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Many young women dream of stardom, including this month’s cover girl Kate Mara. Unlike most, though, Mara is on the verge of hitting it big time in Hollywood. Don’t yet recognize her? That’s not surprising. Mara, who most recently costarred opposite Mark Wahlberg in Shooter and was also seen in Brokeback Mountain, among others, is part of a growing group of up-and-coming actresses who would rather be known for their craft than their clothing, would rather read a script than a scandal-ridden tabloid and who shun the paparazzi as assiduously as they seek out meaty scripts. It just might be the dawning of a new age in Hollywood, and it’s one we celebrate, first in “Great Expectations,” which profiles Mara’s steady ascent in Tinseltown, then in “Up, Up and Away,” where you’ll discover six young actresses who are also on the verge of breaking into the big time.
Chances are, they’ll know they’ve hit the big time when they walk the red carpet at a major awards event like the Golden Globes or Academy Awards and the flashbulbs are blinding. After all, the red carpet is a place where appearances do count—and where countless hair and makeup trends are born. From the Globes to the Grammys, the People’s Choice Awards to the Oscars, we tracked the season’s top beauty trends. As you’ll discover in “Red, Hot and Beautiful” on page 21, there was a lot of news this spring. Smoky eyes in sultry colors (not the standard black or grey), the return of curls, the preponderance of bangs and bobs, stained lips—look for all to make a major comeback if the red carpet is any indication.
While the stars present a glamorous front on the red carpet, life behind the scenes can be anything but, as Rachel Brown discovered when she tapped into the life of movie makeup artists and hairstylists. The days are long, the pressure intense and the politics as Machiavellian as any found inside the Beltway. For an insider’s view of life on the set, turn to “Supporting Players” on page 28.
Of course, for every point, there is a counterpoint, and for the beauty industry, which has long used celebrity to add a sheen of glamour to its wares, Dove is that counterpoint. Over the last five years, the Unilever-owned brand has seen its sales in the U.S. double to $1 billion, thanks in large part to an advertising campaign that uses real women instead of models or celebrities. As Molly Prior writes in “Reality Check” on page 42, Dove’s fondness for the Average Jane taps into an emerging marketing tool of consumer-generated content. Could this signify that the public’s insatiable appetite for fame is on the wane? Probably not. But as Kate Mara and her ilk demonstrate, style and substance are the T&A of the new millennium. And that’s a welcome change.