My favorite part of NYFW is of course the hair and makeup. Some of the top brands in the beauty industry work backstage to help the designers complete a vision. When it comes to runway style, I prefer the beauty just like I like the fashion - wearable. Runway trend reports often talk about how to translate the looks to real life, but I like to see runway beauty that needs no translating. Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate product links. As an Amazon Asociate, I may earn from qualifying purchases.
At the 2020 shows this February, there were numerous designers who kept the makeup minimal yet glam and the hairstyles sleek yet great for an everyday look. From dewy skin and bold lips to super sleek buns and ponytail brands; these are all looks I'd love to try! Major brands like NARS and Tresemme teamed up with some of these featured fashion designers, though I've provided cruelty-free shopping options for you below.
Loose Boho Waves and Tiny Fishtail Braids at Zimmerman
A refreshing change from all of the sleek hairstyles at NYFW was the free-spirited boho vibe that one would expect at Zimmerman.
Loose and messy barely-there waves flowed seamlessly with strategically-placed mini fishtail braids. Get the look with a flatiron rather than a curling iron, and add some texture and volume with a texturizing dry shampoo spray. Images via Zimmermann. Related: How to Get Beach Waves with A Flatiron
Watercolor Eyes at Rebecca Minkoff
Loose waves were paired with fishtail braids at Rebecca Minkoff as well, though what caught my attention from her presentation was the makeup.
A shimmery bright yellow eyeshadow went on the inner corner, while a soft yet bold pink was swept over lids for a watercolor-inspired eye makeup look. Paired with a natural-looking highlight and pink lips, this fun fresh look is perfect for Spring.
The key to achieving this look is to not blend the eyeshadow too much. You don't want a harsh line between the two colors, but you do want both colors to equally stand out, so blend right where the colors meet but don't blend outward in either direction. While the lashes were thick and bold, including full coverage on the bottom lashes; the eyeliner was barely there, to let the colored eyeshadow really show through. Images via Rebecca Minkoff.
Shop the Look: Colourpop Disney Designer Collection - It's A Princess Thing - Pressed Powder Eye Shadow Palette (Use shades "One Kiss" and "Fairy Godmother.")
Color Block Nail Art at Veronica Beard
There were so many unique nail looks at the NYFW FW 2020 shows, but the most easy to wear and easy to apply was the Essie color block nail art at Veronica Beard.
"The inspiration was the woman who has it all and, when I think of that, I think of someone who has a classic manicure—polished and perfect. But we added a contemporary twist and created a color-blocked look with colors lifted directly from the collection." ~essie manicurist Rita Remark, from the Veronica Beard Backstage Beauty blog.
Though the essie manicurist calls this look polished and perfect, the straight line that creates the half moon deign isn't a sharp, perfect line; so no stencils are needed either. Simply apply a beautiful cool-toned brick red all over, then use a warm nude to draw the little straight-lined half moon at the cuticle. Complete the look with a high-shine clear top coat. Images via Veronica Beard. Related: The Best Nail Looks from New York Fashion Week Fall 2020
Vampy Nails and Lips at Rodarte
Among the more wearable beauty looks at NYFW, the most bold makeup include the dark wine red lips with matching nails at the Rodarte FW20 show.
“The beauty look for Rodarte FW20 is inspired by Bram Stoker’s Dracula with Winona Ryder. It’s a very stark, graphic look with a really dark lip, but we kept the skin very pure and luminous so that it’s not too theatrical and it’s more wearable.” — @jameskaliardos
To get this vampy makeup look, go with a matte-finish dark wine lipstick. For the vampy nails, don't just go with a dark purple nail color, but shape your nails to match by filing them into a point. To be honest, I may skip the pointed nails, though I will definitely be wearing that vampy purple shade on my nails this Fall season. You can see the full list of products used in this video tutorial, though I've included some cruelty-free options for you below. Images via Rodarte.
Bright Red Lips at Oscar de la Renta
While still being a wearable trend, another bold lip at New York fashion week was the bright red seen at Oscar de la Renta.
The look was achieved by makeup artist Tom Pecheux and MAC Cosmetics, a brand that is known for the most-loved red lipsticks of all-time, including their iconic Russian Red Matte Lipstick - a slightly blue-based classic red that supposedly looks great on anyone; and one of their long-time bestsellers Ruby Woo Retro Matte Lipstick - a vivid blue-ish cherry red lipstick.
To get the bold red lips seen at Oscar de la Renta FW 2020; start with MAC Retro Matte Liquid Lip Color Feels So Grand in the middle of the lips, then blend Quite the Standout on the rest to recreate the bright warm tone seen on the runway. For the glossy finish, these two shades were topped off with a MAC Patent Paint Lip Lacquer. Images via Oscar de la Renta. Related: How to Get Oscar de la Renta's Red Lips and Sleek Ponytails for F/W 2020
Ultra-Sleek Twisted Buns at Serena Williams
When it came to hairstyles at NYFW FW 2020, aside from the few boho looks I mentioned earlier, most of the looks were extremely sleek. Designers Michael Kors and Brandon Maxwell paired deep side parts with low slicked-back ponytails, while Tresemme helped models at Serena Williams achieve buns so sleek there was not a single stray hair in sight.
I'm not sure if it was more for the hairstylists' benefit or not, but backstage beauty pics revealed Tresemme stylists applying the final coating of gel with flat wide-bristle brushes. To get the look, you'll need to apply a frizz-control serum and brush it evenly throughout the hair before you twist it into a tight bun. Then use one more coating of gel all around from the hairline back to tame any remaining frizz or stray hairs and to add more shine. Finish off the look with a strong-hold hairspray. Of course Tresemme products were used to create this look, but you can find cruelty-free styling options below. Images via Serena.
Sleek Ponytail Braids at Jason Wu
Several of the designers featured braids, from the messy fishtail braids to smooth and slim cornrow braids. Though my favorite were the sleek ponytail braids at Jason Wu. The look lends a very polished and sophisticated update to an otherwise simple braid.
Start by working a smoothing serum through the hair, along with a good sleek and shine gel. To create the little bit of volume in front, take a front section on one side and twist it over once, securing it with a hair pin at the top of the head, then brush the hair back into a tight ponytail, while leaving the side part intact. Gently pull from the front near the forehead to create the little bump, smooth with more gel if necessary, and secure tightly with a few more hairpins. I'd run one more coat of smoothing gel through the ponytail before braiding. Set the look and tame any little flyaways with a strong-hold hairspray. Images via Jason Wu.
Romantic Twist-Back Hairstyles at Tory Burch
Models at the Tory Burch show happily wore side twists pulled back for romantic half-up hairdos. There were also sleek cornrow braids at the Tory Burch FW20 show, which made for a very cool update to the typically preppy brand.
I really loved the half-up side twists the best. Aside from being so easy to recreate, it'll be such a beautiful and romantic look for both Spring and Fall. Get the look with a smoothing, flexible-hold smoothing styling cream that provides shine, to smooth down any frizz and to create more definition on the twists; and hold them securely in place with some plain hair pins, or pull back into a half-up do using a hair tie or one of these beautiful pearl hair clips. Images via Tory Burch.
I hope you've enjoyed my top runway beauty picks. In the fashion industry, they tend to say that accessories complete a look, but as a beauty editor, I can't help but think it to be one of these sleek hairstyles or colorful makeup trends. Which one of these runway beauty looks will you try? Let me know in the comment section below!