April 20 2014

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Better Off Red, Backstage At Donna Karan


Hats on the runway present an interesting dilemma for hairdressers: how do you do something that’s simple enough to sit well underneath a headpiece, but still complex so that it makes an impact on its own? At Donna Karan, Eugene Souleiman solved that problem with “a detail that was quite graphic and quite ornate:” behold, the side twist. “It’s masculine and refined,” the Wella professionals global creative director said of the roll, which he prepped with a mixture of Wella Perfect Setting Blow Dry Lotion and its Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray for a soft, matte finish.

Referencing Karan’s “tailored, handsome collection,” Charlotte Tilbury wanted to incorporate the designer’s palette of black, gray and red into the makeup but in an unexpected way. “We didn’t want to go too retro with a red lip so we thought, ‘how do you give it and eccentric, modern twist?” The answer? A red eye. Keeping skin dewy by applying MAC Cream Color Base in Pearl on cheekbones, down the bridge of the nose and along the cupid’s bow of the mouth, Tilbury carved out a slight contour with its Pure Sculpting Cream in Pure Sculpture before beefing up brows with its Eye Shadows in Linger and Fling. Then came the “cherry, chocolate-y” lids, which the facepainter created using a mix of MAC Lipsticks in Partyline, a deep burgundy, and Diva, a purplish crimson. “It’s all about the eyes this season,” Tilbury declared.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Backstage At Carolina Herrera, Go Big Or Go Home


“She wanted big hair, big hair,” Orlando Pita said yesterday, recounting Carolina Herrera’s specific directive about the beauty look for her Fall show. Like a good collaborator, Pita obliged her, giving her the biggest hair we’ve seen this week. To build the foundation inside the style as well as maintain the voluminous shape, Pita spritzed models’ strands with copious amounts of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray Strong, back-combing as he went to achieve height. “It’s nice to do something different—to break the mold,” Pita continued, throwing out words like “graphic” and “bold” to describe the mass of hair that was contained around the hair line by a simple piece of black elastic and occasionally tied at the bottom with a bow.

Because the hair statement was so, er, big, makeup artist Diane Kendal kept the face intentionally “fresh and bare.” Using MAC’s Mineralize skincare, she applied a light layer of its Face and Body Foundation before she carved out cheeks with MAC Sculpting Powder in Sculpt, adding a touch of its Blush in Tenderling on the apples for a hint of warmth. Filling in brows, Kendal skipped mascara—something she’s made a habit of for Fall—and colored in mouths with MAC Lip Liner in Spice, which she topped with a clear balm to emulsify the matte pigment ever so slightly.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

“American Dream Beauty,” Backstage At The Row


Requesting “American dream”-caliber beauty from a makeup artist when the model call time for a show is 5 a.m. is asking a lot. But if any makeup artist is up to the task, it’s Tom Pecheux. “Fifty percent of good makeup comes with good skincare,” the face painter said in the wee hours of the morning backstage at The Row yesterday, where he was conducting facial massages with Sunday Riley’s Good Genes treatment cream and its Juno Serum for Body (it’s a bit lighter than the line’s similar omega oil-rich formula for the face). “It just gets rid of the puffiness and the lines,” Pecheux said of taking the extra step to stimulate the skin before starting in with foundations and primers. “And more than anything, it makes the girls feel well treated”—”girls” being the models, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, and hairstylist Odile Gilbert, who all took a turn in Pecheux’s chair.

Going for a completely classic look, Pecheux alternated between Riley’s Light Foundation and its more opaque cream formula before building up brows and applying a slight shadowed veil to lids. Skipping mascara in favor of Riley’s Eye Shadow in Little Black Dress, a dark charcoal powder that he “painted” onto the roots of lashes for definition, Pecheux turned his attention to crafting “pinky, rosy, bronzy” cheeks, which he highlighted with Riley’s shimmering Eye Shadows in Moon Dust and Camille. “American dream beauty is not easy to get,” he joked, slicking on a coat of its Lip Gloss in Chameleon, a brownish berry pigment that the makeup artist applied three hours before the Olsen’s first presentation of the day so it left a natural stain on lips without all the shine. “It’s like what I do at Ralph,” Pecheux surmised, comparing the face to the kind of American, upper-crust look he’s become accustomed to whipping up for Ralph Lauren. “But this is a little more urban,” he insisted. “You could think of Gwyneth Paltrow.”

Or an “American girl aristocrat,” Gilbert chimed in, putting her stamp on a series of sleek side-parted updos by brushing hair up at the hairline and fashioning a mix of soft ponytails and chignons using Kérastase’s Double Force hair spray for slight hold. “For years, everyone was doing flat side parts, but here we’ve brushed the hair up on the side and suddenly, it’s not trying too hard—just like the clothes.”

Photo: Courtesy of Sunday Riley

Behind The Makeup: Thakoon Fall 2012


Behind The Makeup is a new video series in which 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.

“I was really nostalgic for old, elegant New York. I just wanted to feel dressed up again,” Thakoon Panichgul said last weekend, explaining his Fall collection inspiration to his go-to glam squad of hairstylist Odile Gilbert and makeup artist Diane Kendal as the group met up for the first time to discuss the beauty look for the season. And with that, each woman set to work turning his vision into reality, readying a few different hair and makeup options to try with the clothes. Gilbert went with “a modern, destroyed chignon,” treating hair with Kérastase Mousse Substantive and Double Force Hairspray to give it guts, before forming a top and bottom section. Creating a ponytail with the top half, she flipped the lengths over themselves and secured them, fashioning a short bang “as an homage to Audrey Hepburn.” Back-combing the bottom section, she made a twist that she then broke apart with her fingers, ensuring that the sides were very flat and the back was slightly disheveled. For her part, Kendal chose to zero in on the idea of a strong mouth that was “lady but eccentric.” Cue NARS Lipstick in Heatwave, a bright orange-red pigment that she topped with an electric pink powder to amp up the color and “make it more modern” with a matte finish. Needless to say, it was an easy sell. Panichgul greenlighted both looks, which made their way down the runway last night. Above, watch the process unfold in real time.

Backstage At DVF, A Magical Mystery Tour Takes Shape


Getting the scoop backstage at Diane von Furstenberg’s Fall show was just as much a lesson in etymology as a tutorial in hair and makeup. “It’s more like a rendezvous as opposed to a meeting,” Orlando Pita said, trying to hone in on the beauty mood from von Furstenberg’s collection. “A meeting has expectations, whereas a rendezvous has more mystery,” the coiffing star explained. Add to this clandestine spirit a nod to the 1930′s and you’ve got a tight, glossy chignon on your hands, which Pita side-parted and coated with a combination of Phyto Professionals Wet Gel and its Phytolisse Finishing Serum as well as a mist of its Phytolaque Soie Hair Spray—”all shiny things,” Pita joked.

Makeup artist James Kaliardos revisited this sense of 1930′s realism with a similarly shiny gray eye, which he swept onto lids in a half-moon shape using a blend of MAC Powerpoint Eyeliner in Gray Utility topped with its Eyeshadow in Linger Softly before dabbing an all-purpose gloss on the center of the lid only for a “surprising” matte versus shiny texture difference. “[Diane] inspires mystery and power,” Kaliardos mused of the designer as he built up brows, contouring cheeks with MAC Pro Sculpting Cream in Pure Sculpture and adding highlights with its Cream Color Base in Pearl as he went. Finishing touches came by way of an exaggerated natural lip and a deep berry manicure, courtesy of Yuna Park using Dior Vernis Rouge Garçonne.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /