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When HBO Max’s Hacks debuted in May 2021, the buzz around the show was immediate thanks to the big names attached to it. But although Jean Smart is just as incredible as everyone expected, comedian Meg Stalter
continues to steal scenes as the loveable but inept talent agent assistant, Kayla. Since the show launched, she’s become a serious style star, hitting the Emmy and SAG Awards in It-girl designer threads put together in creative ways. Stalter is a beauty girl too, playing around with colorful makeup and hairstyles both on and off the red carpet.
It only makes sense she would partner with a beauty brand like Neutrogena. Stalter said she is a fan of the drugstore brand’s skincare before she was approached for the partnership. “I have always loved the Hydro Boost Face Mask,
Hydro Boost gel [Face Moisturizer],
and then recently they came out with the Hydro Boost+ line, which is incredible,” she says. From this newer line, with its additional active ingredients, she’s “really addicted” to the Hydro Boost+ Caffeine Eye Gel Cream ($19.59 at Amazon.)
“I used it like three times this morning. I love it and it feels really refreshing,” she said. “You just put that under your eye and then of course the [Hydro Boost+ Niacinamide Face Serum
], you can use as much as you want to and it’s really amazing.” Stalter has dry, sensitive skin so she really focuses on hydration over exfoliating retinols and acids. She does like Neutrogena Hydro Boost+ Glycolic Acid Overnight Peel ($13.96 at Amazon
), which she uses 1-2 times per week, followed by the serum and a refreshing ice roller.
Skincare is even more important while she’s working, like filming season 2 of Hacks or her upcoming indie movie, Cora Bora, which just debuted at SXSW. “If I was to fall asleep with my makeup on, which happens sometimes, I like waking up in the morning with enough time to do some routine with the Hydro Boost+ serum and maybe use a mask to repair what I’ve done the night before.” We’ve all been there.
As Kayla on Hacks, Stalter gets to really go there with the slightly out-there hair and makeup looks. It’s part of Kayla’s charm and something Stalter takes inspo from. “My hairstylist Portia is so incredible at coming up with different hairstyles and every time she does one, I’m like, ‘oh, I should do this with my hair in real life,’” she says. She admits that Kayla’s style is a bit more “wacky” than hers but there’s still a lot of crossover between her and her characters.
“I just don’t know how to do all the hairstyles,” she says. “And it’s funny imagining her waking up early and doing her hair like that.” And then being late for work.
Stalter works with stylist Kat Typaldos, hairstylist Clayton Hawkins and makeup artist Melissa Hernandez for her red carpet moments. They’re all best friends and have fun playing dress up. “We are on the same page of never are trying to fit in,” she says. “And we’re never trying to get a certain reaction from like people on the red carpet. We’re just doing whatever we want to do and kind of breaking rules and being like, ‘what is exciting for us, what is the next thing?”
“I feel like a little kid playing dress up and just putting pressure or trying to fit in or trying to look a certain way or fit into a box is really boring to me,” Stalter adds.
Stalter works with iconic women on the show, of all ages, who she can learn from in more ways than just acting. In addition to Jean Smart, there’s Hannah Einbinder, a standout star herself. “I just love working with women and being surrounded by them all the time,” Stalter says. “We’re all different for a reason and that’s what makes us so interesting. It’s really interesting to me to see women be hot and beautiful in their own ways.” Smart is 71 years old, while Stalter is 33 and Einbinder is 27.
“I think a lot of times society is like, ‘we all want to look young and stay young,’” she says. “Well, I think older woman are really hot and it’s exciting to get older.”