Getting red carpet ready on a seriously tiny budget - it can be done!

Posted on September 04, 2014 by Jennifer McKinley | 0 comments

This time last week I was feeling like Cinderella waking up after the ball. I was so lucky to be able to attend the Primetime Emmy Awards and The Governor’s Ball following the awards ceremony. It was super fun, but the week beforehand I was worried about how to get myself red carpet ready, given how limited my budget was, and the fact that I am very much a plain Jane.

One of my friends who I have known for decades is an executive at NBC and he invited me to be his date this year. I was thrilled, but let me say, also a little intimidated. First, a supermodel I am not! Second, given some investments just made in the business, I really couldn’t go out and buy anything new.

So getting red carpet ready took a lot of creativity. Given I am 5’1”, there was no possibility of borrowing clothes from friends. As an aside, Nicole Richie just did a hilarious episode on her new tv show of what it is like to go through life as someone who is also 5’1”. (http://www.vh1.com/shows/candidly-nicole) Luckily I had one black tie outfit in my closet. It was old, really, really old. I think I bought it in the 1990s. Phew! The dress still works. Lesson: every woman should have one timeless formal dress in her closet.

I thought about just doing my makeup myself, but why when there are fantastic makeup artists in every mall across America? So I took myself off to the Bobbi Brown counter at Macys. I wasn’t alone! There were quite a few other women getting their makeup done there too. A purchase of an eyeliner that I needed to replace anyway, and Jamie from Bobbi Brown did my makeup so much better than I ever could.

Next, my hair. I may not be a supermodel (or even come anywhere close to being a model of any kind!), but I do have good hair. But you know how you always have the best hair the day you go to the hairdressers than at any other time? I decided to splash out on getting a blow out. This was my one expense. $60 at the brilliantly-conceived Dry Bar, and I came out with a hairdo that was intricate, fun and youthful. Dry Bar is always such a fun experience, but it was especially buzzing on this day as everyone there in the Studio City location was going to the Emmys that night.

Next on the list accessories: the clutch I bought from TJ Maxx for $19.95, the jewelry was a mix of vintage items from my mother who was quite the fashionista before the term was even invented. I have a really great costume ring from the 1970s of hers. I added a couple of Swarovski leather cuff bands which were a gift from a friend for my birthday this year. The one extravagance was a stunning pair of earrings borrowed for the night from a friend of mine who is a very high end jewelry designer. 18k gold, 1.8ct black diamonds and diamond beads. Thanks Drew! (http://www.martin-newyork.com).

And so with a grand outlay of $79.95 I was off to mix and mingle on the red carpet. I had such a blast. Everyone was gorgeous. Everyone was gracious. Everyone was fun. Everyone was funny.  Here’s a few of my favourite photos. I especially like the one of Betsy Brandt from Breaking Bad made fun of how short I am in! 



Jennifer xoxo


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