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Beauty backstage at Betsey Johnson was eccentric and varied, to say the least.


This season’s retrospective show marked Johnson’s 50th year working as a fashion designer, and three separate beauty looks were inspired Johnson’s evolving personal style through the years. Despite the decades, “she’s stayed true to herself,” said lead makeup artist Kelly Thompson for Kryolan. “She’s the real deal.”


The first look was retro-inspired glam and hinted at Johnson’s current style. Thompson used Kryolan Eye Shadow Variety Palette in V3, a range of neutrals, to create an allover black eyelid. She finished it off with Multi Gel Glitter in Gold for shine and sparkle, and two layers of Stargirl S1 faux eyelashes for a dense, dramatic emphasis. Bright-red lips were painted with Lipstick Matt in Eos and finished with Multi Gel Glitter in Red for more sparkle. Hair, imagined by Rafe Hardy for Sexy Hair, was inspired by vintage, 1940s movie star waves — a “modern take on a classic look.” Sexy Hair Smooth & Seal Aerated Anti-Frizz Spray was used before hair was curled with both 1-inch and 1.25-inch curling irons, then set with Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Touchable Hairspray. Danielle Candido for Morgan Taylor Lacquer created a high-sparkle red nail using one coat of Pretty Woman, a vibrant pink, followed by two layers of New York State of Mind, a dark glitter.


For the second look, inspired by Johnson’s style in the Eighties, Thompson used Kryolan Coloring Vision Palette in Vivid to create the a rainbow of color — literally — on and around the eyelids. Lips were “straight color”, filled in with Lipstick Matt in Nike, a vivid hot pink. Skin was kept completely matte but eyes were given some shimmer thanks to a highlighter — a nod to “textures of the time.” For hair, Hardy created straight roots and crimps all the way down, using two different micro crimpers for a zigzag effect. Big Sexy Hair Push Up Thickening Finishing Spray was used on ends for volume and width. “I went to beauty school in the Eighties, so I know how to crimp,” said Hardy. Candido finished the look with a graphic Mod-print black-and-silver manicure using Morgan Taylor Lacquer Little Black Dress as the base and Could Have Foiled Me, a silver metallic, as the accent.


Finally, a third look represented Johnson’s punk rocker style in the late Sixties and Seventies. Thompson used Kryolan Illusion Palette to create a white eye with a deep black crease. Lips were glossed over in silver with High Gloss Pearl for a “really shiny” effect. Hardy created a Debbie Harry-inspired updo to match the makeup, first curling hair with a two-inch barrel iron, then adding texture with Healthy Sexy Hair Soy Paste. Nails were marbled and psychedelic — a combination of bright pinks and blues from Morgan Taylor Lacquer.

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