We SAID: Oscar Gorgeous

Staff Writer

Winners, losers and major upsets aside (poor Faye Dunaway may never recover from the Best Picture snafu), the stars hit the red carpet last night with a clear mission to put their best … everything… forward. There was a noticeable effort to stand out in the best possible way with clean lines and polished makeup. And even those who went for a … bit… of embellishment (Janelle Monae, we see you) balanced the look with subtle shimmer and gorgeous flesh toned makeup.

Red rules! Viola Davis looked every bit a winner in a svelte red number that flattered her athletic figure. Did we mention that she also made history as the first African American Woman to win an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony for acting? The woman is a powerhouse, and she was not here to play on the red carpet. Ruth Negga softened up the powerful rouge hue with lace and a full skirt, and sweetened the look even further with soft curls and a girlish head band.

Metallics were a big deal on the carpet this year. Emma Stone continued her gold trend with another number that on anyone else would have been doing the most. But even with brocade and fringe, the Givenchy dress lent an elegant ease that matched her famous smile. Amy Adams might not have been a contender, but that didn’t stop her from investing in lots of double-stick tape for a structured shimmering number. And Jessica Biel will definitely split the vote for best/worst dressed. Her golden high collar *doingwaytoomuch.com* ensemble at least deserved honorable mention. Her husband was opening the show, and we imagine she figured she had to make a statement by any means necessary.

Speaking of honorable mentions, we could not go without mentioning Charlize Theron. She was presenting this year, so the pressure was off. And her ease showed in a dark oscar-4metallic dress that was more practical than not. A little weight gain softened her normally sharp edges, and it’s not a stretch to say that it looks really good on her. She’s a stunning woman at any size, but it was nice to see her moving comfortably in her skin with a genuine smile and sans outrageous fake tan.

On the other end of the spectrum, Janelle Monae was doing more than her little frame could probably carry. oscar-8Her dress featured all manner of designs and embellishments. It looked like the designer simply couldn’t commit to a single idea, and decided to do everything and hope for the best. Her stylist even had the nerve to slap an embellished tiara/headband thing on her head. Fortunately, Monet is just quirky enough to pull it off, and managed to even look calm and collected in the frenetic ensemble.

At least Monae’s makeup artist got the memo about balance, and calmed things down with gorgeous flesh toned shimmers and a soft smoky eye. Her makeup was definitely among some of the best that the night had to offer. Other big hits of the night included Hailee Steinfeld (when did that child grow up? She looked STUNNING), Emma Stone and Naomie Harris.

Overall, it was a good night for fashion. We even forgive Halle Berry for showing up looking like she hopped out of the chair while her hair dresser was desperately trying to style those curls, and for wearing the millionth dress that looks just like all the other ones she wore on red carpets’ past.


She SAID: Ready, Set, MAKEUP!

Shahada Karim

Thousands of professional and aspiring makeup artists will take over Downtown Los Angeles this weekend for The Makeup Show LA. The annual trade show, which has grown frothe makeup show 2m a few obscure vendors to top-tier industry influencers, is in its 10th year. Celebrations kick off Friday with a Gala at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel, as artists pay homage to the iconic image of the  Femme Fatale. President of the Makeup Artists/Hair Stylists Guild Susan Cabral-Ebert is the guest of honor.

The trade show gets underway early Saturday morning, and the early bird gets first crack at the latest makeup and skin care offerings from some of the biggest names and fastest rising stars in the industry. Over the last decade, the Makeup Show has steadily grown in influence. An increasing number of professional artists have abandoned the the makeup showbehemoth trade show IMATS (which has become to professional makeup what Comic-Con is to comic books) and opted instead for this pro-only event.  Where IMATS can be mostly spectacle and sensation, The Makeup Show focuses on pro-specific offerings and practical guidelines to thrive in an ever expanding industry.

This year, The Makeup Show LA highlights tattoo-artist-turned-makeup -influencer Kat Von D, whose social media platforms go beyond makeup talk, to emphasize the importance of celebrating individuality and promoting tolerance.

Doors open to guests Saturday March 19th and Sunday March 20th at 9am. Official hashtags for The Makeup Show LA are #TMSLA #INSPIRE and #themakeupshow

She SAID: And the Best Dressed Goes To…

Terri Kennerson

Oscar (and pretty much any other show that requires some sort of formal carpet) are always a mixed bag in the fashion department. Some people look effortless, while others look like they couldn’t decide on an overall look and opted for all the things. It’s rare that the people ‘off’ the carpet manage to outdo the people ‘on’ the carpet at any given awards show. But the local network regulars outdid themselves this year. Dear local Los Angeles hosts: please get some sleep and drink lots of water… maybe get a peel before the big day. HD sees everything and will make a point of showing everyone that you partied last night, didn’t see your esthetician about those pimples, forgot to powder your nose, or forgot to make good use of your razor or hairbrush. If you’re going to criticize fashion, please at least make a point of looking… GROOMED. Please don’t show up in front of an HD camera looking like you  need friends. And mirrors.

Fortunately the national network (YAAAAAAS to Robin Roberts) did a little better in the hosting department, as did the actual stars who graced the red carpet. Most of them showed up looking like they spent the weekend lounging in a spa, before effortlessly sliding into a gorgeous frock and stepping out. Statue or no statue, there were some serious wins on the Oscar Red Carpet.

Priyanka Chopra managed to be both opulent and understated in a stunning strapless number that read more elegant than overdone. Saoirse Ronan managed to look both innocent and daring in an emerald gown with thin straps and a plunging neckline. And the incomparable Alicia Vikander (sporting her natural skin tone. See her Vogue interview about avoiding sun and wearing SPF 100 to satisfy studios) was bright and sweet in a strapless yellow number with just the right amount of embellishments and an interesting red carpet 12bubble hem.

Charlize Theron just stays WINNING. She knows her strengths and she dresses them effortlessly and elegantly. Theron consistently has more red carpet hits than misses, and this red carpet 10year is no different. The plunging red number she wore was only slightly upstaged by the massive jewel that danced just above her belly button. The strong color of the dress was gorgeously complemented with bronzed smokey eyes and a soft shimmering lip. Theron was simply stunning from head to toe, and she wore the entire look with confidence and grace.

Rooney Mara dared to be different, and I dare say it worked. She wore a dress that was not quite business, not quite party, but an interesting hybrid of both. The high buttoned neckline was disrupted by a midriff baring parting and a high center slit from inner thigh to the carpet. What really made this dress work was the hair and makeup. Mara’s hair was pulled up and back into multiple tiny buns, and her makeup made a statement with a strong brow and dark lips.

Some of the rest were a mixed bag. I loved Kerry Washington’s hair and makeup (the dramatic eyeliner was incredible), but her dress looked confused and uncomfortable. Julianne Moore looked amazing in her Chanel dress, but seemed to forget to pay attention to her hair and makeup.

And honorable mention goes to Cate Blanchett, which should have been a slam dunk, but ended up doing the most in all the wrong ways. Her embellished dress should have looked like wearable art (particularly since she was presenting for best costume), but ended up looking overdone. There were too many things hanging on her… including earrings, and that hair. Blanchett has the figure to carry off such an opulent dress. She might have actually done it if maybe she ditched the earrings and didn’t feel the need to show us that she cut her hair. Then we’d be able to see the gorgeous shimmering orchid eyeshadow she wore to complement the seafoam color of her dress.


She SAID: Spring Skin

Shahada Karim

Bobbi Brown recently, beautifully, hopefully described the coming trend for Spring makeup and skin care and finishing. She believes that the heavy contoured looks best displayed on social media will soon give way to softer and more realistic finishes. Gone will be the harsh contour and highlight, replaced instead with luminous soft skin with flushed colors in hushed tones.

Those natural looks were gorgeously on display in 2016 Spring Collections, from Rodarte to Alexander McQueen. Instead of sharp line and bold colors, there were soft washes of pastel on flawless skin, topped with natural brows and softly colored lips.

The easiest way to take these looks from runway to reality is with a realistic looking spring skin 4tinted moisturizer, soft blush colors and lip stains that leave more flush than flash.

NARS timed the release of their new Matte Skin Tint perfectly to coincide with the new runway looks. More sheer pigment than foundation, the formula instantly mattes out skin with little to no coverage. If your skin is less than perfect, you may need some help with a concealer or color corrector to really make the most of the finish.

Ardere Cosmetics will soon launch a line of concealers and color correctors that just might do the trick. Due to hit online and in store in March, the highly pigmented formula works spring skin 5to conceal dark circles and hyper-pigmentation, while reflecting light in the most natural way possible.

One of the coolest ways to get that springtime flush of color comes from the Queen of Cool herself, Gwen Stefani. The singer and fashion designer teamed up with Urban Decay to release collection of eyeshadows, blushes and lipsticks. The most versatile piece in the collection is the blush palette, which is packed with six spring skin 3blushes that can be used alone or mixed for a bespoke result. The highly pigmented formulas worked when lightly patted (not swirled) on. Several sheer layers on cheeks and even eyes can give the face an overall flush that reads like your skin, on its best day.

Etude House Sweet Cherry Tint is the perfect way to top off the entire look, with a combination of moisture and a gentle flush of color.


She SAID: Haute for Star Wars

Shahada Karim

Chanel Haute Couture is making a statement for Spring and Summer that is literally out of this world. Channeling hair and makeup from a galaxy far far away, models for the brand’s latest show looked every bit the intergalactic socialite. chanelhaute

The hair was severely parted down the center, and then rolled up and over along the nape and both sides of the neck. But from the front, the style was a dead ringer for the proverbialchanel haute 1 Princess Leia, circa 1977.

And if ever you doubted the iconic movie’s influence, the makeup followed suit. Models sported severe black lines above and below their eyes, as the only haute marks on an otherwise neutralized face.

The message for the entire show was decidedly zen; it took place in a massive zen garden space with wooden and grassy accents. Decorations on the clothing followed suit (wood chips can be found in the beading). And despite calls for an eco-concious show that highlighted all that is nurturing and kind of our Earth, the influential markings of an imagination beyond our atmosphere were definitely present.

The neutralized elegance for Spring/Summer fashion is a welcome change from the typical chiffons, florals, pastels and the like. And even without the severe lines across the eyes, the makeup can easily be taken from runway to reality with a flick of a liner pen, a flush of cream color on the cheeks, and a flesh colored lip balm.

She SAID: #grungelip

Shahada Karim

I’m just going to put it out there and ask WTF about this revival of the 90’s grunge lip trend. It wasn’t cute then and it’s not cute now. But whatever. If you tossed all of your grunge lip colors from the 90’s (they’d no doubt be pretty grungy by now, and perhaps not suited to actual use), the market grunge1has plenty to offer. But the good news is (at least for someone like me), this time around some of these colors are actually wearable and will go beyond the grunge trend. They might even ensure that you won’t be stuck with some heinous lip shade once this trend dies (again).

For price, performance, and existence beyond tgrunge2he trend, you really can’t go wrong with Bite Beauty Matte Lip Crayon in Cognac. It’s dark enough to keep up with the grunge trend, but warm and rich enough to carry into the holiday season elegantly and beautifully. It’s convenient enough to use as a lip pencil, a stain (use fingers) or a full on lipstick.

If you’re game for spending a little more money, Tom Ford’s Matte Lipstick in Black Dahlia features similar wearability. Name aside, the color is actually a rich purple based plum (like its satin counterpart) and is more flattering than fad-centric. It’s grunge3particularly gorgeous as a stain with a clear or complimentary gloss (think: Pink Guilt) to really make the color 3-dimensional. It’s also gorgeous on a wide range of skin tones, so win-win.

Same for Dolce & Gabanna’s Lipstick in Jealous. It looks frightening in the tube (like a dark brown-based purple), but it actually translates to a deep red-berry with a reddish-brown undertone. Although it can work on just about any skin tone, it’s particularly gorgeous on warmer tones because it translates more elegant than garish.

You can always go all out with the likes of Kat Von D, but unless you’re into expressing your grunge for an unlimited time… a chocolate lipstick with purple shimmer might not be a wise choice. Just saying.