Some like summer, others prefer fall. But our favorite season is actually awards show. Whether we’re fawning over the best celebrity makeup, our favorite hairstyles of all time or even just the commercials, we can’t get enough. To take us through everything Oscars, we reached out to celebrity makeup artist Matthew VanLeeuwen—aka the man responsible for Idina Menzel’s show-stopping look tonight—for an insider’s look at the glitz, glam and what we can expect to see tonight.
NewBeauty: What products or tools do you always keep stashed in your Academy Awards kit?
Matthew VanLeeuwen: This year in my Academy Awards kit, I’ll have two of my new favorite products: No7 Protect & Perfect Advanced All in One Foundation ($15.99) and No7 The Full 360 Mascara ($9.99).
For the base of the look, I’ll use the No7 Protect & Perfect ADVANCED All in One Foundation because of its buildable coverage, which blurs fine lines. And to complete Idina Menzel’s bold eye look, I’ll use the No7 The Full 360 Mascara for the ultimate lash volume and length to really make the look pop on the red carpet and during her performance.
Other kit items I’ll be sure to include will be colorful disposable mascara wands, as well as, an epic array lip balms. I also make it a point to have double stick tape, Shout wipes and a Tide stain stick pen, just in case!
NB: Do you keep anything surprising? I read that Bruce Grayson keeps styptic powder and liquid bandage for cuts, a minimum of six different types of eyedrops and everything under the sun for breath (mints, sprays AND strips).
MV: I also make it a point to have double stick tape, Shout! wipes and a Tide stain stick pen just in case!
NB: For this year’s Academy Awards, you’re scheduled to work with Idina Menzel, who often sports a warm smoky eye and soft pink lip. What can we look forward to this year?
MV: Idina Menzel is definitely a big fan of a smokey eye and soft lip! This year we will definitely be honoring that tradition with a fresh take on the look, but keep your eye out of a surprise twist.
NB: How do you decide which makeup look to go with for an awards show when there are so many moving parts? You essentially have to come up with a look that works with the outfit, the accessories, the hair, the celebrity’s face, their preferences, the on-camera presence…
MV: A lot goes into deciding on a look for such a big event. This year Idina is performing, so there is a wardrobe change involved in the logistics. We decided on the dresses and then discussed hair and makeup and came up with looks and a plan that flows with the evening.
NB: How much stress occurs the day of the awards show? What do you do, if anything, to keep calm?
MV: Oscar day is a really stressful day, so I find it best to be as prepared as possible ahead of time. It’s all about planning. I basically deconstruct and streamline my kit, so I’m as light as possible and I try to give myself extra time in between clients.
NB: What trends do you predict for this year’s Academy Awards?
MV: This year, I think we’ll break from the rules and see strong eyes with colorful lips, color washed blush, and lots of well-placed sparkle and glitter.
NB: What’s been your all-time favorite Academy Awards look and why?
MV: My all-time favorite Oscar look was Audrey Hepburn in 1957 for Roman Holiday. The straight browns, eyeliner, up do, straight bangs and her amazing Givenchy dress is my ultimate fave! It’s very natural and very eye catching!
NB: You’re the master of the effortless girl-next-door-but-with-an-edge look. What is your biggest tip to achieve this look at home?
MV: My biggest tip to creating that girl next door look is to play up the eyes and wear a lip shade slightly lighter than your natural lip color.
Find a Doctor
Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you