EXCLUSIVE: Cocoa Swatches + MAC Backstage at NYFW

EXCLUSIVE: Cocoa Swatches + MAC Backstage at NYFW

Reggae music playing in the background. A number of makeup artists (dressed in all black BTW,) buzzing around a small room working to create "the look." Models running in and out, some half dressed, some that need a lip touch up here or a hair slicked back there. Chaos. A beautiful chaos. 

THIS was the vive backstage with M·A·C at the Simon Miller SS17 show during NYFW. I was fortunate enough to shadow Key Artist for the show,M·A·C Senior Artist Fatima Thomas, and M·A·C Senior Artist Ashley Rudder. 

What's a "key artist?" you might ask. According to Thomas, "most people understand that to mean the person who leads the makeup team. I design the look and then I have a team that helps me execute it because one person can't do it all by his or herself. You work with the designer and the stylist to come up with a concept."

Fatima putting in #werk

Fatima putting in #werk


The Look


When asked about the makeup direction for the show, Fatima quickly reminded me that the focus for fashion week really is all about the fashion. 

The hair and makeup really need to work with the whole look of the clothing and help push the ideas forward that the guys have come up with for the season.

For Simon Miller specifically, Thomas leaned towards a classic "no-makeup" makeup look. 

For Simon Miller, I usually do the most raw skin that I can get away with. Now that doesn’t mean no makeup, but it means from person to person, from guy to girl, really looking at that person’s skin and deciding how much I actually really need, and not doing extra makeup steps just to do them.

The lip for the day was an unconventional combination of M·A·C products: a mix of their Patentpolish lip pencil in "Teen Dream" and their airbrush makeup color adjuster in "Ochre," traditionally used by Thomas to alter and optimize foundations for tan and brown skin tones. Together, the mix of products created a pretty tangerine color that looks natural while still making the models' lips pop. 


Thomas appeared to be really excited to create for Simon Miller. In addition to being sustainable, Thomas described the collection as "the kind of clothing you can live in, but still look cool."

Witnessing these incredible artists create magic with their hands was an incredible experience. 

Keep up with Fatima on Twitter

Keep up with Ashley Rudder on Instagram + Snapchat (she posts amazing swatches!)