By Marianne Mychaskiw
Updated Feb 28, 2016 @ 9:15 pm
Oscars 2016 Arrivals - Jennifer Garner
Credit: Lester Cohen/WireImage

When Jennifer Garner and her hairstylist Ben Skervin were prepping for tonight's Academy Awards, the duo looked to Grace Kelly as their muse to inspire her low bun. "She's wearing a black Versace dress with one strap on her shoulder, and it's quite a structured and architectural look, so I wanted to do something that was very modern, but still an ode to Old Hollywood," he tells InStyle. "Initially, we thought of doing a very glamorous Grace Kelly waves—she had a picture of her standing on a staircase—but when she put the dress on, we thought to go with a textured updo, which was kind of like a modern ode to Grace Kelly."

Skervin began with wet hair, working a mixture of Frederic Fekkai's Blowout Primer ($20; and the Full Blown Volume Styling Whip ($21; from root to tip, then blow dried both products in using a round brush. After misting a light layer of Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray ($20; over individual sections, he started winding sections around a one-inch curling iron to form a subtle wave. "I wrapped each section around, but didn't completely clip it off to create a suggestion of a wave," he explains. "I wind them mostly in the same direction, but once I reach the right side of the head, I curl away from the face so that it matches the opposite side."

He followed by brushing out the waves, and gave her roots a blast of Fekkai Dry Shampoo ($8; before backcombing the entire head to form a solid foundation. "This gave it a little structure and height, because I didn't want it too flat to the head," Skervin says. Once he gathered her hair into a ponytail, he wound an elastic bungee around it to hold the shape in place. Skervin backcombed the ponytail, and used his hands to wrap the lengths around its base and form a bun. With V-shaped hair pins, he anchored the bun into place.

Just before she left for the carpet, Skervin applied a final layer of Fekkai Sheer Hold Hairspray for added insurance. "It was a very relaxed, chill vibe while we were getting ready, and we were just listening to music and chatting," Skervin tells us. "It's such a big night, so we were having fun—it was kind of like we were her friends getting ready to send her off to prom!"