5 Industry Insiders on the Hours Leading Up to the Met Gala

Updated 05/11/18
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It probably wouldn’t surprise you to hear that hours and hours of prep and beautifying happens in the lead up to a huge red carpet event such as the Met Gala, but if you're anything like most of us, you'll be curious as to exactly what those hours entail. We chatted with five A-list celebrity beauty, hair and makeup heroes about how they get their clients Met Gala red carpet ready. Read on for the run down. 

Joanna Vargas

Joanna Vargas, celebrity facialist and founder of Joanna Vargas Salon and Skincare Collection has a long list of clients who she saw in the lead up to the Met Gala. Just some of these  A-listers include Emily Ratajkowski, Amber Valletta, Jennifer Connelly and even P Diddy.  

Vargas’s much sought after mix of high tech treatments and all natural skincare products includes treatments such as “cryotherapy, which increases circulation, oxygenation and lymphatic drainage as well as providing anti-inflammatory benefits.” The goal is always clear for Vargas and her clients: “that they feel confident and that their skin requires no help or boost from makeup," she says.

Vargas always tries to see the client on the day of the event and each visits last “a few hours.”

Mimi Luzon

Mimi Luzon, skin wellbeing expert and celebrity aesthetician took care of Irina Shayk’s facials in the lead up to the Met Gala this year. Luzon is known for giving Victoria's Secret Angels their glow with pure 24k gold infused facials. “My main goal is to give my clients glowing, radiant and firm skin that looks great, even without makeup,” says Luzon. 

In these expensive facials, Luzon combines radio frequency with an active glow mask such as her  24k Pure Gold Mask where gold is not only applied to the skin but actually massaged into and absorbed by the skin to build an unmatched glow. “I typically recommend that my clients have at least three treatments before any major event," says Luzon. 

Tobi Henney

Though Met Gala guests may prep their skin for hours and days before an event with facials we do know however that they will always still be wearing makeup. Celebrity makeup artist Tobi Henney spent time ahead of the day getting ready to do the beauty for her client Talita Von Furstenberg. From talking to Henney it’s clear it’s not possible to just turn up on the day and Henney was more than prepared in advance for the occasion. “I had created a mood board, prepped products all to tie in with both the theme of the Gala and the gown that DVF had designed especially for Talita.” 

Henney goes on to say that “The DVF team sent me the gown and makeup brief a couple of days out from the event and on the day I had a discussion with Talita about what look we wanted to achieve.” The whole process is clearly a collaborative well researched one. 

Jen Atkin

Jen Atkin, celebrity hairstylist and founder of OUAI Haircare had the pleasure of styling, not one but three incredible A-listers: Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hayley Baldwin. Each had an entirely different aesthetic to match their different looks and personas for the evening. “I get a lot of inspo off Tumblr and Instagram,” says Atkin who created a sleek low pony for model Kendall Jenner, a twisted updo for Bella Hadid and a crown of flowers and tousled, textured waves for Hayley Baldwin. 

I asked how Jen even managed to be in three places at once as there is usually only a three-hour window for hair and makeup thanks to the strict carpet arrival times. Atkin says that “I’d be 20 times messier than I am if my assistants and teams didn’t have my back and hustle so hard.” 

deborah lippmann

Renowned Hollywood nail guru, Deborah Lippmann also worked with three of the most glamorous women at this year’s Met Gala in New York City – Gisele Bündchen, Karlie Kloss, and Kate Bosworth. Lippmann and her team prepped the nails using her signature five-step manicure technique to achieve the looks but don’t for a minute think that sounds easy. It’s tricky to manoeuvre amongst clients on nights such as these.

According to Lippmann: “Even when you think you have a calm schedule for the Met Gala, you seriously have to be prepared for the unexpected. I, fortunately, had two of my clients staying at the same hotel, but it was nerve-racking. One of my clients' dress was delivered last minute (6:45 p.m. to be precise), and it was only then when I was able to work on her nails. My other client in the meantime was being sewn into her dress, and I had to go back and forth between rooms to make sure her polish didn’t get ruined, and that her dress did not have any nail polish on it!”

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