Posts Tagged ‘Backstage Beauty’

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Backstage Beauty Report: LIVE from New York Fashion Week!!

If there’s one thing I’m sure of (besides the fact that you should never wear makeup without first applying primer), is that I have a dream job. I am covering New York Fashion Week right now for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Style section online. You can see my trend report here. All of the photos except the Rebecca Minkoff shot are my own. As you can imagine, having backstage access to all these shows I’ve managed to capture tons of photos the Chronicle didn’t end up using. Enjoy my backstage photo diary from the past couple days…


Backstage at Creatures of Comfort Spring Summer 2015 Photo by Janna Mandell


Backstage at Creatures of Comfort Spring Summer 2015 Photo by Janna Mandell

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Spring / Summer 2013 Beauty Round-Up: London and Milan Mash-up

I know I was a bit rough on New York Fashion Week, but come on, the “no makeup look” is getting a bit out of hand.  It just seems lazy to me.  Luckily, for the most part (yeah Etro, I’m talking to you — you couldn’t use mascara or at least give the girls an eyelash curl? Come on!) London and Milan ignored the boring Americans’ big trend of sending models down the runways with bushy, exaggerated brows and no color on their faces.  Of course the Brits and Italians loved themselves some big brows, but we’re not talking the warlock brows that haunted the NY runways.


Paul Smith (London): As I scrolled through all the beauty shots from this show, I found that my eye immediately went to those gloriously bright, matte lips. I couldn't look away. Using all MAC products, makeup artist Petros Petrohilos brought the matte techno-colored magic by layering lip liner, Matte Lipstick in Lady Danger, topped with a layer of Neon Orange powder pigment "just to make that lip as bright and as matte as possible," Petrohilos said in WWD.


Vivienne Westwood Red Label Collection: Can you imagine Vivienne Westwood succumbing to the "no makeup look"? Suggesting Westwood sends models down the runways with unruly brows and bare faces is like suggesting Betsey Johnson should skip the cartwheel at the end of every show. Westwood did not disappoint my need for drama with her "Royalty Meets Warhol" cartoon-like makeup, created by makeup artist Val Garland. By the way, there's that velvety, matte lip again. Someone's sensing a trend that can actually look good on everyone!


Temperley London (London): I think we all know I can't resist a black winged eye, especially when it's done with such precision.  The cheeks were delicately contoured with a rich rose powder blush like NARS Blush in Outlaw ($28.00) and the lips look like the makeup artist just dabbed on a matte balm like Dior 'Creme de Rose' Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm SPF 10 ($26.50).   The hair is a bit Bride of Frankenstein and for some reason the other models had tight top knots (which I thought was kind of random), but who cares when the makeup looks that hot? To find out how to get your own extreme winged eye, read my tutorial that appeared in the Allure Bloggers competition here.


Issa London (London): I'm sorry, but this is just full out glamour. The makeup and hair tell a story together (which is what I want to see on the runways) even though they look like they are from different decades. I was afraid the live orchids in the hair might look too bridal, but in fact they just gave the hair a retro Island vibe.


Moschino (Milan): Well, ciao and hello there Moschino...  I'm just loving all over this look -- the pouty velveteen orangy red lips and loose curls make me think of a Hitchcock girl.  The white eyeliner and false eyelashes make the makeup very Lichtenstein (which you know I obviously love if you saw my Halloween costume last year) and the brows make the look really pop.  BUT, if I've said it once I've said it a million times -- blonds have a tough time pulling off the bold brow.  The ginger on the right can totally pull off this look but the brows make the blond look borderline demonic.


Missoni (Milan): There's that matte finish lip again.  Makeup artist Lucia Pieroni combined three different colors of MAC Cosmetics Lipmix —orange, pink and white — and then brushed a Bright Pink Pigment Colour Powder over the Lipmix, starting at the center.  I thought the custom lip color looked fresh, modern and screamed Spring, though I'll say I kind of felt like they were sticking their toe in the "no makeup look" pond but that they weren't quite ready to put down the color just yet.


Giorgio Armani (Milan):  Before you judge, take a look at the collection and you'll see how well the eye makeup complements the clothes.  Obviously makeup artist Linda Cantello used all Giorgio Armani Cosmetics to create this look, sweeping the graphic colors from the Maestro Eyes to Kill Eyeshadow Quad across the models' eyelids.  My one complaint -- Armani has such beautiful pigmented lipsticks, I would have loved to see more of a creamy neutral than no color at all.


Max Mara (Milan): Honestly, I was speechless when I saw these images.  You have to wonder if the Creative Director of Max Mara told the makeup artist, "I'd like the girls to look like they just got sprayed in the eyes with pepper spray and that they haven't eaten fruits or vegetables in months."  And what's up with the eighties head wraps?  Dis-as-ter.


Look for my coverage of the Paris shows next week and a “favorite trends” post covering the best trends from all the shows. (Spoiler Alert: “No Makeup Look” will NOT be gracing my favorite trends piece)

All photos via Women’s Wear Daily.



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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

NYFW Beauty Round-Up Part 2: The Rest of the Runway Roadkill

I know, I know. I’m totally late on giving you my full New York Fashion Week lowdown.  I had some technical difficulties with the site over the past few days.  You’ll get over it.   I can tell you that London and Milan are already kicking NY’s ass as far as beauty, but we’ll get to that next week. And yes, I promise it will be next week.

The NY shows’ beauty looks got a little more creative later in the week thanks to standouts like the subtle smoky eye at Carolina Herrera and the fun pop of neon yellow on the eyelids at Milly, but overall most of the shows stuck to the Star-Bellied Sneetches mentality, sending bushy brows and bare faces down the runways just because everyone else did.

The Star-Bellied Sneetches were all about mimicking a bare face with unruly, bushy eyebrows bordering on warlock brows. I contemplated showing you all of the biggest designers’ beauty looks but to be frank, all the photos started looking too much alike.  I refuse to put a star on my belly so instead I’ll show you some of my favorite looks from this past week and of course I’ll throw in a couple, “Are they f’ing kidding me?” looks for your catty enjoyment.

Oscar de la Renta, photo courtesy

This is by far one of my favorite overall looks from this past week. Hair Stylist Orlando Pita and Gucci Westman, global artistic director for Revlon, said in Women's Wear Daily that they
were both inspired by Audrey Hepburn’s Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” which happens to be my favorite iconic movie role EVER!!! I love the modern take on Golightly's signature-streaked hair by replacing her white streak with rainbow-hued hair pieces. Westman was quoted in WWD saying she wanted girls to look “naughty but nice — I wanted it to feel colorful and pretty.” Wow, imagine that... colorful and pretty for Spring!

Carolina Herrera

Carolina Herrera:: In my eyes Carolina Herrera can do no wrong. Every season she redefines "classic beauty" in both her collection and the beauty looks she sends down the runways. This season was no different, she showcased a wearable, subtle take on a smoky eye complemented by glowing skin. I wasn't crazy about the hair. It kind of reminded me of tweens attending private school, but I was so distracted by the beautiful makeup I didn't let it bother me.  Get the Makeup Look: Use MAC 'Powerpoint' Eye Pencil Industry (gray with pearl) with MAC Eye Kohl Phone Number (silvery grey) blended over. Then draw a thin line with a a black cream liner like MAKE UP FOR EVER Aqua Creamliner Matte Black along the top and bottom lashes and blend with a smudger. Use one coat of mascars and then use highlighter along the cheekbones. Finish off the look by applying a clear semi-matte balm like Dior Crème de Rose Smoothing Plumping Lip Balm (which has the added bonus of smelling deliciously of roses).


Marc Jacobs: Okay I get the Edie Sedgwick reference. I'm sure (as makeup artist Francois Nars insisted) it was a coincidence that he chose Edie as his muse and that his makeup brand NARS is launching an Andy Warhol collection this holiday season. As you can see from the two photos, the blond models could pull off Edie but the too-heavy warlock brows made the brunette models look Cro-Magnon.


 Donna Karan: EGADS! Just in time for Halloween, Donna Karan decided to go full on cadaver with pasty white skin and fuchsia rimmed eyes. Not only were the models' eyes outlined in pink but their mascara was even pink, giving a sickly "I'm either dead or going to be dead soon" look against the white powdered skin. Donna Karan told the press her inspiration for this line was "Sunrise, Sunset," but perhaps subconsciously she was thinking "Dawn of the Dead."


Milly by Michelle Smith: MAC lead makeup artist Romy Soleimani went for a "simple, very clean, very modern a little bit minimal" look by swiping fluorescent yellow shadow across the lid and keeping the rest of the face simply glowy by strategically highlighting the models' cheekbones and cupid's bow and neutralizing the lip. I know yellow is a bold choice but you could totally make this look wearable for a night out by using a green or blue. Get this Look: First line the eyes with a matte white pencil like MAKE UP FOR EVER Kohl Pencil Matte White 2K to use as a base and to help the color pop. Then dip your eyeliner brush in a pigment like MAC Pigment Magenta Madness and press color over the white. Don't forget to apply a highlighter like Fresh Twilight Freshface Glow Twilight Freshface Glow from your cheekbones to your temples and a little at your cupid's bow to make your skin look ethereal.

jeremy scott

Jeremy Scott:  I was as stunned as you must have been to find a sophisticated wearable evening eye (created by the brilliant MAC makeup artist team) at Jeremy Scott, a designer who usually goes more for shock value than pretty. I love the contrast of the navy blue shadow on the lid blended into the rose shadow above the crease makes this look really pop, especially with the gold pigments pressed into the inner corner of the eyes. The eyes remained the focus by giving the models a neutral lip.


Vera Wang: And the award for my favorite makeup look for the NY SS2013 shows goes to Vera Wang! One word -- STUNNING. The perfect skin and rose gold smoked eyes gave the models an ethereal glow. The universally flattering eye palette brought out the color in ALL the models' eyes -- turning brown eyes warm and chocolaty and making blue and green eyes pop. The skin was flawless with subtle contouring and highlighting to make the ladies look every more otherworldly once they hit the glaring lights of the runway. Look for Rose Gold to be the next "it" color this season for eyes!

Photos via WWDCarolina Herreramjdonna-karan-beauty01milly--michelle-smith-details-spring-summer-2013-nyfw34Photo via MAC Tumblrvera-wang-bs03
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Monday, September 10, 2012

NY Fashion Week Spring 2013 Beauty Round-up Part 1: The Emperor’s New Clothes

I wish I could tell you I’ve got some exciting new trends to share with you from New York Fashion Week Spring 2013, but it seems like all you need is concealer, contour powder and an eyebrow brush to pull off most of the looks I’ve seen up to this point in the week. Last season (Fall 2012) we started to see the trend of the “no makeup” look, but this season seemed practically devoid of color and dimension, with a few brilliant exceptions like Monique Lhuillier and Peter Som.  It kills me when a makeup artist waxes poetic about his or her inspiration and in the meantime every face is practically makeup-free, hence my nickname for this season — The Emperor’s New Clothes.


Victoria Beckham: Yep, this is a shot taken backstage AFTER the model got hair and makeup done. Anyone else curious why the makeup artist couldn't conceal the darkness under the eyes? A little mascara wouldn't kill her either.


Victoria Beckham: Again backstage at Victoria Beckham, it is as if she purposely cast models that had darkness under their eyes. And let's talk about the hair -- parted in the middle and slicked down. It's a bad sign when the hair is unflattering on women who are paid for their looks. It's that, "I haven't washed my hair in a month and I just brushed it" look.


Jill Stewart: Lead makeup artist Diane Kendal was quote in Women's Wear Daily saying that this look was inspired by a faded take on Hollywood glamour. Huh. I've never heard "faded" and "Hollywood glamour" used together to describe a desirable look, but who am I to judge? Of course the models kind of look like they arrived late from Victoria Beckham with that middle-parted matted down hair, and the makeup artist slapped some reddish brown eyeshadow on them, pressed in a little caramel lip color into the lip and sent them out to the runway. Glamour? Really?


Charlotte Ronson: You're going to love this... Makeup Artist Gilbert Soliz for Sephora PRO said in Women's Wear Daily, “It’s about the natural beauty of the ocean.” He claimed he was inspired by a blue plastic jacket in Ronson's line. After I read Soliz's description I quickly checked to make sure I was looking at the right photos. The ocean is the last thing I think of when I see the makeup, which by the way makes the model's skin looks flat and older. Soliz needs to put down the contour powder and rethink his "poetic" descriptions of his inspiration. (Am I being too bitchy? I fear I'm coming off a little bitchy.)


Monique Lhuillier: Oh My God!! It's color, ladies! FINALLY! We have another aquatic-inspired makeup artist here, but 
Val Garland, for MAC actually achieved an ocean-inspired look by "washing eyes with an electric blue hue" and adding a bit of gold shimmer to the inner corner of the eye. Forget the flat skin you saw at Charlotte Ronson, the model's cheeks are perfectly contoured and her face is expertly highlighted to achieve a subtle glow. To avoid detracting from the eyes, Garland used a muted opaque lipstick. Get This Look: Use a blending brush like MAC '286 Duo Fibre' Blending Brush to lightly "wash" a bright blue shadow like SEPHORA COLLECTION Colorful Duo Eyeshadow 09 Tropical Blue from lash-line to brows. Trace a thin line with an electric blue eyeliner like Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil Deviant 0.04 oz very close to the lash line. Apply a light shadow or highlighter right below your brow bone and with a small liner brush like Bobbi Brown Eye Liner Brush apply a bit of gold shimmer like MAC 'Hey, Sailor!' Pigmentto the inner corners of the eyes. Brush your brows up, leaving them unruly, and complete the look with a pale lipstick like Illamasqua Lipstick Sonnet 0.14 oz.


Derek Lam: I had  a real hard time choosing a beauty photo from the Derek Lam show since for some reason he seemed to hire models with faces only their mothers could love. The minimal makeup certainly didn't help these ladies -- even though Tom Pecheux, Creative Makeup Director for Estée Lauder, used Color Stay-on Shadow Paint in Extreme Emerald, you could barely see the wash of color on most of the models' skin. And by the way, there wasn't a single mascara-coated eyelash in the house. Simply criminal. I did like the hair by Orlando Pita -- the side part, combed over for some volume towards the back definitely added some elegance to this look.

Peter Som, M·A·C SS13 New York Fashion Week

Peter Som: Now this I love... The models' skin looked flawless and ethereal. I loved how the MAC makeup artists used different combinations of pastels to color block the eyes, depending on the model's features, and then added a transparent shine on top to really make the look come together. To me, this makeup was quintessential Spring.


Peter Som: To complement the pastels in the makeup, the models had faded pastel hair extensions weaved into their hair. The hair gave the look a more downtown, wearable feel.

Photo via www.wwd.comPhoto via www.wwd.comPhoto via www.wwd.comPhoto via Women's Wear DailyPhoto via Women's Wear DailyPhoto via Women's Wear DailyPhoto via MAC Tumblr Photo via MAC Tumblr 

Okay, there are just too many looks to cover. I didn’t even get to my favorite look yet, so I guess you’ll simply have to check back for Part 2 of my NY Fashion Week Beauty coverage later this week!

*All photos courtesy of Women’s Wear Daily.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

New York Fashion Week Fall 2012: Beauty Update (Part 2)

Loving (and a little hating on the hot-mess hair; yeah you Derek Lam) the beauty being sent down the runway…


Victoria Beckham Fall 2012
Simply stunning classic film noir look -- opaque red lips and thin, sculpted brows.

Zac Posen Autumn 2012

Zac Posen Fall 2012
Intricate, Asian-inspired high buns with sharply defined eyes with a hint of sparkle.


Close-up of the angular eye-makeup at Zac Posen Fall 2012


Carolina Herrera Fall 2012
Love the retro big teased hair, tightly pulled back with a headband. Classic drama.

Fashion Carolina Herrera Fall 2012 5

Carolina Herrera Fall 2012
Makeup is natural and clean, not to distract from the neckline.


Charlotte Ronson Fall 2012
One of my favorite wearable makeup looks for this season: sheer lilac wash over eyelid, opaque coral lips.

TRESemme At Charlotte Ronson - Backstage - Fall 2012 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 10: Models prepare backstage at the Charlotte Ronson Fall 2012 fashion show for TRESemme during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Lincoln Center on February 10, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TRESemme)


Prabal Gurung Fall 2012
This gets the award for best fantastical look. Makeup by MAC - true artistry.

victoria-beckhamZac Posen Autumn 2012zac-posen-2012derek-lambig-hair-at-carolina-hFashion Carolina Herrera Fall 2012 5charlotte-ronsonCharlotte Ronson Fall 2012
Tresemmé stylist Jeanie Syfu used a hair colorist brush dipped in their Ultra Firm Control Gel to control frizzes and baby hairs. Brilliant!prabal-gurunge
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