The makeup look at Tibi was “pretty but not overly done” to balance the Alaskan-Inuit inspired clothing. Fresh, clean skin and illuminated cheeks were paired with a soft wash of pink on eyes (including applying Blush in Nude Pink on top of White eyeshadow!) and matte pink lips in Pink Martini Lip Color (launching Fall 2015). Only a hint of Everything Mascara was used to finish the look.

backstage-beauty-nyfw-aw15-jinsoon-choi-tibiOn nails, Jin Soon Choi created a “snow-tipped neutral” inspired by the shape of snowy mountains to complement the icy palette throughout the clothing collection. After a base coat, nails were applied with two coats of Nostalgia. Once dry, she then painted a curved line across the middle of the nail to tips in a new color called Doux (launching this spring). According to Choi, “it’s okay if they’re all a little different – if it curves, just go with it!”



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.”


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.



As the go-to manicurist of fashion editors, top photographers, preeminent designers and A-list stars, Jin Soon Choi is a celebrity in her own right. But in talking to her, you’d never know it. Down to earth, enthusiastic, humble and totally cool in a real girl’s girl kind of way, the Korean-born, Manhattan-dwelling Jin makes you feel like an old friend in a matter of minutes.

We connected with Jin, who recently teamed up with Nordstrom to sell her award-winning eponymous collection of JINsoon nail polishes, each named by one of the models she regularly works with. In honor of the new partnership, Jin created a gorgeous nail-art design exclusively for our Beauty Blog. Here, she reveals her inspiration and how-tos for this unique look—and fesses up about her own nails.

BEAUTY CONNECTIONS: This nail design is so artistic—it looks like a [modern abstract expressionist] Jasper Johns painting.
JIN SOON CHOI: Well, I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but you’re right! I’m a huge fan of modern abstract art—MoMA is my favorite museum and I go there all the time, so maybe I was subconsciously influenced. More than anything, I wanted to create a design that was simple, modern and artistic, one that really shows the raw brushstrokes. I love the idea of irregularity, because it lets you have more creative freedom and it doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect. In fact, that imperfection only makes it better: your mistakes become your art!

Well that’s good news for all of us shaky-handed coffee drinkers in Seattle…
(laughs) Or anywhere! Another thing that inspired me: I was at your Seattle store recently and noticed how much modern art there was hanging on the walls. I wanted to make a design connection to that.

Map, 1961 by Jasper Johns (image courtesy of MoMA)

And the blue shades, what inspired those?
My family lives in Olympia, Washington [south of Seattle], so I’m out there often and love it. I was thinking about the rain and all the surrounding water [from Puget Sound and the Pacific Ocean]. And the sky out there is so big and open—completely different from my city life—so I wanted to convey the idea of all those colors in an abstract way.

Just curious: How do you do your own nails? Are you into colors or more nude looks?
Actually, I don’t wear any polish…I’m always doing other people’s nails, in the salon or on shoots, and I want to be able to focus completely on my work and not worry about messing up my own manicure.

What about for special events or a fun night out?
Even then, I don’t wear polish—it takes too much time and I’m just too impatient. I always try to keep my nails cut short, to look neat and professional. To be honest, as I’ve gotten older I’ve also become a bit self-conscious about my hands. When I have more time, I want to develop some good skincare products for hands and feet!

Backstage at the Vera Wang spring ’14 show (photo collage courtesy of Jin Soon Choi)

Lots of the magazine covers and fashion shows you’ve done recently have featured nude nails, which deviates from some of the trends for this season.
I really do appreciate colors for nails, but truly high fashion is all about simple, classic, elegant beauty, especially in Europe, where I do a lot of my shoots [with fashion photographer Steven Meisel, who uses Jin for nail styling on all of his editorials]. The clean-looking nail is so much more my personal style. It’s funny: I did create some glitter polishes for my holiday collection, and some of my friends were like, ‘Glitter? You?!’ I told them, ‘Don’t worry, it’s subtle—and still very me!’

Speaking of being ‘you,’ you seem remarkably unaffected considering all the attention you’ve gotten and the star circles you work in.
I just want to hold on to my identity, to be real—I’m still just a manicurist, after all! I feel so blessed by the amount of support I’ve gotten as I’ve launched my company. All the models I’ve worked with were so excited to help me name my products, even though I couldn’t afford to pay them. They just wanted to be there for me as friends.

I also want to stay true to my longtime clients and try to get into the salons at least once every other week. I have an emotional connection there: when you do someone’s nails every week, you hear about her life, her work, her kids, and you get personally invested in her. It’s important to me to keep in touch with my customers—they’re like family!

How to Create Jin’s Exclusive Nail Art:

Step 1: Start with a clean background, painting one coat of JINsoon ‘Tulle’ Nail Lacquer (a neutral, milky nude polish that doubles as a base coat) on all nails.

Step 2: Begin applying your ‘brushstrokes.’ The key to this effect is to make sure you wipe your brush on the lid edge really well so you don’t have too much polish. Jin begins her brushstrokes at the top but says you can go any direction you like: top to bottom, side to side—remember, it’s YOUR art! Use JINsoon ‘Rhapsody’ Nail Lacquer, a deep navy named by model Coco Rochas.

Step 3: Add more brushstrokes with JINsoon ‘Blue Iris’ Nail Lacquer, a brilliant marine color named by model Saskia de Brauw.

Step 4: Layer on some final brushstrokes with JINsoon ‘Poppy Blue’ Nail Lacquer, an electric, minty blue named by model Tati Cotliar.

Step 5: Finish with JINsoon Top Gloss & Coat to seal in the colors and protect your masterpiece.

Want to check out more amazing nail polishes? Shop our full JINsoon collection.

—Stefanie Frank

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Makeup: Day to night eye makeup looks. Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder.

This season, to complement the evolution of Derek Lam’s Spring 2014 collection, Tom Pecheux, Estée Lauder Creative Makeup Director, created three looks based on the progression of the show from morning to night. The show opens with a minimal and natural look, followed by an added unique edge, and closes with a sexy spring/summer look.

For the natural look of ‘morning’, the skin is creamy with an antique gold cream shadow on the lids. It captures the light in a lovely, natural and sophisticated way. TIP: Pecheux used 2 drops of Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair and pressed it into the skin for an added glow; Advanced Night Repair isn’t just for night anymore!

The 2nd look had an added unique edge: He created a cube on the outer corner of the eye with a new chubby midnight blue navy eye pencil (spring 2014), adding a slight tilt to lift the eye for a new take on a winged eyeliner look.

The show closes with a sexy spring/summer look (pictured on right in above face chart). Pecheux applied mascara casually, not looking for perfection, and applied the navy pencil on the inner rim of the eyes. Using navy instead of black is friendly while still sexy–a great alternative to black for spring/summer.


Nails: Jin Soon Choi for JINSoon.

To complement the bold and bright color, Jin Soon wanted something feminine and classic. One coat of Nostalgia (a rosy beige) was applied underneath Tulle (a sheer cream) to create the perfect nude. She followed the models’ own shape and length of nails and says there are no rules with nude. This is a classic, prestigious look inspired by high fashion.

Hair: Orlando Pita for T3 and Phyto.

The hair look was described as structured ease, a natural curl contained within the structure of a ponytail. (Some models wore a turban.) The S-curve of the hair was created by an over/under technique using the T3 ‘Body Waver’ Styling Iron. After a soft part was made, the hair was secured into a low ponytail.

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