The makeup department head of ‘Abbott Elementary’, Alisha L. Baijounas, shared how color theory impacts viewers’ burning Janine-Gregory theories. Baijounas had a very specific Season 2 trajectory for Janine (show creator and star Quinta Brunson), and at least the hope for where she would end up by season’s end. With Brunson’s season-long vision for Janine in mind, Baijounas picked deliberate hinge points where Abbott’s own second-grade whisperer could elevate her own sense of self.
Color theory, in makeup, is all about the ways our brains assign meanings to colors when they sit next to each other on a color wheel, creating (or not) a strong sense of personality. Janine is a little bit at odds with herself when her colors don’t line up. Meanwhile, Baijounas made sure that Ava (Janelle James) not only has coherent colors that express sharpness and luxury, but the kind of technical edged-out lip that puts her in a different weight class from Janine — important for someone who low-key dated Allen Iverson. Someone like Barbara (Sheryl Lee Ralph), meanwhile, may vary her colors day to day but always makes strong choices in the same color family.
With Janine, Baijounas added a more coherent color theory for moments of maturity and especially those moments of spark between her and Gregory. Baijounas is also clear-eyed about why. “I think that’s the natural progression for every woman, especially if they’re in a great place, if they’re in love. Even though we don’t know until the end, when you have to make a lot of hard decisions, as she does at the end of the season,” Baijounas said.
The shift in Janine’s looks is as much a transformation, and just as simple, as Janine’s realization that she has more growing to do. A change in the shade of her lipliner is all it takes for her to stop hiding from herself and from projecting a more mature version of Ms. Teagues out to the world.