Who's Behind Lea Michele's Sexy 'Glee' Makeover?

12/26/2012 at 10:00 AM ET

Lea Michele GleeAdam Rose/FOX

Lea Michele promised us a Glee makeover — and a Glee makeover we’ve seen!

The actress, who plays college freshman Rachel Berry on the show, says her character has had a sexy style upgrade this year, and she owes it all to Glee creator Ryan Murphy.

“It was Ryan’s idea to do this shift for Rachel, having her become a little more grown up, a little more New York,” Michele told PEOPLE recently while working with Candie’s. “I basically pick out the outfits with our costume designer, and we take all of the photos to Ryan to approve. It’s really collaborative.”

But it goes beyond the costumes: Rachel’s hair and makeup are more major, too, again, thanks to Murphy.

“He’s so involved with everything — what shoes I wear, what kind of eyeliner I put on,” she says. “I don’t know how he does it. He has so many shows, but still finds the time to help with this.”

And though we’ve been loving Rachel’s sensual smoky eyes this season, Michele says that’s probably her least favorite part of her character’s new look. “I’ve been trying to tone that down a little bit,” she admits. “It’s a b*tch to take off at night!” Tell us: Are you loving Rachel Berry’s revamped look? Or did you prefer her high school makeup and clothes? 

–Kate Hogan

PHOTOS: SEE MORE ON-SET STYLE IN ‘LIGHTS! CAMERA! FASHION!’

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Showing 20 comments

anne on

She looks good but she looks like Lea Michele, not Rachel Berry. Although, I would say that this is the least of Glee’s worries. (More Rachel and Kurt, less newbies please)

Sammie on

I like the look fashion-wise, but this isn’t Rachel I’m seeing. It’s Lea Michele.

No more on

Rachel Berry was iconic fugure and with Finn Hudson as a parallel story was the core of Glee and the reason for much of its success. Instead of building on that, the writers undermine everything they create. Rachel doesn’t look, sound or behave like Rachel. Finn has been utterly regressed from the mature decision he made at the end of season 3 and the relationship was pissed on in the break up. Rachel as the sanctimonious ex in the swan song episode in that dismal phone call to Lima merely completed my disillusion. Too much eyeliner is the least of the shows worries.

Eyes have it on

Perhaps the writers should involve themselves less in costume and make up decisions and more on script continuity. Perhaps then all the episodes that jar because they offer out of character actions and wtf continuity fails can be replaced with some old glee magic.

Jamie on

Where did the magic of season 1 go? Where did Rachel Berry go? Rachel’s look (although stunning) is too Lea Michele. The newbies don’t interest me one bit and the high school part of the show is boring with many “wannabe” characters. Give me a spinoff with Rachel, Kurt, and Santana living together in NYC (this would be priceless comedy) and Quinn actually using that damned Metro Pass. Don’t focus so much on changing a character we already love as much as utilizing the talent of those actors that have stolen our hearts over the past few years. You have the chemistry, now make the magic happen!

Kate on

I guess people really don’t know Lea Michele the person. She doesn’t wear much make up and prefer jean short or big sweaters and leggins.

Mary Ann on

“This is why this show has tanked this year. I think the clothing and eyeliner and ridiculous storyline that makes this cw plot like cheap and tacky is the reason why people have stopped watching this show in droves. Lea Michele is just not a subtle actress”
This is a joke right? Lea is one of the better actors on the show and give me a break pretending Rachel clothes is why the show is tanking. Rachel even more mature is why the show is stil getting any viewers. Ryan knew he had to have a few old face aorund and he picked Rachel cause she is the most popular like her or not and Lea besides Jane Lynch is the one most recognizable.

Danica on

I’m glad Lea thinks the eye makeup is too much. She has gorgeous eyes and the heavy eyeliner is just a distraction that doesn’t allow us to enjoy their expressiveness. The clothes are fine, but I’d love a bit more color. I agree with what others have said about Ryan Murphy involving himself more in story continuity and actual good storytelling rather than wardrobe. Rachel Berry is my favorite character and she has been barely recognizable this season and I’m not talking about her clothes. Lima is boring. I have no interest in the newbies at all. I’m not and cannot bring myself to be emotionally invested in them. I’d rather they had gone ahead with the spin-off of Rachel, Finn and Kurt in NYC.

Caramel Girl on

I think Lea Michele (Rachel) looks amazing with or without this transformation. But I do love all her outfits and her hair. Her make up is good too but I think it’s waaaaay too heavy. Also, it bothers me that in the show she wears heavy make up when she’s about to sleep. (See Episode 4)

Steph on

I like Rachel’s new look a great deal – particularly the eyes (though maybe a TINY bit less would work as well). I like Kurt’s styling, too, though he’s been pretty tense this year (good reason, I suppose); hope he’s able to relax and have some fun again when they HOPEFULLY clear Burt’s illness. My uncle is a 15 year prostate cancer survivor; I know Ryan Murphy’s dad died of prostate cancer, but hope very much that Kurt doesn’t lose his dad (having already lost his mom so young) – been there and done that in my life and it is NOT something I’d like to see happen.

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