In case you were not aware, myself and some of the Nerdettes worked on the skin backstage at Paul Costelloe’s Autumn/Winter show at London Fashion Week last month. Having that opportunity was nearly beyond what I have dreamed of – it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to get hands-on (in a literal sense) and getting to do it on models for such a prolific event was phenomenal.
Everyone knows that models are beautiful, but in this day and age, many think their beauty to be down to photoshop and tricks of light. I thought that to an extent until I saw hoards of them in the flesh. They are honestly and truly angelic, just incredible species of hooman. I am all about loving yourself and seeing the beauty in all and everyone in any form but these people were just WOW. It was overwhelming to be around so much physical beauty. Prior to myself and the girls having mini-consults with them, I thought they were the type of people who had minimal skincare regimes – I presumed it to be genetically perfect skin but of all people I should’ve known that not to be true.
Models are blessed with their looks but they certainly do not take it for granted. When we were recommending products to the models, they were already using the vast majority of the brands and products we were mentioning. They were the picture of skin health, strict with not only their topical skincare but their nutrition and I can guarantee to you that every single one of them wore SPF daily – a skincare professional can just TELL.
We were there for 5am to start prepping everyone because we were in many ways part of a larger beauty system. The models had their hair done and then were sent over to us to get their skin ready for makeup application. Prepping catwalk skin means following the brief first and foremost. Our brief at Paul Costelloe was a healthy-looking, soft-focus skin with minimal makeup and a dewy, iridescent finish. That suits all facets of The Skin Nerd so it wasn’t a toughie for us. It was pretty much what we had expected from the get-go as everyone in the fashion industry is clamouring for this look this year but I adored the specificity of the brief.
Our Supermodel Skincare Menu
Care must be taken when treating skin that is due on a catwalk in an hour. When choosing what our skincare menu would be, we avoided anything that could cause irritation, dryness, flaking and swelling of any kind. Nothing guarantees never being invited back like causing even the mildest reaction on a model’s skin at London Fashion Week. Usually, when it comes to a routine, I’m a firm believer in acids but high amounts of acids are not what you need for this type of event. We removed the model’s makeup with the Cleanse Off Mitt (and followed it up with one from an array of cleansers – most commonly used was the IMAGE Skincare Vital C Cleanser (€36.00) as it is light, refreshing and hydrating and suits so many skin types.
Spritz O’Clock was a huge part of our routine at London Fashion Week. There is only so much you can do to boost skin hydration from the inside out the day of an event and a good spritzing is like your “over a litre a day” for the surface of the skin. Naturally, we went for the classic Yon-ka Lotion (€32.00) – no surprise there! Topical hydration isn’t topical hydration without hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic is the weapon I pull out when I need to get a plump, fresh, hydrated skin in very little time. We used the Pure Hyaluronic Serum (€43.00) from Ireland’s own Pestle & Mortar combined with Environ’s Colostrum Gel (€46.00) to pull moisture up through the layers of the skin to the uppermost layers of the epidermis. Colostrum Gel is an incredible product for instant soothing and introducing growth factors to the skin, which, to be honest, requires long-term usage, but it is so calming in the short term too.
Hyaluronic and colostrum gel are slippier products. If you haven’t used them before, imagine your skin feeling like literal silk. The issue with this is that it’s tough to get things to stick to silk and these models needed their makeup to stick as hot lights can melt makeup in a jiffy. We chose IMAGE Skincare’s Intense Lightening Iluma Serum (€52.00) as the next step to get the makeup being applied to adhere to the skin – Iluma serum is sticky as anything so it kept that makeup locked on like nothing else!
Many of the models had strict time restraints but those who got to us early got treated with the Environ Electro-Sonic DF machine, which pumps the skin with sonophoresis (soundwaves) and iontophoresis (electrical current) to encourage product penetration. Care was necessary in this, as iontophoresis can bring about very mild swelling and a bit of a flush to the skin and that was NOT on the brief!
Our usual anti-bacterial and spot-zapping means were a little bit out of the question. Salicylic acid is notorious for causing cornflakeyness around spots and even though it is usually my go-to, we had to give it a miss in favour of the faboosh LED Masks that were lent to us by Eden Beauty Group. An LED mask is the ideal way to antibacterialise the skin without over-manipulating it and the bright colour allowed each model their Daft Punk moment!
Another product that I love that we had on hand with us were Seoulista’s Instant Facials (€9.00). If we didn’t have time to pop one on a model pre-catwalk, we sent them home with one for after the show like their skincare mammies. After a week of wearing heavy makeup, not getting a lot of sleep and probably drinking a lot of caffeine, the skin needs a boost like a sheet mask to rejuvenate it a bit. Walking at London Fashion Week was probably also massively stressful and I know that a sheet mask is instantly relaxing for me so I wanted them to be able to take a moment for themselves if they so felt like it.
ul We provided some light refreshment with IMAGE Skincare’s Yana Collagen Shots (€99.00 for a month’s supply) – yes, I know what you’re thinking, is a collagen shot really the type of shot that models want?! As I said before, they were astonishingly into looking after their skin, inside, outside and on top. Plus, when it comes to Yana supplements, the novelty is a fab addition.
All in all, working backstage at London Fashion Week was hectic and it was a very different environment to the ones I usually find myself in nowadays but it was so rewarding. I now know what is needed of skincare specialists when it comes to fashion shows and I feel that, given another opportunity like this, Team Nerd could push the boat out even further. Here’s hoping we’ll be back at London Fashion Week next year…