Photo: Søren Le Schmidt SS24
Text: Esteban Villanueva
The biggest week in Nordic fashion ended, but the lessons, especially from backstage, are here to stay. What are the four things we should learn from the pros behind the scene?
Backstage of a fashion show is known to be a chaotic, organized, magical mess. Between flying hangers, racks of never-seen-before clothes, hot hair tools and loads of makeup; artists of all kinds come in an inexplicable harmony to create beauty and everlasting imagery.
Amidst the beautiful chaos, with strokes of the brush and passes of the hair drier, trends are created and industry-tricks are set — that being said, what are some of the tricks and trends we should take home from the shows of Copenhagen Fashion Week?
The no makeup-makeup look has always been a staple of Nordic beauty. Striving to reach that “healthy, real, slightly better” vibe, the key of a good scandi look is it appearing like nothing is being worn. Most of the time, the make or break factor of this is how our foundation is applied. From mixing it with serums to watering it down with moisturizer, backstage artists have different ways to get the always coveted look —, recognizable for its skin-like finish, luminous glow and paradox of good coverage without showcasing too much product. This season, a new player came into the game.
Stashed between makeup kits, backstage attendees found a soon-to-be-released product in its latest stages of testing. MAC’s new Studio Radiance Serum-Powered Foundation. The new flanker, which comes as a follow up to the Studio Radiance Face And Body iconic staple, delivers a higher coverage with more hydration and skin care-based ingredients. Texture wise, the new foundation delivers a buildable coverage with a skin-like finish, which makes it a potential new favorite for the no makeup-makeup look.
On top of the foundation, we saw artists strive away from bronzers and contours and rather focus on blushing and keeping the luminance without falling yet again into the highlighting aspects. RMS’s Lip2Cheeks and Rose Incs Divine Radiant Lip and Cheek are excellent options to achieve the look at home.
In line with the traditional no makeup-makeup look, hair at Copenhagen Fashion Week has always focused on the understated and minimal style. This season, we saw it go even further, with some shows like PLN and Henrik Vibskov focusing on not only the styling but also the preparation and care of the hair.
Amelie Holmqvist, lead hair stylist for PLN, Rolf Ekroth and TG Botanical’s shows defines the care in one statement, “Treating the hair before the runway was key, as we wanted it to be hydrated and well protected. From there, depending on the model’s hair, we go in with different products”. Holmqvist worked her shows with Monpure London, official hair sponsor for Fashion Week, and kept Monpure’s Ultralight Healthy Hair Oil and Strengthening Essence Conditioner as her main go to’s — some looks achieving them exclusively with these two heroes.
Another product that made its Fashion Week re-debut was Kerasilk’s Cuticle Filler. Made as a pre-styling spray-treatment, the new hero product is key within the brand’s relaunch into the Nordic market. Essentially, what the spray does is that through heat activation and its biomimetic silk & blue lotus extract compounds, it rebuilds and optimizes the hair surface for a long-lasting structural recovery of the cuticle and healthy-looking hair full of natural shine.
Keeping in tune with the less is more Scandinavian vibe, once again we saw the runway be filled with “no makeup makeup” and “natural hair” looks, however, what people fail to realize and what tends to be the main detriment when obtaining these looks is that actually, they incur in the usage of more products than one would thing. Ironically, sometimes it takes a lot of makeup to seem like you have none on.
Now, how can we best attain at home the coveted runway looks we so badly desire? It all comes down to identifying what are the key elements that make a makeup look or a hairstyle look good and seek to achieve them without overdoing it.
When it comes to hair and that effortless, blowout look, it can all be encompassed in a smooth natural fall and healthy, non-oily, sheen to the hair. Similar to skincare, in order to achieve this look most of the time we should focus mainly on the prestyling other than the styling itself, as a good base is key to get the final vibe. Focusing on a good care and conditioning, like Monpure’s haircare range, Kevin Murphy’s Restore and Rejuvenating lines, Oribe’s hydrating collection or Less Is More Balance line ensures that the hair is prepared for styling — which can be done with as little as an oil or a heat activated product, like the viral Color Wow Dream Coat. Simultaneously, the way we apply heat is part of the final result. Too much heat and the hair will not only damage but showcase a frizzy, dull look. Products like Dyson’s Air Wrap are favorites as they don’t go too high in the temperature range, thus style without damaging the hair and focusing on the smoothness and softness of the cuticle strand.
Finally, the biggest lesson from this season’s CPHFW is the need to weather-proof our looks, as rain and thunder are always on the menu for the Nordics. Now, the key to waterproofing anything, contrary to popular belief, is not making it waterproof — as this is a whole other specific range of products— and rather making it humidity resistant, as this means that it will hold against the temperature, humidity and friction changes.
Now, how can we make this happen? Key is to use products that will help us seal in the makeup on our face or the particle bonds in our hair, allowing us to preserve blowouts and styles.
When it comes to makeup, a good setting spray is most of the time the key to achieve a drizzle-proof look. Some classics like the Urban Decay All Nighter and the Too Faced Insurance setting spray are favorites for the game. MAC’s new Stay Over setting spray is also a great contender in the matter. The key to making them work? Apply setting spray throughout the application of your makeup, not just at the end — and be generous with it. A “wetter” application leads to a better seal with the makeup.
When it comes to hair, starting wet is always the best, as in this state, the bonds in the hair are malleable and we can straighten them or curl them depending on what we wish or need. Color Wow’s Dream Coat is a modern must for that almost water-proof hair, especially in straight or straightened looks. Kevin Murphy’s Blow Out collection is a great option to enhance blow outs and Living Proof’s Flex Spray is a pro at keeping them in check. Now, if your hair tends to go to the frizzy or curly side and you want a straight or blow own look, a new favorite is KMS’ Therma Shape is a heat activated setting spray, that after applied to wet hair, works with the protein bonds and heat to not only straighten the hair but also set it in place, making it resistance against movement, frizz and most importantly, humidity.