Backstage Beauty: Tadashi Shoji Fall 2012

For fall, designer Tadashi Shoji’s mood has turned more serious—at least, that is the sentiment that came though in the clothes, a collection rife with gown after gown of pleated and scalloped lace in hues like evergreen, royal blue and black. But, backstage, the mood is light—and the beauty is less serious; as MAC lead makeup artist Luc Bouchard points out, the aim is to stay fresh, even going so far as to cite a little girl as the makeup muse. Skin is kept nearly naked, with MAC Prep + Prime Skin Smoother (not available just yet!) applied only where needed to lend skin a natural glow, while groomed brows and curled lashes spiked with mascara allow peepers some definition.

Then there’s the lip, the focal point of the makeup design. Bourchard explains that he is applying MAC Pro Lipmix in Crimson by dabbing it on so that the application isn’t precise, but rather blurred, diffused and a little off. “The idea is that you have this beautiful little girl who wants to put on some of Tadashi’s fantastic gowns, so she throws on some lip color and a little mascara and she’s out the door,” he smiles.

The hair and nails don’t exactly skew girly, but as lead hairstylist Rodney Cutler divulges, it’s more about “being simple, and blending an editorial feel—which keeps it young—with the prettiness that Tadashi loves.” China Glaze lead nail tech Joy A. Johnson Nails glazes digits gorgeously with China Glaze Heart of Africa, a rich burnished red (available end of summer).

Hair takes on the guise of a “down ’do,” as Cutler dubs it, which he preps hair for blow-drying with Redken Rootful 06 Root Lifting Spray (“with updos, it’s all about developing the texture during prep”), then works in Redken Nature’s Rescue Sea Spray for some added grip. He then pulls one side straight back, and rakes the other side back loosely, and joins the two in a low ponytail, which he rolls up onto itself to create a “strong, clean silhouette that’s not quite a bun, yet not quite a chignon” he says.

To dial down shine, Cutler dispenses Redken Powder Grip 03 Mattifying Hair Powder to the “heavier side” of the style, noting, “Powder Grip is fantastic for creating this type of dry, airy texture.” A few passes of Redken Fashion Work 12 finishes the style. —Karie L. Frost

(Runway image: Courtesy of

Other Backstage Beauty Articles: Erickson Beamon   | Alice + Olivia  |  Marc Jacobs   |  Lauren Moffatt  |   Rag + Bone  |   Jill Stuart  |  Peter Som  |  Katie Gallagher  |  Rachel Roy  |  Christian Siriano  |   Derek Lam and Diane Von Furstenberg   |  Richard Chai   |  Houghton  

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