Making the Stars Red Carpet-Ready

Jonathan Antin in his salon

When a star walks down the red carpet at an awards ceremony, they want to look their best. For most, this is not the time for DIY styles, so they turn to stylists like Jonathan Antin to ensure they make it on the Best Tressed list.

For Antin, the awards season means some of the busiest weekends of the year. He’s often booked well in advance.

“I know usually months ahead of time who I’m doing,” Antin said. “Sometimes I’ll go to their house and sometimes they’ll come into the salon. It depends on the individual celebrity.”

Antin has styled everything from blowouts to intricate, elaborate red carpet styles, but there is one style he doesn’t recommend for these events.

“I generally try to talk people out of updos and talk them into a backdo or a chignon that’s more pulled back than straight-up beehive.”

No matter where and how Antin styles his celebs, he follows the same process in getting them ready for the red carpet.

“It’s like baking a cake. It all needs to be done in a timely fashion.”

Unlike most cakes, though, the red carpet beauty process can take all day, starting at 11AM the day of the awards ceremony. The time from start to finish varies greatly depending on the hairstyle and intricacy that the celebrity wants.

First, Antin sets or cuts the hair based on the overall look the celebrity wants. After the hair is set and pinned, a makeup artist takes over.

“When makeup is finished, gown goes on, curls come out, and then the styling begins with the hair. I brush out the set and place each wave and curl exactly where they need to be.”

After finishing the style, the team gives last looks on makeup, hair and gown. Antin locks in the hair with some hair spray and anti-humidity product, and the star is red-carpet ready.

Of course, sometimes things don’t always go according to plan when preparing celebrities for their big moments.

As Antin points out, celebrities are people too, and their red carpet moments often play havoc on their nerves.

“Sometimes, they’ve spoken about a specific hairstyle for a month and at five minutes before we’re going to do it, they decide on something else. You roll with it.”

Other times, the gown doesn’t work. “When a celebrity tries on their gown and they freak out because they hate it, that’s the worst. It’s the worst thing you could ever be involved in.”

Good or bad, Jonathan keeps things moving along and often accompanies his clients to their events, standing ready to help with touchups whenever needed.

“Some of them are fine to go on their own. It really depends on the hair. If it’s a locked-in hairstyle, they could run a marathon and it would still look amazing. Depending on the celebrity, they sometimes want you there before, during, and after, for the after parties.”

Before MINDBODY salon software, Jonathan managed it all in a steady stream of notes on his Blackberry and on pieces of paper. Now, MINDBODY software has streamlined the administrative parts of his job so he can have the peace of mind to focus on his clients.

As a MINDBODY client, Jonathan has access to his staff’s schedules and can know what’s happening at the salon, even if he needs to be outside of the salon to style a celebrity’s hair for the red carpet.

“MINDBODY’s been a great asset for me doing hair—now I can be anywhere doing anyone’s hair for an important day, and I can see who’s at the salon.”

Jonathan Antin is a paid endorser of MINDBODY.