red carpet ready

A Guide: For Red Carpet Newbies

Are you ready to rock the red carpet?

This article will help!

Your film got into a big festival…your film got into a little festival, maybe you got nominated for an award, or even if you have a HUGE event coming up where you need to be camera ready?…congratulations!!! It’s super exciting all around, but it is also super stressful. You’re thinking: What am I going to wear? What should I do with my hair??? I need to lose 20 pounds…” etc. etc.

Actress Kimberley Crossman arrives red carpet ready for "The 60 Yard Line" photo by Sascha Knopf : Knopfoto

Actress Kimberley Crossman in one of her first of many red carpets for “The 60 Yard Line” photo by Sascha Knopf : Knopfoto

If you’re anything like me those thoughts and that pressure can be super overwhelming and even depressing, which is a big bummer when you were just so excited.

So what can you do to make sure you look your best?

Rule of thumb is usually you can never be too overdressed, but it all depends on the level of the event. If you’re the star of the film you can pretty much get away with dressing like it, But maybe hold back from your ball gown or tuxedo. ‘Less is more’ is always my motto.


red carpet ready, Sascha Knopf in Cushnie Et Ochs dress rented from Rent the Runway

Cushnie Et Ochs dress I rented from Rent the Runway

Clothing: It isn’t crazy important that you’re wearing the latest and greatest whatever, but it IS important that whatever you are wearing FITS you properly: it’s clean, pressed, and free of rips or stains. Everything down to your shoes should be taken into account. It is better to wear a cute dress or suit from H&M that you just picked up (and are maybe going to return—don’t tell them I said that) than to wear something old or worn out. There are venues like Rent the Runway that offer rentals for several days for a relatively small price if you want to wear something designer. It does take some leg work researching, but you can find something amazing.

Hiring a Wardrobe Stylist: is always an option, but they can be costly, and won’t necessarily be able to ‘pull’ clothes (borrow) for someone that isn’t “famous” yet. However, there are places in LA that are willing to lend to up and comer’s if it’s confirmed there will be lots of press at the event. If you do end up borrowing clothes from a designer/showroom, make sure you do get photographed, and show that garment in a way that would make Tyra Banks proud! Those designers will use your photos, and will likely lend to you again!



Being mindful that the camera will be on you is really the most important thing.  The camera sees everything.

FACT: Press photographers send their press photos UNEDITEDAS IS, because it is considered NEWS! A Getty/Wireimage photographer told me recently that if a press photograph has been altered in any way, it needs to say so on the photo!!!  “This photo has been altered” I was super sad when I heard that tidbit, because I so want to tweak photos when the subjects need a little ‘help.’

red carpet ready, Actress/Writer Nicole Marie Johnson at the Screamfest premiere of her movie "Quarries." Photo by Sascha Knopf : Knopfoto

Actress/Writer Nicole Marie Johnson at the Screamfest premiere of her movie “Quarries.” Photo by Sascha Knopf : Knopfoto

Wear good foundation: I mean this for guys too! Go to the a makeup counter at Nordstrom’s or Sephora, or somewhere like that. Find a makeup artist that seems to have a clue. Ask them for some foundation without SPF that matches your skin type.  SPF makes you shiny. Shiny isn’t great in photos. Dewy is okay, but hard to attain.

Bring Blotting Papers: Like I said…shiny isn’t good in photos. You can grab a small packet of blotting papers at Sephora or even your local pharmacy. If you’re super broke, head to a public bathroom at any somewhat civilized place and grab a toilet seat cover. You can rip it up and stick a couple of pieces in your pocket or purse. (same stuff)

Wear Waterproof Mascara: You’re bound to be nervous or very excited, and inevitably you will sweat. That mascara is going to run!  Use a lash brush too, as waterproof mascara tends to be more clumpy.

Red Carpet Ready Hair: Having dye on your scalp, the wrong color, or a bad cut, can definitely happen. If you can help it, try to get your hair colored, cut, or whatever maintenance you need to do at few weeks before your event.  On the day, If you can afford it, get a blow out (women) by a stylist you’ve hopefully been to before. If you don’t have a regular stylist, then do it yourself. You want your hair to be free of frizz and fly-aways. Try using a light gloss that won’t weigh down your hair. A drop of sweet almond oil can go along way here. Men, this all applies to you too. Maybe not a blowout, but do your grooming and cut.

Go in empty handed: Before you step onto the carpet, hand over your water bottle, car keys, PHONE, and heavy jackets, to a friend.  Nothing screams green more than coming in with ‘props.’

Move around: Give ALL the photographers a good shot of you with direct eye contact.   Move in a semi-circle. Ladies, it always look good to have one hand on a hip.  If you’re holding a clutch that has the same effect. Gents, one hand in your pocket works nicely.

red carpet ready, Actor Nick Greco at the Los Angeles premiere of "The 60 Yard Line" Photo by Sascha Knopf : Knopfoto

Actor Nick Greco at the Los Angeles premiere of “The 60 Yard Line” Photo by Sascha Knopf : Knopfoto

Smile: You’re worked really hard to get here! Fortunately, we’ve all taken selfies at this point.  Smile like you’re taking a selfie. A relaxed, inviting smile.

Don’t Drink: I know you want to start the party on your way in the limo, okay Uber, but you also want those red carpet ready photos to look like the rising star you are.  Save the mind altering stuff till much later. You will be high enough as it is!