Backstage beauty sneak peek: 5 of the best new products used at the Fall 2014 shows

best backstage beauty product fall 2014
best backstage beauty product fall 2014
Left: Donna Karan photography by Peter Stigter; Right: 3.1 Phillip Lim photography courtesy Nars

One of the best things about going backstage at New York fashion week is seeing what the top makeup artists and hairstylists are using in their kits. It’s often a sneak peek at products not yet on shelves, or uncommon tools they’ve found on their travels. Here, five of the best products we’ve spied backstage this week at the Fall 2013 shows:

Backstage at 3.1 Phillip Lim, we saw the debut of a nail polish collaboration between Nars and the designer. Lim developed the range of eight shades (a ninth is exclusive to Nars stores), basing them around the fabrics from his fall collection. The beauty look had an ’80s New Wave inspiration, and the chosen colour was a rich, deep purple called “Crossroads.” As for the other eight shades, we’ll have to wait till August…

It was Donna Karan‘s 30th anniversary show this season, so there had to be a strong statement look. Eugene Souleiman delivered a futuristic gelled hairstyle, created by brushing the hair around the head in a full circle, and leaving a pile of matte, textured hair on the top of the head. He used half a tube of Punky Super Hold Gel from Japan on each model’s head, joking that no one would be able to find it because he had bought out the entire supply. “This is fashion as an art form; it’s not something you’d see on the subway,” he said.

At Narciso Rodriguez, makeup artist Dick Page was applying a sheer shimmery pastel shade of pink or green to the inner corners of the models’ eyes, using the Static palette he designed for Shiseido (coming this fall). “Back in the day, when you turned off the TV, it would go ‘tssss’ and leave colour traces behind; that was the idea behind Static,” he said.”The green reflects a little gold, and the pink reflects a little red-violet.” He darkened the brows but left lashes bare, used a soft rose-brown gloss called “Viola,” and kept the skin luminous.

The nude lips at Wes Gordon were easy for lead makeup artist Alice Lane to match to each model’s skin tone as she was using Maybelline’s new buff collection of a wide range of nudes. “I’ve found in the past when you see a nude lip in an advertisement that the makeup artist just used concealer, which is a skintone, but then they make a nude lipstick and it’s glaring!” said Lane. “These are much more like a concealer, much more like a skintone.” She used a matte taupe eyeshadow all over the eye and added a little shine on the lid with Baby Lips, brushed up the brows and applied mascara on the top lashes only.

The collection at Badgley Mischka was a nod to Gustav Klimt, with lots of sumptuous black and gold fabrics, which makeup artist Tom Pecheux echoed on the eyes. He painted on a thick line of gold shimmer using M.A.C loose gold pigment in “Goldmine” blended with Mixing Medium to create a metallic cream that looked like molten metal. He painted over top of that with a gold liquid liner to set it, then covered half of the gold with a “proper,” slightly winged black line. “The words were youth, elegant, sophisticated, a bit of drama, a flavour of retro,” said Pecheux, “and rich—very important, the most important one!”