STYLE
02/11/2013 12:52 pm ET Updated Feb 13, 2013

How Beauty Pros De-Stress During Fashion Week (PHOTOS)

Unlike our fashion editor Christina, I was stressing about Fashion Week two months before the fall 2013 shows kicked off. When I should have been soaking up sun during Christmas in South Carolina, I was freaking out about how I would make it through another season of running in heels backstage at Lincoln Center, making sure I didn't forget to eat lunch and avoiding the Fashion Week flu (yeah, not so much luck here).

As I pulled together a plan to hold it together (consisting of "please don't breakdown on the 1 Train"-type affirmations) while reporting on fall hair, makeup and nail trends, it donned on me that the beauty pros behind these looks know all about stress. Surrounded by up to 50 models, protruding camera lenses and a thick cloud of hairspray, it amazes me how they manage to save face. So, I asked five Fashion Week beauty veterans to tell me just how they do it.

Scroll down to find out how one hairstylist handled Naomi Campbell's demands, as well as what a manicurist had to do when the lights went out.

bobbi brown fashion week 2013

Bobbi Brown, makeup artist and cosmetics creator
How many seasons have you done Fashion Week?
Forever … since the early '80s. My first fashion show was as an assistant for Willi Smith. (And no, he wasn’t the Fresh Prince.) I have worked with a range of amazing designers including Halston, Bill Blass, Michael Kors, Roland Mouret, Tory Burch and Rachel Roy, and I still find it to be one of the most exciting experiences I have as a makeup artist.

Do you have any beauty rituals pre- or post-Fashion Week to relieve stress?
I always get a massage post-Fashion Week. And during Fashion Week, I make sure to get a good blowout and wear long-wear makeup so I am photo-ready backstage.

How do you maintain a sense of calm when it's super hectic backstage?
I focus on what’s important and the job at hand, which is getting the makeup right and exactly how the designer envisions it. After working backstage for so many years, it is second nature to me at this point. I really don’t even notice how hectic it is. I love the energy and find it super motivating.

What's the most stressful situation you've encountered as a makeup artist during Fashion Week, and how did you overcome it?
A lot of stressful things happen backstage at fashion shows. Models always come in super late from other shows and might be covered in body makeup and heavy face makeup, and you only have 15 minutes to pull them together, if that. One time, I created a beautiful look on the models for a major fashion show and thought my job was done, only to turn around and see that the hairdresser had drawn sideburns on the girls down their cheeks. The designer didn’t like it, so I had to take it off minutes before the show. Another time at Rachel Roy, my artists left my lip palette out of my kit, and Rachel wanted a very dark lip color on the girls. I took a dark eye shadow and mixed it with lip balm to create the shade she wanted and just made it work. And that is how I would say you overcome things -- by taking a deep breath, thinking on your feet, and just figuring it out.

ted gibson fashion week 2013

Ted Gibson, celebrity stylist and salon owner
How many seasons have you done Fashion Week?
Way too many to count! I’ve been all over the world for Fashion Week -- London, Paris, Milan and. of course, my hometown New York City!

Do you have any grooming rituals pre- or post-Fashion Week to relieve stress?
Yes! I see my dermatologist Dr. Colbert to make sure my skin looks photo-ready and kick up my cardio to four times a week. I also make sure to get acupuncture from Dr. Noah Rubenstein after Fashion Week to de-stress.

How do you maintain a sense of calm when it's super hectic backstage?
Green juice!

What's the most stressful situation you've encountered as a hairstylist during Fashion Week, and how did you overcome it?
Every fashion week there are models who are coming from another show and arrive 10 minutes before show time, with the previous show’s hair! Sometimes it can be overwhelming to have to totally take down and re-style hair into the look of the current show with only minutes to spare, but I always remain calm. It’s the name of the game!

charlotte willer fashion week fall 2013

Charlotte Willer, editorial and runway makeup artist
How many seasons have you done Fashion Week?
10 to 11 seasons.

Do you have any beauty rituals pre- or post-Fashion Week to relieve stress?
I take Wellness Formula, Quantum Immune drops and sleep.

How do you maintain a sense of calm when it's super hectic backstage?
I am very calm and focused because I have my own mission which is makeup.

What's the most stressful situation you've encountered during Fashion Week, and how did you overcome it?
When I need to have 40 girls ready and 25 are still not touched, I will do a pep talk to my team and do a maximum of girls myself. In the end, it always work out and they look great on the runway!

ric pipino fashion week 2013

Ric Pipino, celebrity hairstylist and salon owner
How many seasons have you done Fashion Week?
I have been working Fashion Week on and off for the past 25 years.

Do you have any grooming rituals pre- or post-Fashion Week to relieve stress?
There is no way to relieve this stress. The stress is before, during and doesn't end until its over! I just like to take each day as it comes.

How do you maintain a sense of calm when it's super hectic backstage?
I like to surround myself with talented assistants that can manage some of the backstage madness.

What's the most stressful situation you've encountered as a stylist during Fashion Week, and how did you overcome it?
I have to say my most stressful time was when Naomi Campbell arrived as the show was starting and required full hair and makeup! Thankfully, I had my talented crew with me as we all worked on her hair together to get her ready as quickly as possible.

michelle saunders fashion week 2013

Michelle Saunders, celebrity and editorial manicurist
How many seasons have you done Fashion Week?
This is my third season at New York Fashion Week. I now have two spring/summers and one fall/winter under my belt.

Do you have any beauty rituals pre- or post-Fashion Week to relieve stress?
An important ritual I have before Fashion Week is to get a good manicure and pedicure. My hands will be photographed as I am polishing the models so they have to look good, too! And a pedicure pre-Fashion Week helps to prepare them for all the running around. Because its gets unapologetically hectic backstage. A nice massage at the end of Fashion Week is a must to help relieve any aches and pains caused from being stepped on or bumped into.

How do you maintain a sense of calm when it's super hectic backstage?
When things are wild and stressful backstage, I tend to go into hyper-alert mode but with an added sense of calm. I am responsible for a team so I think its best to lead by example (if I'm calm, they’re calm).

What's the most stressful situation you've encountered during Fashion Week, and how did you overcome it?
Last season, during the 3.1 Phillip Lim show, in the middle of getting the models ready, the power went out and we couldn't see the hands to finish polishing! Now I really got to experience the cliché "I've been doing this so long, I can do it in the dark!" But luckily, we only had to wait a few minutes and the power went back on.

Get more backstage beauty access at New York Fashion Week here.

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