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Makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle on Oscars 2002

Celebrity makeup artist Valerie Sarnelle, who owns the Valerie Beverly Hills boutique and cosmetic line, says she’s been swamped. “It’s getting harder every day. People are calling and needing makeup Sunday and we’re on call.”

Sarnelle–whose product line is used by many Hollywood makeup artists and who personally has created looks for stars such as Berry, Heather Locklear and Frances MacDormand–said there’s a political angle to her week as makeup artists wait to see which of the biggest names among nominees and presenters will request their services. “I’m on hold for one of them,” she confides, saying only, “I think she needs something exciting.”

Sarnelle hosted a cocktail reception during Oscar week in her salon that featured sexy models in makeup and fashion inspired by Moulin Rouge. “We’re all into Moulin Rouge, so we’re doing very glamorous looks,” she said. “It’s what we all jumped on. I think all the makeup artists love that look.”

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Chanel’s beauty product line also made its first formal foray into the Oscar sweepstakes, setting up shop in a suite at the L’Ermitage. It worked–Chanel has locked down someone special, but reps prefer simply to say “we have a great mystery up our sleeve, in the great Chanel tradition.”

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