Backstage beauty tips from Fashion Month

You might think you know everything the beauty industry has to offer you: eternal youth, snake oil and a certain amount of papering over the cracks. But forget the promises on the telly or the small print on the back of the packet — it’s behind the scenes at Fashion Week where you learn the real tips and tricks of the trade. Backstage at the shows is where the best make-up artists develop techniques and hone their kit. If a product makes it through this theatre of war, you know it’s worth the space in your own make-up bag.

With some models arriving only ten minutes before the lights go down, there isn’t always time to cleanse, tone and moisturise. Instead the pros use Bioderma’s alcohol-free Micelle Solution (£12.60, escentual.com) to wipe away make-up from sensitive and overworked skin. Then they go in with lymphatic drainage massage to wake up the face. FaceGym at Selfridges offers 50 minutes for £120 and promises you’ll walk out with less “face-weight”.

Models are well versed in the art of late nights and early mornings too. Their ultimate trick for fresh “no make-up” skin is to blend a blob of Dr. Hauschka’s quince day cream (£23, dr.hauschka.com) with a few squirts of Touche Éclat for the sort of light, moisturised radiance that one needs a bit of help with after a 5am start. This works just as well for early flights as it does pre-9am trips to the playground at the weekend.

Others swear by Lucas Papaw ointment (£4.95, pawpawessentials.co.uk) and By Terry’s Baume de Rose (£39, uk.spacenk.com) as multipurpose handbag staples. And between seasons nearly all of them pop six month’s worth of Viviscal’s hair-growth tablets (available at Holland & Barrett) to rebuild hair that has been bleached, blow-dried and backcombed several times a day for four weeks straight.

We asked three of the industry’s most prestigious make-up artists how to re-create their top beauty looks of the season. Their surprise tips? Ditch your mascara, use your fingers rather than a brush and don’t forget to smudge your lipstick.


Wendy Rowe, Burberry


The look: Modern and minimal

“Start by applying a Face Contour pen (£25, burberry.com) under the cheekbones, jawline and along the nose to softly define the face — blend it with your fingertips. To even the complexion, use concealer to highlight the forehead, nose and cupid’s bow. Then apply foundation where needed and powder the face. We didn’t use mascara in the show but some people feel naked without it — use chestnut brown if you must, rather than black. To create the bold lip, apply foundation over the lips, then liner, and fill in with Lip Velvet in Oxblood (£26, burberry.com). It should be soft rather than precise, so run a dry cotton bud around the edge to diffuse the line.”


Peter Philips, Dior

The look: Pretty pastels
“Use just enough Diorskin Star foundation (£32.50, feelunique.com) to give coverage and a matte finish and apply nude powder on the side of the face to give a light veil. On the apples of the cheeks, temples and the tip of the chin, dab touches of blush in Glowing Gardens (coming soon, £31.50). Curl lashes but leave them bare, then blend some of the blush from your face on to the eyelid too. Keep lips dewy and tinted with Dior Addict Lip Glow (£24, boots.com) and Lipstick in Delight (£26.50, debenhams.com).”


Hannah Murray, Topshop

The look: Femme Fatale 2.0
“Use a primer (Airbrush £12, topshop.com) on the T-zone, a sheer base on the skin (try The Foundation, £16, topshop.com) then add concealer where needed. Roughly line eyes with a Kajal pencil, and smudge it on to the eyelid with your finger — don’t use a brush. Apply Party-Proof Intense Mascara (£10, topshop.com) to top and bottom lashes. Rub some Vaseline on the eyelid for texture on top of your eyeshadow. Then apply lipstick in Boyracer (£8, topshop.com) straight from the tube, blot it, and reapply for a bold finish. Blend cream blush into the apples of the cheek for a pretty flush.”

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Meredith Weisser

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