I love watching Oscars night. As a makeup artist, staying up late glued to the TV is one of my favorite things to do because it is FOR REAL dress up. This is not a dress rehearsal. It’s the biggest night in Hollywood for actors and actresses to personally shine, as well as to showcase a wide variety of their favorite stylists, fashion designers, hairdressers, jewelry designers and makeup artists along the way.
It truly takes a team to put together a winning look for this calibre of red carpet event— one of the most fabulous held throughout the year. What I love about the Oscars is that actresses are REAL women and not fashion models frozen forever in the pages of magazines. Because actresses are so relatable, we connect with them and are able see something of ourselves in them and the stories portray. This is especially true on Oscars night.
There were SO many beautiful looks this year. I actually gasped out loud when I saw Emma Stone, Michelle Williams and Nicole Kidman. And when Viola Davis won for Best Supporting Actress… well, the authentic beauty of who she is inside brought me to tears. Yes, her makeup and dress were impeccable, but what really touches others is the soul of a person. She let it ALL out during her speech, and I immediately fell in love with who she is as a person and with her holistic beauty.
On the flip side, no matter how beautiful a person someone may be on the inside, the Academy Awards is not a time for NO MAKEUP. Hollywood glamour has remained a timeless look for a reason. To arrive to a red carpet event (especially the Oscars) in a fabulous gown without considering your makeup ends up leaving a woman faceless. This is a lesson every woman can take away from Awards Night— big events call for an upgrade from everyday makeup looks.
Despite a few actresses who opted for the everyday makeup look, the overall beauty theme at this year’s Academy Awards was most definitely old Hollywood glamour. I could not have been happier. I love a nude lip, but this is Hollywood so I was schoolgirl giddy to see a full on nod to the classic starlet all over the place!
The classic starlet look is all about defined features: Enhanced and balanced brows, lash line and sculpted cheekbones. This makes your face come alive and look in the moment. This should be subtle yet effective. The next tell tale sign of Old Hollywood glamour is RED LIPS!!! No matter the shade, the undertone must be red (rather than pink, brown or orange). Of course, these defined features and bold lips are built over a foundation of flawless, finished and luminous skin.
All of the actresses who chose to go for the old Hollywood glamour aesthetic at this year’s Academy Awards carried it off magnificently. One tip I always give women when coaching them to wear red is that you have to practice wearing this bold color if you’re not used to it. The second tip I always give… you MUST own it!
The actresses who carried the old Hollywood glamour look were:
Emma Stone (my pick for the best overall look)
A special nod also goes out to Ruth Negga and her artist Melanie Ingelssis. Ruth made the most unexpected, stunning statement on the red carpet. She wore a spectacular tomato colored Valentino dress (the red is known as Valentino red) accessorized with a headband, rings and earrings made of Gemfields’ responsibly-sourced Mozambican rubies. The colors of the dress and headband were monochromatic but not the same hue. This talented artist pulled in these varied shades of red to craft the most beautiful look that not only complemented her features but also made a STATEMENT. This look was so well executed. I give it a 10 for difficulty and nuance. This is the genius of hiring a makeup artist. We absolutely live for these moments! It’s SO much fun to design a look that takes you, your features, your coloring and who you are into consideration. Seeing it all come together in this way is why we do what we do, and why we urge all women to take the time to conceive a look with artists when you have a special event.
My other favorite picks of the evening were:
Michelle Williams: I heard her referred to as a blonde Audrey Hepburn.
Felicity Jones: She looked like the “ballet dancer that comes in your jewelry box” and was my vote for the prettiest makeup with her porcelain skin and light coral lip.
Scarlett Johansson: Her look was unexpected, wearing softer makeup and a floral flowy and feminine dress. There isn’t a look she can’t pull off, but I wasn’t expecting such softness from her.
Janelle Monae: Her makeup was truly a departure from the typical glamour we saw and her artist chose a look that defined her features— strong brows, long lashes, defined lash line, beautifully sculpted cheekbones and nude lips. The makeup did not distract from her fashion statement, and on stage she glistened like a princess.
And, of course, my review wouldn’t be complete without a shout out to Taraji P. Henson in her midnight blue Alberta Ferretti velvet gown. Her artist chose a bronze smoky eye with a navy line which is VERY close to one of Authentic Beauty’s takes on spring beauty, which we’ll be launching in the next week or two. This look was flawless, and she looked absolutely gorgeous.
Unfortunately, I had a few looks I wasn’t crazy about. Although I liked their fashion statement, I don’t feel like the makeup was complementary. These are beautiful women, and I think they missed their mark.
Stay tuned as Authentic Beauty launches our Spring Trends 2017. A lot of these looks can be found in our seasonal trend interpretation of turning runway into reality. We try every season to give you simple and easy ways to incorporate what’s trending into your current makeup routine.