Marchesa Backstage Beauty Fall 2012

There's nothing like the magic of Marchesa. Designed by Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig the gowns are truly breathtaking and I'm grateful whenever I have the privilege of going backstage at one of their shows. As gorgeous as the dresses are, there's much to love in the collection's supporting cast as well. Aside from stunning shoes, jewelry, and clutches, the beauty look was fantastic this season.

Marchesa Fall 2012 beauty look

For hair, Frederic Fekkai lead stylist, Renato Campora, created a braided up-do, which looked painful when I saw the stylists hard at work, but I asked one of the models and she insisted that it wasn't. When I spoke to Campora he told me that while the braids look tight, they're actually quite loose. The look was in keeping with the designers' angelic inspiration and I love how the loose pieces of hair add an element of fragility to the otherwise austere look. To get the look, follow Campora's how-to:

After prepping hair with the appropriate product, take 1/2 inch sections from the crown of the head and create flat braids down the back of the head. After braiding all of the hair, take longer braids and wrap them around the back of the head, blending and securing ends with hair pins. Leave a few pieces of hair loose in the front to create movement and soften the look. To finish the look, use Fekkai Coiff Sheer Hold Hairspray.

The makeup look was created by Laura Mercier artists and was equally angelic (unlike the princess look the designers typically request for makeup). Described as "unharmed, unpolished, with marble skin texture," to achieve this look, a mix of Radiance and Hydrating Primer was used along with concealer and foundation. The center of the face (forehead, nose, cheeks, chin) was highlighted. The collection has a lot of gold in it which the makeup team wanted to incorporate without overpowering the looks, so they mixed water with Gilded Moonshine (a new eye shade that will launch in the Fall) and accentuated the lower lids to give the eye the roundness that is associated with angels. Center faux lashes were used and mascara was brushed on. Brows were rounded (instead of arched), again to get that angelic look. Lips were meant to look as though the models had just eaten a cherry.

To complement hair and makeup, no less than six Deborah Lippmann polishes were used (most shows have all models wearing the same shade). Single Ladies (deep red), was used on some models, while others had nails with Baby Love (baby doll pink) topped with an iridescent icicle glitter called Stairway to Heaven. Other models had nails with Fade to Black (opaque vinyl black), Stardust (platinum frost metallic), or Nefertiti (micro fine golden shimmer).