What Lipstick is She Wearing?

17 Apr

It turns out I am not alone in this dilemma and several of you sent me messages about this unwritten article that is mentioned in the introduction to TV Ate My Wardrobe. We live in an age where style blogs tell us exactly what clothes your favorite TV character is wearing so you can either buy the exact item or a more affordable alternative (my bank balance would be in trouble if every time I saw something I liked on New Girl or Parks and Recreation I went out and bought it). It’s wonderful that I can read an episode by episode guide of the costuming that features on The Good Wife but I would also love to know what shade of lipstick Alicia is wearing in court. This type of blog don’t exist in the same volume for the make-up that is used and it can become an endless Internet treasure hunt to try and find the exact color you have seen on screen.


When I went to see Shame at the cinema, one thing that distracted me (other than the obvious) was the shade of lipstick chosen for Carey Mulligan’s troubled character Sissy. Luckily the brand and color used got a mention in Stylist magazine and I popped to my local MAC counter and purchased Barcelona Red (to my horror I’ve just found out that it has been discontinued). It’s not always this easy and sometimes you just have to go to whichever make-up specialist you prefer with smart phone in hand and ask for the nearest shade to the one in the photograph. I can testify that this doesn’t always yield the best results.

All is not lost though and InStyle has a lipstick finder on their website and while this is helpful, it only appears to deal with red carpet enquires. My quest doesn’t stop here though and this is where you have to go into detective mode as the make-up artists who work with these actors are often mentioned in the “What Lipstick is She Wearing?” blurbs. I decided to look up Zooey Deschanel’s make-up artist Jorjee Douglas and found both her Twitter and Tumblr pages. Douglas also contributes to Deschanel’s website HelloGiggles and has previously answered questions about the make-up featured on New Girl. Social media has given a platform for experts such as Douglas to respond to fan enquiries relating to their work and the products they use.


With a show like Mad Men every aspect is scrutinized and analyzed; costumes and make-up can signify almost as much about the mood of the characters and the storylines as the words spoken. This also gives an opportunity to find out what products are being used and even tutorials to find out how to achieve a similar look (I’m no expert so this is appreciated).

The Cut spoke to Lana Horochowski, Mad Men’s head make-up artist and she discussed her work in the season 6 opener “The Doorway” and how she uses current cosmetics to give the right look for the late 60s. Horochowski also mentions how she approaches each female character so for Peggy her make-up “is always a little messy or rushed because she’s so focused on work. You’ll see it’s kind of crooked.” This type of character detail is why Mad Men is revered and even though it was lipstick that gave Peggy her big break back in season one, it’s how Peggy can sell the product not how she wears the product that is important. Also thanks to this article I now want the Nars Bolero Velvet Matte Lip Pencil that Megan is wearing on the beach.

While I do enjoy a good Internet treasure hunt, it would also cut down on the time I spend online if a database like IMDb existed for make-up products in movies and on television. This would work on several levels; first it would be a boost to the beauty economy and in this climate what industry doesn’t need a cash injection. Secondly it would showcase the work of some really talented folk who don’t always get to be in the spotlight for their talents that are on screen. Thirdly it would help the not so savvy (like myself) in this department and mean that I don’t have to take a photo to a beauty counter in a department store and get an “it’s almost kinda like that one” shade.

Is there a character on TV or film whose make-up bag you would love to sneak a look at?


14 Responses to “What Lipstick is She Wearing?”


  1. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 3, 2013

    […] in regards to her career.  Bonus points go to the bold lip color (which I now really want – no surprise there). This was an excellent way to end the season and I cannot wait to see what the costume department […]

  2. Hollywood Reporter’s 2013 Drama Actress Roundtable | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 30, 2013

    […] they over last year’s gown affair. In unsurprising news I really want to find out the shades/brands of lipstick they are wearing (especially Elisabeth […]

  3. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - May 31, 2013

    […] looking like they’ve matched everyone in a Stepford Wives manner (and I’ve started a lipstick treasure hunt to find out Elisabeth Moss’ shade/brand. There will be […]

  4. Kerry Washington Covers Vanity Fair | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 3, 2013

    […] don’t think anyone will be shocked to hear that I really want the lipstick Washington is wearing, but probably not her white […]

  5. Throwback Thursday: Makeup Edition | TV Ate My Wardrobe - August 29, 2013

    […] For more on my lipstick obsession head here. […]

  6. Get the Look: Keri Russell’s Electric Blue Eyes | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 19, 2013

    […] sparkly eyes and my fear of looking like a clown subsides a little. In the past I have spoken about the idea of having an IMDB like database for makeup that appears in movies, TV shows or public appearances […]

  7. The Wish List: April Ludgate and Party Dresses | TV Ate My Wardrobe - February 4, 2014

    […] Ann and Chris’ leaving party isn’t the first time April’s worn a fancy dress this season and there was a fancy pants event in the London premiere episode. The dress April is wearing has graced these pages before on Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford during New York Fashion Week. It’s Alice + Olivia and we’re drawn to the various size polka dots, because of course. Leslie also looks great in Stella McCartney in the London episode and a Ted Baker dress in last week’s episode. The pink lip color they’ve been using on Leslie all season is on my ‘find out what color’ list, the same goes with Gina on the Brooklyn Nine-Nine Super Bowl episode. If anyone knows the brand or color then let me know. This is why we need a makeup IMDb. […]

  8. Get the Look: Keri Russell’s Smoky Purple Eyes | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 10, 2014

    […] of the first posts I wrote on TV Ate My Wardrobe bemoaned the lack of a central database like IMDb for makeup (and […]

  9. God Help the Girl Trailer: “You’re Going to Need a Pop Group” | TV Ate My Wardrobe - July 22, 2014

    […] lookout for the full David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust makeup approach. Oh and for anyone who has read this, yes I have made it my new mission to find out the brand/shade that Emily Browning is wearing on […]

  10. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - August 7, 2015

    […] This outfit is super cute and Camilla Luddington’s lipstick blouse gets added to the list of clothes I need with a makeup motif. Maybe I need to change this to “What Lipstick Top is She Wearing?” […]

  11. Best of TV Costuming 2016: Work in Other Places | TV Ate My Wardrobe - December 22, 2016

    […] I got from this phone conversation.One of the first pieces I wrote on TV Ate My Wardrobe was about lipstick on TV/film and I expanded upon this idea while discussing the Empire CoverGirl line and how […]

  12. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - September 1, 2017

    […] Cash TCA lipstick is Stila longwear liquid lipstick in Fiery. Social media really does help the makeup treasure hunt.Working the no socks thing and crushing these casual suit vibes are Darrell Britt-Gibson and […]

  13. Out of the Box: Look of the Week | TV Ate My Wardrobe - November 17, 2017

    […] me in touch with her makeup artist Kirin Bhatty on Twitter. Because I am still preoccupied with a question from the early days of this blog.Ditching Dior for Alexander McQueen and this is my favorite Jennifer Lawrence look in an age. This […]

  14. The Americans is a Serious Show, The Press Tour is a Delight | TV Ate My Wardrobe - March 22, 2018

    […] season. And if you want to know about Keri Russell’s lipstick from the Washington D.C. event (you know I do), then The Cut has all the answers (and you should also follow make-up artist Tina Turnbow on […]

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