There is a level of illusion, glamour and secretness that captivates most people from the outside. Its exclusionary seclusion allures people to clamor to be included on what’s going on inside.
Maybe one day when I’m older (and don’t care about my career anymore) I’ll write that book.
Put A Filter On It And Make It Fab!
In our hyperactive, digital photo world (with the myriads of filters we can add to our images), one might just think that fashion week is glamorous — but only about 2% of really is. It’s hard work and it’s stressful for everyone.
This was my 18th Fashion Week season, which means I’ve been slapping makeup on models for 9 years running.
Little by little I’ve been pulling away from fashion because the “high” isn’t what it used to be for me.[Read: When It’s OK To Quit A Dream. Why I’m Giving Up On Mine.]
Stress Soup Is Gross
Pressure and not enough sleep or food, mixed with big egos and the insecurity of feeling like your career is always on the line, make for a very bitter soup.
This stress soup isn’t just happening with the designers, it covers all the segments within the industry including models, photographers, writers, makeup artists, hairstylists, production crews, PR companies and the list stretches on!
My (Filtered) Diary of Fashion Week S/S 2016
For now this is my attempt at a concise diary of Fashion Week S/S 2016 — through my personal experience via Instagram photos (filtered of course).
Note: S/S means Spring/Summer and it’s for 2016 because we work 6 months ahead of the actual season.
I hope you enjoy it!
Not off to a great start
So my adorable cat Gingie, who I love to wrestle with, got a little too aggressive and punctured my arm with his tooth over Labor Day weekend, just days before Fashion Week began.
I ended up in urgent care and taking antibiotics! My hand was so swollen and in pain that I couldn’t even open car door with it.
How did you spend your Labor Day? Mine involved a trip to Urgent Care. ? I like to wrestle with my cat ? and he got a little too brutal for the first time. ? So I have a puncture wound that totally swelled up is making it hard for me to even move my fingers. ??I'm now on antibiotics (for the 1st time in almost 5 years) and icing every other hour. I also ate a snack bag of Doritos while waiting for my prescription to be filled. I needed comfort food and I did not care that it it would toxify my system. ?? The antibiotics will take care of that, right?? ? Fashion Week starts Thursday, and I'm in the middle of packing to move across the country. Timing couldn't be worse. Guess I'm going to have to scale back on wrestling playtime with Gingie. Luckily I had my girlfriend around who has been taking good care of me and made sure I had clean hair this morning.?? Aaahhhh, #Life. #catbite #urgentcare #laborday #antibiotics #wounded
Basically I had to summon the help of every person who said if I ever needed anything I could call on them. You find out who your friends are real quick when you need things done like dishes, laundry, packing a makeup kit and washing brushes.
I rested my arm as much as possible and took massive amounts of natural anti-inflammatories so I could be ready to do make up and carry my heavy kit all around the city.
For a couple of days I had to fake how bad my hand was and bat my eyelashes to get help opening bottles and jars.
I certainly couldn’t tell anyone how about how bad my hand was because then I’d lose work! And if you remember from the start of this piece, my career is always on the line!
The Celeb Dog… And Not Being Treated Like One
Rose-Marie Swift (founder of RMS Beauty) is the mommy of fur baby Frankie Kerr who was originally model Miranda Kerr’s dog.
Frankie looks like a little teddy bear and no matter where she goes, she creates a huge scene with her cuteness. You can see her on billboards in Coach’s latest campaign for doggy accessories.
It's always Frankie who steals the #backstage show at #NYFW even when she's next to a gorgeous #model like @elizahartmann Who knows which famous #greenbeauty Frankie belongs to? ? Oh and I did this smiling gal's makeup for @GantRugger. Frankie's mom was the key artist for the show. Hint! Hint! #makeupartist #fashionweek #dogsofinstagram #Gant
I had the wonderful opportunity to work with Rose-Marie a couple of times during fashion week on her shows as her first assistant.
In case you don’t know what first assistant is, that’s who makes sure everything goes smoothly for the lead artist and helps manange quality control on makeup execution for the rest of the artists on the team. It’s a big responsibility and can be hard work!
Working with Rose-Marie is a dream because I feel like her colleague as opposed to a slave-minion, which is a lot more common for first assistant to be treated like.
Of course there’s not one picture of me doing makeup with her, but there are lots of me with Frankie the dog! As it should be.
A #Behindthescenes peek into the world of fashion! Apparently it takes 3 makeup artists and a small dog to make #model @elizahartmann look #runwayready! Haha! Pictured: @rmsbeauty leading the makeup test for @gant1949 with the help of John from @maccosmetics and of course me (as seen taking phot, so technically not doing makeup). But we would all be lost without the presence of @thefrankiekerr. #NYFW #dogsofinstagram #BTS #makeupartist #Gant
Ding! Ding! We Have a Winner!
Since I have to carry everything around with me, I need a slew of products that work to solve problems and make girls more beautiful than when they walked in.
I have to select products extremely carefully because every single one of them adds more weight to my bag.
This season I threw in a lip scrub from Java Skincare that I got in the June box from Beauty Heroes. I’m so glad I did because it totally vanquished chapped, crusty lips with extra loving care.
This natural lip scrub ? from @javaskincare is turning out to be a #fashionweek staple in my kit, just like my eyelash curler. A teensy bit goes a long way. The models have been LOVING how well it works and how sweet it tastes. Oh and a major shout out to @beautyheroes for sending me this in the June box. #makeupartist #makeuptips #greenbeauty #greenbeautyteam #cleanbeauty #sustainablebeauty #healthybeauty #lipscrub #organicskincare #naturalbeauty
I’ll just say I was shocked, as were each of the models I used it on, at how well it worked and how little was needed for it be effective.
In Search of Serenity
Wellness Lounges were never a thing when I was in the deep throws of doing makeup years ago, so God bless Serene Social (founded by a model -who I met when we were both working on Project Runway Season 8)!
I popped in to get some tea, juice and much needed Reiki from a true master/friend Be Luminosity. It was dynamite!
First day my hand felt totally normal again
At every fashion show the team of artists are given demonstrations on how the makeup look should be executed so that we’re all on the same page.
No one can really start make up until the demo is finished. This is my artistic photo of my colleagues watching and waiting. I didn’t realize what a punk crowd this all was until I saw all the tattoos and spiky jewelry in one candid shot.
Don’t Feed Anyone
People say models don’t eat, but I have found in my many years of doing this that it’s quite the opposite. They are always looking kind of starved with darting eyes asking about whether there’s food backstage.
#modelsonly People say models don't eat, but I have found in my many years of doing this that it's quite the opposite. They are always looking kind of starved with darting eyes asking about if there's more food. And often the production staff makes jokes about how they shouldn't be eating anyway. It's never felt very fair on either end. I'm always bringing my own food and sometimes I get swarmed by both the artists and models because I'm the only one who eating. Apparently the rest of us don't need to eat for 4 hours through lunch on the nuts, dried fruit, radishes and carafe of coffee. #therealtruthbackstage. #notsoglamorous #modeling #model #fashionweek #NYFW
Often the production staff makes jokes about how the models shouldn’t be eating anyway. It’s never felt very fair.
I’m always try to bring my own food because I don’t function well hungry – does anyone?!
Sometimes I get swarmed by both the artists and models because I’m the only one eating.
Apparently those of us working don’t need to eat for half a day either, unless we manage to steal the nuts, dried fruit, radishes and what’s left from the carafe of coffee.
These days it’s rare to have exceptional backstage catering, but it did happen again this season when I ended up at a show that Dig Inn (a cool, healthy spot in New York City) sponsored the food for.
I left with a giant tray of untouched leftovers. Shh! That was my big perk for the season!
It Ends on a High Note
#backstage at #NaeemKhan. Makeup design by @GatoMakeup who always knows how to make women look beautiful. Makeup execution by me on the stunning Hungarian beauty @kingaszoke who I think is going to be huge. Her lashes, skin, eye color and sweetness are incredible! Photo by me. #makeupartist #NYFW #model #runway #fashionweek @newyorkmodels #perfection
And just like that another Fashion Week comes to a close. My final show was so awesome.
I worked with Gato, a wonderful make up artist from Spain who really treats his team with care and respect.
I really appreciate how he strives to make women actually look beautiful. Some artists get so extreme in their fantastical creations that I think they lose the beauty of the girl who is beneath all of that.
Kind leadership and the delightful models, making new friends and seeing old ones make such a big difference in a hectic and crazy environment.
The precious moments of true glamor and beyond superficial connections are rare, but they happen and when they do they are awesome!
I am so grateful when I look back at how many friends/acquaintances I would never have met had they not traveled from all over the world to come be together into the fashion industry like all of these wonderful females pictured below. I consider them dear to my heart and makeup is what brought us together.
And at the end of the day, there are far worse things I could be getting paid to do in life. So keeping it all in perspective, while we aren’t sending man to the moon or curing cancer, we are creating works of arts for humans to enjoy.
So what’s your take on the world of makeup at fashion week now that you’ve read this? I’d love to hear your comments below!