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Being backstage during
New York Fashion Week can feel like a total whirlwind, and the best beauty secrets lie in the pros' personal stashes. Taking a look at the hair and makeup workstations behind the scenes is almost as revealing as taking a peek inside your favourite celebrities' makeup bags, revealing all their beauty secrets. Rather than relying solely on designer products, these pros also perfect those classic model looks using their very own drugstore favourites.
We scouted backstage for those cult classic products that the NYFW pros won't pack their kits without. Luckily, their budget-friendly obsessions are easily accessible, making that model look easy to create IRL. Read on for their must-haves!
Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes
The Product: Simple Kind to Skin Cleansing Facial Wipes ($6.99)
Spotted At: Thakoon, Creatures of the Wind
What the Pros Had to Say:"Yes, even us professionals make mistakes," joked one makeup artist backstage at Creatures of the Wind. "We use the wipes to fix any out-of-place makeup as well as to wipe dirty brushes off when switching between makeup shades."
One glance around the room showed us just how vastly used these wipes were. Makeup artists were wiping down their kits with them, models were wiping their hands with them before getting manicures (even cleaning under their nails), and pretty much everyone in the room was using them to wipe makeup fallout off their clothing. This might just be the VIP of backstage beauty.
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Bioderma Sensibio H2O
The Product: Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($39.95)
Spotted At: Thakoon, Marissa Webb, Jason Wu
What the Pros Had to Say: "Every single model who walks through that door will get their skin wiped down with Bioderma before we begin applying makeup," explained one makeup artist backstage at Thakoon. "It cleanses the skin of any makeup residue from previous shows but still keeps the skin hydrated enough so that skin won't appear flakey after layering on makeup."
Makeup artists even hail this product as the original micellar water that has been often imitated but never duplicated, and they're not exaggerating. One artist backstage at Jason Wu claimed she buys multiple bottles of the larger-size product in Europe because it has an easy-to-use pump attached to the nozzle and she's unable to find it anywhere in the US [but it is
available in Australia !]. Now that's brand loyalty.
Anyway, here's one last backstage tip for Bioderma: If your makeup sweats off easily (especially during warmer months), use this to cleanse the skin afterwards without having to do a full rinse. Once skin is clear and refreshed, you'll be all set to reapply makeup.
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Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith's Rosebud Salve
The Product: Rosebud Perfume Co. Smith's Rosebud Salve ($14.95)
Spotted At: Thakoon
What the Pros Had to Say: No surprise here, but every makeup artist that was asked (at least six, by the way) claimed that this product was a fashion week staple. "Models go from show to show and get super-dry lips from all the lip products put on them, so we use this to keep lips smooth before applying lipstick." That's not all: some even claimed to use a dab of this salve on cheekbones for a light-catching glow when highlighting products aren't at an arms reach.
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L'Oreal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray
The Product: L'Oréal Elnett Satin Extra Strong Hold Hairspray ($10.99)
Spotted At: Thakoon
What the Pros Had to Say: Fashion week simply wouldn't be the same without spotting a few L'Oréal Elnett Hairsprays being tossed around backstage. While clearly a hairstyling staple, one makeup artist claimed she brings it with her to every show: "I typically use brow gels or powders to lightly fill in brows if models have some sparse areas, but if they don't need any extra pigment, I'll spritz a bit of this hairspray on a spooly and simply brush the brows upward to keep them in place."
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Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Quenched
The Product: Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Quenched ($3.95)
Spotted At: Jason Wu
What the Pros Had to Say: While using Maybelline's Baby Lips Lip Balm on your lips might seem like a no-brainer, it does much more than just hydrate your pucker. "We use Baby Lips to prime the lips and fill in the ridges before putting on a bold lip look," said one makeup artist backstage at Jason Wu. "It helps prevent lipstick from creasing into the folds of your lips in the way that old women sometimes wear." Even more interesting, lead makeup artist Yadim recommends putting a dab of the lip balm on the centre of your eye lids (he actually did this on the models for the Jason Wu fashion show as well) in order to brighten the overall eye look.
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Mason Pearson Hairbrush
The Product: Mason Pearson Hairbrush ($145)
Spotted At: Marissa Webb, Thakoon, Jason Wu, Creatures of the Wind
What the Pros Had to Say: Sure, this isn't a drugstore cult classic per se, but since it's been seen at almost every show we've been to this season, it's definitely worth a mention. "This is the best brush in the biz," said one hairstylist at Jason Wu. "It works great at distributing natural oils throughout the hair, which leaves the models with a remarkable sheen, and it can also be used to back comb your hair for a more textured look." Hairstylists agree that this brush is borderline indestructible, with two stylists claiming their personal ones have lasted no less than 20 years.
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Avène Thermal Spring Water
The Product: Avène Thermal Spring Water ($25.95)
Spotted At: Alexander Wang
What the Pros Had to Say: "My very first step before applying any makeup or moisturiser, is to spritz the face with this spring water," said one NARS makeup artist backstage at Alexander Wang. "It makes the skin soft and supple, and the water opens up the pores so that my next step, the moisturiser, can be absorbed quicker." Even better, this facial spray can be used on top of your makeup as well (not only on cleansed skin) in order to freshen up dull makeup that's been applied hours beforehand.
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Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré
The Product: Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentré ($35)
Spotted At: Alexander Wang
What the Pros Had to Say: Models are known for frequently rocking dewy skin on the runway, but truth be told, it's not just well-placed makeup that gives them their glowing complexion. "We slather this on every model's face before applying makeup," explained a makeup artist working the Alexander Wang show. "It gives the skin a healthy sheen while also allowing the makeup to go on smoothly without pilling."
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