Behind-the-scenes of this season’s shows, I’m reminded that fashion’s ritzy artifice is held together by T-pins, white foamcore, Sharpies and the glossy paper from that Canon SELPHY printer everyone uses as the millennial substitute for Polaroids. When I started working in production, I always found this “industry standard” amusing — that stylists and producers and brand directors all use these flimsy Staples supplies to organize boards of looks for everything from castings to fittings to runway shows to e-commerce shoots.
These are the banal objects that keep a backstage operation running (pretty) smoothly while sleep-deprived teams of makeup artists, hairstylists and dressers try to achieve one common goal: to get the models ready by show time.
While navigating the labyrinths of various backstages to document said process, I picked up a few beauty tips so that you and I can recreate the runway looks in the comfort of our own hobbit holes. Take a spin through the tricks below and then revel in the transformation from off-duty to full looks in the slideshow of 70 (!) backstage photos underneath.
Tip #1: Lower lash wings at Jill Stuart
For eyes that multitask, flip the switch and draw a wingtip on the bottom eyelid with unapologetically thick liquid liner. The ultimate perk of this method, as demonstrated by Jill Stuart, is it leaves ample room for loads of glitter on the top lid.
Tip #2: An oil base at Kate Spade
Channeling New Orleans in New York’s Grand Central Oyster Bar, Kate Spade’s beauty look called for a fresh and warm flush that’s easier said than done. Before applying any other product, makeup artist Romy Soleimani of Streeters primed every face with MAC’s Care Blends Essential Oils (in lieu of a traditional moisturizer) to set a smooth base for foundation and blush. Big Easy, indeed.
Tip #3: Pastel eyes at Oscar de la Renta
To initiate the color-shy, look no further than Tom Pecheux‘s subtle flicks fluttering out from the eyelids at Oscar de la Renta. Pecheux’s gestures looked almost as if they had been colored on with oil pastels rather than MAC Chromacake. (Bella Hadid got to choose whatever color she wanted. She picked periwinkle.)
Tip #4: A sweaty glow at KITH Sport
The KITH Sport collection revolved around athleticism, so Streeters makeup artist Erin Parsons leaned on earth tones to create a post-soccer glow. After setting the scene with a “beefy” brow and nods to the 90s supermodel archetype, Parsons walked me through her dual bronzer and highlighter application:
“We took the bronzer, started at the apples of the cheeks and swept it downward. And then a little on the temples, a little up on the forehead, dust on the nose and the chin, just the places the sun would hit.” For a little faux sweat, add highlighter into the mix with something like the Master Strobing Stick on the eyelids, the brow bone, the cheek bones and maybe the collarbone too if you’re going the extra mile. That’s all it takes to look like Mia Hamm after warmups, faster than you can say “shin guard.”
Tip #5: Orange juice eyes at Delpozo
Gen Z yellow may be the chromatic heroine of this fashion week, but the Delpozo show made a case for looking like a tall glass of Tang with shades of cantaloupe and clementine around the eyes, achieved with orange eyeliner and matching glitter that ascends all the way to the browbone.
Tip #6: Air-dried texture at Mansur Gavriel
While scrunchies stole the show at the nape of Mansur Gavriel necks, Bumble & Bumble’s Laurent Philippon’s approach to prepping the hair was key, first spritzing it with Bumble & Bumble Prep Spray and then allowing the models’ hair to air-dry for texture before loosely taming a sophisticated ponytail with MG’s newest accessory.
Which one will you try?
Photos by Edith Young. Title cards by Emily Zirimis.