’s it.
Of course, that’s no accident. According to Candice Stafford-Bridge, the makeup department head for the show, Sabrina’s natural beauty look sets the stage for her transformation over the first season. Over the course of the show, her makeup—whether light and feathery or, eventually, vamped up with the other witches—is a barometer for her allegiance to the witch’s coven.
So that bare-faced look at the show’s beginning? It’s symbolic of her innocent state: She’s uncertain about leaving her high school life behind for full-time duty in the witching world and dubious of the Satanic goings-on in the Church of Night. “We keep her young and clean-looking,” Stafford-Bridge says. “And that was really, really important: There had to be room for the character to progress, because things happen.” And, oh, do they.
“I think the thing with making Kiernan less made-up is that before the Dark Baptism, she’s pure and she hasn’t chosen the so-called Dark Side,” she continues.
For the look, Stafford-Bridge prepped Shipka’s skin with Dermalogica Ultra Calming Mist, then mixed two Kjaer Weis cream foundations and Jane Iredale Dream Tint for a base to match her skin tone. Her rosy cheeks, meanwhile, come from either MAC’s Cream Blush in Rich Coral or MAC’s Powder Blush in Dusty Rose.
Then, there’s the lip, a rosy peach balm by Dior. “In the early episodes, her lips are the Dior Lip Glow in 004,” says Stafford-Bridge. “It gives her a really natural glow.”
When Sabrina finally swipes on some dark lipstick, though, pay attention: It’s a sign that she’s considering going all-in with the coven. Take a scene in the second episode, for example, where Sabrina calls on the Weird Sisters—a trio of dark witches decked out in Bite lipstick, Anastasia Beverly Hills Eye Palettes, and stacks of false eyelashes—to assist her in pranking a group of boys who bullied her mortal friend at school.
The witches lead the group of boys down into a mine that almost scares them to death. (We won’t spoil exactly what happens here, but that’s not an exaggeration.) Sabrina says she called on the Weird sisters seeking justice for a friend who was hurt, but her makeup says there’s more to the story. She arrives to hex the bullies in classically witchy makeup, courtesy of Tom Ford’s Bruised Plum purple lipstick and a black powder along her lashline. It’s dramatic, it’s dark, and it matches the Weird Sisters to a T. Her lipstick sends a message: She’s testing her powers and how much bad she’s willing to do.
Then, there’s Sabrina’s Dark Baptism (also in episode two), which falls on Halloween and Sabrina’s sixteenth birthday. She arrives at the ceremony in a white dress and a matte red Christian Louboutin Lipstick that Stafford-Bridge calls “sixties inspired.” It’s timeless, but more dressed-up than her everyday look. Here, her lipstick is both a nod to her signature color—red plays heavily in Sabrina’s wardrobe—and a signal that Sabrina may be more converted over to the church than we think. (We won’t give away too much here, but this episode…omg.)
Sabrina’s interactions with the coven increase over the season, but she’s still a student at Baxter High School by day, and her dark makeup is missing from many of her school-day scenes. “Even when we think that she’s maybe going dark, she still looks like the innocent 16-year-old with her friends in regular high school,” Stafford-Bridges adds.
So can we expect to see Sabrina in full-blown witch makeup by the season’s end? “She’s still battling it, so she’ll never look like the Weird Sisters,” Stafford-Bridge hints. “But if that does happen, you will see a change in her makeup.”
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