Ever wondered how the stars get ready for their red-carpet appearances? We asked our Ambassador Ruth to tell us more about her experiences and what it takes to look fabulous on those red catwalks!
How do you get ready for a red carpet event?
With great difficulty and a lot of help! I find red carpet events somewhat daunting, and you’d think I’d have more confidence at my age and that I would be used to them, but I never do!
I’m still not as organised as I should be. So although I know the National Television Awards are in January every year, I always end up in the second week of January saying, ‘Oh my God is it the National Television Awards next week? I was supposed to have lost half a stone after Christmas!’ I always think it’s such a horrible time to have them, post-Christmas and New Year when we’ve all been eating and drinking merrily and covering up with big Christmas jumpers! And then suddenly you’ve got to now put a long dress on! With so many great women in television now and on the red carpet, you’re always concerned about being in the same dress as somebody else, although it wouldn’t be the end of my world to be honest – I would just think, ‘Well we’ve obviously both just got great taste!
Ideally I would like to take my time and have a whole day to get ready – with a facial in the morning, but it rarely happens for me, because I’m normally rushing back from work. So I don’t do all the endless prep – with multiple facials and skin resurfacing peels or anything. For the last event I had literally 45 minutes to get ready. I got home from Loose Women, my dress was sorted and my make-up artist Sandy had come to my house. She put my hair in rollers, took off just my base, left my eye make-up, re-did the base, made my eyes a bit smokier, then I put on my dress and had to leave again an hour later. We live in Surrey, and to get to the O2 in rush hour is a nightmare and takes us forever so we’re always stuck in traffic and running late. I remember one year Sheridan Smith couldn’t go up to collect her award because she was still stuck in traffic!
Tell us about a dress you loved
I do have help with choosing my dress, my lovely stylist Ellie Baker got me the beautiful blue dress I wore this year. Actually the first time I saw the dress I loved it, but I wasn’t sure about the colour as it was a bit out there for me. I tried it on and the dress fitted like it had been tailored for me, but then two days later I panicked about the colour again and asked Ellie to bring some others. She did, and although they were all very nice, not one of them matched up to the blue one. And actually I’m really glad I wore it because as she said, ‘If you can’t wear a dress like this to the NTAs when can you? Especially when you’re up for an award!’ It was actually two, because I was up for Loose Women and This Morning. So I’m glad she made me wear it because it was a really great pop of colour and stood out on the red carpet.
It can be very scary out there, because you feel quite exposed and everyone’s looking at you. You’re trying to walk in high heels and look elegant and smile at people, plus stop and have your picture taken, and there are banks of photographers with flashes going off! I’m always really glad to get from one end to the other without falling over or doing something stupid.
Have you ever worn anything where you thought, oh I wish I hadn’t worn that!?
Yes, I remember one year I wore a Grecian-style dress with one shoulder and I just remember it kept slipping down and I was constantly aware of it – although I didn’t have any hideous incidents! I hate the feeling of being trussed up or thinking, ‘Oh I hope that doesn’t pop open or what if I sit and the skirt flaps open!’. I like to be fairly covered up – so it’s always about trying to find that fine line between looking fashionable, age-appropriate and also glamorous!
We’re often sitting for a long time, I spend at least an hour in the car on the way there and I can’t even lean my head back because I’m scared of squashing my hair. I remember one dress that had some boning in it and was just so uncomfortable. I also have to think about creasing – so after sitting in the car for an hour you don’t want to come out looking like you’ve just got out of bed. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to these events, we’re very lucky and grateful we get to go, but there’s so much to consider – and it isn’t always as glamorous and easy as you might think. So although we appear looking all shiny and lovely, there’s a lot of effort that goes in to it.
Thanks Ruth – the effort’s worth it!
Look out for more from Ruth Langsford, meanwhile take a look at her top picks from QVC.