We chatted with the two people responsible for pulling together the look for the Parsons MFA fashion show. Read about the inspiration behind their aesthetic choices and learn about their favorite beauty products!
With fashion week in full swing, this past week was one of New York’s busiest. Models running across town from show to show, dressers trying to ensure that their outfits get to the studio in one piece, stylists transporting their huge arsenal of beauty items, and aspiring young adults attempting to get a peek at the action are just some factors that go into making NY Fashion Week hectic, yet amazing.
We hung out behind the scenes of the Parsons MFA SS16 show to get an inside look on the hair and make-up essentials that went into pulling graduating students’ looks together. The event was hosted by Milk Studios located in the Meatpacking District, and MADE New York. Head stylist Linh Nguyen and head make-up artist Jenny Smith took a break from the fashion frenzy to speak to us about their role in the finished look as well as to give us a couple of hair and beauty tips.
Jenny Smith – Lead Makeup Artist
“The inspiration for Parsons look is that they went to Scotland on a sunny day and everybody looked really healthy, girls and guys alike. One of the cool things about working with Parsons is that we always get to see so many interesting and innovative clothing looks and also accessories. So with a mix of different girls and guys, the skin really has a radiant transparency to it. We kept the boys looking really fresh and faux groomed and gave the girls a little bit of a pop of apricot. Their skin has that radiant transparency, while still maintaining a natural contour achieved with color, and their lips are refreshed with a barely there wash of apricot. We’ve seen so much contouring in the past so this Spring season will really be about keeping it fresh by adding that apricot color on the hollows of their cheekbones.
TK: Tell me about your most used products that helped you achieve this look.
JS: I used a lot of brand new Nars products that are about to launch. I used a blush called ‘Bumpy Ride’ – the one I have on right now, actually – then I used a velvet shadow stick called ‘De La Ile’. I also used a couple of already existing products: a dual intensity blush duo that you can use wet or dry. We used them with our fingertips, we wet them and layered the product over a cream blush – the ‘Hot Sand’ Multiple stick – that gave an illuminated look to the skin. We used the silver side of ‘Craving’ and the flesh side of ‘Jubilation’. So we really tried to recreate the type of look that would surface after going on a walk in Scotland – a fresh glow to the skin. The lipstick we used is a brand new peach color that will be released with the Spring collection.
TK: Was this look inspired by the strobing trend at all?
JS: We’re done with strobing and finally done with contouring. It’s all about being yourself but enhanced in a subtle, natural way. It’s a lot more about individuality now, which I think goes hand-in-hand with everything Parsons (and New York) is about. Everybody shouldn’t look the same when it comes to make-up!
TK: Are there any trends that you’re excited to see surface when Fall comes around?
JS: I would definitely say transparent skin. We’ve been seeing way too much foundation for a while – it was like the 90s randomly came back, but some of the 90s trends came back in a bad way. Thick foundation was definitely one of them! We’ve been seeing this everywhere online and on TV, so I’d really like to see the focus shift towards expressing yourself and revealing your true skin. One of the other things I think we’re going to see is using a creme eyeshadow/gloss over the eye. Not something that’s as glossy as a lip gloss but maybe a product that will add a slight glisten on the eyelid. I think this will really help enhance everyone’s natural eye-color, regardless of whether it’s blue, green, brown, etc.
TK:What beauty trend do you think is never going to go out of style?
JS: Beautiful skin. Everyone has always focused on trying to make their skin look good, but what people don’t realize is that beautiful skin can only be achieved with good skincare and keeping the makeup simple. Always wash your face at night and invest in a great skincare line to enhance your skincare routine. I would definitely recommend checking out Nars’ skincare line, it’s all parabens and fragrance free. My entire team uses their toner before applying any product to the skin and it removes all dryness and flakiness that might be going on. Treat yourself to a facial once in awhile and never forget to wear sunscreen.
Lead Hair Stylist – Linh Nguyen
TK: What products are you using to achieve your desired look?
LN: We are using Redken’s Fashion Work 12 as well as the Iron Shape 11, which is actually a thermal protectant for the hair. For a little added texture we added a little bit of the Wind Blown 05, and the Rough Paste and Powder Grip 03 in the men’s hair. The Powder Grip is a really cool product because it adds a little bit of texture to the hair in smaller areas that look a little bit too flat without making it look overdone.
TK: Tell me about the inspiration behind the look.
LN: It was inspired by the 70s – like the simplicity of the hair, the simplicity of the shape… There are a lot of students that are trying to uplay their style through their hair, so I think to minimize it we just wanted to keep hair really chic and simple. A slight flick here, a slight flick there, a little bit of movement, but for the most part keeping it pretty straight. We’re definitely emphasizing simplicity on the guys because they were casted for their style, so we’re keeping them a little more lax.
TK: What are some trends that you’re excited to see in the Fall season?
LN: I’m a big fan of layers – they add a lot of texture to the hair and the dryness in the air helps bring out the static of hair. The lived-in look is really in, it’s happening. People always want to look like they didn’t spend any time doing their hair, effortlessness is key. I think that’s a trend that will stay popular for a long time. Bangs are also a big movement right now – long bangs, short bangs, I love them all. I feel like hair is going through this weird 70s/80s transition where the texture is a little bit softer and less aggressive than it was in the 80s, but still 80s inspired bold shapes. Shine is always good!
TK: If you had to pick one product to give everyone to add to their arsenal, which one would you go with?
LN: Only one?! *chuckles* I love Fashion Works 12. I think it’s the most amazing hairspray – you can use it to set a style, you can use it to hold hair, and if you don’t like the look you’ve created you can just let it dry and brush it out without a problem because it doesn’t flake! Such a great product. I’m going to break the rules and also recommend Fashion Waves 07. It’s the Redken version of the beach spray – it has just enough grit to give you texture, but it’s not gritty to the point where you feel like you have tons of salt and sand in your hair.