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Carmen Marc Valvo Fall 2014 Collection

With inspiration from the influences of the linked countries around Constantinople – North Africa, Southern Europe, the Middle East and Central Asia, the lavish Ottoman Empire and the strength and power of warrior women, Carmen Marc Valvo presented his Fall 2014 Collection at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Mixing layers of lace, steel breastplates, mosaics, stunning metallic brocades, and chainmail inserts, I could help envision this is exactly what a modern day Xena: Warrior Princess or any fearless, modern Amazon Warrior woman would wear.

The armor-like collection featured dark, intense hues such as oxblood, black, burnished gold, ink, gunmetal, etc. in silhouettes that ranged from simple (such as the tunics and sheaths) to styles that embodied the warrior woman (see the last look with embellished shoulders and waist)

Speaking of warrior women, it must also be noted that after over a decade, this collection is the last time Taylor Foster, Carmen Marc Valvo’s Muse will be walking in his runway show. Though she remains his muse, she will most likely show her support in the audience or backstage.

Per-fekt Beauty, CATWALK by TIGI, & China Glaze Backstage at Alon Livne Fall 2014

One of the most exciting and rewarding backstage experiences ever was backstage at Alon Livne’s Fall/Winter 2014 presentation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. Sponsored by three amazing beauty brands, Per-fekt Beauty, CATWALK by TIGI, and China Glaze, I was among the mix to get the details of the show’s overall beauty look.

The Face

Lead Makeup artist for Per-fekt Beauty, Suzana Hailli used the Mario Badescu line of products to clean and prep the model’s skin before makeup application (she’s a huge believer in the brand). She then used Per-fekt Beauty products to create a clean complexion. The products used were their Skin Perfection Gel with a beauty blender for natural looking skin, the Bronzed Cheek Perfection Gel as a slight contour on the face, and the Per-fekt CC Creme on the lips to create a nude lip for each model. Per-fekt Beauty is available at Sephora.

The Hair

The hair was slicked back in tight buns at the nape of the neck making this style work easily with the inclusion of 1920s flapper-style head pieces that were a part of the Livne’s show. CATWALK by TIGI Global Creative Director, Nick Irwin, sprayed small sections of hair with TIGI’s Your Highness Weightless Shine Spray before flat ironing each section bone straight. He then used TIGi Session Series Wet Look Gel to help smooth the hair down into the bun and then smoothed any flyaways with a small comb and set the hair with the Sessions Series Finishing Spray.

The Nails

Nails were led by Pattie Yankee for China Glaze, and they were just as fierce as the beautiful looks of the collection. Depending on the model the nails varied but the shades were: Queen B, Goldie But Goodie, Gossip over Gimlets- Coated with Swarovski crystals, and What Are You A-Freight Of? (A new color from the Fall 2014 collection). China Glaze is available at Sally Beauty supply for $6.79.

Overall each part of the look was amazing and really added fierceness to the presentation.

***Thanks to our Backstage Beauty Contributor, Laura of Blush and Beakers for covering Backstage at the Alon Livne Fall 2014 Collection for My Life on and off the Guest List. Make sure to check out her blog.

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa’s Clean & Healthy Glow Backstage at Brandon Sun Fall 2014

The Look:

Backstage makeup at Brandon Sun’s Fall/Winter 2014 at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was very subtle and clean, allowing the rich leather and furs of the collection to take the forefront. Lead makeup artist Cesar Olivas for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas used a mixture of Red Door Spa’s Professional Hyaluronic and Clarifying Vitamin D serums to create a base of plump and hydrated skin necessary for makeup application.

Highlighter and cream blushes were added to the cheeks for a healthy glow while the eyes and lips were toned down with natural matte colors.

The Hair:

Master stylist Zahir Ziani for Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas utilized dry shampoo on the roots of the hair to take away any shine but used a silky serum on the ends of the hair for a sleek look.

The Nails:

Iwona Opiola used shade of deep brown and red for the nails.

***Thanks to our Backstage Beauty Contributor, Laura of Blush and Beakers for covering Backstage at the Brandon Sun Fall 2014 Collection for My Life on and off the Guest List. Make sure to check out her blog.

– Fashion photo source: FashionGPS
– Beauty: Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa

Desigual Fall 2014 Collection

As Valentine’s Day is mere days away, it’s truly fitting to write about a Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week show that celebrated love. For their Fall 2014 Collection, Barcelona fashion label, Desigual celebrates falling in love with their city again with a collection full of vibrant colors, patterns and silhouettes that echoes the enthusiasm and hopefulness of Barcelona. That was very evident on the runway, not only by the brighter tone of the looks but in the models dancing down the runway as well. And speaking on models, we saw some very familiar faces on the runway. Victoria’s Secret models, Candice Swanepoel and Erin Heatherton rocked the Desigual runway as well as model royalty in the form of the stunning Sudanese-American model, Ataui Deng (niece and doppleganger of supermodel, Alek Wek who really has the wonderful presence of her aunt).

For this dazzling collection, the brand stepped away from their signature patchwork patterns and opted for more polished prints such as bold geometric shapes reminiscent of kaleidoscopes (much like the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona), face illustrations representing the beautiful residents of Barcelona (as a beauty lover, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the makeup face charts, something we see a lot of backstage during New York Fashion Week), extravagant Jacquards and Appliques, Lamé, Silk, Wool, Velvet, and Tulle in striking colors such as gold, various shades of blue, black and white, grey, red, hunter green, orange, burgundy, and browns.

See more looks from the show in our Desigual Fall 2014 Collection slideshow below:

Venexiana Spring 2014 Collection

Rocker-chic designer, Kati Stern, always brings the glamour to her Venexiana Collection, which surprises most because she is so edgy and cool that you expect her to send lots of edgy leather and moto-esque designs down the runway but she shows that she is a glamour girl at heart. For her Spring 2014 Collection, held again at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at the tents, she didn’t disappoint with the stunningly gorgeous and feminine looks. Every look was filled with grace and sophisticated style with a layer of sensuality and romance (I always love her variations in necklines).

Showing 73 Spring 2014 looks (less than last season), Kati Stern presented gown options for women of all personalities – from the more demure to the femme fatale. The Venexiana Spring 2014 Collection featured lots of old Hollywood glam, modern sophistication, sensual body grazing silhouettes, and lots of vibrant color. Her collections always shine so it was no surprise to again see lots of metallics in wondrous colors such as powder blue, iris, seafoam, etc; shimmering sequins, stunning lace overlays, attention-getting florals and ever-flowing silk also stood out in the vast collection.

I love the Venexiana Spring 2014 Collection and I’m sure you will too. Check out the models walk the finale in the video below:

What do you ladies think of this collection? Any favorite looks?

Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa Backstage at Brandon Sun Spring 2014 Show

It’s always a pleasure to join the Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa team backstage at New York Fashion Week. Collectively, the team always delivers amazing beauty looks that can be considered wearable for the everyday woman. For this season, Brandon Sun needed a beauty look that was a mixture of an sophisticated uptown look with the casual deluxe grunge look of downtown.

The Hair: Zahir Ziani, National Creative Director and Master Hair Stylist for Red Door Spa
For Brandon Sun, the hair was swept back into a tousled bun or teased coiff that was not too neat to offset the very put-together pieces in the collection.

The Face: Cesar Olivas, Makeup Artist for Red Door Spa
A natural look, with an emphasis on a nice brow matte face and subtle eyes, mascara free eyes.

The Nails: Adeline Sarino, National Training Director of Nails for Red Door Spa
A drastic matte ombre look using shades of grey to mimic the” look and movement” of the luxe fur in the Brandon Sun collection.

***Thanks to Beauty Contributor, Laura A. Floyd of Blush and Beakers for covering Backstage at Brandon Sun’s Spring 2014 Show for My Life on and off the Guest List. Make sure to check out her blog.

Son Jung Wan Spring 2014 Collection

If there is a trip to Morocco for you in spring or summer of 2014, then look no further than Son Jung Wan’s 2014 Spring collection for your wardrobe. The designer, who once again showed at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, showcased a collection filled with soft whites hues, the soft, muted colors of the Sahara desert, bold yellows and rich metallics.

With looks that ranged from classic drapery, feminine simplicity to edgier silhouettes which included asymmetric cutouts, hand-embroidery, and a cool geometric tile print, Son Jung Wan’s collection is perfect for a getaway to any exotic locale.

My favorite looks included the off-white, high-collared jumpsuit with side cutouts, lemon pleated and flared dress, multicolored sleeveless jumpsuit and the Moroccan-inspired pattern one sleeve dress. I’ve always been a fan of Son Jung Wan and this collection didn’t disappoint. Want to see more? Check out the models walk the show’s finale in the video below:

René Furterer Backstage at Zang Toi Spring 2014 Collection

At Zang Toi’s Spring 2014 Collection show at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, models walked down the runway with their typical shoulder length and long hair replaced by “The Ballet Babe Chignon” by Eiji Yamane and Rene Furterer. With a stirring opening performance by his muse, American Ballet Theater sensation Cory Stearns, visionary designer Zang Toi sent his models down the runway in his enchanting dance-inspired collection, Ballet Babe. The close collaboration between Zang Toi and hairstylist extraordinaire Eiji Yamane of Eiji Salon resulted in the modern take on the classic and sophisticated ballerina chignon.

The designer noted “Usually ballet hair is very strict and pulled back. I wanted something more unexpected, asymmetrical romantic waves on the side and a low chignon that was a bit over-sized for more drama so that it doesn’t get lost on the runway. With glowy skin and a little blush on the cheek, I wanted a fresh interpretation of ballet hair that’s beautiful and elegant.”

Using René Furterer products, Eiji relied on the versatility of Zang’s collection to give his chignons a romantic yet utterly modern elegance. Starting with a clean center part, he mists hair with water before blowing it out. For body and hold, he used René Furterer VEGETAL SCULPTING GEL while blow-drying hair with a Mason Pearson brush to give it a smooth finish.

Leaving hair on the sides free, he gathered the rest of the hair behind the ears and made a low ponytail, spraying hair with René Furterer VEGETAL FINISHING SPRAY. Securing the ponytail with hair tie, Eiji took a section of the ponytail, wrapped it from left to right around the base of the ponytail to hide the hair tie, tucking in a few hair pins for extra hold.

For those sultry finger waves, he took sections of the loose hair from each side of the middle part, sprayed them section with René Furterer Lissea Thermal Protecting Smoothing Spray to protect against heat. Using a medium-barrel curling iron, he rolled each section toward the head, combed through the curl and then crimped it with the curling iron at half-inch intervals to give it more bend. After curling, combing and crimping the sections on each side, the hair was gathered and brought behind the ear, taking care to cover the ears and shaping the section in a classic finger wave pattern securing them with several clips. This section was finished by misting the sides with René Furterer Vegetal Finishing Spray to set the waves.

To create the chignon, Eiji sprayed the ponytail with René Furterer Vegetal Finishing Spray, brushed through the length of the hair with a Mason Pearson brush, made a big loop and rolled it toward the base of the ponytail so that the finished chignon sits on the nape of the neck.  He advised that is hair needs a smoother finish, just go over it with a flat iron. A final spray of René Furterer Vegetal Finishing Spray gives the chignon more staying power without leaving it stiff or sticky, Lastly, the waves are unclipped and models are ready for the runway.