The Secrets to Getting Red Carpet Ready

The Secrets to Getting Red Carpet Ready

In honor of Oscar Weekend, our guide to getting glam in L.A.

Stars often joke that it takes an entire army to prepare them for Oscar night. It’s the most watched and anticipated award show of the year, so it’s no wonder the pressure is on t0 look flawless. And their impossibly perfect appearance is owed to much more than solid genes.

How do they do it? There’s a tried-and-true method to this camera-flashing madness, which you can use to access your inner glamazon too. Follow these foolproof steps and we’re certain you’ll look as elegant as Marion Cotillard inevitably will on Sunday night.

But first thing’s first, settle into a swanky city pad that has a cool enough closet to house the Cartier diamonds you’ll be wearing. Next, grab a pen and paper to take notes; we don’t want you to miss a step and have a Jennifer Lawrence-esque trip up.

Step one: The stylist, the dress

shutterstock_180383768_smallIt all begins with the dress. You know that being on the worst-dressed page is a big no-no, so hiring a professional stylist is a must. Your first call should be Leslie Fremar, stylist to Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon. Both actresses are nominated for best actress this year, so we’re guessing Leslie has a decent roster of designer dresses hidden in her treasure chest. Leslie’s too busy? Dial up Kate Young. Young’s resume includes dressing Natalie Portman and Michelle Williams, styling several Dior campaigns, and surviving a stint as Anna Wintour’s assistant.

If you fell in love with some of last years’ looks, your best bet is Elizabeth Stewart, who was named the most powerful stylist of 2014 by Hollywood Reporter after dressing over 100 red carpeters last year. If you want to recreate Cate Blanchett’s always-elegant style, Stewart’s your girl.

There’s some celebs, like Blake Lively, who have the magic eye themselves. If you’re gifted like Lively, all you need is the right inventory. Try Saks Fifth Avenue on Wilshire blvd. (maybe Bridget from Pretty Woman is still working there!). In Saks you’ll find everything from flowy and feminine Prada (like Lupita Nyong’o, above) to striking and bold Alexander McQueen. For a riskier, more alternative look à la Rick Owens, venture to West Hollywood and check out Maxfield.

Step two: Get the glow

A pimple? on the red carpet? Never! From a radiant smile to glowing skin, Los Angeles has everything you need, right at your manicured fingertips.

Start with the Slim Body Sensation treatment at the Ritz Carlton Spa in DTLA. It’s a two-in-one treatment: it leaves you with smoother skin, and a more svelte body. Your body is wet brushed to get the circulation flowing, and then an espresso lemon serum is applied. While espresso beans work their magic, your hair follicles are treated to a relaxing massage.

Now for the star of the show – the face. A few award seasons ago, Mila Kunis gave a new meaning to the phrase star-studded by indulging in a $7000 Scott-Vincent Borba Diamond and Ruby Peel Facial Treatment. It’s exactly as it sounds: diamonds and ruby dust is applied to the face to treat the skin. The rubies function as an antioxidant while the diamonds illuminate the skin.

Tracking down one of these special facials can be difficult, so a good alternative is the White Caviar Facial at La Prairie Spa in the Beverly Hills Hotel. It will cost you a cool $1000 for the decadent treatment, but you get to take the White Caviar Illuminating System home with you.

Step three: Breathe in, breathe out

shutterstock_202742470_smallAll those camera flashbulbs can be a little overwhelming. So the stars always make to for a little R&R to feel good from the inside out. Tomoko Spa will transport you from bustling L.A. to a serene rainforest upon entry. Start out with a relaxing aroma therapy massage, and finish with a long soak session in the Japanese Ofuro Bath.

And all that spa time means you’re going to be in good need of a stretch. That’s where Mandy Ingber comes in, one of the most renowned yogis in Hollywood. Ingber has instructed previous Oscar winners like Helen Hunt and Jennifer Lawrence. And, although Jennifer Aniston doesn’t have a golden statue on her trophy shelf, her Mandy Ingber yoga sessions certainly show in her always calm, always fit, appearance. For the true starlet way, have Inger come right to your home.

Step Four: Finishing touches

Your dress is hanging in the closet, your skin is soft as butter and your feeling limber and relaxed. Now, it’s time for the finishing touches.

First on the agenda is Georgyanna Giardini, who will come right to your home to make sure your fingers look as understatedly elegant as can be. She’s known for her supreme french manicures and has been working the Tinsel Town celeb circuit for an impressive 25 years.

When it comes to hair, whether you sport a Halle Barry inspired short style or long thick locks like Jessica Chastain, Renato Campora’s magic touch will give your locks the star quality it needs. Plus, it wouldn’t be his first time creating a winning style for the big show – he styled Kate Winslet’s silky and golden updo when she won best actress for The Reader in 2009.

Last, but by no means least, is makeup. Kate Lee is Chanel’s celebrity makeup artist who counts Oscar darlings like Kiera Knightly and Anne Hathaway as long-time clients. Like Giardini and Campora, Lee also come right to your home, where you’ll no doubt be in a plush bathrobe sipping a glass of bubbly. She’ll leave you with a natural yet sparkling look, and might even spill her insider tips on what products to stash in your evening bag.

Step Five: Bling Bling Bling

Here’s where having a relationship with a jeweler comes in handy. The amount of sparkle and shine that’s photographed on Oscar night is unparalleled, so jewelers like Cartier and Harry Winston are keen to dress a celeb to have their name mentioned in an interview.

But, not all of us are buddy-buddy with the suited man behind the million dollar counter. Instead, you can rent your shimmer from Haute Vault: an online jewelry rental store with an impressive portfolio of diamonds. Apply for a membership, choose what you want, and you’ll receive your goodies by mail. Fall in love with your diamond? They’ll let you keep it… for a price!

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Photographs: Joe Seer; Andrea Raffin; c/o Shutterstock.com
Colleen McNamara