Byline: Rose Apodaca Jones

As with every other detail concerning the Oscars, beauty is played to the hilt. But Sunday’s installment wasn’t about the glam of shows past, where hair and makeup looked “done.”
Several celebs let their hair down, literally, a marked change from the usual upswept ‘dos. As for makeup, the newest colorful trends to surface Sunday represented a far cry from the somber face celebrities put on at earlier award shows this season.
“The Oscars are a great time to be glamorous,” said Kerry Wann, creative consultant for John Frieda and stylist to fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman. “This time [hair] has a sort of romantic glamour that’s really modern. It’s definitely down, still with an edge of naturalness. It shouldn’t be stiff. It moves when you move and it looks like you can touch it.” Another easy-does-it ‘do frequently cited by stylists: Chloe Sevigny’s Orphan-Annie curls.
The key word: texture. “It’s a distressed feeling,” said Fred Segal Beauty creative director Paul DeArmas. “It’s not this really clean finish, pulled back or ironed straight. It’s got to have character, an edge to it. There might be a braid or a piece colored in a lighter shade. It’s more creative, more about being individual. It looks effortless, but it’s harder to do than an updo.”
Sally Hershberger calls it a “done wave. It’s got to be a little done, because it’s the Academy Awards. I think people want to look pretty modern.” Whether Julia Roberts, Renee Zellweger or Jennifer Connelly, all expected to see her Los Angeles team this weekend, went for it wasn’t known at press time. In fact, Hershberger hoped a few pulled-back ‘dos would be added to the mix.
It was inevitable that the range in ages and attitudes among the nominees would predicate more than one look, stylists believe. “The number of non-Americans going means a different sense of styles,” observed Vidal Sassoon’s Etienne Taenaka. “It definitely has made an impact. But the really modern woman is wearing it down. Nicole made an impact at the Globes that we’re seeing now. She had this ease that women want.”
Where ease conveyed a more youthful glamour in hair, makeup expressed that sensibility through color and shimmer.
“With the Oscars, women want to look more classically beautiful than on the trendy side,” observed Collier Strong, consulting makeup artist to L’Oreal, who tended to Uma Thurman and Marcia Gay Harden on Sunday. “There’s so much coverage of these events that when they look back, they don’t want to look dated.”
Still, Strong and his peers believe one trend red carpet-bound stars were willing to embrace is color. Violets replaced earth tones, and washed shades such as citrine countered pink. Strong talked about using color “in subtle ways for a contemporary look.” He used color for smokey eyes and a sheer lip.
Dior makeup artist Bata Plavsic wielded wands of burgundy, green and blue mascara. “You know how American women are known for being afraid of color when it comes to makeup? These women wanted color,” he said of his weekend clients, who included Angelica Huston, Darryl Hannah and Rosanna Arquette. He frequently pulled from his kit a violet Dior pencil for eyes and lips, several green eye powders and pigments he dabbed on lips. “It’s very individual. And it’s a lot more festive.”
Artists emphasize that whether faces are famous or not, the goal is not to overdo it. If eyes are bold, lips are nearly nude. “It’s a really fresh, subtle effect, with lots of shimmer, lots of glow for sure. But not dewy,” said Cloutier celebrity artist Joanna Schlip, who regularly works on Kate Beckinsale, Lucy Liu and Kim Cattrall. “If anything’s heavy, it’s a smokey eye. A younger or more fashion-conscious woman may go with a light sky blue or a washed out canary or a coral.”
As for that Hollywood hallmark, red lips, the jury was out at press time. While Strong admitted he was leaning toward a luscious ruby set with nude eyes for one of his clients, some of his peers begged to differ on the staple color.
An almost natural, shimmery eye deserves a punchier lip with a raspberry or apricot stain and gloss, said Joanna Schlip. “I don’t feel red at all.”

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