I Spent the Last Month Getting Red Carpet Ready & This Is What It Really Takes
Juice cleanses are hard, but getting your boobs contoured is not
For four weeks, PEOPLE reporter Maria Yagoda committed her entire life to getting red carpet ready, using celeb-approved, beautifying tips and tricks, from extreme fitness classes to colon hydrotherapy to major diet changes. Here’s how week four (and her final day of glam) went:
What Is It: Spray tan, juice cleanse, full day of glam and red carpet cameo!
Who Tried It: Maria Yagoda, PEOPLE Writer-Reporter
Level of Difficulty: 5 — Juice cleanses are hard, but getting your boobs contoured is not.
After one full month of prepping, it was the final stretch — just three days until the red carpet.
Throughout the month, I tried a wide range of celeb-approved, pre-red-carpet procedures, some of which were terrifying, like a microneedle facial, eyelash extensions, teeth whitening, sugar hair removal, colon hydrotherapy, beauty IV drip and more. I took super-intense fitness classes, eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet and … did I mention I had water blasted into my colon? Yes, that happened. And I will never let anyone forget it.
But I finally made it to the end — just three days of a juice cleanse (!!!), a quick spray tan treatment and a full day of glam left before heading to the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue launch party, where I was slated to walk the red carpet next to Chrissy Teigen and Ashley Graham with the expectation of not having a panic attack. Would I pull it off? Would my boobs fall out? Would the juice cleanse kill me before I even made it to the carpet?
Here’s how it all went down.
AT-HOME SPRAY TAN
As a naturally tan person, I’ve never felt inspired to get a spray tan, though I’m always bummed in the winter when I have to buy paler foundation.
A few days before the carpet, though, we decided I needed that bronzed glow if I were ever going to pass as a celebrity, so I got a St. Tropez spray tan, just like Hugh Jackman. (He gets St. Tropez spray tans, to clarify.)
The cool thing about spray tans is that the experts can actually “contour” abs, boobs and butts onto your body, giving you the shape you want. Sophie Evans, the St. Tropez Skin Finishing Expert who administered my look, sprayed on a six-pack. I almost cried. It was a miracle.
Aside from the cold blast that sprays all over your naked body, getting a spray tan was not uncomfortable — it was actually refreshing! And my glow lasted for days, as did my painted-on abs. I used St. Tropez’s In Shower Gradual Tan product to extend the glow for as long as possible.
THREE DAY JUICE CLEANSE
For three and a half weeks, I had been complaining about the fact that I couldn’t eat Goldfish anymore, as I cut gluten and dairy out of my diet. It was about to get a lot more serious — and I was about to start causing scenes literally everywhere. The time for my juice cleanse had arrived. For three days before the carpet, I would replace all my meals with juices or smoothies, with one meal a day being swapped with raw vegetables, so I could still experience the marvelous sensation of chewing. For the final pre-carpet push, celebrities will often go on a cleanse for three or five days to lose any extra bloating and clear up their skin.
All I can really say about these three days is that I was very sad and irritable. You know how people sometimes say that cleanses energize them? Boost their mood? Well, these people are lying to you and America. While the juices and smoothies I bought from Juice Press were delicious, even the green ones, I could never forget how much more delicious eggplant parm is.
GLAM DAY (AND WARDROBE) AT HOTEL
It was finally the day I’d been working towards for a long and painful month. After a few hours in the office, I cabbed over to WestHouse Hotel, where we reserved a suite for my full afternoon of hair, makeup, wardrobe, shoes and more boob contouring, this time from a professional makeup artist.
When I arrived at the suite, I slipped out of my clothes and into a robe, then I applied one of those creepy sheet masks and took selfies until my phone’s memory was full. I felt like Adele.
Before hair and makeup with NOMI Beauty, my brilliant stylist Sarah Ball, PEOPLE’s fashion market editor, presented me with a rack of glamorous designer gowns, from labels like Roberto Cavalli and Dolce & Gabbana, thanks to Net-A-Porter, Gilt and Saks, who were kind enough to play along with the idea that I was an actual celeb.
I almost started crying when I saw the dresses. I think I was just hungry? But they were all so beautiful. I’d never been so close to such stunningly expensive items. I was also very hungry.
After trying on our favorite dresses, we landed on a favorite: a shimmering floor-length Halston gown with a plunging neckline and side cut-outs ($495). Once we taped my boobs in, I didn’t even recognize myself. When I squinted, I looked like a real-live celeb and felt like a prom queen at a 50k-a-year private high school. I shrieked.
I would never forgive myself if I didn’t mention the gorgeous runners up: A pink, sparkly Dolce & Gabbana (Courtesy Saks Fifth Avenue, $5375), a red v-neck Roberto Cavalli (Courtesy Saks, $1,745), a burgundy Narcisco Rodrigez (Courtesy Gilt, $3,495) and a plunging, velvet Ana Maria (Courtesy Gilt, $480).
For hair, we decided long, loose curls for a super sleek and glam vibe. And then glam makeup too. All glam everything. The only two adjectives I have to describe everything that was done to me is “sleek” and “glam.” My fashion vocabulary is very limited.
After 30 minutes of getting pampered and dreaming about chicken tenders that were on the way (almost time to break the fast), I looked at myself in the mirror and … shrieked again. I was officially unhinged, but also in love with my look. We picked out a gorgeous Lee Savage clutch ($1,995), dramatic Mignonne Gavigan earrings ($225) and strappy Tamara Mellon heels ($395), and then toasted to all of our hard work. I stared longingly at a pair of Monolo Blahniks and Jimmy Choo clutch (from Net-A-Porter) I wouldn’t be bringing, feeling sad that I couldn’t wear two handbags and two pairs of shoes to an event. Oh, society.
Then my fabulous handlers/momagers, Lindy Segal and Brittany Talarico, whisked me off to the Sports Illustrated red carpet.
Would all the models laugh at me? Or would their eyes not be able to even register me because of how different I was, structurally, from them?
Another key component of this experience: I couldn’t stop taking selfies in the car.
ACTUAL RED CARPET
I couldn’t wear my yogurt-stained puffy down jacket, so Brittany held it as we tried to enter the side of the venue, where a whole flock of paparazzi were camped out. Then the craziest thing happened — they all started yelling “Picture! Picture! Picture!” as we approached the door, flashing their cameras furiously. To be abundantly clear: They thought I was somebody. They must have seen the glimmer of my dress and the ones without glasses must have just instinctively assumed I was a model or actress, causing the ones with glasses to start taking photos just because everyone else was. After four of the longest seconds of my life, they all realized I was, in fact, nobody, and we realized we were at the wrong entrance anyway, so we had to walk-of-shame to the other side of the building.
Once we made it upstairs to the actual event, I realized it was finally time to walk the carpet. Aly Raisman was up there! And Chrissy Teigen was arriving any second. I didn’t belong, but I knew I had to go for it. I had come so far! So I walked onto the red carpet, in front of a huge pack of photographers, and then blacked out for the next 30 seconds.
When I miraculously arrived at the other side of the carpet — I was so nervous I didn’t retain any memories of the experience — I made the executive decision that it was time to eat and drink an inappropriate amount and flirt with men in suits. So that’s exactly what I did.