Fashion aficionados and fans alike look to the Oscars red carpet every year to see which of Hollywood’s stars will take bold style risks. As usual, Janelle Monáe strutted onto the red carpet at the Dolby Theater on Sunday evening (Feb. 9) looking larger than life.
Her long-sleeved silver gown, designed by Ralph Lauren, had a full-length skirt, back cutout, and a hood. Covered in 168,000 Swarovski crystals, the dress reportedly took more than 600 hours to make, according to People. Though her dress was one of the brightest on the carpet, her hair and makeup shined as well.
Monáe’s makeup was very skin-focused, starting with the prep. Her makeup artist, Jessica Smalls, started by cleansing the star’s skin with Koh Gen Doh’s (KGD) Oriental Plants Facial Wash and used the Dermaflash Luxe to exfoliate and remove any peach fuzz from Monáe’s face. Smalls then used KGD’s Cleansing Spa Water to wipe the face, then moisturized with the brand’s Moisture Spa Gel.
For the singer’s eyebrows, Smalls used the Hourglass Arch Brow Micro-Sculpting Pencil to fill them in, then locked them in place with Soap Brows. She used Natasha Denona Biba All Neutral Eyeshadow Palette to define the crease and even out the eyelid’s skin tone, then used Urban Decay’s Heavy Metal Glitter Liner over a black liquid liner “for a shiny pop,” and lined Monáe’s waterline with the Sephora Collection 12-Hour Colorful Contour Eyeliner in Black Lace. To finish off the eyes, Smalls applied the Lashify Bold Gossamer Lashes in a criss-cross arrangement to create a wispy effect.
On Monáe’s skin, Smalls mixed two shades of the KGD Maifanshi Moisture Foundation for an airbrushed effect. The performer’s skin was lightly contoured and highlighted with concealer and bronzer to create dimension. Smalls then used Charlotte Tilbury’s Cheek to Chic Blush in “Love Is the Drug” on the apples of Monáe’s cheeks and swept up to her cheekbones, then was finished with Charlotte Tilbury’s Glowgasm Face Palette. Of course, Smalls completed the star’s look with a signature red lipstick, so the makeup artist used the NARS Velvet Matte Lipstick Pencil in Dragon Girl.
Maui Moisture Celebrity Hairstylist Ambassador Nikki Nelms did Monáe’s hair in collaboration with GHD hair tools. “Janelle and I always work collaboratively on the hairstyle once we see the dress,” explains Nelms in a press release. “With the red carpet, we chose to complement the hood and diamond choker by giving a subtle, lifted side sweep that framed her face and peaked through the hood for added glam.”
Nelms first cleansed and conditioned with the Maui Moisture Shine + Awapuhi shampoo and conditioner to prep. Next, she applied the Heal & Hydrate + Shea Butter Combing Cream to protect and soften the strands, and used the Thicken & Restore + Bamboo Fiber Blow Out Mist before blowing out Monáe’s hair with the GHD Helios Hairdryer and Paddle Brush.
Then she sectioned off the singer’s hair and used the GHD Curve Soft Curl Iron to create large curls at the front, and smoothed the front section with the GHD Platinum+ Deep Scarlet Styler to create a combover, and secured it with pins. Finally, she used the Maui Moisture Nourish & Moisture + Coconut Milk Weightless Oil Mist to tame flyaways and add shine. Monáe’s hair was styled to be as versatile as possible because she planned on changing looks throughout the evening.
Editor’s Note: Jessica Smalls created Monáe’s makeup look in collaboration with Koh Gen Do and Dermaflash. Nikki Nelms created Monáe’s hair look in collaboration with Maui Moisture and GHD.