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.


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