Last night, Kim Petras made history at the 2023 Grammy Awards. The singer won Pop Duo/Group Performance of the Year for "Unholy," her smash hit with Sam Smith. Petras is the first trans woman to win in the category, and she looked incredible doing so. She wore a total of three red looks over the course of the evening, including a gothic bridal-inspired number on the carpet and a '60s mini dress to accept her award.
Then, of course, there was her performance alongside Smith, which included fire, a cage, and dancers dressed as Samara from The Ring. We're always impressed by any awards show glam, but creating a look that works for the carpet and a performance is no easy feat. We tapped Petras's makeup artist, Gilbert Soliz, for the exclusive details on her devilish look.
"We thought a lot about the character [Kim] was going to portray and wanted to make sure the makeup really emphasized that," Soliz tells Byrdie. "Kim was embodying a fierce dragon trapped inside of a cage, so we wanted her to look like she was emerging from all of the fiery pyrotechnics unscathed. Everything was burning around her, but the look was polished and perfected."
"What I love about art, whether performance or makeup itself is that it is up to the audience to interpret the meaning for themselves," he continues. "I think the bold, red and fiery stage perfectly captured the sinful theme of 'Unholy.'"
For the look, Soliz relied on all MAC products. "We refined her skin to make her face look like glass, shiny and reflective," he says. Soliz used the Hyper Real Serumizer Skin Balancing Hydration Serum ($55), Hyper Real SkinCanvas Balm Moisturizing Cream ($49), and Full Coverage Foundation ($40) for her perfected base. "We nodded to the “I’m cold” winter trend by using pink to flush the cheeks. It complimented her fair skin and paired well with her red lip."
"Her piercing blue eyes were enhanced with neutral eyeshadows that defined and sculpted her natural shape," continues Soliz. "But the lips were the main statement: a bold take on the classic red lip." He used the Art Library shadow palette in Nude Model to softly sculpt Petras's eyes and added plenty of MAC Stack Mascara ($28). For her performance and acceptance, Soliz added a swipe of white to her eyes with the Chromagraphic Pencil in White ($22). And for that killer red lip, he used the classic Lip Pencil in Cherry ($21), followed by Locked Kiss Ink 24HR Lipcolour in Ruby True ($54).
To make sure the glam stayed perfectly in place through both the carpet and the performance, Soliz relied on an old-school trick. "I used a classic technique by setting makeup with a velour powder puff and MAC’s Set Powder in Translucent Ivory ($57)," he says. "I always layer creams under foundation, then set with powder and finish with MAC’s Fix +setting spray ($44)."
As for Petras's hair, celebrity hairstylist Mel Dominguez kept her strands sleek and straight. “Kim’s look tonight was a red moment with Sam Smith," she says. "It was edgy but elegant, and we really wanted the hair to stand out under the veil while remaining pristine and feminine.” Dominguez started by adding some Bellami Hair Magnifica 24" Hair Extensions for extra volume and length and used a cocktail of the OGX Blonde Enhance + Purple Toning Drops ($11) and OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil ($11) to keep it bright and shiny.
"Afterwards, I applied a generous amount of the OGX Protecting + Silk Blowout Quick Drying Thermal Spray ($8) from root to tip and blow-dried hair straight," says Dominguez. "Insider tip: There was a huge fire moment during her performance, so the spray was a super important heat protector not only for the hair but also to protect Kim!" She finished off the look with a spritz of OGX Renewing + Argan Oil of Morocco Weightless Healing Dry Oil Spray ($10) to keep the shine going strong.
"Doing [Kim's] glam is fun because she’s always coming up with new ideas and researching ways for her looks to be unique," adds Soliz. "And she loves to play and be experimental. She’s open to exploring a broad range of looks from classic to editorial. Kim always guides the look, and with this, she wanted the look to just 'be beautiful.' No gimmicks, no embellishments. Just gorgeous glam."