Its GRAMMY Awards weekend and the biggest stars in music are aligning in Hollywood. This weekend will be a who’s who of pop, rock, R&B, rap and soul musicians, gathering together to celebrate their most recent sonic achievements. The gentlemen will shave, get a haircut, and put on some variant of suit/tuxedo/rock n roll look-at-me outfit. That’s all they require to be red carpet ready, more or less. The ladies have a weekend of primping and preening to get into before squeezing into their gowns and strutting their stuff. That weekend will come with a jam packed schedule. Hair. Nails. Facials. Massages. It might sound like luxurious pampering, but for a celebrity, its part of the gig.
The red carpet experience comes with a healthy helping of stress and pressure. It’s a hot, sweaty whirlwind that involves nonstop smiling, posing and stopping to answer the same questions over and over again. “Who are you wearing tonight?” “Are you so excited to be nominated/see your favorite performers/surely you must be excited about something, let’s talk about it!” It’s a whole lot of that. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing a red carpet or two myself – most notably at the 2012 Academy Awards.
Here’s what you may not know about that experience. It took a LOT of preparation – mentally and physically – to get there. Working a red carpet in that Los Angeles heat requires a lot of beauty prep. You need to consider creating a look that lasts, wearing something both glamorous and comfortable (cause you’ll be wearing it for hours), and all of the additional elements that help you to maintain the glamour all day long (rain or shine).
On the day of any red carpet experience, I’ve got a kind of beauty checklist to make sure I feel reassured and ready from head to toe. Allow me to share it with you, for your next extra special event. Whether you’re literally on a red carpet or you just look like you deserve to be on one, we all have those moments when we need to be at our most glamorous.
Here’s what you need to do to be red carpet ready, complete with hopefully helpful product recommendations by my friends at PG Beauty.
Afrobella’s Top 7 Red Carpet Beauty Tips
1 – No Chip FTW. Your red carpet manicure may depend on which red carpet you’re on. The Academy Awards tend to be classic and somewhat tame when it comes to nails and dresses. The GRAMMYS are a bit flashier, and musicians tend to be more self-expressive in terms of style. This is an arena where you’re likely to see a lot of color and a little nail art, too. My best advice is to go with a professional no-chip manicure. Get it done a day or two before your event so you have one less thing to worry about during the red carpet itself.
2 – Stay Smooth. Ladies, if you’re concerned about body hair make sure you deal with it early. Wax, use your favorite depilatory, or shave with a gentle, safe razor – my latest go-to is the Gillette Venus & Olay Razor because it’s basically foolproof and leaves my skin super soft and smooth afterwards. The most important thing is to be calm and give yourself time to shave. Don’t rush and don’t be nervous. The morning of the Academy Awards, Luvvie decided to shave her legs in the sink while I took a shower. And then there was blood, bandages and a desperate quest to find antibacterial stuff for wounds from an ill prepared hotel concierge before we left for a day on the red carpet. Don’t let that happen to you!
3 – Shine. But Don’t Sweat. Celebrities pull out all the stops when it comes to red carpet glamour. To prevent them from sweating on the red carpet, many celebs are known to get a shot or three of Botox. A professional makeup artist knows how to layer makeup so it lasts all day, regardless of the climate. If you’re doing your own makeup, there’s something anyone can do without the need for a dermatologist or makeup artist – use a good primer and seal the deal with a makeup finishing spray. COVERGIRL’s new primer, truMAGIC is a perfecting balm that works alone, under or over makeup to mattify or highlight your skin as needed. I’ve tried The Perfector and it rocks for keeping the T-zone oil free when you need it to be.
4 – Get Foolproof Hair. Natural, relaxed, weaved up or whatever – hair matters on the red carpet. You want your look to be effortlessly flawless, easy to style, and gorgeous in photos. My sisters in OMG-are-these-gray-hairs-when-did-this-become-my-life, you’ve got choices to make. To cover them or let them be? If you choose to cover your grays, then I say go to a pro or if you’re a DIY bella then use a safe at-home box dye solution that won’t destroy your hair texture or dry out your whole situation. Clairol Expert Age Defy is all about preventing the signs of aging hair and promises 100% gray coverage. For my personal red carpet style, I prefer big and wild with lots of volume. If my hair is a little flat at the root when I’m ready to step out, I’ve been known to tease it with an afro pick or rat tail comb. I only ever use dry shampoo if I’ve thoroughly detangled my hair and it needs volume in the roots, but professional stylists frequently reach for a dry shampoo for that purpose, and the new Herbal Essences Naked Dry Shampoo has a tapioca base that’s intended to absorb oil without depleting moisture, adding lift and texture for those who need it. Good to know!
5 – Smell Good. Obvious, but still needs to be said. Red carpet award shows most typically happen in Los Angeles, in the heat. Red carpet reporters will be out there in the sweltering heat and humidity ALL DAY LONG. That temperature + stress + crowds = sweat. Nobody has time for that in a gorgeous gown. For the red carpet and hey, everyday life situations, I definitely recommend Secret Clinical Strength Light & Fresh Antiperspirant/Deodorant. There are certain circumstances where only clinical strength will do, and I dare say the GRAMMY red carpet is one of them.
6 – Keep Smiling. You’ll be taking a million pictures. Keep your eyes bright and keep smiling. This may be an occasion for the old petroleum-jelly-on-the-teeth pageant trick. It’s definitely a time for a beautiful smile and for many that calls for a mandatory tooth whitening. You can go to a pro, or do it yourself with a product like Crest 3D Professional White Whitestrips. Or you can go old school and use baking soda with your toothpaste like my mom does. Any at home whitening is best done day before your event so you don’t have to deal with any potential sensitivity. Consider yourself forewarned from my experience.
7 – Enjoy Everything. Red carpet events are special. They’re not an everyday thing. You are lucky to be there, in the eye of all of that media attention and in the midst of that kind of glamour. Soak it up. Drink it in. Take selfies of your fabulous hair, nails, makeup and outfit so you can remember it forever. Enjoy it while you’re in it. When you look back on it all, you’ll be proud that you had that kind of experience.
Those are my top red carpet ready tips, thanks to PG Beauty! Red carpet beauty can be affordable and gorgeous. And if you didn’t know, now you know. I can’t wait to watch the GRAMMY Awards this weekend, and to see what everyone wears for their red carpet moment! I dream of being there one year. You know I’m a HUGE music lover, and I love edgy statement style.
Will you be watching the GRAMMY Awards this weekend? Which performance are you most excited about, and who are you rooting for?