New York Fashion Week backstage beauty: Spring 2014 is a battle between brights and barely-there

new york fashion week spring 2014 backstage beauty
Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung photography by Peter Stigter; Alexander Wang photography courtesy Nars

new york fashion week spring 2014 backstage beauty
Jason Wu and Prabal Gurung photography by Peter Stigter; Alexander Wang photography courtesy Nars

See the Spring 2014 beauty photos from Jason Wu, Prabal Gurung and Alexander Wang »

Backstage at Jason Wu on Friday, I spotted it from across the room: bright, metallic sparkle all over the models’ eyelids. Diane Kendal for Lancôme created a dramatic but refined eye look for Wu inspired by Marlene Dietrich. “We wanted the eye to reflect light,” said Kendal. “To give it that feeling of summer.” The base was a caramel-y brown shade (Lancôme Color Design Eye Brightening All-in-One 5 Pan Shadow & Liner Palette in “Bronze Amour”); then she used a damp brush, dipped it in fine glitter, and applied it to the centre of the eye. The effect was completely luminous. And the rest of the face was bare…a trend that would continue backstage at the weekend’s other Spring 2014 shows as well.
 
Later that day, it was all about bright, summery colours at Prabal Gurung. “He wanted the girls to have this precious sense of untouchable beauty. Precise, pristine,” said Charlotte Tilbury for M.A.C. “We wanted this poreless, almost mannequin-like skin. And he wanted these super-matte lips, very, very perfected and feminine.”  Tilbury used three custom-blended colours that looked “like Ladurée macarons,”: a Pepto pink, a punky lilac, and a bright orange (a huge colour so far this season), created by blending shades of M.A.C Lipmix and lined with matching pencil in a slightly exaggerated shape. “Matte textures are the best way to wear colour in a cooler way,” she said. “And if you’ve got smaller lips, a matte finish can give you a much better shape and it won’t move around.” And on the nails, Sally Hansen collaborated with Gurung on a collection of modern pastels that coordinated with the clothing. We especially loved “Mint Condition,” a cool, icy pale green, which will be available at drugstores as part of a set (along with “Lady Lavender” and “A Wink of Pink”) in March next year.
 
And bare faces just may be the first beauty trend out of the Spring 2014 shows. “It’s all about raw beauty,” said Kendal, this time for Nars, when we spoke to her again on Saturday backstage at Alexander Wang. She wasn’t kidding: the only, and we mean only, products she used were Nars Skin Aqua Gel Oil Free Moisturizer, Nars Oural Eyebrow Gel, and Nars Stick Concealer—and she didn’t even use it under the eyes. Just on spots or red areas around the nose. “We’re not evening the skin tone; we want to keep that kind of rawness.” When asked whether she found these simpler looks just as challenging to execute as a more makeup-y one, Kendal admitted that the Wang face was “it was quite easy. But you’re lucky when you have amazing girls to work with. It’s really a grooming look this season.” Yes, kids, you can try this one at home.