Fashion Week

Kick Off Fashion Week with Our Best Backstage Beauty Hacks

Kick Off Fashion Week with Our Best Backstage Beauty Hacks
Sarah Balch for

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us yet again---and we're not talking about the holidays. Today is the official start of New York Fashion Week, which never fails to be one of the busiest and most exciting span of days of the season. With a list of events that seems to grow by the day, our editors rely on fast-acting beauty tricks that keep our look intact while rushing from show to show. Who better to consult for tips than the runway hair and makeup pros themselves?

Last season, we went backstage at the hottest fashion week shows and picked up genius beauty hacks from the hairstylists, makeup artists, and manicurists who have the art of the quick change down to a science. Revolutionize your routine with these runway tips, and read on to get all of the insider advice straight from the pros who work their magic backstage.

RELATED: All the Fashion Week News You Need to Know


Prep the Canvas
In the midst of winter's dry spell, setting the groundwork is more important than ever in creating a smooth, streak-free appearance. Take a tip from makeup artist Tom Pecheux, who prepares each model backstage by layering a trio of jojoba oil, hydrating cream, and reparative serum onto their skin prior to applying foundation.

Easy Clean-Up
When using products packed with shimmer, often times a glitter fleck or ten will travel onto an area where it shouldn't be. Makeup artist James Kaliardos recommends dabbing the excess away with medical tape, which picks up the sparkle while leaving the rest of your makeup unscathed.

Get the Perfect Faux Glow
While a full-on bronzed goddess effect isn't believable this time of year, a lit-from-within glow can still be achieved despite the lack of sun. Makeup artist Diane Kendal, who created the radiant look at Prabal Gurung last season, recommends swapping your bronzer for an apricot cream blush for a more natural effect. "Place it on the apples of your cheeks, and blend it out a bit," she says.

Smoky Shortcut
Even the most-seasoned makeup maven has trouble with the smoky eye from time to time, but Kaliardos advises streamlining the routine by using a black cream shadow or gel liner around the eyes, and smudging it out with your fingers "so it looks a little rock and roll," he says of his method at last season's Nicole Miller show. "We blended black liner really fast over the models' eyelids to give the look an almost messy quality."

RELATED: InStyle Editors Reveal What's in Their Bags During #NYFW

Fashion Week Beauty
Sarah Balch for


Make Waves
Don't sweat the technique---creating tousled waves should be just as effortless as their low-key texture suggests. Backstage at Badgley Mischka, hairstylist Peter Gray worked mousse into models' damp or dry strands, then combed their hair downward so it was laying flat on top of the head. Then, he grabbed large sections and curled just the bottom half, leaving out the ends for an undone appearance.

Upgrade Your Pony
Trade your traditional ponytail for a version with a little runway flair. Hairstylist Orlando Pita, who used this technique backstage at Derek Lam, recommends sweeping your strands into a low pony, then pumping up the tail with some gentle backcombing. Lift the top layer, then tease the hair slightly by brushing down from the ends. You can also create additional movement by sectioning the tail into three areas and bending each one around a large-barrel curling iron.

Forget Me Knot
Tired of the same old top knot? Celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend offers up a version with a literal twist. Make a high ponytail, then braid the length and wrap it around itself. "This makes the chignon look really intricate and special," he says.

Bounce Back
Who knew Bounce dryer sheets had so many uses? For a post-workout pick-me-up, Gray recommends pressing a sheet against your hair if you don't have time to lather up. "It works to clean up any sweat, or just to leave your scalp smelling fresher," he says.

PHOTOS: Our Favorite Runway Beauty Moments at Spring 2015 Fashion Week

Fashion Week Beauty
Sarah Balch for


Take a Tip
Press-on nails may get a bad rap, but they've come a long way since the '80s and are the ultimate manicure shortcut. "There are some great options available now, and you can apply them with glue or stick-on tabs," says manicurist Marian Newman, who used them on models at Marc Jacobs. "They'll last a day or two, and if you use stick-on tabs, they won't damage or dry out your real nails. Paint them the day before you need them, them pop 'em on."

Shift Into Neutral
Fact---opting for a neutral nail over a vampy wine tone can be a major time-saver. "Because lighter shades are made with less color pigments and contain fewer solids, they dry much quicker than dark lacquers," says manicurist Jin Soon Choi. As an added plus, you get more wear out of the color, as chips in the paint are less noticeable on a nude finish.

Impress Naked
Give your digits a break from the shellac and color changes. "Massage oil into nails to condition them," says manicurist Honey, who lacquered up the models at Prabal Gurung's show. Follow with a fine-grit buffer and skim the surfaces to impart a subtle shine.

Cool Off
Not all the hair dryers blasting backstage are pointed at models' manes. If you don't have time to watch paint dry, switch your dryer to the cool setting, and hit your tips for a super-fast finish.

PHOTOS: The Trendiest Manicures at Spring 2015 Fashion Week

Back to Top