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15 posts tagged "Wella Professionals"

Thinking Pink, Backstage At Donna Karan


One look at the makeup backstage at Donna Karan transported us to another show entirely, as an immediate déjà vu of Pat McGrath’s hot pink eyeliner and eyelashes at Dior Couture set in. “It gives you intensity of color and graphicness of form,” Charlotte Tilbury said of the technique, which she repurposed as a juxtaposition to all the muted reds, golds, blues, and greens in Karan’s collection. “It’s sunrise, sunset,” the face painter elaborated of the clothes’ dégradé pastel palette, which was meant to reference the light progression over a day’s time (not the Fiddler on the Roof refrain, lest you be confused).

Starting with a blank canvas of MAC Face and Body Foundation mattified with powder in the T-zone, Tilbury drew a blocked-off wing using its Eyeliner in Magenta, dipping a brush into a MAC Chromacake in the same color to paint top and bottom lashes a shade of hot fuchsia. Nails were given two coats of a custom-mixed nude varnish composed of MAC Nail Lacquer in Quiet Time and Cream Delicate, while brows were bleached to keep eyes the focal point of the look (much to models’ dismay).

Eugene Souleiman subsequently pulled hair up to accommodate a series of frosted Perspex headpieces designed by Stephen Jones, although the Wella Professionals global artistic director added his own “romantic, dark-tragedy twist” to the equation. Using the brand’s Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray to give strands a shine-free, naturally gritty quality, Souleiman folded a ponytail onto itself to make a flat panel in the back of the head, building “spiky, sharp shards” in the front by setting floating wisps around the hairline with hair spray. “It’s a little bit off,” he decided.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Finger-painting And “Bad Hair,” Backstage At Peter Som


Pastel-colored hair streaks have enjoyed a longer stay of execution on the runway then some members of the style set (this one included) are willing to believe. So when we arrived backstage at Peter Som this morning only to see that they would be making another appearance here for Spring, we definitely took pause. And Wella Professionals global creative director Eugene Souleiman noticed. “It’s good clothes, bad hair,” he admitted, explaining that his goal was to counterbalance Som’s “very rich-looking” collection with something deliberately “distressed, vintage…and patchy.” So he collaborated with Wella color ambassador, Aura Friedman, to work mineral-hued dyes—tourmaline, amethyst, teal, denim, and dusty rose—into a series of long weaves. “I wanted it to feel very spontaneous,” Souleiman said, gluing the hairpieces into “unusual” parting patterns while prepping strands with Wella’s Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray to create a matte feel. “It’s meant to be visual, not technical,” he insisted, pointing out that application is key when it comes to keeping pops of color from looking less contrived, and more “tough and cool.”

Makeup artist Tom Pecheux also had juxtaposition on his mind. Describing Som’s clothes as “more grown up,” Pecheux was intent on keeping faces playful. “When you become an adult, you do everything for a reason; kids do everything for no reason. Like, [their] drawings are amazing,” he said, explaining the thought process behind the finger-painted, “innocent” pastels he used on models’ eyes. Dusting lids with MAC’s forthcoming Eyeshadow in Sunshine, a sunny yellow, Pecheux applied another wash of pigment through the crease in varying shades of orange, blue, green, pink, and mauve. As a finishing touch, he left a darker thumbprint right below brushed-up brows, using a more concentrated dose of one of five corresponding MAC Paintsticks. Mouths were kept nude with varying slicks of MAC Lipstick in Luxe Natural and Posh Tone. As far as who got what eye-shadow combination, Pecheux left that to models’ whims. “As soon as it becomes too studied, it loses the innocence.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Stella’s Blue Period, Still Going Strong For Fall


“Designers design for who they are or who they want to be,” Eugene Souleiman proposed backstage at Stella McCartney this morning, and McCartney—the woman, the designer, the mother, the daughter of Paul and Linda—is just plain cool. “She’s cool, so I think the girls in her show should be cool,” according to the Wella global creative director, who used a good helping of the brand’s Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Spray to create a matte-finish chignon for Fall. “It’s very neat and clean in the back—a ladylike bun that’s really groomed,” he said of the updo, using adjectives we’ve heard many times at this show in seasons past. “But the front is more raw and a little younger,” he continued, mussing baby hairs to create a halo of light wisps at the root.

Pat McGrath added an injection of youth to the makeup as well, reprising the cobalt blue cat-eye McCartney asked for at her pre-fall show back in January, in tinted eyelash form. “It’s all about the subtle details,” McGrath said of the chunky blue gel—a specific hue that had its origins in the collection—which she coated onto a base of CoverGirl 24-Hour LashBlast Mascara in Black along both the upper and lower lash lines. Keeping skin natural with targeted applications of powder and highlighter, which team McGrath affectionately calls “shiny stick,” the face painter groomed brows and kept lips neutral and well moisturized. “Stella said to me, ‘I just love a girl with color on her lashes,’ ” McGrath said of the bold accent’s inception. Now we do, too.

Photo: Michele Morosi /

Backstage At Haider Ackermann: “What Hair Would Look Like If Jackson Pollock Was A Hairdresser”


Every season, there are a few shows that jar us out of any complacency that may have set in after three straight weeks of work and traveling, and make us open your weary eyes wide in awe, even at 7:30 in the morning. On a Saturday. Today we had such an awakening. “It’s all about this kind of apparition feeling—not ghosts but irrealism,” makeup artist Stéphane Marais said backstage at Haider Ackermann, where he created otherworldly pale, transparent skin using a particularly off-kilter method: “I’m doing a clay mask and breaking it off with a brush,” he explained.

And so, models took coffee and wandered back and forth from the dressing room wearing full, powdery face masks that Marais literally mixed with water on-site and painted on, allowing them to harden before he swept them off, rather than removing them with a damp washcloth. “All of the silhouettes [of the clothes] are strong, but I love the mix of strong with fragile,” he said, elaborating on the rationale behind the paled-out complexions that he ran by Ackermann on a casual meeting of minds. “We’re neighbors,” Marais said of the designer. “I went over to his house and we realized that every girl was going to have one outfit.” To play up that individuality, Marais also added a custom-colored lip that ranged from coral to red to fuchsia to violet to plum, using MAC Lip Pencils in Vino, Spice, and Night Moth topped with its Lipstick in Rebel, a deep berry, or Vegas Volt, a bright orange-red. Eyes were sculpted through the socket with MAC Eyebrows in Lingering while lids were shaded with a blend of its Mixing Mediums Shine and Cream Color Base in Bronze for a glossy, gilded effect that juxtaposed the texture of the matte lip and velvety skin. Marais’ unique face-painting effort had a dual purpose too. “When [the girls] leave and wash off the mask, their skin will be baby soft!”

Eugene Souleiman’s “roughest, rawest, ugliest” hair that was purposely made to look “unhealthy” was presumably less of a treat to deal with postshow. “[The hair] is meant to seem like it’s evolved—maybe it’s been bleached, then it was dyed black, and then we added a little bronze,” he explained. Prepping strands with Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz Beach Texture Hairspray, Souleiman gathered the lengths into a ponytail brushing a halo of baby hair forward, before he sprayed a black aerosol hair color all over the roots and across the ponytail itself in a “nonchalant way.” Then, after securing a messy, “raw” knot that he literally just smashed onto the head and pinned down haphazardly, Souleiman brushed the baby hairs backward, sprayed the ends with a silver hair color, and then painted them in stripes of creamy metallic bronze makeup. “It’s what the hair would look like if Jackson Pollock was a hairdresser,” he surmised of the style. “It’s not about thinking about it, it’s about gestures, and the grand gesture here is: I don’t care.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Behind The Makeup: Narciso Rodriguez 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.

“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.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /