August 20 2014

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“The New evolution of the Balmain woman,” Backstage At Balmain


“When we went to the fitting, there was a slight Spanish influence,” hairstylist Sam McKnight said of Olivier Rousteing’s first full-scale runway collection for Balmain. “But the rock ‘n’ roll element is always there,” he added of the house’s archetypical girl, who seemed unwilling to give up her mattified locks and black-rimmed lids for Spring, no matter who happened to be at the design helm. Translated into hair terms, this meant “something sexy that’s not too severe but also sophisticated,” which equaled a smoothed-back ponytail—just as it did last season, although today’s look featured a higher, slightly more kempt rendition of Fall’s low-lying, looser style. “It’s still got that ‘Balmain texture,’ though,” McKnight explained of the “natural, not straight and not wavy” quality of the lengths, which were coated with a little bit of Pantene Pro-V Repair & Protect Serum.

Famed facepainter Tom Pecheux’s first order of business before he started in on “makeup leftovers”—an endearing term he coined for that worn-in, smudged look pigments take on after a night of hard partying—was a thorough facial massage with Rodin Olio Lusso, Estée Lauder DayWear Plus Multi Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme, and its Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher. “Massage is part of the makeup. It gives the girls a little bit of a break,” Pecheux explained as an appreciative Carmen Kass beamed from his chair. Applying a “little layer” of MAC Face and Body foundation “mostly for the HD cameras,” Pecheux transitioned into what he called the “new evolution” of the Balmain woman. “Usually, we do a rosy cheek, but now, we’re into contour,” he explained, using MAC Sculpting Powder in Taupe to slightly carve out definition. Then came the “makeup leftovers,” which Pecheux served up by lining the lower waterline with MAC Eye Pencil in Coffee and placing its black, Smolder shade in between upper lashes before blending the strokes with his fingertip. MAC X Mascara in Dark Brown and a naturally filled in brow completed the face. “Above all, the Balmain girl is self-confident, and full brows read power,” Pecheux declared.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

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