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Everyone say “thank you” to Everything Everywhere All at Once. The film from directing duo Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert (aka, Daniels) not only gifted us with remixes of “Absolutely (Story of a Girl)” and googly-eyed rocks that made us cry — it also gave us 2022’s biggest cinematic style icon: Jobu Tupaki (Stephanie Hsu).
Originally the Alphaverse version of Evelyn Wang’s (Michelle Yeoh) daughter Joy (also played by Hsu), Jobu’s mind is fractured from too much verse-jumping. As a result, she is constantly feeling everything in all universes — and what better way to represent that sensation of infinity than with a seemingly infinite number of dazzling looks? From pink, glittery wigs to celestial, pearl-encrusted makeup, Jobu’s larger-than-life styling perfectly complements her own experiences. Plus, it makes for the most memorable, eye-catching, and awesomely ostentatious hair and makeup you’ll see in a movie this year.
In a video call with Mashable, Everything Everywhere All at Once‘s makeup department head Michelle Chung and hair department head Anissa E. Salazar broke down five of Jobu’s most iconic looks, as well as the process behind them.
Did any villainous entrance in 2022 make quite as big an impact as the weird and wild shocker that was Elvis Jobu? From the white Elvis jumpsuit to the pink wig to the gems stuck to her face, this look is perfection — and a great introduction to Jobu’s style sensibilities.
According to Chung and Salazar, Daniels put an immense amount of trust in them and costume designer Shirley Kurata when it came to designing looks. While some sprang wholesale from the minds of the creative team, others — like the Elvis costume — were laid out somewhat in the script.
Chung and Salazar not only knew that Jobu would be appearing as Elvis, they also knew that she’d arrive shrouded in pink smoke, walking a pig. From there, Salazar immediately knew that her hair would have to have the glitz and glam to match. A glitter root and custom pink ombré effect transformed a blonde store-bought wig into the pink power look we see on screen.
A similar need for glam informed Chung’s makeup choices. “That was one of the first times we really see [Jobu], so I wanted to have a big impact,” said Chung. She added gems to Jobu’s face for maximum glitziness — and for some stealth emotional turmoil courtesy of teardrop-shaped gems.
“[Jobu] wearing her emotions on her face was where a lot of my looks came from. She’s expressing herself through her appearance,” explained Chung. “So I use a lot of hearts to show her love and tears to show her sadness.”
No breakdown of Jobu’s looks would be complete without this showstopping pearly confection, all topped with a braided black bagel in reference to Jobu’s destructive everything bagel.
Chung’s makeup here is one of the many instances of Chung, Kurata, and Salazar’s intertwined collaboration process — something Chung described as “organic.” For this look in particular, Kurata revealed she was putting pearls on Jobu’s costume, so Chung integrated pearls into the look to tie it all together. Aside from the pearls, the makeup is white and shimmery, seamlessly matching Jobu’s heavenly outfit and surroundings.
Almost everything in these celestial scenes is white, making Jobu’s black bagel hair stand out even more. According to Salazar, the bagel hairpiece itself was made using seven different kinds of braids. The effect is textured and entrancing — perhaps enough to make the hair bagel its own supernatural weapon?
“At one point I was like, ‘Well, maybe she could eat people and suck their souls through the bagel hole,'” Salazar remembered with a laugh. If there is an Everything Everywhere All at Once cut with the deadly hair bagel, I would love to see it.
Given the splendor of this look — and of all Jobu’s other looks — it’s no surprise it’s become a hit as a cosplay option and a Halloween costume. For Chung and Salazar, this is a massive source of joy. It was also part of their initial plan.
“Anissa and I were both like, ‘We just want to be Halloween costumes for everybody.’ That was our goal,” said Chung.
“That was part of the conversation with Daniels. We were like, ‘These would be cool looks that people could recreate,'” added Salazar. “It’s just been so exciting to see that this was one of the most memorable characters. Between seeing people use her as cosplay or Halloween costumes, it’s just flooded our social media, and we’re so happy about it.”
This K-pop–inspired look features what might be Jobu’s boldest declaration of individuality yet: her name, written in hair across her forehead. To achieve the effect, Salazar practiced forming the name on a foam head. The “b” presented the biggest challenge, although Salazar was able to nail it with Chung’s help on-set.
Salazar was inspired by looks she had seen in the fashion world as well as Korean pop stars, who she described as “fashion icons” in their own right. Oftentimes, Salazar and Chung would take inspiration from looks they’d thought up in the past.
“We had ideas that we had stored away, either from a previous thing that we couldn’t do, or maybe like the dream editorial photoshoot that we’ve always wanted to jump into,” said Salazar. “And this was our opportunity.”
When it came to the rest of K-pop Jobu’s hair, which is held back with a series of fun, colorful clips, Salazar was inspired by Japanese Harajuku style. She was actually in Tokyo before the shoot, so she was able to buy clips for Jobu from the Harajuku neighborhood itself.
While everyone thinks of this look as “K-pop Jobu,” Chung had a different nickname for it: “Sad clown.” The orange triangles under Jobu’s eyes and the orange on the very tip of her nose call to mind a twist on clown makeup. They also help create an effect that looks like Jobu has been crying.
“I wanted the runny nose kind of feeling,” explained Chung. “It’s so funny because they’re doing all these makeup tutorials nowadays called the ‘cold girl’ look, where it looks like you’re cold outside, and it’s almost the same feeling.”
Jobu’s melancholy makeup contrasts sharply with her K-pop hair and colorful, teddy bear-adorned jacket — Kurata’s own Jeremy Scott piece. “She’s wearing this crazy fun outfit … but she’s really this sad girl wearing all this stuff to show how her emotions are really running out of control,” said Chung. “I wanted her to look like she’d been blowing her nose for too long, crying secretly —”
“But still chic!” Salazar added.
Jobu continues to wear her emotions on her face in this goth-inspired look that she wears during one of her darkest confrontations with Evelyn. Amid a black, spiky outfit, two hearts stand out on her cheeks.
“She actually still loves her mom so much, and [this look] was for this scene where she’s so angry while talking to her mom,” explained Chung. “Having the hearts on her face was a nice little jab at her wearing her heart on her sleeve.”
This was one of many makeup looks Chung prepared just in case she ever needed a completely new look while shooting. Filming for Everything Everywhere All at Once took place over eight weeks — on such a tight schedule, she and Salazar had to be ready for anything, even pulling a new look out of thin air on short notice. Both Chung and Salazar got their start in independent films, so they’re used to working on a time crunch and with a short budget, even reusing parts of old looks in new ones if necessary.
For example, the hairpiece for this goth look was also used in flashback sequences and for Jobu’s scene girl look. Here, though, Salazar drew inspiration from Jobu’s costume and from anime.
“[Kurota] had mentioned [Jobu’s] necklace and spikes and goth boots, and instantly I was like, ‘We’ve got to do a goth Sailor Moon hair, that would only fit the picture correctly,” said Salazar. She shaped the hairpiece to have Sailor Moon bangs, then added space buns — complete with fake barbed wire wrapped around them — and a glitter root. The glitter she used also came from her time in Tokyo; to fit the Sailor Moon theme, it’s shaped like crescent moons and stars.
The hearts and glittery moons strike up a fun juxtaposition with Jobu’s all-black ensemble — and her harsh actions throughout this scene. “She’s really going through it, but you want to make her look sweet and cute and innocent when she’s actually the villain,” said Salazar.
Looks-wise, the final evolution of Jobu Tupaki is a jumble of all her previous costumes, complete with big, fluffy hair and a conceptual, Picasso-inspired makeup look.
“Basically, at this point, everything’s coming out — she’s wearing all her wardrobe at the same time,” said Chung. “So I was like, ‘Let’s put everything on the same plane [for her makeup].’ Because that was Picasso’s idea — everything was on one plane.”
The end result is a stunning, graphic look: oddly-rotated lips, eyes painted over Jobu’s eyelids, another teardrop on her face. It’s paired with a wild hairdo that would look as at home on a haute-couture runway as it does in the film.
To achieve what Salazar described as the “cotton candy effect,” she created several figure eights with bobby pins in different sizes. She also cut bangs unevenly to emphasize Jobu’s hodgepodge look.
“The bang I thought would complement the makeup,” said Salazar. “You have a little bit of a disconnect, so it’s still fashionable and still weird.”
You would think that having one character wear all these wild hair and makeup looks would be a recipe for incongruence, but in Everything Everywhere All at Once, Jobu’s extreme style works. Yes, the entire film revolves around the concept of the multiverse, but it’s more than that. With common threads between each look, be they glitter roots or teardrops, Chung and Salazar created coherence out of chaos. These looks are wild and stylish, but they’re also deeply grounded in Jobu’s character. As with the desire to make looks that audiences could recreate, this need to focus on character was always part of the plan.
As Salazar put it: “It was extremely important to keep these characters authentically themselves but also have the audience feel and see that it is the same person.” That’s the power of glitter, wigs, and incredible hair and makeup skills.