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Jena Malone finally reveals secret formula to Pride and Prejudice’s ‘no makeup’ look

Actor, who played Lydia Bennet in the 2005 film, answers burning questions about makeup used in the Jane Austen adaptation

Meredith Clark
New York
Monday 04 March 2024 23:20 GMT
Related: Pride and Prejudice house on real estate market for £6m

Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has always stood the test of time, but a new generation of fans on TikTok are praising director Joe Wright’s 2005 film adaptation for its timeless “no makeup” look achieved on set.

For nearly 20 years, makeup artist Fae Hammond – who worked on the set of the Kiera Knightley movie – has maintained that “there was absolutely no makeup” used while shooting the film. This has recently led Pride and Prejudice fans to craft their own makeup tutorials, despite not knowing any of the products used at the time. However, actor Jena Malone – who played Lydia Bennet in the film – has now taken to TikTok to shed some light on Pride and Prejudice’s famed “no makeup” look.

“I will forever be haunted about the makeup products slash lip combo that happens in Pride and Prejudice, specifically for Keira Knightley, because there are claims that there was no makeup on that set,” said TikTok user Sam, in a now-viral video with more than 657k views. In the clip, which was posted last week, she shared her frustration over the long-held “no makeup” claim and described the simple look as “flawless”.

“If it’s raspberry juice, just tell me because that’s what I’ll use,” Sam added. “Every time I rewatch this movie, I think about it. It’s flawless. It’s perfect…That’s what I want.”

While fans don’t need to go so far as to apply raspberry juice to their cheeks for that perfectly flushed tone, it seems that makeup techniques used on the set of Pride and Prejudice weren’t quite different.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire star stitched her own TikTok video in response to Sam, saying that she’s heard fans “want the tea” from the set of Pride and Prejudice. “I’m Jena Malone, I was in the movie. I played the character of Lydia,” she began the video, which was posted to TikTok on 2 March.

“I love that you guys love the looks!” Malone continued. “I think that film has such a beauty to it, you know, in the way it was art designed and the production design and the cinematography. Looking back on that, it just feels so special.”

The Donnie Darko actor confessed that she “loves” the newfound interest in Pride and Prejudice’s on-set makeup because “it’s such an answer that is so anti-TikTok makeup tutorials.”

“It’s such a big part of the world now, getting ready and looking filtered perfect,” Malone said. “I love that people respond to that film and the no makeup look.”

As she filmed herself applying her own foundation to her face, Malone revealed that the only cosmetic products used on set were sunscreen, eyebrow makeup, a lash curler, and even beetroot.

“So basically, we wore sunscreen, we did our brows. I remember occasionally we would curl our lashes,” she said. “Sometimes we would use beetroot to do a little bit of lip or a cheek or something. And that was it.”

Beetroot, sometimes simply known as beets, is a vibrant red vegetable that can stain the skin with a pink or red tint to highlight the cheeks. Malone said she remembered “doing the pinching your cheeks thing” to appear more flushed, as well as sometimes doing “tiny cover ups” and “a little brow maintenance” to the face.

The Sucker Punch star admitted that the cast did wear “continuity makeup” on set. She also took a moment to address criticism over Pride and Prejudice hiring a makeup artist despite wearing no makeup during the film.

“Makeup isn’t just foundation; it’s character building, right? It’s sweat, it’s tears, it’s blood, it’s covering wounds. If I got a bee sting on my cheek that wasn’t in the previous scene, that has to be covered and it has to look natural,” Malone said.

“Whether you’re working on a film that has giant makeup looks like when I did Sucker Punch, or you’re doing a film like Pride and Prejudice, there’s always going to be a hair and makeup department because they still craft and mold the look of what the actors are going to look like,” she continued. “There’s still artistry in that.”

Although Hammond is credited as lead makeup artist for Pride and Prejudice, Malone maintained that director Joe Wright was “the person behind the no-makeup makeup” look, adding: “He really wanted it to be very natural and of that era.”

Actors Rosamund Pike and Keira Knightley as Jane Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet, respectively, in 2005 film Pride and Prejudice
Actors Rosamund Pike and Keira Knightley as Jane Bennet and Elizabeth Bennet, respectively, in 2005 film Pride and Prejudice (Moviestore/Shutterstock)

In the comments section, many viewers were stunned that the cast of Pride and Prejudice kept their on-set makeup very simple. TikTok user Sam, who initially joked about applying raspberry juice to her face, was even shocked to learn they sometimes used beetroot as blush.

“BEETROOT??? I was low-key kidding about the raspberry juice but that’s so funny,” she commented.

“Catch me and all the Pride and Prejudice girlies using beetroot blush this spring,” another person wrote.

A third user commented: “I love the using beetroot because that would be pretty accurate for the time period!!!”

Some people were simply grateful to receive insider information about the set of Pride and Prejudice from none other than Malone.

“I screamed,” one fan said. “We’re getting the tea straight from the source!!!”

“I knew Jena would tell us,” said someone else, while another user commented: “Thank you for this. We needed this closure. Also y’all are just so naturally beautiful.”

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