Bridgerton season two is finally here—and dear reader, the beauty looks are just as romantic as the storyline. From supremely kissable lips to diamond-of-the-first-water glows, every character's look is equal parts elegance and allure. And, as with everything in Shondaland, every detail is intentional. "The brief for Bridgerton is: If you’re glamorous, just be more glamorous," Erika Ökvist, season two’s lead hair and makeup designer, tells Byrdie.
Even though Bridgerton is set in the Regency period of the early 19th century, Ökvist still wanted to create trends that could speak to audiences in 2022. "The Bridgertons are literally the celebrities and the great trendsetters of the Regency," she explains. In the series (book and TV), the family is generally looked on with admiration mixed with a touch of envy, and Ökvist wanted audiences to view them in that same light.
So when crafting the characters' "Look DNA" (Ökvist's shorthand for each character's signature aesthetic), she strived to design "something that is believable historically, but also something that our modern eyes find attractive. That’s really what I wanted to create: the sort of urge to be one of the Bridgertons."
On Working with Pat McGrath
With this trend-setting mission in mind, Ökvist was thrilled to be working exclusively with Pat McGrath Labs for the beauty looks in season two. "We’ve got two geniuses, Shonda Rhimes and Pat McGrath, and the fact that they’re working together on such an incredible project—it’s a win-win situation," she explains.
Of course, sparking beauty trends wasn't the only thing Ökvist hoped to accomplish with this season and collab. She also wanted to stay true to the plot, taking inspiration from each character's arc. "We tried to create a storyline visually for the characters," she explains.
So what kind of trends can we expect to see in Bridgerton's second season? Below, we discuss the most memorable, romantic, and shocking beauty moments of season two, while Ökvist fills us in on the behind-the-scenes details of these soon-to-be-trending looks.
Every beauty look in Bridgerton had to suit the era, a period that had way fewer makeup products. "We needed to have the no-makeup makeup look, obviously, because it's Regency," Ökvist explains. For all of the characters, sheer, buildable coverage, thanks to Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Foundation ($68), was the go-to. "You can put it on very, very sheer and then add more and more so that you can suit all the different lights during filming," Ökvist adds.
And all the actors appreciated its lightweight feel. "Some men wanted to go home with their makeup on," Ökvist tells us. "That’s a testament to how versatile it is—cause you can make it so sheer that you don’t feel that you’re wearing anything, and still look in the mirror and go, 'Oh, yeah, I look great.'"
The foundation also needed to work for every race and age. "We needed as many colors as we possibly can in all the shades"—there are 36 shades of the Sublime Perfection Foundation, by the way—"and the foundation also needed to work for all different ages," Ökvist says.
For Ökvist, finding the right foundation was of the utmost importance, which is one of the reasons she was so pleased to be working with Pat McGrath. "If you don't have the right foundation, forget about everything else. Foundation is number one," Ökvist explains.
Simple, Sleek Updos
In the first couple of episodes of season two, this practical, sophisticated updo is the go-to for Kate Sharma, the season's reluctant love interest. "For Kate, the hair is very sleek and simple. She only has a couple of looks," Ökvist says.
Kate's hair speaks to her inner sense of self. "She looks really pulled together. She's a no-nonsense character," Ökvist adds, "She wouldn't have the time or even the patience to sit in front of the mirror and have the maid tonging her hair, making it curly." Hence the slicked-back hair trend.
Kate's practicality is echoed throughout the season—and the costume, makeup, and hair teams all worked in tandem to nail down her no-frills look. "We've got scenes where Kate is wearing a female-version of a male top hat," Ökvist says. As for trends, bucket hats and cowboy hats have had their moment, so why not top hats—especially if they're blue velvet ones like Kate's?
Penelope Featherington's hair also takes on a deeper meaning in season two. "Penelope, in the beginning, has tighter curls. Her mother is really steering how she would look," Ökvist says. (Ahem, remember those electric-yellow gowns from season one?) Still, by the end of the first season, viewers know that there's way more to Penelope than meets the eye—and her hair starts to reflect that, albeit slowly.
"At the start of season two, Penelope is a young woman who has her own means," Ökvist explains. "She’s got money, and she’s starting to realize that she can think for herself, so she’s starting to develop visually [along that same vein]."
Penelope's hair starts to take on her subtle rebellion; literally, her curls become looser, as do her mother's reins. Throughout season two, this transformation happens slowly to keep it from being too visually "jarring" for viewers. Plus, Ökvist points out, "If you go slowly, your mother won’t notice,"
One thing's for sure: Ökvist did not skimp on the highlighter in season two. The characters practically glow—as all romantic heroes and heroines should. "One thing I still have in my back pocket no matter where I go is the Skin Fetish: Highlighter + Balm Duo ($48)," she says. "We used it on every single person."
Day or night, this dewy combo came in handy. "We might be using the balm on the cheekbones and other places to create interest for the camera in the daytime light. And during nighttime, if there was a ball, we might turn it around and use the shimmer." (Pro tip: When the light is lower, you can go heavier on the highlighter without it looking like overkill.)
Ökvist didn't use the duo solely to accent the cheekbones, though. "We would use it even on the collarbones to sort of sculpt the body." After all, diamonds of the first water need to shine, right?
All signs point to this diamond-worthy glow becoming a significant trend, and Pat McGrath even developed a Bridgerton-themed body shimmer, the Skintillating Diamond Body Shimmer ($52), in preparation.
In keeping with the Regency era, Ökvist avoided any shocking (and therefore unrealistic) beauty looks as a rule. Still, every time you see a character, there is something significant about their look. Ökvist says, "I always call it, 'glamour'"—meaning an almost magical air about the characters that gives off a mysteriously enchanting vibe."
Sometimes, this glamour came from costumes and the actors themselves. But beauty helped emphasize these transformations. One example? Penelope's red eyeliner. "Because of her red hair, to accent that in her makeup somehow, we used a little bit of the Mothership V: Bronze Seduction ($125) palette—that really bright red in there," Ökvist explains.
No, she didn't give Penelope a red cat-eye (though I wouldn't mind seeing that), just a barely-there touch of pigment to pull the look together. The result? Enchanting beauty sans any extremes—aka, definitely a trend we could see taking hold.
Glossy, kissable lips are in this season (duh). "I used the Lip Fetish: Divinyl Lip Shine ($36) on a lot of the actors," Ökvist says. "When you're outside, it looks very natural. And because the pigments are so strong, even when you go inside, it still works."
The lip products had serious staying power, too, perfect for long days on set. "I don’t remember anyone having any kiss stains on their face," Ökvist says. "So we were quite happy for them to kiss away." Considering Bridgerton is the ultimate kissability test, that definitely bodes well for anyone seeking all-day shine.
Natural, Matte Lipsticks
In season two, Kate starts out as the picture of a practical older sister, even down to her lipstick. While most Bridgerton characters had shiny, kissable lips, Kate's are matte (at least in the beginning). "We would use the MatteTrance™ Lipstick ($38) on her because it’s something that doesn’t collect the light so it doesn’t pop in that sense," Ökvist explains.
The matte lip choice underscored her sensible attitude. "Kate is an incredibly independent woman. She’s here in this country not for herself but for her sister," Ökvist adds. So, rationally speaking, she wouldn't want lips that looked particularly kissable... until, of course, she does.
Kate's eye makeup was all about playing up her natural features. "We used the Mothership V: Bronze Seduction eye palette on her because the undertones in her skin and her eyes are really in that palette," Ökvist says.
These buildable pigments were also perfect for Kate's character arc: As she falls in love, those colors become a little bolder, and the shades grow a little deeper, all without abandoning her carefully-crafted Look DNA.
Staying true to the era was paramount for the beauty looks in season two, but that still left Ökvist and her team with some wiggle room. "For the Regency balls, we actually got quite bold this season," she says. "There is a lot of color in there." Looking at the characters' go-to colors, they'd find ways to "punch them up" for a more vibrant look.
The best example of this? Queen Charlotte, of course. (I mean, really, would she have it any other way?) "She is the theater. She is the Queen of Hearts," Ökvist says. "For the queen, we used pretty much every single lipstick or even mixed lipsticks together." The MatteTrance™ Lipstick in the color Elson was just one of many.
And although the real Queen Charlotte lived from 1744 to 1818, Ökvist sees this bright color trend carrying over to audiences in 2022. "Just add that one swipe of color, and you'll be ready to go out," she suggests.
Fierce and ultra-rosy blush might be in vogue right now, but Bridgerton season two could usher in a more subtle version of this trend. "The pigments in the Skin Fetish: Divine Blush ($38) are literally based on undertones of skin," Ökvist says. "So whatever you put on, if you put it on sheer, you will literally not see that it’s there. You just get that natural glow from within." And who doesn't want that?
Per Ökvist, on set for season two, every actor was getting the "I woke up like this" blush treatment. "Everybody's got blush," she tells us. To get the best, most "shine from within" effect, Ökvist layered colors. "Sometimes I used three different colors on top of each other."
Innocent, doe-like eyes are also taking over this season. "Edwina has romantic eyes," Ökvist says. And that's on purpose. "She is one of those characters who is quite happy within her situation, and she’s also totally certain what’s about to happen. She’s going to get married, she’s going to become a wonderful wife, and she might even be the diamond."
But even characters without Edwina's rose-colored glasses have that same romantic eye makeup. Think: long lashes, soft colors, and lots of blending. "For the queen, we used every Mothership eyeshadow palette," Ökvist says. And there was quite a lot to choose from—including the Bridgerton-inspired MTHRSHP: Belle of the Ball ($65) and MTHRSHP: Diamond of the First Water ($65).