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Christina Hendricks / Joan Holloway in Mad Men Makeup Tutorial

How-To: The Look of Mad Men's Joan Holloway

Joan Holloway proves that you don't need to show skin to be the hottest woman in the room. (OK, she's often the only woman in the room, but still.) The Mad Men character has a sultry secretary style that would still turn heads today.

Makeup artist Debbie Zoller researches every character's look to make it as authentically '60s as possible, and she emphasizes Joan's personality through her makeup. "Joan knows how to get what she wants by using her skills and sexuality," Debbie says. "She reads all of the latest fashion magazines and knows what works best for her to make her presence known at Sterling Cooper. I play up her amazing eyes so she can mesmerize every man she comes in contact with."

For the behind-the-scenes scoop on the precise products used to transform actress Christina Hendricks into Joan Holloway,


  • Face: Debbie uses Laura Mercier foundations to create a peaches-and-cream complexion, followed by Lancôme dual-finish powder to keep her skin matte. She then dabs Julie Hewett Cheekies on the apples of the cheeks. "I have [Christina's] smile so I know exactly where to put it," Debbie says.
  • Eyes: In true '60s style, Debbie strokes black Dior liquid eyeliner on the top lid. She then uses watercake mascara on the top lashes only.
  • Lips: "The lips are lined first with a lip liner that matches the lipstick we choose," Debbie says." She frequently turns to Laura Mercier lipstick in Baby Lips, a sheer pink; and Mistress, a pinky red.

Photo courtesy of AMC.

Join The Conversation
bunnyhorse bunnyhorse 6 years
Thanks for explaining watercake mascara, retrodoll. I was wondering that myself. I am getting pumped up for my Joan Holloway Halloween costume! I can't get Laura Mercier in my area, but next time I'm in a "real" city I'll check it out. As a pale skinned girl, I'm interested in whatever they're using on Christina Hendricks. I love seeing a girl with a curvy figure like mine getting the props she deserves!
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 6 years
Cake mascara is a solid and dry mascara in a pan that has to have water mixed with it, and you either use spooley brush or the brush that comes with it. It's a very old school method, but it's still used for a sooty black lash. You can mix it with your regular mascara to build lashes.
girlfunkmusic girlfunkmusic 7 years
Um, what the heck is "watercake mascara" huh??
Briandiesel Briandiesel 7 years
Just curious why this was on the main page for Bella when its almost a year old? Love this show. She is gorgeous!
fifthdaughter fifthdaughter 8 years
I also looked on the link for the lipstick and I loooove the Mistress color! It's gorgeous. Although I dont' think I could wear it, I have more of an olive toned complexion.
fifthdaughter fifthdaughter 8 years
I also looked on the link for the lipstick and I loooove the Mistress color! It's gorgeous.
fifthdaughter fifthdaughter 8 years
I didn't realize she was so curvy, that's awesome! It's great to see an actress who's not super skinny. I think more actresses should look like that.
misstaya misstaya 8 years
She is absolutely beautiful. I'm so happy that it's it's becoming acceptable to look like a WOMAN again.
Cris1192 Cris1192 8 years
she's gorgeous, I love her curves and her skin, man I sound like a guy LOL
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 8 years
We don't get to see women like this on tv because they are either rail-think, or like the token really big girl, like Camryn Manheim. I think seeing her on tv is great because, no she doesn't have an average figure, she's a knockout, but at least she's different from the tv norm. I'd rather aspire to look like her with the help of a pushup bra, and some better clothes than starve myself! And her skin and makeup are lovely. And Mad Men is a fantastic show and she is great on it. So basically, I adore her! ;)
ElanaRobinson ElanaRobinson 8 years
She is INSANELY SEXY. She has one of the best bodies in hollywood. I'd much rather have her whopping curves than be a fat-free twig. I'm glad to see that other people agree : )
Lysa1237 Lysa1237 8 years
She's one of my favorite characters in Mad Men.
shelbyrist shelbyrist 8 years
She is hot! Love the fact that Mad Men actually shows what a true "WOMAN" is built like! Love the show in general actually :)
em1282 em1282 8 years
Thanks for this post--I always want to know what makeup she uses even though I look nothing like her. Love this woman and LOVE that show!
ModernGraceKelly ModernGraceKelly 8 years
I haven't seen anyone this curvy on t.v. in years... That emmy dress was beautiful. I loved the green color. Her chest is huuuge. I am straight and couldn't stop looking at her chest. lol
madhatter madhatter 8 years
I remember when I first saw her on Firefly, and thinking "Wow, own those curves!" I didn't realize she was on this show -- I will definitely have to check this out now...
Beauty Beauty 8 years
Details, I don't know which foundation shade is used, but Laura Mercier does have great options for fair-skinned complexions. Head in to a counter and get swatched! :)
tundrababe tundrababe 8 years
Drop dead gorgeous. Love her, love Joan!
Glittersniffer Glittersniffer 8 years
That woman is gorgeous. Seriously. Hourglass figure, creamy complexion, lovely eyes, gorgeous hair. It's ladies like her that remind me that I don't care to be tan. I'd rather have her complexion ANY day.
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
She's so gorgeous. Love the hair color and her doe eye look.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I've always thought Christina Hendricks was so gorgeous!
ShelleyHFan ShelleyHFan 8 years
gatsby-esque gatsby-esque 8 years
Personally, I thought she should have toned down her Emmy's look. Yes, we know you have huge boobs, but leave a little to the imagination, geez!
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