As lab tech Natalia Boa Vista on CSI: Miami, Eva LaRue rarely gets the chance to be glamorous, so it’s no wonder she loves to pull out the stops for events. "The fun thing about getting dressed up for the red carpet is you can look completely different from one to the next," says LaRue, who often begins preparing more than a week ahead of time, working with stylist George Blodwell to find the perfect dress.
Freshly mani-pedi’d, she’ll try the chosen outfit on for hairstylist/makeup artist Alan Avendano early on the morning of the event so they can decide what look will complement it. "The dress definitely dictates the rest of the look—the color but also the style of the dress," explains LaRue, who might wear her hair up if it's a halter neck, for example.
Avendano often mixes in clip-in extensions to give LaRue "this phenomenal mane of hair. Even with an updo the pieces give so much more to work with. It just looks bigger and fuller and sexier," she raves. She keeps her hair in good condition with shampoos and conditioners from Kerastase ("It makes your hair silky smooth") and Purology. "It takes out all the frizz and keeps your color longer."
LaRue wore her hair long and straight to go with her low cut cream-colored Ysa Makino gown at the 2009 Emmys, where her smoky eye makeup played up her favorite feature. "I really liked how that whole look turned out," she says.
Her makeup case contains a wide range of beauty products, both cheap and steep. "My favorite eyeliner is ColorStay by Revlon. It’s waterproof so I wear it to the beach and pool, and it stays and stays," she says. She uses a mix of Nars, Smashbox, and MAC eye shadows, swears by Armani foundation, and likes lip glosses from Mac and the “very sparkly” ones from Yves. St. Laurent, whose Touche Eclat is her favorite under eye concealer. She also sometimes splurges on St. Laurent’s pricey mascara.
Underneath it all, La Rue uses Smashbox’s high definition primer. "It has a satin finish and the makeup that goes on top of it stays on all day, perfectly and flawlessly. It's specifically for HD TV so it shows up great on camera. They make a brilliant HD powder as well."
The part-Puerto Rican LaRue, who finishes her "conservatively sexy" red carpet look with a spray of Kai gardenia fragrance, rarely visits spas and hasn’t indulged in any anti-aging procedures, but she’s not opposed to the idea.
"So many of my friends are doing it and I know I’m going to eventually have to do it. I’m getting to the point where I probably need to do it but I’m afraid I’m going to be that one percent whose face is immovable,” worries the 43-year-old star, who’ll definitely wait till her hiatus to try anything. "If I do it, I’ll do it when nobody is watching and I don’t have to be anywhere," says LaRue, who wants to look her best for a big upcoming occasion. She’s engaged to businessman Joe Cappuccio, and they’ll marry later this year in what will probably be a destination wedding in an exotic location. “We’re drying to go on elephant safari in Thailand,” she says.