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Oscars 2012: How stars like Octavia Spencer get ready

February 25, 2012 |  7:02 am

Viola Davis, Emma Stone, Octavia Spencer
Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer have all looked flawless on red carpets this awards season and doubtless they will pull out all the stops for Sunday's Academy Awards.

Anticipation for the Oscar red carpet seems higher than ever this year. The E! network plans to start its coverage at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, hours before a star even arrives, just to speculate on what people might be wearing. 

In certain circles, the Oscars red carpet generates more buzz than the awards ceremony itself. That two-hour window when stars stroll, preen and gush often showcases the results of hours and hours of prepping by a team of experts tasked with readying their client to face a sea of photographers and impromptu interviews — to say nothing of the worldwide TV audience and the crush of off-camera media in critique mode.

For an event as big as this one, that team often includes a fashion stylist, tailor, hair dresser and makeup artist. Their work may have begun months ago, starting with the stylist combing through images from designer collections online or jetting to New York or European ateliers to lend input to custom creations.

In this week's Image section,  take a look at some of the people -- including Octavia Spencer's stylists and Gwyneth Paltrow's go-to makeup artist --  whose work will be on display Sunday as stars glide down the red carpet or appear at parties.


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-- Melissa Magsaysay

Photo: From left, Viola Davis, Emma Stone and Octavia Spencer at this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards. Credit: Mark J. Terry / Associated Press