Hulu’s new drama – which premiered on 3 March – stars Seyfried as Holmes, the biotechnology entrepreneur who was found guilty in January 2022 of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by misleading investors.
In the series, Seyfried’s Holmes is often shown wearing messy makeup.
In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, the show’s head of makeup, Jorjee Douglas, explained why the scruffy look was deliberate.
Douglas said that Holmes’s 20-hour workdays would have left her no time or desire for aesthetic self-care.
“There were points where she was really at a breaking point of trying to sell her [company to investors],” she said.
Douglas added: “[Holmes] was using her makeup as a weapon almost – using this very stereotypically sexy red lipstick, black-rimmed eyes kind of thing.”
In order to successfully mimic Holmes’s look, Douglas described that her research included examining real-life photos of the disgraced entrepreneur and studying “all of the different shades of red that she wore” and “all her unmatched colours of foundation”.
“[Holmes] often had clumpy lipstick and sometimes out-of-line lip liner… She wore makeup that sometimes clashed with her skin tone in college,” she added.
Douglas said she wanted to “honour” the real-life entrepreneur, adding that she felt there was “no way to look at the real Elizabeth Holmes without feeling some sort of pain”.
The first three episodes of The Dropout can be watched on Hulu in the US and on Disney Plus in the UK.