“It was that finish that made it look kind of doll-like,” says Primorac, noting that they had tried making the skin look plastic at first. “Plastic didn’t look great when we tried it in pre-production, because it’s not your best version of yourself. You just look weird. That’s when I realized that, [when we play] with Barbie dolls, in the kids’ minds, they’re the most beautiful thing in the world. So we can’t make [the actors] look weird. We have to make them look beautiful.”
In addition to the custom body makeup, Gosling regularly received airbrush tans. Kimberley Nkosi, tanning and skin finishing expert, tanned him twice a week with Isle of Paradise. “The ultimate combination for Ken that I went for was a green base, which is more like a medium. I [added] a tiny bit of a purple base to give [the tan] a more depth because that could counterbalance any of the projection of the lights or any makeup that they were putting on top of that, so that they didn’t get any red coming through,” says Nkosi. “Otherwise he’s going to look red on screen, or orange, so we wanted natural, but with that striking ‘Ken-tanned look.’”
To keep his skin hydrated in-between exfoliating and new tanning sessions, Nkosi gave him products from beloved skin-care brands like Tatcha, CeraVe, and The Ordinary for upkeep. “Ryan obviously really looked after himself,” says Nkosi.
Why Barbie’s Makeup Is So Minimal
In Barbie Land, the makeup was minimal and the hair was extravagant. Primorac and Margot Robbie have both noted how Barbies have larger than life hair to make them appear more doll-like. But the makeup is the opposite: It was catered to the beauty of each individual actor and skewed more on the natural side. Primorac wanted the looks to be classic yet modern.