With just a few more days of fashion shows left, New York’s take on spring 2013 beauty has sharpened. Hair looks continue to mix and match texture and details like twists and braids. And makeup looks continue to be carefree and built around skin that is more often glowing and shimmery than matte. Nails, meanwhile, are uniformly dressed in pale hues. Here are behind-the-scenes recaps from backstage at Carolina Herrera, Theyskens’ Theory, Reem Acra, Chris Benz, Alice + Olivia and Marc Jacobs.

CAROLINA HERRERA

Sometimes an inspiration isn’t needed to conjure beautiful hair. At Carolina Herrera, the designer cited “timeless influence” as her guiding force, and hairstylist Orlando Pita followed suit. Pita made it clear the look—a floating panel secured in place with nothing more than copious amounts of luminous and strong Moroccanoil hair spray—wasn’t sourced from the past or present. “It’s simply a sleek, architectural and modern style,” he said. To ensure the panel stayed put, Pita took horizontal half-inch sections at the crown, working from the back to the hairline, and misted each section with the hair spray in a pattern: The first section received a blast of spray one inch from the root, the next section one-and-a-half inches from the root and so on. To further sleeken the style, he flat-ironed the lengths into silky sheets and banished flyaways with a light misting of Moroccanoil defrizzer. Makeup, meanwhile, took on the dreamy, melancholic feel of the work of model-turned-photographer Sarah Moon. Makeup artist Diane Kendal covered eyelids from lash line to eyebrow in diffused layers of charcoal and taupe, blending the color up into the brow. To accentuate the crease, she used a MAC eye kohl in the eyelid fold and then blended it outward using her fingers. Soft touches, like cheeks flushed with a hint of blush and highlighted with a cream base, lightened the mood. Nails followed this lighter sensibility. Fingers and toes received two coats of Essie Nail Polish in Adore-a-Ball, an “off-pink that goes with any skin tone,” said manicurist Ana-Maria.

THEYSKENS’ THEORY

Theory designer Olivier Theyskens recently trimmed his silky, long locks and hairstylist Odile Gilbert charmingly quipped that she wanted the show’s models to follow his lead. As she couldn’t chop off the girls’ strands, she went to work creating wigs for each one that were cut and colored to suit their individual look. What resulted was shaggy chin-length bobs in shades of black, brunette, auburn, blonde and what she referred to as mustard and mystic green. “It’s a romantic grunge,” she explained. “I did all the coloration to make it look younger, and like what you would see on the street.” She finished the style by applying Kérastase Nectar Thermique leave-in conditioner for a matte, ropy texture. Makeup artist James Kaliardos complemented Gilbert’s work by putting together what he called a pure beauty that glows from within. “It almost midieval,” he added. To get that freshly scrubbed appearance, he applied a MAC mineralized foundation that offers generous playtime for blending. He then added concealer to the T-zone areas, blotted pressed powder to the center of the face and accented cheeks with what he described as a “super-transparent triangle of color” at the apples. He surrounded eyes with a peachy blush and then highlighted them with a gloss underneath. Finally he left lashes and brows bare, save for a touch of setting gel on the latter. Manicurist Jin Soon Choi said Theyskens was seeking a soft and light look for tips, but he didn’t want a sheer pink or gray. What they decided on instead was one coat of a sheer nude that was followed by one coat of a sheer lavender and a high-gloss top coat.

REEM ACRA

Playing off the floral frocks and androgynous suits in Reem Acra’s latest collection, hair explored the dichotomy between the feminine and the masculine. Hairstylist Rutger prepped strands with a René Furterer mousse for texture and grip. He then pulled them into a center ponytail with personality. He gave height to the top, and tucked and tugged pieces on the side “for a strong shape that gives a bit of an eye lift,” he said. Sculpting gel was raked through the lengths of the hair to banish flyaways, and hair spray set the look. For the face, makeup artist Pat McGrath created a high-gloss finish. She applied shine along the length of the nose, at the top of the chin, inside the cupid’s bow and along the cheekbones and brow bones. She added taupe around the eyes and mascara on the top lashes. She finished the look with a bold matte red lip first drawn out with a pencil and then filled in with the cherry hue and a dab of pink at the center.

 

CHRIS BENZ
At Chris Benz, the inspiration was Tiny Tim meets Japanese wood nymphs, with the beauty look taking on a slightly haunting vibe. Makeup artist Daniel Martin’s focus was the eyes. He surrounded them in a C shape with pink that traveled around to the tops of the cheekbones. To create the look, he used Lancôme’s soon-to-be-released Cheek in Love, a dual-toned tangerine and pink makeup, from the lashes to the brows and over onto the highest parts of the cheeks. He then used his fingers to tap on Lancôme Color Design Infinité 24H in Perpetual Pink on the inner corners of the eyes and Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Blanc to draw along the waterline. He left brows and lashes bare and evened out the face with Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer and a lightweight foundation with a satiny finish. To cut any sheen, he brushed on a sheer coat of Lancôme Translucence Mattifying Silky Pressed Powder. He finished the look by swiping lips with a Lancôme sheer lip balm in neon Coral Electric that will be new for spring. Hairstylist Nick Irwin translated the backstage inspiration into an elaborate style that he said should still be entirely easy to create at home. He began by working a tangerine-sized dollop of TIGI mousse through the mane and blasting it with a blow-dryer for some body and hold. He next sectioned hair in the front and back. Working on the front, he fashioned a rough zigzag part. He turned to the back, forming a knot at the crown that he tied with an elastic. He then wove multiple braids into the bottom section, spritzed them with TIGI hair spray, pressed them along the lengths with a flat iron and then released them for crimped texture. He left a single braid along the side, pulling it apart for an intentionally undone feel. He topped the look on a few models with dried floral and driftwood headbands. Finally, nails played a neutral role with toffee-colored tips, achieved by using Lancôme Vernis in Love in Beige Dentelle.

ALICE + OLIVIA

Entering the Alice + Olivia presentation meant taking a trip back in time—to the late ’50s to be specific. Hairstylist Benjamin Mohapi created a tight, low ponytail reminiscent of the decade by first spritzing strands with water, then prepping them with L’Oréal Professionnel Lift Extrême mousse, giving them a center or side part and finally tying them back with a clear elastic. To accent the look, he added a delicate curl at the ponytail’s end using a one-inch curling iron, teasing locks and then spraying them with L’Oréal Professionnel Fresh Dust Hair Powder and L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium 3 Strong Hold Working Spray. For the makeup, Sarah Lucero set out to get “gorgeous skin,” using peachy-coral cream blush. But “eyes are where it’s at,” she added. She first heavily applied mascara. She next drew on Stila black eyeliner on the lash line and topped that with either a periwinkle or snow eyeliner. Nail artist Shari Gottesman finished the beauty look, painting tips in either a chalky periwinkle or a pink nail strengthener.

MARC JACOBS

The makeup at Marc Jacobs went retro this season with a heavy nod to ’60s style icon Edie Sedgwick. For hair, Guido Palau said his Edie “has one foot uptown and one foot in a nightclub.” Palau created the look by first quickly blasting wet hair with Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam for rough texture. Once dry, he spritzed on Redken Powder Refresh 01 for volume and created a deep side part that swept over the forehead like a bang. Palau next sprayed Redken Quick Tease 15 at the roots of the crown for lots of lift, while he teased strands and raked them back into a low ponytail. He finished by pulling out a few wisps for a disheveled appearance. Makeup artist François Nars stayed true to Sedgwick’s signature strong eyes creating a thick brow, heavily creased lid and monochromatic makeup. After making skin pale and setting it with a light-reflecting powder, he filled in brows with a dark eye shadow to make them look heavy and boxy. He next blended a NARS peachy-beige shadow over the entire lid and defined the crease with a NARS black powder that reached outward. He finished eyes with multiple coats of mascara, skipping blush and lipstick. Meanwhile, manicurist Elisa Ferri designed a look to coordinate with the skin. She began with a coat of pearlescent Zoya nail polish on short, oval nails. She finished by topping that off with a custom-blended sheer neutral shade that was a mix of three colors. The result had a three-dimensional effect due to an iridescence that Ferri called “peaches and cream.”

—Jennifer Hirshlag, Christiana Molina, Karie Frost, Caitlin Larwood

Main photo: Courtesy of NARS (Marc Jacobs main); David Webber (Herrera collage)