10 Incredible Tips You Can Only Learn Backstage at Fashion Week

Emily Rekstis
backstage makeup tips


New York Fashion Week has come and gone for spring 2015. We’ve spotted the biggest trends to look forward to for the spring season like braidsbold eye makeup, and bright red lips, plus we’ve seen crazy nail art take on a life of its own at Libertine.

Fashion Week beauty isn’t all about the trends and insane looks, though. Through our visits backstage and talking to the multiple artists and stylists that make NYFW possible, we’ve gathered some seriously helpful tips and tricks you can actually take home. Below are 10 expert tips and tricks you can only learn backstage at Fashion Week!

Graphic Liner
We saw some seriously cool graphic liner created by makeup artist Lyne Desnoyers at Kate Spade. While she used a thin coat of acrylic on top of MAC Fluidline in black to give it extra depth, this isn’t something that is necessarily practical for an every day look. “For every day women, sketch the design with kohl then go over with a gel or liquid liner. It’s a great way to do something when you aren’t comfortable yet.”

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Worn-In Makeup
Backstage at The Row, MAC Cosmetics makeup artist Tom Pecheux wanted to create the illusion that the models weren’t wearing makeup at that exact time, but that they did have makeup on earlier. His tip to create this illusion? No brushes. “You smudge and take off the makeup using your fingers.” Yes, it’s that easy.

Bright Eye Makeup
The neon-orange eyes we saw at Peter Som aren’t something we plan on rocking during the average work week. But makeup artist Yadim gave us the at home equivalent for wearing bright eye makeup. He suggests dabbling some translucent powder on top of a vibrant lipstick color using an eye shadow brush for extra lasting power. Use the color as a liner along the top lash line for a more wearable look.

Lived-In Black Liner
At Libertine, we saw a rough-around-the-edges thick black liner, to suggest as if a girl was coming home late night of partying. To recreate this lived-in look, makeup artist Chantel Miller suggests taking a wet Q-tip and smudging out the top of the line on the top lash line to buff it down, giving it that lived-in look.

Colored Mascara
Makeup artist Tom Pecheux is just full tricks. He explained to us backstage at Derek Lam that when you’re using colored mascara, always do a layer of your typical black mascara first. This way you’re still opening up the eye, and then can apply the layer colored mascara over that from root to tip.

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Plump Lips
To get the same fresh, plump, juicy lips from Rag & Bone, Gucci Westman for NARS combined two lip pencils: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Never Say Never and Bahama. Apply the matte colors all around the lips, not just in the center, to make them look fresh and youthful.

Half-Up Twisted Knot
We saw a surprisingly easy hairstyle backstage at Thakoon created by Odile Gilbert for Kerestase. To recreate the look, all you have to do is pull two little strands of hair from right above the ears in the front, twirl them as you pull them behind the head and tie into a double knot. Using a tiny invisible elastic, secure the second knot subtly.

Dreadlock-inspired Braid
The models at Vera Wang were rocking some seriously cool dreadlock-inspired braids underneath their hair. Hairstylist Paul Hanlon created it by pulling out sections of hair from underneath and braiding a fishtail plait. Then, about halfway through the braid he stopped with the fishtail and finished it off with a three-strand braid. To make sure it doesn’t look perfect, when securing with a little elastic at the ends, separate the ties from one another.

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Splatter Paint Nails
Miss Pop for OPI created unique surfer girl nails for Jeremy Scott’s Spring 2015 show. To get these relaxed beachy nails, Miss Pop suggests starting with a ridge filling base coat, which has a bit of a white tint to it to make the colors pop. Then, take the brush of whatever color you’re using and wipe it along the side of the bottle, removing a majority of the polish. Move the brush in circled, choppy motions to give a textured splattered coat to the nail.

Minimalist Eye Makeup
To frame the eyes without looking too cosmetic, Yadim gave us a great trick backstage a J. Mendel. Using a brown pencil, he colored in the top lash line and along the lower lash line, but not inside the waterline. Make sure there is no white between the lashes. Then, he cleaned up the brown pencil on the lid by wrapping a makeup wipe around his pointer finger and dapping it until there’s nothing left except for the brown that fills the waterline.