Mad Men's Makeup Artist on Joan's Red Lip, Betty's Best-Ever Look and More

The show's makeup artist talks beauty with us

Sure, we’re going to miss the amazing pitch meetings at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, Don and Roger’s banter and all those gorgeous period clothes, but one of the things we’ll miss most of all about Mad Men is the amazing beauty moments created on the show. That’s why we wanted to chat with fabulous makeup artist Lana Horochowski — who is responsible for the memorable looks sported by Betty, Joan, Megan, Peggy and the rest of the cast — as we wait anxiously for Sunday’s season 7 premiere.



Horochowski has been able to evolve with the characters and transition their looks from the classic late-’50s vibe of the first season (which began in 1960) to a totally mod late-’60s moment, which we’ll pick up with as the season begins in 1969. And while she couldn’t give too much away about what we’re going to see this season (we’re hoping for lots of metallics, color, pale lips, etc.) she did give us some insight on what it’s been like on set.

“Obviously, the formulas are a lot different now — more specific to skin type, a lot more variety in color and more levels of coverage from sheer to full,” she tells PEOPLE. “We definitely use a full coverage matte finish on the show, because that is what was available back then. Also more of a matte lip and cream blush. As we move later in to the ’60s we got to play more with liquid foundation and frosty pale lips.”

Horochowski says she turns to “vintage fashion magazines, old makeup ads for color reference, old pics of family and friends” when planning out her vision boards. She also works closely with costume designer Janie Bryant to create a look that best embodies each characters. “We always share research photos and discuss all the looks before they go in front of the camera. I definitely always use the costumes and the hair for inspiration.”

As for her favorite beauty look from Mad Men history? It’s Betty’s date night look from season 3’s romantic trip to Rome. From the perfect cat eye to her voluminous do, we have to say it’s one of our all time favorites too.

But while Betty has always been the height of ’60s glamour, Peggy has transformed from dowdier beginnings to a more subtle elegance. “She is a working woman in a man’s world not much time spent on her appearance,” Horochowski says. Joan, on the other hand, is all bombshell, all the time — as evidenced by her ever-present bright lip. Her three lip colors switch between Laura Mercier “Baby Lips”, MAC “Fanfare” and Tom Ford “True Coral.” And as for actress Megan, Horochowski gets to play with whatever wild makeup looks the ’60s have to offer.

When the makeup master is not busy on set, she likes to dedicate her time to the Look Good Feel Better (a program that brings makeup tutorials and cosmetics to cancer patients to help them feel their best on the outside) as a national ambassador. “I experience firsthand every day how makeup can transform. To be able to use it to transform women who are enduring such hardship, to help them not only look but feel beautiful and confident for the first time in a long time, is such a special opportunity.”

Mad Men Season 7 returns Sunday at 10 p.m. om AMC. What type of beauty moments are you hoping for? Share your thoughts below.

–Brittany Talarico

Related Articles