Since receiving my very first invite five years ago to go backstage at New York Fashion Week, I've learned that not all aspects of the seven-day runway extravaganza is pretty. Whether it's coming up with a back-up when several tubes of lipstick have gone MIA from the lead makeup artist's kit or polishing up to 15 models' nails when the lights suddenly go out, there is a bit of grit behind all the glamour.
While we certainly appreciate all of the sweat (and sometimes tears) that go into creating runway beauty trends, some things are better left out of sight and out of mind. Read on to find out the seven things that absolutely grossed us out backstage at Fashion Week:
- Hairstylists taming flyaways ... with their spit. Yeah, we know our moms used to polish us up this old-school way before taking pictures or when visiting our cousins, however, she gave birth to us. One stroke of a brush or comb and the problem could easily be solved sans saliva.
- Blowdrying near the buffet. It can get quite crowded in those Fashion Week tents, making the beauty station setup nothing short of miraculous. But let's avoid having a model choke on hair strands that landed on the tray of croissants.
- A cart of electronic cigarettes. One model literally took the words out of our mouths when we spotted the platter of automatic ciggies: "They're passing out cigarettes backstage? How gross!"
- Chewed-up fingernails. Considering how much nail art has exploded in the past two years and that designers are putting extra thought into dressing up digits, you'd think agencies would pass on the memo that there should be absolutely no nail-biting. It ain't easy quitting, so here are a few tips to kick the habit.
- Bleeding toes. Besides the fact that this is just flat out nasty, it ruins well-made high heels. What a way to NOT get booked again.
- Sneezing, then shaking hands. The Fashion Week flu doesn't just sound catchy, it's quite the viral infection. And with so much skin-to-skin contact going down backstage, I motion to make air kisses and hugs the standard forms of greeting.
- "Hazardous" makeup stations.The collage of eyeshadow, blush and lipstick colors are what Twitter and Instagram likes are made for. Yet, with all the germs just floating around backstage, there should be at least one assistant on clean-up duty.
Click through all the beautiful snapshots taken by our photographer Raydene Salinas outside the tents in the slideshow blow. And see all of our New York Fashion Week coverage here.
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