I showed up backstage before the Tory Burch show at 7:35 a.m. exhausted from a week spent running around during the day and sipping martinis with the fashion set at night. And let me tell you, dear readers, it showed. My eyes were puffy, my skin blotchy, but my disposition was as sunny as ever. I was going to be a model! Well, er, at least they were going to apply my makeup like I was one. I glided over to the makeup chair—I was seated right next to Stella Maxwell, no less—and shifted nervously in my gifted Tory Burch fall collection sweater.
“What are we doing today?” my appointed makeup artist, Taly Waisberg, asked. She looked at me with kind eyes and realised my giddy-slash-nervous demeanour. “I’m going to take care of you,” she asserted, squeezing my hand. I was immediately relaxed and responded, “I’ll have what she’s having,” and pointed at Stella Maxwell. And with that, she began schooling me on the look: “It’s relaxed, modern, and a little bit smudgy, but sensual.” She explained that Diane Kendal was the mastermind behind the ’70s-era creation and worked with Burch to perfectly offset her equestrian-style collection. Together they came up with a matte bronze eye shadow, luminous bronzer and blush, and a pinky-nude lip colour.
I was sold. I knew the experience backstage would be fun, but I had no idea it would also be wildly educational. I took notes during the entire process, because (duh) I’m a beauty editor. So without further ado, peep the most surprising and helpful tips I learned while I was pretending to model.
1. Take 30 seconds to massage your face before applying makeup.
I fancy myself a skincare know-it-all, which is why I was floored when I learned this trick. It’s easy, takes seconds to accomplish, and makes your makeup look so much better. Start by cleansing, and then mist your skin with a rosewater spray. Backstage at Tory Burch, they used Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater (£7). Next apply moisturiser and gently (but not too gently, you can really get in there) massage your cheeks, forehead, along the bridge of your nose, and across your temples in a circular motion. This works to wake you up, increase circulation, and plump the skin before a makeup application. It’s especially important for busy models during fashion week, sure, but also for non-models whose skin tends to dry out in the winter. The technique will keep you properly moisturised because it allows your skin to really drink up the product. Plus, it felt ah-maz-ing.
2. Apply your foundation with a sponge.
Once you’ve prepped the skin, forget about applying your foundation with a brush or even your fingers. Beautyblender’s Original Beautyblender (£16) is where it’s at. Mist the sponge with rosewater spray to dampen it—that way it applies and blends but doesn’t remove any product from your face in the process. Do not rub, just roll the Beautyblender across each section of your face and then tap to allow the foundation to seep into the skin, rather than just sitting on top.
3. Add concealer once you’ve finished everything else.
I always apply foundation and then concealer before I do anything else. In fact, makeup artists have been instructing us do it in that order for years. Not so, says Waisberg. If you’re going for a natural look, apply concealer once you’ve finished everything else. FYI: This is not for Kardashian-style makeup. It’s more so for a fresh-faced, Saturday afternoon look. Once you’ve finished the rest of your makeup, tap on concealer with a soft, super-small brush in just the spots that need it. It shouldn’t be all over your face because, naturally, the more makeup you apply, the more you can see it.
4. If you’re prone to creases, don’t apply powder over your concealer.
I get terrible creases—my eyelids have a lot of service area, and product tends to move around on top as I blink and continue living my life after applying. So if you’re like me, make sure to never brush on powder on top of your concealer. It makes creases far more prevalent. If you have fine lines beneath your eyes (I have those too), opt for a concealer that’s not super creamy. The texture makes a huge difference in whether or not the product settles into wrinkles.
5. Use highlighter to make your eyes look bigger.
This is genius. I am always looking for ways to brighten and liven up my eyes—especially in the morning. Apply a bit of highlighter to the middle of your lid to open up the eye and illuminate. The light reflects wonderfully off the product and makes your eyes sparkle, but it’s still subtle.
6. Smudged eye shadow doesn’t have to look smoky.
As I said, I love a bright eye. Which is why I usually stay away from dark, smoky looks—they usually make my eyes look smaller. But I couldn’t get over how radiant the charcoal-coloured shadow (Tory Burch's Pas du Tout Eye Shadow Palette in Paillette, £42) still made my eyes look. The trick is lightly buff it on and blend it out, so only a touch of colour shows while still adding definition.
7. Use a foundation that’s two shades lighter on your neck.
Especially in the winter, foundation can get all over the place. More specifically, all over the collar of all my precious turtlenecks. Invest in a foundation that is two shades lighter than your usual product, and apply a light layer to your neck. Powder the area with an invisible powder, and lightly mist with a setting spray to make sure your clothes stay clean and your foundation stays put.
8. A new scent will always make you feel flirty.
While the models had their hair and makeup done backstage, gorgeous glass bottles of Burch’s new fragrance, Jolie Fleur, were passed around. The launch is for spring, so the scent added a garden party dose of sass to the entire experience. It was the perfect finishing touch to an already glamorous morning.
Looking for more looks from NYFW? You’re going to love these major autumn/winter trends we’re fawning over.
Opening image: Imaxtree