The insanity backstage at Richard Chai -- think hoards of beauty editors and bloggers, cameramen swinging their expensive equipment and models mimicking a game of "Duck, duck, goose" as they moved between beauty stations -- was enough to snap me into the tough reality known as Fashion Week. The hair and makeup for Chai's fall 2013 collection almost mirrored the kind-of-rough chaotic mood.
Weaving my way through the backstage chaos, I first got the scoop on nails from celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann who described Chai's girl as someone "who's on her way to being glamorous but didn't quite get to the Upper East Side." She painted a "bodacious boysenberry" matte color called Harem Silks From Bombay (set to be released later this year) on short, rounded nails to tie in with the slightly undone look. "The trend I'm seeing is about strong color and texture," said Lippmann. "Nude is out!"
Makeup artist James Kaliardos based his tough, masculine look around a Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo Gel Shadow appropriately coined "Tough as Taupe." He brushed on the gray-brown eyeshadow like a smokey eye, going all the way up to the brows. Barely Branded Color Tattoo was dabbed on as a highlighter around the eyes and down the nose, while black mascara was applied only at the base of lashes to give volume and act as an eyeliner. Kaliardos brought the models' natural lip color down with a dab of Color Whisper in Bare to be Bold (a creamy beige). But the equal-opportunity beauty product that made a huge difference in both the gals and guys was BB cream. He said that the product works nicely on men as well and on women because "you can't tell you're wearing anything." Kaliardos also spoke highly of BB cream's moisturizing and acne-helping benefits.
And this good skin ideal went hand-in-hand with the regimen Dr. Jart specialists were putting into effect. They prepped the models faces with V7 Cleansing Foam to remove impurities and brighten the skin, then followed it up with the Water Fuse Water-Sure Gel. "During the winter time, you already feel like you're getting dehydrated from the harsh weather conditions, but the jelly-like consistency of this adds a luminous and moisturizing quality to the skin," said makeup artist Joy Fennell.
Wearing a custom-made hairdresser tool belt, stylist Kevin Ryan for Beauty.com brought things full circle with roughed-up ponytails. First, he blow dried the models' hair and spritz on dry shampoo really close to clump up strands a bit. "Usually you apply it six to eight inches away from the scalp, but a lot of the times the best way to do hair is to get it wrong," Ryan explained. He gathered the hair back using just his hands into a low ponytail, then secured with a thin elastic (concealing it with a piece of hair). Because he went sans brushes, Ryan was able to achieve a buckle at the crown.
Get more backstage beauty access at Richard Chai's fall 2013 show in our slideshow below. And see all of our New York Fashion Week coverage here.
Want more HuffPost Style beauty content? Check us out on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram at @HuffPostBeauty. (For everything else check out our main HuffPost Style Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram @HuffPostStyle.)
Do you have a beauty story idea or tip? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. (PR pitches sent to this address will be ignored.)