Actress Jessica Chastain arrives at the Oscars at the Dolby Theatre on Feb. 24, 2013, in Los Angeles. (Carlo Allegri/Invision/AP)

The flawless looks about to be unveiled on the Oscars red carpet have been months in the making and require an army of experts.

All that perfection takes a lot of preparation. Here’s a look at the standard steps and secret tricks that stars employ to get red carpet ready:


Skilled hairstylists can give stars a temporary eye lift with a lace-front wig, said Michael Shaun Corby, global creative director for Alterna Haircare. Using nylon thread, he sews a patch of lace into tight pin-curls, which helps lift the brows and smooth wrinkles around the eyes.

“Then we top it with a $7,000 wig, and no one knows our little secret!” he said.

Hair extensions take hours of preparation, he said, “because we carefully sew individual wefts of human hair together in a multitude of colors to get the exact look and texture for the star.”

“The stars need perfection on the red carpet,” he said, “and we give it to them.”


Besides a clean diet of healthy smoothies the week before the big show, trainer Harley Pasternak recommends that his Oscar-bound clients take at least 12,000 steps a day and do resistance exercises that improve their posture. “When you’re on the red carpet,” he said, “it’s really all about confidence and posture.”

Botox and facial fillers can be done a few days before the ceremony, but face lifts, liposuction and the increasingly popular butt implants need to be done months in advance, said celebrity plastic surgeon Peter Fodor, who estimates “at least 80 percent” of the stars on the Oscar carpet have done something surgical to enhance their appearance.

“If the work is done right, it’s undetectable,” he said.


Stylists scour the fashion shows in New York, London, Paris and Milan to find the freshest looks for the Academy Awards, stylist Brad Goreski said.

Once found, what goes underneath and alongside are priorities. Custom and couture dresses have built-in foundations, he said, but other outfits need special consideration.

“You never want to see a visible panty line, ever,” he said. “VPL is something I can’t deal with.” The seamless, invisible Commandos are a possibility, as is actually going without any underwear beneath a long dress.

Double-stick tape is a stylist’s No. 1 tool. Besides keeping fabric in place, it can also create the appearance of firmer skin, Goreski said. “In a very revealing dress, it can help to tighten the skin in different areas without it seeming that way,” he said. “You know, pull a little wrinkle or something like that.”

His key to making a red carpet splash? Color. “Bright colors make people happy,” the stylist said. “And those are also the [photos] people will run in the magazines.”

Associated Press