A-lister for the day: My BAFTAs makeover
I often wonder what a Hollywood makeover really entails. Is it fun? Exhausting? Would I really end up looking like a movie star?
I was about to find out. To celebrate the prestigious BAFTA awards ceremony which takes place on Sunday evening, I made my way to the lavish Savoy hotel with a colleague to receive the full red carpet treatment from none other than the official BAFTA styling team.
Once we step in to the decadent Royal Suite of the iconic hotel – that the Beckhams are known to be fond of, FYI – and are shown exactly what the creative teams have in store for us, I realise this is going to take a lot longer than the hour and a half we had anticipated.
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First, I'm whisked into an opulent boudoir, where one of luxury beauty brand Lancome's top make-up artists, Jaysam Barbosa, is to work his magic on my face. After a brief consultation to work out the colours that suit me (neutral eyes and pink lips, apparently), he begins.
A-listers are usually exhausted when they arrive in London from the BAFTAs, suffering from jetlag after a flight from LA and sporting dark circles under their eyes.
While I didn't have jetlag, I did, however, have dark circles nevertheless, a result of my refusal to sleep before 1 o'clock in the morning. So Jaysam let me in on a celeb make-up trick – the 'triangle of light'. Using Eclat Miracle, he drew a triangle from each end of the eye that finished in a point on the eye socket and filled it in.
Moisturiser, two types of foundation, concealer, bronzer, blusher, three eyeshadows, eyeliner, three licks of mascara and forty minutes later, I am given a mirror to survey the results.
The difference is quite remarkable – my tired, dull appearance has been transformed and I am glowing, contoured, and desperately needing hair to match.
So, with a quick break for a glass of champagne – oh, this is the life – I am taken to the nicest bathroom I have ever seen in my life, where celebrity coiffeur Charles Worthington, no less, is ready and waiting, in his makeshift salon, to tackle my barnet.
Now, I have spent countless hours of my life trying to braid my own hair, à la Sienna Miller and the Olsen twins, to absolutely no avail. So, this is my chance; I request the halo – a super pretty braid that frames the face.
While we chat about our mutual love of reality television shows – we totally bond over The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills – the hair maestro expertly teases and twists my hair into the plait, with a tousled updo finishing the look.
From the neck up, I am red carpet ready. But something tells me my go-to grey jumper and jeans ensemble is holding me back. With this in mind, I make my way to another sumptuous boudoir, where Daniel Wingate, the design director of Escada, is waiting to dress me in something long, expensive and oh-so-pretty.
I am presented with a long rack of stunning couture gowns screaming out to grace a red carpet. But I barely need to flick through – I spot a long, scarlet backless gown that I recently saw Poppy Delevingne wearing and I'm sold.
Daniel agrees with my choice, telling me that it will suit my blonde hair and an assistant takes me to (another) bathroom as I slip the gorgeous gown on.
After being given a towering pair of heels to wear – my trusty biker boots really don't go – I emerge from the bathroom feeling slightly wobbly but ever so glamorous. The makeover, however, isn't quite complete as I am, of course, diamondless.
So luxury jeweller Asprey is my final stop. I peruse the gorgeous, sparkling creations before setting my sights on a very, very expensive ring and matching earrings that I think will go perfectly with my simple gown.
Looking more glamorous than I ever have – and probably ever will – in my life, I am handed a BAFTA (they are really, really heavy) to strike my very best red carpet pose with my equally glammed-up colleague, who I strongly suspect is struggling to recognise me.
Photos taken, the Escada assistants firmly tell me that yes, I do have to take the dress off, and my earrings and ring are also swiftly removed.
So what did I make of my A-list makeover? Well, it's certainly a long process; it took almost three hours to get me red carpet ready. But it was oh-so-fun. Please can I do it again?
Report: Alexandra Light
Lancôme is the official beauty & make up partner. To celebrate their partnership, Lancôme is launching a Limited Edition Blush Subtil, £27.00, sold exclusively in Selfridges.