As we all know, fashion week is about way more than just the clothes. As designers gear up to present their latest collections, they work together with the experts in makeup, hair, and nail fields to create corresponding beauty looks. As a result, beauty editors and enthusiasts everywhere rejoice as they’re presented with tons of inspiration behind the new beauty trends for months to come—and we’re left feeling totally pumped to try something new.
However, when it comes to actually recreating these looks for ourselves in real life, we may be left feeling a bit discouraged. What goes into creating such perfect graphic liner? How can one create a deep berry lip that stains and stays put?
All week, we chatted with some of the expert leads during the backstage madness for tips and hacks to recreating some of the coolest looks we saw. Read on below to find out what tricks we learned.
Boost your natural glow with a quick face massage
Backstage at 3.1 Phillip Lim, the makeup was all about keeping things natural and embracing skin’s natural glow. But, I wondered, after all those back-to-back shows, putting on and taking off makeup multiple times a day, how could these poor models possibly have any glow left in their skin? The answer is a quick facial massage.
I chatted with Francelle Daly, the lead artist for NARS for the show, and asked what her process was. She prepped each model by starting off with a five-minute face massage to get the blood circulating before putting on any product. “Right now, because New York is very cold, it definitely helps maintain a glow,” says Daly. “Your blood starts circulating, you get a bit of a glow, and you just look and feel great. It’s all about the prep.”
Whelp, looks like we’ll need to account five extra minutes into our morning routine to give our faces a little extra TLC.
Apply mascara with a separate brush, rather than a wand
We also caught Daly backstage at R13, working with M.A.C Cosmetics to create the grungy modern looks. Using M.A.C’s Haute And Naughty Too Black Lash and the Mascara Fan Brush, she took the excess product from the wand onto the brush to apply. “You’re pushing and wiggling the product on,” she says. “Applying mascara with a brush like this is actually amazing, especially for someone who has long, long lashes and ends up with a spidery effect when applying all over. You can go into the root and press in the product instead of covering the whole lash. It’s also easy, giving you more control of the product and where it’s applied.”
Create an eyeshadow paste
Backstage at Libertine, models were all given the same dramatic, smoldering cat eye. In order to create this look, Katie Jane Hughes for Too Cool For School mixed the brand’s Dinoplatz black liner on the back of her hand with a drop of Egg Mellow Cream to create a creamy, movable consistency. “It’s like paste,” she says. “It really helps you build on the look, and allows you to get the perfect shape.” While she applied with a fluffy brush to keep edges on the softer side, this buildable eye color paste concoction may just be our new secret recipe for any graphic look we’re planning.
Cuticle oil is your ticket to dewy hands
We can’t deny that we love the look of a matte nail, but sometimes applying a matte topcoat can leave the rest of your hands looking dry. With winter weather already wreaking havoc on our skin, we certainly don’t want our hands looking dryer than they already are.
Backstage at Alexander Wang, Rita Remark for Essie had the perfect solution. “Because the weather has been so bad, we’re starting off with cuticle oil,” says Remark. “By applying cuticle oil before starting with any polish, the hands look dewy while the nails look fab.”
Reverse-braid your hair for the perfect crown
How often have we struggled to perfect the braid crown, only for it to never stay the way we want it to? Well, backstage at Alice + Olivia was hair heaven, and I was dying to know how they achieved such perfection.
I spoke with lead stylist Justine Marjan for TRESemme about how she went about creating the actual braids. Rather than just traditionally braiding the hair, she reverse-braided it, pulling hair from the back forward, so that once the braids were flipped to be pinned to the crown of the head, they would lie flat. Aside from the intentional messiness, these crowns were flawless.
Create a matte stain by layering tissued-off lipstick
There’s no denying that matte lips are having a major moment. Need proof? Look at the insane amount of liquid matte lip colors that are launching each month. But what if you wanted to create a long-lasting matte look that has more of a stain effect with a lipstick shade that you already have and love?
We caught up with Erin Parsons for Maybelline backstage at Alice + Olivia. Using the brand’s Color Sensational Lipstick in Midnight Merlot, she applied a layer on the lips, tissued it off, then repeated to create a very deep, dark stain on the lips. “You’re actually pushing the color into the lip, so it’s not just laying on top,” she says. “It’s becoming part of the skin, creating the stain effect. You can do this with any lipstick, just to really keep it on.” Parsons said you can even layer up to three or four times to achieve the look you’re going for. “It just depends on how the lip takes it,” she says.
Apply pencil liner with a skinny brush for a more controlled, buildable look
Backstage at TOME, we saw the most amazing—yet simple—floating white liner. Surprisingly, Diane Kendal, who created the look for M.A.C, didn’t just use a white liquid liner.
“We’re warming up the pencil with just friction on the back of the hand, and then using the skinny 210 Precise Eyeliner Brush to draw the line,” she says. “The skinny brush allows you to easily curve the line. We’re then just going over it to build on the color.” You’re essentially turning a pencil into a liquid liner, minus the hassle. “I don’t want to challenge myself with liquid liner, as the line is on a moving part above the crease.”
So why not just apply the pencil directly to the skin? “With pencils, any lighter colors are almost chalky and harder to use and move, so by warming it up a little, it flows much easier.” Catch us wearing this graphic liner every day, now that we see how easily it can be done.