Friday, February 25, 2011

Classic Red carpet looks - ode to Oscars 2011

With the Oscars fast approaching on the 27th February, it seems like a good time to analyse some classic fail-safe looks female Hollywood stars always sport. For such an important event, the dress, hair and makeup will have all been planned in advance. With a gaggle of unforgiving camera lenses focused on the red carpet, barbed tongues eager to wag and sharpened nails ready to pound out the fashion reviews, the 83rd Academy Awards evening is not the time to experiment.

Time and time again, similar looks have cropped up on the red carpet designed to simply highlight an actress’s natural (or unnatural) beauty. This post will focus on five classic looks celebrities have recently sported to various award events and how you can achieve a similar effect at home, minus the aid of a £1000/hour makeup artist.

1.       The Smouldering Beauty
This is a photo of the actress/singer of the moment – Lea Michele at the Billboard’s 5th Annual Women in Music Awards in December, 2010.

Lea has natural dark colouring, so needs to do very little in order to play up her eyes and make love to the camera. This can be achieved by a slick of blended brown eyeshadow (for example Cut to Fit, Mac) on the lid, matte highlight on the brow-bone, black kohl line on top lid and waterline, finished with mascara.
The dark eyes are offset with groomed brows, contoured cheekbones, rosy glow on the cheeks and a dab of pink-peach lip colour. To achieve a semi-glossy lip, apply lipstick and lip gloss in colour of choice, smoosh your lips together and then blot with tissue to remove excess shine.

2.       The Girl with the Red Lips
Big pouty reds look good on any girl and research has shown men are more drawn towards women sporting siren red lips.
At the BAFTAs 2011, Gemma Arterton rocked this look to perfection. Her face is a prepped blank canvas, with the slightest hint of pink on the apples (think Benefit Dandelion) and her eyes are simply lined (Mac fluidline in Black track) to offset the luscious black lashes which may very well be false.  This means there is nothing to draw attention away from her bold red lips. To achieve such a smooth outline, red lip liner matching your red lipstick shade is needed and application using a lip brush is advised. Alternatively, for a less ‘well done’ look, use your fingers to pat on colour.

3.       The Simple Girl
This girl is an actress, model, charity do-gooder, Ivy League student and fashion chameleon. At the recent BAFTAs, Emma Watson sported an amped up version of her typical natural look by wearing false lashes on the outer corners of her eyes. She also lined her waterline with white kohl and applied highlight shadow on top lids in order to enlarge her eyes.
Smooth, dewy fresh face and light pink lipstick completed the look. When choosing lipstick colour, go for a ‘your lip colour but prettier’ shade in order to make it look natural. Alternatively, a tinted lip balm can amplify your natural colour.

4.       The Girl with Cat-titude
Feline eyes are sexy and full of ‘better-than-thou’ attitude. No one rocked this look better than Olivia Wilde at the Golden Globe awards recently. This real-life princess is gifted with naturally cat-shaped eyes (plus killer bone structure) but it is a look that’s very easy to replicate.
Apply brown eyeshadow along the lids and extend outwards into a flick. Follow the flick down to make a horizontal v-shape along the outer corners and extend to the lower lash line. Olivia appears to be wearing a matte shade similar to Buck in the Urban Decay Naked Palette. Line the top lid with black/brown liquid eyeliner or kohl, depending on the intensity you want to go for and accessorize the look with a smirk. Observe cat photos for inspiration if necessary.

5.       The Girl who have Everything
Natalie Portman at the Golden Globes played up both her eyes and lips, which is relatively rare. Her eyes are smouldering, but not as fiercely as Lea’s in Number 1. This can be achieved by using lighter brown shades and brown liner instead of black.
There is a lovely rose flush on Natalie’s cheeks that may or may not be due to her pregnancy. In any case, the colour is easily duplicated – Laura Geller’s Ethereal Rose topped with Mac Petticoat for a delicate glow. No contouring as in Lea’s case either.

Natalie’s lip colour is beautiful. The mixture between pink and red is lovely to observe. You can either customise a shade to suit yourself by mixing some red and pink lippie on the back of your hands, or try something shop bought. I love Spellbound by Nyx – a great colour that applies smoothly and gives great hydration to the skin.

So there you have it – five classic, fail-safe looks seen regularly on the red carpets that are bound to crop up again for the Oscars.

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  1. Oh Olivia Wilde looks gorgeous!! I love her look.

  2. I love Olivia Wilde's cat eyes! so sexy =D

  3. Great blog!! xx