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Long, Beachy Strands, California Girl Glow And Nude Nails At DKNY Spring 2012: Backstage Beauty

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Hair and makeup at DKNY Spring 2012 show. Photo: Peter Michael Dills/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

THE INSPIRATION: Summer in the Hamptons

HAIR: “I was inspired by the rich colors and prints of the [DKNY Spring 2012] collection, which had a kind of French Riviera feel about it, and I wanted to create a contrast against the high glamour of this look," said Eugene Souleiman, Wella Professionals Global Creative Director. "I wanted the girls to be cool, young and fresh, and their hair to look like it has been in the sun all summer long -- so it had variation in color and an arid texture."

Souleiman and his team added hair extensions to models' hair to create volume and body before spritzing with Wella Professionals Ocean Spritz and Beach Texture Spray. Then he twisted strands into a low bun and pinned into place using the hair as a roller by winding it back on itself. The stylist applied heat from a hair dryer with a diffuser and then changed the setting to cool to set the hair. Once the hair was cool, Souleiman removed the pins from the hair to release the bun, and ran his fingers through locks to break it up a little.

MAKEUP: Maybelline New York Global Makeup Artist Charlotte Willer was inspired by a California girl who has come to New York. "It's about the simplicity of beauty -- fresh, sun-kissed and glowing," said Willer.

Willer prepped the models' skin with a light layer of Maybelle Fit Me Foundation. She then used a mixture of bronzer and blush to get that "California girl glow." She started by applying Fit Me Bronzer in Light Bronze to the temples, top of cheeks and eyelids. Next she applied Fit Me Bush in Deep Rose to the middle of the cheeks, where a natural flush would appear.

On the eyes, she used the lightest shade from the Eye Studio Color Explosion Luminizing Eyeshadow in Caffeine Rush palette -- sweeping it across the inner corners of the eyes. And she applied the light beige shade all over the lids and up to the brow bone. For instant drama, she layered lashes with Volum' Express One-by-One Mascara. "We need to create definition with a strong lash so the eyes won't be last amont the beautiful hats in this collection," said WIller. She used Define-A-Brow Eyebrow Pencil to fill in gaps.

To round out the makeup, Willer dabbed on Color Sensational High Shine Lipcolor in Glisten Up Pink and layered on Baby Lips Lip Balm in Quenched.

NAILS: With the parade of classic American colors red, white and blue mixed with warm-weather shades of pink and poppy floating down the DKNY Spring 2012 runway, manicurists rounded out the look with nude nails.

"Brooch the Subject was our go-to shade for fingers and toes and I really love this look -- it is classic Essie. Nude, without being too sheer; sophisticated with an edge and totally universal," said Essie Weingarten, founder and creative director of Essie cosmetics.

Elle, Essie manicurist adds, "It's bold enough to stand up to the strong colors and designs in the collection, yet its underlying pink tones prevent it from looking yellow on certain skin types."

To go neutral on your digits, start with Essie All in One Base. Then paint on two coats of Essie Brooch the Subject, allowing nails to dry before sealing with Good to Go Top Coat.

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