The Get Glam Guide to the Red Carpet

I’ve had the pleasure of attending tons of incredible events from New York to Sydney to Paris and back again, but an awards show is something I’ve always watched from the comfort of my own couch (and, truth be told, usually in my underwear and a face mask with takeout and a bottle of wine). But all of that changed this week when I attended the Aria Awards, a ceremony celebrating Australian musical talents.

With my handsome husband, his colleague and partner

Although the day and night was a long one, it was a really special experience. Seeing a few insanely talented performers, like Lorde, was definitely a highlight, but so was feeling the energy of the room and emotion of the artists when accepting their awards. Another top moment? All the extraordinary beauty and fashion stuff, of course. Below, my step by step prep guide for getting red carpet ready, above and beyond a regular ol’ mani and pedi.

Three days before:

Although big, bold eyebrows have become mainstays in the beauty world, I’ve personally never been inclined to do anything at all to mine; they’re naturally shaped, and I don’t have a ton to work with. As a blonde, I’ve never sought out a deeper shade, as I like a soft result. But brow Queen Amy Jean of famed and adored Amy Jean Eye Couture (just ask Naomi Campbell or Dannii Minogue) changed all that. With a three day grace period to allow the treatment and tint to settle, my eyebrows never looked better on the day of the awards. They were precisely and perfectly shaped, and tinted a natural shade that didn’t look even a little out of place. What I was even more excited about was the lash lift treatment, though.

Her signature Keratin Lash Elevate treatment is like none other: uniquely using soft silicone molds to give lashes a major lift and curled effect, the keratin treatment and extra conditioning step seriously softens and strengthens eyelashes, too. Measuring my lashes (AJ is an expert and can do this just by looking) before starting, a medium mold was chosen for me to ensure the perfect curl (too little isn’t dramatic enough, too much has your lashes batting against your brows) was achieved. The treatment also includes a tint, which everyone benefits from: the tips of lashes are translucent, and when tinted, add a mega lengthened look.

Amazingly low maintenance and so great for those who have sensitive eyes, the Keratin Lash Elevate is perfect for anyone who wants the (almost as) dramatic look of eyelash extensions with a way easier at-home care routine, and a much longer lasting result (up to 12 weeks!). Don’t expect to be seen right away, though: the salon can sometimes have a months long waiting list, and it’s easy to see why. Besides sculpting incredibly perfect brows and lashes, the space is exclusively decorated with plush Hermès pillows and blankets, Louis Vuitton decor, Chanel accessories and sumptuous furniture in a gorgeous cream, gold and soft turquoise colour palette. If that wasn’t enough, Amy Jeans’ supremely endearing demeanour and passion is clearly evident in her practise.

Two days days before:

It’s best to leave any and all harsh treatments for another time; instead, I visited Wonderlab Beauty for a skin softening facial and body treatment to enhance my skin’s tone and texture. Upon arrival, a high-tech tool assists in providing a skin assessment — developed by a leading dermascopist plastic surgeon and bio-physicist team, results are swift, in-depth and accurate. My results shocked me: although I’ve been told my skin is dehydrated before, it was truly eye-opening to see the device’s readings (your skin’s images are instantly sent to a screen for viewing). Creating a custom treatment based on your individual complexions’ needs, I was prescribed a Gemology facial. With trace minerals extracted from precious stones to address a myriad of skin concerns, this facial was enhanced by the expert therapist’s facial massage technique, which combined the use of her hands and gems to further the benefits of the crystals and their skin-boosting properties.

A body massage focusing on the upper body was up next, and was both relaxing and invigorating at once. Using a Japanese tool that gave the therapist the ability to give a deep tissue massage in a far more comfortable way than a traditional deep tissue treatment, this massage felt great and left me full of calm energy. Ionically charged to draw out impurities, this tool detoxifies tissue, too. The lovely staff at Wonderlab Beauty truly provided above-excellent service and were really, really qualified: with twenty years-plus experience from working in the beauty industry in breakneck speed-paced Hong Kong, it’s safe to say the therapists (who were also sisters — so lovely!) really know how to truly care for your skin. My clear, bright and radiant complexion was proof, and for the first time ever, my pores actually looked smaller and the texture and tone far more even than ever before.

The day before:

For a seriously big boost of energy and glowiness from the inside out, I saw the exceptionally talented and brilliant Cosmetic Nurse Practitioner and owner of Duquessa Skin Sanctuary Katherine Millar-Shannon. Extremely highly qualified, Katherine is one in a handful of cosmetic nurses qualified to consult, prescribe, refer and treat clients on-site in her airy, bright and spacious clinic. Recently recognised and highly commended by the prestigious My Face My Body Awards for her work, it’s safe to say Katherine leads the way in her field. Opting for a Vitalite treatment, this insanely effective two-in-one IV therapy floods your body with a potent vitamin blend (I had Vitamin C) while you simultaneously receive an Omnilux facial, which uses LED lights to revitalise the complexion.

“The IV-Vitamin Drip offers a more instant result than ingesting vitamins via food, because the cells can absorb up to 90% of nutrients when it goes directly into the bloodstream,” says Katherine. “Not only does it make you feel amazing, but the skin benefits are incredible. Vitamin C boosts collagen, skin cell rejuvenation and allows the skin to repair and hydrate.” I can personally attest to this, as my skin has honestly never looked as good as it did after this treatment. Katherine was so gentle I didn’t even flinch when she inserted or removed the cannula, and I was incredibly relaxed and comfortable during the process, I could’ve taken a little nap. That feeling was short lived, though: I literally bounced out of the clinic, and had so much energy that afternoon and the following day, I didn’t even need an AM or PM caffeine fix!

I can definitely see how the Vitalite treatment can be addicting, as the feeling and glow it delivers is like nothing else I’ve ever experienced. And I’m clearly far from the only one who loves Katherine’s therapy and results: she is so in-demand, she offers mobile treatments for those too busy to visit her clinic. Perfect for anyone feeling run down, stressed out, or in need of a boost, there are a variety of vitamins and blends available to address different concerns. But be wary of just any clinic: Katherine uses a very specific percentage of high grade ingredients, which cannot be said for every clinic or mobile service out there.

The Day of:

A closet full of clothes and nothing to wear is every girl’s dilemma when it comes to a really big event, so renting something fabulous just seems like a straight up good idea. Although there are plenty of rental services to choose from, I found My Dress Affair had waaaaaaay more options, glamorous styles and ease of service than others I scoped out, so it was an obvious choice. The actual dress and experience in renting it was even better and easier than I imagined, and I couldn’t be happier with the way it all came together. Although you can select a try-on option via post, I visited the conveniently located store to try on the dress I had in mind in-person, which was so easy and gave me total peace of mind (in case it didn’t work out, I was in a store full of other options — phew!). The dresses were beautifully displayed, the store was immaculate, and the owner and staff members were lovely and made the experience so much fun. When it was all over, a pre-paid post bag was provided, making the return a breeze. What more could a girl ask for?

For the glam ponytail and bronze makeup look I wanted to achieve, I visited my all time favourite salon, Lily Jackson Hair and Makeup. The talented team glammed me up in record time, gave me exactly what I asked for, and make me feel relaxed and pampered, eradicating any nerves. Now it’s back to my everyday life, until next time!