One-night stands. Inappropriately timed jokes. Questionable decision-making skills. No, we’re not describing your early 20s, but the plot of HBO Max’s hit series “The Sex Lives of College Girls.”
The show chronicles the adventures of four college friends who are navigating romance, self-identities, and careers, all while trying to have the best four years of their lives at the prestigious Essex College. As can be expected from teenagers, there are plenty of fun hair and makeup looks in the first season of the show. Now, with the first two episodes of season two streaming, you can expect a beauty evolution for each character, but in a subtle, realistic way.
“Since it was just a short break in the timeline from season one, Leighton, Whitney, and Kimberly’s hair pretty much mirrored the first season,” Leslie Bennett, the key hairstylist for the show, tells POPSUGAR. “Bela’s hair is a little more ‘serious’ this season since she is trying to have more of a professional-writer vibe, but it’s still sexy for parties. It’s always sexy for parties when it comes to Bela.”
Expect a similar theme when it comes to the makeup for season two. “My inspiration for the girls’ makeup looks was based on everyday life and the lifestyles of the characters,” key makeup artist Kokeeta Douglas says. These were meant to portray the approximate five minutes that college students often have to get ready but also were based on the circumstances that each individual character was dealing with. “Kimberly, who is played by Pauline Chalamet, is a little more polished this season. As opposed to season one where she was often frazzled and overwhelmed trying to find her place at Essex, this semester, she is flowing a little more with the program, and it’s reflected in her beauty looks.”
Behind the Nail Art on “The Sex Lives of College Girls”
There were a few characters that both Bennett and Douglas took creative liberties with that will result in some eye-catching beauty moments. “The character of Jocelyn, who is played by Lauren Spencer, will have some really fun nail changes — one of the character’s trademarks,” Douglas says. “To keep in line with time constraints, we purchased long, prepolished nails with ornate designs to match her outfits.”
Hair Trends You’ll See Most in Season 2
As for the hairstyles, you can expect to see some modern trends making an appearance this season. “For the holiday-party episode, Bela wears this messy, teased, crinkled-hair look and Leighton has a ’60s-flip hairstyle,” Bennett says. “Whitney will have even more creative braid looks as well.”
Speaking of Whitney, when it comes to her character in particular, the decision to give her braids hinged on everything from where she went to school to the types of activities she liked doing. “Whitney has braids because she is a Black girl going to a predominantly white school,” Bennett says. “If this were real life, there would most likely not be any salons in the area that catered to her hair type. She’s also an athlete, so she would probably barely have time to even go to a salon. In reality, braids are a time saver and protective hairstyle that’s incredibly versatile — the perfect go-to for many college girls.”
The Products Most Used on the Set of “The Sex Lives of College Girls”
As for the products used on set, there were some clear favorites. For Bennett, alongside scrunchies and no-crease hair clips, she often reached for the TRI Aerogel Hair Spray ($22). “It holds hairstyles in place for dear life,” Bennett says. “I also keep a Mason Pearson brush ($175) on me at all times.” Douglas’s favorite product? The Yves Rocher Flawless Foundation ($18, originally $35), “particularly for Pauline, who has sensitive skin,” Douglas says.
With the rest of the season still unfolding, there are plenty more beauty moments to look forward to on the show. For now, laugh at the friend group’s chaotically relatable hijinks every Thursday on HBO Max.