Up Where We Belong: Zendaya’s All-Black Glam Squad Named One of the Top 15 in Hollywood

Zendaya with hairstylist Ursula Stephen, left, and makeup artist Sheika Daley.
Photo: Beau Grealy (The Hollywood Reporter )

Black-on-black-on-black....that’s the color scheme on one of the two covers of the Hollywood Reporter’s “Glam Squads” issue, featuring its seventh annual list of the Top 15 most influential hairstylists and makeup artists. And black-on-black-on-black is also the composition of Zendaya’s team, which includes tress-whisperer Ursula Stephen and face-maker Sheika Daley (Zendaya’s all-black squad is led by “image architect” Law Roach).

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It’s a fitting showcase for one of Hollywood’s most dynamic teams, which has transformed the now 23-year-old from Disney kid to ingenue to bona fide fashion icon. The star’s stratospheric rise now includes her own collection with Tommy Hilfiger, a contract with Lancôme, a starring role and production credit on Euphoria, projects in development and shut-it-down status on red carpets from the Oscars to the Met Gala, where this year Zendaya celebrated what she called “a fairy-tale ending to [her] Disney days” as “Zenderella,” a nickname coined by Daley.

“Law wanted to embody the whole look from the movie, from the dress to the hair to the makeup,” said Daley, who used Lancôme’s Teal Fury shadow palette to create the princess effect. Stephen, an industry innovator previously known for helping to create Rihanna’s shape-shifting persona, credits teamwork for Zendaya’s gorgeous array of looks. “It’s like getting a bride ready for her wedding. It’s an opportunity for everyone—hairstylist, makeup artist, stylist, client—to share their best,” she says.

Zendaya’s squad wasn’t the only all-black team recognized by the Hollywood Reporter; the always avant-garde Cynthia Erivo appeared with her team, hairstylist Coree Moreno and makeup artist Terrell Mullin.

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“They are not a team to me, they are more like a family,” says Erivo, while Moreno, the mastermind behind her platinum and pastel hair looks, says working with the Tony, Grammy and Daytime Emmy-award winner is like being “a kid in a candy store—she allows us to go crazy with our creativity.”

And while her titular role in Harriet is decidedly dressed down (because Underground Railroad), Mullin and Moreno promise Erivo will be serving lewks on the press circuit.

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“For Harriet press, we plan on making her as glamorous as possible,” says Mullin, while Erivo gladly gives her glam squad free rein: “I love it all, I do not discriminate.”

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Zazie Beetz also depends on an all-black beauty team to keep her looking stunning. Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway and makeup artist Tyron Machhausen keep Beetz looking fresh and fly on an endless stream of red carpets.

“In creative tongue, we speak the same way,” says Beetz of her team, while Redway, who styles the tresses of Tessa Thompson, Tracee Ellis Ross and Ruth Negga, among others, says “we love bringing elements to the red carpet you have not seen before.”

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Case in point? The silver-leafed eye and box braids Beetz rocked at the Joker premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, seen below.

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Lupita Nyong’o has often been credited with popularizing natural hairstyles on the red carpet, and now, she’s working with natural hair maestro Vernon François, who is responsible for the gloriously teased-out look on the star’s October Vanity Fair cover—as well as her wondrous, Afro pick-adorned look for this year’s Met Gala.

“Together, we seize the opportunity to make bold statements and moments of art,” Nyong’o told the Hollywood Reporter. “I love not knowing what we might discover next together.” François, who also counts Serena Williams and Amandla Stenberg among his clients and recently launched an eponymous natural hair care line at Sally Beauty, agrees: “We live in the moment and are flexible with the end result.”

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About the author

Maiysha Kai

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. Minneapolis born, Chicago bred, New York built. Nuance is her superpower.