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6 Refreshingly Batshit Runway Beauty Looks We Loved at NYFW

Normal is nice, but...

It's been quite a normal, lovely, real beauty season backstage at the spring 2015 shows. Sheesh, makeup artists were even advocating wiping a bit of makeup off after you apply. Which is great for normal, real women, but sometimes we like to see a little theatrical drama on the runway. Thankfully, some designers left restraint at the door and went crazy with the makeup palettes and hairspray. Many thanks to these six who kept it interesting: 

Thom Browne

Eleven models at the Thom Browne show were body-painted to look like marble statues, courtesy of MAC artist Fatima Thomas. She used MAC acrylic paint (safe for people!), different-sized brushes to give the look texture, and lots and lots of patience. The other girls had a Twiggy-on-steroids look. Makeup artist Sil Bruinsma focused on lashes, layering on falsies and adding MAC's Charged Black Multi-Effect Mineralize Lash. Because when you're wearing a shuttlecock on your head, your makeup really needs to stand out. 


Playing against the aquatic theme of Rodarte's spring collection, makeup artist James Kaliardos put the punk in "seapunk" by dressing the models' brows up with badass faux piercings. While he wouldn't say where he and the Mulleavy sisters sourced the little silver hoops or how he adhered them to their eyebrows ("That's an industry secret"), we're pretty sure the jewelry crafting section of your local A.C. Moore and some eyelash glue would serve you just fine. To keep things cool and understated, Kaliardos offset the tough-girl look with a fashion week beauty mainstay: The "youthful," "fresh" face, this time rendered with luminizing products like NARS Skin Luminous Moisture Cream


DKNY was one of the shows whose hair stylist and makeup artist counted "sweat" as one of the beauty inspirations. But hair stylist Eugene Souleiman didn't stop there. His other influences form a veritable melting pot of street inspo: "It’s celebrating New York and all the diversity in it," he says. He was inspired by "chola," "Josephine Baker waves," "'80s New York," and "old weaves." It's like NYC encapsulated on every girl's head. "This is a hairstyle you’ll really need to have a pair of balls on if you’re gonna do it," Souleiman says. You've been warned. 

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Jeremy Scott

The makeup at Jeremy Scott was shockingly toned down (so as not to compete with Miley's crafting?) — it was all about rich, sun-kissed girls hanging with their friends on a beach island. The nail look, however, was inspired by what would happen if those same girls whipped out a bunch of neon polishes for some free-form DIY nail art. Manicurist Miss Pop laid down a few rules: No finger should match, and the whole nail should not be covered... so basically the guiding principle was to go nuts with the squiggles, dots and stripes. To make the yellows, blues and pinks pop more, the OPI team started with the brand's Ridge Filler Base Coat, which gives the nail a slightly whitish tint.

Hood by Air

"How do you take irritated eyes and windburn... how do you make that look interesting and beautiful?" That was the question MAC senior artist Fatima Thomas was hoping to answer as she drew on harsh, high altitudes as a source of inspiration at the Hood by Air show. The cold and wind translated into bruise-like red eyes — using a melange of MAC Paint Sticks in Basic Red, Genuine Orange, Deep Brown and Rich Purple — offset by perfect skin, cheek highlight and clean brows. A little highlighter at the outer corner of the eye gave the appearance of chill-induced watering.

While Thomas limited the crazy colors to the girls' eyes in order to keep things pretty, she roughened the guys up a bit more, adding in red to the cheeks, tips of the ears and under the nose to play up the windburn. Oh, and for those recreating the look at home: Don't touch the mascara."Who's going to have mascara out in the elements?" Thomas says. "If you do, good for you."

Badgley Mischka

Makeup artist Tom Pecheux (who used MAC Paint Sticks) said this look was inspired by "a young Park Avenue girl who is going to the East Village and wants to annoy her parents." (The pastel eyebrows are much softer here than when Balenciaga showed futuristic versions on its fall 2010 runways.) Pissing off the p's is a perennial trend, for sure.