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Oscars Beauty: Cate Blanchett, Kate Hudson Channel the '40s Wave

Hairstylists Robert Vetica and Chris McMillan were both inspired by '40s starlet Veronica Lake's wavy mane.
Kate Hudson, left, and Cate Blanchett
AP Images

Standouts on this year’s red carpet channeled 1940s femme fatale Veronica Lake for hair inspiration, including Blue Jasmine star Cate Blanchett, nominated for this year’s best actress category. “We were inspired by Veronica and icons of early Hollywood and because [Cate] wore her hair up so much for the last season, we wanted to wear it down,” explained Robert Vetica, owner of the Robert Vetica Salon at the SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills.

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“The spirit of the '40s was soft and flowy, and that’s where we were going,” said Vetica, the tamer of the star's tresses for the past three years, to Pret-a-Reporter. “I tried to keep it flowing and not too set -- even though I had to set it well because of the moisture in the air.”

He noted that products played an important part in the planning process because of the inclement weather. Vetica used an array of Vidal Sassoon Pro Series products such as Vidal Sassoon Pro Series Boost & Lift Foaming Air Mousse to prep the hair for shine, volume and hold, and Boost & Lift Foaming Air Mousse to protect hair from humidity. Vetica also relied upon two types of hairspray, including Pro Series Flexible Hold Hairspray, followed by Pro Series Extra Firm Hold Hairspray to set Blanchett's sultry, soft curls.

Hairstylist Chris McMillan also looked to '40s starlets when prepping client and presenter Kate Hudson for the show. “My take was a rock ‘n’ roll Kate Hudson, 1940s Veronica Lake, ending up like Jerry Hall,” said McMillan of the eponymous salon in Beverly Hills, adding “The '70s and '80s lent themselves to a very Veronica Lake-y look.” McMillan, too, worked carefully to fight the effects of humidity on the Versace-clad Hudson’s sexy ’do, using an arsenal of products by Living Proof, for which he is the official spokesperson. These include the oil-free satin serum, which he employed for hair ends, topped with a layer of Flex Shaping hairspray.

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