Celebrity Skin Care Secrets and Other Red Carpet Style Hacks from the Pros

red carpet treatment

The Oscar nods are out, and the stakes are pretty high this year, but it’s not just about who will bring the statuesque statue home that matters: red carpet style counts a lot too.

The Academy Awards are among the biggest red carpet events in “LaLa Land” bar none; however, they are certainly not the only game in town. We all likely have our own list of glam-worthy events — whether high school reunions, weddings, benefits or other celebrations.

Despite how it appears, celebs don’t roll out of bed looking glam on the eve of a big event (not even Nicole Kidman or Ryan Gosling – well, maybe Ryan Gosling). It takes time to get red carpet ready, and we’ve got the scoop on celebrity skincare secrets and other beauty hacks straight from the sources. We break it all down for you here.

ryan gosling
Ryan Gosling and his glowing, flawless skin.

The Day Of: Hydration

Shampooing is crucial to create volume if you are getting your mane blown out for your “Arrival,” shares Susanna Romano, partner at New York City’s posh Salon AKS. “For an updo, it’s best to skip the shampoo! Your hair will be much more pliable than if it’s freshly washed.”

Drink lots of water to rejuvenate your dry, tired skin, says Anthony Youn, MD, chief surgeon at Youn Plastic Surgery in Troy, Michigan. “Avoid excessive salt and processed foods that can cause bloating and puffiness,” he says. Also, steer clear of alcohol and too much caffeine as these can cause dehydration and increase wrinkles.

Michelle Henry, MD, a dermatologist in Great Neck, New York, says that hydrating masks like SKII ultra luxe sheet mask will soothe and prep skin on the big day. “I also love Sisley Black Rose Cream Mask and Sisley Eye Contour Mask before makeup to saturate sensitive skin with hydration and reduce eye puffiness,” she says. “As everyone knows all too well, a breakout can mar an otherwise perfect complexion, and breakouts tend to happen at the worst possible moment. I usually give my patients a low potency steroid to have on hand for any surprise pimples.”

beauty products
Recommended: SKII’s sheet mask and Sisley’s skin care line.

The Day Before: Get Your Glow On

Eliminate any day-of stress by making sure your outfit is pressed and ready to wear and that your stockings, accessories, shoes… and everything else is where you can find it. This is also an ideal day to get your manicure and pedicure.

Come “Hell or High Water,” your skin has to glow on the red carpet, and SilkPeel DermalInfusion can make that happen. “SilkPeel offers a mild microdermabrasion with an infusion of topical products like vitamin C to remove dead surface skin cells, vacuum suction out all the pores/blackheads, and clarify the skin,” says Beverly Hills based dermatologist Jason Emer, MD. “Your skin will glow like Oscar after this no-downtime, uber-relaxing facial or body treatment.” The best part? Your makeup glides on easily post SilkPeel – just remember to do a trial first if you are having your makeup done by a pro.

Get your beauty sleep, says Los Angeles sleep expert Michael J. Breus, PhD, author of several books on the topic. “Keep a consistent sleep schedule and don’t work yourself to exhaustion,” he says. “Avoiding caffeine after 2 pm is a really good idea, with all the extra hormones going from anxiety, adding caffeine will not really help, and it will keep you from sleeping.”

drs anthony youn, michelle henry, jason emer and grant stevens
From left to right: Drs. Anthony Youn, Jason Emer, Michelle Henry, and Grant Stevens.

The Week Before: ‘Tox and Fillers

It’s tox time, Dr. Emer says. “Botox/Xeomin/Dysport injections will improve those lines between the eyebrows (called “11” lines), forehead lines, lines around the eyes (“crow’s-feet”), the ones that make you look mad or sad even when you are elated,” he says. “It can even be used to decrease scalp, armpit, and facial sweating.” And who doesn’t get a little nervous on a red carpet – even if there aren’t any paparazzi buzzing about? It takes one to two weeks for the full effects of these neuromodulators to kick in. Plan accordingly.

“Fillers can camouflage under eye darkness and temple hollows, inflate sagging cheeks, and pump up puckers,” Dr. Emer says. And there are more uses for fillers today than ever before. “For the under eye, I choose Belotero or Juvederm Volbella which are soft, subtle, and have very little chance of lumps or bumps because of their unique design,” he says. “They are hyaluronic acid fillers so they can be reversed if you do not like the results.”

Youthful cheeks (a la Oscar Nominee Emma Stone) are on everyone’s most-wanted list. “For the cheeks, my go-to is Radiesse or Juvederm Voluma because they last significantly longer than most fillers,” he says. Using cannulas (fine tubes with blunted tips) to inject will limit bruising and swelling, compared with needles, he says.

emma stone
Emma Stone is known for her youthful complexion.

“Get a nourishing and hydrating hair treatment the week before your event,” says Romano. “This will give you loads of shine, body or volume. While you are at the salon, highlights or single process can be done at the same time. If there is gray, and you need to cover it, do it one week before your event!”

Consider doing a foot peel two weeks prior to your red carpet debut, Dr. Henry says. “I love Babyfoot. It will make feet baby soft and prepared to show off great heels.”

The Months Before: Non-Invasive

“If you have one to two months before a big event, it’s best to do a laser resurfacing or deep peel procedure to really improve skin complexion, wrinkles, and pores,” Dr. Emer says. “These have downtime of five to 10 days depending on strength and procedure type but the outcome is very clear improved skin.”

The results are visible within four to eight weeks after treatment, he says. Sometimes a series of treatments will be needed to achieve optimal results.

Laser hair removal should be done at least a month before your big event, he says. “Although it takes a series of treatments, you can see hairs thinning and falling out in a single treatment about two to four weeks after the initial therapy.”

“Don’t fret about sweat,” adds Marina Del Rey, California plastic surgeon Grant Stevens, MD. “Miradry can put the brakes on excessive underarm sweating – and also helps reduce odor. Miradry employs microwave energy to zap the sweat glands under the arms into submission in one treatment – without surgery.” The best part? The results are permanent.

Three months out is also an ideal time to consider Coolsculpting for the upper arms, Dr. Stevens says. This is the latest indication for Coolsculpting, and there’s even a new applicator specifically for this area – the CoolAdvantage Petite. This fat-freezing technology can help get you closer to Emma Stone or Viola Davis’s finely chiseled guns – and boost confidence in a strapless gown.

“I recommend treatments with a microneedling radiofrequency laser to reduce pore size and soften skin texture,” says Dr. Henry. “Microneedling RF lasers are color blind so they are safe for all skin types.” These devices help stimulate collagen to reduce the appearance of pores. “Healthy robust collagen surrounding the opening of a pore squeezes the opening and, similar to a drawstring purse, closes the opening, thus reducing the appearance of pores,” she says. Collagen stimulation requires a few months to kick in, so the months before an event are a great time to begin.

In 2017, six black actors and actresses were nominated for Academy Awards –Ruth Negga, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Denzel Washington, Octavia Spencer, and Viola Davis. Treating skin of color can pose challenges including risk of hyperpigmentation, but the right treatments can make sure skin glows. “I love the Clear and Brilliant laser for dark skin,” Dr. Henry says. “I use it followed by a non-irritating hydroquinone formula to help reduce hyperpigmentation before the big day.”

viola davis
Viola Davis and her perfect skin.

Now is also the time to start any hair and eyelash boosting treatment like Nutrafol or Revitalash, she says. It is also the time to get a haircut, Romano says, as we all need a little time to get used to a new do.

One Year Before: Surgery and Resolutions

It can be hard to lose weight and reveal our “Hidden Figures,” and while nothing can replace a healthy diet and regular exercise, the Obalon system can help overcome weight loss plateaus, says Dr. Stevens. The Obalon six-month gastric balloon system is a swallowable balloon that’s inflated with gas to help depress appetite. Up to three balloons may be placed during the first three months, with the entire treatment lasting six months. The average weight loss is around 15 pounds that stays off for at least a year.

This is also the timeframe to consider any surgical procedures whether nose reshaping (rhinoplasty), eyelid surgery to get rid of tired eyes, or anything that will make you feel like a rock star.

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