The Great Gatsby Makeup: How Carey Mulligan Turned into Daisy Buchanan

by Catherine Q. O'Neill

courtesy of Warner Bros.
courtesy of Warner Bros.

The problem with adapting a novel into a film is that you have to decide how faithful you're going to be to the original. Fortunately for director Baz Luhrmann, F. Scott Fitgerald didn't actually spend much time describing Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby. He may have hinted that she had dark, glossy hair, but in Luhrmann's new movie version, out this Friday, Carey Mulligan's Daisy is an ash blonde. True to the original text, however, she's a total stunner. Makeup artist Maurizio Silvi and hairstylist Kerry Warn told us how they turned Mulligan into the woman of Jay Gatsby's dreams.

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The hair: Warn, who wanted Mulligan to look classic and well bred, first cut her hair into a modern version of a 1920s style. "It's based on the semi-shingle, a layered bob with a masculine shape in the back," says Warn, who styled it with John Frieda Frizz-Ease Serum, wax, and hair spray for a lacquered effect. Then it was time for the accessories. "Daisy's, of course, had to be the most beautiful and delicate," he says, which meant the $200,000 Tiffany hair band worn in the film (that even required additional security on set). "The headpieces are duplicates of original '20s pieces from the Tiffany archives."

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The makeup: To separate Daisy from a roomful of party girls, Silvi applied her makeup with a light hand. "She's so soft in everything--her eyes, cheeks, and lips," he says. On her eyes, he blended a mix of black, gray, and brown shadows followed by individual false lashes that he painstakingly applied by hand each day. Then, he pressed a light pinky nude shade from Chanel (like Chanel Rouge Allure in Seduisante) on her lips. "We decided that red lipstick didn't fit her personality," explains Silvi. To keep her skin looking era-appropriate, Silvi forbade her from going into the sun (they filmed in Australia) and smoothed a pink-based Clinique foundation on her face and neck. But there was one thing Daisy had in common with all the other women--her eyebrows. "The eyebrows were the most important part of the face because they represented the fashion of the time," says Silvi. "We plucked all the eyebrows into a 1920s shape. You would see extras walking all over downtown Sydney with those plucked eyebrows."

For more on The Great Gatsby beauty--and how to get Carey Mulligan's look--check out our May issue, on stands now!

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