Oscars 2014: How the stars can stay glamorous in the rain

Rainy Oscars
It rained on Oscars Sunday in 2010, but the stars were protected by a tent set up along Hollywood Boulevard.
(Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)

It’s a fashion and beauty conundrum that could only exist in L.A.: How will a star attending this year’s Oscars avoid a drenched hemline or deflated hairdo if it’s still raining on Sunday afternoon?

The last time there was a rainy Oscar red carpet was 2010, and even though this week’s storm comes during a severe drought, Hollywood isn’t used to having its glamour compromised by the elements.

After months of preparation and negotiating the right dress from the right designer, plus hair and makeup trials, Hollywood’s best fashion pros may be rethinking their game plan or at the very least implementing every trick in the book to ensure their clients look as flawless as if it were 75 degrees and sunny. Fortunately, the red carpet area is tented.

Karla Welch, a stylist who works with Olivia Wilde, Hailee Steinfeld and Amy Poehler, says she is thankful that the clients she’s sending to the awards are “relatively rainproof,” meaning their gowns don’t have mile-long trains or precarious details.


“Waterproof makeup is in order,” says Mai Quynh, makeup artist to Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Selena Gomez and Amber Heard. She recommends layering products to make them last longer, using a creaseless cream shadow on the eyes, for example, with powder eye shadow dusted over it.

She uses the same technique with the rest of the face, layering a dark powder eye shadow over a waterproof pencil eyeliner on the rim of the eye and using cream blush as opposed to powder, layered over a liquid foundation and concealer.

“Primer, primer, primer,” says Viviana Martin, makeup artist and director of artist relations for Kevyn Aucoin Beauty. “Wearing primer under foundation creates a canvas for the skin.”

Next to Oscar gold, bronze is the most popular shade of the evening, for skin, that is. Many stars visit their preferred spray tan professional a few days before the big event.


“The day of your airbrush tan you must not get wet!” says Katrina Brown, owner of the Bronzing Boutique, a mobile spray tan service.

“Private house calls are popular during Oscar season. This way you can stay indoors to dry and avoid getting wet outside. Any drop of rain will smudge the tan and leave your skin looking patchy.”

Hair is also an issue. “To combat frizz, I recommend that my celebrity clientele uses Tresemmé 7 Day Smooth System,” says hair stylist John D who works with AnnaSophia Robb, Anna Chlumsky, Maya Rudolph and Emily VanCamp.

“If it rains, I foresee there being more up-dos than down-dos on the red carpet this season, because they can be locked down and controlled,” he adds. “We can rely on pins and hairspray to keep the style firmly in place.”

As far as the dresses, most stars and their stylists have already made the big decision of what the celebrity will wear, rain or shine. “Honestly, the work on dresses is done at this point,” says Welch. “If a girl is still deciding, then I am sure the weather will be a factor. But this is fashion -- it’s bigger than rain!”


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