backstage beauty

Glue Is Having a Moment at New York Fashion Week

Elmer’s x Christopher John Rogers fall 2020. Photo: Getty Images, Elmer’s

Low-rise jeans are coming back and so are the Elmer’s glue sticks from your back-to-school shopping lists of yore. Several of the beauty looks concocted backstage at New York Fashion Week fall 2020 have revolved around glue in all its gloriously sticky and subsequently invisible forms.

Backstage at Christopher John Rogers, a familiar orange friend was hanging out with all the M.A.C products. Makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez and his cohorts were casually wielding Elmer’s Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks, just like my 7-year-old self. Apparently, the solids are useful not only for sticking construction paper to more construction paper, but also for sticking tiny Swarovski crystals to the arches of models’ brows.

At Puppets & Puppets, makeup artist Grace Ahn’s glue of choice was more grown-up. She used Pros-Aide to safely affix a multitude of charms to Mission Chinese founder Danny Bowien’s face. “It’s basically like a superstrong lash glue … but not to be used as lash glue,” she told the Cut of the medical-grade adhesive. It was able to support everything from a shell to a gold cat the length of the chef’s cheek.

At Dion Lee, makeup artist Erin Parsons not only used glue on models’ faces, but on their hands, too. Parsons and her team individually glued teeny-tiny steel balls in impressively straight lines to create believable-looking faux piercings. Our thoughts and prayers are with anyone who had to pee before the glue set.

Meanwhile, at Alice + Olivia, Justine Marjan, the queen of sticking things in hair, literally stuck Swarovski crystals onto models’ hair using Tweezerman tweezers and hair glue.

Marjan also glued crystal chains to models’ side parts using lash glue. Lucy Boynton wore a dressed-up part to Sunday’s Oscars that looked similar but required a much scarier glue. “As a quick tip, apply a drop of Gorilla Glue with a tiny paintbrush and give it 15 to 30 seconds to set before attaching the pearl for extra hold,” hairstylist Jenny Cho advised in a release that is forever seared into my mind. “Before walking out the door, spray the look one last time with hair spray,” it ended, but I sincerely doubt you’ll have any issues with the look staying put.

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Fashion Week’s Most Popular Beauty Product Is … Glue