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A Day in the Life of Alicia Quarles—Yes, She Woke Up Like This

by Alicia Quarles and Karina Lopez Tue., Feb. 3, 2015 2:10 PM PST

Alicia Quarles, Photo DiaryAlicia Quarles

Red carpet affairs are inherently glam. The gorgeous gowns, the perfect hair, the flawless makeup…let’s get real: Even celebs don’t just wake up like that. E! News correspondent and E! Style Collective member Alicia Quarles shows us what it really takes to get red carpet-ready

People see celebs and on-camera hosts and reporters glammed up, looking their best, which ultimately leads some to think, “Why don’t I look like that?”

This essay is all about keeping it real. I don’t wake up looking like that! Very few do. We have A LOT of help to look “naturally” beautiful.

MORE: Alicia shares her most confident moments

Alicia Quarles, Face MaskAlicia Quarles

I wake up with my scarf tied around my hair, bags usually (because I’m an insomniac), arrive to 30 Rock, where E! News is headquartered in New York, usually in some type of Nike workout gear, no makeup and a hat to cover the scarf still on my head.

The transformation from everyday NYC woman to getting red carpet glam is a team effort, and I am blessed to have a lot of resources that most people don’t.

From the makeup gurus who work out my face, to learning tricks of the trade such as rocking double Spanx on some days (hey, Beyoncé does it), pasties and being taped in everywhere—these are the real secrets behind “looking” glam.

NEWS: On the job with famed photographer Yvan Rodic, AKA the Face Hunter

Here’s an inside look from a recent photo shoot I did. On this particular shoot I worked with one of my hairstylist, Carla, one of my makeup artists, Shar, my stylist, PJ, my assistant, Karina, photographer, Andrew Werner and his assistantall while filming a behind-the-scenes shoot with Crystal Parker for Uptown Magazine and Hype Hair. Yup, we were shooting two features at the same time. When you live in New York, you learn to seriously multitask, or as I live by: “Hustle hard, hustle, hustle, real hard.”

Here are some tricks of the trade anyone can use to feel extra special:

Prior to any shoot, I start with a hydrating mask and under eye gel patches that my stylist PJ is always finding for me.

When it comes to hair and makeup, Shar and Carla really understand what I’m going for. We start with briefly discussing what the shoot will entail and decide on the palette, and then hairstyle from there. Since this particular shoot included gorgeous, glam dresses to edgy looks, the palette went from soft to dark, while my hairstyle went from straight to beautiful, subtle waves. There’s nothing quite like working with a beauty team that just gets it!

LOOK HERE: Inside Zanna Roberts Rassi’s beauty bag

Alicia Quarles, Photo DiaryAlicia Quarles

Thankfully I have an amazing styling team between PJ, his assistant, Raia, and their team of interns. I’m stocked with the necessities: pasties, lint rollers, Spanx, double sided tape, pins…you name it, they’ve got every scenario covered. Then comes the actual styling. Endless hours of pulling dresses, tops, pants, accessories, shoes, fittings and more just to shoot three looks—but that’s how it goes. Plus, I have Karina who is a one-stop shop: a true life-saver on helping me be at my best.

So, the point of this all is that A) I know I live a blessed life and bow down to the creative people I work with B) I know it’s not easy to do, but try not to break yourself down if you don’t look like some famous person on TV or in the magazines. Most people don’t have the luxuries we have of people who go above and beyond to make sure we shine.

I embrace diversity of shapes/sizes/ethnicity/fashion sense. Do you, and do it with style! Oh, and if you see me in my normal everyday look, judge away. It’s all smoke and mirrors. Being a good person and confidence is what true beauty is to me.

GO ON: Keep clicking for more photos from Alicia’s jam-packed day


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