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Red Carpet Beauty: A Softer, Twisted Topknot + Tips On Choosing the Right Foundation Shade for Rachel McAdams

Rachel McAdams' twisted topknot how-to + uh oh, her foundation is the wrong shade at the premiere of To the Wonder. And wait -- is that a dark circle? Here's how to cover it.
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Rachel McAdams_To The

I really dislike disparaging remarks about a celeb's makeup and hair because I so adore pro makeup and hair artists and covet their skills. But sometimes, things go a little wonky -- even experts are human -- and then we're presented with an opportunity to learn. Right?

Let's start with pretty Rachel McAdams' topknot at the To the Wonder premiere in LA the other night. I love it. I love that her hair is glossy red again. And I love the knot's soft, languid look, as though celebrity stylist Mark Townsend (he of the gentlest blowout in the world) merely twisted her hair up and let it coil gently down into place. But I bet it's too high a knot for some. If you love it too, Mark's how-to is further down in this post.

Now let's get to Rachel's foundation. Oops. Here's why artists need to take snapshots of their work before they let clients out of the room. Not pretty, filtered Instagram shots, but photographs with a bright flash, to make sure nothing bounces off powder in need of blending, or foundation that isn't quite the right shade. That's one tip.

To avoid this sort of foundation/neck mismatch yourself, you have to choose the right place to test your shades. See that bit of skin between Rachel's ear and the curve of her jawline? That's an ideal place to test; it's usually a neutral zone between face and neck, without the redness or sun damage that can confuse colour-matching on other areas of the face. That's tip two.

"To The Wonder" Los Angeles premiere

I can stop there -- or I can mention Rachel's dark circle. Maybe she rubbed her left eye? Or maybe she has just the one dark circle. Could be -- nature can be funny. Either way, a peach-toned concealer is the fix. Peach blends right into dark under-eye shadows to turn them the colour of pale skin. On deeper complexions, more orange concealers magically turn into flesh tone over dark circles. Let's call that tip three, even though it's about concealer.

That pink lip, though, is gorgeous, as is the soft, rose-gold shimmer on Rachel's eyes. And Rachel herself -- one of my favourite Hollywood faces.

Rachel McAdams_To the Wonder

Okay, back to Rachel's hair. Aside from his unbelievable skill at giving a blowout that pulls not one single hair (he could blow dry a sleeping woman's hair without waking her), one of the things I love about Mark Townsend is that although he's the spokesperson for Dove haircare, he uses other brands too. Keeps it real, you know?

Mark Townsend's Topknot How-to:

"For the 'To the Wonder' screening I created a fun topknot for Rachel McAdams. I love a topknot and I am so happy this trend is sticking around; they are young, cool and super modern. To keep a topknot looking more chic and polished (instead of like you just left the gym) follow these easy steps:

~ I started by spraying the Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo ($6.37, on Rachel's dry hair, focusing at the root. This dry shampoo is amazing at giving you a clean scalp and also amazing texture.

~ Next, I raked a dime size amount of Dove Damage Solutions Colour Care Leave On Conditioner ($6.79, through Rachel's newly dyed hair to condition and add lots of shine before gathering her hair just in front of the crown of the head and pulling it into a ponytail.

~ I sprayed Sally Hershberger Genius Spray Wax ($12.99, Shoppers Drug Mart) into the ponytail to give the hair rich texture and then twisted the hair around the base of the ponytail, tucking the ends under the knot to hide them away and then secured with 12 bobby pins. I always make an X with two bobby pins when securing, and I always spray dry shampoo on them for extra security (the starch in the dry shampoo sticks to the pins and gives them a matte finish and creates a little extra friction with the hair for tighter hold).

~ When the knot was secured, I pulled out some flyaway hairs to soften the hair around the knot. To add to the look, I used a strip of black satin as a headband."

One more tip: If you'd rather not play with bobby pins, Goody Spin Pins will do the hold-fast trick.

So tell me re: Rachel's soft, twisted topknot + ribbon -- do you love it? Or not so much? And her makeup?

Photos borrowed from