Ah, the Bachelorette. The tears (“I can’t control my emotions right now!”), the destination dates (someone should’ve told Alex to take off that Argentinian gaucho hat), the scapegoats (seriously, Chad was one of the only sane guys there), the dudes who all look exactly the same
and who are white, one hundred percent of the time, when it comes to the final four contestants of each season.
This current season featuring Joelle “JoJo” Fletcher is one out of just two Bachelor/Bachelorette seasons that I’ve watched in the past decade. I think I watched a Bachelor season with a contender named Moana in it years and years ago in high school, so it barely counts. And in 2014, when my curiosity was piqued once more, I finally decided to tune again only to bear witness to the ridiculousness that was Juan Pablo Galavis, a Bachelor who has largely gone on to be known as one of the most hated in the franchise. I can’t tell you how many friends said to me, “Oh, yeah, this is a really bad season to start watching again.”
But what actually kept me watching the dreaded Juan Pablo season didn’t really have anything to do with him. By the sixth episode I couldn’t have cared less who he chose, but you know what I did care about? Sharleen Joynt’s eyebrows. And Andi Dorfman’s ombre. And Nikki Ferrell’s waves. And Sharleen’s lipsticks. Yes, I continued watching this dumpster fire of a season (at least, until the final two) for the amazing parade of positively sensational hair and makeup. And during this current season, JoJo has been quite the parade float, too.
I once read an article in a February 2014 edition of Allure magazine that spoke of how the women vying for the Bachelor’s heart have so much downtime, are so constantly bored (no Internet, no outside contact, no phones), and spend so much time together that the main chunk of their time ends up focused on doing one another’s hair and makeup. I mean, can you blame them? It’s likely that there are at least a few girls with skills in the house, there are no stylists (except for the final rose ceremony and first introductions, apparently), and with burdensome amounts of time on your hands and your main priority being attractive for one guy, you might as well keep that curling iron on at 400 degrees all day.
However, it’s different with the Bachelorette, who has an on-set makeup artist to help her with every big appearance. And concerning JoJo, I’ve admittedly really liked her hair and makeup all season. I do wish she would get a little more creative beyond the Victoria’s Secret mermaid waves she sticks to, but it sure never looks bad.
So, how exactly does one go about looking like a proper Bachelorette? What does JoJo use? And how about any tips from former Bachelor contestants? You’ve gotta admit that the insane glamapalooza of the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise is quite riveting, and it all makes you want to try a little bit harder for your everyday rose ceremony … er … day at the office.
1. JoJo does the ever-popular “Hot Tools 1.25 inch curling rod + Oribe Dry Texture spray = pretty waves” routine with her hair. This routine has been described so many times in the hundreds of magazines I’ve read (including on instyle.com, where JoJo was interviewed). This is even what I typically do with my own hair when I want to really “do” it (though JoJo’s hair manages to look ten billion times more professional than mine). If you’re still looking for a tool and a product to give you the waves you’ve desired, this should all tell you something. It works.
I think JoJo probably uses the clamp on the curling iron while I avoid it. Whereas I like a more languid, who-cares look by wrapping sections of hair around the iron with your fingers, actually using the clamp will yield a slightly more polished feel. I think JoJo probably does the latter. However, a nice dose of Oribe’s Dry Texture Spray will always do a good job of breaking things up and keeping anything from looking too precious. I can’t tell you how many celebs have mentioned this product in interviews: Blake Lively, Scarlett Johansson, Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, I could go on forever, baby! And that’s to say nothing of the artists that use it (read: all of them). I love the slight, tousled grit that this stuff gives your hair, with the addition of volume, a bit of oil absorption, and an amazing fragrance. JoJo also uses a combo of Oribe shampoo and conditioner.
2. For Bachelor contestants, items or services that normally seem over-the-top for everyday life are non-negotiables for the show. Imagine if you knew you were going to have no access to beauty services for at least a month or so, but you still had to look glamorous everyday. Oh, and you’re going to be on camera. Oh, and chances are you’re going to cry on camera, too. What would you do? Here are a few ideas: spray tans, eyelash extensions, Zoom whitening (with Crest WhiteStrips stocked up at the house), and Temptu airbrush makeup. And I’m sure if this show had been around decades ago, they all would’ve been wearing chinstraps at night too. Anything that’s going to have a long-lasting effect is a must. Erica Rose, a season 9 contestant, mentioned eyelash extensions and airbrush makeup in an interview with with Allure magazine, and Courtney Robertson of season 16 and Catherine Giudici-Lowe mentioned WhiteStrips. Additionally, JoJo mentions occasionally using clip-in extensions to help with volume, especially during rose ceremonies.
Interestingly enough, one thing many of the Bachelor contestants seem to avoid are acrylic or gel nails according to the aforementioned Allure article. Sure, they last for a couple weeks or more, but if and when they chip, there’s nothing you can do about it. Only professionals can manage such horrors, and since you can’t leave the mansion you’re stuck in, your nails are stuck too.
3. JoJo’s routine for her makeup each day on the show was intense. As in, four-full-paragraphs intense. Like I said earlier, the Bachelorette gets to work with a makeup artist once a day- Gina Modica, who’s been a mainstay on the show. Many of the following products used have been her go-to’s for multiple Bachelorettes, with minor variations on color products and the like.
According to an article for The Daily Mail, Modica starts JoJo’s routine with good skincare, including Glycelene’s Rejuvenation Cream, Beauty Serum, and Opalescent Eye Serum. Another article tells us that JoJo layers Dermalogica Solar Defense Booster underneath her makeup for sun protection. Modica, like many of the Bachelor contestants doing their own makeup, prefers using Temptu Air S/B Foundation for its long-wearing properties (and I can attest that this is a commonly requested product for bridal makeup), and she also uses the brand’s airbrush bronzer on JoJo.
According to an article on Flare.com, JoJo loves contour (shocker) and Modica uses NARS The Multiple in South Beach to achieve something subtle (and keep in mind that this is on top of bronzer). For highlighting, she used the ever-popular Becca x Jaclyn Hill Champagne Shimmering Skin Perfector Poured Creme in Champagne Pop in just a couple select places. To set face makeup and to help with undereye circles, Modica cites Gorgeous Cosmetics Concealer in Medium (a brand I’d never heard of) and MAC’s Blot Powder in Medium Dark. However, the Daily Mail article has Modica preferring Besame French Vanilla Brightening Powder for these purposes. This was an interesting mention to me, as I usually see Besame cosmetics vetted by girls who fancy themselves as pinup, retro-ish types. I’ve only ever seen Besame sold online or in vintage stores and I’ve never seen a non-victory-roll-wearing type of girl mention it, so it’s cool to see it used by a mainstream artist on a really mainstream show. That means the stuff is legit and isn’t just loved for its cute, retro packaging.
For eyes, Modica credits Stila’s Stay All Day Brow Gel (and if it’s got any of the staying power of their liquid lipsticks, it works) and MAC’s Paint Pots in the Daily Mail article. I can attest to the goodness of the Paint Pots; they make a great shadow primer or can be worn alone for something natural. She also praises Chanel eyeliners and mascara in another article whose source I can’t remember. To seal everything in (a priority, since we’re up against humid, tropical escapes and lots of tears here), Modica uses MakeUpForEver Aqua Seal Liquid Converter. I wouldn’t even begin to know how this stuff works.
For lips, she recommends the following: Giorgio Armani Lip Maestro, Giorgio Armani Ecstasy Lacquer, Too Faced Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick (which I actually think lacks great staying power), and MAC Velvetease Lip Pencils. I’m surprised that none of the typical cement-lock liquid lipsticks were mentioned such as Stila’s Stay All Day or Kat Von D’s Everlasting for their all-day effect (though the Armani Ecstasy is supposed to be in that ballpark), but then again, shine on the lips is always more flattering, romantic, and camera-friendly than a matte finish. I think we can also agree that matte liquid lipsticks just aren’t that comfortable, and they aren’t super kissable either. And we can’t be having that since the priority here is making out on the daily with a harem of men.
So to summarize, JoJo’s routine for the show each day was basically more than what I typically do for brides on their wedding day. Totally real life, guys!
4. It’s easy to find a lot of former contestants’ favorite beauty products because a LOT of them are now bloggers. Pastels, lots of feminine typography, picture perfect families, the assumption that you most certainly will want to shop what they’re wearing- you know the drill. And if they’re not a blogger, they’re building a decent following on Instagram and spilling a beauty detail or two there.
The following former Bachelor/Bachelorette contestants all have blogs now that feature multiple beauty posts: Jillian Harris, Ali Fedotowsky, Emily Maynard, Kaitlyn Bristowe, and Desiree Hartsock. And this doesn’t include any of the lesser-known contestants that were let go of earlier in their seasons. Longtime favorite and original Bachelorette Trista Rehn Sutter also has a website dedicated to her designs, her family, and a variety of other things beyond her own content. Knowing what I like though, you can guess that I’m most excited about something like Emily’s all-time fave perfumes (V&R Flowerbomb, Kai, Tom Ford Black Orchid, etc) or Ali’s go-to foundation (Smashbox BB Water), even though I really know nothing about them and never even watched their seasons.
5. I tried to replicate a similar look to JoJo’s more casual makeup, and here’s how it turned out.
To some this may still look fairly natural, but trust me, I’m wearing a lot of makeup. I’m wearing a really good mattifying toner as a base for my makeup (Sunday Riley’s Martian) and I went with heaviest hitter in the foundation department – Lancome’s Teint Idole Stick Foundation, buffed out with a BeautyBlender. I kinda dorked around with everything else- Kat Von D’s Shade and Light Palette for brightening powder and contouring, bronzer on top of all that, a rosy blush by Becca, still more highlighting with a NARS cream shadow, and NARS Creamy Radiance concealer for the undereye area.
I actually don’t have any neutral cream shadows at the moment (something that may need fixing?), so I used some shimmering browns from my Dior Earth Reflections palette. I don’t see much color on JoJo’s lower lids for date days (though I could be totally wrong), so I refrained. However, I applied lots of topliner, lots of mascara, and false eyelashes. Eyebrows are filled in with a pomade and set with Glossier Boy Brow (which is actually my norm these days). Lips are just like JoJo’s – Too Face Melted in Chihuahua, with a little extra shimmery gloss on the center of each lip. I’m going to try and leave this on all day to see if it actually lasts the way Modica believes, but I honestly feel like I’m wearing five layers of frosting on my lips. They seriously feel sweaty, and it’s gross. Oh well. It’s for science. And yes there is a filter on this picture. You don’t really want to see the results of me quickly trying to contour my face without a filter.
I wondered what was so off about my overall appearance compared to JoJo’s aside from the obvious “she looks like her, I look like me” factor, and then I realized- she’s very tan. And I, even in the dead of summer here, I am very much not. Here, a very tan, very glamorous JoJo similar to what we’d find at a rose ceremony.
I’ve really enjoyed the platform for beauty that the Bachelor franchise has created. I never can turn down a chance to explore the daily hair and makeup routines of women, but I will admit that the diversity of those women (and men) has largely remained an awkward point of conversation throughout the Bachelor’s existence. Producers claim that the castings are based on the preferences of the season’s lead, and so if the lead states a preference for something like “tall, brunette guys
with the personality of a banana” like we’re seeing this season, then apparently that’s the majority of what we’ll be seeing.
Still, I can’t help but think that it says something when we look at the fact that a nonwhite contestant has never made it to the final two (or even four, really?) on either show, and that a nonwhite person has only been cast once as the lead on either show (and who am I talking about, you ask? Juan Pablo- he is Venezuelan). In fact, two black men who tried out for The Bachelor attempted lawsuit with the claim that producers of the show bar people of color from ever receiving the primary roles, if even that. The charges of racial discrimination were dismissed.
All this to say, race is just one of the issues that has plagued the phenomenon that is the Bachelor and Bachelorette franchise, and I can honestly say that it’s one of the (many) factors that has kept me from being a true fan and consistent watcher. When we’re down to the final four and I can scarcely … and I mean scarcely … tell the guys apart, I’m kinda over it. So, we’ll see what happens with next seasons, but for now, I’ll just be enjoying the Bachelor’s history for its plethora of great lipstick and hair choices. And as far as this season goes, I’ll guess I’ll root for the tall brunette guy. xo, MR
Photo Credits: First picture to JoJo Fletcher’s Instagram – @joelle_fletcher; fourth picture to Lester Cohen/Getty