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Nordstrom at Fashion Week

Senior M·A·C Artist Regan Rabanal shares the trade secrets and products behind the looks they designed for the runways at Fashion Week.

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At Rolando Santana, Director of Makeup Artistry Romero Jennings was inspired by the idea of a glowing, daytime smoky eye. Using eyeshadow creams, he created a satiny lavender shade that swept over the upper eyelid and wrapped around the outside corner of the eye to the lower eyelid. Vanilla Pigment was the star product for the skin. He accented cheekbones by buffing the product to reveal its pearl finish.

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Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, recaps her trip to New York Fashion Week and shares the top beauty trends coming down the runway (and product picks to start trying now!).

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Michael Kors, Kate Spade

1950s all-American. 1960s jet-setter. 1970’s Pop Art. These were just a few of the inspirations we heard backstage as we headed to Fashion Week for our biannual beauty adventure. Read on for a summary of the new beauty looks, trends and techniques we saw (plus a retrospective of my various hairstyles over the past week—because when you’re dressed in all-black, your most unique accessory quickly becomes your hair. And shoes).

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Art, nature and the human body were inspirations at Osklen today, where hairstyles took central focus backstage.

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We can’t think of any designer who is more known for sheer romanticism than Vera Wang. Her spring/summer ’15 collection was the exact representation of that—from fashion to makeup and nails.

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The Zero + Maria Cornejo SS15 collection was a combination of nostalgia and femininity, inspired by a recent trip to London and Venice which was reminiscent of her time spent there in her youth—Cornejo used lace and light weight fabrics to create a casually understated effect. Dick Page for Shiseido and James Pecis for PHYTO and T3 were tasked with creating a fresh, summery, innocent look.

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Our beauty trend editor, Kate Fannin, ran into the ineffable Charlotte Tilbury hard at work behind the scenes of New York Fashion Week.

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Charlotte was creating a “no makeup, makeup” look for the Edun show.

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The beauty look at Derek Lam’s Spring/Summer 2015 fashion show perfectly captured a new take on nude. What started out as a conceptual “no makeup look” evolved into a sophisticated, natural color palette of lavender, mauve and violet.

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Tom Pecheux for M·A·C was inspired by the colors and quality of Lam’s materials used in his fashion; he brilliantly centered the makeup look around a violet eye, making it the perfect complement to his cool, textured, earthy tones. Using a lipstick called Violetta, he placed it on the eyelid with his finger and blended it up into the crease.

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Eyeshadow in ‘Force of Nature’ (a slightly metallic, taupe-y mauve), was used on top of the lower eyelid only, playing off the creaminess of the lipstick and creating the perfect blend of a warm/cool neutral. Brown eyeliner and a coat of black mascara, followed by a coat of violet mascara just on the tips of the lashes, finished it off. Satin skin, a peachy pink cream blush and a nude peach lip completed this stunning new take on neutral.

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Nails were polished and fresh, courtesy of JINsoon’s nude nail combination of Nostalgia, a semi-opaque rose-beige, and Muse, a sheer pink (the perfect combo to complement any and all skin tones!). A high-shine top coat left an overall effect that was finished yet understated.

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Meanwhile, Orlando Pita for Phyto and T3 wanted the models’ hair to be textured and earthy. He created an off-center part after drying their hair and adding shine and moisture, then hair-sprayed around the ears and up. A do-rag was fitted just over the models’ heads, so the hair stayed flat throughout the prep and the strands kept their texture. A large-barrel curling iron was used to add imperfections and bumps at the end of the hair, which made the completed style “look good, but not overdone.”

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Sexy, effortless beauty was the look at Jason Wu’s spring/summer 2015 show, where Lancôme skincare and makeup were used to create creamy, dewy skin and soft, smoky eyes.

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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.