Anatomy of a Red Carpet “Do”
One of the best parts of awards show season is reading all of the scathing fashion reports the day after a big to-do. Sometimes, I wonder why it seems so hard for some stars to get it right. After all, they have millions of dollars, personal stylists, and endless clothes to choose from, right? But still, year after year you’ll find the same red carpet regulars floundering in the spotlight, thanks to bad hair and worse fashion. Of course, mere mortals don’t get invited to the Oscars, but if you ever wanted to know exactly how to nail a red carpet look, here’s the breakdown of how to look picture perfect – or at least good enough that Joan Rivers doesn’t make fun of you.
Shoes: When it comes to red carpet shoes, just about anything goes. Of course, if you’re wearing a short dress, it’s really best if you shave your legs. Just ask Mo’Niique, who went for the all natural look during the awards show rounds after she starred in “Precious” in 2009. Really, I can appreciate all of the “I am woman, hear me roar” stuff, but it’s the red carpet, not a feminist rally. Other than that, the only requirement is to make sure that your shoes fit. Since stars often end up wearing sample size shoes sent by the designers, they can be seen slipping and sliding in their footwear all night, which is not only annoying, but totally hazardous. Photographers would love nothing more than to snap a picture of a tripped-up starlet.
Dress: First things first: check your cleavage before you leave the house to an awards show. Many a star has been ridiculed for her excessive display, her uneven, and even her completely exposed cleavage on the red carpet. Jessica Simpson, Christina Aguilera, and Tara Reid; I’m looking at all of you. Hey, don’t get me wrong, tons of cleavage is exposed on red carpets everywhere; just make sure it’s tastefully done. Once the girls are in check, it’s all about classic silhouettes. Sure, different stars test out new trends on the red carpet, but the ones who end up on the “Best Dressed” lists are those that stick with something classic, like a strapless ball gown or a mermaid style. Long dresses are definitely queen of the castle, but a short dress can be OK too, as long as it has a major wow factor.
Hair: Awards show hair can be beautiful, but it can also be really, really bad. Overly stiff and sprayed updos need not apply. Instead, channel your old Hollywood glamour with soft curls, touchable waves, and loose, romantic updos. Hey, quick newsflash: This is not the time to test out new colors and haircuts. If you’re dying to try out a new hue, snag a few highlights, not an all-over color. Many a red carpet look has been ruined by bad hair color. Are you hearing this, Kelly Osbourne!?
Makeup: Of course, stars have to pile on the paint to look great in pictures, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look natural. Luckily, most stars have tried-and-tested makeup artists to come and take care of lipstick and other earth-shattering details for them. Problem? You probably don’t have the same benefits of a 24/7 entourage of people dedicated to making you look good all day long. And even with a personal makeup artist, sometimes, it can be way too much. When in doubt, a pair of a super sweeping lashes and a demure mouth scores you major points with the fashion police. Put down the orange lipstick and just walk away; it’ll clash with the carpet.
Hey, you might not ever be invited to walk to red carpet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t act like a star in your own life. Wearing a gown for a quick trip to the post office is totally legit… as long as you look good doing it.
Author bio: Stephanie Cable is a writer from Salt Lake City and works for CableTV.com. She is an avid entertainment geek, reader, and runner.