Make-up: Behind the Scenes at New York Fashion Week

(Ed. Note: Ms. Nam worked with Meniscus Magazine on a 2009 fashion shoot featuring pieces by S.LOVE, Kidrobot, yudu, and various jewelry and accessory designers.)

Behind the glitz, the runway and the fashion lies the backstage chaos that begins more than two hours before a New York Fashion Week show.

It’s where makeup artists, hairdressers and stylists prepare models for the catwalk, and help bring fashion designers’ artistic visions to life.

One New York-based makeup artist, Jennifer Nam, works at several shows each season.  She talks about how a typical show works for a makeup artist.

Meniscus Magazine: How far in advance do they tell you what the look is?

Jennifer Nam: We find out on the day of. They show us with a test model what the look is and everyone gathers around and we take a look at the key artist.

The presentation’s not until 2:30, so what happens between 11:00 and 2:30, for example?

We clean up our kits, and we set up and make sure everything is clean and ready to go. And that’s when we also get to see the test run of the look. And then any questions that we may have, we ask at that time. We start doing makeup for the girls because a lot of times there’s a lot of girls to do the makeup.

Believe it or not, after we do the look we also put lotion and foundation on the legs, and we’re touching up hands, and touch-ups and lineup. It’s really busy the whole entire time that we’re there.

How much does this thing [points to her makeup case] weigh?

Believe it or not, this thing looks really convenient, it doesn’t weigh very much but it’s actually quite heavy. It’s probably 15 pounds, or more.

Video: Behind the Scenes at New York Fashion Week with Jennifer Nam
video by Yuan-Kwan Chan / Meniscus Magazine