Romantic period pieces are one of my biggest weaknesses. Show me a woman in a gown carefully mitigating the struggles of courtship while slowly falling for a dashing man with weird facial hair and boom! I'm in love. This is to say, Netflix's new series Bridgerton is everything to me. Sadly, you can never capture the joy of watching a series for the first time again, so naturally, I've channeled my obsession into the hidden meanings in Bridgerton's beauty looks. Between the sexual chemistry, beautiful satin gowns, and generally amazing plot lines, the subtler beauty choices of our favorite ladies of ton may have passed you by the first time.
If you haven't already started Bridgerton, it's time. Consider this your sign. It's essentially Pride and Prejudice meets Gossip Girl, and not to be hyperbolic, but it's the best thing I've seen all year. While, at its core, it's a regency love story, there are modern additions throughout that truly make it a joy to watch. At least one enormous part of the genius of this series can be attributed to its hair and makeup designer, Marc Pilcher. The designer's worked on Downton Abbey, the 2017 Beauty and the Beast, and The Duchess, to name a few of his impressive credits, although Bridgerton was his first Regency-era piece.
"I draw ideas from old movies that most people have never seen. I grew up watching Hollywood musicals and old black and white movies," Pilcher told NYLON. "I created my vision of the period, but to suit each character." Thus, he ended up with what I would call the modern-vintage masterpiece that is Bridgerton. To find out what inspired your favorite characters' signature styles, read on below for all the details and secrets behind Bridgerton's best beauty looks.
Peaches And Cream
For almost all the characters throughout the series, the makeup veers on the softer side, with a peaches-and-cream complexion story. The softly rouged cheeks actually keeps with historic Regency style, believe it or not. While the 1700s saw people go all out with their rouge, the 1800s were a bit more demure, prioritizing softness and subtleties. Dab on a little cream blush like Glossier's Cloud Paint ($18, Glossier), and you, too, can ready to face the queen.
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Daphne's Effortless Elegance
For Daphne's overall aesthetic, Pilcher modified Audrey Hepburn's iconic look from War and Peace — which you'll see in Daphne's baby bangs and side curls — into something more Regency-appropriate. "Obviously, I cheated a little, including Daphne's bangs these were not common in this period, but you can find evidence of them in paintings," he said. In fitting with her seemingly natural grace, Daphne, along with her sister Eloise and her mother, were most often seen sporting elegant, yet delicate, unfussy hairstyles, likely to go along with the Bridgerton's traditional, old-money image.
Cressida Cowper's Hair That Just Won't Quit
Completely opposite the Bridgerton's subtle looks, the Cowpers' ostentatious, intricate hairstyles couldn't have been more different — and for an important reason. "The Cowpers are the wealthiest of all the families, so I wanted to show this in the styling. I based Cressida on Nellie Olson, from Little House on the Prairie," Pilcher said. "All girly ringlets and sugary-sweet on the outside but mean and b*tchy on the inside." He weaved together flowers, bows, and gems to create entire hair sculptures for the two. In the third episode, Pilcher told NYLON he even went as far as to braid Cressida's hair into a crown to subtly convey her want to marry Prince Friedrich, thus making her a princess. You may not have the time to painstakingly accessorize your hair, so Light in the Box's Pearl Hair Comb ($8, Light in the Box) will give you the same ornate feel.
Queen Charlotte's Over-The-Top Wigs
"I am most proud of the Queen's wigs," Pilcher said. "They were the biggest challenge, mainly due to the time factor of having to create these monumental wigs, whilst filming at the same time." Pilcher went so far as to incorporate traditional Black hairstyles like afros and dreadlocks to celebrate Queen Charlotte's descent. To recreate her royal highness' taste in your own wardrobe, you may want to invest in your own intricate wig or simply just a set of curlers.
Hair Feathers To Make A Peacock Jealous
If there's one thing the ladies of ton clearly can't go without, it's hair feathers in all their whimsical, ostentatious glory. The style filled the screen throughout Bridgerton in small and big ways. But, you don't need to pluck a bird to achieve this plumage. Dancewear Solutions' Feather Hair Clip ($6, Dancewear Solutions) is easy to wear and will surely get you a fair review by Lady Whistledown.