When the first season of Netflix’s adaptation of The Witcher aired back in 2019, there was some highly suspect hair and makeup. The contacts were unnerving, Henry Cavill’s Geralt wig was often a travesty (Jacqui Rathore, who was in charge of styling the wig, reportedly had nightmares about it), and some of the outfits fell too close to the Ren faire side of the fantasy spectrum. But things have changed.
Though The Witcher Season Three is so confusing that Kotaku’s Luke Plunkett thinks it needs a map, and it’s unclear how the series will survive post-Cavill’s departure, there has, at least, been significant improvement in the hair and makeup department this season. The contacts look natural rather than uncanny, they actually hired a Black person to do Black hair, and the costumes at the Aretuza ball are breathtaking. But the costumes, like the show, are inconsistent. There are still wigs that send my eyebrows sky-high and outfits that give me pause.
Here are the best and worst looks from The Witcher Season Three.
Anya Chalotra is jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and this season is a stark reminder that some people truly are built different. Yennefer’s long, softly curled locks look so good and so much like Chalotra’s natural hair that I thought it was real until a TikTok showing her transformation in the hair and makeup chair proved otherwise.
Her purple contacts look more like real eyes this season rather than bizarre Instagram filter purple peepers with the saturation turned up too high from seasons past, so I can focus on the beautiful job Chalotra does of channelling Yen rather than wincing at her eyes.
Now, I don’t love all of Yen’s looks in earlier episodes this season—they feel a bit too pastoral like they’re trying too hard to convince you that she’s a nice older sister and not some sexy, backstabbing sorceress, we promise. But that long, back-spanning fishtail braid and midriff-baring dress she wears at the Aretuza ball? Chef’s kiss. Plus, they bring back the iconic Yen necklace!
Oh, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Yennefer’s nails, which are long and soft-pink like raw rose quartz. I need them!
Good lord, what has actor Joey Batey done to enrage the hair, makeup, and costume departments on The Witcher? This season, Jaskier’s hair looks less like a wig and more like a haircut his mom forced him to get to adhere to a Catholic school’s dress code. Even his face in that picture above looks like he’s sad about his haircut.
Sure, the part looks natural, and it’s less obvious there’s a wig cap under there than there was in season one, but this chin-length bob is giving early-aughts Posh Spice. It’s giving “can I speak to the manager.”
As io9’s Linda Codega puts it, Jaskier’s Season Three look is “Dora the explorer ass hair and off-the-rack costume.” And that floral shirt they have him in for a huge chunk of this season? Tragic.
Best: Philippa Eilhart
Prior to this season, sorceress Philippa Eilhart spent most of her time as an owl, spying for the head of Redanian Intelligence, Sigismund Dijkstra. But this season, actor Cassie Clare got plenty of screen time in human form, and The Witcher crew came correct when it comes to her looks. In one scene, she sports a towering wrapped and braided bun that transitions into a long, disconnected braid held together by an O-ring. In another, she has a curly faux-hawk with braided pieces laying across her forehead, with beads woven through the braids.
Going off London-based hair and makeup artist Paige Cole’s social media posts, Philippa’s hairstyles are a mix of Clare’s natural hair and well-placed extensions—her edges are laid, her baby hairs perfectly sculpted. That’s because Cole is a Black woman who knows how to style natural Black hair. Oh, and that massive braided bun? It’s over five feet long and braided through with leather strips.
I’m sorry, but who the fuck thought it was a good idea to give Lars Mikkelsen eyebrow wigs? Stregobor’s already long-ass eyebrows seem to get even longer every time the camera cuts to him this season, and I can’t take this shit seriously. It’s so goofy. I laughed whenever he was on screen. It’s like when Tyra Banks made that guy get a beard weave on America’s Next Top Model. I’m gonna take Stregobor swimming on our first date and see how natural he really is.
As I said earlier, Cavill’s wig is virtually unclockable, and it looks especially good this season. It has slightly greasy tendrils that fall over his cat-yellow eyes (the contacts look real!) and a soft widow’s peak that matches Cavill’s true hairline. It looks incredible, and it feels like the team finally found the wig’s Goldilocks point.
We also get a few great Geralt looks in the first half of this season, including softer, unarmored outfits like this suede, asymmetrical undershirt, a fantastic leather vest, and, of course, a full-blown formal outfit when he’s dragged to the Aretuza ball.
It doesn’t hurt that Cavill is mind-numbingly handsome, either, but it’s great to see his costuming and makeup shine this season.
Elf fuckboy really wasn’t on my bingo card for this season of The Witcher, but Gallatin is here anyway. With his high-and-tight sides and perfectly-coiffed little mohawk (how much pomade do you think he uses?), this man looks like a Scoia’tael Cristiano Ronaldo. He looks like he dry scoops protein powder. It doesn’t help that actor Robbie Amell is forcing his voice several octaves lower than it is normally, as it makes Gallatin come off like even more of a try-hard.
Freya Allan has had quite the journey to become the Ciri we know in The Witcher Season Three. When we first meet the lion cub of Cintra, she’s got bleached eyebrows like all the Bushwick kids and a wig that looks like American Girl doll hair. Then she was allowed to have natural-coloured brows, but they were too groomed and overplucked. And her wigs still felt a bit too heavy and doll-like. Her royal outfits were too costume-y, and her more rough-and-tumble looks felt pre-worn.
But now, Allan has natural, fluffy brown brows and a wig full of soft tendrils, tucked-away braids, and beautiful wisps. Her striking green contacts look good even in natural light. And her outfits, now that she’s a full-blown witcher, remind me of the ones Ciri wears in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Allan’s acting has also bloomed beautifully, so much so that I truly believe her to be Ciri whenever she’s on-screen.
What are your favourite and least favourite looks from The Witcher TV series?
The second half of Season Three debuts on July 27 on Netflix.
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