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The Oscars 2016: a red carpet beauty review

February 29th 2016 / Anna Hunter

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Who brought their a-game to this year’s Academy Awards? Statuette or not, the following won big in our book…

Leo finally brought home the golden bacon, Chris Rock pulled zero punches as the night’s presenter when it came to putting the issue of institutionalised racism on a podium, and it was a good night for us Brits with our songwriting, costume designing and indeed acting all picking up prizes. As always, the red carpet was ablaze with global talent, wit and sharp styling, and the hair and makeup departments were on fire too. Here are this year’s shining lights from a beauty p.o.v…

Best modern smokey eye: Cate Blanchett

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If you want your eyes to look like glinting jewels, or serene emerald pools of wisdom, give Cate’s makeup artist a call. Her sexy, plummy, shimmery but not OTT twist on a smokey eye was the work of makeup artist Jeanine Lobell, who applied Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill Solo in #15, £27, over the lid and into the crease, ‘wrapping’ the shadow down and around the eye to the bottom lash line. Jeanine created a liner by applying Eyes to Kill in #5, £27, with a damp brush, feathering and blurring out colour to avoid a harsh, blocky effect. On top of the smoked out liner, Jeanine added Eye Tint in #1, £27, dabbing along the lash line for a smouldering glimmer. To finish Cate’s ‘come hither’ eye, Jeanine tapped Eye Tint in #8 , £27, in the center of her lid and under her brow bone to open and brighten the eyes. For a dark eye that’s gorgeously refined rather that goth, Cate got the cream in this case.

Best lip: Daisy Ridley

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A juicy, coral lip is a seriously refreshing sight on a cold, dark Sunday evening. Granted it was all sunshine and mild temperatures in LA, but that doesn’t stop us applauding London born Daisy Ridley for doing what the Brits do best and bringing her summer face to the Californian red carpet. In a sea of nudes and scarlets, Daisy opted for a punchy raspberry shot with orange, and it looked as delicious as it sounds. Combined with a coat or two of mascara and a smattering of freckles, Daisy was indeed as fresh as her floral namesake.

Most on point eyeliner: Kerry Washington

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Feelin’ feline? Kerry’s classic flick and lashes combo is a blueprint in how to create eyes to rival Cleopatra, Bardot and the best of the cool cats. A bit of bronzer and a swipe of nude gloss is all that’s required to set off inky liner, an abundant set of lashes and an impenetrable gaze. Create the look à la Loren with guidance from Mary Greenwell.

Best hair day: Olivia Wilde

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With a crown of braids and a flowing, pleated white dress, you could be forgiven for imagining that Olivia was the picture of innocence, however in true Wilde style she added edge and grit with a daring but very interesting neckline (the dress pretty much went straight from shoulder to hip; boob tape very much required), pearl and diamond choker and matching ornate earrings. Add a bronze eye, and you’ve gone from ‘meek and mild bride’ to ‘make a statement’ sass. A loose, plaited bun not only showcased Olivia’s beautiful balayage but also let her bling do its thing. Many bravos.

Best ‘no makeup makeup’: Alicia Vikander

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Now legitimately a ‘look’ given its permanence on the catwalk every season, the night’s best supporting actress winner looked glowing, healthy and beyond happy to be there from the get go, even before she received her award. Her half up-half down hair could have gone down the “Duchess of Cambridge” route if it weren’t for the twisted mini-bun at the back (whipped up by the ever hip George Northwood using Redken products). Her makeup was also flatteringly low key; a smidge of blusher lit up her honeyed skin, her eyes were defined by a smudge of bronze and her lashes were top heavy and full without looking fake. Her makeup artist for the evening, Kelly Cornwell, emphasised that skincare played a 'best supporting' role to her makeup:

"We wanted to keep the look fresh and youthful, so prepping the skin was a must. I used my go-to Elemis Pro Collagen Hydra Gel Eye Masks, £46, to hydrate the skin around the eyes and take away any puffiness. Elemis Pro Radiance Illluminating Flash Balm, £35, was the perfect base, and then I added a wash Tom ford eye shadow, finished with a few individuals eye lashes and a matte pink lip."

Best accessory: Brie Larson

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If you’re looking for wedding hair inspiration but have a phobia of fascinators, look to Larson for posh event pointers. The aim of her hair game was ‘celestial’, and her ethereal hair band looked modern rather than antique thanks to some crafty, shine boosting styling by Mara Roszak for ghd. Brie’s hair was perfected with the ghd platinum styler, £165, before loose waves were added using the ghd curve classic curl iron, £100. Hair was then brushed out with a boar bristle brush to create swing, with shine added thanks to a touch of L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Extraordinary Oil Lustrous Oil Serum through lengths and ends.

Next, Mara took the front pieces of hair by the hairline on both sides and twisted them, bringing them to the back of the head. She pinned in place and then put a piece of fabric that matched Brie’s belt on top of the pins, wrapping the extra hair that was hanging around the fabric. Lastly, she sprayed the much-relied upon L’Oréal Paris Elnett Hairspray, £3.80, all over the hair for hold and L’Oréal Paris Advanced Haircare Nutri-Gloss High Shine Glossing Mist for extra sheen. Brie was a shining winner on all fronts.

Best Marilyn Monroe impression: Lady Gaga

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Gaga is looking more and more Monroe with every event outing of late, but it’s especially fitting that she represented Norma Jean at the Oscars seeing as shockingly Marilyn never actually picked up a statuette herself. Her hair moodboard, according to ghd stylist Frederic Aspiras, was ‘elegant’, ‘timeless’, ‘structured and ‘face framing’, while her makeup, conceived and executed by makeup artist Sarah Tanno for Sisley, was monochromatic with a ‘perfect balance of sexy, rock n roll and elegance’. We suspect that Ms Monroe would heartily approve of the Lady G tribute.

What was your favourite look from last night’s Oscars? Comment below or tweet us @GetTheGloss

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