While curled up on the couch to enjoy the final installation of the To All The Boys I Loved trilogy, I spent the movie swooning and sighing over Lara-Jean Covey’s (played by Lana Condor) glowy, baby-peach gorgeous skin and fluttery lashes. And although I’m an avid skincare consumer, mastering makeup has been something of a challenge for me. Luckily, To All The Boys I Loved: Always and Forever’s head makeup artist Marianne Olsen, was kind enough to spare me a quick call for the low-down on her makeup secrets. Olsen gave me all the details about working behind-the-scenes with the To All The Boys cast—from how to get Lara-Jean’s youthful glow to how she kept all that kissing from showing up on Noah Centineo’s face!
On the Lara-Jean look:
Lara-Jean Covey’s signature look is all about freshness and girl-next-door vibes. “I was very lucky,” Olsen chuckles. “Lana has great skin. And she has a really great skincare routine. When you have a great base, then it’s all easy-peasy. She has this really natural glow.”
But Olsen did make it a point to mention that she refrained from using highlighter—a pointed choice to avoid making Condor look oily or sweaty under the harsh lights on set. The one exception to that was the prom makeup (this also happens to be one of Olsen’s favorite looks in the movie). Olsen says that she kept it very minor and light, “just the slightest bit of shimmer on her." The goal was to keep Condor’s look very natural and neutral, but still a little glammed up for this occasion.
Glowing skin might be the main focus of the Lara-Jean look, so Olsen was mindful to keep the look balanced. “The major thing with Lara-Jean is that beautiful skin,” Olsen says. “It looks wonderful, so I didn’t want her eyes to overwhelm them.” When working with the eyes, Olsen recommends using an eyeshadow primer, using minimal product, and really blending well. She prefers neutral mattes (she used Tom Ford’s Eye Color Quad in Cocoa Mirage for the regular Lara-Jean look, and the Tom Ford Eye Color Quad in Nude Dip for the prom scene).
“When it comes to Asian eyes, there are artists who try to re-create what we don’t have, instead of accentuating what we have. Like, a cut-crease is creating something that is not there!” she says, “I don’t like to have a lot of steps and products, I won’t use a million different colors. I use maybe, max, two or three colors. Eyeliner, mascara. With Asian eyes, you have to be careful of transferring to the bottom lid, as well. I find certain mascaras, like the coating types, can be clumpy." She swears by the Clinique Lash Power Mascara, which she says doesn't smudge or transfer.
While Condor is a self-proclaimed lash extension aficionado, Olsen says that strip lashes can be a more cost-effective and consistent alternative for some major lash drama. “When Lana says that she needs to have her lashes, I can understand because I’m Japanese,” she tells me, before she admits that her own lashes are too short to actually apply eyelash extensions to. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t about to be on set in New York, so Lana’s personal artist used just a regular strip. It offers more consistency, instead of the lashes looking wonky from the extension naturally falling off. Just make sure they’re really on there!”
On keeping the kisses from transferring:
“I hardly use lipstick, just lip liner and a lip balm,” Olsen says casually, as if this tidbit hasn’t just blown my mind. “Unless it’s a period piece, most people are happy with just a tinted balm or lip tint. But when you have a red lip, you have to do all the blotting and powdering, and you always have to stand by and re-apply. You just hope and pray it’s not a bad mess!”
On working with the cast:
Although Olsen hadn’t worked on the previous movies, she was sure to do her homework when coming onto this project and working with each cast member with their character. “With an installment like this, you usually watch the other ones,” she says. “The hair and makeup teams have been different for each movie. I read the script and watched the other movies, and I tried to keep things age appropriate for the character. Sometimes the cast wants the makeup to look one way, but you have to remember that the makeup is for the character, not for the cast member themself. A lot of input comes from the director as well.”
“Jannel Parrish has 25 tattoos... and she has a scene in a pool! We [the makeup department] were just like, ‘Noo…’” she laughs when recounting working on set. “I was constantly going in there to wipe down Noah! When there’s red lipstick on him, you just neutralize something like that or use some more foundation. It’s been amazing. From the first movie, it’s snowballed and now it’s huge! This little small story has grown so much.”