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Why Barbie Makeup Artist Ivana Primorac Didn't Want Margot Robbie to Look Plastic

Barbie hair and makeup artist Ivana Primorac shared exclusive details with E! News about Margot Robbie's beauty looks in the summer blockbuster.

By Alyssa Morin Jul 22, 2023 3:00 PMTags
Watch: How Barbie Is EMPOWERING Everyone

Sometimes, life in plastic isn't fantastic.

At least, that's what hair and makeup artist Ivana Primorac realized when it came to creating the beauty looks for Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling.

"We thought, 'Should they have plastic seams? Should they have plastic skin, plastic hair?'" Ivana exclusively told E! News about the early stages of the makeup design. "We didn't like all of those things in the end because Barbies are beautiful in every child's mind. So, once we created that fake image it wasn't beautiful."

Instead, Ivana focused on enhancing the qualities and features that made the Barbies and Kens unique.

"What's most beautiful," she explained, "is each person being the best they can be. To make them believable, relatable and into dolls, every single Ken and Barbie had to be the best version of themselves. Everyone had to have the best skin that suits them, everyone had to have the hair color that suits them."

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Margot Robbie's Barbie-Inspired Fashion

But just because Ivana didn't give the Barbies and Kens a plastic style, that doesn't mean there weren't doll-like touches. Everything from the elbows, the ears and the heels had to be fully balmed to create an almost airbrushed look.

"There's a high finish to everything," Ivana noted, "so the hair is bigger and the skin is more luminous."

Warner Bros. Pictures

And despite the fact that Margot was born to play this role (and already looks like a replica of the Mattel toy), getting her dolled up was no small feat. As Ivana put it, "It was pretty difficult to cheat the makeup. I wanted her skin to look fresh at all times."

But where she and the actress got to play, basically living out everyone's beauty fantasy, was with the lip and cheek colors.

"Margot would choose her lipstick and blush according to what costume she wore," Ivana shared. "We had a little shop set up for her with 50 shades of red and pink, and she could choose whichever one was best for that outfit."

According to Ivana, Margot wore a different lipstick color for each of the 30-plus costumes featured in the movie.

"We had everything available for each costume," the makeup artist described of the getting-ready process, "like a Barbie that comes in a box with all of her accessories. We recreated that for sure."

Dale Robinette/Warner Bros.

And while Ivana certainly had fun working on Barbie, she explained the looks are more than skin deep.

"Beauty is the center of what Barbie is," the BAFTA Award winner said. "She has to be beautiful—but that's why I think the story is so clever. Ultimately, the film is about so many other things—individuality, our beauty as people, how it can be celebrated in every way."

Now, that's fantastic!

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