April 19 2014

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26 posts tagged "Balmain"

“Dirty, Rock ’N’ Roll Chic” Beauty, Backstage At Balmain


The Balmain woman is a creature of habit. She likes a strong shoulder, a good bit of embellishment, and very little fuss when it comes to her hair and makeup. “I think it’s even more minimal than usual,” Tom Pecheux said backstage, pointing out that he did everything he usually does for Olivier Rousteing’s Fall outing, minus the highlights. “We’re making it more matte,” he explained of models’ complexions, which were brushed with Kett Sett Loose Powder and MAC Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder, a technique that took a page out of this season’s makeup manual. “Mattifying [the skin] makes it a bit tougher,” Pecheux offered of the finish that has dominated the runway over the past few weeks. It worked particularly well here, in contrast with the ornate dresses and “very strong” earrings the girls wore. Curled lashes, light contours, and well-groomed brows finished off the face.

“We’re going more tough this season,” Sam McKnight elaborated, speaking to the hair look. “It’s not as soft and clean.” Instead, McKnight made things a little “dirty” by smoothing handfuls of Magic Move, a malleable styling paste, on the sides of the head and all the way through the ends, which he reactivated with water just before models hit the catwalk. “There’s never a huge concept here,” he pointed out, content to christen his handiwork “dirty, rock ’n’ roll chic.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

The (Beauty) Beat Goes On


In case you’ve somehow missed the barrage of bulletins from Paris—via Twitter, text, Instagram, Tumblr, and good old-fashioned phone calls—Cher (CHER!) is at the Fall collections.The legendary singer—and, lest you’ve forgotten, Academy Award-winning actress—made Gareth Pugh her first stop of the week yesterday and answered the burning question of whether or not that would be her only stop by showing up, arm in arm with Fergie, at Balmain this afternoon. At 66, the style icon still looks amazing and, it should be pointed out, is still very much on message. The red eye shadow Cher had slicked across her lids in the front row of Olivier Rousteing’s show happens to be the very same color many a face painter has gravitated towards for Fall. “There’s a sort of seventies feeling to it,” makeup artist James Kaliardos said of the cranberry tint that has turned up at Diane von Furstenberg, Gucci, and Anthony Vaccarello—and has long been a favorite makeup trick of the music legend, who is apparently still setting trends all these years later. Yet another reason to add the color to your eye-makeup arsenal, stat.

Photo: GettyImages;

MAC’s Latest Comic-Book Collab


MAC has established itself as a leader in the culture-crossing collaboration game. The makeup giant has turned Superwoman, Hello Kitty, Barbie, and Disney’s most venomous villains into cult-favorite lipsticks, blushes, and nail lacquers, inspiring other cosmetics companies to follow suit. Its latest coup is another comic-book classic: Archie. It’s not the fifties-favorite, freckle-faced redhead that inspired its new lineup of face paints and accessories, though; instead, Archie’s perpetual love interests, Betty and Veronica, play muse. As to be expected, there’s plenty of kitsch in the collection, which can be experienced through the cartoon faces and miniature hearts that adorn its uncharacteristically white packaging. But there are a few real makeup gems in here, too, namely the Eye Shadow X 4 palettes that made some high-profile cameos backstage at the Spring shows, albeit in covert packaging. Tom Pecheux used a mix of the warm tan Caramel Sundae, light pink Cheryl Chic, pale yellow Dreammaker, and cool-toned brown Showstopper, from the collection’s Caramel Sundae quad, backstage at Balmain, and the deep navy Ron Ron Run pigment from the Spoiled Rich quad added opacity to the navy stroke he famously scrawled onto models’ upper lash lines backstage at Joseph Altuzarra. There was nothing kitsch about that.

MAC Archie’s Girls, available through February 7 at

Photo: Courtesy of MAC Cosmetics

Haute Couture Hair, From An Original Haute Couture House


Balmain is often associated with words like embellishment, sharp lines, and a certain rock ‘n’ roll sex appeal that it evokes thanks in large part to the stellar lineup of hard-to-get models the French house regularly enlists for its runway shows each season. What it’s less known for are hairpieces, but artificial strands have been a lucrative part of the company’s business since the sixties. “When Balmain started as an haute couture house, they started with wigs,” says Linda Dekkers-de Oude, Balmain Hair’s business development manager. “We went from wigs to extensions and from extensions to ready-to-wear [hairpieces]—things that are easy to blend,” adds Richard Guliker, the brand’s aRt&D director and the son of Dick Guliker, a hair pioneer who inked the original beauty deal with Pierre Balmain 38 years ago.

“It’s very big in Europe,” Guliker insists of the house’s lesser-known hair arm, although he’s hoping to expand its stateside presence by joining forces with Michael Angelo’s Wonderland beauty parlor in New York. “Linda was nice enough to let me dive into the archive and curate a collection that made sense for Wonderland,” says Angelo, who just started carrying the brand’s new Clip-In Fringe at his model-favorite Meatpacking District salon, as well as a selection of clip-in colored and highlighted add-ons. “What I did with their archive is think about what do people constantly beg me for: I want bangs but I don’t want to cut my hair; I want a pink streak but my mother’s going to kill me; or I want volume,” Angelo continues, explaining the new Clip-In Couture service he has dreamed up as a result of the partnership. “It’s like a couture appointment. You come in and we talk about what you want it to be, then I’ll call Balmain, say these are the shades we need, these are the number of pieces we need, they ship it to me and then you’ll come back 48 hours later, we’ll put the hair on the head, place it, show you where to place it, and cut and color it if we need to.”

“It’s not about adding piles of [fake] length,” Angelo is quick to point out about the Balmain Hair difference, which boasts incredibly natural textures and tones rather than an immediately recognizable synthetic look. “It’s like the perfect makeup application, that ‘is she or isn’t she’ [quality],” he elaborates—a quality that has also impressed backstage regular Sam McKnight, who often employs the subtle strands to catwalkers’ hair at Olivier Rousteing’s (and Christophe Decarnin’s before him) seasonal collections, according to Guliker. The fake-hair stigma, both men assert, is long overdue for an overhaul, and the creation of a professional service to help educate consumers on the art of going faux just may be its best chance for redemption yet.

Wonderland Beauty Parlor, 418 W. 13th St., New York, NY 10014; (212) 524-2800.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

“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.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /