Awards season makes for great TV with lots of celebrity antics, a few touching speeches and performances, and of course, the fashion! Even Reese Witherspoon appreciates the stylish freebies: “I’m a very lucky girl. I’m a mom with two kids. Anyone who wants to pass a fancy dress my way, I’m trying it on.”
Looking good in those dresses can be hard, and even famous celebs have a few insecurities. I’ve curated some of the tips and tricks that Hollywood women use to get ready for the red carpet. You can try a few out for your next special event, class reunion, or charity gala.
1. Start with the basics… How much time do you have? Most celebrities are fitness fanatics because their jobs require them to look a certain way. Sometimes a special event is a catalyst for us to make some changes to our diet and exercise programs. Some do special fasts or cleanses for a couple of weeks to drop a size. But, even with the red carpet or some other event looming, the best plan is to have a healthy lifestyle that you can work with every day. Just getting started? You can see results in less than 2 weeks by eating whole foods like fresh fruits, greens, healthy fats like avocado and lean protein. Ditch processed foods and sugar. Don’t eat later than 7 p.m., otherwise it overtasks your metabolism at night, and puts the extra energy into fat storage. Sweat a little every day and make your movement fun. Added bonus: it makes you happier!
2. If you want your face to glow, it might be time to consider a peel or a microdermabrasion 1-2 weeks before the big day. These exfoliating treatments are perfect for a fresh, rejuvenated look. Botox and fillers are also options to smooth furrows and fill in little facial valleys that can make us look tired. Plan treatments ahead so that everything looks great on the big day.
3. Flashing your brightest smile is easier if you plan ahead to use home tooth-whitening strips or make an appointment with your dentist 1-2 weeks before. Then stay away from coffee, tea and red wine until the event.
4. Wax your brows 7-10 days ahead of time so that you have the perfect arch. Eyebrows are beautiful frames for your eyes, and the right shape can make a big impact.
5. No one wants to see London or France on the red carpet, so plan your underwear choices ahead of time too. Spanx are a life-changer for many women, even celebs!
6. For great hair, get your cut and color one week before, so you don’t have any surprises. Plan a style that works well with your dress or outfit. For silky hair, put conditioner on when it’s dry and leave it on overnight before washing. If you are challenged by the blow dryer and curling iron like me, set up an appointment to get your hair styled the day of the event or ask a talented friend!
7. A trip to the nail salon 2-3 days before the big day is virtually a requirement. Stars use lemon juice to soften cuticles and minimize natural oils on the nails, helping manicures last longer.
8. Pimple emergency. If you suddenly notice a huge zit, apply an ice cube on the area for thirty seconds and then gently press a cotton pad soaked in Visine eye drops or Afrin nasal spray on top of the blemish for three minutes. Repeat if necessary. The ice and the eye drops or spray will cause blood vessels just beneath the skin’s surface to constrict, thus minimizing redness and irritation. If this doesn’t work, you can call a dermatologist or facial plastic surgeon. A tiny injection of an anti-inflammatory steroid into the pimple will usually help it fade within 24 hours.
9. Long lashes have been really popular for the last several years. If you forgot to get your Latisse prescription for longer, thicker, darker lashes, you can still get a boost from a few strategically applied false lashes. Focus on the lateral edges and glue in a few single lashes to frame your eyes.
10. Double chins can be temporarily minimized by using a cellulite cream containing caffeine. Do a test run before to make sure that your skin tolerates it well. You can also use a non-glittery bronzer just under your jawline and chin to contour and minimize. Also, make sure the camera is slightly above you for photos to give a slimming effect on your face and neck.
11. Be prepared. One Hollywood stylist sews little pockets into his socks to hold a Power Bar or two, and stashes double-sided tape, safety pins and bobby pins under his tie, just in case his clients need him. Hopefully, you have a little room in your evening bag for the same, along with lipstick.
12. Take a deep breath, throw your shoulders back for good posture, think about how much fun you’re going to have, and enjoy your own red carpet. Happiness and confidence are the ultimate beauty accessories!