Backstage with MAC Cosmetics at San Francisco Fashion Week!


Louise Zizzo created this retro-glam look that puts an emphasis on a large, natural brow (which she totally fauxed on some models by using mascara or Blacktrack fluidline) paired with a plump red lip using Mahogany lip liner nearly all over the lips and then Russian Red lipstick on top.

One side of the tent were all the MAC artists dealing with creating all the fabulous runway looks, while on the opposite side were hair stylists creating fabulous dos.

Louise managed to catch herself in this shot, but you can see just how crowded backstage can be when everything is done in a small tent on the sidewalk of San Francisco!

A veritable feast for any true MAC-aholic, as four or five long tables were covered with a decadent display of every MAC product you could possibly wish for.

Here is a model sporting one of the looks for Pink Elf.

Victor Cembellin was responsible for the creation of this look, and he accomplished this by doing a strong smokey eye using Graphito paint, Blacktrack fluidline, and Smolder eye kohl. He paired it with a great neutral lip using Illicit lipglass and cheeks with golden bronzer.

This next set of photos are taking you through the process of a demonstration of a look by Louise Zizzo so that her team of 4-5 MAC makeup artists could recreate it on their own models for the show. The model shown here is Alexa, who had enviable natural brows.

Louise mentioned that it was very, very important for the skin to look absolutely flawless, and as a result, she spent a good amount of time showing the ways to blend and perfect the model’s complexion so that when she was on the runway, it would come off nearly plastic in its perfection.

If only you and I had that kind of time (and skills!) to accomplish such absolutely divine skin. Louise used a mixture of studio select concealer/coverup, as well as various shades of Studio Fix Fluid.

Louise did a dramatic eye for this particular designer, and she takes a generous amount of Blacktrack fluidline to cover the entire lid and just above the crease, and then a gentle wing on the side.

Using an angled brush, the 266, she accomplishes such detailing as seen here.

I was totally reminded of the black smokey eye that I do using Blacktrack as a base, actually! Surprisingly, despite how bold this makeup appears here in this shot, on the runway it is hardly noticeable.

Check out that palette Louise is creating on her own hand. You can see the various colors of foundations and skin products that she used to give the model’s skin such clarity.

Louise makes sure that her shape is flawless and that both eyes are about as even as she can get with the naked eye.

What, I didn’t mention it already? Oh, Louise created this look of pure Blacktrack-ladened lid with a splash of thick, double liner in three different shades of liquidlast liner (pink, green, and purple). The whole theme of the look was icy, ice princess, ice queen. She chose green for this particular model.

It’s the magical 266 again, look how precise that line is! Sigh, so jealous.

To add further drama, Louise put false lashes on both the top and the bottom lash lines. She also doled out a great tip – if you have trouble putting on false lashes, try cutting them into thirds and attaching each third by third.

Here’s the finished eye look!

Louise used Pink cream colour base on the cheeks and the lips, with Hush cream colour base to highlight.

Pink cream colour base is a PRO only color, and you can see how it matches perfectly with the ice princess theme.

Here is the completely finished look!

And see how dramatic it is with the eyes closed? I’m still totally marvelling at the definition of those shapes.

A quick snap shot of the look Victor did for the Vian Hunter line using Silver (metal) pigment on lid and Blacktrack fluidline to create the defined crease.

Christine (makeup artist), two models, and Louise Z. posing for photographers.

Still posing, as you can see, right next to the runway, behind the curtain. Kind of crazy, huh?

Christine on her knees moisturizing one of the model’s legs, but really, check out those HEELS? My feet hurt just looking at them!

Back in the dressing room, models chit chat and get ready while Victor does last minute touch ups.

I swear, the dressing room was about as big as my own closet back at my parents’ house when I lived there. It was quite tiny!

So that concludes my little photo-experiment-journal from Backstage at San Francisco Fashion Week 2007. I had SUCH a blast, and it was an amazing opportunity (so glad I was able to take it, too). I meant several other beauty bloggers, like Karen, and it was awesome to see professional makeup artists working in their element.

For photos of the actual fashion show, check out this post.

To read about my experience dining with MAC artists Louise and Victor, plus other media, check out this post.