We make the trek to New York every year not only to get a preview of what’s in store for next season, but also to learn a trick (or two) from the best makeup, hair, and nail artists in the business. From a makeshift highlighter you definitely already have in your purse, to a trick to that keeps your sheer nail polish from streaking, keep flipping for eight genius beauty hacks we picked up backstage at Fashion Week!
Backstage: Rebecca Minkoff S/S 15
The Expert: Michelle Saunders for Essie
The Tip: The Van Gogh-esque pastel manicure at Rebecca Minkoff was one of our favorites during this Fashion Week. Lead manicurist Michelle Saunders shared that she created the watercolor effect by applying Essie’s Good to Go! Topcoat ($10) before the polish had dried—which goes against everything you’re usually taught about topcoats, but in this case, the results were dreamy and perfect.
Backstage: Tibi S/S 15
The Expert: Kim Soane for Bobbi Brown
The Tip: When we asked Soane how she keeps models’ skin looking matte under the bright lights of the runway she shared two tips: skipping moisturizer before starting makeup and using an old-fashioned powder puff for a light dusting of loose powder. “A powder puff is an artist’s best friend on the runway!” she says.
Backstage: Jason Wu S/S 15
The Expert: Deborah Lippmann
The Tip: Lippmann created the perfect sheer nude nails backstage at Jason Wu—no easy feat, considering sheer polish usually tends to streak. We asked for her advice on achieving a streak-free mani, and she suggested starting with a ridge-filling base coat and letting it dry for a full two minutes. “Try to have a little less polish on your brush,” she says. “I have a pretty strict technique of one coat down the center, one down on each side, capping the tip, then sitting and waiting.” She warns against giving into the urge to immediately go back for a second coat, saying it will only drag the color and make more streaks. “You have to trust the polish—trust that the second coat will even everything out and give you the finish you want!” she says.
Backstage: Alexander Wang S/S 15 and DKNY S/S 15
The Expert: Yadim for Maybelline, Diane Kendal for NARS
The Tip: Lead makeup artist Yadim wanted to achieve a smudgy, lived-in look for the models at Opening Ceremony: “It’s meant to look like the girls are coming from another show and at a fitting,” he says. He achieved this look through non-traditional means: by applying a ton of Maybelline Great Lash Mascara ($6) and Master Kajal Liner ($8), then smudging it off a bit with the brand’s Clean Express Facial Towelettes ($6). Makeup artist Diane Kendal had the same idea at Alexander Wang, where she applied NARS’ Matte Multiple ($39) in Cappadoce and South Beach on models’ lids, then smudged them off with a bit of Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrate ($16).
Puckey created a just-bitten effect for the models backstage at Karen Walker using five different shades of Bite’s High Pigment Pencils ($24). When we asked him how to create a similar stain-like finish on ourselves, he shared his secret: “I use a concealer brush, not lip brush, to press the color into the lips,” he says. “Then, press your lips together, use your ring finger to press the color in more, and repeat until you get the desired effect. If there are any areas around the lip that start to look messy, just use a Q-tip to clean them up.” Backstage at Alice + Olivia, makeup artist and Stila's Global Director of Creative Artistry Sarah Lucero found a secret use for another makeup brush: she used a fluffy eyeshadow brush to dust Stila's All Over Shimmer Powder ($22) in Kitten above models' cheekbones for an ethereal glow.
Backstage: Jenny Packham S/S ‘15
The Expert: Antonio Corral Calero for Morrocanoil
The Tip: Corral said he was going for a modern, disheveled Marilyn Monroe vibe with this hair look backstage at Jenny Packham. He used Morrocanoil’s Root Boost ($29) to amp up volume at the roots, but said that at home, you can use it on your ends, too. “We try to do products differently, where you can use them multiple ways,” he says. “For people who lack volume, or have a lot of hair that still gets flat easily, you can use the Root Boost at the roots, but also apply it from the middle to the ends to add more texture.”
Backstage: Nanette Lepore S/S ‘15
The Expert: Grace Lee for Maybelline
The Tip: When you’re out of highlighter, reach for your Baby Lips ($5)—or any other lip balm that gives off a subtle sheen. “I’m obsessed with using Maybelline’s Baby Lips ($5) in Clear on the cheekbones and temples as a highlighter!” Lee says.
Backstage: DKNY S/S ‘15
The Expert: Yadim for Maybelline
The Tip: Backstage at DKNY, lead makeup artist Yadim said he wanted the models to look like they were “a little sweaty, a little flushed from the sun.” Along with this theme, he kept the eye makeup very natural by using Maybelline’s Brow Drama (available in October 2014) on models’ brows and lashes for soft definition.
Which of these tips would you try? What’s your favorite part about Fashion Week? Sound off below!