Now in its second season, the Netflix show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is captivating audiences with drama, fantasy, and plenty of spooky scenes.
Based on the 1950s Archie comic, the show sees protagonist Sabrina Spellman (Kiernan Shipka) struggling to find a place between the witch world with her family, and the human world.
If you’ve been watching the show, you’ve already seen Sabrina go through some big changes (“The Book of the Beast” platinum hair change in season one, anyone?). Meanwhile, season two sees even more prominent shifts in Sabrina’s character, and of course, makeup plays a massive role in highlighting these shifts.
The show’s makeup department head, Candice Stafford-Bridge, explains how season two allows Sabrina to evolve, and with her new hair, makeup is kept simple.
“I want her [Sabrina] to be relatable,” says Candice Stafford-Bridge.
“I wanted to be very careful by keeping Sabrina’s makeup fresh and innocent looking, even when she starts to play on the darker side — the only thing we change is her lips.”
Stafford-Bridge tells Daily Hive that she wanted to keep 16-year-old Sabrina’s look attainable, to match that of someone in high school.
As for the Weird Sisters, they’re dark, over the top, and completely in touch with their darker side. “They needed to stand out from across the room, especially compared to the mortals. So we went all-out with them,” says Stafford-Bridge.
The makeup artist explains that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa writes feature-detailed scripts which is why the show looks the way that it does, “we are given so much to work with/play with, it’s a dream.”
Stafford-Bridge manages an “impressive team of artists,” and in the season finale, they had a total of up to 30 makeup artists working to create character looks.
Before she started working on the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Stafford-Bridge worked on a plethora of TV shows and features in Vancouver. Her resume includes positions on I SPY, The A-Team, Hot Tub Time Machine, Battle Star Galactica, Goodnight For Justice 1, 2, and 3, Dark Angel, Andromeda, Peacemakers, Reunion, Life as We Know It, Final Girl, The Flash, and Six.
The makeup artist says her first-ever day call was on Stargate with Richard Dean Anderson.”My mom was pretty excited, she drove me there.”
Today, Stafford-Bridge’s workday is diverse and involves processing tons of cast members. She’s often found in the trailer processing for hours after meetings regarding concepts, looks, and scheduling.
When the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina team starts shooting an episode, all of the questions and timing need to be worked out in advance so that on the day, things can go as smoothly as possible.
In the makeup department, this involves watching raw footage from the previous day and doing some makeup tests. Stafford-Bridge says that her team is busy but they have fun while working.
The makeup artist’s career began when she graduated from Blanche MacDonald back in 1998. “Blanche MacDonald was great because our teachers had real-life film and television experience so we were able to learn from people who could walk the walk and share makeup secrets,” Stafford-Bridge says.
After her studies, she began volunteering to do makeup at a local Shaw station in North Vancouver. When she had clocked up enough days, she applied for permittee status with the union. “It was nerve-racking, but I was a familiar face as I worked at act 1, the only professional film/tv make up store in town at the time.”
Stafford-Bridge plans to keep climbing the ladder in the makeup world in the future. “The most important thing I want future film and TV make up artists to know is never stop learning. Enjoy your job, it will show in your work, and stay healthy.”
If you’re thinking about watching Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Stafford-Bridge recommends doing so, for the makeup and every other department. “Honestly, the entire show is amazing, the hair, makeup, wardrobe, the creatures and characters, and the production design,” she adds.