Oscar Night – Toronto Star February 2007
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Oscar Night Red Carpet Primp-and Prep

By Rita Zekas

They’ve announced the Academy Award nominees. The presenters are still being vetted. They’re vacuuming the red carpet at the Kodak Theatre lest any scuff their Blahniks.

But these Oscar folk don’t just roll out of bed on Feb. 25th looking dewy-eyed and well-coiffed, with skin tight and tingly. The care and feeding – or non-feeding in the case of the stick figures styled by Rachel Zoe – in this celebrity petting zoo starts months before.

Herewith, a hypothetical walkup to the red carpet in the primp-and-prep department.

You need to fit into that slinky gown, girl. Get a rib removed, get liposuction or step up the personal training. Make sure you have your body shapers. What would Oprah do? Wear Spanx. Everybody, even the size zeros wear Spanx on the red carpet to eliminate VPL or VGL (Visible G-string line). Start shopping for the killer dress or sifting through the ensembles thrown at you.

Test drive the free Jimmy Choos and pick out a pair of flip-flops. Savvy celebs have a pair of killer stilettos for photo-ops and comfy footwear for off-camera.

Get your plastic surgery topped up. A teensy more nip here, a tiny tuck there.

Botox. It softens the lines and contours the neck and jaw line and raises the eyebrows by weakening the muscles in the jaw line.

Apparently there is a Botox clause in actors’ contracts restricting the number of Botox sessions per month to prevent rictus of the face a la Melanie Griffith when the director yells “Action!”

Treat acne breakouts with photodynamic therapy. “Topical (treatments) takes three to four months to kick in,” explains Toronto dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett. “Using the light activator, it clears up in a couple of weeks. The acne is exacerbated by all the makeup actors wear filming. They come up here and I get them to wear no makeup on weekends.”

A small amount of Restylane filler in the lips would perk up their pucker. Botox the armpits to prevent perspiration in those borrowed designer gowns.

Start a 10-day cleansing fast of hot water, cayenne pepper and lemon. It beats a colonic.Use a gentle, wave enzyme mask to help improve the texture of the skin, and get rid of fine lines and soften pigmentation.

Get a haircut and your colour done, recommends Gary Chowen of Salon Vivace on Cumberland St., who has done the hair of Oscar winners, including Cher, Vanessa Redgrave and Cloris Leachman. This allows for some growing in, colour correction or settling down of the hair.

Test-drive new makeup
Kellett recommends a round of Thermage radio frequency sound waves to tighten up skin on the face, abdomen and arms. Effects are immediate and increase for up to six months.

Now’s the time to get false lash extension in case of allergic reaction.Get a facial, so the face can calm down after extractions. Ditto eyebrow threading and body-parts waxing. Or get a chemical peel, with a pulse light broadband therapy. Redness from the peel settles down quickly.

Get a fake tan, but careful not to overdo it and resemble a carrot, like Charlize Theron did in 2004. Get time-consuming, glued in hair extensions done. Go for a diamond peel, using real diamonds, on the back of the arms, back and chest. “There is no down time. It brightens the skin and removes dead skin. You can even do it that morning,” says Kellett.

Now’s a good time for removal of skin tags with an electric needle and elimination of freckles, brown spots or tattoos in only one treatment with Q Switched Ruby Laser.

Get eight hours’ sleep. You don’t want to pull a Lindsay Lohan and pass out in the hallway during the after-party.

Get mani/pedi/hairdo and makeup done. Hair is blown out or piled high for optional clip-in extensions, hair accessories and tiaras applied.

Run through your acceptance/presenter’s speech, pop and Altoid for sustenance and hop into limo. Don’t forget the panties.

Here’s a roundup of treatment prices from dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett of DLK on Avenue.

  • Acne treatment starts at $150
  • Laser hair removal starts at $199· Mole and skin tag removal starts at $130
  • Brown spots/pigment treatment starts at $150 and varies with size and intensity
  • Scar treatment starts at $150
  • Tattoo removal starts at $150· Back acne treatment, $99
  • Injections for wrinkles, fine lines and furrows start at $150


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