"Poor Things" makeup artist says Emma Stone only uses these 4 products

Emma Stone's career has been defined by shining movie moments — like her hilarious appearance in "Easy A , " her heartbreakingly beautiful story in "La La Land ," or her A wickedly chic depiction of Cruella de Vil. Stone's latest film , "Poor Things," due out in late 2023, is an edgy story unique to Stone.

"Poor Things " is adapted from Alasdair Gray's novel of the same name, and adds elements of Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" to make it even weirder. Stone's character Bella is resurrected by a lay scientist, much like Frankenstein's monster. But Bella has a child's mind in a woman's body, and her unique journey comes with it.

The film received a whopping 11 nominations at this year's Academy Awards, including: Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Makeup and Hairstyling. Ahead of the awards ceremony, Buster caught up with the film's leading lady to discuss the latter.

I chatted with Nadia Stacey; The film's lead makeup artist and Pat McGrath created the on-screen looks. Next, they both shared the deeper meaning behind their makeup and what it was like working with Stone.

How did you use makeup to illustrate Stone's character development in "Poor Things" ?

Stacey: When we started the movie, Emma's character, Bella Baxter, was a baby in a controlled environment, so she wasn't wearing makeup at all. We used clear gel on her brows to tease them out, but let's be honest, that's Emma's skin.

Her first attempt at makeup was in a brothel, where she met Mrs. Sweeney and her daughters. I wanted her makeup to look plain and slightly innocent, like she put it on herself or some brothel girl did it for her.

Courtesy of Searchlight Photos

You used red and purple pigments to enhance Bella's veins and eyes, which are typically features people want to hide. Can you say a little more about that?

Stacey: The colors I chose came from Baxter’s medical magazine pictures: pink skin, purple veins, blood red lips. It ties everything together. Bella's experimentation with makeup wasn't about beauty, she almost dressed up as a character to sell herself to the men in the brothel.

McGrath: Nadia's makeup palette for Emma, ​​in particular, is a testament to her ingenuity in blending anatomical and fantastical elements. Deep pinks and purples hint at the subtleties of the human body, while rich reds evoke the inner essence of life and vitality. Emma Stone's makeup echoes the film's thematic heartbeat, with each hue chosen to emphasize the film's dramatic arc. Just genius.

Courtesy of Searchlight Photos

How did you decide which products to use for Pat McGrath's look?

Stacey: Pat's colors are so rich and vivid and I'm always drawn to her products. I wanted to find a very dark red for her lips and Forbidden Love is a great shade that looked very period-appropriate but also gave the depth I wanted.

Blue and purple eyes called for a strong, subversive palette that was rich in color and reflective, which I thought worked well in the brothel setting. If Bella is basically only using three products at that moment, you need them to make an impact.

McGrath: Nadia's decision to use the Mothership III: Subversive palette—specifically the deep shimmery purple "Night Creature" shade—was particularly easy to highlight Bella's experimental phase. PermaGel Ultra Glide Eyeliner in Blue Blitz blends color and personality for deep expression.

What was it like working with Emma?

Stacey: This is my third time working with her and we have a great relationship and a lot of trust in playing and trying new things. She's very collaborative, and because she's also a producer on the film, she's very interested in the creative process. Bella is a very special character and Emma felt it was important to play her. We wanted to make sure we did her justice and created something that had never been done before.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Shop Bella Baxter EssentialsMatteTrance™ Lipstick in Forbidden Love PAT McGRATH LABS

Mothership III: SubversivePAT McGRATH LABS

PAT McGRATH LABS PermaGel Eyeliner Blitz Blue Sephora