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Nordstrom at Fashion Week

Braving the polar vortex of the Northeast and dressed in my trusty all-black backstage outfit (accessorized with Valentino Rockstud rain boots and purple-streaked hair), I headed to NYFW with Debra Redmond. Not only did we see new products and techniques but also some welcome updates to classic and retro makeup.

Tadashi Shoji, Nicole Miller, Alice + Olivia

Imagine if The Road Warrior married Sleeping Beauty, or if Blade Runner dated Snow White, and you’ll have a good idea of the beauty looks we saw for fall 2014. Futuristic influences (dramatic eye makeup and dark nails) contrasted with whimsy and femininity (luminous skin, hints of rose on cheeks and lips), all resulting in the ultimate dark fairytale.

Rebecca Minkoff, Rodarte

Wine-Stained Lips
From winter rose to deep cognac, lips were stained as if lipstick had been applied very intentionally with fingers (at many shows, it was). While the color was deeply pigmented, the edges were somewhat blurred to create an undefined yet very sophisticated (i.e., not messy) and wearable look. The textures leaned toward velvets and satins—some with a subtle hint of shimmer for added dimension—to complement the rich fabrics of the clothes.

Start Practicing Now:
- Lancome L’Absolu Rouge in ‘Berry Noir’
- stila stay all day vinyl lip gloss in ‘Merlot Vinyl’
- Bobbi Brown Creamy Matte Lip Color in ‘Port’

Nicole Miller

Charcoal-Smudged Eyes
The classic smoky eye transformed into a more smudged, slept-in* look in dusky shades—from soft pewter and mouse grey to intense coal and transparent (not chalky) onyx. Layering in deep blue, green and purple shadows added cool interest to basic black, while hints of burnished gold and liquid silver added a slight 3-D effect (and had us thinking ahead to fun holiday looks).

Start Practicing Now:
- M•A•C Pro Longwear Paint in ‘Blackground’
- Smashbox Photo Op Palette in ‘Smokebox’
- NARS The NARSissist Eye Palette

Rebecca Minkoff, Nicole Miller, Peter Som

Two-Tone Nails
Nail art has evolved into a more sophisticated and user-friendly (yeah!) trend of simply using TWO colors. Dare I call it “grown-up” nail art? Many designs were modern takes on classics like the French manicure, and while most were black-based, femininity raised her hand with a new take on nudes. Best of all, almost every design was doable at home!

Start practicing now:
Shop Nail Polish

Cushnie et Ochs

One to Watch…
Keep your eye (pun intended) on exaggerated black liner: winged, double-winged and Charlotte Tilbury’s “feline flick” added serious eye interest and drama to a variety of looks.

And that’s my take!
—Kate

*As any beauty devotee knows: always remember to remove makeup before bed. While we all appreciate the LOOK of smudged shadow and mascara, we recommend you create it yourself the next morning v. irritating your eyes or damaging your skin (or pillowcase!) by sleeping in your makeup.

Photos: Gorunway.com, Alice + Olivia, Rebecca Minkoff, Peter Som.

HERO

We’re not sure what we’re more enamored with: the radiant skin, the perfectly wine-stained lip or the textured nails at Jenny Packham’s fall ’14 show—all courtesy of Laura Mercier and essie. Find out how to make this look your own.

Lips:

Makeup artist Talia Shobrook created a warm ombré portofino lip—unfinished on the edges but intensely pigmented in the center.

1) Start by applying a reddish-brown lip color to the center of your pout (literally pucker up when applying this).

2) Use your ring finger and pat, blending outward toward your lip line. Mix Laura Mercier Crème Smooth Lip Color in ‘Damask’ with Crème Smooth Lip Color in ‘Mango’.

Radiant Skin:

1) First, with clean and toned skin, apply Laura Mercier ‘Radiance’ Bronze Primer to the face perimeter, following your hair and jaw line.

2) Next, apply ‘Radiance’ Foundation Primer to the top of the cheekbones and down the center of the face; this draws attention to the center, creating a lit-from-within glow.

Nails:

Inspired by the collection’s jewelry and beaded gowns, Michelle Saunders for essie created an embellished ring finger design.

1) Start by applying ‘First Base’ Base Coat to clean, filed nails.

2) Apply two coats of essie nail polish in ‘Mademoiselle’.

3) To create the accent nail, use a bobby pin as your design tool: dip into a contrast or metallic polish and apply to the nail, creating the desired shape. (Saunders included the colors ‘Penny Talk’ and ‘Lots of Lux’ in her design.)

4) Finish with ‘Good To Go!’ Top Coat.

Join us backstage at all the big-ticket shows during Fashion Week.

Donna Karan‘s 30th anniversary show featured the biggest models in fashion, and to put their best face forward the New York-based designer turned to Charlotte Tilbury for M•A•C, who created a glossy, metallic lid paired with a gorgeously youthful complexion.

Charlotte shares how she created the look:

“To start, I used a luxurious moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and dewy, and then a concealer on any blemishes and areas of redness. The moisturizer was then used again on top of the cheekbones as a highlighter to catch the lights as the girls walked down the runway. I lined the waterlines of the eyes with M•A•C Eye Kohl in Phone Number and smudged a bit on the top lash line. Silver metallic creams were washed onto the lids toward the brow bone, and later a layer of gloss was added for a liquid silver effect. The lips were kept dewy and soft with lip balm. Concealer was added to them to tone down any redness.”

Karlie Kloss boldly wears this soft, smudged eye statement.

Join us backstage at all the big-ticket shows during Fashion Week.

Tela Beauty Organics founder Philip Pelusi was tasked with creating the hair concept at the Venexiana fall ’14 show. Inspired by 14th-century coquettes, Philip went for a braided updo that was demure, elegant and represented the spirit of that age.

The celebrity hairstylist and designer Kati Stern do a quick interview backstage.

Philip says, “To ‘glam up’ your hairstyle and create this look at home, you’ll want to custom make a faux hairpiece. You can find different lengths, colors and textures at your local beauty supply store. Simply take two sections, twist and secure at each end. Begin to apply it to the top of your head and proceed with the easy-to-follow steps below.”

1) Use Tela’s Composer to slick hair straight back into a ponytail.

2) lace a twisted roll of faux hair like a headband behind the ears.
3) Secure with pins and wrap around the ponytail.
4) Use Composer and Tela’s Hair Gloss to smooth flyaways.
5) Divide the ponytail into two sections.

6) Twist the first section.
7) Proceed to wrap the twisted section, tuck it in on the left side of the ponytail and pin.
8) Repeat the step with the remaining section.
9) Finish with Tela’s Reduce styling spray for a smooth and polished look.

Join us backstage at all the big-ticket shows during Fashion Week.

Dick Page of Shiseido and Deborah Lippmann share how they devised the look at the Band of Outsiders fall 2014 runway show.

Big Beauty Ideas: To complement the static presentation style, the look is somewhat “removed, cold and synthetic,” according to Dick Page, Shiseido’s artistic director. Page went on to create a mannequin-like look “with abstract definition.”

Get the look:
1. Eye: Brows brushed in place and lids left bare, covered with sunglasses.
2. Lip: A distinct liner around the lips using the Shiseido Smoothing Eyeliner Pencil in brown, with skin tone-matched foundation colored inside the lines.
3. Face/Cheek: A quick wash of Shiseido Sheer & Perfect Foundation SPF 18 to remove any redness.

Nail the Inspiration: “The idea for this nail came from a multitude of places–the graphic pops of white in the clothing, the ode to polish on the gloves within the collection, and the nude makeup look with a strong lip liner,” says Deborah Lippmann, lead manicurist. “It was from this that I was able to transform the classic French manicure into something that was new and fresh—the ‘Band O’ French’.”

Get the look:
1. Nails were prepped with Deborah Lippmann Cuticle Remover with Lanolin and nourished with cuticle oil.
2. One layer of Gel Lab base coat was applied to nails.
3. After 60 seconds of drying time, two coats of Deborah Lippmann nail color in Naked (a clean, bare beige lacquer) was applied to nails (pictured).
4. To create the ‘Band O’ French’ with Amazing Grace, a pure white lacquer (pictured), Deborah held the nail brush parallel to the top tip of the nail, rotating the finger from left to right, so that the the finger moved – not the brush.
(**Additional tip: For a more precise application, try cutting bristles on either side of the nail polish brush.)
5. The previous step was repeated on the back of the nail near the cuticle, and lined in the same way as the tip.
6. For lining the sides of the nail, the brush application was started at the back, pulling up to the front edge of the nail.
7. Nails were sealed with Gel Lab top coat to prevent chipping and add a high-shine, cushiony finish.

Join us backstage at all the big-ticket shows during Fashion Week.

February 10, 2014

Backstage Beauty: Derek Lam

Some say boys will be boys, but beauty boys will bring the glam, and this was precisely the case backstage at Derek Lam, where Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder and Orlando Pita for PHYTO and T3 created a smoky, sleek statement.

“Derek’s collection is strong, urban, ethnic-inspired with an emphasis on texture. The makeup look is strong, yet fluid, with pools of grey and green surrounding the eye. I was inspired by water, a lagoon, deep and cool,” said Pecheux, Estée Lauder’s Creative Makeup director, who is on his ninth consecutive season with the designer.

This translated into an extreme smoky eye that was described as more of a raccoon eye. Instead of black, Tom used shades of blue, green and grey to achieve this look.

Artist Tip: Coat the eye and fingers with powder first, as it helps absorb the oil for a better application.

Hair How-To: The inspiration behind the hair was multicultural, urban, and tribal. According to Orlando Pita, he was tasked to “make something simple look special.” This was achieved by creating a low ponytail with a middle part and lots of texture.

Get the look:
1) Spray PHYTO ‘Phytovolume Actif’ Volumizer Spray throughout the hair to give it texture and volume, then give it a gentle blow-dry with T3′s ‘Featherwieght Luxe 2i’ Dryer (healthier than air drying!).
2) For a loose wave in the hair, use a curling iron like the  T3 ‘BodyWaver’ Styling Iron from the ear level down to the ends.
3) Use a comb to create a more exact middle part.
4) Apply a glossing cream and sculpting gel for hold and shine, and then collect back into a low ponytail. Secure with elastic.
5) Tease ponytail to create texture and additional volume.
6) Finish with a light-hold hair spray.

Just Nail It: JINsoon creator Jin Soon Choi created a simple and classic nail that beautifully allowed the bold patterns and textures in the clothes to shine.

Re-create this fresh, polished and understated nail look:
1) Apply JINsoon Power & Base Coat to prep the nails.
2) To create warmth, apply one coat of JINsoon ‘Nostalgia’ Nail Lacquer.
3) Next, layer one coat of JINsoon ‘Muse’ Nail Lacquer for a warm and soft look.
4) Finish by applying a single coat of JINsoon Top Gloss & Coat.

Join us backstage at all the big-ticket shows during Fashion Week.

You get to meet a lot of talented artists at Fashion Week, and today was no exception. We had an incredible experience watching one of the world’s top makeup artists, Charlotte Tilbury as she created the looks for M•A•C at Cushnie et Ochs.

With work appearing in Vogue, Vanity Fair, V—the list goes on—and a client list full of celebs that reads like a who’s who of the fashion industry, Charlotte is a well-established and widely recognized name in the world of beauty and glamour. Here’s what she created at the show.

Elongated, winged eyeliner was the call to action for creating simple but elaborate standout eyes at Cushnie et Ochs. Charlotte described it as the ‘feline flick’, and walks us through how to get the look.

“I used M•A•C Kohl Pencil in Feline to draw an elongated feline shape and added exaggerated intensity with M•A•C Gel Liner in Blacktrack over the top. The lashes were then curled, and mascara was applied along the top lash line. Last, I added the Feline pencil to the top waterline of the lashes to really build that hypnotizing, feline shape.”

Charlotte’s tip: Draw a dot on the outer corner of the eye where you want the flick to end. From the dot, draw a line downward to the lash line, which creates the perfect triangle every time.

Designer’s Inspiration: Masculine mod pout, strength, structure, sophistication and radiant skin.

For Sarah Lucero, stila Global Artistic Director, fall is all about the textured power pout in a high pigment color. When recreating the makeup statement for Rebecca Minkoff‘s fall ’14 show, Sarah knew texture would be essential in the application.

Start by neutralizing the lip with foundation or concealer. Try stila ‘stay all day’ foundation & concealer. Next, apply a deep lip color like stila ‘stay all day’ liquid lipstick in Amore. To create a velvety matte finish, lightly dust the lips with a brown shadow starting in the center of the lip and then blend outwards. The two colors used for this application give the perfect balance of deep berry and warm brown.

The Trend: Mod maven.

Nail artist Michelle Saunders for Essie created a bold and modern twist on a classic French manicure.

To get the look:
1) First, apply a base coat to clean, filed nails.
2) Once dry, apply two coats of Essie Nail Polish – Purples in Bahama Mama.
3) Using Essie Nail Polish – Blues in Midnight Cami, brush on a neat arc across the edge of the nail and let dry.
4) Finish off the look with one coat of Essie ‘Good To Go!’ Top Coat.

See how the makeup and nail design complement Rebecca’s fall designs on The Thread.

Join us backstage at the big ticket shows at Fashion Week.
Runway photo: GoRunway.com

HERO

Creatures of the Wind designers Shane Gabier and Christopher Peters tapped Katie Jane Hughes, butter LONDON Global Color Ambassador, as their lead manicurist for their fall/winter 2014 show. The looks the design duo sent down the runway had a space-like/psychedelic feel, which Katie honed in on by creating an evolution of colors within the nail design, from dark to light.

Katie used a technique called water marbling to create the nail design, with the agate stones that inspired the collection’s design. Each nail (675 in total!) was made by hand—a labor of love for Katie and her team—with no two nails alike.

To achieve the water-marbling look, Katie poured drops of several nail lacquer shades one after another into a bowl of water, which created rings of color, much like agate. Once the color had been placed, Katie swirled the colors together to create a range of patterns.

She then dipped the press-on nail into the water, letting it sit under the water’s edge just below the pattern she wanted to lift onto the nail. Once removed, the pattern below the surface was transferred to the nail. To add playful variation to the nail look, two different base colors were used: butter LONDON ‘Boho Rock’ Nail Lacquer in ‘Trollop’ for half of the models’ nails and butter LONDON Nail Lacquer in ‘Teddy Girl’ on the rest. Additional nail lacquer colors included Yummy Mummy, Diamond Geezer, Posh Bird, Pearly Queen and Billy No Mates.

Join us backstage at the big ticket shows at Fashion Week.

We have a gold crush on the look M•A•C artists Gordon Espinet and Keri Blair created for Desigual today.

Without question, the eyes were the focal point of the look. Using what Gordon described as ‘spiky brushes’ (M•A•C Duo Fiber Brush #287), gold metal pigment was mixed with a medium gloss and ‘smeared’ across the models’ eyelids in an more haphazard way. The Desigual girl is fresh-faced, young and unfussy, so Gordon wanted the application of gold to be believable, a little crazy, a bit downtown and not too glam.

Keri Blair’s approach to a gold ombré nail was a textural feast for the eyes, with a romantic feel that was burnished and worn-in. She wanted the look of the nails to be like ‘gold leaf raining onto the tip of the nail’, so she devised a textural application versus a traditional gradation of color. Using a toothpick, she hand-placed gold leaf onto short, oval-shaped nails.