Zoe Foster: 4 lessons from the SAG red carpet

It could be argued that one should not come up with beauty columns when one is high on coffee and mid-way through watching a red carpet procession of very beautiful women in very expensive gowns, because one’s perspective might be mildly (“violently”) skewed.

HOWEVER. No one was monitoring me when I watched the Screen Actors Guild red carpet, so I’m afraid this is exactly what has occurred.

Now. As numerous bloggers (and photographs) have already pointed out, the SAGs were rich in risk taking. I salute that. I thoroughly advocate being playful with your look – especially with hair and makeup – and as I sit here wearing dull, predictable taupe eye shadow and bronzer, it’s a good reminder to practice a bit more of what I preach. To mix it up and remember how many makeup colours and haircuts and styles are at my disposal.

Let’s take some inspiration from these red carpet rascals, already.

Jessica Chastain


Did this: Went completely tonal, with eye, lip and cheek makeup in the same colour family: bronzey-browns. Not only was this a splendid match with her auburn hair, but all of this bronzey-brown was the perfect complement to her blue gown. (Fun fact: Blue and brown are an outstanding combo, especially when it comes to blue eyes and bronzey-brown eye makeup. Although, as we can see with Miss Chastain, green eyes fare pretty well, too.)

This translates to: A very flattering and beautiful makeup look indeed. As we saw a few weeks back with C. Theron’s Golden Globes makeup in all pink, one tone, three ways can look rather lovely indeed. You can go REALLY tonal and further match your makeup colourings to your dress, which is something R. Huntington Whitley does (in caramel nudes) quite often with great effect.

The trick is to: Make sure you choose a colour family that flatters your skin tone and hair (and dress is we’re being really pedantic) before you wear it all over. Some suggestions, madam? How about peach, coral, pink, caramel, nude, taupe, bronze, berry and soft gold?


Rose Byrne

Did this: A magnificent, ‘70s, ‘Scarface’ inspired blunt bob with a full fringe. And a sparkly white jumpsuit. (It was a complete triumph, in my opinion.) Even if you can’t handle the fringe (one of the key hair trends for 2012) may a dame delicately point you in the direction of her hair colour? It is a deep, rich, healthy brown, with gentle whispers of caramel and toffee from the mid-lengths to the ends, in a modern, subtle nod to balayage.

This translates to: Fantastically healthy and shiny hair that offers warmth and light to the face thanks to the sparse but effective highlights.

The trick is to: Tell your hairdresser you want all-over colour, with verysubtle, delicate balayage (where the lighter colours are painted on, so there is no obvious start line to the highlights) around the bottom third of the hair. If you do choose to have them higher up, around the actual face, be sure to at least keep them a few inches from your scalp. (Saves on having your roots done, and avoids the old-school, “highlights” look.)



Did this: Wore her short bob (very 2012) curled glamorously. Despite her lusty, busty take Grecian-style gown, Miss Davis’ smacked of the ‘70s with those curls perched perfectly back off the face and that pretty ear candy.

This translates to: Versatility with a bob. I wrote earlier about the bob being a big trend for the year, and the ‘60s being a key influence in the shape, but a well cut bob will allow you several looks and styles, from the straight-ish, and textured, to the wildly curled as seen here, and the crumpled and wavy, ala Cameron Diaz at the Globes after-party.

The trick is to: Be sure to tell your hairdresser you want to be able to style your bob in different ways. Even though I am a tremendous fan of all-one-length bobs for those with fine hair who want to achieve some semblance of thickness, or who want to grow out horrible layers and start afresh, for flexibility, I would opt for something with ends that are slightly graduated (chopped into a bit so they’re uneven), so that you can go either straight and sleek, or curled and wavy. Important note: It very much depends on your hair type and obedience, so have a good long chat to your snip-snip before they begin.


Tilda Swinton

Did this: Radiated with a very youthful pink lipstick, fresh blush and zero eye makeup. Combined with her perfectly-ash blonde crop and white dress, she was extremely elegant, with an injection of cool.

This translates to: A fresh, playful look that is criminally youthful. AND! Even though you might not think it, really terribly wearable for all of us. I stand by my claim that bright lipstick and minimal eye makeup is one of the fastest, freshest ways to look polished.

The trick is to: Skip the mascara (or switch to brown instead of black) and ensure your skin is in great condition. Also, find your Perfect Bright Lipstick, which flatters your skin tone and makes you feel and look terrific. Cooler skin tones (you probably wear silver not gold jewellery) go for pink, blue-red or berry-based tones, and warmer skin tones (you probably wear gold not silver jewellery) look for colours that are fire-red, orange, brick, or peach based. Coolers, try NARS Funny Face, MAC Perpetual Flame or Maybelline Plum Perfect. Warmers, try Revlon in Orange Flip, L’Oreal Colour Riche Lipstick in Sandstone and Lancome Color Fever Gloss in Sunbaked Coral. (Coral, I maintain, suits all ages and skin tones, so definitely give a coral lipstick or cream gloss a whirl at some stage.)

Check out our gallery of all the beauty looks from the red carpet:

Plus our full gallery of all the frocks:

Whose red carpet look will you be copying?