Creating the hair and makeup looks for the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther would be a tall order on any day. But filming in Atlanta during the humid days of summer presented a particularly challenging set of circumstances for the hair department head of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Camille Friend, and key makeup artist Kimberly Felix-Burke.
Another challenge? Many of the film’s pivotal scenes take place underwater, which required shooting in tanks. “We’d have to get in there and do touch-ups [on the actors],” says Felix-Burke, who notes that the citizens of the underwater kingdom of Talokan were painted head to toe in blue. (It was makeup department head Joel Harlow’s idea to use paint rollers to streamline the process.)
Of course, the final looks (including Lupita Nyong’o’s locs and the colorful patterns painted on Danai Gurira’s bald head) incorporate some movie magic. “I love working hand-in-hand with special effects; we meet them in the middle,” says hairstylist Friend. “What they do helps us create characters — and that’s the part I love.” Below, Friend and Felix-Burke expand on some of the key beauty products they had on set, relying on these formulas for in and out of the many water scenes you’ll see on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.