XOXO, "Gossip Girl" Season 2 Beauty Secrets You Should Know – POPSUGAR

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HBO’s “Gossip Girl” returned to our screens on Dec. 1 for season two, bringing back our favorite Constance Billard students for even more drama. Judging by what we’ve seen so far — and glimpses of what’s to come from the trailer — we’re in for an eventful few episodes. Season two takes us all over the Upper East Side to the steps of the Met Gala and even brings back an iconic face from the original CW drama: Georgina Sparks, played by Michelle Trachtenberg.
With each of our main characters well-established from season one, this go-around is all about diving a little deeper. “We really start to get a sense of who our characters are, what their goals are, and what they believe in,” Michael Zambrano, the series’s hair-department head, tells POPSUGAR. In that same vein, the hair and makeup in the new season are evolving (ever so slightly) to reflect this shift. “We see some changes in their looks, depending on are they going more for vanity, or power, or status, or are they going to seek justice?”
Zambrano and the show’s makeup-department head, Sheri Kornhaber, worked tirelessly to ensure each look represented the character’s feelings inside on the outside — but they had some help, too. “The actors were always part of the process,” Kornhaber says.
Ahead, Zambrano and Kornhaber give us a behind-the-scenes peek into each character’s look in season two of “Gossip Girl,” from how they’re modernizing Georgina’s look to the exact products they used on set (like the press-ons Monet can’t stop wearing).
If you thought Monet (Savannah Lee Smith) was a force to be reckoned with in the first season, just wait. “She’s really going to take over this year,” Zambrano says. Her makeup this season is strong and demands the attention that she craves. Black winged eyeliner and a deep lip are staples of her look. “[It’s] a very powerful look, to go with this yearning of power that her character’s journey is on,” Kornhaber says.
Monet’s many hairstyles are similarly bold. “We already have two completely different looks just in the first two episodes, so there’s a lot in store for the rest of the season,” Zambrano says. The power trip that Monet is on allowed for ample room to play and be fearless. “We were really able to try so many different hairstyles, textures, and colors.”
In contrast to Monet, Julien (Jordan Alexander) is on a completely different path. “[She’s] just trying to take a little bit of a step back and reevaluate all of her online presences,” Kornhaber says. In turn, they gave her a little bit of a softer look this season. What won’t really change is her signature “power buzz cut,” as Zambrano calls it. “[She] can’t hide behind a hairstyle . . . We really want to stay true to who Julien is.”
Being the youngest and having just moved from upstate New York when we first met her, Zoya (Whitney Peak) is evolving to fit in with her new crowd. In season one, she had a minimal look that reflected the area she grew up in, but now she’s spent more time in Manhattan, and it’s rubbing off on her. “She’s a little more comfortable with herself and confident,” Zambrano says. The second season plays with Zoya’s natural texture a lot more, promising braids and locs galore. It was important to the team to make her very unapologetically herself and “emphasize things that not every teenage girl is willing to emphasize,” he says.
It’s safe to say that fans everywhere collectively gasped when Georgina (Michelle Trachtenberg) popped up in the season two trailer. Bringing back the Constance alum meant resurrecting an iconic look. “Something really important was staying true to who Georgina Sparks is and how iconic her look was in the original ‘Gossip Girl,'” Zambrano says. But as high-fashion as Georgina is, her look needed a bit of updating to bring it from the late 2000s to the 2020s.
“[Trachtenberg] wanted to have little things that made her feel like she was getting back into that place of playing that character,” Kornhaber says. This translated to heavy eyeshadow, glossy lips, and flawless skin. “Just very high-glam — she was always done,” she says.
A detail that you may miss at first glance but deserves your full attention is the nail looks sprinkled throughout the season. “We did a lot of fake nails on this show,” Kornhaber says. As socialites, many of our main characters would never be caught without a manicure. They also had signature nail looks, too, as many of us do.
“For Shan (Grace Duah), she always wanted the coffin shape,” Kornhaber says. Meanwhile, Monet most frequently wore Chillhouse Chill Tips Press-On Nails ($16) with french tips. Kornhaber describes it as “that very class, old-school, Upper East Side kind of manicure.”
The products in Kornhaber’s makeup kit could very well be on the vanities of these Upper East Siders. She used brands like Merit, Glossier, Rare Beauty, Makeup by Mario, MAC Cosmetics, and more. For foundation, she loved the Chantecaille Future Skin Gel Foundation ($82). For eyes, the Danessa Myricks Beauty Colorfix Eye, Cheek & Lip Cream Pigment ($18) was used again and again. The Lisa Eldridge Makeup Velvet Morning Lipstick ($32) was also a go-to for Audrey (Emily Alyn Lind). And Glossier’s Cloud Paint Blush ($20) was a staple — among many, many more products.
As for hair products, Zambrano used a lot of the Arrojo Refresh Dry Conditioner Spray ($27), the Nairobi Wrapp-It Shine Foaming Lotion ($9), and the Living Proof Perfecting Spray ($32).
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