The Oscar glow

I will never be too cool to shun the Oscars like some of my film buddies, not only are the Academy Awards are a celebration of film, it is also a night that celebrates the glorious faces of those movies.

A bit of a twist then on the old ‘Oscar predictions post,’ Confessions of a Quirky Princess touts its’ favourites to win and looks into getting that Oscar glow.

ACTRESS in a leading role: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

There is a scene in Blue Jasmine where Cate Blanchett doesn’t wear any make-up, in an interview with Glamour, Blanchett said she felt comfortable with that decision because her skin is ‘resilient and pretty even in tone.’ No kidding, she is always glowing.

As the global ambassador for SK-II, you can bet your hobbits that Blanchett has been using SK-II Facial Treatment Mask and SK-II Facial Treatment Essence, as well as covering up with DayLong sunscreen throughout Oscar buzz.

For her lovely locks, Blanchett sticks to Moroccan Oil shampoo and conditioner. In an interview with Harper’s BAZAAR, the Australian beauty confesses to resenting diet and exercise, that she does try to keep in shape and though she has no real diet plan, drinks hot water and lemon in the morning and tries to avoid wheat, but loves bread as much as the next person.

As for the red carpet in Blanchett’s own words:

“If you’re going to the Oscars, by the time you’ve waited in that traffic jam and actually got out of the car it’s been ages and your make-up can slip. I always wear waterproof mascara so it doesn’t run and I try to avoid fiddling with my face. I’ll take the lipstick with me to reapply: the Tom Ford range is the best.”

– [Natalie Evans Harding] [In Conversation with Cate Blanchett] [Harper’s BAZAAR]

ACTRESS in a supporting role: Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years A Slave

Breakout actress Lupita Nyong’o, is the envy of her peers from Yale having a bagged a nomination fresh off her graduation. To Vanity Fair, she confessed her only “way of unwinding from Patsey… was the occasional massage, meditation, listening to music and eating good food.”

Miu Miu have snapped up Nyong’o for a fashion campaign and that is no surprise, everyone is falling in love with this Oscar nominee’s beauty, flair and style. In an interview with Glamour, Nyong’o says she believes that “if a girl wants to wear makeup to boost confidence, why not? [But] I’ve worked hard to feel beautiful in my natural skin. Personally, I don’t ever want to depend on makeup to feel beautiful.”

When it comes to beauty, she is fresh and inspiring. For her face she turns to avocado oil and Hawaiian kukui oil and circulation socks on planes (for practical reasons, she doesn’t enjoy trying to shove swollen feet into heels) that might have something to do with her new film, Non-Stop.

As for the red carpet in N’yong’o’s own words:

“I love color. I’m enjoying trying all different shades. Makeup isn’t something I’ve worn a lot of in my life. So it’s good to work with someone like [makeup artist] Nick Barose, who is inspired by my complexion and knows how to work with it.”

– [Bee Shapiro] [Lupita Nyong’o Shares Beauty Secrets and Shows Off Spring’s It Lip Colors] [Glamour]

ACTOR in a leading role: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

Favourite to win, it took a lot more than Matthew McConaughey’s excessive weightloss for the role of Ron Woodroof to get him this Oscar nomination. It’s hard not to notice McConaughey on screen or off, Camilla Alves McConaughey once said that her other half had more beauty products than her, so you can be sure the face of Dolce&Gabbana’s Street of Dreams campaign will be rocking the red carpet with or without his infamous abs (word on the street is that Tracy Anderson has something to do with those).

For the New York premiere of The Wolf of Wall Street, McConaughey was seen sporting a hairstyle from the Patrick Melville Salon. The hairdresser used Rough Rubber by Schwarzkopf Osis+, “a defining paste used for texture and separation”. The Globes was a velvet jacket so it’s anyone’s guess what to expect at the Oscars.

As for the red carpet in McConaughey’s own words:

“For the next two months, I’m playing the character of Matthew McConaughey, an actor proud of the films he’s been in, and if any of those films or performances are in awards shows, [I’m] going to go, heart high and head up, and look them all in the eye and say, ‘Damn right this is a great time in my career.’ That’s the role I’m in now. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for.”

– [Jenelle Riley] [Cover story: Actor segues next to Christopher Nolan’s ‘Interstellar’] [Variety]

ACTOR in a supporting role: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

Jared Leto has been missing in action these last few years, everyone loves a comeback and who doesn’t love the fiesty and fliratious Rayon? As well as returning to our screens, Leto has been gracing the red carpet with some serious style and glossy hair, his hair evolution is getting a lot of attention in particular his “Man Bun.”

According to Hollywood Reporter, at the Globes, Leto achieved his look with the help of Chase Kusero. “Kusero boiled salt water, bottled it and let it sit for a day and a half before spraying it on Leto’s hair for hold and texture.” Then the hairdresser got busy with some Oribe Shine Spray on the his locks.

As for the red carpet in Leto’s own words:

“Award shows last for hours and hours sometimes, actors and directors do red carpet in the afternoon and you end up leaving late in the evening. I like to eat really healthy, so I bring little snacks.”

[Associated Press] [Oscar nominee Jared Leto shares key tip for surviving the awards shows: Bring your own snacks] [The Vancouver Sun]

Animated Feature Film: Frozen

Kristen Bell plays the part of gutsy Anna in the Disney film that has taken the box office by storm. In past years Bell has wowed everyone with a beautiful baby glow and bump at the Globes. More recently she hosted the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards and looked stunning in a Reem Acra Spring/Summer 2014 one shoulder silk gown.

Peek inside her make-up bag and you’ll find things like La Mer The Oil Absorbing Lotion and Kérastase Resistance Conditioner.

Directing: Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity

There wasn’t an element to Gravity that suggested it didn’t have a great leader in the form of an incredible director, it has to be Alfonso Cuarón’s year. Experiencing Ryan Stone’s journey in space was hair-raising and haunting, actress Sandra Bullock has been nominated for an Oscar in her amazing role as Stone, while it might not be Bullock’s year, one can’t ignore how beautiful she looked while lost in space.

Bullock puts her gravity-defying beauty down to an Artistry cream, face cloth, SPF and La Prairie Anti-Aging Emulsion (oh and a lot of pilates and kickboxing).

Writing: Adapted Screenplay – Philomena

It may not win, but it should. Steeve Coogan and Jeff Pope’s adaptation of this heartbreaking story is really good. In Philomena, Judi Dench says naughty words with an Irish accent, eats Tunes and challenges stuffy London journalist Martin Sixsmith as they search for her long lost son. Dench is also nominated for an Oscar in her role as Philomena and one can’t ignore her timeless beauty on the red carpet and how gracefully she has aged. What you can look forward to most is how she will wear her hair!

Writing: Original Screenplay – Her

In Her, Spike Jonze cuts straight to the places within your heart that have loved and lost with soon to be divorced Theodore played by Oscar nominee Joaquin Phonenix and embodies all the optimism of a new love through the omnipresent voice of artificial intelligence Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson. When hitting up the red carpet Johansson likes to look to the golden age of Hollywood, which is why it is always exciting to her on an award night. She keeps her sensitive skin dewy and in check with Cetaphil face wash and a Clarins moisturiser and puckers up with Dolce&Gabbana Gloss Fusion Lipstick.

Best Picture: 12 Years A Slave

Who does the Oscar go to? Roll on March 2nd!


Reward Season

Amid winter, is my favourite season, award season. It’s when my other half and I are at playful odds with one another over what makes a movie British, bets over which nominees will win and domestics over who saw which Globe/Oscar/BAFTA nominated movie without the other. Of course we aren’t half as excited this year without the Beasts of The Southern Wild nominations, but are rooting for Alfonso Cuarón for Best Director, Matthew McConaughey for Best Actor and of course Philomena for Best Adapted Screenplay and Her for Best Original Screenplay.

What award season often presents though, is an opportunity to combine movies, family, friends and food, my four favourite things in no particular order. As ever, careful preparation will be going into the food details for the night and while always up for some star studded decadence, this year I have been racking my brains to create some rewarding treats for award season.

Pan Popcorn

This one can’t go amiss, away from the butter laden variety at the real movies and the microwaveable sort, in recent years, popcorn been embraced by health lovers and is now sold liberally in supermarkets as pre-popped skinny corn.

Having always cooked popcorn at home in a pan with olive oil and a little salt, it was never an unhealthy experience. Using the same traditional method with a slightly revised recipe, this even healthier popcorn will bring the necessary cinematic delicacy to your night.


(For 20 reasonable servings)

1 cup of popcorn kernels
3 generous tablespoons coconut oil
Himalayan Pink Salt

Melt coconut oil in a deep pan, without the lid on a medium high heat.
Once the oil has melted, add kernels to pan and season with salt and coat kernels with oil.
Leave the lid off for a few minutes and allow kernels to sizzle slightly, once they do cover pan with lid and turn the heat up.
After a few minutes the kernels will start to pop, be mindful of this and keep an eye on the pan, try not tinker with it too much, the odd shake here or there when you sense the pan needs it. The easiest way to keep an eye on this is to use a deep pan with a glass lid.
After sometime the popping will slow down, to a pop or so every few seconds, your popcorn is ready. Empty into a large bowl, a few kernels will remain under popped, if there are many, work quickly to remove popped kernels into the bowl and return the remaining few back to heat until they are finished.

For an extra oomph, make the popcorn fresh when your guests have arrived and serve in colourful cups.

Mini Thai Cakes

These yummy mini morsels are made of yam and brown rice, because they resist fish, dairy and gluten, one doesn’t have pass them onto other guests in a hurry.

(Makes 10 big ones or 20 little ones)

2 cups of cooked brown rice
1 large yam, boiled and mashed
1 teaspoon grated ginger
One clove finally chopped garlic
2 heaped tablespoons Thai Kitchen red paste (adjust to taste – I like it HOT)
Handful of coriander, washed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon Tumeric
1/2 Chilli flakes
1 heaped teaspoon ground cumin
1 heaped teaspoon ground coriander
Himalayan Pink Salt (to taste)

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl thoroughly, make small two-bite sized patties.
Lightly oil a non stick frying pan and cook for three to four minutes on each side, using spatula to keep the shape of each patty.

Tip: Prepare and cook the night before and heat up when your guests arrive.


Serve each with a teaspoon of homemade guacamole…

Juice of half a lemon
1 clove of garlic
One large avocado

Blend all the ingredients with a hand blender, adding a little bit of water to ease blending.


Cake-pops are more tempting because of how lovely they look, these date-pops are a sweet delicious alternative to to those sugary things and can look just as pretty.

(Makes about 10)

250g dates (pitted)
Half a cup ground almond powder
Half cup unsweetened desiccated coconut (to cover with)

In a blender mix the dates with the ground almonds, this should leave you with a thick sticky mass. You can also do this by hand if you want.
Form ten two-bite sized date-pops.
Scatter coconut on a flat plate, roll the date-pops in the coconut and cover, pressing coconut in as required.
Finish by pushing a cake-pop stick or tooth pick into each date-pop.