Following 2023’s actors and writers strikes, awards season is in full swing — and who better to share how to save the fashion day than Hollywood’s top celebrity stylists? For our inaugural Red Carpet Essentials awards series, we asked industry insiders on the products that they always keep in their wardrobe emergency kits. Here, the pros share their must-haves for keeping their clients looking photo-ready on the red carpet, from garment steamers and stain pens that keep stars’ designer looks wrinkle- and spot-free, to the best nip slip-preventing adhesive bras and shoe inserts that make make celebrities feel like they’re walking on clouds (even in sky-high stilettos).
“I don’t go anywhere without a lint roller, topstick and sewing kit,” reveals stylist Amanda Lim, whose clients include Alisha Boe, Auli’i Cravalho, Milo Manheim, Jaufey, Emily Rudd, Young Mazino, Jazmin Savoy-Brown and more. “My most recent sewing emergency was resolved riding in the back of the car service from our hotel to the Miu Miu show this past SS24 season.”
Notes Emmy award-winning makeup artist Julia Jovone, “double stick tape is definitely a must-have in my emergency kit. It’s a true win-win situation. Not only does it come in handy for securing loose items and fixing wardrobe malfunctions, but it also helps me unleash my creativity. With just a few strips of double-stick tape, I can transform a simple look into something extraordinary. It’s like magic in a roll, always ready to save the day and make my clients feel confident and flawless.”
How We Chose the Winners of THR’s Red Carpet Essentials Awards
Hollywood fashion and beauty professionals have logged hundreds — if not thousands — of hours testing makeup, skincare, hair products and tools, and more on clients and themselves. That’s why we turned to them to share the products that have earned their professional personal seals of approval for use on clients on the red carpet, as well as every day.
THR‘s Red Carpet Essentials Awards Experts:
- Stylists Krista Roser, Mickey Freeman, Amanda Lim
- Makeup artists Jennifer “JD” Daranyi, Jamie Greenberg (Jamie Makeup founder), Hinako, Julia Jovone, Hinako, Renée Loiz (Color May Vary founder), Katie Mellinger, Robert Sesnek, Tisha Thompson (LYS Beauty co-founder/ceo)
- Hairstylists Araxi Lindsey, Mara Roszak (Mare Salon co-founder, Rōz haircare founder) MJ Snyder
- Hair extensions Priscilla Valle
- Colorists Rita Hazan
- Brow and lash artists Melanie Marris (Brow Code founder/ceo)
- Aestheticians and facialists Sarah Akram, Ian Michael Crumm (BeautyCurious podcast co-host)
Red Carpet Essentials Awards: The Best Steamers, Stain Removers and Wardrobe Kit Must-Haves
Ahead, see the crème de la crème of wardrobe kit essentials recommended by the pros. From the best garment steamers and stain removers, to the best foot cushions and lint rollers, check out their top fashion fix must-haves and stay tuned as we’ll be rolling out more picks across makeup, skin-care, hair tools, beauty accessories, facial devices and more.
If you purchase an independently reviewed product or service through a link on our website, The Hollywood Reporter may receive an affiliate commission.
Vapon Topstick Men’s Grooming Tape
“I always carry Topstick even though I’m not a stylist. I was doing a film shoot once, and it saved the day by getting glitter off of George Clooney’s face. I wasn’t even doing his grooming that day — I just happened to be the one on set with tape!” — Katie Mellinger
Hollywood Fashion Secrets Tape
MJ Snyder and Priscilla Valles both sing high praises for Hollywood Fashion Secrets’ fashion tape.
“One of the go-to products for many celebrities is Hollywood Fashion Secrets Tape. It’s a popular fashion tape that is used to secure clothing in place and prevent wardrobe malfunctions. Many stylists and celebrities use this tape to ensure that their outfits stay in place on the red carpet. It can be used to create cleavage, secure plunging necklines, and keep dresses and tops from shifting,” says Valles.
Nippies Nipple Covers
Stylists Amanda Lim and Mickey Freeman both love using Nippies’ adhesive silicone nipple covers, which come in options for A to D+ ups and in six skin-tone shades.
Explains Lim, “I love using Nippies, these nipple covers seem to have the most success with the most amount of my clients.”
“For the 2022 Elle Women in Hollywood event, I styled actress Nafessa Williams in a purple Jean Louis Sabaji sheer gown,” sys Freeman. “Before heading out of the door, Nafessa decided that this wasn’t the event for ‘Free the Nipple,’ so I went into my styling kit for my trusty Nippies by B-Six skin adhesive petals, which saved the day!”
NuBra Demi Underwire Adhesive Bra
“For Disney’s Hocus Pocus 2 premiere in New York, Lilia Buckingham wore the perfect nude, hand-beaded gown with matching opera gloves by Cucculelli Shaheen. After hours of making sure her hair and makeup were just right and exactly what we imagined, it was now time to put the dress on, and we noticed that adjustments to the bust needed to be made with little to no time for alterations. NuBra’s Demi adhesive bra provided the extra cleavage needed for such a lower-cut gown. The contoured cup edges also give a smooth and seamless appearance. ” — Mickey Freeman
Bring It Up Breast Shapers
“Bring It Up Breast Shapers are one of my secret weapons for red carpet looks. They are seamless, you can reuse them, you can place them different ways to accommodate different necklines. We use them with almost all looks!” — Krista Roser
Boomba Adhesive Inserts
“I also love using Boomba’s double-sided adhesive inserts when needing to add some size or fill out a top better.” — Krista Roser
“Dascha Polanco attended the Bombshell premiere in New York wearing a chic oversized suit by Harry Halim. I was heavily inspired by the strong female characters in this movie, so I wanted to give her a look to display power dressing by choosing to wear nothing — not even a bra — under her blazer. This shirtless blazer moment couldn’t have been achieved without my favorite boob tape, Booby Tape, which gave her bust a lift while also providing symmetry and support.” — Freeman
“Yoob Tape is definitely my go-to boob tape. It saved me countless times, but perhaps the most major carpet moment was for my beautiful client Diane Guerrero for her 2022 Oscars red carpet look — a stunning black and white polka dot Carolina Herrera gown.” — Amanda Lim
“Footpetals make all the best items for feet. They have just about anything you need depending on the shoe and the issue.” — Krista Roser
Dr. Scholl’s Stylish Step Ball Of Foot Cushions for High Heels
Celebrity stylists Amanda Lim and Mickey Freeman each use Dr. Scholl’s Stylish Step Ball of Foot Cushions for High Heels for their clients.
“My clients always comment on how comfortable they are whenever we use them,” says Lim.
Freeman says the foot cushions are also a regular in his wardrobe kit, allowing him to keep clients comfortable in stilettos, such as Peyton List at the 2023 MTV Movie Awards, Lilia Buckingham at the 2023 Variety Power of Young Hollywood party and 2023 Canadian Screen Awards.
“I love using Dr. Scholl’s Stylish Step Ball of Foot cushions for High Heels. These discreet cushions stay firmly in place and absorb shock for all-day comfort,” Freeman tells THR. “These feet-saving shoe insoles are designed to relieve heel pressure and provide arch support which is why I can’t style without them.”
FRANKINCENSE & MYRRH Nerve and Foot Pain Relief Rubbing Oil
“For foot pain, I like to use one from a brand called Frankincense & Myrrh, a naturopathic rubbing oil that provides natural relief.” — Amanda Lim
Conair Extremesteam Handheld Steamer
Conair’s Extremesteam handheld steamer was the top clothing-smoothing choice among all of the celebrity stylists we polled, including Krista Roser, Priscilla Valles, Mickey Freeman, Rita Hazan and Amanda Lim.
“I have tried just about every steamer there is, and my favorite is the Conair Extremesteam Handheld Steamer. It doesn’t spit water and there is a trigger on it so you are only using the steam when you want to. It doesn’t just stay on and use water so fast. I wish it was less bulky for travel but it’s by far the best I have been able to find.” — Krista Roser
“It’s a lifesaver during travels. One such instance occurred during a business trip when a colleague had to attend an important conference. With limited luggage space and no access to a traditional iron, the handheld steamer came to the rescue. The colleague was able to quickly and efficiently remove wrinkles from their professional attire, ensuring a polished look for the conference. The steamer’s lightweight design and portability made it convenient to carry, and its effectiveness saved the day, leaving a lasting impression at the event. A crucial tip shared by the colleague was to always conduct a heat test on the fabric before steaming, ensuring that the material can handle the steaming process without damage.” — Priscilla Valles
As for Freeman, he says the device “saved the day” during 2019 Paper magazine shoot with Keke Palmer when the on-site steamer stopped working. “[It’s] fast, lightweight, and easily knocks out wrinkles. In my opinion, it’s the most powerful and effective handheld steamer I’ve ever used. It also proved to be a powerful tool while on set of a fashion editorial photoshoot for Esquire Middle East with actor Woody McClain. Knowing that I would be styling him in a few menswear suits that would need to be pressed or creases added, I was not exactly sure that my steamer would be able to get his suits as crisp as I could with an iron; however, with this steamer, it was a success, taking less time and effort than if I used an iron.”
WetOnes Antibacterial Hand Wipes
“I don’t leave my house or go on set without a huge package of WetOnes — the red package. It has to be that brand and that color package. They get just about anything out without leaving a ring or mark. These are probably used for something on just about any client and every job.” — Krista Roser
Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover Pen
Mickey Freeman, Priscilla Valles and Amanda Lim are all fans of Tide’s instant stain remover pens.
“Tide to Go stain remover pens have been consistently reliable, especially during holiday parties where appetizers and drinks can lead to unexpected spills and stains. One memorable incident occurred during a festive gathering when a guest accidentally spilled red wine on their white blouse just before a group photo was about to be taken. With no time to change, the host swiftly provided the Tide to Go pen, which miraculously removed the stain within minutes. The guest was able to join the photo confidently, thanks to the quick action of the stain remover. This event highlighted the convenience and effectiveness of Tide to Go, making it a go-to solution for many in similar unexpected stain situations.” — Priscilla Valles
Freeman used his Tide stain remover pen on Shahadi Wright Joseph’s green and black checkered Wiederhoeft cardigan during the 2022 The Adam Project premiere. “A small amount of makeup fell during final touches as we prepared to leave; it ended up on the front of her cardigan. I quickly located the Tide to Go Instant Stain Remover pen and applied pressure to the makeup stain with the pen’s tip to remove it. Just in time for her red carpet appearance, I was able to get the stain cleared after repeated blots with a clean, damp cloth and drying with a blow dryer,” he says.
Grandma’s Secret Fabric Spot Remover
Amanda Lim calls the Grandma’s Secret Fabric Spot Remover her “secret weapon” for keeping clients’ clothing spotless. The formula removes grass stains, oil, grease, blood and other substances.
Scotch-Brite Mini Travel Lint Roller
“At the Variety 2022 Power Of Young Hollywood celebration, I added a Scotch-Brite Mini Travel Lint Roller inside my client Harry Jowsey’s MCM crossbody bag. It’s a clothing care favorite especially when wearing all black; he wore an all black Yohji Yamamoto look with Prada shoes.” — Mickey Freeman
Conair Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover
“The Conair Fabric Shaver and Lint Remover is a great tool to have in your closet. It is perfect to have when your sweaters or athletic legging start to get those annoying pills. This easy to use machine is perfect for those situations. It quickly removes those annoying stray pieces of fabric and leaves your clothes looking brand new.” — Rita Hazan