Behind the spooky glam of Netflix’s Nightbooks: Interview with makeup head Leslie Sebert


We’re taking you behind the spooky glam of Netflix’s Nightbooks with makeup head Leslie Sebert. Find out how to steal Natacha’s glittery witch look and more!

Nightbooks is a new fantasy-driven horror film that appeals to children and adults. The story centers around Alex (Winsley Fegley), a boy obsessed with scary stories. He finds himself trapped in a magical apartment by an evil witch, Natacha (Krysten Ritter), who forces him to tell her a new scary story each night to stay alive. Alex teams up with another prisoner, Yazmin (Lidya Jewett), to escape Natacha’s clutches.

Leslie was responsible for leading the makeup department for the movie and talked to us about her direction for designing Natacha’s makeup. She utilized her creativity and extensive background in the field to bring Natacha’s character to life, focusing on incorporating darker colors, glitter eyeshadows and creating cat-like features to enhance Natacha’s sinister yet childish, appearance.

A 35-year industry veteran, Leslie offers valuable insight into creating the ultimate witch look, whether you want to mimic Natacha’s appearance this Halloween or create a witchy look of your own! Find out what products and techniques she used in Nightbooks and more.

The genesis of creating Natacha’s look for Nightbooks, highlighting the contrast between her and Griselda (the Candy Witch)

LESLIE SEBERT: The whole idea of Natacha was she was (spoiler alert!) a young girl who was captured by this apartment, by this witch, she grew up in captivity in this weird place. She was still childish, and her makeup look, fashion, and everything had a childish sort of hint to it. But then also some really fun cool fashion.

Supposedly the apartment moved around to different countries. It might have popped to Paris, so she would have seen how people are and how their fashion is and their makeup, so she just grabbed these things to herself and being sort of childish, and what little girl doesn’t love glittery things?

It’s so fun to play with, so that was the basis for her. She cultivated her own look. She didn’t have a mother teaching her how to do it. She had to figure it out on her own.

Nightbooks: Steal Natacha’s glitter eyeshadow

LESLIE SEBERT: The main one that I found that stayed really well was Urban Decay. They had a few, definitely the Urban Decay eye primer before the eye shadow, and then I would do a really nice highlight and shadow with a Christian Dior eyeshadow that was a perfect base for it. It was number 646, just for earth tones and things like that.

And then, on top of that, the sparkles were the Urban Decay sparkles, the glitters. They have the gold, which is called Starfire, the purple glitter is called Studio, but then on top of that, for some of the scenes, I layered the Urban Metal Heavy Metal, and that was Saturday Stardust. I really love those products. They are the best glitters I have found. There was also a Stila one I used called Kitten Karma that stayed well, but the Urban Decay was fantastic and highly recommended.


Nightbooks: How to make your perfect Natacha (or any witch) makeup look for Halloween

LESLIE SEBERT: The fun part of her character was [Natacha] was a witch, but she was gorgeous and fashionable. Still, she also was evil and part of that was the dramatic eyes the great I did a lot of the black with the little tails at the end. I also did double tails and triple tails and a little ’60s kind of thing where I even did an underline with a tail at the end and then glitter in between to accentuate Krysten’s eyes.

I was thinking of using under-eye lashes, like the false lashes, but for the whole day, they just weren’t that comfortable, so what I went with I drew extra lines like in the ’60s and then in between, I would put some gold highlights or purple highlights or silver highlights to really pop the liner.

Especially at night, which was the thing about our film, it was particularly dark and moody. The glitter will make whoever’s eyes pop even more when you’ve got the big black liner and big lashes, and then you have some highlighting glitter. It catches your eye, and it’s very dramatic.


What’s in Leslie Sebert’s makeup bag?

LESLIE SEBERT: I am a big fan of Armani foundations and Koh Gen Do foundations. I love beautiful Christian Dior eyeshadows. There are so many products out there, it was funny on this when we were doing her lips, we used a Kosas called “Wet,” and it brought this great shine to her lips. Also, another nice product which she absolutely loved is Living Libations, and Krysten doesn’t go anywhere without it. She likes the mint flavor, but there are so many yummy flavors like chocolate, and they’re beautiful. They’re a great basis for lip colors and lip liners and stuff. I wouldn’t leave home without them.

Read. Nightbooks appeals to the horror-loving kid within. light

I usually have in my kit the Christian Dior [mascara] called Diorshow. We used Tarte on this one which was fantastic because Krysten has these amazing lashes, and I used these great false lashes on her by Pink Cherry and then on top of that, I used the Tarte mascara. Also, I used that Glossier Brow Boy a little bit in her eyebrows and Anastaisa, granite, just a tiny bit because she’s got great eyebrows, but I really wanted to bring drama to her eyebrows because it was such a dramatic look.

Her lip pencil was really fun because we were trying to find these great pops of color, an old favorite of mine that I hadn’t used in a while, it’s an Elizabeth Arden fuschia, and it had such amazing consistency. It’s beautiful on her lips. It works great, and she liked the way it felt. Clé de Peau they have beautiful concealers.

Those are my go-to’s, and moisturizers are great. It’s good to have a good base before your foundation. I would say Drunk Elephant has some good ones, Dermalogica. We also used Sunday Riley. She has great moisturizers. A big thing is the fake lashes. If you want to make dramatic eyes, especially like a character thing, get the biggest lashes you can get.

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Nightbooks is now streaming on Netflix.