Celeb Makeup Artist Bruce Grayson on What To Expect at the Oscars

Oscars 2012 Makeup
FilmMagic; WireImage

“I can sum up this red carpet season in one descriptive word: translucency.” Such is the beauty wisdom from celebrity makeup artist Bruce Grayson, who creates amazing looks for everyone from Katie Holmes to Hayden Panettiere.

Grayson, who will be backstage doing makeup at Sunday’s Academy Awards, expects to see lots of natural beauty come Oscar night, based on the looks he’s seen at the Golden Globes and SAG Awards. “It’s very much a makeup-down year, but not unpolished,” he tells PEOPLE. “It will just look like it hasn’t been done.”

Because of that, Grayson doesn’t expect to see many smoky eyes and red lips, but instead sheer eye shadow colors and semi-matte lip colors. “There’s this new move away from glosses to hybrids that are half lipstick, half gloss,” he explains. “There’s more lusciousness in terms of texture, but also that major pigmentation.”

When working with his clients, Grayson starts with a well-moisturized face. “It’s all about prepping the skin before you put on an ounce of makeup,” the Olay ambassador says. “You want the makeup to augment the complexion.”

Grayson counts on moisturizers like Olay Regenerist, plus vitamin-rich under-eye products, like the brand’s anti-aging eye roller. “February is the driest month of the year, and in California, the skin just eats up moisturizer,” he explains. “So I do at least one, possibly two, applications of moisturizer under the eyes. It’s all about that beautiful, texture-free canvas.”

When Grayson sends his clients on their way, he gives them lip gloss, blotting papers and sheer powder to use for touch-ups throughout the night. “Sometimes I’ll give them a sponge to work out the makeup that mitigates into those fine lines,” he says. Small, fine brushes can help keep under-eye makeup in control, too.

But usually, excess makeup isn’t an issue. “I encourage my clients to wear just enough to get the job done,” he says. “They need coverage, but you have to keep it strategic.”

So who is the Hollywood pro looking forward to seeing come Sunday? “Halle Berry is always so incredibly polished,” he shares. “And I’m really curious to see some of the newcomers, like Rooney Mara. She has a brilliant complexion, great cheekbones, a great jawline. I’m curious to see how she plays it, how she does her hair — and, of course, what she wears.” Tell us: Who are you most looking forward to seeing during Sunday’s Oscars?

–Kate Hogan