‘Bridgerton’ makeup artist on creating beauty looks for steamy scenes: We ‘do smooch tests’

“Bridgerton” Season 3 features plenty of dewy, blush-based beauty looks — and no shortage of blush-inducing romance scenes.

For makeup artist Erika Okvist, the latter shots require special consideration, as she tells Page Six Style the cast conducts “smooch tests” to ensure their makeup stands up during steamy moments.

“[They’re] scenes where our actors are feeling vulnerable and our job is to make them feel really special and looked after,” says the beauty pro, who reaches for primers and setting sprays when she can’t find a kiss-proof product in the perfect color.

Among her favorites? The Hourglass Vanish Airbrush Primer ($58), a multitasker she says “makes everything look dreamy.”

Hourglass primer

“We want [them] to look as good as they did when they stepped into the carriage when they step out,” she quips, referencing the now-viral makeout between Penelope Featherington (Nicola Coughlan) and Colin Bridgerton (Luke Newton).

And while the on-screen couple broke furniture filming their love scenes, you needn’t break the bank copying the show’s glam; plenty of on-set hero products can be found at the drugstore, including the No. 7 Age Defying Mascara ($13) Okvist used “a lot” for the show.

No. 7 Age Defying Mascara
No. 7

Fenty contour stick
Fenty Beauty

Other “diamonds of the season” include the Fenty Match Stix Contour Skinstick ($32), La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen ($20) and By Terry Hyaluronic Hydra-Powder ($54), which she says helps you avoid looking “chalky” post-powder application. 

Hylauronic powder
By Terry/Dermstore

The beauty pro also kept products from fellow makeup artist Pat McGrath on hand for the “empowering” looks, including the Skin Fetish Highlighter & Balm Duo ($50) she used for both male and female characters.

“That is a wonderful highlighter for cheekbones,” she says. “Even if you didn’t have anything in your pocket going out and really desperately needed to look just a little bit better, that dual stick is fantastic.”

a double sided highlighter and balm stick from Pat McGrath Labs

Not all of the show’s styles can be tried at home, however. Queen Charlotte’s famous sky-high wigs had the team splitting hairs — especially one show-stopper filled with motorized swan figurines.

“The swans moving around inside the Queen’s wig created a sound that was difficult for the sound man,” she recalls. “So we had to soundproof the wigs, and that was a problem that I hadn’t foreseen.”

Queen Charlotte riding in a carriage
Queen Charlotte (Golda Rosheuvel) is famous for her head-turning hairstyles. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

When it comes to making noise online however, Penelope’s makeup is perhaps the buzziest right now; the former wallflower’s come into full bloom this season, complete with a major beauty glow-up inspired by iconic starlets.

“Old Hollywood glamour is very much designed to honor a very feminine woman and really help to make her look soft, but still really strong,” Okvist says. “That was something we really wanted for Penelope. She has to go through quite a lot in this season.”

Penelope and Colin in Bridgerton
“We knew that it was going to really work for Nicola [Coughlan’s] face,” Okvist says of Penelope’s Old Hollywood-inspired beauty looks. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

Nicola Coughlan getting her makeup done on the "Bridgerton" set
“I want them all to go on to set and feel empowered,” Okvist says of the cast, who often collaborate with the beauty team on their characters’ looks. LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX

And with “Bridgerton” already renewed for Season 4, there are plenty more magical makeup moments to come.

“I love every new look,” says Okvist. “Every time we do a fitting I just go, ‘Oh, my God, that’s the best look ever.’”

Why Trust Page Six Style Shopping

This article was written by Hannah Southwick, Commerce Writer/Reporter for Page Six Style. Hannah spies deals on actually affordable celebrity-worn styles, puts Hollywood’s favorite labels to the test and finds the beauty products that keep stars red carpet-ready. She consults stylists and industry pros — including celebs themselves — for firsthand product recommendations, trend predictions and more. In addition to writing for Page Six since 2020, her work has been featured in USA Today and Parade.