Backstage Beauty: Richard Chai Fall 2012

Wool is on everyone’s mind backstage at the Richard Chai Love Fall 2012 show. First, Aveda lead stylist Kevin Ryan (who’s co-manning the “hair” ship with Frank Rizzieri) says the hair should look like “you’ve just taken a wool sweater off over your head; you know how your hair looks all funky? That’s what we’re aiming for.” Then, when Essie celebrity nail artist Elle speaks to the nails—a blend of two coats of Glamour Purse (a warm beige) and one coat of Man-E-Cure (for a subtle matte finish)—she cites “the gorgeous wool and cashmere clothing” found in the collection as the inspiration for this textured nail.

Wool doesn’t play into the makeup, but rather, the androgynous beauty of Linda Evangelista or Guinevere van Seenus in a Peter Lindbergh-lensed photo does. “We want the girls to look well scrubbed—more masculine than pretty,” says MAC lead makeup artist James Kaliardos. Skin is kept clean, with concealer spot-treating under the eyes and around the nose. Kaliardos dabs on Prep + Prime Beauty Balm SPF 35 on the girls’ cheeks, noting “it leaves a nice sheen that looks hydrated, not metallic.” To sculpt a more masculine face shape, he hits the cheekbones and temples with MAC Pro Taupe Powder Blush, and then sets to work on the eyes, where he applies MAC Coffee Walnut Pro Sculpting Cream (available Fall/Winter 2012) in the crease and then blends up and down to “give these girls what guys naturally have—that deepening and dimension to the eyelid that is sort of Neanderthal,” Kaliardos laughs. He finishes the androgynous look with a nude mouth, which he creates by “stamping” the color into the lip, lending a stained effect.

But back to the hair: Ryan notes that the hairstyle is about doing “a complete 180. You do one hairstyle, and then you change your mind and do another.” In practical terms, this means he’s blow-drying or brushing the hair in one direction, and then reversing it at the last minute, creating a rather deconstructed look.

To start, Ryan saturates the roots to the mid-shafts with Aveda Volumizing Tonic, which he notes provides “a good base,” and blow-dries the hair using a fine-tooth comb. Then, he works Aveda Men Pure-Formance Grooming Clay from root to mid-length to lend “a matte, dry finish.” After emulsifying a quarter-size dollop of Aveda Brilliant Humectant Pomade in his hands, Ryan rakes it through the length using his fingers. “Once you work this in with the Clay, you get these bits of wet pieces and bits of dry. It’s like you’re using all these products that you wouldn’t generally use together on one hairdo; it’s everything wrong,” he laughs. “It’s one step away from a disaster,” Rizzieri chimes in. After Ryan does his 180-degree flip to the style, he mists Aveda Brilliant Spray-On Shine on one side of the head for an added texture element. In the end: Everything wrong looks pretty all right. —Karie L. Frost

(Runway image: courtesy of; hair image: courtesy of Aveda)

Other Backstage Beauty ArticlesErickson 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    |  Houghton   |  Tadashi Shoji 

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