Musings on the culture of keeping up appearances

All the Rage

Category: Academy Awards

Oscars: Mila Kunis’ dramatic eyes


Mila Kunis’ lingerie–esque dress was lovely on her, though it could have left a little more to the imagination. Her sultry makeup, on the other hand, was spot-on in creating a dramatic contrast to the lilac lace that robed, um, most of her.

To achieve her sultry look, makeup artist Tracey Levy used Lancome makeup, starting with Teint Miracle lit from within foundation and Blush Subtil in Sheer Amourose. On her eyes was a combination of Coral Crush and Impress eye shadow as well as a heavy dose of Le Crayon Kohl eyeliner in black and Hypnose Waterproof custom volume mascara in black.

To carry on the feminine look, her lips were given a soft pink shine using Color Fever Gloss in blazing pink and La Laque Fever Lipshine in lucent nude.

Wow –- even her cosmetics sound sexy.

--Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Mila Kunis. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images.

Oscars: Fashion hits and misses


I’ll be honest, there weren’t many major misses this evening -- most women who hit the Oscar red carpet looked gorgeous and managed to stay away from the same tired cookie cutter formula we’ve grown so tired of.

Sure, there were strapless gowns, up dos and diamonds, but for some reason, it all fell into place in a fresh and exciting way.

Mila Kunis was pretty in a lavender lace gown by Elie Saab. More than anything it was the color that felt the most striking, playing a nice opposite against her raven hair.

Michelle Williams’ pearly Chanel Haute Couture column gown worked so well with her platinum hair and even though there was no color in her ensemble, she didn’t look washed out, but rather totally gorgeous.

Cate Blanchett is a red carpet risk taker and her choices usually turn out well. This time was no exception. Her pale pink Givenchy dress was so interestingly structured, with textured beads at the shoulders, it read like wearable art.

Amy Adams looked like she was channeling Bianca Jagger in her navy blue beaded L’wren Scott dress and Cartier necklace. The shade of blue looked so good against her red hair and she perfectly nailed the sexy '70s look.

It was great to see some vivid color on the red carpet and Jennifer Hudson was possibly the brightest star out there. Her tangerine toned Atelier Versace halter neck gown popped so amazingly against her skin and added a playful tone to this year’s Oscar fashion.

A few disappointments: Melissa Leo’s white and gold Marc Bouwer dress was cool in theory, but the fact that the entire dress was constructed of that heavily textured fabric made it look weighty and wet suit thick.

While I love how simple and elegant Jennifer Lawrence looked in her body-hugging Calvin Klein sheath, it was just a tad too casual and breezy. She could have done a great necklace with that deep of a scoop neck or maybe a statement bangle.

--Melissa Magsaysay

PHOTOS: Photo gallery of all the red carpet best and worst dressed

Photos: Mila Kunis. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / For The Times. Melissa Leo. Credit: Jason Merritt / Getty Images.

Oscars: Silver belles


Silver seems to be the cool color of the night. As we mentioned, Mandy Moore, Michelle Williams (actually closer to white, but it shows a bit silvery) are in pale silver. Also Helen Mirren, Celine Dion and Hilary Swank, in a strapless Gucci gown with palettes and feathers, are all in shimmery silver tones.

Apparently, everyone eschewed gold tonight so as  not to compete with Oscar.

--Melissa Magsaysay

Photos: Mandy Moore, left, Michelle Williams, Hilary Swank and Helen Mirren.  Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press. Right, Celine Dion. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times.

Oscars: Body-hugging dresses rule the red carpet


So far not too many poufy gowns, crinolines or trains -- perhaps everyone was just being cautious because of all the recent rain?

Jennifer Lawrence is in a stoplight red Calvin Klein body-hugging sheath, Michelle Williams is wearing a pale silver Chanel column gown and Amy Adams’ sapphire blue L'wren Scott dress is super form-fitting.

Even without all the volume, these girls manage to look formal and appropriate. And their stylists did good work with the underpinnings –- no signs of bumps or Spanx.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photos, from left: Michelle Williams, credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press; Jennifer Lawrence, credit: Kevork Djansezian /Getty Images; Amy Adams, credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.

Oscars: Shocking showstopper – Mandy Moore


OK, so Mandy Moore isn’t the first person who comes to mind when talking Oscars or fashion, but the former teen pop star looks amazing, possibly the best dressed so far.

Moore, who is performing during tonight’s awards, is in a silver, crystal-smattered gown by Monique Lhuillier. Her hair is swept back in a clean, low chignon and the whole look is just gorgeous and classy.

Silver and sparkly looks to be a burgeoning trend tonight, Michelle Williams just showed up in a pale silver, cap-sleeve dress by Chanel, topped off, of course, with her signature platinum blond pixie cut.

These girls certainly know how to make an icy color look radiant and fresh.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Mandy Moore. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.

Oscars: Hailee Steinfeld is stunning in Marchesa


Oscar's youngest nominee this year, Hailee Steinfeld is wearing Marchesa at this evening’s event. The 14-year-old supporting actress nominee is in a pale ballet pink, crystal hand embroidered tulle tea-length dress.

So far during this award season she’s been in bold stripes (Prada) or clean and sleek white (Prabal Gurung). We love the idea of her in a soft, pastel color. No doubt a great contrast to her long, dark hair.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Hailee Steinfeld. Credit: Matt Sayles / Associated Press.

Oscars: Calvin Klein's red carpet reign continues


So long ruffles, bows and rhinestones, the subtle elegance of Calvin Klein is officially a major factor on the red carpet this year. First there was Emma Stone and Claire Danes at the Golden Globes, wearing sleek, chic and simple pink and coral Calvin Klein dresses, respectively.

And Oscar best actress nominee Jennifer Lawrence just strolled down the red carpet in a red, body-conscious scoop neck dress also from Calvin Klein collection and designed by Francisco Costa, looking stunning and totally understated. Not only is the dress simple, her hair is long, loose and casual and she isn’t sporting any major bling at all, just a thin gold bangle on one arm. 

It’s refreshing to see a young star stay classic and subtle rather than piling on every last sapphire or piece of silk.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 83rd annual Academy Awards. Credit: Kevork Djansezian /Getty Images.

Oscars: Pati Dubroff picks top beauty looks from past Academy Awards


When the Oscars broadcast starts Sunday, those of us at home will be treated to quite a fashion show as stars sashay down the red carpet in gorgeous gowns.

Most of them will have gorgeous hair and makeup, too. We asked celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubroff -- who is the go-to artist for some of the most recognizable beauties in town -- to name the top three Oscar looks from years past. Bonus: Click here to find out how you can recreate the look Dubroff devised for client Gwyneth Paltrow at the 2005 awards. Yes, of course, it's one of her three favorite looks of all time!

Here, in Dubroff's words, are her choices:


Gwyneth Paltrow, 77th Academy Awards (2005)
For this look, I wanted to define Gwyneth's eyes and lips yet still maintain a purity in order not to overpower the softness of the dress and her gorgeous blond hair. I chose pewter metallics for her eyes to really bring out the blue and let them shine. Lots of coats of black mascara to further enhance and frame her eyes. The lip was a lipstick the same color as her naturally rosy lip -- just amped up so she wouldn't get washed out.


Elizabeth Taylor, 26th Academy Awards (1954)
What I love about this look is that as much as it says "classic Hollywood," it also feels that it could be right now -- spunky, sassy and refined at the same time. The haircut and the defined brow speak to the strength of her character and ... [a] red lip is always perfect on the red carpet.


Halle Berry, 74th Academy Awards (2002)
I love that Halle always looks polished and never overdone. Her skin is perfectly radiant, and eyes and lips are defined yet not overpowering. The tones complement her skin and dress, yet don't distract from that perfect skin.

-- Melissa Magsaysay

Top photo: Celebrity makeup artist Pati Dubrof's demonstrates how she got Gwyneth Paltrow's look from the 2005 Oscars. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

Second photo: Gwyneth Paltrow at the 77th Academy Awards. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times

Third photo: Walt Disney displays four Oscars he won at 26th Academy Awards to actress Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, Michael Wilding, on March 25, 1954. Credit: Associated Press

Bottom photo: Halle Berry at the 74th Academy Awards. Credit: Mike Nelson / AFP/Getty Images 

Oscar nominee Michelle William's red-carpet style


Finishing off the list of stylish leading lady Oscar nominees is Michelle Williams, nominated for the best actress Oscar for her role in the film "Blue Valentine." Maybe it's the pixie haircut, or the rosy cheeks, but Williams seems to give off the look of someone both proper and dainty with dresses that tend to be on the ultra girly side. She's come a long way from her days playing Jen on "Dawson's Creek" and has traded the ripped jeans and leather jackets for refined desinger wear such as Chanel. She's always a red carpet favorite and we can't wait to see which designer she'll choose for Sunday. For a look at Williams' past red-carpet style check out a gallery here.

-- Jenn Harris

Photo: Actress Michelle Williams at a private dinner to honor her, hosted by Forevermark held at Chateau Marmont on February 24, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. Credit: John Sciulli /Getty Images for DIC.


Natalie Portman's red-carpet style

Annette Bening's red-carpet style

Nicole Kidman's red-carpet style

Jennifer Lawrence's red-carpet style

The celebrities we're most excited to see Sunday on the red carpet

Oscar nominee Natalie Portman's red-carpet style


Friday we look at Natalie Portman's red-carpet style. She's nominated for the best actress Oscar for her role in "Black Swan." If you're Portman, looking good while pregnant is an art, rather than a challenge. She makes it look effortless, rocking her baby bump in floor-length gowns and cute minis and going super glam with her accessories. The 29-year-old actress maybe be well along in her pregnancy, but judging by her recent looks on the red carpet, she'll be nothing less than fab come Sunday evening. For a look at Natalie Portman's past red-carpet style, check out a gallery here.

-- Jenn Harris

Saturday: Michelle Williams

Photo: Natalie Portman holds her Golden Globe award for best actress in a motion picture drama for her work in "Black Swan" at the Fox party after the recent ceremony. Credit: Chris Pizzello / Associated Press


Annette Bening's red-carpet style

Nicole Kidman's red-carpet style

Jennifer Lawrence's red-carpet style

The celebrities we're most excited to see Sunday on the red carpet


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