backstage beauty

How to Get Full Hair and Mega Brows

Photo: Getty Images

It feels like back-to-school season: beauty edition at New York Fashion Week. Backstage, school is in session with the best makeup artists and hairstylists in the business. Here are the easiest beauty tips and tricks we’ve learned so far. Read on to find out why you shouldn’t stress about your brow pencil color, the secret technique to super-vibrant eye shadow, and how to get perfect goth black lips.

1. Mix Black Eyeliner With Black Lipstick

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

“Can you use a Sharpie as a lipstick?” goes the often-queried Google result. The short answer is “Don’t,” and try this look instead from Christian Cowan. To get a lip as dark and black as a Sharpie marker, makeup artist Isamaya French used a blend of liquid eyeliner and M.A.C Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolor in Caviar. She advises using the liquid eyeliner when you want to define the edges of the lip, to make it as deep and dark as possible.

2. The More Brow Pencils, the Better

Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

There are so many products designed specifically for brows, but backstage at Brandon Maxwell, makeup artist Tom Pecheux strongly endorsed brow pencils (plural) because they offer the best precision. To create each model’s pretty “baby Barbies in Texas” look (his words), Pecheux used brow pencils in multiple shades. The result is a more realistic look that isn’t monotone. Consider this permission to stop ruminating over whether your eyeliner should be more “soft brown” or “medium brown,” and use both!

3. Try a Face-Lift Ponytail

Photo: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images for Disney

Tight, face-lifting ponytails are everywhere, and backstage was no exception. Most models at The Blonds wore super-slick ponytails down the runway, so hairstylist Kien Hoang had the method broken down to a science. To attempt the look on your own hair, he advises applying a liberal amount of styling product with some hold (he used Oribe Maximista). Before you even grab a hair tie, apply it all over your damp hair section by section, not just to the area you want to pull up.

4. For Eye Shadow: Press, and Tap

Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for TRESemme

If you’re still wary of the bright eye-shadow look, try it the Rodarte way. Makeup artist James Kaliardos gave the modern, artistic look softer vibes by applying bright NARS Pure Pop Single eye shadows in Baby Jane and Duoro with a traditional rounded eye-shadow brush — instead of an angled brush or liner. Rather than swiping the color across the eyes, Kaliardos gently pressed and tapped the pigment onto each eyelid, then blended the color outward to create a gradient effect with a slight wing.

5. Don’t Tease Your Hair!

Photo: Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

To achieve the big, bouncy Texas blowouts at Brandon Maxwell, hairstylist James Pecis used Oribe Maximista Spray, a round brush, Dyson Supersonic dryer, and a whole lotta elbow grease. He prepped models’ hair by spraying from roots to ends before using a round brush to dry the hair up and away from the face. Then he went back in for round two (and sometimes three), to get the desired volume: Maximista, round brush, blow dryer, repeat. For the softest results, don’t take any shortcuts. In Pecis’s words, “No teasing!”

If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission. 

How to Get Full Hair and Mega Brows