Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A Closeup On Oscar Looks

Today I'm almost happy that I haven't joined the HDTV crowd just yet.

My planned post for today was a more in-depth discussion of the Oscar hair and makeup looks. I did the red carpet live blogging last night based on what I could see on my modest sized regular TV screen. Today I have already gotten emails asking for specifics, how-tos and general advice about achieving a super glam look. To reply them and for my own post I started going through the closeup photos on Just Jared.

Short answer: Don't do it. Please.

You all know that there's often a big difference between gorgeous and elaborate makeup for a special night out or even a big event when you are face to face with people, and a camera-ready look. When it's "real", you don't want to appear caked-up and painted. You don't want to look artificial and you don't want to scare children and small animals. Notice the "you don't want" theme. What else you don't want? Cameron Diaz skin:

Except for serving as a warning for the hazards of smoking and sun exposure, I'm not sure what good is this picture.

Heidi Klum was the glamorous of them all, right? The most exuberant dress, the most done hair, the furriest creature that died for her eyelashes... She also wears way too much bronzer.

Something that I see in most of the pictures is the old trick of dabbing a very shimmery eye shadow in the inner corner of the eyes. This is a good highlighting technique as long as you don't abuse it. Nars have many colors that would work well here. I'd suggest to avoid real metallic silver. It's just too much and tends to look sci-fi.

If you're not playing up your eyes too much, consider a bold red lipstick. Katherine Heigl got it almost right. Except for the extra bronzer and the smoker's skin, that is.

I have full respect for Tilda Swinton's choice of wearing a dress that doesn't cling or reveal anything she doesn't want to show and not making it about her cleavage. I can also deal with a no-makeup look. I hesitated about even posting her picture, because I don't want this to be a discussion of her wrinkles. Ms. Swinton is 47 and opts not to do botox. It shows, but in my opinion (and I'm very pro-botox and surgery. In five to 10 years you'll find me at the doctor's office regularly), it's a better look than whatever taxidermy procedure that creates the face we've come to recognize as Renée Zellweger.
All this was just the escape clause for the following: Tilda still needs mascara.

To end on a positive note, Anne Hathaway looks perfect with a luminous and balanced makeup. Not too much on the eyes and not too little on the lips. Of course, she's also twenty five, so how hard is it to look great at that age (very, if my memory serves me right, but that's not really relevant)?

Instead, let's look at a few 30-something faces that actually got it right: a very black volumizing mascara (and probably some individually glued lashes), some highlight on the eye and a my-lips-only-better lip color:

All images except the ridiculous first one are from Just Jared, where you can try facing the real closeups at your own risk.


  1. Oh my god girl! This and the previous post made me laugh so hard! Best morning read ever!

  2. Loved all your comments. The divine Ms. Kidman is missing, though! I also wonder if you have thoughts on the males' attire. And as for Tilda Swinton, you gotta love that hair!!

  3. I was so busy snarking on poor Jennifer Garner that I forgot about Cate Blanchett until your picture reminded me. Her face and hair were absolutely gorgeous!!!! I went searching for a decent picture of what I was trying to get across about Garner and the closest I could come was the second picture on this page.


    It was really just something that we noticed on the live broadcast though.

  4. I just want to give my vote for Tilda. I LOVE her slightly androgynous but absolutely natural look. I love her sophisticated simplicity. She's brave enough to be herself. And I appreciate it very much. She's Orlando, always.

  5. Honestly when Katherine Heigl was presenting the award for best makeup, I was staring so hard at her bronzer-overload, wondering if she was trying to be funny with an obviously horrible makeup job. (i missed the pre-show).

  6. i also have to say that i *love* tilda. i had no idea she was 47. she just has that look that no one else could pull off. i don't even know if i'd call it "attractive," but when i see her i'm always amazed.

  7. Divina- Thanks ;) As you can imagine, it was quite fun to write.

    Calypso- It's interesting that Nicole Kidman was kind of left out by E! and not featured very much anywhere else, though I saw some pictures. She looked good, though I wasn't crazy on her jewelry.

    Gail- I think I know. It's that eyeliner that makes her expression weird. Not a good choice.

    Lady Jane- I love Tilda, don't get me wrong, and I definitely appreciate the fact she doesn't conform to whatever Rachel Zoe thinks is pretty. I just think that having eyelashes is a good thing.

    e.marie- I actually haven't watched the ceremony, just the red carpet. That was more than enough exposure to Katherine Heigl and her bronzer.

    Kamo- I actually think Tilda is very attractive, and she's probably even more so in real life than in photos. Her eyes and hair are beautiful, and being intelligent goes a long way.

  8. I may be the odd man out here, but I love Tilda, and I love how she looks and I think the fact that she skipped the mascara is even more awesome. She looks stunning all on her own without all the artifice.

    I'm also drooling over Anne Hathaway. Not only is the dress to die for, but her makeup is flawless and well balanced - nothing here is overdone. (I want that dress really, REALLY bad!)

    Cate Blanchett always looks so stunning, and she's almost always so well put together. I believe that she can carry just about anything off by the way she carries herself so gracefully - it's hard to ignore her.

    Penelope Cruz always looks smoking hot! Meowwwww!!! Javier Bardem is one lucky, lucky guy!

    As for Katherine Heigl, I think her look would have been gorgeous if she hadn't gone crazy with the bronzer. If the bronzer was taken down two to three notches, it would be fine, because the huge amount of bronzer just ends up competing with that beautiful shade of lipstick. (Just cover her cheeks in the photo, and you'll see what I mean.)

    Cameron Diaz is starting to look haggard, very very haggard.
    Copious amounts of sun and cigarettes will do that to ya.

    Heidi Klum usually looks really good, but she looks like she has rubbing her face in the dirt in that picture. Once again, bronzer overload.

    Jennifer Hudson is also a very gorgeous woman, but I have to agree that the silver eyeshadow is very overdone here. I do like the lips though.

    As for surgery, I've never really been a fan. People who get lots of surgery end up looking expressionless. They also end losing the interesting character in their face. (Good example, Joan Rivers).

  9. It`s actually Botox that`s wrong with Cameron Diaz`skin, and she`s not the only one. Why people opt for waxy, bumpy, unnatural and old looking skin just to get rid of a few wrinkles is beyond me.


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