Allow me to bring you along into an ethereal world of whimsy, awe, and fantasy. No, this isn’t an Alice in Wonderland dream—it’s backstage at the Area Spring Summer 2024 ready-to-wear and couture shows. Held at the Weylin in Brooklyn, New York, the venue captured an air of elegance and glamour that was woven throughout the collection. To accompany the grandeur, the beauty looks included minimal makeup and completely bare nails, which were juxtaposed by voluminous manes reminiscent of 70s and 80s glam.
For makeup, subtlety was key. In an effort to keep the focus on the spectacle of the collection, the idea was to achieve dewy, radiant skin using minimal products, a vision that was executed to perfection. Proving that the ‘no makeup makeup’ trend isn’t going anywhere any time soon, global creative director of Addiction Tokyo, Kanako Takase, opted out of using foundation. Instead, she reached for the Addiction Tokyo Blush Matte that gave the cheeks a flush of pigment before she strategically placed the Addiction Tokyo Glow Stick at the highest points of the cheeks to allow the beauty of the models’ natural skin to shine through. Brows were brushed up with the brand’s Eyebrow Mascara Micro Shape Fixer, which offered a long-lasting soft hold and lashes were amplified with the Mascara Primer Curl Fixer. Finally, the look was punctuated with the Addiction Tokyo Matte Lip Liquid in the shade Bitter Walnut and applied with a fluffy eyeshadow brush for a blurred lip finish.
However, while makeup was minimal, hair told a very different story and deviated from the usual sleek updos and minimal styling seen at previous Area shows. For SS’44, lead by hairstylist Ryan Mitchell, natural curls and coils were brushed out to their fullest potential; straighter textures were tousled and teased every which way to create a soft, ethereal texture that created a floating effect as the models walked the runway. Think bedhead, but make it fashion.
The trick to achieving this perfectly undone look was all in the technique. Using Mr. Smith’s Texture Spray to prep the hair, the stylist back-brushed and teased the hair before following up with another round of spray, using the Mr. Smith Hair Spray for extra hold. The next and most important step was to go over the teased sections with a flat iron to clamp in the texture before finally brushing it all out to create a pillow–soft look. There was no playing it safe with this look as confirmed by Mitchell. “The collection is loud so why not go loud with the hair? It compliments it really well,” he says while adding the finishing spritz to a model’s hair. “There are so many bright colors and textures [in the collection] and I think they really want the hair to show around all that and bring it all together.”
As the final beauty look came together the teams showed us all that sometimes it doesn’t take too much to make a big statement.
Tasha Nicole Smith is ELLE Magazine’s beauty assistant. She loves all things hair, makeup, and skincare so you’ll find her talking about it here. She enjoys Marvel movies, a good pair of heels, and lemon drop martinis and also shares a birthday with Beyoncé, which is her go to fun fact.