If laughter is the best medicine, then comedians are your friendly, local pharmacists. Once upon a time, you had to meet with them in subterranean bars or on late-night television; now, like everything else, they perform live from our palms. The new comedy vanguard is recording front-facing monologues, posting them to Twitter, and watching the retweets multiply. The stage is right there, and there are more a few taps away. They don't need the hit shows, which means hit shows want them, so they're performing on those hit shows while writing on other hit shows. Meanwhile, the global demand for laughter is greater than ever — comedy is culturally, if not municipally, essential work — which means supply will grow to meet it. Whether the world is getting "better" is debatable, but it's undeniably getting funnier.
At the very least, comedy is a soothing balm. Some balms happen to be more soothing than others. And a few of those balms include cutting-edge ingredients that actually chemically exfoliate the skin as they… you get the metaphor. We asked five very funny people submitted to a brief beauty questionnaire (and model some hair sculptures by wigmaster Charlie Le Mindu) all to make you smile. Did it work?
Mara Hoffman bodysuit. Ana Khouri earrings. To create a similar look: Chubby Stick Shadow Tint for Eyes in Lavish Lilac, Cheek Pop in Peach Pop, and Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Mighty Mimosa by Clinique. These pages: Stylist, Kat Typaldos. Hair: Charlie Le Mindu. Makeup: Ester Foster.
The Face: Megan Stalter
Stalter's character work — often explored through videos posted to Twitter or TikTok, and most recently on HBO Max's Hacks — never fails to go viral. What's your biggest beauty regret? "I feel like I tried to make straight-across bangs happen for me for a long time. And every single time I would ask for them, I had this picture in my head of what they would look like. And it's so hard to style bangs and it took forever for them to grow out. There hasn't been a time I've gotten bangs and haven't regretted it. But I love the look of bangs on other people. They're so cute." If you were to die and come back as a product that is currently available at Sephora, what would it be? "I would come back as a blow-dryer because you don't ever throw away your blow-dryer. It's always around, it's kind of glamorous, and you use it on special occasions." — Marci Robin
The Hair: The Tower
The sculpture you're seeing here is actually about 15 wigs affixed to buckram, crinoline, and wire. "Because I do ballet costumes," says Le Mindu, "I like to restrain people's movement. I love the way Megan moves, but I wanted to [anchor] her. So I put a lot of hair on her head. And it worked."
Raf Simons shirt. To create a similar look: Strobe Cream in Goldlite, Bronzing Powder in Refined Golden, and Love Me Liquid Lip Colour in Adore Me by MAC.
The Face: Benito Skinner
Vogue called Benito Skinner — also known as @bennydrama7 on Instagram, where he has well over a million followers — "the only funny thing to happen to 2020." What is your one favorite beauty product? "I think if I had to whittle it down, I'd say Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant. I've used that forever. I'll give that to people on the street. I run into a friend, I pull three out of my backpack." What is your latest beauty acquisition? "The wig [worn above]. He told me to take it! I was like, 'This is my new daughter.'" How do you feel about aging? "I'm like, cute, but not for me. You know what I mean? I love it for other people. It looks so fun. [Laughs] No, I'm so fine [with it]. I like people who look like they're aging, if that makes sense. I like faces that show what you've been through, that have some trauma [on them]." — Dianna Mazzone
The Hair: The Kaia
The chief reference for this wig — which is actually three wigs — was Kaia Gerber's ads for Versace.
Prada dress. Ana Khouri earrings. Mateo and Fernando Jorge rings. Ben Amun hair clip. To create a similar look: Exhibitionist Liquid Glitter Eye Shadow in Twinkle Town, Clean Fresh Cooling Glow Highlighter Stick in So Gilty, and Melting Pout Vinyl Vow Liquid Lipstick in Toasted by CoverGirl.
The Face: Sasheer Zamata
After graduating from the Saturday Night Live stage in 2017, Zamata moved on to the next phase of her career: comedy superstardom. What is your favorite physical characteristic? "I mean, they're all great! [Laughs] I think I've got some good thighs. The thighs and the hips, that's where a lot of power is. I have a thigh tattoo I proudly show off when it's warm outside. It's Japanese water waves. I was born on an Air Force base in Okinawa, Japan, and I used to have a lot of dreams about water — like it was raining, or there was a flood, or there was a pond or something — so I had a lot of strong feelings around water. I wanted to get that represented on my body somehow." If you were to die and come back as a beauty product, what do you think it would be? "Maybe water. Water is life." — Elizabeth Siegel
The Hair: The Thriller
What makes Le Mindu smile? "Roller coasters," he says, which inspired his braided wig on Zamata: a ride for the eyes.
Michael Kors dress. To create a similar look: Colour Riche Satin Lipstick in I Pink You’re Cute and Summer Belle Shimmering Blush in Blushin’ in Riviera by L’Oréal Paris.
The Face: Jessie Ennis
The incandescent and endlessly charming Ennis currently stars in (and writes for) Mythic Quest on Apple TV+. Who is your favorite beauty icon of fiction? "Truly from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. There's a moment when she transforms into a doll in a music box and she's got these very circular blush stamps. And I remember thinking that was, like, the look." Who are your beauty icons in real life? "I've learned a lot about beauty from the drag queens on RuPaul’s Drag Race. My number one of all time is Katya. She's got it all for me." What beauty rule do you never break? "I drink a ton of water. I love water. I have this soccer mom Yeti cup and all these silicone straws. I drink way more if there's a straw. I do have a favorite water: It's Mountain Valley Spring Water. Elvis was obsessed with it." — D.M.
The Hair: The Truffula
A Seussian effect is achieved by burning the hair, arranging the wispy strands into a sunburst, and applying color. Le Mindu likes pure pigments, such as food coloring, mixed with water and sprayed on for maximum saturation.
The Face: Joel Kim Booster
If you've laughed at a television show recently (Netflix's Big Mouth? Comedy Central's The Other Two?), it's likely Joel Kim Booster has either appeared in or written for it. Who is the ugliest person you know, living or dead? "I have to say Donald Trump. He looks like his own melting Madame Tussauds statue, period." Who is the most beautiful? "Zendaya." What do you value most in a skin-care product? "Effectiveness. Does it work?" What do you value most in a makeup product? "Noncomedogenic." What do you consider the most overrated beauty product, trend, or style? "Hyaluronic acid. And the most overrated haircut is definitely the K-pop middle part that everyone has, that every Asian person has to get now. I refuse to conform. I will not get it, even though I would look amazing." — Brennan Kilbane
The Hair: The Cowlick
Le Mindu styled this lace wig atop Booster's head, using hair gel and sugar spray to slick it just so.
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