“Fresh” Skin And Smooth Operator-Style Hair, Backstage At Balmain
After three weeks of nonstop shows, we are entering the home stretch of the Spring season—which means excitement and exhaustion are both at a high. “The girls are getting tired, the skin is getting tired. You can start having little damages,” Tom Pecheux said of battle-worn complexions backstage at Balmain. Although you wouldn’t have guessed that models here had been in New York—or London and Milan for that matter. “The key word is fresh,” Pecheux said of the natural look he designed for Olivier Rousteing’s presentation. “And skincare.”
“It’s the only thing we can do—it’s the only thing you have to do with this look,” Pecheux elaborated of what amounted to “50 percent makeup, 50 percent skincare,” in his estimation. Starting with a triple-threat massage using his standard mix of Rodin Olio Lusso, Estée Lauder Daywear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Cream, and its Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, Pecheux built a base using either KETT Cosmetics Hydro Foundation or Estée Lauder Double Wear Light mixed with MAC Strobe Liquid for a dewy finish. Eyes were given a highlight with a dusting of MAC’s Eyeshadow Quad in Caramel Sundae. “I’m lazy,” Pecheux joked, sweeping his brush across the peach, yellow, champagne, and bronze palette to pick up a little bit of each shade. Brows were groomed individually—”Iselin has bleached brows and we filled them in. [Juliana Schurig] has bleached brows that we left; Mila has a thin line so we’re adding color not to increase darkness but to increase size, and Manon, she’s new so her eyebrows are virgin. We’re not building them up”—and lips and cheeks were treated to a touch of muted color from MAC’s forthcoming spring 2013 Lip Palette. To give lashes definition without leaving behind visible product, Pecheux “tinted” them using an interesting technique in which he dipped an angled brush into his trusty tube of MAC Haute and Naughty Mascara and hand-painted each hair.
For hairstylist Sam McKnight, the key word was Sade. “She was a starting point,” he said of the eighties singing sensation who made hoop earrings and a slicked-back braid part of her R&B act’s signature. Blowing hair dry with hair spray to create texture, McKnight secured lengths in a ponytail, created a simple, three-strand braid, and tied it off with another elastic at the end. “I wanted it to look like I wasn’t there,” he elaborated of the style’s ease, which necessitated some “little bits” around the front to make it appear more lived in. McKnight also threw around the word “grunge,” as most people have this season, but emphasized that it’s a “new grunge” that we’ve been seeing. “It’s a healthier grunge. It’s not dirty; it’s more natural.”