When Elisabeth Moss landed the role as reckless lead singer Becky Something in Her Smell, the actress wasn’t precisely used to playing a heedless grunge icon. In truth, the music genre turned into new territory for the actress — on both a professional and personal level. She advised Rolling Stone that she grew up listening to extra Britney Spears than Courtney Love, making this on-display transformation considered one of her most intensive but (sure, even together with Offred in The Handmaid’s Tale). But becoming a glitter-soaked, sweaty, and on occasion, even bloody heathen did not simply require hundreds of hours on Spotify being attentive to Bikini Kill and a grungy dresser: A absolutely awesome make-up and hair branch become vital.


Her Smell tells the tale of Something, a punk-rock musician on the decline who is not just struggling with waning celebrity, but additionally substance abuse. Emotional breakthroughs seep into nearly every scene of the two-hour and 15-minute movie, frequently leaving Moss protected in distressed eyeliner that spends more time on her cheeks than it does on her eyelids and stringy hair that in all likelihood hasn’t seen shampoo in weeks. These may additionally look like minor individual info, however, Something’s deteriorating physical appearance turned into important to the story’s narrative.
To get the news at the that means at the back of the makeup and hair in Her Smell, we talked to the professionals: the movie’s make-up department head Emma Strachman, hair branch head Elissa Ruminer, and make-up fashion designer Amy L. Forsythe.

Deconstructed Glitter Is Much More Than Punk Aesthetics
“We desired her make-up to correlate to what changed into happening inside of Becky,” Strachman tells Refinery29. But even then, the makeup had to appearance authentic, like this rock megastar become absolutely applying eyeliner to her lashline and letting it move for the following numerous hours without taking one look inside the mirror.
She’s no longer just messy due to the fact that become the photo of the grunge lifestyle, but because she neglects herself. Something is a manic grunge twister — and it suggests, especially in Act three (of 5 within the movie). After going similarly and in addition down the rabbit hollow of substance abuse, Something emerges sweaty, damp, and covered in makeup. Her signature shadowy eyelids, fuchsia lipstick, and stain of glitter are a literal warm mess.

Although the audience is aware of Something is spiraling thanks to Moss’ emotional performance, it’s her loss of self-care that may most effective be translated thru her melting make-up. Forsythe describes it as Something being in so deep, along with her god complicated at an all-time excessive, that she can not realize that everybody around her (the whole target market, no less) notices. “Her messy cry is per week’s worth of mascara and the glitter, from who knows while she applied it for the show, walking down her face as if somewhere interior she’s seeking to cleanse herself of the disguise she has had on for such a lot of years,” Forsythe explains. “The sweat, the blood, the mascara, the glitter, all blending on her face is as though to mention enough is sufficient.”
Allowing the instability to reveal through her make-up turned into vital; she could not be particular while hitting peak meltdown. This appearance especially, Forsythe says, is one maximum audience will resonate with the most because of how susceptible and unhinged Something seems: She, at that moment, is succumbing to her demons, and it’s on complete display.

Courtney Love Meets Kim Gordon Hair

Moss and Ruminer agreed that Something’s appearance needed to shift, even supposing minimally, at some point of the 5 acts to reveal both her increase and decline. The handiest aspect that stayed the same was the color (an icier, Courtney-Love blonde) and period created with the assist of a few extensions. “The hair suggestion got here from Courtney Love and Kim Gordon,” Ruminer tells us. “If they had a sister it would be Becky.”

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