Backstage beauty tricks from the pros

Jan. 25, 2013 at 10:12 AM ET

You might be able to watch fashion slows live on your laptop, but going behind the curtain to see how the hair and makeup are done? That's a bit more difficult. InStyle beauty director Amy Synnott-D'Annibale went backstage at Fashion Week shows to get you all the genius tips and behind-the-scenes secrets the pros use to make models run-way ready:

Trick: Fuller lips

Right now, it’s all about the pout. A clever backstage trick (used by Pat McGrath at Prada this year) was to draw a curved white line along the cupid’s bow to emphasize the shape of the lips to make them appear more voluptuous. If this is a little too intense for you, use a nude colored pencil for a more subtle look.

Cover Girl Lip pencil in Seduce, $7;; Cargo Reverse Lip Liner, $16; Dolce & Gabbana; The Kohl pencil in True White, $29;

Trick: Streak-free manicure

Nude nails are super popular this season, and they come in all shades ranging from beige to taupe. But these soft, milky hues can sometimes dry streaky. The manicurists at Donna Karan this season came up with a solution. For a flawless finish apply a layer of polish first, then a thin layer of matte base, before the final coat of polish.

Sephora by OPI Matte Top Coat, $9.50,; Essie/OPI nude nail polishes

Trick: Natural flush

To give cheeks a fresh look, backstage makeup artists use lipstick instead of powder blush. At the Marni show this season, they actually used a berry-colored MAC lipstick. Simply put two dots onto the apples of your cheek, and use your fingers to blend them into the foundation already on your face. It creates a very glowy look. This is also a great tip to freshen up your makeup between day and night.

MAC Pro Longwear Lipcreme in Faithfully Yours, $18;

Trick: Smooth strands

After drying and styling hair, pros have little patience for flyaways. They often keeps strands sleek and in place until showtime by pinning hair flat against the sides of the models’ heads (behind the ears) with small metal clips, using playing cards as buffers. The cards prevent the clips from leaving dents in the hair. We saw this tip in action at the Burberry show. And it’s so easy for you to try this at home to keep your blowout smooth while getting ready for a night out. Anything thicker than a tissue will work here, but we suggest grabbing a few aces from a card deck or folded dollar bills.

All purpose metal clips, $3;; Deck of playing cards; Dollar bills

Lucas Jackson / Reuters /
Bold beauty: A model has her makeup done backstage before a showing of the Marimekko Spring/Summer 2013 collection during New York Fashion Week on Sept. 10, 2012.

Tool: Do-it-all applicator

Call it the Little Black Sponge. This egg-shaped blending sponge is popular backstage because it makes applying foundation incredibly simple.

Beauty Blender Pro in Black, $20;

Tool: Artist’s palette

Pros often mix two or three shades of lipstick for runway looks, and they frequently store them in pill cases for easy access.

Muji PP connectable pill case, $3;

Tool: Wind-maker

Backstage, speed is always an issue. Some makeup artists use an old-school fan to speed-dry nails, or even set liquid liner in a matter of seconds. When you’re in rush, this will be useful for you too!

Luna Bazaar Handheld fan in navy, $2;

Go to for more great beauty and style tips.

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Brian Ach / Getty Images /
From wild nail designs to colorful hair hues, makeup artists went all out when it came to beauty at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2013.