One boy’s journey into the world of beauty and glamour: backstage at Greta Constantine spring/summer 2012

One boy’s journey into the world of beauty and glamour: backstage at Greta Constantine spring/summer 2012

A model gets her closeup backstage at Greta Constantine (Image: Jenna Marie Wakani)

While the clothes always take center stage (or runway, as it were) at fashion shows, the beauty component is an equally important aspect, helping tie the looks together into the designer’s cohesive vision. We went backstage at Greta Constantine—not only to scope out the half-naked male models—to give you the skinny on how the makeup artists and hair team get the models (normally a haggard bunch) looking catwalk ready. Hair was styled by Hair on the Avenue under the supervision of Colin Ford, director of education at L’Oreal Professionnel. Ford says “the clothes are both structured and unstructured and kind of androgynous,” so he wanted a similar look to the hair. It reminded us of a woman who vacations in St Barts: very sleek on top with a tousled look at the ends. The team achieved this by using L’Oreal’s Mythic Oil, a nutritive oil, on the ends and Lumicontrole, a cream wax, at the roots for shine. Though it took the stylists fifteen minutes to achieve the look, they told us anyone could do it at home in only five (but, of course they’d say that).

For makeup, the Greta guys used Elle style director Kate Lanphear as inspiration—Lanphear has a famously pared down style, wearing little to no makeup, so MAC senior artist Melissa Gibson (call her Mel Gibson at your peril) used only foundation, some eye cream, and lip gloss for effect. Gibson told us they “need to make the skin look really expensive looking” (we guess Botox was out of the question), so she used a beigy pink tone to look like crushed pearls on the face (ladies, take note: if you want expensive looking skin, think “crushed pearls”). The bottom of the eye was lined in a cream colour base, then brushed down with a dry brush to fan out the colour—she said, “it’s a real person product because you can just smush it on” (surely the technical term). For the lips, it was a three step process, disguising the lip line with foundation, then adding a touch of lip balm, then using more of the cream colour base on top. The pearlescent “velvet, satiny” skin was a trend seen on the Paris runways Gibson worked on, like Chloe and Roland Mouret. And, as is often the case at Toronto fashion shows, the dudes were simply groomed to make them look like they hadn’t been out drinking the night before (they also drank after the show, naturally).

What we learned backstage is that beauty is more complicated than just a plain old makeup gun, and maybe now we can finally look halfway presentable when we leave the house.

Check out how it all came together on the runway in our Greta Constantine spring/summer 2012 gallery »