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Backstage Pass to Art of Elysium

Among the perks of being a beauty editor is being invited to attend A-list events like last Saturday's ever so glamorous Black Tie Charity Gala for Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization that provides art workshops for children battling terminal illnesses. Vogue hosted a runway show for the annual event featuring designs from Yves Saint Laurent and Marc Jacobs among others.

I spent the night gabbing away with James Franco (a slight exaggeration -- OK an outright lie) and rubbed shoulders (literally) with Kristen Dunst (yeah, we go way back…) against the silver metallic backdrop of the California Science Center. The runway was surrounded by a pool of water and the whole room looked slightly enchanted, or shall we say, ethereal as was the theme of the show. The real fun was when I was able to go backstage to meet with the head honchos of the beauty world that created the models' hair and makeup looks.


The creative designs for the hairstyle looks of soft romantic, yet edgy chignons were just the right touch for the models' strange other worldly charm and I was able to talk to the team of Angus Mitchell Salon to get the down and the low.

"The theme is somewhat robotic as was conveyed to me by Vogue," said Christopher Enlow, key hairstylist for Angus Mitchell Salon. "The look is a little romantic, classic and deconstructed."

Angus Mitchell described it as being more "raw" calling it the classic "undone done look."


With a center part and a low messy chignon at the nape of the neck, the hairstyles are very soft, yet bold at the same time. The crucial key was in the last touch of the look by pulling out stray tendrils around the crown of the head, which Mitchell intended to proffer a "halo effect" on the runway.

The looks were to say ingenious and perfectly complemented the overall theme and designs. But the best part about these looks is that they can be taken right off the runway and into your home.

Enlow said, "You'll find that the look itself is very wearable. Most hairstyles for fashion shows are avant-garde, however, this look was chosen because it's softer, and doesn't detract from the fashion that's going down the runway."

"The idea is that it's not a typical chignon, which is a spiral; rather the feel of this is that it's softer -- think of ballet dancers, it's not that clean." As the hairstyle is a messy chignon, Enlow said, "you can definitely do it at home, being that you're not able to see the back of your head. It's quick and easy, and should only take ten minutes or so to do."


To get the hairstyle you would need medium- to long-length hair without bangs, but if you don't have long hair you can always use extensions.


Hairstyle How To:

Step 1: If you're not working with straight hair, use a heat protectant spray like Paul Mitchell Hot Off The Press to prevent breakage by sealing the hair cuticles before using a flat iron.

Step 2: Make a center part, then brush hair down and back. Grab all the hair at nape of the neck, covering the tops of the ears and tie with elastic into a low ponytail.

Step 3: Spray the hair of the ponytail with Paul Mitchell Worked Up Hairspray with 6 to 7 pumps in order to give it that lived-in texture and make hair more pliable and easier to work with.

Step 4: Twist the hair around the elastic in a loop, using straight bobby pins to pin the hair into the head. Come around and fold over the previous loop instead of finishing the circle as you would for a bun.

Step 5: Work your fingers into the crown of your head to create texture, then pull out tendrils of hair around the crown.

Step 6: Use a one-inch barrel curling iron and touch the ends of the tendrils to the iron's heat, suggesting a natural flow, rather than creating curls.

Step 7: Finish with Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray.

Chanel Nail PolishFor the nails, I spoke to Tom Bachik, celebrity manicurist at Chanel who said, "the whole idea was to create an ethereal galaxy, out-in-space look." Bachik used Chanel Le Vernis Nail Colour in "Steel," which is a gunmetal gray and an Essie silver glitter polish on top. Bachik says the color is "universally flattering since it's not black, it's easier to wear and with just one coat you get full coverage. The silver, then gives you that dimension and depth." Lastly, he used Mattie Quick Dry Mattifying Top Coat by Dazzle Dry before sending the girls to makeup.

art-06.jpgStila's celebrity makeup artist Geoffrey Rodriguez was just completing the finishing touches on a model whose color palette consisted of browns, coppers and gold.

"This look is very modern and minimal," he said. "A lot of sculpting in order to give a soft but alien-like quality to the skin." Highlighting and contouring the brows and cheekbones while emphasizing the heavy brow, and elongating the eyes with copper shades underneath, Rodriguez added "lots of dimensions to the face with golden brown shades."

The products used to get this makeup look were:

For the face: Stila One Step Makeup

For the eyes: Stila Prime Pot, Stila Eyeshadow Trio in Gilded, Stila Eyeshadow Trio in Gold Glow, Stila Eyeshadow Pan in Puppy, and Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eyeliner in Koi

For the cheeks: Stila All Over Shimmer Liquid Luminizer in Luminous Silver and Luminous Gold and Stila One Step Makeup PrimeColor in Bronze Babe

For the lips: Stila Prime Pot and Stila One Step Makeup PrimeColor in Pop of Pink

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i agree!! i love her messy bun too.

by aly7 3 years, 2 months ago Report as inappropriate | Remove Comment


by Sharon_Yi 3 years, 2 months ago Report as inappropriate | Remove Comment

I don't know if I would wear my eyebrows quite as bold as this but I am loving this trend (less plucking and waxing, woohoo!).

by scarrillo 3 years, 2 months ago Report as inappropriate | Remove Comment

i'm for sure stocking up on some stila products next time i go to sephora!

by piano6irl 3 years, 2 months ago Report as inappropriate | Remove Comment

LOVE the soft, undone bun! Not so sure if I'm a fan of all the metallic, though.

by JanieTB 3 years, 2 months ago Report as inappropriate | Remove Comment

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