In 2011, Natalie Portman took home the Best Actress Oscar for her role in Black Swan, and this year she’ been making headlines for her role in Jackie. Her performance as former First Lady Jaqueline Onassis, wife to John F. Kennedy, is already getting rave reviews and some serious Oscar buzz. So how does the star look so perfect every time she walks the red carpet? Her friend and artist Eileen Kastner-Delago gives us a peek into what it takes to get a celebrity red carpet ready..
..about the beauty trends that we could expect on the red carpet this award season:
When I get asked about current beauty and make-up trends I have to admit I don’t follow them very closely. I’m a strong believer in individuality, especially in the world of beauty where everything is measured according to specific, narrow and therefore limiting standards and where the actual essence and unique beauty of any one person is not fully taken into account or celebrated. I think it’s important to cherish our differences, especially when it comes to our looks. The current make-up trend includes peaches and warm terracotta eyeshadow with peach undertones which are very pretty but might not work on every skin tone and colour. But this trend is at least a very versatile option to explore further and to adjust to your individuality.
..about working with Natalie Portman:
I have worked with Natalie on various projects like Films, Press Tours, Film Festivals, her Best Actress Golden Globe, Oscar etc winning Award Season and some of her Dior campaigns for the last 12 years since 2005. She is a wonderfully refreshing and extremely inspiring woman and I cherish her friendship and our various fun adventures together very much. She has a great team around her and it has always been a lot of fun to create the various looks with them and explore new options along the way.
..about her favorite look she has ever created for Natalie Portman on the red carpet:
This is hard to answer as each look worked so well for the specific event. I look at make-up a little bit like a clothing wardrobe. As you choose the best outfit from your wardrobe for a specific event, so you should also have a make-up wardrobe that is full of suitable looks for you and your personality. That way you pick and choose your favourite look that fits your favourite outfit for that day. Two looks I really loved were during the Cannes Filmfestival in 2008 where Natalie was on the jury and I had to do her make-up and hair for all events during the 14 days there, which was quite scary! I am a make-up artist foremost and not a hair dresser but on that occasion I was in charge of also creating the various hairstyles for her. The look for the opening ceremony and the look for the AMFAR event were such fun to create. For the AMFAR look I went for a strong 60’s inspired look and “painted” long fake eyelashes on the skin below her lower lash line with some tattoo color. We had such fun that day, creating this look and I fondly remember the giggles and laughs we shared.
.. about being a part of a red carpet glam squad:
I love the whole process from the research to the actual day where all comes together – each part is special and rewarding. What I have experienced in all these years is that the actual day is not always a “pamper day” filled with massages and facials etc. Often there is not enough time as so many people are involved and there is a lot of coming and going. It is a well designed and prepared process that starts far in advance and this does not necessarily mean only trips to the cosmetic dermatologist but a properly planned schedule. For me the skincare program is the main part that I plan long before the big day and the make-up design often changes last minute which is so much fun and keeps the creativity flow going.
..about her inspiration when choosing a beauty look for a red carpet event:
In all my years as a make-up artist, when it came to red carpet looks, I have always tried to look at the essence behind the person and to bring that out somehow in my make-up look choices. It is a combined synergy between the styling, the hair and the make-up that brings all together and creates the “perfect” look for that event. When working with a regular client that I know well, I try to bring out the current energy and vibe of her by exploring new color and texture combinations and pushing the boundaries a bit without loosing her essence. I get inspired a lot by nature and the color combinations that occure there and try to bring this into my make-up designs.
..about a behind-the-scenes beauty secret:
I like to put together a whole program that gives enough time to prepare especially the skin for the event. SKIN is your biggest organ and skincare has very specific rules when it comes to having healthy and perfect skin. It is as important as following a good diet. There is not one single ingredient or substance that will cover all basics and “solve” skin issues like no single food substance alone will take care of your body’s nutritional needs. So I pay most attention to the skin in general and encourage and help my clients even between jobs and events to achieve their best possible skin. In the weeks ahead of an event I step up the pressure slightly 😉 and make sure that my client gets on a well designed skincare program which only helps me bring down my make-up time on the day as the skin will help me achieve that healthy glowing look.
.. about the beauty trends we should have said goodbye to in 2016:
As mentioned in your first question, I think it’s important we find the way back to our own individuality rather than conforming to common beauty standards. If you take the exaggerated look of the over-contoured faces of the last few years, it’s not a flattering option for every women and especially not for every day life when you don’t have instagram filters or flashlights to enhance any facial features. My wish for 2017 is for women to embrace and stay connected to new techniques and product developments coming from independent and safe sources and to create looks that work for them. Self Confidence is the “trend” that I would like to see followed.
Eileen Kastner-Delago is a Hollywood Special Effects & Make-Up Designer and creative collaborator as part of a 3-times Oscar winning team, working on some of the most famous cult movies from Terminator 2 to Jurassic Park as well as Batman and the Thor series.
After 30 years of working experience with top International celebrities in the film and beauty industry including Natalie Portman (creative make-up collaboration for the last 12 years), Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Winslet and Bollywood Star Aishwarya Rai amongst many other remarkable personalities, Eileen is now putting her experience to use by empowering women to make their own well informed decisions about their most appropriate Skincare & Make-Up product choices through a cutting edge signature approach.
EKD FaceWardrobe™ helps women create their own personal, unbiased Skincare & Make-Up Wardrobe. (www.ekdfacewardrobe.com)
Photo: Natalie Portman for DiorSkin Star, Album of Eileen Kastner-Delago