BlackBook Backstage: Beauty Tips For NYFW Looks

Richard Chai Love
Inspiration: “Lightness”

Makeup: Using a MAC Cosmetics liner (in Dirty Blonde), James Kaliardos created a ’60s-inspired “floating contour” that outlined slightly above the lash line. The rest of the face was paled out and kept nude with MAC’s lip conditioner and lip concealer (in Dim).

Hair: Kevin Ryan of Aveda parted the hair in two sharp angles and sleeked it back into a low ponytail. To achieve this shiny, “sporty” look, he used gel and finished with plant-derived hair oil.

Nails: For a subtle shimmer effect, Julep’s lead nail stylist Jane Park used a liquid gold polish with a matte top coat (in Sienna). 


Creatures of the Wind – Shane Gabier and Chris Peter
Inspiration: “1960s culture”

Makeup: Nars’ Global Director of Artistry James Boehmer combined a velvet matte lip pencil (in Damned) and lipstick (in Fire Down Below) for the cranberry eye shadow effect, then lined the lower lashes with a silver shadow (in Factory Girl) and thick silver liner (from the Andy Warhol collection).

Hair: Odile Gilbert of Kérastase Paris used an origami-inspired folding technique to keep the models’ sleek, straight hair short. Stylists then completed the look with 60s-inspired hairnets.

Nails: Essie’s lead nail tech Ana-Maria kept things simple with two coats of a solid rose beige polish (in Topless and Barefoot).


Honor – Giovanna Randall
Inspiration: “Anatomy”

Makeup: For a natural look, Romy Soleimani, with Stila for, hydrated using Erno Laszlo’s Light Controlling Lotion, followed by Stila’s Stay All Day Foundation & Concealer. She then mixed a white eye shadow (in Opal) with Erno Laszlo’s Luminous Eye Complex, curled the lashes, and added the Glamoureyes mascara. A touch of lip gloss (in Banana), custom blush, and shimmer powder (in Kitten) finished the look.

Hair: Using Bumble and Bumble’s Thickening Hairspray and Surf Spray to set a base, James Pecis styled two French braids tightly against the head (representing “muscles and filaments”), which he gathered and wrapped naturally at the nape of the neck. Rhinestone pins were then tucked into the back of the braid.

Nails: “The makeup was natural with some highlighting, but we didn’t want shimmer on the nail,” said Deborah Lippmann, who useda white-on-white combination (two coats of Amazing Grace and one coat of Like A Virgin), topped by a new polish (launching in the spring) that has the same high-shine effect as a gel manicure.  


Collages by Maggie Duffy/Images courtesy of and

Party Powder

Exhausted from last night’s affair, no time or energy to wash your hair? Shake a pinch of the newly launched prêt-à-powder in to keep the prior evening’s look alive just a few more hours. 

Last night at the company’s downtown NYC salon, Bumble and bumble gathered the beauty masses to fête the launch of a few new powders that would fit right into a party girl’s routine. There’s the direly needed dry shampoo/volumizer/style extender, as mentioned above, and for the more adventurous types, a quad of colored hair powder to liven up a look. The resulting effect is somehow Marie Antoinette – it didn’t hurt the Dauphine’s cause that within the walls of the salon were tables and tables full of pearly chocolates, pastel bonbons, and endless meringue treats to set the mood. 

Some inspiration to consider as we kick off the weekend…


Formaldehyde-Free Alternatives to Getting Stick-Straight Hair

No one can deny that formaldehyde, used in Keratin and Brazilian Blow Out formula, does magic for straightening even the frizziest of hair, freeing women from short-lived blowouts and straightening irons. However, as users are becoming more aware of the potentially harmful effects of the toxic chemical—there’s a reason why people who apply the treatment wear a gas mask, and it’s toxic—brands are beginning to take note, coming up with less dangerous, alternative versions.

Bumble and Bumble and L’Oreal Professional will both be launching in-salon, formaldehyde-free hair smoothing treatments this fall, as reported at Beauty High.

In October, Bumble and Bumble will debut Concen-Straight Pro Treatment, which promises to last up to 30 treatments and can be customized to match clients’ preferred level of straightness. Fadi Mourad, the lines product developer, told WWD that they are using “a technology that consists of a gemstone blend designed to vibrate and loosen the hair’s inner S-bonds, which give it a natural curve.” An at-home treatment is also being released, called Bumble and Bumble Straight, which will include a shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in styler.

L’Oreal’s answer to the frizz dilemma is called Xtenso Moisturist. The brands director of marketing, Laurie Lam, says “We don’t compare ourselves to keratin, because keratin is a surface treatment, where you don’t change the hair. Xtenso Moisturist is indeed a chemical service.” The verdict is still out as to whether these new options will give the same super-shiny straight results as the Brazilian. But at last, it will be guilt free.

Dry Shampoo, Not Just for Lazy People Anymore

Go on, tell yourself dry shampoo is only for camping trips and long-haul flights. But let’s be real: it’s also is god’s gift to lazy people (some days, even standing under warm, sudsy water is too much to ask). In fact, considering its benefits, I’d say we’re not using dry shampoo enough. Aside from sucking up excess oil, it refreshes, brightens, and removes product build-up, and increases volume and texture.

You also save your hair from over-washing and stripping away natural oils, so it’s perfect for chemically treated and colored hair. Just lift sections of hair randomly and spray the roots. Fluff and brush, and you’re done. Here are three of our favorite dry shampoos, not just for the laziest of days.

Psssssst: The original dry shampoo from the ’70s, it’s supposedly a secret weapon for stylists everywhere for adding body and texture to hair. Just remember to use it sparingly on dark hair, as it’s a white powder that will only absorb once it’s worked through. There’s nothing natural about the formula, but it’s the most budget friendly of the bunch.

Bumble and Bumble: To avoid the white powder issue altogether, Bumble and Bumble has created a dry shampoo in five different colors: black, blonde, brown, red, and white. it contains oat flour and cornstarch. Remember to protect yourself and your clothes while applying.

Klorane Extra Gentle Dry Shampoo with Oat Extract: This is the most natural formula, and a personal favorite as it most closely approximates the feeling of clean hair. It’s weightless and has a subtle scent. It won’t leave buildup, which helps since the clean hair effect will only last about one day. So for those extra busy and lazy days, you can apply a few days in row.

Think Spring! Whit’s New York Surfer Girls

I don’t like talking about what I see at the Spring/Summer fashion shows until I’m finally teetering on the edge of Spring/Summer. Perhaps fashion eds have a terribly short memory span, rendering them unable to recall what summer—one that ended approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of fashion week—felt like. Like, “Wow, denim cutoffs! I just can’t remember what they’re used for.” WHIT’s Spring/Summer show, which popped off last September, was a particularly memorable one.

Memorable because it made me realize it would be close to nine months before I would be able to style my hair with ocean water and head to Surf Lodge. Thankfully, we’re just close enough to real spring to talk about WHIT’s swinging 60’s hair, and dewey skin without getting sad.

Comprised of 19 looks, WHIT, the line from Brooklyn-based designer and niece of Kate Spade, Whitney Pozgay, tapped into the surf culture to create the mood of her collection, The Ceco space was lit by grainy surf movies from the ‘60s (see also: Surf Lodge, whose décor is accented by similar videos on rotation), and the center stage was a sandy deck that looked as if it was uprooted straight from Montauk.


The swinging hair and dewy makeup really bolstered her ’60s surfer girl mood, and Whitney used Bridgitte Bardot as a reference for messy hair, kohl-rimmed eyes, and nude lips.


The hair (by Bumble and Bumble) had was natural with some backcombing at the crown of the head. I’m quite certain they must have used their magical South Surf Spray.

Here is a video used in WHIT’s Spring show, a little more inspiration to get into the swing of spring:

Whip Your Hair Back & Forth

Chances are you have been primping your hair for your holiday parties, and you may have even gotten a new cut or color. When you need to luxuriate your locks, Bumble and bumble is the place to go for effective products. They now have gift sets like this Live Richly Gift Box, which includes the brand’s Gentle Shampoo, Super Rich Conditioner, and Styling Creme, and a limited-edition comb for $52. These formulas will be sure to leave your hair soft, tangle-free, and lustrous.

Shop the Live Richly Gift Box here.

G-Star Inspires Good Hair Days

Yesterday at the G-Star Raw fashion (rock) show at Hammerstein Ballroom, Lindsay Lohan and Taylor Momsen sat directly in my line of site, but even they couldn’t tear my eyes from the cool rockabilly hair styles the girls and boys on the catwalk were sporting. The look seemed to perfectly complete G-Star’s lesson in innovative denim craftsmanship. Hair, in general is mesmerizing to me. As a wash-and-go type of person, the prospect of doing anything more complicated than conditioning treatments or volumizing foam is the equivalent to discovering an unknown planet or making sense of molecular physics: it just doesn’t seem like something I could accomplish. But seeing these models act like characters from The Ousiders in creative denim, ladylike gloves and bright suit jackets, stomping down the runway to “Rebel, Rebel,” inspired me to do a bit of research.

G-Star Girls The easiest style a girl can do is the Victory Roll, which the video shows you how to do in under three minutes. You can start off with dry hair and coat it with a bit of mouse to hold, or you can go for the wet look, which Orlando Pita favors. For Michael Kor’s fall runway, Pita went for a deep side part, coated in gel- a miracle effect that looks both sleek and solves bad hair days. “Shiny hair is very graphic and sculptural,” Pita notes. The side part makes the hair have that tough rockabilly effect because “It looks more androgynous than if it were all slicked back.” If you are advanced in hair technique, then you can copy many of G-Star’s pincurl girls. Coat damp hair in a lightweight gel, like Bumble and Bumble Gel, and twist one inch sections around your fingers, securing them to your head with bobby pins, crossing them over the twist in a ‘x’ formation.

G-Star Guys Men who looked like Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, and Elvis Presley made thair grand entrances from the glowing cylinders on stage at the G-Star show. Unfortunately for the guys, it’s usually the cut that makes the style; longer on the top and in the back, and shorter on the sides (thing Rhianna right now). The guys who lacked the cut were able to compromise, a curly man made his mop ultra-volumous, and pulled forward a slight Jerry-curl. Other men used pomade to slick, or ‘grease’ their hair to make it ultra shiny.