The 5 Cult Backstage Beauty Products

TIGI Superstar Queen for a Day
Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrè
Bioderma Créaline H2O
Smith's Rosebud Salve
Evian Mineral Water Spray

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. 

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  • Mademoiselle nature

    As a french beauty blogger, Evian is a definitely a great choice! can't go wrong :-)

  • Jessica Rose

    Obv not in the *cult as I don't own any of these!!

  • Gauri

    Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentrè has been on my lust list since long :)

  • Carly Jade

    I love Queen For A Day Hairspray! I'd be so sad if I had to cover up the packaging though!

  • beeswaxnoneofyour

    I use the Evian spray, and while I do love it, I actually think Avene has the superior sprayer on their cans - the mist is a lot finer. I think I'm just attached to Evian as when I was a young teen in the late 80s this was always in Seventeen magazine as one of those staples every girl should have along with concealer and it struck my Midwestern self as totally exotic. Paying for water in a can? To spray on your face? This, Calyx and Coco perfume were the height of sophistication (Prescriptives Calyx, Ines de la Fressange for Chanel Coco perfume and Andie MacDowell for L'oreal ads took up a lot of space in just about every 80s issue of Seventeen I remember).

    • fourtinefork

      This is such a blast from the past, but as a fellow (former) Midwesterner, yes, all those things struck me as the height of chic back in junior high. You perfectly hit the nail on the head with your memories of Seventeen's advertising. You should have been the set dresser for the Carrie Diaries!

    • murt

      Definitely agree - Avene spray is the best.

    • pamb

      Calyx is back! I saw an ad that Clinique has now taken it over. Haven't been to see it in the stores yet, but when I do, I'll be buying it.

    • JuLee

      I'm a Texas girl and your comments were so fun to read - has me thinking of how it felt to experiment with beauty products when I was 16 in the late seventies. Evian was the rage then too and I can't ever give up that pink and white bottle. I think we went from Love's Baby Soft straight to Chanel and Evian.

  • ITG Annie

    I agree, my skin has transformed since I began using Embryolisse about a month ago. It's extremely sensitive and this is the only moisturizer I've found that absorbs well, isn't greasy, isn't too lightweight or heavy, and doesn't irritate or break me out. I even use it around my eyes--I've never been able to use a moisturizer for my entire face before. YAY EMBRYOLISSE!

  • Kira

    I started using Bioderma, Embryolisse, and a Clarisonic all around the same time and my skin was completely transformed from greasy and lackluster to glowing. I recently started using the Evian spray with my Beauty Blender and love it as well! I use the C.O. Bigelow Rosebud Salve instead but still love it. Now I'm dying to add Queen for a Day to my beauty routine!

  • Katy

    You put the lotion on your lips? I must try this when I get home!

  • Katy

    I so wanted to loved Bioderma, and it does a wonderful job of removing makeup, but it irritated my skin like most removers do :( I've actually had the best luck with Body Shop's Chamomile Eye Makeup Remover--doesn't work as quickly as Bioderma but it doesn't make my eyelids burn.

  • Dejana

    I have been using the queen for a day for years now, glad to see it's getting some recognition. I like using it just one the roots and then using a volumizing cream ( living proof make one on hair strands and the ends) this way you get messy lifted volume at the roots but the rest of your hair while it has volume is nice and smooth.

  • kathS

    this is great and all, but what about emily's essentials..?! It is fashion week.

    • ikillplants

      Seriously. It's taking all I got not to bay like a bloodhound for Emily's Essentials!! It's bad enough we have to wait a half-year.

    • adamalpha

      Been checking for it every day.

  • Sophie

    Embryolisse needs to die a death

    • ITGLacey

      Don't hate Embryolisse, but DO love the heck out of this comment.

  • Kasia

    I like Embryolisse, but after using it for a couple of months I needed to give it a break. I don't think it was moisturising enough for harsh winter weather. And for air-conditioned offices. And - how to put it - I think it does not penetrate the skin too well. I find Caudalie products to be much, much better than Embryolisse. That being said, I will probably buy Embryolisse again in some time. I just can't use it all the time.

    • Claudia

      I absolutely agree with this - I don't know what all the rage is about Embryolisse. Caudalie is much much better and more moisturizing IMO.

  • Film

    Can't live without my Bioderma! The best :) x

  • Denisse

    I just have to say that the smith's rosebud salve always ends up all over my mouth! Few minutes after applying and I feel like I just shoved my mouth into the pot…not a favorite of mine.

  • Kitty Catbiscuits

    Don't rate tigi. Stinks like bubble gum. Who wants to s
    mell like that all day? Black death is my choice - aka scharzkopf silhouette

  • Eleanor

    I have got to add the Evian facial water spray to my kit - both for myself and clients!

  • 1Alouette

    Evian Mineral Water Spray!!!! <3

  • Diana Gillean

    I'm going to have to try this Embryolisse. Thank you for sharing!

  • goodgoodthings

    How is the Bioderma with waterproof mascara?


TIGI Bed Head Superstar Queen For A Day
Embryolisse Lait-Crème Concentrè
Bioderma Créaline
Smith's Rosebud Salve
Evian Facial Water Spray