Our Brit Awards Makeover: Inside The Backstage Spa

20 February 2014 by

The Brits spa is like no spa I've ever been to. In order to get there I had to traverse the dark and slightly terrifying backstage area of the O2, squeeze under the actual stage (I may have got a little bit lost) and head down a corridor of dressing rooms belonging to ACTUAL SUPERSTARS.

Thankfully I made it, because what I found when I arrived was a wonder emporium of all things beauty. Held at the awards every year, the spa's filled with make-up and nail artists, hair stylists, beauticians, pharmacists and tanning-pros and is a go-to for the singers performing at the Brits as well as the tired folk who run it.

I was booked in for the full works - a transformation from exhausted journalist to megawatt A-lister. First up, a facial.

Sorting my skin

Brit Awards 2014, Decleor

I have to admit I did get the giggles when I first laid down on a massage bed and tried to relax to the soothing sound of One Direction - 'What Makes You Beautiful' - but after 30 mins in the hands of Decleor's Training Director Fiona Brackenbury I was chilled and my skin was GLOWING.

She performed 'The Miracle Worker' facial on me while explaining she usually goes to stars' hotel rooms to pamper them. Last year she gave a massage to the 'charming' and 'very tattooed' Harry Styles in his room and this year Bruno Mars' people had called into enquire about a pre-ceremony booking.

Busting my stress

Next up I was whisked over to The Organic Pharmacy for a stress test to see how my body was coping with the pressures at work at the moment. With electrodes attached to my forehead and my hands and bare feet placed on metal plates, it did feel a bit like a brain-experiment but the results were very useful.

Giving me the brand's new stress-busting supplement Holy Basil B Complex, pharmacist Ewa Macur said they'd mainly had Brits organisers come in for the service and while personal results are confidential - in general - stress levels before the ceremony are HIGH.

Bronzing up

I was terrified about this part of the makeover. As a natural ginge, I've not fake-tanned since I was 16 and memories of looking very much like Nicola Roberts circa 2003 still loomed in my mind as I entered the booth.

In reality, after a spritz of Vita Liberata's tinted spray tan I looked more like a glowy Amy Adams in American Hustle. Plus Brits Talent Manager Dylan Moore popped into the bronzing area while I was in the booth regaling tales of Lady Gaga and her huge entourage, how lovely Beyonce is and drunken back-in-the-day antics.

I left the booth and while heading to get my make-up done bumped into Beyonce's backing singers The Mamas who told me they were excited about their performance later in the evening.

Hair and make-up

My hair and make-up request was 'Angelina Jolie at the BAFTAs'. Revlon make-up artist Alex Chalk focused on making me both shimmery and contoured to the max. She gave me a brown smudgy eye using Revlon's Graffiti Photoready Palette and a kohl pencil, then used a matt bronzer to enhance my cheekbones. Plus lipgloss, LOTS of lipgloss.

Aaron Carlo looked after me over at VO5's hair area. He's Little Mix's stylist so is a pro at creating long-lasting incredible hair. Tips for getting Angelina's glam side-swept look? Blow-dry your hair with Texture Spray to give it secret staying power. Then curl with a wand, starting further away from the root on the side you're pulling round. Brush out with a wide tooth comb. Also highly recommended - a second hairdresser.

Mani time!

Revlon nail ambassador Jenny Longworth told me she was painting Jessie J's nails for the second Brits in a row this year. In 2013 she'd headed to the singer's dressing room to do a square-tipped nude look, this year Jessie wanted something pastel.

I was given a 70s-inspired nail look. My nails were painted with a scarlet polish before the brand's Gold Coin varnish was used to paint to semi-circles at either end of my ring-finger nail. After leaving it dry and cleaning off the jelly baby flour I got all over my fingers (sorry couldn't keep my mitts of the pick'n'mix)  - the look was finished off with a black outline.

And the finished result...?

After a quick sweep of mattifying powder, a lot more pick'n'mix (and consequently a lipgloss touch-up), I was ready to hit the red carpet. The total transformation took just under four hours. It's unlikely I'll be getting up at 2am every morning to recreate it for work, but I really really love it. FYI - My dress is from River Island and it totally matched Beyonce's.


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