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NYFW Beauty: Guest Blogger

We’re always looking for good sartorial inspiration, which is why we regularly turn to PR exec Jaimen Sfetko’s Tumblr, Jaimen Lee. Documenting her own stellar (and quirky cool) style, Sfetko gives us a daily dose of outfit envy — and has us wishing she did costume changes throughout the day. Naturally, we’re curious about the savvy New Yorker’s product picks, too. This week, Sfetko is guest blogging about her beauty musts and today she’s discussing her New York Fashion Week essentials.

New York Fashion Week is in full swing and it’s a busy, jam-packed schedule for fashion and beauty bloggers alike. Rushing from show to show leaves little time for touch-ups, so you need products that will last. Here are my must-haves for New York Fashion Week that help to keep me fresh all day long.

  1. Something that Does It All: I received Nuxe’s Huile Prodigieuse® / Multi-Usage Dry Oil  in last month’s Birchbox and like the product description says, it really can be used for everything. Not only does it moisturize my cuticles and minimize my frizz, I also love adding it to a matte shadow to take my lids from day to night.
  2. Control Your Hair: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there wasn’t such an awful combination of heat, humidity, and rain in the city this week? Unfortunately, there is, so coating hair in Ouidad Climate Control Heat and Humidity Gel is a must first thing in the morning.
  3. Keep Your Eyes Open: Yes, it’s true: NYFW means no sleep. But why let everyone else know how much you’re suffering? Anastasia Lash Lifting Mascara perks up your lashes making your eyes seem bigger and giving you the appearance of looking wide awake.
  4. Neutral Nails Are A Must: We all want to make a statement by looking fabulous at shows and it’s always tempting to try the latest nail trend at the salon before fashion week starts. But the reality is that between snapping photos, blogging all night long, and the general insanity of a packed schedule, a neutral shimmery color is your best bet. Zoya's polishes last forever and a chip with one these beige shades doesn’t equate to the end of the world!

Good luck all you fashionistas! Read the rest of our NYFW coverage here.

Bobbi Brown Was All About The Eyes At Halston

Bobbi Brown backstage at the Halston presentation last night.

Even though New York Fashion Week doesn’t officially end until tomorrow, I went backstage for my final time this season at last night’s Halston presentation. Finishing on a high note, I was able to secure an interview with one of my all-time favorite beauty gurus, Bobbi Brown, who was doing the makeup. “The inspiration and the four-hour shoot that we did on Saturday is not actually what we did,” admitted Brown as she talked about the test she did with the models only a few days prior. “I changed the look today because we did the makeup on a Saturday afternoon in a very bright spot and the lighting was very shadowy. It just didn’t work for right now.” I could tell exactly what she meant — it was just after 6pm when I chatted with her and it was already pitch black outside.

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Pamella Roland Fall 2011: A Far East Trip

Photos by Roey Yohai

Pamella Roland’s Fall 2011 show, which took place on Monday at the Lincoln Center tents, featured striking East meets West makeup. I chatted with Matin Maulawizada, Global Artisry Director and Brand Ambassador for Laura Mercier, about his vision for the show’s makeup. (Side note, Matin actually has a Masters in Molecular Biology and worked as a research scientist before going into beauty.) 

Anyway, back to the show: Matin wanted to balance the soft romance of the clothes and hair with a more dramatic modern look. The result combined dramatic Asian-inspired touches with retro American 1950s elements.

Read on for the makeup by Matin:

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Doe-Eyed Loveliness At Carlos Miele

Model backstage at Carlos Miele.

When I walked into the backstage area at Carlos Miele earlier today, I noticed lots of girls with slicked back hair, fresh faces, and seriously captivating eye makeup. Whatever they were doing to create this covetable and totally wearable look, I needed to know immediately, so I found my way over to lead makeup artist on the scene, Gato Zamora of Maybelline. He explained his inspiration: “This is very beautiful girl who is in the best moment of her life, we call this look the golden age.” To create the gilded effect, the artist used Maybelline’s Eye Studio Color Push Silk Eyeshadow in Give Me Gold. While the beautiful metallic hues were oh-so enviable, upon closer inspection it was clear that the secret was actually the mascara. “We focused the attention of all the makeup in a very thick lashes, both the upper and lower,” said Zamora, who was busy applying generous amounts of Maybelline’s The Falsies. “It’s perfect to create the fake lashes look in a very easy way.” I officially need to test-drive this formula since the Dannijo sisters raved about this very same product in an interview I just did with them. Who wouldn’t want the look of faux lashes without the hassle?

Maybelline makeup artist Gato Zamora applying several coats of the brand’s The Falsies.


To check out all our fantastic Fashion Week coverage, click here!

Skin Was In At VPL

The facial station backstage at VPL utilizing Clarisonic and Intraceuticals products.

Aside from messy hair, the other major trend I have been noticing as I bounce around New York Fashion Week has been the love affair with dewy, fresh skin. Case in point: At yesterday’s VPL show, the backstage action was all focused on skin — so much so that the models received super-charged facials with Clarisonic and Intraceuticals products before sitting down for makeup. As Eileen Harcourt, the celebrity esthetician providing the treatments explained, “For VPL, skin is an accessory.” (I must admit, I’ve never thought about it like that.) “When they’re going down the runway,” she said, “They’re glowing.” It’s a nice treat for the models as well, Harcourt admitted. “The girls now come super early to the show so they can have their spa moment, so it’s a nice pick-me-up for them.” Well, that’s one way to make sure the talent shows up on time.

Models got either an orange eye or an orange lip.

Once the girls were sufficiently fresh faced, the next stop was getting was sitting down with a team from Bare Escentuals. Resident makeup artist for the brand, Alexandra Pappas, said of the look, “The skin is going to be really luminous, just really beautiful, natural, and glowy.” Since it was more about enhancing the models’ features than anything else, the few key products were: the Prime Time Brightening Pearl Eyelid Primer, used to highlight the top of the cheekbones and inner corners of the eyes, and the Bare Minerals Illuminating Mineral Veil, which Pappas pointed out “helps to draw light to those area of the face where you don’t normally have any highlight.”

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Modern Gypsies at Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2011

Photos by Kristen Somody Whalen.

Rebecca Minkoff’s classic Morning After Bag has been a cheeky consolation prize to thousands of young women making the way home from an evening rendezvous since 2005. In just six years, Minkoff’s eponymous collection has expanded beyond that still-popular bag to include bracelets, apparel, a men’s accessory line, and most recently, shoes. Throughout, the designer’s easy-chic style and winky details have made her bags and clothes a natural choice for downtown and uptown girls alike. Minkoff’s Fall 2011 runway show on Friday showcased the same indelible cool we’ve come to expect.

Read on for the makeup:

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The Prettiest Hair During Fashion Week Thus Far At Erin Fetherston

Models at yesterday’s Erin Fetherston presentation. Here, a closer look at both the front and back of the hairstyle.

I was TOTALLY blown away when I walked into the backstage area at Erin Fetherston's presentation last night. Maybe it's just that I am a sucker for a pretty princess-y braid, but the second I spotted one of the model’s updos, I knew it was going to be my favorite hair look thus far during New York Fashion Week Fall 2011. Odile Gilbert, French hairstylist extraordinaire, masterminded the coifs and was there styling for Catwalk by TIGI. She explained, “The inspiration is romantic, very young and innocent.”

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Retro Hair Gets a Modern, Messy Take at The Lake & Stars

Model at yesterday’s The Lake & Stars presentation.

The Lake & Stars, the fabulously chic lingerie line, hosted its Fall 2011 presentation yesterday in Chelsea, and aside from making me want to go out and buy myself some high-fashion underthings, it convinced me that this whole messy hair trend is the hot new thing. I asked lead stylist, Maria Kovacs of TIGI, what prompted the deliberately piecey, side-banged coif that the models were rocking. “The concept is sexy in a strong way, sexy for yourself and not for your boyfriend,” said Kovacs, “so we thought about what would still make it look modern and we decided it was all about the texture in the outlying silhouette.” Texture indeed! A pictured doesn’t do these tresses justice, but there wasn’t an ounce of polish or sheen anywhere—which was the intention, Kovacs pointed out. “All of their hair is really rough, none of it is really shiny” she said. “The idea was working products and layering products into their hair to create a matted kind of feel, which is what takes it away from being too retro or old-fashioned.”

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Gucci Westman Does Magical Matte Red Lips At Luca Luca

Models backstage at yesterday’s Luca Luca show.

Revlon’s global artistic director, Gucci Westman, working her magic.

We here at Birchbox have been l-o-v-i-n-g matte lips recently, so you can only imagine how delighted I was to discover that the beauty look at yesterday’s fall 2011 Luca Luca show was all about matte red pouts. Orchestrating the entire backstage makeup effort was none other than Gucci Westman, the high-profile global artistic director at Revlon. The inspiration for the look, the beauty guru explained, stemmed from the idea of “a girl walking through the forest and having all these different experiences, like a fairytale.” Going into a little more detail, Westman said, “for me it was all about the skin, and the innocence of the skin and the lips setting off the contrast.” To create the perfectly pretty crimson puckers, the artist layered Revlon’s Matte Lipstick in Really Red underneath Revlon’s Super Lustrous Lipstick in Choco-Licious, which she described as a “matte Bordeaux.” More motivated than ever to start experimenting with matte hues myself, I just had to get her best advice for someone looking to test drive shine-free lips. “With a darker color, it is often easier to use matte,” said Westman. Good to know, I don’t want baby pink lips in the middle of winter anyway—bring on the burgundy!


To read all our Fall 2011 Fashion Week Coverage, click here!

Vena Cava Fall 2011: 90s Grunge is Back

If there was any doubt that the 90s are back in all their midriff-baring glory, Vena Cava’s Fall 2011 show yesterday solidified it. The models sported berets down the runway and the theme according to MAC stylist Christian McCulloch, was “Christy Turlington’s version of grunge.” While we’re not going to run out and buy all the floor-length skirts and cutout dresses we can get our hands on, we did love the “grunge meets rock & roll meets Fiona Apple and PJ Harvey” beauty looks happening backstage.

Click through for all the makeup, hair, and nail deets:

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