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Top Hollywood Makeup Artists Toasted By Variety, Armani Beauty Over Oscar Weekend

By Matt Donnelly,


Heavy-hitters from show business and the global beauty industry put their best faces forward over Oscar weekend, celebrating the 2023 honorees at the annual Variety + Armani Beauty’s Makeup Artistry Dinner .

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The Edition West Hollywood’s Ardor restaurant played host for an evening celebrating the work of transformative artists Allan Avendaño , Alex Babsky , Kelsey Deenihan Fisher, Kathy Jeung and Cedric Jolivet — each given an emotional tribute by Sabrina Carpenter, Tessa Thompson, Lucy Hale, Natasha Bedingfield and Kathryn Newton, respectively.

Champagne and cocktails were served on a lush garden patio before dinner indoors, where the likes of supermodel Winnie Harlow, Emma Roberts, Meg Stalter, Kristine Froseth and Cara Santana mingled. Team Armani stayed true to their Italian roots by inviting several players from the Sicily-set second season of “The White Lotus”: actors Meghann Fahy, Leo Woodall, Simona Tabasco and Beatrice Grannò.

Armani artists Mélanie Inglessis and Carolina Gonzalez gave opening remarks and proceedings were hosted by Variety ‘s Marc Malkin. All attendees appreciated a well-drawn eyebrow and the perfect contour, but inner beauty was top of mind for the famous presenters.

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Carpenter praised Avendaño for his sense of humor and the intimacy they’ve built over their careers. “Pretty Little Liars” star Hale commended Deenihan Fisher’s work ethic as the mom of a toddler. Bedingfield opted to belt out several high notes in celebration of Jeung. Newton, star of Marvel’s just-released Ant-Man sequel “Quantamania,” credited Jolivet with helping her secure acting roles thanks to his out-of-the-box vision.

“Westworld” star Thompson was perhaps the most poignant in discussing her work with Babsky.

“I used to think of makeup as a sort of war paint. I thought of fashion as armor, all the ways we adorn ourselves. A way to shield us from the world,” she said. “When I met Alex, my idea of that really changed. It was the first time I felt really recognized by somebody for my beauty, the beauty that exists inside and is amplified by somebody that really sees you. Alex’s approach to makeup is incredibly technical, but he understands the person he’s in front of and paints them with tremendous love and care.”

Guests lingered over dessert with Variety CEO Michelle Sobrino-Stearns, chief operating officer Dea Lawrence, and co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh until the last white linen was folded and tea light candle was blown out.

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