- Gold-Plated Scalps at Christian Siriano
- Hair Tattoos at Collina Strada
- Intense Eyes at Helmut Lang
- Neon Eye Accents at Bach Mai
- New Sheer Nails at Proenza Schouler
- Pop Art Eyes at Alice & Olivia
- Intricate Braids and Baby Hair at LaPointe
- Gothic Glam at Anna Sui
- ‘80s Vibes at Retrofete
- Patent Leather Hair at The Blonds
- Ballerina Meets City Girl at PatBo
- Christian Cowan's Female Mob Bosses
New York Fashion Week brings star-studded parties, memorable front row celeb sightings, and an exorbitant amount of street style inspiration. But it’s backstage where the beauty trends take form. The best hairstylists, makeup artists, and nail designers in the business team up with fashion’s most influential names to ideate and usher in a new era of glam. Take the Spring/Summer 2024 season, for instance. It was there that bow-adorned braids signaled the explosion of ribbon-core and simple, strawberry makeup made a foray into the beauty space.
Despite the fact that the current season is only halfway through(NYFW kicked off on Friday, February 9), it’s already abundantly clear that the coquettish fixation of months past is being slowly, but surely, retired. In its place, we’re seeing what’s essentially a complete 180. The soft and feminine chignons accompanied by loose tendrils are being swapped for stark and angular parts; hair bows are being tossed to the side for hair tattoos (take a peek at Collina Strada’s hair breakdown), and soft-pinch, pinky glam has been substituted for deep and dark smoky eyes like those seen at Helmut Lang.
To get a full breakdown on the beauty looks taking over the runways, keep scrolling. The Marie Claire beauty team spent quality time backstage watching the most notable hair, makeup, and nail moments come to life. From the products you’ll need to recreate the looks to insider secrets from the pros themselves, everything you need to know about the best beauty looks from New York Fashion Week, ahead.
Gold-Plated Scalps at Christian Siriano
Last year at Christian Siriano, celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway spearheaded ribbon-core with a dainty, pink ribbon-embellished braided chignon. This year? She kicked off the first show of the season with quite a different vibe: a square-shaped bun with gold flakes lining a stark center part. “We’ve been in ballerina-core for so long and I want to move past it. Now, we’re updating our traditional bun into this square shape. I’m hoping to see more decorative parts and hair jewelry. It’s an update to a hair accessory. We ignore parts all the time, so I really wanted to highlight that,” she tells me backstage. “Christian has a lot of reflective fabrics—so I really want the hair to shine through, literally.”
The makeup for the show was also metallic thanks to Charlotte Tilbury’s genius work. The “futuristic, sun-drenched look” featured the brand’s new Pinks collection, with models getting a swipe of Icon Baby lipstick.
Hair Tattoos at Collina Strada
Leave it to Collina Strada to bring a bit of beauty excitement to the catwalk. Teaming up with the amazingly talented Evanie Frausto, Bumble and Bumble’s Global Artistic Ambassador, the models wore hair tattoos on their slicked back hair. “This is my sixth season of Collina and we normally go for this organic, dry, messy hair. Now we’re flipping the script and doing a complete 180. We’re going very sharp and tidy and edgy,” he shares. “This Collina logo, which is a star on one side and a fairy wing on the other, has been made out of hair—we’re calling them hair tattoos.” The Bumble and Bumble BB Gel was the hair tattoos secret weapon. The gel doubled as an adhesive between the wig hair and the model’s own hair.
Intense Eyes at Helmut Lang
Windswept grunge was the name of the game backstage at Helmut Lang, where lead MAC makeup artist Daniel Sallstrom wanted the models to look like they had taken time to execute a perfect makeup look, only to be attacked by the elements (namely wind) the second they stepped outside; hence the messy black eyeliner. To achieve the look, the team of makeup artists actually used a MAC's MACximal Silky Matte Lipstick in shade Caviar to paint feathery strokes across the models' lids.
Neon Eye Accents and Glowy Skin at Bach Mai
Similar to the care-free eye makeup we saw at Helmut Lang, Bach Mai took a futuristic, care-free approach to beauty, adding a touch of juxtaposition to the mix. The vibe: Futuristic stripper who just got off of work, wiped off her makeup and just didn't get it all off. "Are you ready for the space strip club?" designer Bach Mai joked to me backstage. "It's this story of this bourgeois woman and her decent into depravity. But you know what rich women have? Great skin. It's classic with a touch of fetish. She was having a night and while she wiped it all off, she still has this trace left."
The models had a mix of neon shadow swiped across their upper lid, ranging from pinks and oranges to blues and purples. Despite the rough and hap-hazard makeup aesthetic, skin remained incredibly hydrated and plump thanks to a full lineup of ReVivé skincare. The luxury line (it's my personal favorite) found a natural collaboration with Bach Mai, who was introduced to the brand through their celebrity partner Micaela Erlanger. "I tried the products and they were incredible. I keep telling everyone the best part of my show is going to be the little ReVive gift bag everyone is getting," Mai joked backstage. "This is just the beginning of Bach Mai and ReVive."
New Sheer Nails at Proenza Schouler
Every year, you can expect the beauty at Proenza Schouler to take a similar form: Easy, parred-back, simplistic, and sophisticated. The 2024 show was no exception. Bumble and Bumble lead hair artist Guido Paolo took charge of the hair, creating an undone style with a slight bend and a hint of texture. It was actually the nails that unsuspectedly stole the show—and signaled a pivot for the upcoming year of manicure trends.
"We went with moody tones, one is grey and one is a moody blue that's coming out in the Fall," Jin Soon Choi exclusively shares amidst the backstage chaos. "Sheer is in, but it's always pink or nude sheer. Now, we're going towards more unusual sheers."
Pop Art Eyes at Alice & Olivia
Bright colors and bold eyes took center stage at Alice + Olivia, where Too Faced's Global Creative Director Elyse Reneau led the charge. "We're doing really ethereal pop art eyes and then blue pop art eyes," she shares, noting that the brand collaborated with later pop art designer Tom Wesselman for the 2024 collection. "Basically I got to create a look that is living art." She prepped skin with Cetaphil, adorned some Lashify falsies, and used a handful of products that are embargoed (I got a sneak peek, they're amazing), but you can shop bits and pieces of the look below.
Intricate Braids and Baby Hair at LaPointe
In my humble opinion, LAPOINTE's "back to school" themed show served up some of the best beauty thus far, finding hair partners in Oribe, skin partners in SK-II, and makeup partners in Bobbi Brown. "This is a back to school vibe you're going to see. It's all about making sure your hair feels good, your outfit feels good, and everything is LAPOINTE. It's a little more exaggerated since it's a bit more of a theatrical show," says Oribe's lead stylist Joey George. "It's almost like a space-braid, top-knot kind of vibe like J. Lo had," noting that she's one of the brand's favorite clients. She's one of the brand's favorite clients. Each model's hair was broken down in to four sections, with two long braids taking up residence at the back of the head, and two "flattened" space buns being created for the upper corners.
When it came to makeup, lead artist Romy Soleimani took point, leveraging the powers of color theory to create a shimmery green eye-lip combo. "Obviously I love to worship the skin—and that's always such a focus for me—but today was really about embellishments," she says. "After we did a little coverage, we did a sparkly, mossy green on the eyelid. The lip is this nude lip with a sparkly green in the center which is actually really pretty on everyone."
Gothic Glam at Anna Sui
"Anna did a crazy "Who Done It?" collection and it's a combination of argyle, plaids, herringbones, tweeds—it's kind of like she went to England Agatha Christie time," explains R + Co Blue lead hairstylist Garrett. That in mind, he decided to keep hair on the simplistic side. "I decided to go chic grunge, because she has all of these little hats and scarfs. When I saw that, I wanted to minimize the texture and try to go for silky, cornsilk hair and minimize the texture. We tried to make everything lanky and we're leaning back towards the early '90s."
Makeup however was anything put parred back, with the one and only Pat McGrath creating a gothic masterpiece. Models were glammed in the moodiest of shades, using the Mothership: Seduction Palette.
‘80s Vibes at Retrofete
Throwback beauty was the name of the game at Retrofete, where ‘90s blowouts and ombré nails were the glam highlights. “This show is all about that late ‘80s powerful woman, who also likes to party at night, so we wanted something powerful and strong,” says nail artist and Essie ambassador Miss Pop. “The show plays a lot with light and dark, so we wanted to bring that to the nail. We start with Not Ready for Bed, Bubbles Only, Not Ready for Bed, and move on to Very Naughty.”
Similar to the powerful red nail, the makeup aesthetic for the show was a nod to the powerful working woman, with Global Creative Director for Addiction Tokyo Kanako Takase creating a classic makeup look complete with warm, natural hues.
Hair was big and bouncy, with Oribe leading the charge. “There was a lot of Cindy Crawford and nods to supermodels in the conceptualization. We did this beautiful sweeped over blowout that’s a nod to the ‘80s.”
Patent Leather Hair at The Blonds
Celebrity hairstylist Lacy Redway tells us that at this season's collection for The Blonds, Latin heritage takes center stage. "We have five looks in the show, inspired by Latina icons," she says, citing J.Lo, Celia Cruz, and Becky G as just a few of the Latinas on her moodboard. "Latinas are such a spectrum, which is why this is so inspiring," she says of the diverse sources of inspiration. The result? Teased, beehive-esque styles, along with shiny, bright red looks meant to evoke the collection's "fuego" (or "fire") theme. The color choice also taps into the "hotter hues trend," according to Redway. Finally, she capped off the looks with Tresemmé products that gave the hair a shiny, "patent leather look and feel," tapping into the high-shine, rock and roll inspired look that The Blonds is so well-known for.
Ballerina Meets City Girl at PatBo
PatBo's latest show kicked off with a ballet performance that set the tone of the brand's newest collection, which Stila Cosmetics Global Beauty Director Charlie Riddle describes as "Lower East Side girl meet ballerina." This combination of tough street smarts and traditional femininity manifested itself in the makeup Riddle applied to the models: While his team aimed for polished skin with a "really airbrushed texture" and a light touch of powder blush, the models' eyes were adorned in Stila's eyeliner and ultra-black smudgepot pigment, which was diffused out for an intentionally smudged look. "It doesn't have to be perfect," Riddle said of the dark detail. "It starts to get a little bit crazy, but I want that." The lips, meanwhile, were coated in Stila's lip glaze for a balm-like, near-nude finish.
Christian Cowan's Female Mob Bosses
This season, Christian Cowan sought to craft looks in which women were more than just mob wives: They were the mob bosses themselves, strutting down the runway in powerfully pigmented makeup and massive hairdos, wine glasses and half-smoked (fake) cigarettes in hand. Smashbox’s Global Pro Lead Artist, Lori Taylor Davis, was responsible for the look, and used the brand's HALO palette to craft flushed cheeks and nostalgic brown lips.
The hairstyles of the evening enhanced the mob boss feel. Justine Marjan used wigs to give the models a uniform, over-the-top, sculptural bob, albeit in different colors. She styled the wigs into "really sculptural, Jackie O-inspired updos" that were set with rollers, teased at the roots, and then brushed out for a polished end result.
Rather than employing a single, uniform look for all of Altuzarra's models, Laura Mercier Global Beauty Director Tayaba Jafri and professional makeup artist Diane Kendal created three distinct looks. The first was a neutral, matte face paired with dramatically defined eyes for a sophisticated yet subtly otherworldly look. The second was far bolder, fixating on a bright, glittery red lip juxtaposed against a more natural face and eyes so that the lips had the scene-stealing effect of a disco ball in a dark room. Finally, the last makeup style was an intense smoky eye extended from the eyelids themselves all the way to the brow bones, while the brows themselves were drawn on razor-thin à la 1930s beauty.