Last week, while backstage in the makeshift hair corridor at a Show That Shall Not Be Named, an ITG reporter thought it odd that there were dozens of cans of some sort of hairspray product, the brand name obscured completely with black electrical tape.
The tape could only mean one thing: this was contraband, a product that was decidedly not by one of the show's beauty-brand sponsors but yet was a key component in readying the models—hence the tape. Yes, makeup artists and hair stylists absolutely use the sponsors' products in creating the looks, but you can't expect every brand to offer every piece of the runway beauty puzzle. This of course doesn't stop the curious from getting curiouser. What was this missing link?! The reporter, disguised as someone not terrified to talk to preoccupied but also aloof French hairstylists, smiled mischievously at one and asked what was in the can. “Peel the tape off, and I kill you,” he replied. She noted to never try the fast-friends-gossipy-insider approach ever again, ever.
A little digging in the ITG interview archives revealed a backstage quote from hairstylist James Pecis about his favorite secret: TIGI Superstar Queen for a Day hairspray. “It’s like a Swiss Army knife product for everything. You can do so much with it, which is why we use it most often. We bring suitcases full. We have no sponsor that we have to give credits to today, so we didn’t wrap it in black tape.” The quote may be circumstantial evidence at best (and, just FYI he elaborates on the holy grail product here), but the smoking gun was the can's distinct shape. And Queen for a Day is one of five contraband products that we've seen, time after time, backstage after backstage. Check 'em out:
-TIGI Superstar Queen for a Day: The "Swiss Army knife" hair product is a thickening spray that provides soft, second-day texture and lots of fullness.
-Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrè: We’ve put together a post that exists solely to link readers to all the times a Top Shelf-er has raved about this stuff. It has classic No. 2 pencil status in every makeup artist’s kit.
-Bioderma Créaline H2O: And this is that No. 2 pencil’s eraser. It’s the choice makeup/residue remover for it’s Xtreme, uh, gentleness, and undeniable effectiveness.
-Smith’s Rosebud Salve: The pink-tinted, surgical-grade petroleum balm is what makeup artists often turn to when creating a dewy, glossy sheen on lips, eyelids, and cheeks. And to think, you’ve had this stuff in your purse since junior high.
-Evian Mineral Water Spray: Makeup setter? Tired skin refresher? Blending sponge dampener? Or, is this stuff always backstage because, as hard as coconut water may try, Evian is the drink of choice amongst the fashion elite? Like NYC tap water is coming anywhere near those IMG-signed pores.
Photos by Mathea Millman.