For head of makeup for the Oscars, Hollywood makeup artist Bruce Grayson, Oscar Sunday is his Super Bowl and this week is his time to shine. The backstage makeup team, which consists of 22 makeup artists, will have over 100 performers and presenters to prep and touch up. When asked about the most important item he has in his kit, Grayson laughs and says “believe it or not, it’s Scotch tape.”
“There’s nothing more useful backstage to remove a glittery and shiny fabric that comes off one woman’s dress onto another when they say hello or powder on the shoulder from a greeting,” he says. His other Oscar night must haves? Grayson gives NewBeauty a backstage exclusive peek at the essentials that made it into his makeup kit for the 95th Academy Awards.
“Nanoblur ($18) is a primer but it can be used to blur imperfections underneath makeup or it can be used over makeup to mattify. The texture is so sheer and unlike a lot of other mattifiers it doesn’t add an extra layer.”
“I always have BeautyBlenders ($20) on hand because they leave no no discernible mark when you apply either blush or foundation. Brushes are great, but you can use a sponge to help revive makeup.”
“Avène’s Thermal Spring Water ($14) is perfect for reigniting foundation with a mist, which is something I still do all the time.”
“I am still a huge fan of Maybelline’s Sky High Mascara ($13). It has such great longwear and it comes in so many different shades.”
“I’m really into cream blush right now and my go-to at the moment is the new Charlotte Tilbury Matte Beauty Blush Wand ($42) in Pink Pop and Peach Pop. Charlotte has been supportive of us and we’re using a lot of her products backstage.”
“It’s important for us to move fast, so when laying down concealer or covering up imperfections I use the MAC 195 brush ($27). It allows me to pat or lay down the product with precision but has a tapered tip to go into the creases and corners of the eyes.”
“Some men will use foundation or some will just spot conceal on areas of the face they might need some color correcting. If a guy has a great complexion, why put makeup on him? We’re going to color correct where he needs it. If we’re going to put on a full foundation, my favorite foundation for men is Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture ($79).
“You can’t get this stateside yet, but Japanese brand SuQQu makes the most beautiful foundations ($75). I carry little jars with me and you can get it at Harrods, but it’s not available here yet. This is my go-to foundation right now and it’s phenomenal.”
“I like the earthiness of the Spray di Sol Liquid Bronzer ($45) shades and you can use it on the face and body.”
“These Boscia blotting sheets ($10) are my best friends on shows like this.”
“I can’t get enough of Jack Black Lip Balm ($10). It’s not too shiny but it really hydrates. It’s got a semi matte finish. Men love it.”
“An understated subtle sheen, this MAC Black Panther Wakanda Forever Lip Glass ($14) is really beautiful, has the perfect amount of color and I love it as a topper.”
“Tweezers are a must for a big night like this. Tweezerman tweezers ($24) are always in our kits.”
“Fran Wilson Eye Tees ($4) are perfect for quick eye fixes. One side is flat so you can smudge one end underneath the eye if you use a pencil or to even out eyeshadow. The other is pointy so you can be more precise.”