Photo Credit: Dan Doperalski.

By Sara Spruch-Feiner

Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios and streams on Netflix.

Jen Harding (played by Christina Applegate)

She may be a hothead, but Jen's signature beachy waves and soft, rosy glow are as easygoing—and universally flattering—as it gets.

Christina Applegate in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

"Jen cries a lot on the show," says Applegate's makeup artist, Kim Greene, who keeps a stash of depuffing essentials on hand to calm the star's skin post-waterworks. She likes the caffeine-packed eye serum The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG and Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels, which are stick-on undereye masks that soothe swelling.

To make Applegate's complexion look polished, Greene blends on Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua Foundation. "The coverage is sheer but enough to even out her skin tone," she says.

Christina Applegate in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

"Jen's no-nonsense personality is reflected in her makeup, so we use mostly neutrals around her eyes," says Greene, who for many scenes dips into MAC Cosmetics Art Library: Nude Model eye shadow palette with its mix of peaches, mauves, and browns. Greene weaves color into Applegate's look with raspberry lipstick, rotating between a few shades, including Senna Cosmetics Matte Fixation Lipstick in Sultry and Ilia Tinted Lip Conditioner in Europa.

To create Jen's perfectly undone waves, Applegate's hairstylist, Romy Fleming, turns to the Gold 'N Hot 1" Professional Marcel Curling Iron. Working on one-inch-wide sections of hair, she alternates the direction in which she curls as she goes around the head. To lock in the ripples, Fleming mists each section with Ouai Memory Mist before wrapping it around the barrel, leaving the bottom a few inches out so they stay straight.

Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

The finishing hair touches are Virtue Labs Refresh Dry Shampoo spritzed at Applegate's roots for volume and a dab of R+Co Two-Way Mirror Smoothing Oil on her ends.

Judy Hale (played by Linda Cardellini) 

With her tousled, '70s-inspired shag and natural pink-and-nude makeup, the tenderhearted eccentric is a low-key luminary.

Linda Cardellini in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Eddy Chen/Netflix.

To bring a healthy flush to Cardellini's complexion and relieve any 5 a.m.-call-time puffiness, makeup artist Liz Lash begins by massaging the actress's face with the Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, a vibrating facial roller.

One of Judy's staples is shiny lips with a hint of color, so to play up Cardellini's pout, Lash relies on Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick in Petal, a soft, nude pink. She tops it with one of two Beautycounter Lip Glosses: Peony, a watermelon hue, or Blush Shimmer, a peachy pink with subtle sheen.

"Linda has such expressive eyes," says Lash, who reaches for Tom Ford Eye Color Quad eye shadow palette in Body Heat to define them and give Judy the occasional smoky look. "Its glimmery gem-tone colors bring out her beautiful brown eyes."

Linda Cardellini in TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

The light, airy texture of Cardellini's hairstyle starts with the right shampoo. The actress loves Briogeo Be Gentle Be Kind Matcha + Apple Replenishing Superfood Shampoo. "It helps her hair look and feel super soft," says her hairstylist, Courtney Ullrich.

"Judy is carefree and a bit bohemian, so her hair can't be too perfect," says Ullrich, who uses a small-barrel curling iron to form relaxed waves on Cardellini's shag, adding just the slightest bend at her roots to give them some heft.

After curling, Ullrich mists R+Co Balloon Dry Volume Spray, a lightweight texturizer, into Cardellini's roots to keep them lifted and loosen up the style so it's a bit wispy. "The volume on top prevents a shag cut from looking triangular," she says.

Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini

Photo Credit: Dan Doperalski.

Originally published in Watch Magazine, May-June 2020.

Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios and streams on Netflix.

TV writer Liz Feldman with Dead To Me stars Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini.

Photo Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images.

By Fred Schruers

Three years ago, the seasoned writer Liz Feldman (2 Broke Girls) was sitting in a pitch meeting with potential producers, bereft of ideas and motivation. She had recently turned 40, was four years into an ultimately unsuccessful quest to get pregnant, and had just lost a beloved cousin to a heart attack.

And then, suddenly, inspiration came to her: A recently widowed woman becomes friends with someone she meets in a grief group. They bond over their shared pain until the recent widow learns that—well, let's not spoil that. "Forgive me for being woo-woo," says Feldman, "but that particular idea, it was like I'd channeled it."

Linda Cardellini and Christina Applegate in a scene of TV series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

The producers passed, but soon thereafter, when CBS Studios comedy head Kate Adler heard the pitch with the surprise twist Feldman had plotted, Adler simply dropped her notepad on the floor—an instant go. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay (Vice), and Jessica Elbaum (Hustlers) joined Feldman as executive producers; Christina Applegate was cast as the widow, opposite Linda Cardellini and James Marsden.

Linda Cardellini abd Christina Applegate on the set of Dead to Me with head writer Liz Feldman.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

Dead to Me—which has been described variously as a "tragicomedy," "black comedy," and "traumedy"—earned immediate cult status among viewers, and reviewers marveled that a show Feldman described as being about "forgiveness" could be so soaked in irony. (Tauntingly upbeat songs like "Get Happy" are set against grim, plot-unfolding montages.) Applegate earned Emmy and Golden Globe nominations for her role as Jen, whose brave, scalding humor never allows her to dip into mere sentimentality, and it's clear from the beginning that there's more to Judy than initially meets the eye.

Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Netflix series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

While the series is driven by its secrets, the characters are the heart of the story—lovable, flawed, and totally believable. "I'd like to think I'm a pretty good observer of humanity," says Feldman, "and I always try to do it from a place of understanding, not judgment. I approach all the characters from a place of empathy.

For Feldman, a former stand-up comic, performer in the Groundlings improv troupe, and graduate of Ellen DeGeneres' writing room, it was a big shift from her stint as a writer and producer on CBS' 2 Broke Girls. "Working in network television taught me a lot about what a mass audience will accept and enjoy," she says. "And at the heart of 2 Broke Girls and its success is the takeaway that a really good central relationship is a great foundation to begin with."

Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Netflix series Dead to Me.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

With the second season of Dead to Me unfolding, there are plenty of questions about how that central relationship will fare. As Feldman says of the end of Season 1, "There's a lot left to the imagination in terms of what actually happened." Now "there's a role reversal in terms of Jen's and Judy's decisions and the wrongs they've committed against each other. It was really exciting to dig into what it's like now that the tide has turned."

Actresses Christina Applegate and Linda Cardellini in Netflix series Dead To Me.

Photo Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

While audiences are riveted by the entertainment value, Feldman calls the show nothing short of "a gift," explaining, "Allowing myself to be open and vulnerable through my writing, and being as real as possible about these women's experiences, has really helped to heal me."

Originally published in Watch Magazine, May-June 2020.

Dead to Me is produced by CBS Television Studios and streams on Netflix.

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