GLOW was one of those lesser-hyped Netflix shows that get notoriety via word of mouth and/or a cool promo poster – you either clicked on it ‘cos someone else told you how bloody great it is, or because you were drawn in by the pink neon-lit title and image of Alison Brie absolutely trashing someone while wearing a full 80’s-Rocker-Barbie ensemble.
Either way, it’s a damn good show about a group of gals who form the Gorgeous Ladies Of Wrestling, an amateur wrestling group set for tv stardom. Since it’s firmly set in the 80’s, as you’d expect there’s a shitload of high-cut leotards involved. And with that comes a hell of a lot of leg.
Easily, the three takeaways from GLOW are: where is my nearest amateur wrestling club, how can I incorporate some 80’s fashion aesthetic into my current wardrobe, and can someone tell me how to make my legs that flawless and glossy in time for summer?
Well, we can’t help you with the wrestling clubs, and everyone knows vintage stores are overpriced and hard to navigate, but when it comes to the legs of GLOW, we’ve got your back. Well, the lead makeup artist on set does at least.
Lana Grossman spoke to Refinery29 about working on the GLOW set, and did a solid deep dive on just how she got the actors legs looking so damn fine.
Lana was asked how the makeup team dealt with the inevitable bruises that come from some pretty intense physical work for wrestling scenes, and that convo led to her dishing about leg makeup in general.
The actresses were in training for a month before we started shooting so they already had bruises on their legs. So at the beginning, we started covering them, because they weren’t wrestling on the show yet. We had to keep really good notes of who had bruises so that we could copy them if we need to come back to it. Covering a bruise is hard — it’s like covering a tattoo, so the color comes from underneath the skin, Normal makeup is not going to cover it, so you have to take out the blue using an orange color, then you have to go back in and put the skin color back in. In a pinch, we used the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs, it’s so thick and waterproof — and it stays on for like a week. If we saw something, we would just spray them down really quick.
Just FYI, Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs is way affordable – think $26.99 a bottle, which’ll last you at least several parties of full leg coverage. It’s perfect when you’re wearing a teeny skirt/shorts and want to cover up scars/bruises/that spot where you aggressively scratched your leg in your sleep – plus it adds a bit of tan, and some solid shimmer. Which is exactly why they used it for all the ring scenes in GLOW.
Obviously, for some of the fantasy sequences and the final scenes in full costume, there were also sheer, shiny stockings involved. But you can see even in the general practice scenes the actors’ legs look fucking fab.
Excuse me while I go bathe in 40 bottles of the stuff.