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An underarm stain is embarrassing enough when the entire free world isn’t watching (and documenting it for posterity on Instagram.) So what’s a star to do to ensure that dresses, suits and hygienic reuptations remain unscathed when it comes to a potentially sweltering daytime red-carpet stroll Sept. 23?
For women, “you have to be really careful about the dress you pick,” says stylist Nikki Pennie, who’s helped Madonna and Kate Middleton stay dry during high-heat photo ops. “Go sleveless or pick a dress that cuts below the armpits. And stay away from satin. Satin is the worst.” But as Meg Ryan, Blake Lively and Nicole Kidman have proved in previous years, a sleeveless dress is no guarantee for keeping at bay the dreaded sweat ring (more embarrassing than a nude tweet!). Luckily, there are a few preventative measures.
“Botox,” advises Gabriel Chiu, a Beverly Hills-based plastic surgeon. Forty to 50 pricks per pit stops sweating for six to 12 months by freezing glands that regulate perspiration. The results, which can run from $750 to $2,000, are immediate. But since Botox doesn’t affect a second type of sweat gland, you may be stuck with one unfortunate bodily function – the olfactory one. “Luckily,” says Chiu, “you can’t smell through a photo.”
One major actor discovered the benefits of underarm botox firsthand. Having had to always wear black and change shirts constantly on his series because of profuse sweating, he approached Beverly Hills dermatologist Peter Kopelson. “We determined where his most active sweat glands were by doing a starch iodine test,” explains Kopelson. “Then we applied Botox. After a few days, he told me I changed his life.” Beverly HIlls plastic surgeon Glenn Vallecillos will inject botox into fingerarms, palms, feet, forehead or hairline for sweat glands in those areas.
For those who don’t want Botox, Sweatex underarm pads ($2.99 each, sweatex.com) promise to absorb moisture. But not everyone wants a maxipad under their arm. Antiperspirants that include the drying agent aluminum chloride – one called Drysol has 28 percent aluminum chloride – can be applied a few nights before a major event. “We recommend rubbing a cotton ball of rubbing alcohol before applying deodorant,” advises Emily Current, part of the styling team with Meritt Elliott who counts Mandy Moore and Emma Roberts as clients.”
Unless your look of the day is zebra chic, using long-lasting makeup is imperative. Makeup artist Kristie Streicher, who’s worked with Lea Michele and Rachel Weisz, swears by the Temptu airbrush foundation system. “It’s pixilated dots of makeup that sit in your pores, not on top of your face,” she explains. “The wearability is not only flawless, it lasts 10 to 12 hours.”
While these tricks will likely halt any would-be body monsoons, stylist Samantha McMillen, who dresses Johnny Depp and Carey Mulligan, knows of only one footproof method for keeping dry: “Air conditioning.”
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Thomas Brodie Sangster