Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

I’m just back from being a guest of Paul & Joe Beaute for their SS17 fashion show in Paris. Usually, backstage is complete chaos; noisy and hot with way to many people crammed in to too small a space. Well, the Paul & Joe backstage experience has proved that it doesn’t have to be that way at all! It was the quietest, most peaceful backstage experience I think I’ve ever had – very elegant in its way.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

That’s not to say that it wasn’t busy or there weren’t artistic, er, differences (#redlipgate will live forever in my head), and a degree of stress over the logistics (more later), but it was just – calm! That’s the ideal backdrop to really focus in on the makeup and take on board the level of detail that goes into creating and executing a beauty look that will compliment a fashion collection.

Paul & Joe catwalk beauty is traditionally understated – this time, makeup artist, Mark Carrasquillo, was working to a concept of a London girl experimenting with makeup for the first time.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

That translated to a sheer, dewy and ultra-fresh base with an overdose of heavy, black mascara on top and bottom lids. The prep to create a fresh skin look on models who are literally at the end of their energy levels (this was the second to last show of the SS17 fashion show season, having worked its way through New York, Milan and London and finally, Paris) is key and I saw the models being given facial massages with Paul & Joe Beaute’s new skin care before any makeup took place.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

Combining a facial cleanse and massage (using the forthcoming skin oil) and buffing the skin up to a glow meant they got exactly that fresh sheen finish when topped with Paul & Joe Gel Foundation (HERE).

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty : Runthrough Instructions
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty : Run Through Instructions

Logistically, it was a difficult show to produce. The backstage area was two streets away from the catwalk in the Marais area of Paris with the runway walk happening to the backdrop of the River Seine.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

An outdoor show in October is risky, particularly when you have to get 35 models across a double zebra crossing. You can never guarantee good weather and yet this day in Paris was 70 degrees in pure sunshine for the walk-though (models in dressing gowns and hairclips everywhere) and by early evening it was still hot enough for ice lollies to be served to the waiting audience!

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

It’s unusual to use so many models in one show but there was no place for outfit changes so all the outfits needed their own designated model.

The mood of the collection was joyful, floral, grungy, sparkly and sloppy-chic. Sophie Mechaly mixed cool palettes of white, taupe and pearl with searing orange, denim and cornflower blues. There’s a white shirt with embroidered beaded flowers (below) that I might have to sell my dog to buy (eek, not really!). I don’t want to wait til February for it!

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

The beauty looks need to compliment, but not overshadow the clothes, so I can see why the red lip – planned at the beginning as part of the look – never actually made it onto the catwalk. But, it’s kind of a shame because Paul & Joe has some beautiful, luscious reds in their lipstick line-up.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

As we waited for the show to start, it was apparent that there were some notable celebrities – Olivia Palermo and Zara Martin – but stealing the Frow Show was US Instagrammer and model, Jasmine Sanders AKA Golden Barbie (I know, me neither) and Chinese blogger, Viann Zhang (ditto, but very, very famous).

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

These people had people.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

It’s a shame that months of planning and meticulous hours backstage by manicure, hair and makeup teams is over in a matter of minutes – I wanted them to run it again because it was over too quickly. Seeing the evolution of models bare-faced in dressing gowns and hairclips mid-afternoon to the immaculate dewy skinned, false lash effect presentation in the riverside twilight was very, very special.

Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty
Paul & Joe SS17 Backstage Beauty

I have a post coming up about the Paul & Joe Beaute skin care – I need to run it through its paces a couple more times – but the packaging… the packaging!

 

NB: Travel expenses/accom met by Paul & Joe.

 

*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated