Outlander makeup & hair designers Ann McEwan and Anita Anderson and their team offer women worldwide #hairgoals, thanks to their work with Caitriona Balfe.
As everyone from Ron D. Moore to Maril Davis to Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan have said repeatedly since Outlander began: the show owes a great deal to the people who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make it all work. We decided it was time to recognize those people who may or may not get a mention on the credits as they scroll by. The first in our series showcased Arron Cuthbertson for his outstanding job with the extras in “The Battle Joined,” and Ann McEwan and the amazing make-up team for helping to create “Cave Jamie” in “Surrender.” In addition, Toni Graphia and Matthew B. Roberts, got a shout out for their unique decision to end “Of Lost Things” with a montage set to a re-worked iconic Bob Dylan song. Next up was a note to Matt Roberts for his incredible treatment of the script for the Print Shop episode, “A. Malcolm.” Then we gave kudos to the woman behind all of the incredible casting for the Outlander STARZ series, Casting Director Suzanne Smith. More recently, we gave our MVP award to Ms. Lauren Lyle, who has brought Jamie’s step-daughter to captivating life with her memorable eye rolls and sassiness. Today, we sing our praises—again—to Ann McEwan, Anita Anderson and the amazing hair and make-up team for giving women worldwide #hairgoals thanks to this season’s versatile Claire Hair.
Dear Ann, Anita and your amazing make-up and hair team:
Earlier this season, Denise Stewart wrote a heartfelt thank you to your team for the amazing work that you did in bringing Cave Jamie to screen. We were truly mesmerized by your transformation of rugged, chiseled James Fraser into a bearded, dreadlocked cave dweller who lived alone with his grief and guilt. Jamie’s appearance told us a story that his words could not.
Today I’m writing to thank you and your team (Claire Harris, Amanda Ross-McDonald, Wendy Kemp Forbes, Marli Kruger, Talli Pachter, Monique Le Roux and Lian Van Wyk) for a more subtle but no less important accomplishment—Claire Hair. When I read the Outlander books, I began to see Claire’s hair as a secondary character. Claire was vexed by it, Jamie was intrigued by it, and one of my favorite lines from all of the books is Jamie talking about how lovely Claire looked with her hair curling around her face. Bringing this character to life was, in my opinion, critical to the success of Claire’s on-screen appearance and you nailed it.
In Season 3, Claire’s hair has signaled the passing of decades just as dramatically as her wardrobe. In the first few episodes, we see it transform from post-war loose curls to a more rigid bob in the 1960s. In “Freedom and Whisky,” we learn that Claire dyed her hair to cover the gray. In the following episode, she tells Jamie that she wanted to look like she did when he last saw her. In the scenes aboard the Good Ship Typhus, Claire’s hair is bound into a fabulous head wrap. In “Uncharted,” it is set free once more. When she awakens from the sleep of the dead at Reverend Cuckoo’s house, my blogging pal Ashley Crawley and I had the same thought simultaneously and 700 miles apart—her hair looks incredible. It was simply gorgeous! Now I have enough sense to know that no one’s hair would look that good after days in the jungle and hours of sleep. It was just a moment that summed up my collective awe at the handling of this silent character.
Claire may have spent most of her life in the 18th century, but her joy and grief and all of her struggles seem oh so 21st century. Claire is personal to me because she embodies the spirit of every damned one of us who is trying to juggle family, career, and the occasional loopy priest. And whether we like it or not, our hair, in some small way speaks to who we are. In my youth, I despised my wavy hair and spent hours straightening it. As I got older, I experimented with a variety of short and long cuts, and alternately curled and straightened the hair that never seemed to fit into my definition of what a pretty girl’s hair would look like. With age, wisdom, motherhood and a busy schedule, I’ve learned to embrace the curls and the lack of effort involved with maintaining them. Maybe it’s not a coincidence that it’s around the same time I finally began to feel comfortable in my own skin.
Which brings me back to Claire’s hair and your team. The changes in Claire’s hair are the changes in all of us. We spend our youth brushing and combing and trying to find a hairstyle that is socially acceptable. If we become moms, we lose control of our hair for a few months (or years) and its care becomes secondary or tertiary to all the other demands around us. We eventually find different hairstyles that are appropriate to our chosen careers and our personalities change a little bit to help us further fit into the mold. We fret over the grey hairs and maybe even cover them up. Some of us hit 40 and decide to let our hair return to its natural state and, perhaps, add some blue streaks for fun. We cover it when we’re up to our elbows in puke, we go days without washing it when life presses in around us, and we let it down in those beautiful, intimate moments with our loved ones.
So, with that, I say thank you, for allowing us to see a little bit of ourselves in Claire’s hair. Thank you for letting us enjoy the beauty of it. Thank you also for showing us the filthy, grimy moments because we have those, too, and it’s important to see those reflected in the character that we have grown to love. Thank you for giving us #hairgoals! If you ever wonder whether or not fans appreciate the work that you do, please, wonder no more. I see what you’re doing and it is fabulous!
Speaking of a look inspired by Claire, we have warm, winter “Claire Wear” as this week’s global giveaway! Enter below for your chance to win a pair of Outlander-inspired fingerless gloves, similar to the ones Claire wore at Castle Leoch in Season 1. Available on Etsy, these gorgeous knit wool gloves are made by BlueRidgePurl, who offers a variety of hand knits from the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Giveaway entries must be received by Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 11:59 p.m. EST.