Halle Bailey‘s mermaid look is bound to be part of your world.
The “Little Mermaid” actress stepped into the iconic fin of Ariel in Disney’s new live-action film. And while the princess is known for her flaming red hair, there’s no denying her beauty style proved to be an important role. The film’s makeup artist Kat Ali recently revealed all of the dazzling details behind Halle’s enchanting look and why the mermaid-core trend doesn’t have to be all-over shimmer and ocean-colored hues.
“Makeup Designer Peter Swords King and I discussed the initial concept early on,” Ali told Vogue in a June 1 interview, “and we decided that Ariel needed to be a natural, ethereal beauty.”
Considering Ariel is the youngest daughter of King Triton (Javier Bardem), Ali explained that her glam should represent her naiveté. “We wanted to create a ‘no-makeup’ makeup look with a siren twist,” she added, “the result being glossy, polished, and youthful.”
So, how did Ali transform Halle into the iconic princess? Well, she focused more on the skin than the makeup, cleansing the star’s face with Bioderma’s Micellar Water before applying the Glossier Priming Moisturizer, Avène Soothing Eye Contour Cream and Glossier’s Balm Dot Com.
“I used MAC Face and Body foundation (a classic) lightly—less is more with this look,” Kat shared. “It’s easier to add product than to take it away.”
Moving onto the eyes, the makeup artist turned to Tom Ford’s Eye Color Quad Eyeshadow in Suspicion because it’s the lightest color in the palette and added a pop of brightness to “the center of the lid.”
“For Halle’s lips,” Kat continued, “she really liked the idea of a visible lip line slightly darker than her own lip color to introduce some subtle definition, so we used MAC Cork for that, which I followed with a slick of Chanel 174 Rouge Angelique lipstick.”
The inside scoop on Ariel’s go-to glam comes just a few days after hairstylist Camille Friend revealed that production spent six figures for Halle’s hair transformation, in which she sported flowing ginger locs and extensions.
“I’m not guesstimating, but we probably spent at least $150,000 because we had to redo it and take it out,” Camille explained to Variety in an article published May 26. “You couldn’t use it, and we’d have to start again. It was a process.”
Plus, Bailey’s own locs were more than 24 inches long at the time of filming and Camille suggested keeping them instead of putting her in a wig.
“If we take hair and wrap it around her locs, we don’t have to cut them and we don’t have to color them,” Camille shared. “We can change her color without changing her internal hair structure. Her structure and her hair are her.”
For Bailey, the hairstylist’s solution was deeply meaningful.
“I’ve had my locs since I was 5, so they’re a huge part of who I am,” the actress told Ebony in a May 2023 cover story. “We need to be able to see ourselves, we need to be able to see our hair on big screens like this, so that we know that it’s beautiful and more than acceptable.”
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