A Makeup Artist Dishes On What It’s like Backstage at Fashion Week
MAC Pro Team’ s John Stapleton talks about mad backstage rushes, fixing emergenices and more!
-Brittany Roshelle Davis
During New York Fashion Week all eyes are on the runway. But who is behind the stage, wiping brows and making all those models shine? It’s the make-up artists. They work with designers to ensure that the makeup accentuates their clothing and their vision. Makeup artists are the key to fashion week going off without a glitch. Here to give BettyConfidential an exclusive look backstage is John Stapleton, Senior Makeup Artist at MAC Cosmetics. This Brooklyn born Angelno, has fifteen years of worldwide experience to dish about. We’re talking everything from touching up celebrities, working with models, and dealing with desperate housewives.
Betty Confidential: What goes into preparing for a show during fashion week?
John Stapleton: First and foremost, you have to make sure your kit is in order. This means trying to stock it with as many products and colors you can think of while keeping it extremely organized. You never know when a designer is going to ask for a neon yellow lip. Then there’s the idea of packing, will it be cold, what comfortable weather-proof shoes will you wear? There’s also lot of press backstage so you wanna look good, but you can’t look so good that you’re competing with the models and the collection. There’s only room for one Betsey Johnson backstage. We don’t need any wanna-be’s!
Betty Confidential: What is fashion week like for a make-up artist?
John Stapleton: New York sets the precedent for all the fashion weeks to follow. What happens in New York doesn’t stay in New York; it influences the looks you will see in London, Milan, and Paris. Even though you’re running through the slush-filled streets with your kit and being stuffed into a small hot room with hardly any lighting where you wait for the seven girls that are coming late to the show, there are many moments of pain and pleasure. In a flash, everyone is clapping and for a moment you feel like a part of history. Then, you’re rushed out. Like a nomad hooker-onto your next trick thinking, “Gee I hope they have food at the next venue…”
Betty Confidential: What does the MAC Pro team do exactly for this event?
John Stapleton: We are there to supply artistry and bring a forecast of products of the season. In some cases we key shows; in others we support the amazing top tier artists who rule fashion week. We are a messenger of what is to come. It’s a wonderful honor to collaborate with other artists and sculpt the future of fashion with lipsticks and powder.
Betty Confidential: What’s it like working with models?
John Stapleton: Let’s be honest, it’s hard to mess up. They are flawless creatures with beautiful skin, fabulous eyes, and lips. As long as you are listening to the specific instructions of the key artist, you’ll be fine. Most models want to be done quickly so they can go chitchat, talk on phones, and listen to music. They’re teenagers.
How John broke into makeup and spring makeup tips are just a click away!