Lancôme at Macy's Spring 2016 NYFW show
Lancôme make-up and design at Macy’s Spring 2016 show| Photo by Stephanie Brooks

Every September, New York City is swept with designers, models, celebrities and fashion and beauty editors for the extravaganza that is New York Fashion Week, fondly called NYFW. Make-Up Artist magazine contributors Stephanie Brooks and Alex LaMarsh take us behind the scenes for an intimate look at the make-up artists and products that create the looks to complement the clothes.

Alex LaMarsh: One of the things I really loved about my backstage experience was seeing how different each team’s vibe was. The Bobbi Brown team’s layout was always very sleek, just like their packaging. Stila was an explosion of colorful products and a fun mess.

My favorite look was Sarah Lucero’s (of Stila) look for Nicholas K. It was very fresh and wearable, only it had a kick with the bold under eye. I could definitely see my clients wearing that to events any season.

Stephanie Brooks: There was a new vibe this season at New York Fashion Week. Shows were moved from their former uptown home at Lincoln Center and scattered to multiple midtown and downtown locations, making room for young, up-and-coming designers to show their work in the international spotlight. Backstage, there was a different feel to the make-up as well. For the last few seasons, minimal, understated and nude described the looks. Concealer was used sparingly, eye shadow was traded for clear gloss and mascara was skipped altogether. But this season, the color and drama are back (i.e., Christmas came early for make-up enthusiasts).

Maybelline at Chromat Spring 2016 NYFW
Maybelline make-up design for Chromat Spring 2016 | Photo by Stephanie Brooks
Maybelline at Chromat Spring 2016 NYFW
Bright make-up looks from Maybelline at Chromat Spring 2016 | Photo by Stephanie Brooks

One of the most popular beauty looks spotted on the runway was a bright streak of color on the model’s eyelid or under eye. At Monique Lhuillier, Jenny Packham and Chromat, primary colors were applied precisely, almost architecturally, to the eye to offer a bold pop of color.

This season, matte skin was practically a dirty phrase. Make-up artists tried their hardest to keep faces dewy and fresh by adding a touch of clear gloss to cheeks and lips.

Brushed up, thick brows, a la Cara Delevingne, are proving to be a runway mainstay. Make-up artists brushed brows upward for a relaxed, slightly untidy look, then used a mascara wand with a bit of hairspray to keep hairs in place.

Kryolan at Betsey Johnson Spring 2016 NYFW
Kryolan make-up look for Betsey Johnson Spring 2016 | Photo by Stephanie Brooks

My personal NYFW highlight came early in the week at Betsey Johnson’s 50th Celebration Show. Minimalism was nowhere to be found as key make-up artist Kelly Thompson created three electric, in- your-face looks that perfectly paired with Johnson’s whimsical and embellished collection. “It’s Rainbow Brite meets Xanadu,” said one Kryolan make-up artist as she painted a sizeable rainbow on a model’s face. With false lashes, sparkles and a color palette that embraces every color in the rainbow, there’s not much more this beauty journalist could ask for.

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