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April 21 2014

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361 posts tagged "MAC Cosmetics"

Getting Ready With the Queen of the Night

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Mac Cosmetics Master Class Susanne Bartsch Chelsea Hotel 2014/04/08

“What the fuck is life without makeup?” Truer words have never been spoken, but they somehow seem even more meaningful coming from Susanne Bartsch, the iconic queen of New York City nightlife known for her extravagant fêtes at the Copacabana in the late eighties. She continues to take party planning to an entirely different level, hosting events all week long that draw eclectic crowds that can only be described as equal parts weird and wonderful. On this particular evening, however, Bartsch is letting a few lucky onlookers watch her and her team of MAC pros get ready for (what else?) the evening’s big bash. The beauty brand’s array of intense colors, over-the-top glitters, and tentacle-like lashes are clearly the only products that will do. A sense of organized chaos settles upon the room as wigs are fluffed and pigments are applied. Bartsch switches seamlessly between discussing details with her assistant (“Is the cake here? You have candles?”) and sharing charming anecdotes with the assembled group. Outfits of parties past are sprinkled throughout the room, but nothing compares with the laser-cut leather corset and thigh-high boots that she slides into after her makeup is perfected. People literally burst into applause. She looks fierce, but don’t be fooled by her love of feathers and lace. Bartsch takes her events very seriously and has raised millions of dollars over the years for the fight against AIDS. And after hearing her endearing chatter as she sits among her glam squad, you can see why people would donate hand over fist to any organization that she deems fit. After all, if life without makeup seems unfathomable, then the notion of New York City without Susanne Bartsch is just absurd.

Mac Cosmetics Master ClassSusanne BartschChelsea Hotel2014/04/08

Photos: Helga Traxler

Closing Time

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fashion-monthPost-Lillehammer Winter Olympics, Nancy Kerrigan told the masses that she was going to Disney World after “winning the hearts of the world” (and not the gold medal…that, of course, went to a pink marabou-clad Oksana Baiul). Ask the backstage beauty crews what they’ll be doing following fashion month and I guarantee you nobody will mention an amusement park. (To be honest, the casts of characters on the circuit are far more entertaining than a parade of princesses—and much better dressed). Here, what three MAC pros are up to now that the Fall 2014 madness has come to a close:

“Laying on the beach in Fiji with my husband, some cocktails, and a pile of books.”

“Trying to come up for air and reacclimate to my time zone before hitting the road to host five consecutive spring Master Class trips all over North America. No rest until summer for me!”

“Snuggling with my cats.”

Ditto to the last response. I’ll also be indulging in more than a disco nap at night and clocking some serious sleep.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde/ Indigitalimages.com

“Handsome” Girls, Backstage at Giambattista Valli

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valliThis season, the designer created clothes for a “woman who was confident to dress in women’s clothes,” but the makeup, as describe by face painter Val Garland, was “healthy, wealthy, and handsome.” Brushed-up brows, perfected complexions, and lips topped with a clear mattifying formula from MAC comprised the look. “Just before they go out, we are going to give them a little massage on their cheeks so we get nice, natural color—but it’s not a blush,” she noted. The sheen on the high points of the face came courtesy of moisturizer, rather than a shimmery pigment, applied with a fan brush. “I’m a bit over the frosty sheen of highlighter, I think it’s dying a death,” Garland said. And similar to the London shows, she made a point of not picking up mascara. “It can look commercial when what you want to get across is something more directional,” she explained. But for those of us in the live real world and not on the runway, she suggests hanging onto our go-to tubes. “You can’t live without it—none of us can.” As much as I despise scrubbing off the black rings that form post-shower, I have to agree.

Hair pro Orlando Pita crafted a clean, natural ponytail—adding shine and canceling any flyaways with L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil. “This makes it shiny, touchable, and soft—all the things the girls’ [strands] aren’t during the season,” he said. The tails were bent slightly with a curling iron for movement. Asked if the hair would be tucked into the collars and high-necked pieces in the collection (a trend that’s held strong since New York), Pita said that would be a game-time decision left up to Valli. The “haphazard” feeling this finishing touch lends, however, is something the mane master fully supports: “It’s as if you just got up and threw on a T-shirt—except [the T-shirt] is actually a Giambattista Valli dress—and headed out the door.” That sounds like my kind of morning.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde; Indigitalimages.com

Taking It Easy, Backstage at Chloé

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chloe“If someone looks like they put too much effort in, it’s almost not cool,” said hairstylist James Pecis—that’s especially true if you’re the Chloé woman. “Soft,” “fresh,” and “easy” are just a few of the key words both he and makeup artist Diane Kendal used to describe the brand’s DNA and its aesthetic. For Pecis, that meant forming a side part just above the inner corner of the eye, pulling the right side back and tying it at the nape with a piece of elastic to give the impression of an asymmetrical cut. Texture was created via L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni Art Volume Lift Spray-Mousse, which was applied from roots to ends and blown dry. Sections were then wound loosely around a curling iron for a bit of bend and finished off with Wild Stylers Next Day Hair, a formula that works similarly to a dry shampoo. While the end result appeared quite simple, there was an underlying precision. “All of the parts are made on the right and the hair [swooped over] to the left,” Pecis explained. “It’s very specific, because when the models turn the first corner on the runway, the wind catches in their hair. We have to make sure it opens it up so the cameras can get each girl’s picture.”

This season Kendal reached for a hue well outside the beige family. “Clare [Waight Keller] was saying she really wanted to incorporate violet,” the face painter noted of her discussion with the creative director. Of course, this was no in-your-face purple eye, but an iridescent lilac shade created with a mushroom-colored “greasepaint” and MAC Eye Shadow in Beautiful Iris. For a smoky effect, Kendal used a taupe sculpting cream in the “banana” of the lid and underneath the lower lashes, pulling it out into a subtle feline shape. Next, a gray-blue shimmer pencil was run across the waterline for a brightening effect. Similar to the airy chiffon dresses or cozy, oversize coats (one of which was worn by none other than Sasha Pivovarova) in the collection, the pastel palette employed on the eyes was fiercely feminine.

Photo: Sonny Vandevelde/ Indigitalimages.com

Twin Peaks Meets Blue Velvet, Backstage at Kenzo

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kenzo“We’re taking a classic look and twisting it—a bit like a David Lynch film,” explained mane master Anthony Turner. Inspired by the collaboration between the designers (Carol Lim and Humberto Leon) and the famed director on the sculptural set and music for today’s show, the backstage pro crafted a “Twin Peaks ponytail.” After making a strong center part and securing the hair at the back of the head, he wrapped the band with extensions and “hacked off” the ends with scissors or “men’s clippers,” forming a blunt, severe line. To cancel any flyaways, L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil was smoothed on top.

Another Lynch film, Blue Velvet, obviously served as a reference for face painter Aaron de Mey. He used MAC Chromaline in Marine Ultra on the upper rims, a shade he described as “Yves Klein blue.” His reason for selecting such a vibrant hue: “The [runway] is dark and tough, so this gives it an elevation and illumination.” As for the “fifties” wing shape, it was reminiscent of Sherilyn Fenn’s signature cat-eye in the aforementioned nineties series, de Mey explained. The finishing touch that channeled the cinematic theme were models’ flocked navy nails, whose fuzzy texture and color recalled—what else?—Isabella Rossellini’s crushed velvet robe.

Photo: Indigitalimages.com