Awards season doesn't just bring out the claws in Tinseltown. Knives, needles, girdles and diamonds all become stars' best friends as they vie to make the tabloids' Best Dressed lists.
“It’s important for each celebrity to get as much publicity as possible on the red carpet,” said Shawn Ooi, owner of L.A.'s Moomba Performance Xross-Training. “And at this time of the year, that requires a number of drastic measures.”
Aside from cutting out carbs and nibbling on six small meals a day, red carpet perfection requires daily workouts that can be as long as four hours. And no Lindsay Lohan-inspired late nights out.
“First thing in the morning, my clients engage in a combination of cardio, weights and yoga,” Ooi said. “They usually start the regime about a month before the big night. While the guys can hide any flaws beneath the tux, girls usually don’t have that luxury.”
And squeezing into a Valentino doesn’t work with anything less then a concave stomach.
“The celebs eliminate sodium for a few days before to prevent bloating from water retention,” said Ooi. “And some even pop a water pill or two.”
(Water pills are diuretics that cause the kidneys to get rid of unneeded water and salt. Side effects include dehydration, cramping, extreme weakness and bruising, according to Web MD.)
But in pursuit of physical perfection, health often goes in the trash along with the empty Rodeo Drive shopping bags.
“I know a few actors who have taken steroids and dangerous drugs to prepare for the Oscars,” Ooi said. “It’s definitely not healthy.”
But a little last-minute lipo never hurts, either.
Refusing to let a touch of back fat detract from the silhouette of an expensive gown, an unnamed Oscar attendee once had Wexler perform liposuction just 10 days before of the big night.
“They couldn’t go further with the dress,” Wexler said. “The designer called and asked if I could help.”
Said Oscar attendee is not the only one to go to such extremes.
“It’s nothing for a starlet to have a little bit tucked away here, or the cheeks lifted a touch,” said California-based hair and beauty adviser Sophia Gremley. ”This year, though, it is less about the boobs and more about the butt.”
Gremley says an array of celebrities have flocked to the Hollywood Hills to boost the behind via a surgical insertion of artificial implants into the buttocks, making that drop-dead designer dress just a little more contoured.
“But it isn’t just about the outside that counts,” Gremley said. “If she wants to stop traffic, beauty starts from beneath.”
Well, beneath the silk lining and diamond necklaces, that is. Lingerie has now joined handbags, jewels and shoes as a critical accessory donated to the starlet by firms eager to boost their company's star-studded profile.
Anyone and everyone from Queen Latifah and Oprah Winfrey to Gwyneth Paltrow and Beyonce have admitted to cheating the tummy tuck, thanks to the shapewear range offered by Spanx undergarments.
“Even the slender celebs wear the high-waisted panties or the girdle for that extra 'wow' factor,” Gremley said. “They flatten the figure in all the right places so you don’t have to worry about that not-so-glamorous bulge or roll.”
Ever wondered how stars' dresses never move and cleavage never pops? Another sticky secret on the red carpet is surgical tape and stick-on cleavage cupcakes to keep everything propped and perfect.
And say goodbye to the conventional cleanser-and-scrub facials — caviar facials are making a salty splash in Tinseltown. Spa-luxe.com boasts that having your face rubbed with fish eggs targets deeper lines, loss of elasticity and dullness.
Proving that perfection comes with a hefty price tag, stars will also reap the benefits of a diamond massage in their pre-Oscar prep.
“It’s a $1.5 million remedy,” Gremley said. “Eighteen-carat diamonds are placed on energy points of the body. Diamonds have been used since ancient times for inspiration."
So not only will the radiant rub erase tension, tone the skin and rejuvenate the body, but an "intuitive adviser" is present to "bring to light" the soul of the star-studded.
And in case you were wondering, Alice Cooper eyes are still locked in the chamber of the '80s. So how do the stars get around runny mascara after a teary acceptance speech or one too many glasses of Moet?
“It’s all about eyelash extensions,” quipped Gremley.
According to Deb Svarc of Pout Cosmetics, a small amount of adhesive is used to attach individual or pairs of lashes to the base of a client’s own lashes.
The semi-permanent type last for about two or three weeks, while getting a more permanent set means longer lashes for months.
And don’t be fooled by stars' "I just came off a Caribbean cruise" complexion. The glitterati have more than just a Mystic Tan behind their J-Lo glows.
Hollywood makeup artists also use body makeup on their clients, which is often a mixture of foundation and pearlescent lotion painted on from head to toe for a flawless finish.
But Oscar attendees needn’t worry about a thing. Beverly Hills’ finest hotels are set to be saturated with suites of stylists, surgeons and servants at least a week before the big event to prime and pamper the rich and famous.
So maybe beauty can be bought after all.
“Experts generally take care to coordinate every minor detail from the leg wax to the lipstick color to the G-string,” Gremley said. “And when it comes to the awards season, there is no room for a slip-up.”
After all, this stuff is important. Stars aren’t just walking advertisements for the brands they wear, but also for themselves.
“Celebrities think sacrifice come with the job. They’re pitching their best assets — how they come across impacts what roles they’ll nab before next year’s Night of Nights.”