Backstage Beauty Tips

Learn the 26 tricks we picked up from top hair, makeup and nail pros

We asked hair, makeup and nail artists backstage at Fashion Week for their best kept secrets. Read on to find tips that will help add a little runway glamour to your signature style.

1: Hair To make your blow-dry last a few days, don't finish by spritzing hair with hairspray. It will give your hair a sticky texture that won't look as clean and shiny. Instead, apply a lightweight mousse, like Redken Touch Control 05 Volumizing Texture Whip ( $14 ) in damp hair before styling for hold. -- Yannick d'Is, hairstylist 2: Hair Put a youthful, modern twist on the classic chignon by braiding hair and making the chignon oval, not round like a doughnut. -- Edward Tricomi, hairstylist for Warren Tricomi Salons 3: Hair Those who want to avoid the bold move of cutting hair short can create a faux bob by center-parting hair and sectioning into four pieces: two sides, top and bottom. Cornrow the bottom 40 percent of hair in an S-shape fashion until you reach the nape of the neck. Secure the cornrow with a small rubber band, then tuck the rest of hair into the bottom row, securing with bobby pins. Mist hairspray over style for hold. -- Ashley Javier, hairstylist for Logics Image: Logics 4: Hair For natural-looking straight hair, skip the flat iron and just use a blow-dryer and large round brush. This keeps hair supple. Help make the look last by spritzing on a finishing spray. -- Rolando Beauchamp, hairstylist for Bumble and bumble 5: Hair When straightening hair, go section by section and be sure to glide the flat iron all the way to the ends of your hair for a smoother and sleeker finish; otherwise hair can look dead. -- Jimmy Phel, hairstylist 6: Hair For a natural, sexy look when you're pressed for time, twist damp hair into a bun, then do your makeup and finish getting ready. Blow-dry the bun for a few minutes, then release it and finger comb, setting with a light-hold hairspray. -- Ted Gibson, hairstylist and owner of the Ted Gibson Salon 7: Makeup For natural, youthful looking skin, apply foundation to the center of the face and blend outward. Always use powder sparingly, and to conceal or brighten dark circles, select a concealer with a pink undertone then gently pat it on. -- Jane McKay, makeup artist for MAC Image: Luca Cannonieri 8: Makeup To get gorgeous, glowing natural skin without looking dewy all over, apply shimmer only on cheekbones and at the inner corners of your eyes. -- Pat McGrath, makeup artist 9: Makeup Keep dark lip colors from looking dated by skipping lip liner. But since the stark contrast of color will show imperfections, apply lip color with a brush and use the brush to define the edges of your lips. If the color is too intense, blot until it looks more stain-like. -- Fatima, makeup artist for MAC Image: Redken 10: Makeup For a vintage-inspired red lip, apply concealer around the lip line and stain lips with two shades of rich red. Use a darker red on the center of the lip and a medium red on the outside. -- Pat McGrath, makeup artist 11: Makeup When wearing a pigment-heavy smoky eye, keep the rest of your face natural, matte and clean and wear a nude lip color (like MAC Lipstick , $14 in Myth). It will keep all focus on your eyes. -- Gucci Westman, makeup artist 12: Makeup In general, creamy makeup needs touchups because it settles into the creases of skin. Matte makeup tends to stay longer. -- Jane McKay, makeup artist for MAC 13: Makeup Turn a bright cream blush (like Stila Convertible Color , $24 , in Fuschia) into a pale, pastel lip shade by blending a nude lip or eyeliner pencil (like Stila Kajal Eye Liner , $16.50 , in Topaz) over it. -- Tina Turnbow, makeup artist 14: Makeup To get fairy tale-inspired flushed cheeks, apply a cream blush stick to apples and blend, adding a tiny bit over your nose. The blush stick can double as a matching lip color (bonus!). -- Charlotte Tilbury, makeup artist for Avon 15: Makeup For a softer lash look, apply brown mascara at the base of your lashes and black mascara just at the tips. It will give eyes a dreamy look and emphasize the ends of your lashes. -- Sarah Lucero, makeup artist for Stila 16: Makeup You can easily create a diffused smoky eye by lining eyes with black pencil liner, smudging it with a brush, then dusting a brown shadow over top to warm it up. -- Kabuki, makeup artist for MAC 17: Makeup Banish dry skin and plump skin cells with a moisturizing mask (like Kose Cosmeprof Clear Turn Whitening Coenzyme Q10 Mask, $17.99 ). The result is glowing, youthful-looking skin that allows you to get away with wearing less makeup. -- Hung Vanngo, makeup artist for MAC 18: Makeup For high-shine eyes, apply clear lip gloss on lids, but know that the glossier the product is, the less time it will last. -- Jane McKay, makeup artist for MAC 19: Makeup Neutralize your natural lip color by blending foundation over the edges of your lips before applying lipstick. It will make the finished lip color look true to the shade you see in the tube. -- Nadine Luke, makeup artist for MAC Image: Redken 20: Makeup For a softer, less dramatic finish, swap basic black liner for gray. -- Polly Osmond, makeup artist 21: Makeup When applying a glittery product on your eyes, hold a cotton pad under your bottom lid to catch any stray specks of product for a cleaner finish. -- Romy Soleimani, makeup artist Image: AFP/Getty Images 22: Makeup If you have tiny eyes, line your top lids with a creamy concealer (using a liner brush) to help bring them out and make them appear bigger. -- Sarah Lucero, makeup artist for Stila 23: Makeup To soften any bright colored eyeshadow, layer a neutral cream shadow like gray or brown underneath it. It will help mellow the intensity of the vibrant shade. -- Tina Turnbow, makeup artist for Nars 24: Nails If you have less than two minutes to care for your nails, simply buff nails with a buffing block to bring out shine; then dab on cuticle oil for a clean, healthy finish. -- Roxanne Valinoti, nail artist for CND 25: Nails Instead of wearing short, dark nails, grow out your nails into a slightly longer, tailored shape and paint them with a high-shine, slightly metallic gray, burgundy or nude -- some of the newly most sought-after colors. -- Roxanne Valinoti, nail artist for CND 26: Nails Never get your cuticles cut during a manicure. Instead, use a cuticle oil and cuticle removing cream to keep them looking neat. And keep hands and nails well moisturized; dry hands absorb dirt more easily. -- Angi Wingle, nail artist for CND Celebrity Up-Do Pics Insider Tips from Top Beauty Pros Transform Day Makeup to Night -- Fast Subject Subject Subject Message Message Message /content/package/c_backstage_tips/

Products Mentioned in This Story

Stila Kajal Eye Liner

Average Member Rating: 5.7

M.A.C. Lipstick

Average Member Rating: 9.2

Stila Convertible Color

Average Member Rating: 8.5

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older comments

i wanna try the diffused smokey eye look! but the lip gloss on the eyelids sounds really messy...

by LeSucre Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 12:36AM Report as inappropriate

It makes sense to start with foundation in the center and spread out from there.

by beautybody Thursday, March 29, 2012 at 07:39PM Report as inappropriate

Mmm... I agree to some, disagree completely on others. You should apply foundation where you need most coverage, not just onto the center of your face, maybe that's not where you're most problematic. This was too generic.

by hananoire Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 01:52PM Report as inappropriate

Some really awesome tips I will be trying soon, but gloss on the lids? I also love the Mac Lipstick in Creme de Nude!

by powerwoman033 Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 10:43PM Report as inappropriate

Going to try some of these today, can't wait!

by queeniemeanie Saturday, February 11, 2012 at 06:29AM Report as inappropriate

good tips

by Nicole2814 Sunday, January 8, 2012 at 10:52AM Report as inappropriate

These are wonderful tips! One of TB's best articles. Thanks!

by Jewelrydesigner Saturday, January 7, 2012 at 07:20PM Report as inappropriate

will be sure to try some of these though

by Bon_Bon Monday, August 15, 2011 at 12:27AM Report as inappropriate

I need a cuticle remover but I'm afraid to try it, I don't want to cut myself or tear my skin

by Bon_Bon Sunday, August 14, 2011 at 11:49PM Report as inappropriate

i've always wanted to try cuticle remover, perhaps i will now! *off to go search good cuticle removers...*

by mlenaei Wednesday, July 13, 2011 at 12:28PM Report as inappropriate

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