Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Fall '09: J.Mendel and Juan Carlos Obando

During the recent Fashion Week Fall 2009, I had the opportunity to attend the runway shows of J.Mendel and Juan Carlos Obando. I also went backstage before each of them to check out the hair and makeup. At J.Mendel, lead hairstylist Odile Gilbert created a modern take on the traditional chignon to complement J.Mendel's Fall 2009 collection. Gilbert used Barex Italiana products, including Gum Gum, Gloss Shine Spray, Re-Define Creme, Gloss Mousse, and Hairspray to make the front of the hair appear like a chignon, but from the back it is a ponytail. "It's beautiful from the front, back, and side," says Gilbert. Makeup artist Tanya Cropsey for Bobbi Brown created a classic, timeless look. She used no foundation on the models, and gave them a "diffused smoky eye" by starting with the lower lid and building the color up. A red shade was applied to the lips with a white powder over it to give it a matte velvet appearance.

At Juan Carlos Obando, hairstylist Rodney Groves used wigs to create volume. To get the desired look, he used Number 4 High Performance Hair Care's Fleur deTemps Volume Collection and other topselling products. First Groves prepared the wig with Lumiere d'hiver Super Comb Prep & Protect, then he applied Jour d'automne Syling Foam. Next, he pin curled hair with a 1/4 inch curling iron, set the hair, and then brushed it out with a wide tooth comb. He created a drop halo effect that resembles a mix between a 1930's wedge haircut and a 1970's Biba Girl. He finished the look with an application of Shine Serum, Jour d'automne Texture Styling Creme, and Hairspray. Makeup consisted of little or no foundation and concealor, groomed eyebrows, eyes made to look like a shadow is being cast on them by a light, and dark red lips.

—Nicole Palmieri, Editorial Assistant