“High Fidelity,” the 10-episode Hulu series that debuted on Valentine’s Day, has garnered rave reviews for its fresh rendition of the 1995 Nick Hornby novel and has also drawn attention because of the effortlessly cool style of lead character, Rob (played by Zoë Kravitz). It’s also utterly, enjoyably binge-able, as I can attest to (I finished the whole series in a weekend). As I sat, slumped into my couch eating pita chips, enthralled by Rob’s tempestuous love life (who hasn’t had the urge to call all their exes to find out why it didn’t work out?) and her emotional ups and downs (isn’t everyone guilty of cyberstalking their ex’s new partner at one point or another?), what kept catching my eye were her no-makeup makeup looks.
Sure, Zoë Kravitz has the genetic jackpot and her own natural beauty on her side, but I couldn’t help but fixate on whether I could attempt to recreate some version of her makeup looks from the series in the comfort of my own home. So I reached out to Miho Suzuki, the makeup artist behind Rob’s looks in the show, to see what insight she might be able to share. Ahead, some highlights from our interview.
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How long have you and Zoë Kravitz worked together, and does your relationship make it easier when thinking of new looks for the show?
Zoë and I have been working together since “Big Little Lies” season 2, so it’s just over two years. It definitely helps and makes it a fun process if you have a good relationship with the actor.
Have you worked with Zoë outside of the show?
I have only worked with Zoë for TV and films so far.
In “High Fidelity,” Rob has a very minimalist makeup look throughout most of the show. What was the inspiration behind it?
Rob is very low-key when it comes to fashion and beauty. She wore a little more when she was younger, like in the flashbacks with her top five breakups where she has heavier eyeliner, but presently, she’s not so bothered with makeup. I kept her skin as raw as possible, used lip tints instead of lipsticks and swept on cream-based eyeshadow. If Rob wears eyeliners when she goes out, it’s applied messily.
What products did you use to create Rob’s everyday look?
I started with a wash of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation, then used YSL Touché Eclat All-Over Brightening Pen for extra coverage if needed. I brushed out her eyebrows using Glossier Boy Brow in Brown. I typically used MAC Cream Colour Base in Root for over the eyelids, then lightly dabbed on Sisley Paris Phyto-Blush Twist in Contour below the cheekbone and eye crease. Glossier Generation G in Leo or Like for the lips, but it depended on the scene. Sometimes we mixed the two colors. Lastly, I airbrushed a light mist of Temptu Perfect Canvas Airbrush Foundation to finish off the look instead of powder.
I also used that Temptu foundation for touch-ups throughout the day. If I really needed powder due to lighting, I’d use Chantecaille HD Perfecting Powder in Bronze for touch-ups. But even though I’ve listed all these products, I only use a minimal amount to keep her face looking fresh and raw.
There are three notable scenes when Rob wears bolder makeup. Walk me through the first date look when she meets Clyde.
She is wearing a little more eyeliner on top of her everyday look. I used YSL Couture Kajal Eye Pencil in Black for a messy finish.
When Rob goes to meet her ex Kat, she puts on bright-red lipstick before rubbing it off, leaving lipstick smudged all over her face. What was the idea behind the makeup in that scene?
She is trying so hard to be as cool as she thinks Kat is, so she tries putting on red lipstick to meet her. [Editor’s note: The lipstick she uses is MAC‘s cult-favorite shade, Ruby Woo.] But when she looks at herself in the window, she feels uncomfortable and she wipes it off on the back of her hand. That really shows what kind of person Rob is: clumsy and awkward, but so relatable, which is why she’s so charming.
In “Fun Rob,” the very depressing episode about Rob’s birthday, she puts on a little more makeup than usual before heading out to a club. What was the thought process behind it?
Again, this is Rob really trying. She doesn’t really want to go out but she is because it’s her birthday, so she dresses up and puts eyeliner on. It’s the same messy YSL liner.
Can you share some of your personal kit staples?
In addition to what I mentioned before, I also love Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Foundation for perfecting the skin. Omorovicza Illuminating Moisturiser and Omorovicza Queen of Hungary Mist are also great for prepping the skin. For makeup, one of my go to’s is the Laura Mercier Caviar stick in Amethyst. I love the RMS Buriti Bronzer, but I use it on the eyes. To finish off a look, nothing beats Clé de Peau Beauté Concealer. Other favorites of mine are the Urban Decay Naked Palettes.
What’s the ultimate piece of makeup advice everyone should know?
Makeup can be light and natural to enhance your beauty, or it can be a complete transformation. But whatever it is, it should make you feel happy and confident. Makeup is a positive tool, so have fun with it. Also, make sure you wash your face before you go to bed — healthy skin is the beginning of good makeup.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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