There’s no question that all your favorite stars and celebs will be calling on their trusted glam squads to get red carpet ready for the 2021 Oscars, which are taking place on Sunday, April 25. While no hair will be out of place or eyeliner smudged for the A-listers’ initial close ups, all bets are off when they bid their makeup artists ado and head into the awards ceremony.
Thankfully, there’s a room backstage and a beauty mastermind, also known as Bruce Grayson, to touch up their glam and solve all the last minute crises (trust Us, there are many!) before they have to take the Oscars’ stage.
Us Weekly had the chance to chat with Grayson, who is the official Academy Awards head of beauty, about what actually goes on in the backstage glam room.
The most shocking tidbit of information we learned? Good old translucent packaging tape is the MVP of backstage beauty.
“The popularity of shimmer has gotten to the point where they put small chunks into the makeup, foundation and onto fabrics — and it transfers,” Grayson tells Stylish. “All of a sudden, you’ll see somebody with chunks of shimmer or glitter on their face. Somebody will hug somebody else and that [glitter] comes off on their face.”
The easy yet totally unexpected solution? A little bit of tape dabbed onto the face. “I carry around translucent tape and I lift off [glitter] with a stipple effect. It won’t lift off the makeup, but it’ll take down the sparkly stuff that comes off of fabric.”
And given that face masks will be a mainstay at the Oscars this year, the transfer of a little glitter here and there will be all the more likely. It’s not the only COVID-19 related beauty dilemma to contend with though.
Grayson shares that foundation rubbing off onto face masks is another makeup mishap he expects to see a lot of backstage. Thankfully, his kit is stocked with a range of concealers to fix the fading.
“You want to use a concealer that has a little more opaqueness and put it on thin. I’ve always loved the Laura Mercier Duo Secret Camouflage Concealer and the Clé de Pau Beauté Concealer, which have a little stickier texture to them.”
To make his job fixing up foundation a heck of a lot easier, Grayson has a few tips for glam squads.
First up? Go for a glowy, less-is-more look — it shows up better on camera. “When somebody uses a lot of foundation, it’ll dissipate and it’s harder to touch up … The glowy look is great for television, it works for HD and it works for practicality.”
His second piece of advice? “Less powder is best,” Grayson tells Stylish. Not only can it cause flashback or streakiness, but it also makes “mitigating mistakes” — like foundation that transferred onto a face mask — much more difficult to cover up.
Even though he’s in the business of fixing last-minute glam dilemmas (cough cough, falling false lashes), the backstage beauty room garnered a reputation of being a “sanctuary of sorts” for stars.
According to Grayson, Meryl Streep is a regular backstage. “She would much rather be with us in the privacy — we have a TV back there. She’ll often come and hang with us for most of the show and it’s just wonderful. It’s like the great spa backstage. It’s a place to relax, get your thoughts together and your head straight before you go out and present.”
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