Style + Beauty

Red Carpet Makeup: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Celebrity makeup artist Charles Douglas tells all!


From expensive wardrobe choices to costly hair extensions, prepping an A-lister for a red carpet event is not cheap — makeup alone can cost up to $7,000 a day. We sat down with Charles Douglas, co-owner of Rouge Makeup Studio in New York City, to talk about what it really takes to look flawless on the red carpet (and to dish on some recent makeup disasters)!

So what are some of the most important factors in getting a celebrity made up? Douglas, whose clients have included Brooke Shields and Rose McGowan, says that longevity is key when it comes to makeup. It needs to last as long as possible, as many celebs are not only photographed during an event, but also before (the red carpet arrivals) and after (the fabulous parties). One trick that he uses is to apply a cream-based product first, and then a layer of powder-based product over it.

Another celebrity makeup must-have is the "wow factor." According to Douglas, a great way to achieve this is by using fake lashes, which he says are very common amongst our favorite A-listers. When applying lashes at home, Douglas suggests buying strip lashes, which are easier to apply than individuals. He says that you should definitely cut them to the length of your eye before applying.

As for the disasters, Douglas says that a common makeup technique is to apply a "catch" before applying eye shadow. This is done after you've applied and perfected your foundation. A thin layer of translucent powder is then applied directly under the eyes to catch any particles that may fall off the brush when applying shadow (especially with a smoky eye look). The "catch" is then wiped away before the celebrity hits the red carpet. However, there have been instances when the "catch" hasn't been wiped off completely, leaving the A-lister with a face full of unsightly powder. Click on the video above to see Douglas dish on who was caught white-faced!