All About Ciara's Show-Stopping AMAs Glam
The “Level Up” star has always been atop her style game. So it’s no surprise that to host the American Music Awards on Sunday, the 34-year-old songstress switched up her fashion flow nine times, from the red carpet to the closing curtain. And with each outfit change came a bold new beauty look courtesy of hairstylist César DeLeön Ramirêz and makeup artist Yolonda Frederick-Thompson, who took PEOPLE behind the scenes of their epic night.
Meet Ciara's Glam Squad
Ciara has relied on her go-to pros for ever-ever! Hairstylist Ramirêz reveals the two “found each other” in 2010, when he styled her for BFF La La Anthony‘s wedding. “It was the beginning of our beautiful glam-union,” he says. Meanwhile, Ciara’s worked with Frederick-Tompson for 17 years! “I did Ciara’s prom makeup — she was only 16 years-old!”
Inside Makeup Artist Frederick-Thompson's Kit
The pro used only the very best for her client: legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath's makeup line. With Ciara’s “magical” eyes the focus, Frederick-Thompson used Pat McGrath Labs' Mothership VI Eyeshadow Palette and the “richly pigmented” Permagel Ultra Glide Eye Pencils in “Blitz Brown” and “Blitz Blue”.
Hairstylist Ramirêz's Essentials
“Tonight my theme is to make every outfit come to life. I believe in complementing the whole look to create a beautiful image,” says the pro, who used Wildform hair pieces, UNITE hair care and his secret weapon Garnier Express Retouch to get her various styles. “I wanted to add a highlight to Ciara’s hair and since it was a last minute decision I didn’t have time to properly color hair ahead of time. I add a few pieces of a lighter colored extension and used my root touchup in Dark Brown at the root of the lighter extension pieces to create a darker root and to blend into her hair,” says the pro.
Master Glam Sesh
The Power Couple at Work
The duo took every look seriously, but it was especially important to nail the entrance, says Frederick-Thompson. “The carpet is the statement look it sets the tone. So the pressure begins there to deliver that ‘wow factor’ then we continue to build towards our final look!” How’d they pull it off? By thinking outside of the box. “It is pretty unexpected for her to go with jewel tones,” but the vibrant hue was a success. “[We] loved it so much!”
Five, Four, Three, Two, One...Watch Me!
Just like that, Ciara was in and out of outfits, starting with the sparkly ensemble (left) she wore to perform her new song “Melanin”. Says Frederick-Thompson of the looks, “We are generally inspired by the textures and colors of the wardrobe (styled by Maeve Reilly), staging and lighting. So the looks are mapped out accordingly.”
Ramirêz's Crowning Moment
“I love that I can be 100% myself with Ciara,” says the hairstylist. “She embraces me supports me and encourages me. Not to mention she things I’m funny! Professionally she trusts me to be an artist. She allows me to be creative and to express myself artistically because of that I feel I always do my best work with her,” he says.
All Hands on Deck
Even Ciara gets in on the glam session. Says Frederick-Thompson. “The turn arounds are really quick! We had to find a way to move the needle in sometimes only two minutes! In these instances, she applies her own lip — she thinks she does it faster!”
After two weeks of discussions and mood boards, the night was over in the blink of an eye. But the trio will reunite soon to create more head-turning looks. Says Frederick-Thompson: César is like my super power… I feel we do our best work together and bring the best out of each other artistically and professionally.” Adds Ramirêz, “Yolanda has been in the game for a long time she taught me a lot about professionalism but there’s something about our glam together that is magic. Her makeup is so clean and soft it makes any style I do look stunning together we deliver polished beauty every time.”