Behind the makeup is a new video series in which Style.com takes you beyond backstage for an insider’s look at the unique creative relationship between designer, makeup artist and hairstylist at the idea conception phase. As you may have suspected, the glossy chignons and bold red lips that debut at the shows often see a series of incarnations before they hit the runway.
“It’s murder,” Dick Page said last weekend at the hair and makeup test for Narciso Rodriguez’s Fall show when the idea to do multiple makeup looks came up. But equipped with an “incisive” color palette and the complete faith of a designer who considers himself “fortunate” to have worked with the Shiseido artistic director for so many years, Page went for it anyway. Drawing inspiration from the colors in Rodriguez’s collection, he chose three shades of Shiseido’s forthcoming Lacquer Rouge in Blaze, a burnt orange; Drama, a blood red; and Savage, a chocolaty brown, which he alternated with two different eye looks, a dirty mandarin and a clean chartreuse, each of which was offset by a “scratch” of black liner. “It’s about the idea of individual color, individual women, not only in the clothes but in the makeup,” Rodriguez said of his collection.
Hair was kept uniform, though, styled as “a cross between a Mohawk and a mullet,” according to Wella Professionals global creative director Eugene Souleiman. “You have to think like him,” Souleiman said of getting to the heart of what Rodriguez wants each season. “And it’s all about quality with Narciso.” Case in point: Every model wore gloves on Rodriguez’s runway, but he had manicurist Deborah Lippmann paint their nails with Fashion, her mauve-beige lacquer, anyway. “They wanted her to be finished, because the Narciso woman would be finished,” she explained.
While Souleiman admitted that “nothing’s ever set in stone” when it comes to the beauty component here, team Rodriguez has a pretty good track record. “We’ve never had a drama, day of show,” the designer told us. Yesterday was no exception. Above, watch the process unfold in real time.
After getting a fair amount of play in Europe last season, high, voluminous hair is having a bit
of moment in New York for Fall, thanks in large part to Orlando Pita. “I’m three for two,” the
hairstylist said backstage at Oscar de la Renta, where he added another towering, teased style to his repertoire following equally gravity-defying stunts at Derek Lam and Carolina Herrera earlier in the week. “It really depends on what the designer wants,” Pita explained of his decision to go big, pointing out that de la Renta never wants a “the girl did it herself kind of thing.”
For Fall, the designer specifically requested a beauty look fit for “a young girl playing dress up,” according to his coiffing collaborator who used his T3 Elevate Heat-Seeking Volumizing Spray to coat sections of hair that he teased halfway down the shaft and then tucked into a faux bob, fastening a bejeweled, satin ribbon around the hairline (headbands; so hot for Fall 2012).
Revlon global artistic director, Gucci Westman, expounded upon de la Renta’s muse. “She’s an uptown girl who goes to private school,” the makeup artist said, building rosy, glowing skin with a combination of Revlon’s limited edition Highlighting Stick and PhotoReady Cream Blush, both from its forthcoming Escapism collection. “I wanted her to feel cooler and younger,” Westman continued, lining the upper lid with a stroke of Revlon’s ColorStay Liquid Liner in Black, which was slightly smudged so it appeared purposefully “not perfect.” To correspond with the sixties-inspired shapes in de la Renta’s clothes, Westman applied about four coats of its PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara in Black so lashes were dark and dense.
The big beauty surprise was in the nails, though. Manicurist Yuna Park had the honor of debuting three of the new lacquers that will be a part of de la Renta’s Essential Luxuries collection that bows in October. “We’re matching the nails to the outfits and the hands to the toes,” Park said, alternating between Essential Aubergine, a deep berry, Essential Larimar, a pale blue and Essential Carnation, a true red. “The quality of the polish is pretty amazing,” she effused. “You get exactly what you see in the bottle.
While François Nars chose to counter the dilemma a hat-heavy collection presents to a makeup artist with a heavily rimmed lower lash line at Marc Jacobs, Dick Page made an equally strong statement by pairing a bold red lip with the tall, short-brimmed headgear at Marc by Marc. “It’s borderline cartoon-y,” the Shiseido artistic director said of the perfect scarlet pouts that were meant to look “stamped on.” To achieve this effect, Page had the Shiseido lab whip up a prototype product that resembled spreadable crayon wax. “It’s house paint, basically,” Page joked. ”It’s what lipstick is like before you put all the emollients in.” As a result, Page and his team had to hand-paint the stuff onto lips with an angled brush to ensure that it blended properly. Skin was kept otherwise bare, with the exception of a few swipes of Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Color in Soft Beam Gold, which the face painter applied to eyes for “a halo effect.”
With only six girls wearing the black toppers, hairstylist Guido Palau got to play a little more than he did at Jacobs’ show on Monday night. Using Redken’s Satinwear 02 Blow-Dry Gel, he gave every model a severely straight texture that he coated with its Outshine 01 Anti Frizz Polishing Milk and fashioned into a deep side part. ”Keep it square! The part is on the hairline,” he instructed his team, fastening low-slung ponytails that boasted blunt-cut ends for uniformity.
Before setting up his station with bottles of NARS Sheer Glow Foundation and a multitude of its bronzer and blush compacts backstage at Rodarte, James Kaliardos broke out the skincare. “Everyone’s skin is just disastrous right now,” the face painter proclaimed, soaking cotton pads with NARS’ new Makeup Cleansing Water and then slathering on “pretty much everything” from the brand’s skincare line to remedy models’ dry complexions—the unhappy result of four full days of shows. Once Kaliardos did start in with the makeup, though, there was no stopping him.
“These girls are in the Australian Outback and they’ve been caught in a dust storm,” he said, explaining Laura and Kate Mulleavy’s inspiration for their Fall collection, which manifested itself as a blend of bronze and pink pigments that Kaliardos applied with a heavy hand onto cheeks and lids. “I didn’t want it to be all bronzer and J. Lo,” he insisted; instead, the makeup artist opted for “Faye Dunaway cheeks,” which he sculpted by brushing on layer after layer of NARS Bronzer in Laguna. The shimmering insta-tan also made an appearance on lids, where it was brushed through the brows in the shape of an “arc.” Next Kaliardos dusted NARS Blush in Gaiety, a pure pink, from the crease toward the outer corners of eyes and then dotted its Blush in Madly onto the apples of cheeks, “geisha-style.” To open the eyes a bit, he pressed the white shade from NARS’ Eyeshadow Duo in Vent Glace into the inner corners. Lips were painted an opaque pink with its Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Bolero. If the makeup looked heavy, that was intentional. “More!” Kaliardos instructed his team. “Stronger!”
Hairstylist Odile Gilbert worked off a similar directive, re-creating a down under dust storm effect by varying the texture in her side-parted faux bobs. Prepping hair with Kérastase Mousse Volumactive, Gilbert created a shorter, curly side of the style, which she adorned with a series of gold pins, some of which had stars on them, and a longer, smoother side that went sans accessories. So how did Gilbert determine which girls got gold stars? “They decided,” she said of the designers. “They decide everything. They know what they want.”
The backstage scene at Marc Jacobs can get so harried, the designer instituted a new system a few seasons ago: If you don’t show up four hours before the show’s 8 p.m. start time, don’t bother showing up at all. Last season, he canceled backstage access entirely. But running a tight ship means that things now run particularly smoothly—especially when the highly anticipated New York event’s beauty look is relatively minimal. “I’m in a supporting role today,” said Redken creative consultant Guido Palau, who was charged with setting the hair so that it sat well underneath Jacobs’ bevy of towering, colored mink hats. Following Jacobs’ “get rid of it” directive, Palau created center-parted pigtail braids, which he wrapped into knots before using his fingers to jostle a “mist of hair” that “floated” over the front of the face. “Marc likes a total look even if you don’t see it,” he pointed out.
Since Jacobs’ wide-brim chapeaus covered a good quarter of models’ faces, makeup maestro François Nars’ job was similarly subdued. “The hats are very overpowering,” Nars admitted, although that didn’t deter him from inserting his own bit of “romance with a touch of decadence.” Referencing the 1920′s and Marchesa Luisa Casati, the face painter mixed the black shade from his Eyeshadow Duo in Panda with his Eyeshadow in Bali to create a smoky “round” eye that he described as “really dreamy but sad, in a way.” Skin was left purposefully bare—”no blush, no lip, just pale and very dewy,” said Nars, who added a strong eyebrow and an even stronger lower lid, which he rimmed with his Eyeliner in Black Moon. “I’m using lots of mascara,” he added, focusing on the lower lash line—a detail that was just barely visible beneath the headgear that Lindsey, Alana, Frida, and co. donned on the runway. At a Marc Jacobs show, every little detail counts.