The Oscars Part II: polished skin and nude lips

Like everything else, actresses’ skin at the Oscars was pared down but incredibly polished.


Celeb make-up artist Terry Barber, who talked me through this year’s red-carpet looks, recommends using a liquid foundation, such as MAC Mineralize Satin Finish SPF 15 Foundation, £19.57, on skin that’s been well-prepped with moisturiser and a primer (try Clarins Instant Smooth Perfecting Touch, £21.05). Then the real secret, he says, is ‘to use a fibre optic brush to really boss the product into your skin.’ (MAC do a very good one – number 188, £24.47.)

‘Remember you’re going for plumped, well-conditioned skin rather than coverage – you can always use a concealer afterwards to cover up any blips and blemishes. Finally, use a little loose powder to set the key points on your face – sides of nose; in between your eyebrows; middle of forehead, and chin.’

Nude or very pale was the lip of choice on Sunday and as usual Angelina Jolie had it done to a tee. The key to the perfect nude lip is in the prep, says Barber. ‘Take a few minutes earlier in the day to do a quick lip exfoliation. Nearer the time, start priming your lips with balm – apply, give it time to soak in, blot, then repeat. Once your lips feel soft and plump, start working in your nude lipstick. [Giorgio Armani Shine Lipstick in 47, £17, is one that gets mentioned again and again.] Tap in one light layer of nude, allow it to soak in and tap in another.’ Layering like this will bring your nude lip to life rather than give it that dead look you can get when you just slick on straight from the tube, he says. For added drama, dab a little balm or gloss on top.

Finally, a word for the very fashion-forward: lilac and lavender are everywhere at the moment and they work well on lips as an edgier alternative to nude. (Check out Natalie Portman pictured in yesterday’s blog for proof.) Use Terry’s technique but layer on Prescriptives Exhilarating Lip Color in Raspberry, £13.70, or MAC Lipstick in Lavender Whip, £11.26. I was wary of the cool tones but they’re surprisingly flattering on a clear winter complexion and a good foil for smokey purple eyes.

I’ll be practising my Oscar make-up in front of the mirror tonight – you never know when I might need it.

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