The red carpet is a natural habitat for makeup artist to the stars, Nick Barose. Nick has glammed up many to look their best in front of the cameras, from Lena Dunham to Jessica Biel to the always fabulous Kim Catrall, and most recently, Alicia Keys at the Sundance Film Festival. He explains how there is an art to working the red carpet, and experience is key when finding the right look that’s kept fresh for the whole evening.
“When it comes to the red carpet, it is easier to work with experienced clients. They know what works for them and understand certain nuances. For example, when an actress has never walked the carpet before, she might ask to keep the makeup light because she is worried that she won’t feel like herself, however she might not realize that under the camera lights she needs more coverage. I would use slightly more foundation and fake lashes that look natural to produce that fine balance between looking naturally pretty both from afar and close-up.
Red carpet makeup is also much different than the fashion runway. It is not the time to experiment with trends of the week! Actresses need to look like themselves. It’s ok to stand out on the red carpet but you don’t have to look like a fashion victim; the makeup needs to be classic in a way. Some beauty icons like Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn had a style that still works today. You never want to be associated with a certain era or a passing trend.
I give my clients suggestions and they normally go for it, but I try to respect their taste as well. I know, for example, that Lena Dunham likes strong brows, Sarah Paulson needs her blush, and Kim Catrall will never go for dark lips (rightfully so).
Once I send them out on the red carpet more surprises can occur…the actress might decide that she doesn’t want that red lipstick and she’ll literally wipe it off or she doesn’t feel like having her hair up and she’ll manually let it down. I usually send them off with some lipstick and powder to freshen up, but they might forget to use it, and later in the night their skin is shiny and their lips are dry. Or they decide to hug everybody on the carpet and mess up their hair! But, this doesn’t happen with the experienced ones. The longer they have done it, the better they can work it!”