New York Fashion Week Backstage Grooming: Michael Bastian's Polished French Look

Our New York Fashion Week grooming report takes us backstage and behind the scenes at Michael Bastian's Spring 2014 show.

The Inspiration
To contrast last season, which Bastian described as "darker, moodier, and inspired by Maine, Andrew Wyeth, and American Gothic," this collection was all about the French. After immersing himself in classic European films this past winter, Bastian stumbled upon Le Ballon Rouge (The Red Balloon), which got him thinking about how French men dress. Fittingly, the mood for this season is "joyful and brighter," says Bastian.

The Grooming
Men's stylist Martial Vivot took cues from French actor Alain Delon ("the most handsome French actor ever") for hair that's neat and groomed, but not overdone. First, Vivot dabbed some of his soon-to-be-launched lightweight grooming creme on damp hair, then repeatedly blow dried small sections with a paddle brush until all the hair was "polished, yet dry."

To achieve skin that's "perfect without being too perfect," makeup artist Max Delorme smoothed on a thin layer of Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream all over the face, then concealed pimples with a mixture of the BB Cream and Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer, which he favors for its ability to "both highlight and fix flaws." Eyes took a slightly dramatic turn with a blend of two dark Maybelline Eye Studio Color Tattoo shadows, which Delmore patted on both sides of the top of the nose to create depth and subtle shadows.

What did Michael Bastian think?
"I like that French men have definitive eyes. Bags and dark circles show they've had a rough night before, maybe with lots of cigarettes, coffee, and talk about philosophy. And I find that really beautiful."

Pro tip
You don't need a ton of styling products or time to create polished hair at home. The key, according to Vivot, is to use both hot and cool air. While hair is still damp, go at it first with heat, then switch your dryer's settings to cool to finish. "This way, even without product, hair will have some sheen," he says.

—Katie Chang is a writer and shopkeeper based in Brooklyn. Follow her at @katieshewrote.

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Photo by Raul Tovar
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