While I’ve seen many posts on how the portrayal of Edwina and Kate felt for South Asian women, I’ve also seen a variety of users online talking about the makeup used on the show. Even in 2022, it still takes a lot of searching to find products that work well with darker skin tones, and it’s rare to see makeup artists whose application on darker-skinned women doesn’t hide prominent features but instead accentuates them in the most beautiful way.
When I talked to Bridgerton‘s resident makeup artist, Erika Ökvist, she told me that she believes that anyone working in makeup should know how to handle all skin types because that’s just part of the job. She previously worked on a TV series in Bangladesh and mentioned a rule she held was that she would not allow any form of skin-lightening to be used in her process. When I was younger, colorism made me feel like I couldn’t use bronzer, darker blushes, or play too much with warmer makeup that was identical to my skin tone. When I asked Ökvist about my favorite look from episode eight, where Kate dances with Anthony in a beaded orange gown to a classical version of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball,” she told me she used all those techniques that I once thought were wrong for me in creating her stunning look. She matched eye shadow that held the same depth and warmth as her skin tone, using deep bronze tones from Pat McGrath’s Bronze Seduction Mothership V Eyeshadow Palette. I no longer hold the colorist beauty standards to myself as I once did, and speaking with Ökvist about the looks she curated for both the characters of Edwina and Kate, she taught me even further to push my boundaries with how I apply makeup and what I’ve been shown about beauty for a large part of my life.