NYFW: Backstage Beauty at AREA SS16 with Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa

NYFW: Backstage Beauty at AREA SS16 with Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa

Photo Courtesy: BOLD PR

There are two things that especially excite me for New York Fashion Week every season: never-before-seen trends and classic timeless trends that make the cut of returning back. For AREA’s SS16 collection, I experienced the latter where the beauty look is a resemblance of Twiggy – clumpy lashes, an all-natural bare face and a slicked-back hairstyle to reveal it all.


The intent for AREA’s makeup look was to allow the clothes to stand in the spotlight, so the face remained a clean canvas. Neutral tones dominated both eyes and lips, and brushes were replaced with the makeup artist’s own bare hands for application. The overall look wasn’t rocket science, nor was it supposed to be. The beauty was defined through minimalism, therefore giving anyone the chance to recreate the same look off the runway.


Makeup artist for Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa, Cesar Olivas, insisted that using his fingers instead of a brush was best for blending, whether it be with the cream blush he uses here (photo above) or the Elizabeth Arden SUPERSTART Skin Renewal Booster. SUPERSTART was especially a key product in that it served as a primer, giving the skin more radiance for a healthy, hydrated glow. Application for light coverage foundation was then used only where needed, along with concealer under the eyes to hide imperfections.


Utilizing beauty wedges also helped with minimizing shine. Olivas mentioned that the designer specifically wanted to avoid any glossy finishes on the face at all costs, so the absorbency of the wedges was perfect for that.

Dewiness was also a big emphasis for the look. Using Elizabeth Arden Crystal Clear Lip Gloss, Olivas used his fingers to pat the gloss onto the cheekbones for a dew finish to help create healthy-looking, flawless skin.


A trend seen in last season’s NYFW was giving the brows a break and allowing them to appear tamed and natural without fill-ins. For AREA’s SS16 brows, the only product used was a clear brow gel to help brush the hairs upward.


Lips were swiped with a touch of pigment from Elizabeth Arden Beautiful Color Moisturizing Lipstick in Golden Nude.


The standout component of the entire beauty look was the clumpy eyelashes, as made iconic by Twiggy. The look was meant to speak to a 60s aesthetic, so the eyelashes were able to really bring it all together along with tons of added drama.


Hair was simple and timeless; it was a slicked-back ponytail tied together with a pink satin ribbon that was fabric repurposed straight from the designer’s collection. To achieve this, hair was carefully combed out, perfectly straightened, and delicately pulled back into a refined pony to give the face that really clean look.



To ensure security of the pony, hair was tied together with an elastic tie, and then wrapped around with the satin ribbon. Bobby pins helped keep the ribbon in place.



“The pony is meant to give off the illusion that she (the model) just did it herself, but is still clean”, Red Door Spa Hair Stylist and Educator, Wade Lee, emphasizes.



Note: This post is not sponsored. All thoughts and photos are my own, unless otherwise stated.


  1. Lauren Cosenza

    Hey Jess! Love the minimalist look but one question – the key artist said he used the wedges to get rid of any glossy finishes on the face but then he wanted a dewy finish for the cheekbone? Did they just want certain areas to pop but overall be more matte or satin finish?? XOLC

    • Jessica Angeles

      LC – Sorry about the confusion! I’d say he was going more for an overall even satin finish – like a matte, toned-down gloss. This was helpful in having the eyelashes pop!