The Academy Awards is filled with actresses who look like a million bucks. But in truth, the star might actually be worth more than a million bucks, and pay almost nothing at all.
Let’s start with the ladies' designer duds.
One requires -- requires -- a stylist to coordinate their outfit, and top-notch stylists can typically cost up to six thousand dollars per day. The designer gown can be worth upwards of $15 grand, and on top that, $1,000 or so bucks worth of intricate tailoring/seamstress work is often need for the perfect fit. Then there’s the (insert-couture-brand-name here) clutch and shoes which are likely to each be worth a few hundred if not a few thousand each, and the embellishment of jewels.
An Oscar-worthy actress will typically don diamonds, gold, rubies, sapphires and emeralds worth between five hundred thousand to a million dollars.
But most of time, these goodies disappear in a POOF! the next day like Cinderella's coach.
“The celebrity returns their dress, shoes, jewels and handbag,” style expert Lindsay Albanese explained. “Celebrities usually don’t pay anything out-of-pocket for their outfit, unless it’s a pair of shoes or something they are dying to keep.”
Now let's move to hair and face.
“The makeup and hair stylist will each receive $1,500 to $4,000 for their contributions,” said Emmy Award-winning stylist and author, David Zyla. “And think about the expenses incurred 24 hours prior – tanning, waxing, teeth whitening, getting a haircut and color, mani/pedi and a facial.”
But that’s not where all the “little” expenses end. There’s the hotel suites for dress changing, transportation services, as well as brow shaping and lash extensions.
“You cannot overlook even the slightest detail when it comes to Oscar night. You can’t forget nails, massage, nanny, underwear, the perfect push-up bra, and ‘Spanx’ to suck you in so you look your slimmest,” celebrity life and business strategist Suzannah Galland explained. “Also be sure to order flowers to your home to feel good about yourself and in case you have people over after the show, and make sure you have plenty of breath mints in your purse. There’s a lot the public won’t see.”
That includes the intense process many stars undergo weeks prior in an effort to whittle their middle – meal delivery services or private chefs and nutritionists are often brought in, in addition to a personal trainer.
“You won’t see many A-listers down at the local gym. I hear trainers-to-the-stars won’t show up for a session for less than $300 a session,” Catt Sadler of E! News told us.
A large portion of the glitterati even turn to scalpels and sponges in an effort to look their best. Dr. Tony Nakhla, a high-end Beverly Hills dermatologist, said the cosmetic concierge services he provides to talent in the days prior can run up to $30,000! His consultation fee alone is $7,000.
His most common beautifying services?
“Filler injections in the lips, for cheek bone augmentation, overall facial re-volumizing and hand rejuvenation,” Nakhla said. “The vast majority also undergo a combination of all three, individually tailored to their needs.”
Dermatologist Dr. Glenn Kolansky said that Oscar ladies will often get Botox or Dysport to keep their foreheads free from creases, and maybe laser resurfacing or chemical peels, costing in the high hundreds. Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Tony Youn also says Botox in the armpits is key to stop one from sweating (this will put the star about $1,000 dollars out-of-pocket). Liposonix, at $3,000 per treatment, may also be needed to blast away fat cells without surgery.
And while its commonly assumed that celebrities get all their “work” done for free by surgeons and dermatologists, Nakhla stressed that none of his services are complimentary.
So who pays for the all primping, priming, personal services and glamour gurus?
“The studio usually pays for all of this,” said Hollywood publicist Jack Ketsoyan, who also reminded us that the Oscar budget needs to cater to those who don’t live in Hollywood. “If it’s a big star they’ll hire their own private security, and they’ll use a private jet to get to L.A.... And they’ll need five star accommodation. Not to mention flying in family and friends from out-of-state."
So what's the damage at the end of the day?
On Oscar night, your "average" star has consumed about $75,000 worth of goods and services, not including any extraneous costs like private jets and bringing guests to the ball. Your over the top triple A-list lady? Over $1 million.
How much do they pay out of their own pocket?
About $2,000 for beauty treatments and a further $5,000 for services in the weeks prior... so, about $7,000. The rest is on the studio's tab, is loaned/borrowed, or is gifted/donated from the provider who wants a brush with star power.
But, as Ketsoyan notes, "you can’t put a value on the Oscars. It’s the biggest night in the world.”