Ghosts ' Leading Ladies Talk Beauty Secrets and Trends They Wish Would Return — Including Body Glitter!
The ladies of Ghosts are no strangers to getting glammed up — both on set and off!
For the past two seasons, Rose McIver, Sheila Carrasco, Danielle Pinnock, and Rebecca Wisocky have captured audiences with their quick wit and stylish characters in the beloved CBS sitcom. (Ghosts was renewed for a third season last month.) From the detailed costumes to the complementary makeup, they've got the on-set glam down pact. But what about off-set?
Speaking exclusively with PEOPLE, the dynamic foursome open about about their favorite beauty products and secrets, makeup hacks they've learned on set, and trends they wish would resurrect.
Though she's used to heavy makeup on sets (hello, iZombie!) McIver — who plays freelance writer Samantha "Sam" Arondekar in Ghosts — has a simple philosophy when it comes to her real-life beauty routine.
"I think my approach is: you have what you have. How can you love and celebrate that and be as supportive of what you are naturally born with?" she says. "I think everybody can be beautiful and can feel beautiful when you support things that are actually there rather than trying to fight against them."
The New Zealand actress, 34, focuses on skin care above all else. "It's that for me more than the art that comes on top of it."
"When you're putting on makeup all day, every day, it's like you can kind of feel scared of clogging your skin. So for me, it's very much been about taking care of my skin so that the makeup is icing on the cake rather than trying to hide problems."
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These products are a staple in McIver's daily routine.
"CIRCA 1970 is a luxury face oil and that's a really beautiful product," she says. "I like things that are user friendly. Also, the Golden Secrets Aphrodisiac Glow Body oil. I'm very fair-skinned. So this is a nice product that kind of gives you a little bit of a natural glow and it kind of warms things up a fraction. But it's not trying to navigate any tanning products which aren't really very good or apply very well."
Other favorites include Skinceuticals has a vitamin C and E ferulic serum and "miracle moisturizer" Herbivore Pink Cloud cream.
When it comes to makeup, McIver says, "I like the Brett Brow Duo-Shade Powder Medium Blonde. I like things that are very low maintenance. A little brow powder kind of gives my face a little bit of definition, but doesn't require too much skill."
Though she's all about skin care (and minimal makeup!), McIver admits she'd love to see one beauty trend make a comeback.
"Body glitter!" she says. "I remember rolling some body glitter onto my collarbones!"
"I've talked about being really pale and I really love the beach," she says. "I love just the comfort of a little bit of a sparkle."
Chris Ryan Ross/Paramount Global
Carrasco's approach is from the inside out.
"Sleep and laugh as much as possible," she says. "I really feel like no matter how much you spend on skincare, what trends you follow, what kind of technology you try to use, I never feel more beautiful in my skin than when I'm in a good place, where I'm surrounded by funny people, my family, my friends and I'm just laughing a lot. It makes a really big difference."
Portraying the ghost of a hippie in the series, Susan "Flower" Montero, Carrasco, 31, says her makeup routine on set is quite different from her real-life day-to-day.
"We do a '60s makeup on my face, which you can't even always fully see because I'm wearing glasses, but I do the banana eye, Twiggy eyelashes and then my makeup artist gives me a [fake] sunburn across my chest and shoulders," she says. "Sometimes we have to apply self-tanner-because I'm in Montreal in the winter. We have to match consistently with what we were shooting in the summer because we're ghosts, we can't change."
"Then I get two temporary tattoos put on my jaw and my back, my bears attack scars," she adds. "Then I have dirt, a layer of dirt over my arms and knuckles and fingers, and then I have fake blood and-I mean, all in all I think it takes about 50 minutes. It used to take an hour and a half but now we just have it down to a science."
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It's no surprise that Carrasco enjoys a more easy-breezy routine in her off time.
"I always have had to have a leave-in conditioner," says Carrasco, who wears a wig in the series. "It's super nourishing on my hair and it's just better if I choose to air dry my hair or blow it dry. It just does it all for me. The product that I'm really into the last couple years is is the Verb Leave-In Mist. It's super lightweight, but really nourishing and it doesn't weigh it down. It's also sulfate-free, paraben-free, cruelty-free. It's a vegan. It's kind of like the 'I Can't Believe It's Not Butter' of hair for me."
"Also, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer as just-everyday moisturizer," she adds. "I use it before bed, I use it at the beginning of the day. It feels like it really protects my skin barrier. When I use it, my skin feels thicker and less sensitive. But the newer product that I've been using that I'm obsessed with at nighttime is the Algenist GENIUS Sleep Collagen. It's a little bit pricier so I try to use it sparingly and at night, but I after I use it, my skin feels clearer and softer. I like to think that when I'm sleeping at night, it does something special."
Since playing a hippie in the series, Carrasco says she has since adopted a throwback beauty trend — and is hoping others can catch on as well.
"Let's release the stigma of women not shaving their pits," says Carrasco. "I had to grow mine out for the season. I'm in Quebec and I'm going to yoga and I see all these beautiful French Canadian women with hairy armpits and it's normal there. Then I go back to L.A. yoga and I'm like, 'I have to wear a T-shirt.' You know? I'm so embarrassed. I'm like, 'What is with this? This is how we naturally are. Who cares?!'"
Chris Ryan Ross/Paramount Global
She may play a ghost on TV, but when it comes to her beauty routine Pinnock keeps it real.
"Be you," Pinnock, 34, says of her beauty mantra. "That's all we can do. I know we're in the new year right now and everybody has all their resolutions. For myself, this year is really just about being the best version of me that I can because I feel like every New Year's it was like, 'Oh, I need to do this,' or, 'This is a new hot trend and I'm trying to do this.' And [now] I'm like, child, we just survived the whole pandemic — all I could do is just lay down."
For Pinnock — who plays Alberta Haynes, a flamboyant Prohibition-era jazz singer who died from drinking poisoned moonshine, in the series — her self-care outside of work is fairly straightforward.
"I'm obsessed with all Neutrogena moisturizers, especially for my face. They have an excellent Hydro Boost one, which I swear by." Pinnock, who has eczema and hormonal acne, also says "Cetaphil is always in my cabinet."
For her hair, "I love the Camille Rose hair products," she says. "I have really curly natural hair, and I think their hair milk is absolutely phenomenal. Shea Moisture has a Jamaican Black Castor Oil shampoo that is just delicious on my natural hair. I also love Mielle. They have an incredible rice water line that grew my hair so much. I lost a lot of my hair in the pandemic just due to stress and was going through a lot of traction alopecia and those products really helped to grow my hair back. I also love NaturAll Club hair masks! They're made with all fresh ingredients."
While her character has a unique style (bangs and a bob haircut!), Pinnock says she has some tricks up her sleeve to steer clear of feeling like her character in real life.
"I like to experiment with wigs," she says. "I think as a plus size, Black actress, the representation is so important because when I was coming up, the only women that I would see were like Octavia Spencer and Queen Latifa and Monique and all these beautiful women. And I feel like for my generation, I want to make sure that the girls know that they can be stylish too. We don't have to just wear those sad little poor old print outfits. You know what I mean? And if they want to do that, that's cool too. But I want to make sure that I am fashion forward and that I can inspire the plus-size person that is in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and that's also in Ohio. They can be like, 'Oh wait, I didn't know I could wear suits.'"
"I'm really trying to figure out how to put pieces together on my specific body type," she adds. "That goes down to my beauty as well as how my makeup is. I want to try out new things and I want to see what it looks like on a plus-size body that's very specific to mine. So, I love my team - especially my hair team Rickie Dewayne and Ashton Allen — so much. I love the things that we've been able to create that are so different from Alberta."
Chris Ryan Ross/Paramount Global
Rebecca Wisocky is all about embracing your natural self.
"The thing that you thought made you weird when you were 10 is probably your best beauty trait today," says Wisocky, 51. "The things that make you unique are going to be the things that make you beautiful, in my opinion, at least. I couldn't understand that I had nice hair when I was a kid because no one else had hair like mine. I thought I had to brush it 100 times at night to make it look like everybody else's. But then when I just let it do its own thing, I realized, 'Oh, crap, I've got nice hair.'"
While Wisocky — who portrays Hetty Woodstone, the ghost of a robber baroness and the ancestor of Sam (McIver) in the series — is a firm believer in being your authentic self, she's fully embraced her character's aesthetic in every day life.
"I like that puff sleeve, I like a high collar, I love an updo," she says. "I mean, if left to my own devices I would wear my hair pretty close to like Hetty wears hers, every day. So I had to consciously actually try to find new ways to wear my hair because everyone would tell me if I was going to go to an event, or doing a photo shoot or something, that I had to try to not look like Hetty. So I've been trying to wear my hair down. I'm chasing a messy lob lately."
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And her go-to products these days?
"I love the Heal All Oil by The Golden Secrets," she says. "And it just so happens that it is made by a woman named Jesse Golden, who happens to be Devan Chandler Long's (who plays Thorfinn in the series) wife. She has this beautiful, all natural skincare line. It's exceptional."
"The other thing I have is a day cream and a night cream from Exuviance that I've used for many years that has a really nice, gentle anti-aging kind of vibe in it, but it also has an SPF, which as a very fair redhead, is something I like to make part of my skincare routine," she adds. "And for my hair, there's an Australian company called Eleven. I use three of their products, but the one that I use, and I use on the show every day as well, is their miracle hair treatment, which is this very light cream that just kind of gives a little bit of bounce to the curl and takes the frizz away without adding any weight to it."
When it comes to makeup, Wisocky says she dreams of the day one 80s beauty trend will make a comeback.
"The four of us [McIver, Pinnock, and Carrasco], we did an Instagram Live for one of the episodes at the end of the first season," says Wisocky. "It was one of the episodes where we threw a ghost prom at the house. And so we all threw a flashback '80s prom at my house just for the four of us."
"And we dressed up in the old discarded homecoming dresses of my dear friend Kayleigh, and all of us put them on, and we did our hair all up. And I, of course, knew from memory how to do my hair and my makeup like the '80s, but the girls didn't. I did Rose's makeup, and I think that she has never looked prettier. She will argue with you. She hated it. I really went to town on taking blush up into the hairline."
80s makeup comeback, anyone?!
Ghosts airs Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. EST on CBS.