Getting prepped for awards season is a full-time job.
I’ve done—and will pretty much try—any treatment or product in the name of beauty (and, uh, journalism). I’ve lasered my face and body multiple times, injected fillers in the most unlikely of places, given up deodorant with the gamble that I may alienate everyone with my own scent, had my facial muscles electrocuted, and just been generally poked and prodded by the best aestheticians and doctors in the business.
And with awards season high upon us, I found myself constantly analyzing the faces of red-carpet attendees, toiling over all the work that goes into looking rested, smooth, glowy, smiley, etc. in the face of a million paparazzi lenses and on HD TV. Yeah, it’s safe to say it’s not the lowest of maintenance. Which is why it’s also very important to note that each and every one of those celebrities has a team of pros working on him/her for hours, weeks, days, even years, to ensure that not a hair is out of place when making an acceptance speech. To get just a miniature slice of what this feels like, I spent an entire day getting the red-carpet treatment—bleached, cleaned, peeled, smoothed, and exfoliated—in the hopes of getting an ultra-bright ten-tooth smile and lifted, clear skin, all with zero downtime. All I’m missing now is the $10,000 couture gown, piles of borrowed diamonds...and the Academy Awards invitation (which must have gotten lost in the mail.)
Treatment: Teeth Whitening
Professional: Dr. Marc Lowenberg, Cosmetic Dentist at Lowenberg Lituchy Kantor
Lowenberg Lituchy Kantor Clients: Heidi Klum, Cindy Crawford
Results: A pearly, white smile
Process: Teeth are painted with a 35% hydrogen peroxide bleach gel and exposed to UV light
“You get the best results from using a UV light, which accelerates the bleach, in the dental office and having custom bleaching trays made to use at home for five days afterward. At the end of the five days, that’s literally the whitest your teeth are ever going to get. That’s why this is great for the red carpet—because if you whitened your teeth one week before the awards, they would be very white.
“During awards season, between the lights on the red carpet and the makeup, it all highlights your smile, so if you don’t have good teeth it really shows. Americans put more emphasis on beauty and in particular, the smile, than other countries. It’s more common to hear ‘she has a good smile’ than ‘she has a beautiful nose.’”
Aftermath: After sitting with bleaching trays in my mouth for a few hours, I left Dr. Lowenberg’s plush office (there are A+ views of Central Park from the dentist’s chair) with instructions to avoid any foods or drinks that would stain a white blouse (aka coffee, berries, red wine), to drink out of a straw, take Advil for sensitivity, and to use the custom whitening molds they created for the next five days. Annoying? Sure, but my teeth reached bright white and my smile looked straighter and broader. I literally started smiling at strangers on the street, which isn’t exactly the most welcomed thing in New York City.
Treatment: OxyLight Facial
Professional: Edyta Jarosz, Licensed Aesthetician at Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank
Edyta Jarosz Clients: Madonna
Results: Glowing, youthful skin
Process: Utilizes LED light, oxygen, and microcurrent stimulation to lift, tighten, and clarify the facial structures
“If you want glowing skin before a big event, the OxyLight Facial combination treatment will leave you looking red-carpet-ready the next day. OxyLight integrates the most requested applications in one system, including oxygen with light therapy, microcurrent stimulation, oxygen therapy, diamond microdermabrasion, and Biosonix Ultrasound. All of these are natural complements to the way our bodies work, so it provides a solution for many skin problems—fine lines and wrinkles, acne, scars, pigmentation, enlarged pores, overall skin tightening, collagen production, and lymphatic drainage to improve circulation.
“The OxyLight treatment is such a relaxing and pampering experience. There is usually no discomfort and no recovery time is necessary, so patients can come in one or two days before the event. At home, I recommend exfoliating at least once a week, avoiding harsh granular scrubs and opting for a product containing mild glycolic and/or lactic acid. I often recommend PFrankMD Weekly Brightening Pads, which give an instant glow and are non-irritating, and the MDNA Skin Chrome Clay Mask to my patients. Skinceuticals Phyto Corrective Masque is also great to add moisture to the skin—even for the most sensitive skin types.”
Aftermath: Edyta performs this treatment on celebrities before major events and parties, so before we even started, I knew I was in amazing hands (but also had high expectations). And the treatment lived up to them completely. After looking at my reflection, I didn’t see dehydrated, dull, airplane-ravaged skin, I saw real glow—like an I-just-threw-on-highlighter kind of glow—and zero forehead wrinkles (for real). And as promised, the next day I woke up to even clearer, brighter skin. It should also be noted than while Edyta kept using the word “relaxing” to describe the treatment, I didn’t realize just how true that was...until I fell asleep on the treatment bed. Which could say something about just how tiring prepping for a red-carpet event like an A-list actress is. I kid...kind of.