Now that Oscar season is over, it’s time to look forward to the Emmy campaigns ahead, not to mention upcoming important film festivals, including Cannes. Industry insiders walking the red carpet incorporate an array of beauty treatments to look and feel their most confident. It’s an exciting, disruption-filled time in the beauty industry. We chat with Hollywood’s stalwart beauty guard for tips and perspective.
“One of the most exciting and entertaining aspects of how red carpet beauty has changed is the ability to see so many behind-the-scenes details with the rise of social media,” says makeup artist Pati Dubroff, whose clients include Margot Robbie at the 2018 Oscars, Priyanka Chopra (for Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s royal wedding), Gwyneth Paltrow, Zoe Kravitz and Natalie Portman.
“Nowadays you can’t put the brush down fast enough to post photos on Instagram with product breakdowns,” says celebrity makeup artist Sam Fine, whose clients include Queen Latifah, Paula Patton, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Hudson, Tyra Banks and Iman. Brands vie for the celebrity’s and makeup artist’s social media following “with hopes of catapulting their product to best-seller status.”
Instagram and red carpet makeup aren’t always synonymous. On Instagram, images are often carefully filtered with controlled lighting. The red carpet is a motion-filled, high-def sea of digital video, photos and drone footage capturing every detail. There may be flash, natural and artificial light. Get help. Book A-list makeup artists up to a year in advance through agencies ala Forward Artists. Other makeup and brow options include experts at Anastasia Beverly Hills, STRIIIKE, Blushington and Glamsquad.
Makeup that helps craft that seemingly lit-from-within beauty has since been gorgeously refined. Powders are more finely milled to look less disco ball but rather melt into the skin. Cream blushes, highlighters and eye shadows come in rich hues but are easy to layer. Hourglass Cosmetics uses modern technology in their complexion products “to complement real-life skin tones,” says Hourglass Cosmetics director of global artistry Marc Reagan. “It automatically filters the skin.” This translates to needing less product to achieve a long-lasting, flawless complexion.
He suggests Hourglass Vanish Seamless Finish Foundation Stick and Veil Mineral Powder primer for the red carpet. The latter even has SPF “but doesn’t flashback and look terrible in photos,” says Reagan.
Other makeup brands doing wonders with modern “glow” formulations include McGrath Labs, Make Up For Ever, Becca Cosmetics and Glossier.
Facials have also gone high-tech. Olga Lorencin of Olga Lorencin Skin Care Clinic in Beverly Hills became famous for her Red Carpet Facial (pictured above). “We are constantly incorporating new technology into the treatment,” says Lorencin. “The results we achieve now would have taken two to three treatments.”
The “Drybar” and “Skin Laundry” business models normalized drop-in beauty services. However, even at a med-spa, always request to see the American Board of Medical Specialties board-certified staff doctor for Botox and filler consultations and procedures. Facile Dermatology +Boutique, Skin Five and Alchemy 43 are in-town options. A good doctor knows how injectables work, facial anatomy, how to inject properly and new techniques for existing and newer FDA-approved products including lasers and microneedling. Also, they know “how to manage complications and needed prescriptions,” says Facile co-founder Dr. Nancy Samolitis.
For any awards show, “come in for Botox and fillers about six weeks beforehand. This allows for follow-up.”
For people of color, there are more options. “With more actresses of color on the red carpet, there’s a greater opportunity to showcase a range of products that represent a broader audience,” says Fine.
Many luxe brands now offer a wide range of shades for deeper skin tones, such as products from Fenty Beauty, Lancôme, Nars Cosmetics, Iman Cosmetics, Mented Cosmetics, Black Up and MAC Cosmetics.
All in all, individuality is the most sought-after look on any red carpet. “I think today, the definition of beauty carries with it a breath of fresh air, a fluidity, and most importantly, an individuality,” says brow queen Anastasia, comparing 2019 to the homogeneity of the early 2000s. She’s since expanded both her makeup brand and flagship Beverly Hills brow and waxing salon. “People are now making beauty their own — what’s best for their features, their skin tone, their particular aesthetic. There’s a chance to be different, to be better. I love seeing everyone embracing that.”