Lipstick color, stylized wigs and nail shape.
WandaVision on Disney+ takes audiences on a journey through the decades. One way filmmakers bring each era to life, in addition to meticulous set design and filming technique, is authentic hair and makeup for each character, which showcase trends through television history.
While all eyes are on Elizabeth Olsen as Wanda Maximoff in the miniseries, other supporting characters have also embraced fashion, hair and makeup to set the scene for Wanda’s alternate reality in Westview. Teyonah Parris, who stars as agent Monica Rambeau, shines particularly bright in WandaVision’s exploration of time-specific trends.
Parris’ Rambeau, who is otherwise known as Geraldine under Wanda’s mind control, makes a glamorous appearance in the 70’s inspired episode, “Now In Color.” True to its title, this episode embraces the more vibrant fashions of the era on Parris, body and face. ELLE reported Parris’ monochromatic eyeshadow look was inspired by her kitschy wardrobe for the scene: fish-print flare pants and matching blue vest.
“I talked to [Parris’s] makeup artist [Regina Little] and suggested a blue,” WandaVision makeup department head Tricia Sawyer told ELLE.com. “She came up with that vibrant fantastic blue and it was perfect. I want to drink it—such a great color.”
It’s true disco queens dipped their toes into bright colors in the 70’s, however truly neon color palettes would emerge as popular in the 1980’s and again in the 2010’s Instagram era of beauty. Monochromatic pastel eyeshadow would be the more accurate go-to for Marsha Brady beauties, seen in this 1975 ad for CoverGirl Eye Polish.
Parris’ eye look is more electric in tone, ultimately turning Geraldine’s styling into a more modern interpretation of 70’s boldness (much like Westview is a just perception of past decades!). Looking further at the glam in WandaVision with a modern lens, the 1970’s era that “Now In Color” represents marks an important period for Black women in the beauty space.
In the years that followed the Civil Rights movement, the 70’s made way for a more visible Black experience in American culture and media. In 1973, Ebony and Jet magazines founder John H. Johnson launched Fashion Fair, a makeup line designed to cater to a more diverse range of skin tones. Fashion Fair would go on to set a precedent for brands like Fenty Beauty to cater to and uplift Black women through makeup.
“Black is beautiful,” a phrase born also from activists in the Civil Rights era, called on Black women to embrace their natural features starting in the late 1960’s. Into the next decade, Black women more openly celebrated darker skin, natural hair and cultural heritage through fashion. Iconic actress Pam Grier rose in status as a sex symbol and action star, often sporting a natural Afro– the same hairstyle Parris’ character wears in “Now In Color.”
Overall, WandaVision hair and makeup artists have knocked each decade-themed episode out of the park, paying close attention to detail to the beauty trends that defined different eras. The miniseries delights in the storytelling capabilities of glam, and with Teyonah Parris as a lead character alongside Olsen, WandaVision also takes the opportunity to celebrate–and contextualize–the beauty in diversity.