When creatives collide: The celeb glam teams making beauty magic
"It’s a dance that you do with each other"
By Delaney Loane
Digital Beauty Editor / April 01 2022
We have the Kardashian fam to thank for a lot of stellar terminology: we can't tell you the amount of times we've thrown "I'm just appreciating my bread" into a convo. One of their biggest gifts to the English language (or more specifically, the beauty-obsessed crowd’s vernacular), however, has to be their introduction of a ‘glam squad’.
When ‘getting ready’ became ‘glam’, everything switched: suddenly the prep was a process to look forward to, those involved were trusted friends/practically family, and the activity of getting dolled up was at last recognised for the true artistry it involves.
Fast forward a few years, and the talent painting the faces and styling the strands of the stars they’re working with are celebrity icons in their own right; in fact, they're some of our very favourite people to follow.
A great glam session should always end in one thing: a sickeningly stunning final look with notable synergy between the hair and makeup. But how do these artists achieve said synergy between their creations? Well, they first must have it with each other.
Long story short, for the hair and makeup to work well together, those creating the hair and makeup have to work well together. Sometimes you want looks to coordinate, sometimes you may even want them to clash, but you never want them to compete.
So in the name of mutual respect, beauty balance and gorgeous ‘glam’ looks, we spoke to some of the best in the biz to find out how they team up to make magic…
Neil Young & Patrick Wilson
Nicola Coughlan's glam team
“I think it’s important to know when to push and pull back as a makeup artist,” says Young. “For red carpet, the fashion is always the focus, and hair and makeup are there to elevate it. Who starts first with glam will often determine what follows for makeup, but it should always be a discussion. If I start first with the look, Patrick may adapt his vision to work with the makeup and vice versa. Patrick is wonderful to work with because he really cares about his work and delivering amazing hair for the client even if it's simple. He often inspires the work I do and his vision will trigger a different direction for the makeup, which I love. He’s also an incredibly calm person to be around.”
The feeling is mutual from Wilson’s side as well: “I’ve always respected Neil’s work and I think he’s an incredible artist. He always has great ideas to bring to the table. He is great in the room, he's a pleasure to work with and his clients love him. I always love when he’s on a call sheet as I know I’m always going to have a great day.”
“Once the outfit is confirmed, normally the stylist will send us some images of the look, and then we'll share ideas on what we think could work to bring it all together,” says Wilson. “If the makeup is bold, it’s my job to make sure the hair isn’t fighting against it, and we'll have a conversation about it before or once we're in the room. It’s important to make sure everyone gets their moment without it taking away from the talent you’re working with.”
“Because the [garment’s] fabric was so detailed with colour and print, we wanted to anchor her hair and makeup, so she didn’t feel swallowed up by it,” explains Young. “The makeup look was about the vibrant pop of colour on the lip but with a sheer veil of colour on the eyes for balance; this was teamed with a black kohl lined eye and mascara. For me, black kohl eyes are a foolproof compliment to a busy print or colourful garment [as they] give a toughness to the eyes. With the hair pulled back into a slick ponytail, this opened up the face to allow for a pop of colour on the mouth.”
“The hair was really fun to create, and I love that Nicola is willing to try new things,” adds Wilson. “I think as an actress she’s used to seeing herself as a different character and really appreciates the artistry involved in creating a look. Nicola’s hair is currently short, so it was great to be able to switch it up and bring a bit of drama by adding some length to the hair. I kept a strong centre parting with some softness left out to frame the face, and I pulled the hair into a low ponytail and [then] extended the pony with custom-coloured extensions.”
“I always think it’s important to make the talent feel the best version of themselves, it’s never about taking them too far away from their own world,” states Wilson. “I never try to force an idea; it’s always about working together as a team and making sure it all looks good together. I think ideas develop at their best when you feel comfortable and confident, and when both artists have respect for each other,” says Wilson. Young is (fittingly) on the same page: “Ultimately, it's about making the client feel a million dollars no matter what you do,” he agrees.
Allan Avendaño & Scott King
Isabela Merced's glam team
“There are times when hair and makeup have to be very simple to let an outfit shine; it’s the same with hair and makeup. Sometimes it’s a hair look and sometimes it’s all about the makeup,” explains Avendaño. “Finding collaborators that can take a step back or step up when needed is key! Scott is all of that! He has so many fun, creative and sexy hair ideas! I love that Scott really loves what he does and how excited he is to do a look. He’s so talented so I know that when we work together it’s going to be a really cool look. I think someone who is open to listening to your vision is super important. And he’s so fun – we laugh the whole time. We can be really silly together.”
“Respect, talent, and professionalism are a must in collaboration with hair and makeup,” agrees King, emphasising the good times and mutual admiration the two share. “Working with Allan is great, we laugh the whole time we are together and I respect his opinion. And we also gas each other up and say how good each other’s work is.” Hey, a little hyping up never hurt anyone!
King starts each glam prep session by collating inspo pics based on the fashion look: “I like to look at the outfit of my client and brainstorm a few ideas that I think will look good with that outfit,” he shares of his process. “I make a mini mood board of a handful of looks and chat with the makeup artist beforehand."
"I saw Scott’s mini mood board for what he wanted to create, and I knew that any [makeup] look I did would work with the hairstyle he wanted to do," explains Avendaño. "I knew I wanted to create something with negative space; Isabela is very adventurous and I’m always trying to find inspo for something interesting to paint on her face. It’s really nice to work with talent and a hair person that trusts you. Scott knew that I wanted to do something creative, so he made sure to show off one side of her face to showcase the eye look I was doing.”
“With this specific look I think Isabela just looks like a cool girl,” says King. “The braid along the part line and down the hairline was just a way of elevating a classic wavy look. Allan really gets to play with makeup on her specifically because she trusts the process and he has the coolest visions and is so creative.” Avendaño’s creative vision definitely came to life, too: “Isabela said she felt like a superhero when we were done and that was precisely what I was going for,” he confirms.
Lottie & Bobby Eliot
Alexandra Daddario’s glam team
“What I love about collaborating with Lottie is she comes with no ego. She’s so talented and always has new fresh ideas,” says Eliot. The gushing goes both ways, too: “Bobby is one of my favourite hair stylists. He has refined taste and elegant style. He’s also a great team player and the sweetest human,” Lottie shares.
The two are on the same page when it comes to their glam goal as well: “The main goal is to make your client look their best, so communication with hair, makeup and styling is essential to avoid going over the top – you want to make a nice balance,” explains Lottie. “It’s never about what you as an artist want to do; its not [necessarily just] a time to show off your creativity.”
“You have to know when to do something that is going to complement the look as a whole and not just do something that you want to try,” Eliot adds, agreeing that communication is key. “Always communicate and know when to take the back seat. Lottie and I work amazingly together because we communicate with each other and ask what the other thinks. It’s a dance that you do with each other. I know when to give time so that she can do a perfect lip, or not to pull and tug when she has a lash curler on the eyes.”
“The process always starts with Bobby and I looking at wardrobe and discussing with each other and Alexandra,” Lottie confirms. “Lottie and I always work hand in hand,” agrees Eliot. “Lottie had this genius idea to do a really clean eye and a super high gloss lip. Because the lip was a high gloss moment, I didn’t want hair going everywhere so pulling the hair back and away was needed."
“The final look [we created together] was sexy and chic, a nod to Robert Palmer girls,” Lottie explains re: the finished product. “Because she was wearing all black, we had freedom with the makeup and Alex loves a red lip. I decided to add lip oil for a super shiny gloss finish.”
“This hair and makeup work perfectly together because it’s all about Alex’s beauty! There’s something about a clean minimal hair look that I just love so much,” Eliot adds. “The look is reminiscent of Guy Bourdin and YSL vintage beauty campaigns. Snejana Onopka in Tom Ford’s 2012 beauty campaign is what I wanted the hair to feel like: high gloss and high glamour yet minimal. Once the lip was on Lottie and I both said 'you’re a Robert Palmer girl!'”