This past Sunday, the world tuned in to one of the most iconic red carpets in the world to learn which A listers would be leaving home with an illustrious Academy Award. Better known as an Oscar, this golden statue, that weighs in at almost 8 pounds, marks the triumph of two things. For the winner, an Oscar marks recognition from the filmmaking world of your creative endeavors. It’s a tip of the hat from your peers saying You did the thing, we see you. For those behind the campaigns, this day as a whole marks the end of an almost 15 month long window of hard, grueling, nerve wracking work, and nail biting work. Work that goes down to the very last minute like every single step down the red carpet on Hollywood and Highland.
Now with all the love the stars get on this day I thought I would partake in some of the celebratory selfies and photos galore. After seeing the amazing response from the fans and the followers I thought I’d share my skin routine. From the pregame to the after party, here’s this publicist’s secret campaign to Oscar-ready skin.
Rally the Night Before
The night before the Oscars proper rest and hydration is key to your survival. Just like we stress to talent, get in some Zs the night before because those HD cameras show no mercy. Because I knew that I was running around all day long, I needed my skin to start at a 0 so it could make it to 100. Whether it be from stress or pollution in the air, having a clean slate is key to making sure everything you do sticks.
When it comes to cleaning and toning my skin I stick with a few products: Tatcha Pure One Step Camellia Cleansing Oil, Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, LUSH Tea Tree Water and Drunk Elephant Night Bright set (the Virgin Marula Oil and Glycolic Night Serum). These products are not only made with clean ingredients, but they do some heavy lifting. This combo of products (in that order) keeps my combo skin feeling clean and fresh!
I used to have oily skin. Part of the reason my skin cleared up was because I finally understood how my skin changed and that I had to change my routine. Those thick night creams or masks just left me feeling greasy and clogged. As someone with an oily T zone, these products help take that away without stripping the rest of my skin. Shoutout to the Tatcha oil because that baby not only melts away sunscreen and makeup but it keeps oil away. After all, if there’s already oil on your face why would your body make even more? But again, everyone’s skin is beautiful and different in its own way. Do what you love and what works for you!
Pregame With the Right Stuff
Now it’s showtime! The award show is only a few hours away. Today your job is to both be invisible and be everywhere at the same time. Because you must ensure that your focus is on your talent and team’s success, you can’t stop to do any major touch ups on yourself. I’ve found the key to my skin’s success to be in the sacred trinity of hydration, good foundation, and mindful snacking. Here’s why it works for me:
When I wake up I make sure I have ample time to get ready. No less than 2 hours is what I give myself, because I’m including the time it takes to style hair, get the outfit in order, and triple checking that from my clipboard to a pack of gum it’s all in my bag. The first thing I do when I wake up, and I cannot stress this enough, is drinking a tall glass of water. Before I put anything into my body I make sure it’s already getting liquid ice in. Not only does this start you on the right track of being hydrated, but a lot of sciencey sources say that it will boost your metabolism. All I know is that I feel good and activated when water gets into my system after hours of not having any in my sleep.
Your skin is a reflection of what you put into your body. Remember you are what you eat, so on a day like the Oscars you want to look and feel great. That’s why I drink a true green smoothie. Now what do I mean by “true?” I mean that I don’t just toss in 3 spinach leaves and then load berries, 2 bananas, and a boat-load of fruits into the blender. My recipe includes a handful of kale, spinach, ½ banana, ⅓ apple, 1 scoop of vegan protein, and about 4oz of unsweetened almond milk. My friend Eliza introduced me to an amazing vegan friendly green powder that contains all your daily greens. Whether you make this smoothie or not try a scoop of that in your mix and trust me you’re gonna love how you feel!
While I don’t typically eat a meal before an awards show I do recommend carrying snacks. I’m not vegan, trust me I cannot live without a good Mendocino farms Asian chicken salad, but I do stick to vegan protein on days like these. Part of how I keep my skin calm is by avoiding sugars and salts. The day of award shows there always seems to be candy jars, salted nuts, or granola bars around. It’s important to fuel your body yes but also fuel it with the good stuff. Now if you need some M&Ms to function I totally understand (whether because of blood sugar or whatever you need, you do what you need)! But through avoiding excessive sugars in fruit bars or salt in nut mixes, I noticed that my skin didn’t suffer redness or any inflammation.
Let’s Get Down to Business
Now that I’m hydrated and I got my smoothie by my side, of course with a stainless steel straw, here’s where the magic happens. No filter necessary because your skin won’t need one! Here’s what I use to get my face photo ready the same LUSH toner from before, Drunk Elephant’s vitamin C serum, LUSH enzymion moisturizer, and lastly a cocktail of the IT Concealer CC+ Cream Oil-Free Matte (in the shade of light medium) and a pump of the Drunk Elephant marula oil. Yes that same marula oil from the night mask makes a triumphant return as a key player in my morning routine. Here’s how it all comes together:
When my skin was like a battering frying pan of grease and gunk I made sure to wash my face every morning. After discovering that I had combo skin I stuck to simply rinsing my face with some water. After patting it dry, yes patting not scrubbing, it’s time to start putting on my war paint.
The first move to make is a few spritz of the LUSH tea tree toner. This stuff is like magic in a bottle because after it goes on I feel an instant rush of coolness and hydration. Through the good, bad, and ugly selfies that the world will never see, this stuff always gave me a small bit of hope. While my toner dries I move on to my vitamin C serum. I have no idea why this stuff works, but trust me when I say this step will save your life. The Drunk Elephant C-Firma serum seriously will make your face glow. You’ll also feel good because all those antioxidant goodies in just 1 pump will protect your skin from all the pollution in the air around you. I find that with all the good stuff going into your body it’s only right that the outside is just as protected too.
At first your skin might feel a little tacky with this serum, just give it a minute. During the drying phase of the serum is when I usually start to both section my hair and start the blow drying process. How do I get my Hollywood ready hair you might ask? Well - it’s all brought to you by Drybar but that’s a post for another day (let me know if you want it tbh!). I just put on about a dime amount of the LUSH moisturizer. The Enzymion moisturizer is great for those who have oiler skin and want a matte finish. When I discovered this baby almost 6 years ago I rotated in and out. If you pat on your skin and feel its dry then it’s time to whip up that creamy cocktail of concealer and marula oil. The brilliant mind behind mixing the concealer and oil goes to a Sephora associate who truly saved my life. She really listened to me and knew that I wanted full coverage without any sliver of shine peeking through. It takes me about 2 pumps to cover my face and just 1 of the oil to get the job done. Not only will you have that oh so amazing airbrushed look, but the oil ensures that your body doesn’t make any more! Science!
I'm no esthetician, beautician, or any expert in any kind of way when it comes to skin. All I can speak to is my experience from trial and error. I cannot stress it enough that what works for me might not work for you. Part of why I'm writing this is hopefully inspire you and excite you to go over your own routine and see what you can do to make yourself look and feel good. Thanks again to everyone who showed my selfie some love and took the time to indulge in this piece. To the fans and friends let's get it!
Author William Samayoa
Marketer by profession and storyteller by passion. L.A. raised, proud Latino, and pop culture enthusiast.