USA TODAY: ‘Regular people’ made into stars

Gina Brooke, a top makeup artist who works with Madonna and Amber Heard, brings her own lights to every prep session, to mimic the HD cameras on the red carpet. “You don’t want to look shiny or nervous. You want to look flawless. HD is every makeup artist’s nightmare. You see every imperfection. One thing that’s a necessity is Chantecaille’s HD perfecting powder. What makes it so amazing is that it has a micro-fine light perfecting powder that’s undetectable on camera. You don’t see fine lines and wrinkles. If you use the wrong powder, you see it laying on the face. It will make you look older,” says Brooke.

Abergel tames Witherspoon’s hair so it never collapses during the long night, which starts with the red carpet, veers through a lengthy Oscar ceremony, and caps off with the Governor’s Ball and Vanity Fair party. He limits oil-based products to avoid limp tresses. Witherspoon, says Abergel, does not need hair fixes during the evening. “Once I’m done, I’m done. I don’t want my girls to have to think about their hair. If they worry about their hair, I haven’t done my job. I make sure prior to awards season, I get their hair very healthy, that they get their hair colored a week before. If I need extensions, I have those pieces ready. I make sure that I prep them. If I’m doing them for the Oscars, I’ve been working with them for the entire season,” he says.

A star’s teeny, glitzy clutch contains some very miniature face-saving items. “We give them a touch up kit. I will always put your lipstick and your powder. And if I really love you, I’ll put a little bit of your blush, an eyebrow brush, a lip liner and a concealer.We use long-wearing stuff for that day. The things that need the touch up are powder, blush, lipstick and lipgloss, and the eyebrow brush,” says Levin.

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