The 14 best hair and makeup tricks we picked up backstage at Fashion Week.

When it comes to Fashion Week, the makeup, like the clothes, can be a bit, ahem, quirky.

While some looks are perfectly wearable the majority are not necessarily always suitable for say, the office or school pick up.

But with top hair and makeup artists backstage working their magic, there are plenty of tips and tricks being used that can help any novice.

Listen: Zoe Foster Blake shares her best beauty advice for busy women. Post continues after audio.

So this year we had just one mission – to find out the experts’ best hacks that will help you nail your beauty game – and save time in the process. Here’s what we picked up backstage.


1. For a flawless base…

“Take time with your skincare. We spend at least half the time of makeup on skincare, making sure it”s calm and soothed and there’s nothing funny coming up after they’ve got their makeup done,” Shu Uemura National Makeup Director Panda Ye Peng said before the C/MEO show.

“The base of the skin, the canvas is the most important. When you have a beautiful canvas, you don’t need much makeup at all.”

Backstage with Shu Uemura. Image: Brittany Stewart

Key Product: Shu Uemura Skin Perfector Oil, $98

2. For a dewy base..

"The key is to really work the foundation into the skin with the warmth of your fingers," celebrity makeup artist Max Made told Mamamia about the look he created with Avon for the Michael Lo Sordo show.

"This will give it a far more natural finish than using a brush."


Key Product: Avon True Color Ideal Flawless Invisible Coverage Foundation, $24.99


3. To make your highlighter really "pop"...

For the Mariam Seddiq show, Marketing Manager and INGLOT professional makeup artist Courtney Sinclair applied AMC Liquid Illuminator with the foundation to the models' skin, adding more to the cheekbones, nose and eyes.

"We then added Sparkling Dust to the highest points of the cheeks and a little on the nose/Cupid's bow on the lips!" she said.

"If you want the extra intense highlight, spray makeup fixer on the brush then apply your highlighter."

The Inglot look for Mariam Seddiq. Image: Esteban Le Tessa

Key Product: Inglot Sparkling Dust, $29

4. To keep skin looking fresh...

"Avoid foundation under the eye. A great under eye concealer helps as well," Sinclair says.

"My advice is to avoid foundation in the eye area to keep it looking fresh and hydrated."

5. To fake awake...

"Create a wide-awake eye look by adding a touch of shimmer to the inner corners of the eyes," makeup artist and official makeup partner of MBFWA Napoleon Perdis said of the look her created for the Swim Show.

"Whether you’re rocking a smokey eye, or just a simple coat of mascara, a little pop of shimmer instantly brightens up any look."

Napoleon Perdis look for the MBFWA Swim show. Image: Filip Konikowski

Key Product: Napoleon Perdis Loose Eye Dust, $35

6. To achieve the perfect bold lip...

"We use the cushion foundation to  just pat over the lip to give it a base and then we go over it with a lip brush and make it round," MBFWA Makeup Director Nigel Stanislaus said of the look for the Zhivago show created with Maybelline.

While it allows you to get the truest colour, it also sticks better, meaning it will last longer.


Key Product: Maybelline Lip Studio Color Jolt Lip Paint, $15.95

7. To get a pout without fillers...

The trick to creating a fuller pout? Using two different coloured lipsticks to fake depth.

"We used two two lipsticks, one a deeper nude and then a lighter nude in the centre to give that beautiful pout," Lancome National Makeup Artist Lara Srokowski said of the look created for the Sass and Bide show.

That skin ???? #MBFW #Lancomeau #Sassandbide

A post shared by Lara Srokowski (@laralovesxo) on


"Use your finger to make it look more like a lip stain rather than a lipstick application. For a more natural look I really like to massage it in rather than having that precision.

"With a nude lip you don't need that precision it's only if you're going for a bold red."

Key Product: Lancome L'Absolu Rouge, $52

8. To get clean, crisp lipstick...

"I love lining the lips afterwards. I don't think a lip liner makes lipstick last longer (controversial I know!). Primer makes your lip products last longer," Senior MAC makeup artist Nicole Thompson said before the Bec and Bridge show.

"I feel like I've got more control with a liner pencil than with a brush. Sometimes the lipstick can get a little crazy so I like to apply the lipstick, not worry about the edge, then fix it with the liner."


Key Product: MAC Lip Pencil, $30


9. To pull off a braid as a grown up...

"It’s all about using braids within a hairstyle. You don’t necessarily have to cornrow your entire head, but partially," Cloud Nine ambassador Renya Xydis said of the looks she created for Sass and Bide.

"One of my favourite looks was The Undercut Pony, braided underneath and a normal sleek pony ontop, perfect for most ages."


Key Product: Cloud Nine Wide Iron, $330

10. If you struggle to braid your hair...

"The Middle Tail Tie is an easy way to create a sleek, and artistic effect. We wanted to create something that anyone could create," Xydis says.

"Braiding can take time to perfect, where as this required is a few strands of elastic and a tail end comb. Just be sure to not snip your hair when taking the elastic out!"


Key Product: Wella Professionals Oil Reflections Luminous Reboot Mask, $32

11. If you want a fancy-looking-but-easy-to-do hairstyle...

Try the topsy turvy (pony)tail.

"A classic nineties style, use Kevin Murphy Anti Gravity dried in, pop hair into a ponytail then flip it back on itself," Byron Turnbull, hair director for Anna Quan resort 2018 with Kevin Murphy and Edwards and Co, said.


Image: Esteban Le Tessa

12. For shiny hair...

"Try a spritz of Kevin Murphy Shimmer Shine, $42.95! It will give hair a beautiful glisten and gloss," said Turnbull.

13. To "do" hair without really doing much...

"For a really undone, effortless look, only curl the mid-lengths of the hair and leave the top and ends straight," hairstylist Renya Xydis said of the French-inspired look she created with Wella for the Bec and Bridge show.

"Fingercomb the curls so they’re not too perfect and tuck behind the ears."


14. To save time hairstyling...

Welcome the latest global hair trend - embracing what you have.

"It's really about bringing out the best hair you naturally have rather than trying to stretch and force it into something else," says Lauren McCowan, Global creative director for Evo.

This was the basis for the looks she created for the C/MEO show.

"So [for this model who has a] beautiful wave, instead of blowdrying it, straightening it and then trying to force this beautiful curl back in, all we've done is taken big sections, raked my hand through it to ensure there are no knots and then pressed a hot iron over the top of the section at 150 degrees to gently seal in the hydration and compress the hair without stretching it out."
Key Product: Evo Builder's Paradise Working Hairspray, $32.95

What's your favourite beauty hack or tip?