At the First Allure x Netflix Event, 4 Hair and Makeup Pros Talk Diversity in Hollywood

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On Thursday night, Allure and Netflix hosted a conversation at The Allure Store celebrating the diversity of talent working behind the scenes — the hair and makeup professionals who work on actors on set as well as before the red carpet. The event highlighted industry veterans Linda Villalobos (Kerry Washington’s hairstyle on the Netflix film The School For Good and Evil), Terry Hunt (Zoe Saldaña’s hairstylist on the Netflix series From Scratch ), Lucy Betancourt (a makeup artist on the Netflix film Bardo), Jessica Smalls (a makeup artist for talent press appearances, including Janelle Monae’s events for the upcoming Netflix film Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery). 

From left: Lucy Betancourt, Linda Villalobos, Terry Hunt, Jessica Smalls, Jessica Cruel 

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The panel, which I moderated focused on the skill and creativity needed to create the looks we admire in film and television today. Speaking about her work on Bardo — a film about a Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker returning to his home country, which will premiere on December 23 — Betancourt explained, “We had over 1000 extras to prepare for one scene.” Betancourt collaborated with the costume designer to make sure 50 of the people on set were close-up ready but still had to coordinate a large team to do makeup for everyone involved. She also spoke about how her Mexican heritage played a role in creating the makeup for the characters. 

Hunt, who has worked in the film and TV industry for over 20 years, emphasized how important it is to have diversity when it comes to below-the-line talent, too. He told the room — filled with cosmetology students, aspiring artists, and established industry pros — that working on set is about honing your craft to be comfortable working with all hair textures and types so that you are never limited in the jobs you can take. “Talk to people no matter who they are. Learn from other people. That’s how you get more together as a people because the bottom line is that we are all humans,” Hunt said. “Man has put us in boxes and categories – white and black. But we are all humans. If you keep that mindset you will go far.” He also revealed that every look Zoe Saldana wore in the From Scratch series was achieved with a wig. “It’s really important to protect the actor’s hair,” Hunt explained. “Zoe has gone from long to medium to short to long again [in the movie]. We can’t do that with her hair which is down to her waist.”

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