Sophia Panych, Allure magazine
This is my sixth season covering backstage beauty at Fashion Week. Besides becoming a pro at balancing a notebook, recorder, and iPhone at the same time, plus sticking it out for hours in five-inch heels, I've also learned what I need to keep stashed in my purse to get me through the long days without tuning into a hot mess.
Dry shampoo. The odds are against me: Not only do I have superfine hair that gets greasy fast, it's also dyed blonde (which means minimal washing). Dry shampoo is an absolute must. Rene Furterer makes a travel-size bottle of their Naturia Dry Shampoo that I can whip out between shows to douse my sad roots before heading to the next venue.
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Spoolie brush. Having perfectly groomed brows keeps you looking polished, even if the rest of your makeup is gone. I tossed the eyebrow/mascara brush from my Kevyn Aucoin set in my makeup bag for the week so I can comb my arches into place wherever I might be.
Blotting papers. My mom has very oily skin. My dad has very oily skin. This means I have very, very oily skin (thanks, guys). And backstage, the makeup lights are seriously hot, so it's good to have a way to get rid of shine without whipping out a big brush and powder compact. I love the Evening Aburatorigami packs from Tatcha, which are a smaller version of their original Aburatorigami beauty papers.
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Mascara and concealer. The easiest way to revive your makeup is with a fresh coat of mascara and some concealer. Mascara opens up and defines your eyes, while concealer hides redness and fills in any spots where your foundation has faded away. I always have RMS Un-Cover Up (the foundation/concealer hybrid) and a sample size of Guerlain's Noir G mascara in my bag.
Fragrance. Sorry, I know it's not very glamorous, but after an entire day of cab rides and running from show to show, you end up not smelling so fresh. This season I'm carrying around the rollerball from Sephora's Cinderella collection (out this October). Yeah, that's right-a Disney princess fragrance. I think there's something a little sexy and musky about it that would have Prince Charming's jaw on the floor.
Skin refreshers. In lieu of lip balm I carry around Lucas Papaw Ointment, which can go on lips, cuticles, and any other dry spots to soften them up. For tired undereyes, Boscia's Super Cool De-Puffing Eye Balm does the trick. It's cooling and soothing and all together awesome, because you can swipe it on top of makeup without ruining it.
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Hair ties. But not just any hair ties. I like fancy-looking hair ties that can pass as bracelets, since I'm constantly pulling my hair up and then letting it back down. This season, I'm totally obsessed with the ones shown above from Goody's DoubleWear line.