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Academy Award Contenders’ Red Carpet Beauty Plan

The sky’s the limit when it comes to the cost of getting red carpet ready.

For an Academy Award contender—male or female—the 37 days between the announcement of the nominations and the actual ceremony are a race against the clock, beauty-wise.

And getting red-carpet ready takes a lot of time—and money (your studio should foot the bill for the basics like hair and makeup, but beyond that, it’s not a given.)

“Everyone is judging you with a microscope—literally judging you—and voting on you,” says Cassandra Grey, founder of the Hollywood-based beauty business Violet Grey and wife of Paramount Pictures Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Brad Grey. “It’s a lot of pressure. Anything that will help you feel stronger in terms of confidence is a good idea.”



Skin Conditioning: By far the most time-consuming aspect of red-carpet readiness. Dermatologist Amy Wechsler likes as much prep time as possible. Botox, she points out, takes two weeks to work and fillers take one week to settle—and both can cause bruising, a definite Tinseltown taboo.
Cost: Three areas of Botox plus a couple of syringes of a filler like Restylane: $2,000 to $4,000.

Wechsler recommends treatment with the Clear and Brilliant laser to simulate collagen production and give a rosy glow. She recommends monthly treatments—ideally you’ll have time for two before the big night.
Cost: $500 per treatment.

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Brows: A unibrow is the arch enemy of any red-carpet contender. Anastasia of Beverly Hills will get brows in shape.
Cost: $125

Eyelash Extensions: Conveniently located across the street from Anastasia, Lôngmi Lashes, founded by Vietnamese identical twins, is the place to be. Bonus: the head massage before every service.
Cost: $330 with founder Daniel Dinh.

Teeth: That blinding smile isn’t cheap. Head to Kim Kardashian’s favorite dentist, Kevin Sands, and expect to pay about $2,500 for porcelain veneers—per tooth. His signature smile: the 10 and 10, 10 on top, 10 on the bottom.
Cost: $50,000
*If that’s too much, a one-hour whitening session, with take-home kit, is about $750.


Hair Color: Does she or doesn’t she? Of course she does. And if you recognize her by her first name, like Gwyneth, chances are she goes to Tracey Cunningham of MèCHE Salon, whose most popular pre-event treatment is a gloss so that hair looks extra shiny under the klieg lights.
Cost: $125 for a gloss to $525 for highlights.


Underarms: Never let them see you sweat. Thanks to underarm Botox injections, they won’t. Be warned: the Botox takes two weeks to kick in.
Cost: $2,000

Hands: That mani cam is a b—-. And what could be less attractive than gripping your hard-won statuette with hideous hands? Zap spots and fine lines with a Fraxel laser treatment. Two to four treatments are recommended.
Cost: $1,000 to $1,650

Slimming: Sure, couture gowns may be made to measure—if there’s time. But those who need to fit into the gown rather than vice-versa opt for Cool Sculpting, the body contouring laser that freezes fat. But know that for permanent results, you’ll need two treatments, one month apart. Book now.
Cost: $850 an hour.

Freezing fat not your thing? Grey calls Nonna Gleyzer of Body by Nonna her “secret weapon” for whipping body parts into shape. Clients like Gisele Bündchen and Natalie Portman second that opinion.
Cost: $200 per session.
*Count on at least three per week for six weeks before the ceremony.

Cleansing: Planning a cleanse before the big day? Nutritionist Kimberly Snyder makes clients like Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington swear against salt before putting them on her 48-hour Red Carpet Slimdown plan. Be sure to leave at least a day between a cleanse and the big event.
Cost: $120

Laser Hair Removal: For the face, obviously, but don’t forget arms, hands and the back.
Cost: $200 to $1,000, depending on body part.

Self Tanning: There’s a fine line between Oompa Loompa and golden glow. Amy Rittiner has worked on the likes of Julia Roberts and Gwyneth Paltrow—both of whom no doubt appreciate her attention to detail when making house calls.
Cost: $150 to $300



Jessica Alba and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley trust their complexions to Shani Darden, whose favorite day-of treatment is a light lactic acid peel followed by LED light therapy. “Just to give a glow,” Darden says. “No extractions.”
Cost: $300

Hair and Makeup

If you’re famous enough to have a top hairstylist like Jen Atkin or makeup artist like Pati Dubroff on speed dial, like, say, Reese Witherspoon or Charlize Theron, the going rate is anywhere between $3,500 to $5,000. Studios have started cracking down on such costs, leaving beauty brands to pick up the slack. For a major event like the Oscars, a top artist can command $8,000 for a brand sponsorship. In return, the brand will expect a certain number of phone and e-mail interviews, a complete rundown of the look and products used and sometimes a TV appearance or two to recreate the look for the masses.
Cost: $10,000 and up

Manicure and pedicure

The going rate for a top-tier manicurist like Lisa Logan (she does Beyoncé) is slightly less than a makeup artist—but only just.
Cost: $3,500