On Sunday night, a huge event occurred in Australia.
That’s right, The Voice finally returned to TV.
Also the Logies took pace, which I attended in support of my beautiful (Silver Logie winning!) husbot.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Obviously for a red carpet event of this nature, very little preparation is required. Probably just a wash of the teeth and a top knot. But here is some surprising news: it actually takes a little bit more work than that. I had to have a shower, for example.
Here are some of the other things I did to be Red Carpet Ready, which I share in the hope it may assist you should you ever have a big event and want to look your sparkling, dazzling, glowiest best.
SKIN SKIN SKIN – SKIN IS THE THING
I had three facials in one week. Which sounds OBSCENE, but only because it is. This was not normal practice, I should add, but after a month in NYC with all it’s wintery weather and then the heating and then the flights home, my skin was dry and lined and sad. I started with a regular facial from my facial queen, Natasha (Double Bay – 0422 650 773). She did a deep cleanse and lots of extractions to get rid of all the heavy skin creams I’d been loading on it all month, then used a lovely thick hydrating compress mask. You know, a facial. Traditional and nourishing and lovely. Paid lots of attention to decollatage due to dress neckline.
A few days later I had a session of Omnilux Revive (at The Facial Room with Jocelyn) with another nourishing mask (different to straight up moisturising, as I detailed here) to get my collagen and elastin working again, and giving my skin some visible glow, then the day before the event, one more hit of Ominlux Revive (at An Experience spa in Melbourne city) and a vitamin infusion around the eyes to get them looking juiced up and plump. (This is where a vitamin gel is placed on the area, then a small device with a low current glides back and forth over it – like an ultrasound motion – to get the goods right into that skin.) A lot of models and celebs have an oxygen facial or vitamin infusion on the day of the event.
On the day, I did a quick SK-II facial treatment cloth mask, and then used some Gernetic Synchro cream, which I LOVE. Very hydrating and rich. I also went to the gym, which I highly recommend, because it gets the blood and oxygen pumping, and it does make a difference.
MY, YOUR NAILS LOOK REAL NICE
I definitely wore my finger and toe nails. As they are attached to my hands and feet it just felt right. I went for Shellac in Romantique to dress them up. Very innocuous pinky-nude. Didn’t want anything nuts because my dress was white and gold, and there was already a lot going on.
GYM TAN LAUNDRY
Yes please, but very, very light please, I said to the lovely dame at 54 Park St, who did my St Tropez tan. She did two light coats and I was very happy with it. I have made the too-dark error once before, and now am petrified. The lights of the cameras can make what appers to be a faily inoffensive, natural looking spray tan into a Dorito-coloured mess far too easily. Also, when you’re wearing white and gold, a deep tan can easily grab your hand and lead you unwillingly into Tacky Land.
THAT HAIR IS SLEEKER THAN A DUCK’S BACK
Event hair must be Second Day Hair. If the hair is too clean and freshly-washed, it will be too slippery and stupid and won’t behave or hold as well. I promise you – Second Day is the Way. So, I washed it the night before and went very easy on the conditioner so it wouldn’t be flat the next day. Sprayed some O&M Atomic thickening spray all over for body on my hopeless, wussy fine hair and blow-dried it off so it was dry, semi-straight and ready to be attacked the next morning.
On the day, at around 11, my hair and makeup artist Laura Gilham (I nicked her from Channel 10 when I used to do The Circle) arrived and although I had sent references on email, we went over it again, just to be sure. I wanted the makeup and hair to be fresh and modern to balance out the dress, I said. She agreed.
As my dress (bustier and skirt to be accurate) were super glamorous, Hollwyood-glitz style, I definitely didn’t want to do predictable hair with it. You know what I mean – the big, deep side part, all the hair over one shoulder, big, soft, brushed-out Veronica Lake curls. It was everywhere at The Oscars and Golden Globes, and I am an enormous fan, but it was too obvious and ‘theme’ for this outfit. I’d look like a caricature. Plus, the big thing in hair as we saw on the A/W runways last month, was slicked down, straight, groomed and even wet-look in a lot of cases. Fresh, I thought. Let’s do that.
Plus, it’s all about the ‘ear’ right now: show the ear(s) off, don’t cover them up, wear some fancy ear candy (on the lobe or actual ear), the message is. I got the message, deciding to keep my hair tucked neatly behind my ears and let my neck, earrings and dress do all the chatting.
Laura wet my hair all over, then blow-dried it to perfection, section by section. An old-school blowie, perfectly straight and not a hair out of place. She even snipped a few hairs at the back so the line of my hair was perfect. (Strangely important when you’re all strapless and back-showy.) What dedication! Fantastic.
She used her flat-irons very sparingly, and only on the ends, which I appreciated. We had a big bitch about hair salons that take women’s money for a “blow-dry” and then roughly dry if off before attacking it with a styler. That’s not a blow dry. That’s something we can do at home. And plus, it makes the hair flat, and the style is dead within a day. A TRUE blow-dry, a time-consuming, bit-by-bit blow-dry should last many many days.
She did some backcombing underneath the hair around the back to keep it from looking flat in photos, (I made sure it had settled down by red carpet time – I wanted flat and sleek, not ’60s newsreader)and combed my side part with a fine-tooth comb into place, hairspraying it all over for stay-put-ness. So SO much easier to deal with all night than curls or waves that drop or frizz or a fancy, prone-to-frizz or fall updo. I felt quite smug indeed with my simple, sleek hair. God bless the return to ’90s, slick, clean hair.
OOOH SUCH FANCY MAKEUP
A red lip would be the obvious choice for such a ritzy, Jessica Rabbit dress, which is precisely why I didn’t do one. Instead I played up the eyes with a heavy, brown and black (gold and bronze were my initial thought, but as per my parenthesis regarding glittery bronzed skin below, I realised the error in that) smoky eye, heavy on the top lashline to keep it fresh, and with layers of medium-size lash flares to get that winged, feline look I so love.
Simple, dewy skin (she used Chanel perfection Lumiere) and a touch of Benefit Hoopla matte bronzer (when you’re glittering sartorially, it’s generally a good idea to keep the makeup matte) plus Nars creme blush and we were done. I added some matte nude lips later, just before I left. (Smashbox Lip Tech in Nude.) Kept all shimmer and glimmer away from the neck/shest/arms too. Outdated and easily mistaken for glitter. I leave that to J.Lo.
Oh! And of course she filled in and groomed the brows. Brows, brows, must do brows! They’re as important as foundation, you know. Speaking of which, I had them shaped and tinted by Lien on Friday, but I am posting more on her soon, so will save it for then.)
WHOA WHOA WHOA CHECK THAT DRESS
Just popped on a custom-made bustier and skirt by the messiah of Australian couture, Steven Khalil. No big deal.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME THIS IS A HUGE DEAL WHY WOULD YOU SAY SUCH A THING.
I was so thrilled when Steven offered to make my Logies dress, he’d just done my wedding dress, so was probably sick of me and my demands (Cut things! Sew them! Add lace! Hem it! Be fantastic!) but kindly “threw” this together. Finding a dress (that fits!) is usually the hardest part of all this. He removed that task altogether and I could not be more grateful.
I walked in asking for something simple, sporty-like, Tom Ford like, and he said, ‘You always do that. We’re doing something new.” And he was right, and I LOVED that he took me out of my very very comfortable comfort zone. (I have, like, three lounges in there, and two of them have motorised massage.)
I’m not even a strapless fan. Never wear gold. Can NOT be trusted with white. And yet here I am…
I felt like a million pounds. He truly is the master of the female form. I was perfectly corseted (“could still breathe and sit”) and the skirt swished around my legs like I was performng some kind of tasteful, elegant dance all night. The compliment count was off the chart. And I didn’t even nearly expose a nipple. What a win!
(I wore these Miu Miu sweeties underneath but you couldn’t see them. And lots of deodorant, which you also couldn’t see.)
DAMN GIRL. NICE JEWELS
On top of getting a ticket to the Logies, and being able to support my husband as he took home another statue (a comedian came up to me at the after party and said, “You must be thrilled he won another Logie! After all, you get a national love dedication each time he does.” And I laughed because it was true, and he laughed, and we both ate a spring roll and it was great), there is this amazing moment where you get to choose the jewels you will wear on the night.
This year I had the EXTREMELY good fortune of being able to loan from Tiffany and Co… which meant I got to float around their beautiful Sydney store for half an hour, trying on shimmering, dazzling jewels and choosing which would best go with my dress. I went for these art deco darlings for about 828902312 obvious reasons, but chiefly because they are absolutely breathtaking. (Yes I felt my ears all night checking they hadn’t run off. You bet your Berocca I did.)
I didn’t take a bag, WAY too hard to find one that matches, so I just popped some lip gloss, liner and mints in someone’s tux pocket to get them as needed. (Think it was Bert Newton.)