It’s been nearly three decades since the Sanderson Sisters first put a spell on us, captivating Halloween-lovers and Wicca followers alike in the cult-classic 1993 film, Hocus Pocus. On September 30 on Disney+, Winifred Sanderson (Bette Midler), Sarah Sanderson (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary Sanderson (Kathy Najimy), are back to put a spell on us once again with their continued quest for beauty and immortality… just in time for the perfect Halloween inspo, of course.
With the return of our favorite witches, we can’t help but reminisce on what makes these three characters so iconic. And, of course, we can’t wait to see how they adapt to the modern world. After all, they no longer need to suck the lives of children for a youthful glow — there’s a face serum for that.
Meet the Experts
Christina Giarrizzo is a celebrity hairstylist who has experience creating on-camera looks on movie sets.
Ashunta Sheriff is an Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist who has worked with Alicia Keys, Zendaya, and Janelle Monae.
Hocus Pocus Beauty
From the moment we first meet the Sanderson Sisters, Winifred, Sarah, and Mary’s personal styles are made distinct through the use of color (in both their costumes and their beauty), texture, and shape. From Winifred Sanderson’s lipstick to Mary Sanderson’s purple hair streaks to Sarah Sanderson’s smokey eyes, you immediately get a sense of their personalities, quirks, and roles within their coven.
“Each Sanderson sister has a unique hairstyle shape that reflects their personalities — most people can identify [them] just by seeing a silhouette of their hair,” says Christina Giarrizzo, a celebrity hairstylist. Ashunta Sheriff, an Emmy-nominated celebrity makeup artist, says their contrasting makeup also makes the sisters stand out. “The pale makeup, smoldering lined eyes, and wine color pout with rosy cheeks, plus a lot of contour was the key to their classic makeup look,” she notes.
In our years of ringing in spooky season with the Sanderson sisters, one thing that has always stood out to us is how much their hair and makeup reflect some key details in the original 1993 movie’s plot. Case in point: Winifred Sanderson’s lipstick feels intentional, as it resembles the same puckered pout she makes when sucking the lives of children. And, Mary’s quirky updo looks like cauldron smoke, perhaps referencing the Life Potion that the sisters concoct in their attempt at becoming immortal (or, a fun spin on an actual witch’s hat). As for Sister Sarah, her vixen-like qualities appear reflective of her job to lure children to the Sanderson Sisters’ house.
While all three Sanderson witches have eye-catching looks, Winifred’s is like the Holy Grail of witchy style. With her curly red hair wrapped into what can only be described as 17th-century space buns, her rosy cheeks, and her puckered red pout, it’s clear that she’s the sister in charge. Her hair and makeup also give off a witchy Queen of Hearts vibe, telling us she is not to be messed with.
To achieve Winifred Sanderson’s hairstyle, Giarrizzo says to start by curling the hair with a 1-inch curling iron like the Hot Tools Pro Artist 24K Gold Curling Iron. “After curling, part the hair down the middle and separate it into two pigtails on top of the head,” she explains. “Wrap the hair around the ponytails like you are making space buns and pull out some hair to achieve that heart-shaped look on top of the head,” she adds, noting that hair donuts can help create more volume in the buns.
For Winifred Sanderson’s makeup, Sheriff says to use a dual-acting product that will allow you to match the cheeks and lips. The Ilia Multi-Stick in Dear Ruby is perfect for recreating this look.
Sarah Sanderson’s hair and makeup feel like the opposite of her sister, Winnie. With her long, flowing locks, she’s a little — okay, a lot —more free-spirited. Her dark, smoky eyes have a sultry essence to them, and her bold red lip connects her to her sisters, too.
Her beachy long waves are achievable by “blow drying the hair smooth and using a round brush to add depth and body to capture her effortless waves and curvature,” says Giarrizzo. For added texture, you could also wrap your hair around a curling wand such as the Amika Chameleon 5 Barrel Interchangeable Curling Kit to add more dimension.
For her smokey eyes, Sheriff says to use a gel liner on the upper and lower watermarks, then apply a heavier hand to the upper lashline for a thicker look. “Using a dark shadow of choice with any eye shadow brush, put color on the lid and on top of the liner,” she notes, saying to focus on feathering the edges so the top liner dissipates. “Add three coats of mascara on top and bottom — bold lashes complete and elevate this timeless look.” We love Blinc Lash Extension Tubing Mascara to build amazing length and volume.
As the quirkiest Sanderson sister, Mary’s hair and makeup looks are the very essences of her personality. Her whimsical ponytail feels like a modern spin on a witch’s hat but also resembles cauldron smoke as she flies across the night sky on her vacuum. And, the purple streaks give it a funky finish (and complement the Sanderson sisters’ jewel-toned color palette). Like Sarah Sanderson, Mary rocks a bold red lip with even bolder brows.
“To achieve Mary’s hairstyle, start by putting your hair in a high ponytail,” says Giarrizzo. Once you have your pony secured, she recommends adding a hair donut at the base of the ponytail and wrapping the hair around the donut. “Layer the donuts until you get some height,” she explains. From there, either curl or braid ends and finish it off with a texturizing spray or super-hold hair spray. “Depending on your hair texture, you can tease your hair for more volume in this look,” she adds. For an added touch, add some temporary purple color (we love the L’Oréal Colorista 1-Day Spray).
As for her makeup, Sheriff says it’s all about the dark brows. “Fill in brows with a brow pencil and fill them in using hair-like strokes,” she explains. Then, reach for a dark eyebrow gel — such as Glossier Boy Brow in black — and “comb brows upward and outward.”
As beauty lovers, we hope Winifred, Sarah, and Mary trade their Life Potion for anti-aging skincare formulas. The Hocus Pocus 2 trailer does show them inside of a drugstore, sampling the beauty products. However, licking sheet masks and tasting moisturizers isn’t exactly a skincare regimen we can get behind. One thing is for certain, though: They’re still on a quest for immortality — and everlasting beauty to go along with it.
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