Fashion Week Spring 2011 Beauty: Betsey Johnson

Love this model. She worked it with no coaxing!

Backstage at Betsey Johnson is always a party–there’s a DJ, champagne, balloons and hand-drawn posters by Betsey herself. It’s the most fun backstage ever, so I coveted my invite there. The hair and makeup was playful, punchy and ever-so-Betsey.

Makeup was keyed by the fabulous Sarah Lucero for Stila, who donned a Betsey Johnson outfit for the occasion. The inspiration? A gal on a bike ride through NYC–a fun, fabulous day in her life. Skin was matte but fresh with Stila’s One Step Makeup. Betsey doesn’t believe in bold lips OR eyes: She believes in both. Lips were adorned with a hot pink stain–a bold, full coverage shade. Kelly green shadow was applied wet, thanks to mixing it with a lime green cream base onto the models’ lids underneath defined, bold brows with a slight upswing. “I created a ‘V’ in the inner and outer corners, so that it sort of looks like bookends,” explained Sarah. Lashes came courtesy of NYX and were pointy to evoke the feeling of bike spokes.

The very bold makeup look!

The sultry British Peter Gray (My favorite stylist hunk is still John Ruidant–don’t be jello, John) created a cyclist-inspired super strand look that was much in keeping with the theme. “It’s fun, sexy, and a bit grunge–not cute,” lilted Peter. He began by applying conditioner–not leave-in, actual–to the models’ hair. “It’s like a treatment while they’re walking down the catwalk,” Peter deadpanned. Then, he curled random sections with a curling iron and frayed them into dreadlocky strands. He also used a bit of Redken Full Frame Mousse, Rough Paste and Wool Shake for texture. Lastly, he did the most genius thing I’ve seen thus far at Fashion Week: He cut skinny strips from the legs of popsicle-bright tights and used them to tie tiny ponytails throughout the hair (to conjure the image of bike spoke beads–have you even thought of them since you were under 4 feet tall? I haven’t), still leaving the overall effect big and messy. He even gave me a fab set of two of his “ponytail holders” in cobalt and violet as a parting gift.

Betsey backstage!

Nonie Creme, founder of butter LONDON polish created faux nails for the show incorporating a custom-blended bubble gum pink adorned with a dual French tip comprised of a stripe of butter LONDON in Royal Navy and Sunshine Yellow. “It’s very ’60s, very Austin Powers,” joked Nonie. As for nail trends for Spring 2011: “We’ll see a lot of fucked-up pastels,” Nonie said in her very proper British accent. Toes were polished with either hot pink or yellow. “No rhyme or reason as to which,” Nonie explained. “Betsey just loves individuality.” Butter LONDON polishes are available at


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