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Gossip Girl Stylist Betsy Reyes Shares Behind-the-Scenes Styling Secrets

I recently spoke to Gossip Girl stylist Betsy Reyes about how she and fellow stylist Elizabeth Reilly and hair lead Jennifer Johnson create the starlets’ signature looks for our January 2011 issue (page 30). Their key tools? Styling tools from Turbo Power, which keep the actress’ hair looking camera-ready on location in New York City, a big challenge during the city’s hot and steamy summers and windy and wet winters. Here’s more from Reyes on how each look is created:

PHOTO CREDIT: GIOVANNI RUFINO/THE CW ©2010

Blake Lively (Serena van der Woodsen): “For Blake it’s trendy, fashion-forward hair, like what you see on the runways and streets, but very natural and beautiful. We don’t do a lot of preparation done to the hair, mainly just blow-outs. Sometimes she arrives on set with her hair overly conditioned, so we use dry shampoo, blow-out the hair and then wrap it into a bun to set. When it’s taken out we bump a couple of the ends, but it falls perfectly. We don’t use a round brush, we blow her hair dry with just our hands and the dryer.  Blake has the hair that everyone wants.” Leighton Meester (Blair Waldorf):

PHOTO CREDIT: GIOVANNI RUFINO/THE CW ©2010

“For Leighton, we use a lot of different curling irons—different sizes for each look, anywhere from 1/2 inch to 1 1/2 inches, but most commonly the 1-inch size. She’s very classic-looking and put together, not the disheveled, beachy or textured look. Sometimes we use some root lifter to prep the hair. She often comes in with over-conditioned hair, too. Sometimes we’ll throw in the dry shampoo to get that texture going on. TIGI Rockaholic is our favorite.”

PHOTO CREDIT: GIOVANNI RUFINO/ THE CW ©2010

Jessica Szohr (Vanessa Abrams): “She has more of a bohemian look. That’s her real-life look also. She gets a serious blow-out because her hair is naturally curly. The Turbo Power is only thing that can be used in her hair to get her blow-out to stay in the humidity. Then she gets a wave put in her hair with a curling iron as well. Big this season for her is ponytails with just a wave—sort of a messier look.” Despite the 18- to 20-hour days frequently required on the Gossip Girl set, Reyes told me she loves the creative aspect of her job. “If it was any under other conditions—if there was another crew or another cast—it would be miserable,” she says. “I wish it took up fewer hours of the day, but the crew and the people all around us make it a lot of fun.”

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Lotus Abrams

Lotus Abrams