Considering just how versatile, customizable, personal, and downright pretty they can be, it’s almost shocking to think that for many, ponytails are relegated exclusively to the gym or backyard. If you’re a ponytail doubter, convinced that the style is purely functional, please focus your attention on Dakota Johnson. Hemingway had his brusque prose, Rothko had his colors, and Johnson has her ponytails. With her go-to glam team, the pulled-back styles become works of art — and her latest creation is a full-on masterpiece. Concocted by Mark Townsend, her go-to stylist, Dakota Johnson’s braided ponytail is a modernized, real-life version of something you might see on a fairytale princess.
The intricate, artfully undone style comes amid a whirlwind tour of press and premieres for Johnson’s new film, The Lost Daughter. Together with makeup artist Georgie Eisdell, the trio has produced more copyable looks in a few weeks than many come up with all year. This latest look, created for the Mill Valley Film Festival, features Johnson in an autumn-appropriate velvet puff-sleeve dress with shimmery, lash-heavy makeup and this show-stopping braid. While most of it is elegantly pinned back, Townsend left several gently-waved tendrils loose around Johnson’s face for a romantic, tousled effect.
A style this good needs to be replicated immediately — and thankfully, Townsend was kind enough to share a brief look at what went into the braided updo on his Instagram. As with any sculpted or structured style, the texture is all-important to allow grip for pins, hair bands, and woven strands. Too silky-smooth and it’ll all slide right out, which is why so many top stylists recommend a dry shampoo or second-day hair for updos. In this case, Townsend used the incredible-smelling Dove Volume And Fullness Dry Shampoo all over Johnson’s hair before pinning it in place. In another post, Townsend mentions the dry shampoo is also a consistent must-use at the crown of the head and in her fluffy, lash-skimming bangs. A bit of Goop’s new Glow Restore + Shine Hair Serum adds gloss and sealant to hair’s ends, too.
Meanwhile, Eisdell’s work on Johnson’s makeup is perfectly complementary to the dark cottagecore style thanks to a wide-eyed look emphasized with plenty of shimmer. Eisdell revealed the long, defined eyelashes came courtesy of IT Cosmetics Superhero Mascara, which features a buildable formula and bristle-packed brush. A combination of Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Aqua and Chanel Vitalumière foundations buff a creamy, clean finish into Johnson’s skin to create the perfect canvas for the rest of the products. Finally, her full, satin lip look was built from the Victoria Beckham Beauty Lip Definer in Shade 2 and kept supple and hydrated with the Goop Goopgenes Lip Balm.
In an alternate universe it’s clear that Johnson would have excelled as a Disney princess — with hair like that, she’d probably be the most enchanting one. Below, shop her glam team’s products for getting the storybook style at home.
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