The second I found out the news that I was lucky enough to be going to the 2016 Academy Awards, I suddenly started thinking about all the prep work that would be involved: working out to look good in a dress, taking care of my skin, mani-pedis, body treatments, spray tans--the list of preparatory treatments that the stars do to look flawless on the carpet is endless. It takes months of commitment. So I subjected myself to three weeks of prep (because that's much notice I had), trying out everything from star's favorite workouts to individual lash extensions. In the end, I was exhausted (but hey, it's not easy to attempt to look flawless). Read on to see what I learned from prepping for the red carpet like a star.
1. Tone from Head to Toe
Treatment: A Month of Working Out With Fitness Expert Tracy Anderson
The Scoop: You know you're in good hands when J.Lo and Gwyneth Paltrow are happy clients, and such is the case with Tracy Anderson. I committed to her New York studio for three solid weeks of daily training to get my body in shape for my gown. "People come to me when they want an exercise program that’s a lifestyle rather than a trend, they want consistent and ever-evolving results, and they want to feel strong, lean, and like they are the best version of themselves," Anderson says of why her program continues to be so popular, not just with celebrities but with women all over the country. "My life's work is about creating balance where there is imbalance in women's bodies. It is about empowering women to shine their individuality as bright and unique as possible. To do that requires making sure that their physical self is aligned with their intellectual and emotional selves." Sold. After commiting myself to a regime and losing myself in muscle sculpting and dance cardio classes, I felt not only physically rejuvenated, but mentally clear, and relieved of a lot of anxiety and stress that was weighing on me from a busy couple of months at work. So, when I see J.Lo tomorrow on the carpet, I fully intend to challenge her to a Tracy Anderson Method leg lift challenge. Kidding, kidding.
2. The Ultimate Smile Enhancer
Treatment: Teeth Whitening
The Scoop: One of the first thing stars do to prep for a carpet is make sure their pearly whites are just that. So I headed to dentist-to-the-stars Dr. Marc Lowenberg and his team of highly skilled whitening pros for an in-office whitening sess. After spending 45 minutes with a huge plastic contraption in my jaw and whitening solution on my teeth, I left with the most beautiful new smile, one that coffee and red wine had definitely dulled in the past couple of years. I also went home with custom molds made for my upper and lower teeth to perfect the whitening process for another week. Cool fact of the day: This year's own Academy Awards host Chris Rock counts on Lowenberg to keep his megawatt smile up to par. Enough said.
3. Glow from the Inside Out
Treatment: Sakara Food Delivery Service
The Scoop: Beauty starts from within, which is why I turned to Sakara Life's brilliantly clean food delivery program the second I found out I'd be attending the awards show. Truth be told, I am a frequent Sakara customer. I order it regularly. Why? Because I feel amazing eating clean, whole, vegan food that tastes far from sacraficial. It tastes like a privilege instead of a punishment, like so many other diet programs out there. But then again I don't think of Sakara as a diet program. I think of it as nourishing my body. Sure it's delicious, but it's also crazy convenient--another reason I can't live without it. My hectic week left little time for healthy eating, but this three-meal a day delivery showed up conveniently on my doorstep the night beforehand, leaving me no choice but to sit back, relax, and enjoy every morsel sans any work whatsoever. When it came time to do a final fitting for my Oscar gown, I felt amazing, confident, and like I had a newfound glow. After all, if Kate Hudson fuels her rocking bod with Sakara, count me in.
4. A Flawless Face
Treatment: The BRP Facial from Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank and the Oxylight Facial from Edyta Jarosz
The Scoop: On the red carpet at the Oscars, glowing skin abounds (hey, those HD cameras don't lie), so it's no wonder the stars up the facial ante before the big day. I paid a visit to the one and only Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank, Founder and Director of Fifth Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center, and all-around expert of achieving skin perfection. Two weeks before showtime, Dr. Frank performed a 30-minute BRP Medical Facial on my skin to build, repair, and polish all layers of the skin. "You'll be glowing by Monday," he told me with a very convincing smile that previous Wednesday. Sure enough, come Monday morning I felt like years of damage were erased. But I wasn't done, and I was excited about it. Next, Dr. Frank turned me over to aesthetician Edyta Jarosz, who, NBD, who was bequeathed with the task of polishing Sofia Vergara's flawless face into perfection for her wedding day. After an hour-long Oxylight facial (during which she told me that upside down I look like the spitting image of Kate Hudson, ohhh how I love this woman), I couldn't believe what my skin looked like. It was more radiant than I had ever seen it and the treatment was so enjoyable I fell asleep halfway through, which is the first time that has ever happened to me. And I'm officially in love. Bring on the cameras.
5. Mani-Cam Worthy
Treatment: Gel manicure at Paintbox
Celeb Clients: Zosia Mamet
The Scoop: I got a dress pretty last minute (more on that in a later story), so I had to choose a nail color before I knew what I was going to wear. I headed to uber-popular Manhattan manicure spot Paintbox, where upon arrival you're handed a glass of champagne and a mani menu, where you choose from a ton of signature and custom manicure options that are all so #Insta worthy that they also have an Instagram camera booth set up right inside. I wanted something fun (it's the Oscars, after all!), but something that would go with any dress I chose, so I went with this disco-inspired gold gel manicure. I got it a week before I left New York, and when I arrived in LA for the show it looked just as glam as it did day one. Mani cam or not my digits are ready to get this party started.
6. Eye Candy
Treatment: Lash extensions at Courtney Akai
The Scoop: Truth be told I already have decently long lashes, but for the sake of fully prepping for awards season like a celeb, I subjected myself to even fuller lashes from one of the most talented babes in the biz. Enter Courtney Akai and her adorable Soho lash studio. Akai spent 2+ hours painstakingly applying extensions to each individual lash while we chatted up a storm (two of the most fun hours of my life, I have to say), and voila--just like that she handed me a mirror and my tired eyes suddenly looked like they were ready for a night on the town. The best part? I wake up every morning ready to walk out the door--or right to a red carpet, no smudgy mascara required.