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Bill Blass Does Bold Liner — And Little Else

While liner on the upper lids has been a huge hit both on and off the runway for a while (could the retro cat eye look be any more popular?), liner underneath the eye hasn’t been as big of a trend. At the Bill Blass show last Thursday, however, there was dramatic black liner on only the lower lashline — not to mention very little makeup anywhere else. “We wanted to do something to make [the models] look younger and edgier,” said lead makeup artist for the show, Lisa Butler. “The clothes are so classic that it needs that twist to it.”

From far away it wasn’t as noticeable, but up close you could see that the liner extended out slightly beyond the eye. (It sort of reminded me of the undereye upsweep that stila pro artist Sarah Lucero did for the fall 2011 Rebeca Minkoff show.) “We kicked the liner out at the corners to make it look a little punky,” explained Butler of the cool effect, which was created by using MAC’s Technakohl Graphblack Eyeliner. So easy and  so fresh, I’m hoping that dramatic liner on the lower lashes makes a real comeback well before next spring.


If you’re into this look, check out Sue Devitt’s Eye Intensifier Pencil.

J. Mendel Goes More Grunge Than Glam

I’ve been covering fashion shows for a few seasons now, and I’m rarely surprised by anything that goes on backstage. But at yesterday’s J. Mendel show, revered Revlon makeup artist Gucci Westman threw me for a loop. “There’s not really a clear inspiration, per se,” said Westman when I asked her about the look. What? No inspiration?! Despite being a little startled, I continued the interview. “It’s kind of a more cool, futuristic girl,” explained Westman.

Revlon’s Gucci Westman doing makeup for Karolina Kurkova backstage at J.Mendel

Aside from the fresh, dewy skin (courtesy of Revlon’s Age Defying Spa Face Illuminator), my favorite part was the smudgy eye makeup. A mix of greys, browns, metallics, and pearls, Westman was applying a range of moody shades. “It’s very like how these kind of girls would wear their makeup,” said Westman. “It’s edgy, it’s tougher. It’s the opposite of glamorous.”

Karolina Kurkova

The models’ hair also echoed the-night-before vibe with TIGI stylists working diligently to create coarse, stiff styles using copious amounts of Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray. “It’s a bit sort of Debbie Harry-inspired. A bit punky, a bit grungy,” said Paul Hanlon of TIGI about the severe look.

Karlie Kloss

Parted off to the side and matted down with plenty of Session Series Work It Spray, the models all rocked netting over their hair up until showtime. “It’s to press the hair to keep it flat,” explained Hanlon of the temporary lunch-lady effect. “The idea is to make it look like they’ve had a hat on.” Intentional hat hair? You’ve gotta love fashion week.

Check out the rest of our FW coverage here!

Tips From One of Our Favorite Manicurists: Nonie Creme of butter LONDON

Nonie Creme is a busy lady these days. Butter LONDON, the brand she co-founded in 2005, is all over New York Fashion Week — Betsey Johnson, Ports 1961, VPL, Yigal Azrouel Cut 25, Calvin Klein, and The Gap, just to name a few. I caught up with Creme backstage at the Betsey Johnson and Ports 1961 shows and got some insider tips.

On making glitter polish really pop: I hate when you find a glitter polish that looks like it’s packed full of sparkles in the bottle but barely shines once you put it on your nails. Creme’s advice? “Layer the glitter polish over a metallic, which will intensify the glitter and make it stand out.”

On getting that glitter polish off once you’re sick of it: Patience is key. Creme advises soaking a cotton ball in remover and holding on your nail for about 30 seconds. Once the remover soaks in, you should be able to slide off the polish much more easily.

On the big trends in nails: “The trend is: be yourself and tailor your beauty story around yourself.” Creme says the proliferation of nail art in recent seasons and idea of polish being the finishing touch on an outfit has led to an broadening of what’s acceptable when it comes to manicure and pedicures. In addition to the “anything goes” trend, she’s also seeing lots of texture on nails, luxe grunge looks for fall, and matchy-matchy manicures and pedicures in unconventional colors. 


Jonesing for some new polish colors? Hit up our shop for all our favorites.

Ports 1961: Velvet Nails and Flashes of Bright for Spring 2012

At this morning’s Ports 1961 presentation (at the New York Public Library, no less), minimalist neutrals, brights, and neon accessories were paired with velvet matte nails and flashes of bright eye makeup.



The legendary Pat McGrath, working with COVERGIRL, designed the look, describing it as “bare and beautiful with a flash of bright” on the eyes. McGrath kept the look fairly clean — just a bit of shimmer on the cheeks and nude lips — to make the line of seafoam green shadow on the upper lids stand out even more. Want to recreate it at home? McGrath suggests using  COVERGIRL Intense Shadowblast Eye Shadow in Extreme Green.

Nonie Creme, Founding Creative Director of butter LONDON, created dark, matchy-matchy manis and pedis to contrast with the bright eyes and accessories. She started with Chimney Sweep, a metallic charcoal shade and covered it with their Matte Finish top coat. According to Creme, the matte finish over a metallic gives more depth and feels more contemporary than using it over a shimmer-free shade. It worked — the models’ nails has a sumptuous velvety finish. 


Hervé Léger Shows Strong Hair and Brows

"It’s very Art Deco meets Navajo Indian," said Bumble and bumble editorial stylist Neil Moodie of the hair look at today’s Hervé Léger show. After preparing the hair with Bumble and Bumble’s Prep Spray and Styling Lotion, stylists pulled the hair back into three separate ponytails and attached them all together. “You get this very sort of streamlined, sort of structure running over the back of the head,” explained Moodie. The result was a very edgy and wearable look. (Bonus: It’s not that hard to do yourself, so now I just need to figure out the right outfit to give this look a whirl.)

As excited as I was for more hair inspiration, I was even more thrilled to find out that the makeup look had a major emphasis on the brows. “Our inspiration is a very strong woman so there is a focus on beautiful clean skin and a strong brow,” said Corey Bishop, the global lead artist for Temptu. He assured me that brows are going to be “all the rage” again for spring and that airbrushing is a great way to fill them in and define them. “We don’t want a chiseled theatrical brow,” explained Bishop. “With the airbrush, you get kind of a diffused edge on both side, so it gives it the strength without the drawn-on kind of fake look.”


If you don’t own a airbrushing machine, but want beautiful brows, check out our offerings from Anastasia.

Neon Lips, Big Lashes, and Badass Nails at Betsey Johnson Spring 2012

Last night’s Betsey Johnson show was bold, fun, and full of color — everything we’d expect from the queen of punk pop. Our favorite makeup artist, Stila’s Sarah Lucero, created a look that really popped with color and sass. Lucero said they wanted to the models feel “voluptuous and va va voom.” The lips stood out with a combination Stila Long Wear Liquid Lip Color in Petal layered under Stila Lip Enamel in Giggle, a truly shocking hot pink. For even more oomph, the models’ eyes were given the cat eye treatment on top with Stila Black Smudge Pot and Stay All Day Liner. The addition of a silvery liner along the bottom lashline and false lashes made their eyes look huge.

Meanwhile, Nonie Creme from butter LONDON was applying nails that would fit right in at a New York Dolls concert. Each model’s nails were painted black and covered with a metallic, almond shaped false nail to create what Creme called a reverse moon mani. The false nails (a huge timesaver backstage), were painted with Diamond Geezer and given a single diamante gem in the center. As if that weren’t cool enough, small black safety pins were sporadically poked through the false nails.  


Keep checking back all week for our NYFW coverage and pick up the Fashion’s Night Out limited edition Birchbox in our shop!

Chris Benz Does A Kooky Warhol Superstar-Inspired Look

"We want the skin to look lit from within," said celebrity aesthetician Eileen Harcourt backstage at yesterday’s Chris Benz presentation as she cleansed models’ faces using a Clarisonic. Indeed, even the girls know that these special pre-makeup treatments do wonders for their complexion. “We used to notice that the girls used to just drift into Chris Benz,” Harcourt joked. “Now that this is the third or fourth Chris Benz show that we’ve been doing Clarisonic facials, the girls are all here and nobody is late.”

Inspecting the final makeup look, it’s obvious why perfect skin was a must: the bold lip and eye color really needed a smooth, clear canvas to project properly. Lead makeup artist Daniel Martin of Lancome described the inspiration: “The general look is a ’60s influence. Candy Darling was our muse.” The Pop Art influence was readily apparent in the combination of seafoam green shadow and vibrant coral lipstick — Sequence of Love, available next February. While most women would shy away from pairing a statement lip and eye together, Martin had a good tip. “Start with a bright liner rather than an eyeshadow,” he explained. “Keep it close to the lash line so it’s not too obvious and focus more on the lip because it’s more wearable day to day.”

And if you thought the makeup was loud, than the hair was even louder. TIGI's DJ Riggs was supervising voluminous manes making sure they were adequately sized. “The inspiration is the Warhol Superstars,” said Riggs. “We want to keep everything quite wiggy, so in order to achieve that, you really need to use a lot of dry shampoo to add as much texture as possible.” Rigg's method for creating that second-day hair feel: spraying plenty of Session Series Transforming Dry Shampoo, and then setting the top portion of the hair with rollers. The girls with longer hair had the bottom section of their hair braided into a tight bun to help create a poofy bob. When the rollers came out, everyone had their hair brushed out and doused with an ample dose of hairspray post-rollers to really bring the silhouette together. 


Our favorite texturizing spray? Oribe is second to none.