Makeup artist Marissa Machado breaks down the Best Actor champion’s *chef’s kiss* perfect red carpet complexion look.
The 2019 Oscars may mark the end of awards season, but it also definitely confirms the fact that people really, really liked Rami Malek. He went from being lauded for being a reclusive hacker in Mr. Robot to being lauded for being one of rock music’s greatest legends for his portrayal of Freddie Mercury in biopic Bohemian Rhapsody (also nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars). The dude has range, and thusly he’s been up to his eyeballs in nominations and wins, scoring a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama, again for Bohemian Rhapsody.
Now that Rami Malek’s face is becoming more of a red carpet familiar, that face is getting the red carpet treatment. Like all dudes wearing variations of the same suit to various awards shows, they want to look flawless for the photo pit, and that’s where men’s groomers come in. If you think these dudes walking the red carpet are not wearing a fuckton of concealer, setting powder, and probably brow gel, then you are dead wrong. Last year, Daniel Kaluuya proudly wore Fenty Beauty to the Oscars and everyone was like, “Wait, dudes wear foundation?” Hell yeah, they do. You think HD cameras won’t catch the glisten of all that stress sweat under the Los Angeles sun? HD is the digital saboteur of complexions, I tell you what.
Anyway, back to Rami Malek’s beautiful, award-winning face. The keeper of that red carpet mug is Marissa Machado, who has been Malek’s groomer throughout the Bohemian Rhapsody press tour and the subsequent awards show circuits. The Oscars are the Big Game though, and she’s got all the hits on hand.
I asked Machado how she and Malek come up with a lewk for events like awards shows and press tours, to which she mentioned that they both agree that adding a bit of warmth to his skin is the move. “I just really love to have his skin be nice and warm — I never want him to look washed out,” she tells Allure.
Like the Golden Globes, Machado prepped Rami’s skin with Kosas Cosmetics Tinted Face Oil in Shades 5 and 6 mixed together for overall warmth. Then, Machado applied EX1 Delete Fluide Concealer in shade 5 just in areas with a bit of discoloration to even out his skin tone. And then she set his complexion with EX1 Invisiwear Compact Powder in shade 4 and Kosasport LipFuel in Baseline (aka clear) was swiped on his lips to keep them hydrated throughout the event (and probably all the lip-biting the Best Actor nominee will likely be doing while waiting for his fate to be announced). [ETA: Ahem, I mean Best Actor WINNER and good thing for that lip balm because, wow — that smooching.]
Machado mentioned that it’s a pet peeve of hers when the ears and neck don’t match, so she makes sure to dab any complexion makeup or bronzer on those areas as well, “otherwise it’s just like a floating head.” As for the hair on that head, she doesn’t do anything too fussy. “[Rami Malek’s] hair is a bit straighter now so I just go with that; I just like his hair to have a nice shine to it so when flashes go off, it looks classic and clean. I like his hair to sit a bit higher than he would probably prefer, but we agree on where it looks best!” The whole shebang takes about half an hour. To get red carpet ready for the Oscars. Can you believe?? (That’s on top of all the hubbub from everyone else in the prep room on Team Rami — publicists, family, friends, etc.)
As for touch-ups, Machado is all about a nicely folded tissue to dab any excess shine and sweatiness away. “I’m not a fan of blotting papers honestly — something about the oil sheets kind of grosses me out. I think a tissue is much more discreet and easy.”
“It’s such a special day for him in his career,” Machado adds. “I just wanted him to look classic and handsome.”
As the on-staff snack expert at Allure, I’d say: Nailed it.