A Focus on Skin Care Backstage at Fashion Week

Most of us have never experienced it first-hand, and yet you can probably imagine the glamourous chaos that occurs behind the scenes at New York Fashion Week. Genetically gifted models lounge in neat rows of makeup chairs while skilled professionals flitter and hustle around, perfecting hair, makeup and skin to match the clothing designer?s aesthetic du jour, all before the ticking-clock strikes ?GO?. And then when the show is over, everyone packs up to race to the next show where they get to do it all over again. And again.

With all of the A-list celebrities, media outlets, and fashion people congregating in one place for the event that is NYC Fashion Week, it is the norm for new beauty trends to start leaking based on a combination of who is wearing what, and what is being shown on the runway. What color were Beyonce?s nails? A bunch of off-duty models wore their hair like this. At the Marc Jacob?s show, his models all had XYZ eyebrows. Etc., etc. Per years past, it was the tid-bits like this that set fire to new beauty trends. However this year the trends seem to be veering into a wholly new, exciting direction. (Especially for us.)

Similar to clothing, makeup can only do so much to camouflage the shape of what it?s lying on top of. Although Spanx and concealer can hide a plethora of imperfections, texture is something that ultimately cannot be masked. Think about it ? even if you masterfully blend away the angry-redness of a pimple, there isn?t anything you can do to hide the fact that a bump is present, and the right angle or lighting will render that blemish completely visible. Lumps and bumps aren?t much of a concern in regards to clothing during fashion week ? models are super skinny on purpose so that they are essentially walking hangers. (The better with which to display the clothes, my dear.) When dealing with rail-thin women, there are no body imperfections to distract from or mar the effect of the fashion. But, skin itself is a whole other ball-game.

For people whose livelihoods depend on their appearance, keeping the canvas that is their face, clear, tight and glowing is of utmost importance. The makeup needs to always look good, and with looming time-pressure concerns, one model?s face cannot require significantly more time than the next. Being able to look perfect easily and consistently is an important marketing feature per model. As a whole, having healthy skin, and keeping it healthy, is becoming more and more important to the fashion world.

Emerging superstar makeup artists are making skin care as important as the makeup. Especially as the fashion brands themselves lean towards a cleaner, more elegant aesthetic, it is important that the models strike that perfect balance of glowing skin, without looking like they’re wearing a ton of makeup. (Think Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, and Jason Wu.) Many designers have realized that when selling a cohesive ?look? to the masses ? the model?s face cannot be ignored, and good skin is the fundamental first step in achieving a flawless appearance.

Makeup artists have taken clever steps to integrate skin care into their limited makeup-application time. Some have started providing facial massages as moisturizer is being applied; this way they keep the blood circulating, make sure the hydration is really getting into the skin, all while being time efficient. At Victoria Beckhams?s show Fall 2015, the models Instagrammed themselves backstage wearing soothing masks before their makeup was applied.

Explains makeup artist Sunday Riley; ?During fashion week, models are running from one show to the next, having makeup applied, removed, and reapplied again,? explained Riley. ?Their skin gets dried out, rough, and congested very easily, particularly during these weeks.?

If the fashion world is touting a new emphasis on healthy looking skin, it will be interesting to see how this trend develops to appeal to the masses. Clothing trends cycle all the time (as evident by the eighties revival we are currently living through) so it makes sense that makeup and skincare would also experience cyclical shifts. If the desired aesthetic will be soon veering away from overly made-up, contoured, Kardashian-like faces, will there soon be a surge in innovative, must-have, skincare products to keep skin looking beautiful even when it?s naked?
One can only hope.

philadelphia model mask

A model backstage during Victoria Beckham?s fall 2015 show wearing an SK-II face mask (Instagram).