Red Carpet Beauty: Alyson’s Analysis of the 86th Academy Awards

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I look forward to the Academy Awards every year. I love to watch the celebrities make their way down the red carpet. Watching the most elaborate display of elegance and sophistication inspires me and allows me to create even more beauty for my clients.

The worlds’ best talent: not just the actors but fashion designers, stylists, makeup and hair stylists are on display for the evening. It is a fashion parade unlike any other and I love to watch and to be honest-to judge. As a makeup artist, I am looking for ways to learn. Why do some celebrities just “hit it” and look stunning and unforgettable and others just “eh”? I personally like to deconstruct the looks and discover why I like the look or not.

This year I spent the night watching the festivities with celebrity stylist Robanne Schulman ( She and I were camped out in front of the tv watching the celebrities walk the carpet. We each had our favorites and our not so favorites. There was a definite trend NUDE. Some did this well and others did not. We both agreed that the Red Carpet is the place to bring and exude one’s sense of style. Here is the run down of my observations.

I will start with the not so great looks for the evening. Here is the thing about wearing nude-it is flesh tone and if you are not careful you can be really, really, REALLY washed out. This is also the case with Nude makeup on the face. Please pick one or the other- Nude Face OR Nude Dress-not both.

I am not sure what happened to Jessica Biel. To me this is a really great example of what I call “faceless”. This is what happens when you wear a beautiful gown and nothing is done to your face. YOU disappear. She is a beautiful woman but you can’t tell. Look at the difference between her and Cate Blanchett.

Calista Flockhart, Laura Dern and Amy Adams did NOT execute well. To me they were washed out. These are BEAUTIFUL women who did not hit the mark. I absolutely LOVED Laura Dern’s look for the Golden Globes but she just faded out this go around. In order to pull off a nude look your features need to be intensified.

Charlize Theron looked AMAZING in her black dior dress and NUDE FACE. If she had worn a nude dress with this makeup she would have been underdone for the occasion but this balance hit the mark.

Cate Blanchett looked AMAZING in her Nude Dress with her well defined features. She is a stunning woman who knows how to gracefully and elegantly put her personal style into every aspect of her presentation. I believe there is a lot to learn from her.

Angelina Jolie is another great example of looking great in a nude color. Her features are strong enough to do it AND her artist carefully crafted a look where her eye makeup complimented her HAIR COLOR. Look closely…She also had the perfect amount of eyeliner, her brows were not overly filled in. I feel like she achieved the perfect balance.

Another consistent theme for the evening was the Starlet. I am a true fan of Old Hollywood. I think there is nothing more elegant and timeless and it shows true class and a nod to the history behind the awards and to those who have come before. My absolute favorite look of the evening in this category is Kate Hudson. She beautifully wore a white Versace gown plus an added cape to cover her shoulders. On her eyes she pulled off a stunning smoky eye with a nude pink lip. If you notice she had a stronger brow, a strong lashline and lashes. This is imperative when wearing this look. She was stunning and I give her whole presentation two thumbs up. The others who also looked beautiful in this category, who chose to wear the classic vintage look (with bold lips and a lined eye with strong brows) were Naomi Watts and Julie Delpy.

Unfortunately, I did not think Jennifer Lawrence looked the best she could. Her dress was lovely; however, if you want to really understand the importance of brows look at hers. THERE WERE NONE. She would have looked a bit more styled if her artist had just taken the time to properly define her brows. I personally feel she needed a stronger lip color to balance the look of the dress. I was not wowed at all.

One clever girl who did wow me was Emma Watson. Her look was perfectly executed for the evening. Her skin was flawless, her brows were perfect, her eyes had the right amount of blending and defining and the lip color brought it all together. She was impeccable. I was truly happy to see someone from the up and coming generation seize the opportunity to dazzle and not blend in.

I had three favorites of the evening. Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock and of course the Belle of the Ball Lupita Nyong.

Viola Davis was absolutely stunning. She wore color! The finger waves in her hair complimented the look and feel of the dress, her brows were perfect, her eyes had the right amount of liner and the shadow fading to a beautiful shimmer and her lips completed the look to a T. She was of the most put together beauties of the evening.

Sandra Bullock: At first I wasn’t sure what to make of her smoldering eyes. If you notice the shadow is blended beyond her crease. Her eyes are dramatically lined. You don’t see very much of her eyes themselves. And with her lip color being non-existent her look is pretty intense. However, I found myself wanting to look at her throughout the night. Her look was compelling. Anytime I am drawn to look I automatically give it an A.  She was the only one to wear this look. Most of the looks for the evening were really safe and under done. Sandra went for it and I applaud the effort.

My favorite for the evening and I think that was pretty much the general consensus of the night was Lupita Nyong. Her entrance on the carpet moved me. The color of her dress on her skin was breathtaking. I truly loved her and her look. Her inner beauty was shining through. Her happiness was infectious. And her styling team brought it all together by giving her a fresh face to compliment not only her outfit but who she is. Her coral lips and pop of color on her cheeks left her looking healthy and glowing. And of course I want to point out that once again the most beautiful looks have perfectly filled in brows that are matched to the angles of one’s face. Lupita’s were done perfectly.

For expert makeup applications and makeup lessons in Atlanta, contact Authentic Beauty Salon & Studio at 404.849.0443 or email us at [email protected]. We are located at 4674 Roswell Rd. Atlanta, GA 30342.


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