Janetta Mackay: Live from the red carpet

By Janetta Mackay

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Viva beauty editor Janetta Mackay takes a rooftop refresh after hair and makeup at the Pullman Hotel before dressing for her big night out. Photo / Rob Trathern
Viva beauty editor Janetta Mackay takes a rooftop refresh after hair and makeup at the Pullman Hotel before dressing for her big night out. Photo / Rob Trathern

I've always fancied letting my inner Joan Rivers rip, but rather than picking a Fash Hole of the Week or shrieking Bitch Stole My Look, I found myself sauntering up the red carpet at the Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards instead. Purely for research you understand.

"I'm wearing Kate Sylvester, with uncomfortable gold shoes from an Australian chain store," I might have said, if anyone had asked. The crowd of mostly young girls outside Vector Arena last Thursday night were too busy waiting to snap reality TV stars on their cellphones. "I've got heaps of autographs," one told me. "If I see Jackie Thomas and Stan Walker my life is complete," said another, aged 14.

Lorde, who bypassed the walk, wasn't top-of-the-pops for the teenies who unlike the older audience inside seemed more fixated on spotting the likes of You Tube blonde boy wonder Cody Simpson. Backstage though everyone was pretty keen to check out Lorde, but she was being marshalled VIP-style in a most un-Kiwi muso manner. With her being both young and No. 1, a different dynamic has come into play.

The usual general media stand-up in the green room was replaced by select interviews. Tall Poppy rumblings were heard, but these were as nothing to the WTF comments about Paul Henry's gratuitous swearing.

Memo Paul and all: Times have changed and by the way Petra Bagust won the award for most F-bombs from a presenter at the Tuis years ago. (Truly!)

Viva's fashion awards have already been dispensed, so back to my day job which is the beauty side of things and what got me gussied up in the first place. Being in the lucky position of not having to file any copy on the night, I was happy to says yes to pre-show hair by Fudge and makeup by Smashbox (the official sponsors who invited me along). It's a treat leaving this stuff to the professionals, but I have to say playing celebrity takes a lot of time.

Viva's beauty editor Janetta Mackay found it a hoot to walk the red carpet as an anonymous observer while the crowds clamoured to find out who was following.
Viva's beauty editor Janetta Mackay found it a hoot to walk the red carpet as an anonymous observer while the crowds clamoured to find out who was following.


Makeup artist Sammie told me she reckoned the reason women wouldn't let go of the bright lipstick trend was because it made them look done in a swipe. Too true, it's my lazy stand-by, whereas her wondrous work on my complexion and eyes isn't something that anyone could pull off in a few minutes.

It took me longer to take my hairpins out at the end of the evening than I spend on my hair most mornings.

The first time I went to the NZMAs many years ago, it was a drunken shambles. Fun though. The red carpet hadn't been laid. I think I wore a leather jacket and most of the men were in jeans. Now it has been colonised by designer labels and sponsor's brands. No bad thing for dress and appearance standards and the food and drink is much improved, but resorting to a clever Herald headline (soon to become a cliché) in this the year of our Lorde it's no wonder Royals resonates.

- VIVA

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