You know you're witnessing a truly magical beauty moment when the sparkle of Kallati earrings and the allure of an Oscar de la Renta gown take a backseat to what's happening atop a celebrity's head or face. At last night's Critics' Choice Awards, Poppy Delevingne stunned in both the aforementioned dress and jewelry, but it was her flawless makeup and resurrected hairstyle (one we hadn't seen in ages, TBH) that had us taking fast and furious screenshots. To complement the model's subtly shimmery makeup aesthetic (courtesy of makeup artist Tobi Henney), celebrity hairstylist Laura Polko created a fresh take on an eternally elegant hairstyle: the French twist.
While we once would have shrugged the style off as old-fashioned, with a few modern twists, it seamlessly transforms into the perfect antidote for unruly strands in need of an extra dose of polish. It also works for those times when you're simply sick of your signature ho-hum ponytail. Plus, (surprise!) the effect is fantastically easy to create. In addition to snapping some behind-the-scenes photos during her pre–red carpet time with Delevingne, Polko also gave us the exclusive styling how-to for the model's carpet-stopping style. Keep scrolling for Polko's step-by-step guide and the must-have products she used to create Delevingne's head-turning twist.
Step one: "Start with wet hair and prep your damp strands with IGK Mistress Hydrating Hair Balm ($29) to protect the health and integrity of your hair," Polko tells us. This balm is an industry favorite and melts invisibly into every hair type (from coiled and curly to baby-fine) while offering a protective fusion of coconut oil, shea butter, and argan oil.
Step two: After hair has been coated in balm, (and working back to front), begin drying the hair with a round brush and use Polko's secret smoothing weapon, the T3 Cura Luxe Hair Dryer ($285). (It's truly the Rolls-Royce of styling tools, folks.) Polko recommends drying hair with the negative ions button turned off to achieve an extra boost of volume and for fuller, more movable texture.
Step three: "Once hair is blown out, spray IGK Beach Club Texture Spray ($29) all over the hair for texture, grit, and hold," Polko instructs.
Step four: Next, backcomb one-inch sections of hair starting at the crown of the head, and gradually work your way around and on the sides. Polko suggests directing your sections vertically. Then, you'll spray the same IGK texture spray throughout the hair to ensure texture and hold. (We love using DryBar's expert teasing comb shown below.)
Step five: As the second to last step, lightly brush over the teased hair with a brush from Mason Pearson (no celebrity hairstylist is ever without one) to smooth the top layer while maintaining the shape and volume.
To finish, Polko says to carefully gather hair at the back of the head, before twisting strands around your thumb and leaving the ends out. Finally, secure the shape with pins, and finish the twist off with hairspray. Polko used the IGK Intern Flexible Hairspray ($29).