The biggest night in Hollywood – the 95th Academy Awards – is almost here, and Monday’s headlines will be filled with the gongs, the gowns and the gushing acceptance speeches. We asked four beauty industry experts to talk us through exactly what it takes to get the A-listers ready for big red carpet events like the Oscars…


Sarah Chapman, facialist

Celebrity clients include: Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, The Duchess of Sussex

“I often see people for a one-off treatment before an event, so the goal is to maximise glow. My focus would be a really deep cleanse, hydration, massage and skin tightening using microneedling, stem cells and peptides, along with lots of hyaluronic acid and refined oils. Our Iconic Facial is hugely popular with our A-list clientele before red carpet events.

Facialist Sarah Chapman (left) counts actress Emily Blunt (right) amongst her celebrity clients

“In the week leading up to an event, I advise clients not to drink alcohol – it’s very dehydrating. I also say to minimise spicy, salty, processed food and dairy in the three days beforehand, as these can increase skin inflammation.

“A face mask is my pre-event secret weapon! I give my 3D Moisture Infusion Mask to my clients, which is intensely hydrating and anti-inflammatory. If a blemish pops up at the last minute, my SOS Spot Stickers are infused with salicylic acid to de-clog the pore – they really do knock back swelling quickly.

“It’s an old trick, but to instantly de-puff and give skin a healthy glow, wrap some ice cubes in a cloth and press over your face. Also try natural yoghurt: it’s packed with lactic acid, making it a brilliant at-home face mask. Gently rub it off rather than wash it to really exfoliate and brighten the skin.”

SHOP: Sarah Chapman London Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask, from £15 here

Sarah calls this face mask her 'pre-event secret weapon'


Sam McKnight, hairdresser

Celebrity clients include: Cate Blanchett, Lady Gaga, Princess Diana

“My first ever Oscars was doing Christie Brinkley in 1984. I gave her the biggest hair ever – well, it was the 80s after all! Lady Gaga at the 2010 MTV VMAs was another stand-out moment. The meat dress was astonishingly well made and precise in its details. We pinned a choice cut of meat to the wig and off she went.

“If I have worked with the person before we often just work out the hair on the day, or sometimes we have a chat a few days before to discuss what they are wearing and how they want to feel.

Sam (left) did Cate Blanchett's hair for the 2005 Oscars (right), at which she won the award for Best Supporting Actress

“Using the right hair care will make a real difference to your style lasting all night. If you’re going sleek and straight, use nourishing products to up the shine. For volume and texture, apply light layers of products that won't weigh your hair down.

“Snatched ponytails are really trending on the red carpet at the moment. To create a sleek, tight style, tie your hair up in two parts – this controls the tension and creates lift at the cheekbones. That effortlessly undone 'cool girl hair' is also popular. To get the look, mist sections with my Modern Hairspray, which gives heat protection and hold, and wrap them down and around a curling tong, alternating the direction for natural looking waves. Tip your head upside down and spray my Cool Girl Texture Mist through the hair. Flip back and you’re good to go.

“If in doubt, though, a great blow-dry will always look timeless. Your hair at its best always looks healthy and beautiful.”

SHOP: Hair by Sam McKnight Cool Girl Barely There Texture Mist, £27 here

This texturising mist is a staple in Sam's red carpet kit bag


Lucy Halperin, make-up artist and male groomer

Celebrity clients include: Kate Mara, Helen Mirren, Mel C

“Clients choose make-up artists based on their style. I love skin to look amazing, so I typically do quite natural looks. I’ll ask my clients what outfit they’re wearing and then I’ll have an idea of the make-up in my head – but you have to be very adaptable.

“Good skin prep will give you a much better make-up result. I like to give a little face massage to get skin looking plump and healthy. I finish with REN’s Perfect Canvas Clean Primer, which gives the perfect make-up base. I use it on men too as it takes a little bit of shine out of the skin.

Make-up artist Lucy (left) regularly does Kate Mara's (right) make-up for red carpet events

“It’s important to consider lighting and cameras when doing red carpet make-up. You have to make sure the skin isn’t too shiny on camera – I’ll use MUJI Face Blotting Paper to take away any excess oils without putting anything extra onto the skin. I give these to my clients along with their lip colour for any touch ups.

“I like a thick-looking brow and bushy lashes. I like NYX Professional Makeup Brow Glue, and Superdrug has so many good cheap mascaras – look for one with a large fluffy wand. And use your lipstick to elevate your everyday look to something special – I love La Perla Beauty’s red lipsticks.

“I don’t want people talking about the make-up the next day. I love it when a client walks out feeling good and filled with confidence – that's the most important thing to me.”

SHOP: REN Clean Skincare Perfect Canvas Clean Primer, £42 here

Lucy likes to prep the skin with this REN primer before applying make-up


Iram Shelton, nail artist and OPI UKI ambassador

Celebrity clients include: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley

“I do the nails at the same time as hair and make-up so there’s always a lot going on. Usually we decide on the nail look on the day. We either keep it classic and match the nails to the outfit or we get creative, depending on the time we have.
“If a client arrives with super short nails, you just have to make it work. I have tips or extensions that can be applied if the nails really are too short. It’s actually very rare that celebrities have 'bad' nails as they usually get them done for work regularly.

Iram (left) has worked with celebs like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (right)

“Incidents like a nail breaking or polish smudging will always happen. There have been times when I’ve had to walk with the talent until they’ve got to the car and fixed their nails as we went. This is why I love using gel polish for events as once it’s cured, there is no smudging.
“I think we’ll see sparkly nails on the red carpets this awards season, whether that’s rhinestones, glitter accents or 'glazed' nails. To get the glazed look yourself, either apply an iridescent chrome powder on top of your colour or use a pearl finish nail polish like OPI Kyoto Pearl. If in doubt, nothing is more glam than a simple red nail. It looks great on everyone, and on long or short nails. My go to is OPI Malaga Wine as it suits all skin tones.”

BUY: OPI Malaga Wine Nail Lacquer, £14.90 here (also available as a gel polish in salons)

This deep red shade is a failsafe red carpet colour, says Iram


By Editor