The Secret to Cillian Murphy's Chiseled Cheekbones Proves He's a Total Ken

Cillian Murphy's groomer recently spilled the tea on how the Oppenheimer actor achieved perfectly sculpted cheeks on and off the big screen.

By Alyssa Morin Aug 07, 2023 5:39 PMTags
Watch: Emily Blunt Reveals Cillian Murphy's STRICT Oppenheimer Diet

It turns out, Cillian Murphy tapped into his kenergy for Oppenheimer.

The Irish actor—who played "the father of the atomic bomb" J. Robert Oppenheimer in Christopher Nolan's drama—received the Barbie treatment during the press tour with his seemingly effortless glow, proving the "Barbenheimer" mash-up was destined to become a reality.

Cillian's hairstylist and groomer Gareth Bromell recently revealed how he sculpted the actor's cheekbones to perfection on and off the big screen, using Tom Ford's Soleil Glow Bronzer in the shade Terra.

"The powder doesn't have any glitter or shimmer, or anything like that, which I think is very important for male clients," Gareth explained to GQ. "You want them to look sunkissed but you don't want them to look like they're wearing makeup."

To give Cillian that afternoon-in-the-sun finish, the beauty pro only placed the bronzer in the areas of the face the sun would naturally add radiance, including "the left and right of the forehead, the points that are a bit more raised on the face shape, and the center of the nose, a bit on the chin, the ears, and a little on the neck."

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Makeup application aside, Gareth noted that prepping the 47-year-old's face was essential, adding, "The skin tends to look a little drier and oiler than with women."

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To create Cillian's dewy look, Gareth used a cooling cleanser and then followed up with a toner and several hyaluronic acid and vitamin C serums. Lastly, in order to let the skincare products soak deeper into the skin, the actor wore an LED mask for about five to 10 minutes. Now, that's what we call a Barbie makeover!

And much like Ryan Gosling's Ken in Barbie, Cillian also bronzed up his skin with a self-tanner. According to Gareth, he applied two pumps of the James Read Tan Click & Glow.

"I apply that into the skin and that develops over an hour and it's very, very natural and adds a really beautiful glow to the skin," the hairstylist shared. "It lasts a couple of days and fades naturally. I always say less is more and you can always build it up if you don't feel tan enough."

In addition to transforming into J. Robert Oppenheimer in the makeup department, the Peaky Blinders star previously opened up about the physical demands of the role.

"I love acting with my body, and Oppenheimer had a very distinct physicality and silhouette, which I wanted to get right," Cillian told the New York Times in May. "I had to lose quite a bit of weight, and we worked with the costume and tailoring; he was very slim, almost emaciated, existed on martinis and cigarettes."

The Inception actor echoed similar sentiments to The Guardian last month, comparing the experience to being like "you're on this f--king train that's just bombing."

"It's bang, bang, bang, bang," he continued. "You sleep for a few hours, get up, bang it again. I was running on crazy energy; I went over a threshold to where I was not worrying about food or anything…But it was good because the character was like that. He never ate."