For every impossible hair style that requires two packs of extensions to execute, hair, makeup and nail gurus inevitably pass on several practical tips backstage at Fashion Week, too. And this season at the Spring 2015 shows, I was listening carefully for these gems. Read on for 10 tips you can easily incorporate into your daily beauty routine.
Use mousse instead of hair wax:
At the Prabal Gurung show, hair stylist Paul Hanlon used mousse on dry hair instead of traditional hair wax to get the sweaty look that was so popular this season. There are several advantages: It will give you "dirty separation" without being too heavy, it dries more quickly, it's more pliable, and you can brush it out if you hate it and need to start over.
The new accent nail is now two accent nails:
You heard it here first. At Prabal Gurung, manicurist Jin Soon Choi created tribal-inspired nail art with Sally Hansen polishes. But instead of doing the whole hand or just one nail, she turned the whole world topsy-turvy and did TWO accent nails, on the third and fourth fingers. Nail art isn't dead. It's just being sneakier.
How to wear purple mascara without looking like a clown:
Tom Pecheux used a purple MAC mascara (available next spring) to complement the overall purple-y/mauve face at Derek Lam. But he said that only using purple would make lashes "shrink." To combat this, he first put on a light coat of black mascara "to make lashes fuller, stronger, and, bigger," then layered violet on top for a flash of purple.
Use brow product instead of mascara on your lashes:
At DKNY, makeup artist Yadim was trying to capture sweaty girls running around New York City, a look that isn't really compatible with a lot of mascara. So to make the eyes open a bit, he curled the lashes and used Maybelline's Brow Drama, which comes in a wand like mascara, but is nowhere near as concentrated or clumpy. (I actually tried a version of this for the gym -- I took my eyebrow brush, which I haven't cleaned forever so it is gunked up with brow powder and wax, and swiped it on my lashes. It worked!)
Sleep in a doo-rag to get rid of too-puffy hair:
When I first hit the backstage area at Derek Lam, I was pretty excited about the colorful doo-rags I saw all the models wearing. But alas, they were to be taken off for the show. They were there because hair stylist Orlando Pita didn't want too much volume on top. (His assistant had gone to Brooklyn the night before the show to pick them up.) Pita also noted that he'd met a woman backstage that day who always sleeps in a doo-rag to prevent too much crown puffiness in the morning.
Marble nail art the easy way
So, back to subtle nail art. For Opening Ceremony, Jan Arnold (for CND) created a "pixelated watercolor" that to the naked, non-manicurist eye looks like marble. She layered pastels or black over white, then dripped a small drop of acetone on it to let the swirling happen. Easiest nail art ever.
Use lip balm for everything
I already carry at least three lip balms with me at all times, which I use as a stand in for hair wax and to tame flyaways, in addition to its actual purpose of hydrating my lips. Makeup artists took it a step further backstage. Diane Kendal used it on the cheekbones at Marc by Marc Jacobs as a highlighter and to capture the sheen you'd have while dancing at a rave. Yadim used it on the eyelids -- glossy lids were a huge trend this season -- instead of stickier gloss to get a glow.
Tweak the cat eye to make it more modern
At Oscar de la Renta, makeup artist Gucci Westman gave the models graphic eyeliner, but thicker and blunter with a more subtle flick. Westman called it "cooler and more modern" than your standard cat eye.
Layer your blush
At 3.1 Phillip Lim, makeup artist Francelle Daly sandwiched two different blushes -- a pinky one in the middle and a peachy hue above and below -- to create a color that works on all different skin tones with the goal of "emulating the way the sun hits you." Daly used new NARS shades that won't be available until spring, but for now you can try NARS' New Order Blush and South Beach Multiple to recreate.
Blend your eye shadow out instead of up
At Rodarte, James Kaliardos was inspired by designer Laura Mulleavy's way of applying eyeshadow. He blended it out horizontally rather than in a diagonal, upward direction. He called it kind of a cool, less theatrical alternative to the Kim Kardashian natural-smoky look.
Additional reporting by Eliza Brooke.