Christien Tinsley, make-up department head on HBO’s Westworld, tells us how he creates Evan Rachel Wood’s natural yet flawless look for her character Dolores Abernathy. For more about Tinsley’s work on Westworld, check out Issue 123 of Make-Up Artist magazine.


In HBO’s new series Westworld, Evan Rachel Wood plays Dolores Abernathy, a host (robot) who has the appearance of a fresh homestead daughter looking to find her purpose in the world. The character and the period set the platform for the make-up design. For Evan we wanted something sweet, classic and clean. The advantage with Evan as well as other characters is that they are all set in a world of fantasy and make-believe, and because of this we were able to push the limits beyond just that of a traditional period make-up. The allure of the fantasy was more important than the accuracy of a false period (Westworld Theme Park). I feel it’s important to understand this because we are commonly restricted by colors and tones by the timeline. In this case, the restrictions were loose and it was more important to define the character by their title within the park.

Skincare: Evan showed up daily with her face clean and sun protection already applied and well absorbed into the skin’s surface.

Primer: No primer—I am not a big fan of primers in general. They often add another layer to the skin that in my experience is one more point of failure. I always attempt to do the most minimal application while maintaining maximum results.

Foundation: I wanted Dolores to have flawless skin. Not only as a leading lady but also as a host whom was created with a level of perfection in mind. With the excruciating temperatures and pallor of Evan’s skin tone, I used Estée Lauder Double Wear Maximum Cover Camouflage Makeup for Face and Body with SPF 15. I mixed two colors together to find the balance of pinks and yellow. The colors were 1N3 Creamy Vanilla and 2C5 Creamy Tan. They were mixed in equal proportions and applied using a Sephora Pro foundation brush and then lightly blended with a latex sponge.

Concealer: The amazing thing about the Estée Lauder Double Wear is that it is strong enough to act as a concealer. The advantage is that I am never really blending between two different mediums. In fact, Evan has two tattoos, one behind each ear. I would use the Estée Lauder to cover these tattoos as well.

Brows: After the foundation had been applied, I would clean up any unwanted brows using a slanted tip Tweezerman to create a nice soft arch to the brow. Evan’s natural brows—like most—are ever so slightly off in shape and density. I used a Tricia Sawyer Beauty Brow Define with Refill pencil in Taupe. Using a light touch, I would draw and fill in Evan’s brows.

Eye shadow: I would then prep Evan’s upper eyelids with Too Faced Shadow Insurance. This has proven to me to be the best “primer” (see, I’m already lying about using primers!) for holding on the powders all day. Once dry, I would then add powders to the lid using Too Faced Natural Eyes Neutral Eye Shadow palette. I would start with Heaven and Nudie over the entire lid. This would soften the lid with a natural skin tone. I would then add a little Silk Teddy and a touch of Push-Up to the outside lid and the crease of the lid following to the inside of the eye. This added a touch of shadow using a very healthy natural tone rather than just a drab taupe color. Adding just a little deeper tone to the outside and crease I would layer on a little Cashmere Bunny.

Eye liner: Using Too Faced Natural Eyes Neutral Eye Shadow palette, I would dust the eyelash line with a little Sexspresso to help define the upper lid. I would then add just the smallest touch to the outside lower lid.

Mascara: Evan has great lashes and again we were going for a very natural look. Too much mascara and this would become a sexy make-up rather than a natural make-up. I used a Sephora Eyelash Fan Brush to apply Diorshow Extase #791 Brown.

Blush: The Estée Lauder Foundation, when dry, gives a fantastically soft and powdery finish, so for the blush I used Too Faced’s The Secret to No Makeup Makeup Fresh & Flawless Face Palette. The color was Blush/Brighten. I would add this along the tops of the cheekbones and then I would slightly dust the chin, nose, upper eye lids and forehead with the blush to bring out a little more of the natural blush tones in the face. The real key for me is adding a little more blush to the space between the cheekbones and the lower eyelid. This area can tend to be very flat due to make-up and concealers. Just a little dusting of this blush can add so much life and vitality to a make-up.

Lips: Evan has very naturally full and red lips. The goal for me was to pull some of that natural red tone out but still allow the lips to look healthy. For this I used Make Up For Ever 7 Rouge Artist Palette. It was a combination of three colors, not equally, only because sometimes her lips would come across more pale in certain lighting. The three colors used were Intense 16, Intense 41 and Natural N3.

Powder: If needed I would use Make Up For Ever HD Pressed Powder. I would use it sparingly and only in areas required, almost exclusively to the T-zone and chin.

Bronzer: On occasion throughout the series we would sometimes give Evan’s skin a little lift. Depending on what stage of the show, we would use either Too Faced Sun Bunny Natural Bronzer or Too Faced Candlelight Softly Illuminating Translucent Powder.

Other: There are a few occasions when we see Evan fully nude. This required a continuation of the palette described above. Evan has many tattoos but on an extremely pale/pink body tone. This makes all her tattoos stand out in glorious detail. I would use European Body Art Endura alcohol-based airbrush colors to paint out her tattoos quickly. Then I would mix Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Make Up #36 and #38 and apply by hand over the entire body. After I have completed the proper coverage and blend, I would then use Lorac Tantalizer Body Bronzing Luminizer to add a bit of flare to the skin. This can look very dangerous and “blingy,” but when shooting on film, I felt it gave the body an extremely natural, flawless luster.