Exclusive: Mad Men's Alison Brie Gets a '70s Makeover

Alison Brie

Justin Coit/Byrdie

Mad Men may take place primarily in the '60s, but when we asked Alison Brie to step into the era of big hair and heavy contour (read: decade of disco) for our latest beauty editorial, she happily obliged.

“I love the style of the ‘70s, it’s such an eclectic decade, and so different from the ‘60s,” Brie told us. “These looks are all looser, sexier, and more free.” How does it stack up to the period she’s used to working in? “The costumes are very binding because we wear all the correct undergarments, which informs your character, but this feels like you can put everything right out there. Whereas, in Mad Men, everything seems a bit hidden.”

We did just that, with the help of makeup artist Jo Strettell and hairstylist Christian Marc. From big curls and Guy Bourdin-inspired colors to a full-lashed flower child, Brie makes the ‘70s look damn good.

Alison Brie 1970s Guy Bourdin-inspired look
Justin Coit / Byrdie

Strettell’s inspiration for the first look came from French photographer Bourdin. “It’s a wet eye and mouth—and no cheek color,” Strettell says. She used Nars’ Velvet Shadow Stick ($20) under a coat of Elizabeth Arden’s 8 Hour Cream ($24), then reached for Hourglass’ Extreme Sheen Lip Color ($28) in Icon. Manicurist Michelle Saunders created the “severe nude nail” with Essie’s Nail Polish ($7) in Cocktails and Coconuts.

Meanwhile, Marc crafted soft curls with a 1-inch iron and a boar-bristle brush. “Brush through the curls after they cool with a paddle brush to create a nice wave,” he says. "That’s how you get that softer look.”

Sophie Theallet Coral and Anemone Chantilly Lace and Chiffon Dress with Embroidery and Leather Details ($3,495)

Alison Brie 1970s inspired look - long, soft, waves
Justin Coit / Byrdie

Marc traded in his smaller iron for a 3-inch barrel for this look, again, softening the style with a brush. To complement Brie’s locks, Strettell used Flower Beauty’s Lip Suede Velvet Lip Chubby in Floral Coral on both her lips and cheeks. “It’s a fresh face—and lots of mascara,” she says. She used the same formula through our entire shoot: L’Oreal’s Voluminous Mascara ($9).

Stevie Howell Ritz’s Ranunculus Robe de Chambre ($395)

Alison Brie 1970s inspired look - faux bob
Justin Coit / Byrdie

Brie had a hard time deciding which look was her favorite, but the faux bob and heavy contour took the prize. “It surprises me that it was my favorite, but it turned out really nice,” Brie says. “It’s fashion-forward and such a cool, esoteric look.”
How did Marc create said faux bob? “I don’t know if I want to tell you that kind of stuff! It’s a secret,” he joked. Needless to say, it called for a deep side part, a medium-barrel iron, and a tucked-in braid.

Derek Lam Georgette Cloque Twist Halter Gown with Wide Belt ($2,690)

Alison Brie quote
Alison Brie 1970s inspired look - big hair
Justin Coit / Byrdie

Brie’s reaction to the most time-consuming look of the day? “Amazing!” she says. “I don’t think I’ve ever worn this much makeup or had this type of hairstyle. It’s so glamorous.”

Strettell was inspired by Bianca Jagger, so she called on colorful shadow (Nars' Soft Touch Pencil ($22) in Trash), heavy blush (we like Nars' Blush in Orgasm, $30) and a glossy red lip (Hourglass’ Extreme Sheen Lip Color ($17) in Icon).

Marc applied a hefty dose of mousse to Brie’s damp locks before wrapping them around thin foam rollers (try the Spiral Rollers Set ($10) by Conair) and setting with an old-fashioned blow-dry bonnet. Meanwhile, Sauders took the actress dark and dramatic with Essie’s Nail Polish ($7) in Carry On.

Eres Rainbow in Now Maillot ($580).

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Alison Brie 1970s inspired shimmery bronzed look
Justin Coit / Byrdie

As the creative juices flowed, Marc and Strettell stumbled across their own version of disco. “This shimmery bronzed look is sort of like…Bardot gone wild,” Strettell says. She used Flower Beauty’s creamy Eyes of the Prize Shadow Stick in Daffodil With It under a cocktail of powder shadows and Lancome’s Juicy Tube ($16) in Simmer. Marc brushed out the curls already in Brie’s hair and smoothed Aveda Control Paste ($31) from root to tip.

Zero Maria Cornejo Lea Feather Stripe Jumpsuit ($1,025). Visit zeromariacornejo.com or call (212) 925-3849.

  • Photographer: Justin Coit
  • Creative Director: Liz Higgins
  • Makeup Artist: Jo Strettell
  • Hair Stylist: Christian Marc
  • Manicurist: Michelle Saunders
  • Stylist: Laurie Trott

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