I went to a big red carpet ceremony (“The Logies”) on Sunday, and Mia and I thought it would be fun for me to self-indulgently outline the timeline of the prep, because you are off your tree if you think it’s a matter of choosing a dress from your cupboard and getting a blow dry. And I’m ONLY A PLUS ONE! (A vain one, but still.) Can’t imagine what actual female TV stars go through.
Disclaimer: Unlike Gwyneth Paltrow I did not get ready for my event with Cameron Diaz, but only because she insisted on staying at Formule 1.
Two months out: Find a dress.
General panic about what to wear begins the moment the date is announced. As I do not have a stylist, because I am an author not a TV dame, and that would be ludicrous, I find my dress myself. Last year I bought a vintage gown from Hello Dolly in Surry Hills but this year wonderful Australian designer Rachel Gilbert said she would like to dress me. This was terrific news to me as I always have trouble with my zips. Then I realised it wasn’t literal, and what she meant was she’d like to loan me a gown. I go to the showroom and try some on from her new collection. I choose a flapper-esque white beaded strapless number that stops above my knee. Very on trend, I think. Clever me.
One month out: Change mind about dress.
Remember long is the way to go for black tie. I go back to RG HQ and find ‘Audrey’, which is black and beaded and elegant and so pretty. It’s very long and cannot be shortened, but I know a good surgeon who can lengthen legs. Luckily a friend loans me her towering Christian Louboutins so I don’t need to go under the knife. “You’re strapped in, so you won’t fall,” she says optimistically.
Two weeks out: Get beauty stuff booked.
Get skin in shape. (I wrote about this on Friday.) Book hair, spray tan, and makeup artist. May I recommend Onyx in South Yarra for spray tanning? And Danni from Xiang hair for updos? (Brides, she does beautiful, modern wedding hair!) And going to counter for your makeup? (I went for Napoleon, but also recommend Bobbi Brown, MAC and shu uemura.)
A week out: Organise jewellery
Cerrone kindly offer to adorn my ears and wrists in their magnificent jewels. I head into their city store and have my first ever Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman moment. (More to do with fancy shopping, and less to do with prostitution and PVC.) I choose some extremely elegant drop diamond earrings and a bracelet that is tiny and breathtaking. “Watch the clasp on that one,” the lovely woman helping me says without a hint of jokeiness.) When I read how much these small, precious items are worth and sign a form saying I am accountable for their full price unless they are returned in the exact condition as they left the store, days of full-blown paranoia sets in.
One day out: Tan, nails, facial.
Opt for OPI Black Onyx on nails to keep a very classic dress modern. (Red would be too predictable. Nude too dull.) I opt for two VERY light coats of spray tan (St Tropez because it is green-based and I feel, looks more natural) because last time I went to the races and had two coats (from another brand) I looked dirty, muddy and orange in all of the photos. Not the greatest advertisement for someone who purportedly knows about beauty and lectures women on it constantly. I ask for some contouring on my collarbones and arms to cheat looking toned and buff and like I know what a kettlebell is. This is where the spray tanner uses the spray gun like a makeup brush, adding definition and the appearance of a sculpted bod. (I learned this trick from Kelly Rowland. No shit!)
11.30 on Logies day: Pop some honey on lips and do a (SK-II) cloth mask to boost facial glow before makeup. Look a little bit like a well-known (fictional) serial killer. Terrify fiancé.
12:30 on Logies day: Danni from Xiang hair arrives to do my hair. I have sent her a few references of updos (Diane Kruger, Zoe Saldana) and then change my mind eight times as she commences work. Updos terrify me. They can look so wrong, so fast. I ask for a classic, low chignon with a slightly scruffy texture/finish. I am fascinated as she SEWS my chignon into place. This means no pins and a flawless, natural weave of hair. I ask her three times to re-do my fringe and we settle on the one she politely suggested in the first place. She finishes at 2ish and I walk around like a Thunderbird in order to keep it all in place.
3pm on Logies day: Nicola from Napoleon Perdis arrives and does my toplashline heavy makeup. She uses three sets of falsies! Impressive. We do nude and gleaming skin and lips (using some perfectly peachy-almondy-nude lipstick and gloss from NP’s excellent new Nude Bar range), as per my reference (always have a reference for what you want, crumpets – makes everything so much quicker and easier for everyone) from Louis Vuitton’s S/S 12 runway show.
4pm on Logies day: Hame and Andy arrive to the room looking spectacular, ready to go down to the Channel 9 room before heading onto the red carpet for their first interview at 4:15. They are expecting to find me sitting elegantly sipping champagne and laughing gaily as Nicola says farewell. I am in a dressing gown with lips and more lashes still to go. This is my fault: I am a MORON for not getting dressed/shoe-d/fragranced before Nicola arrived. I panic and start being a real pain in the ass for Nicola, trying to tie up my shoes as she is concealing and, texting as she is blending eyeliner. I take out my Invisalign and make mental note to put back in the SECOND I am back in room…. Almost ten hours later. Pray dentist doesn’t read this.
4:20 on Logies day: I tear out of the room at Olympic pace with only my gloss. (NP Luminous Lip Veil in Pretty in Peach.) I make it down just in the nick of time!!! To be ten minutes early for the pushed-back red carpet start.
4:25 on Logies day: I jam my gloss into Hame’s pocket, give him a kiss and assure him the Gold Logie is his. As I hacked into the TV Week voting system, I know this to be fact, and we have a very pleasant evening. The end.
Fun extra bit: We sat with Seal and Delta and Kate Richie. I think Kate looked the best she has ever, ever looked. Delta is astoundingly pretty. I kept staring at her nose and cheeks and smile and perfect everything. Bowl me over and call me Blanchie, but I feel her and Jennifer Hawkins are not too dissimilar looking these days. Seal was friendly but a bit distracted with Twitter, as his new TV show The Voice had just gone to air. I’m no dumdum. I recorded it.
Zoe is an author, columnist and porridge fan. Her books include the beauty bible Amazing Face, dating and relationship guide Textbook Romance, and three novels, Air Kisses, Playing The Field and The Younger Man. Find more info on her here, or supervise on her daily procrastination here and here.
Please understand that Zoë cannot respond to ALL your questions – but never fear, there are readers that are bound to know the answers, so don’t be afraid to ask.