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Oscars Beauty Insights from the Show's Makeup Artist

Courtesy of Bruce Grayson

When it comes to the Oscars, trying to predict what the stars will wear (hi, Rooney Mara and Michelle Williams) is way more fun than trying to forecast their makeup. Even for the beauty-obsessed, I'd imagine. Actually, I know, because I sat down with the Academy Awards' makeup department head, Bruce Grayson, and he confirmed it.

If Oscars beauty isn't the most exciting, avant-garde thing, it's because "actresses want to look imperfect, to look accessible" when they're on such a widely-watched red carpet, says Bruce. It's their opportunity to seem relatable in front of a giant audience. So daring, artsy makeup—like the electric blue eyeshadow from Prabal Gurung's fashion show or the painted-on bronzer at Rodarte—is out. (Instead, "the Grammys are where people really take risks,” he says.)

But we’re not sure that’s a bad thing. We’re all into crazy nail art and creative beauty treatments and products, but we appreciate a classic makeup look, too. And more than that, we can really get behind what Bruce calls the cornerstone of all Oscars makeup looks: good skincare.

In the age of high definition television, when viewers can pretty much count the pores on their screens, following a solid skincare routine is necessary. Bruce suggests starting an organized regimen "three to four weeks in advance, minimum," and recommends Olay Regenerist Wrinkle Revolution Complex as a twice daily part of that. (I've been using it since I met him last week, and I love its moisturizing but firming duality.)

"If her skin is in good shape, it'll show, always," he says. Which makes sense. (Here's hoping the nominees have been prepping since the Golden Globes.)

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