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Backstage Beauty Heroes

Alice Barnett
Writer and expert10 years ago
View Alice Barnett's profile
model with rosy cheeks and a cat eyeliner flick

It’s September, which only means one thing to fashion fans: it’s Fashion Month! But it’s not all about the garments that strut down the runway. Behind every show is a backstage area buzzing with activity; where final looks come to fruition, skilled make up artists and hair stylists double down on their creativity to complement designers’ visions and supply new ways to wear the latest trends.  

Amongst the industry’s experts bringing their A-game to the catwalk arena are some names you’ll no doubt recognise. Discover some of our brands – and some of their must-have products – with founders who started their careers backstage creating looks for some of the biggest names in fashion.

Hair By Sam McKnight 

The hairdressing legend famed for creating Kate Moss’ ‘Cool Girl’ aesthetic, Sam McKnight is not only a key player at fashion week himself, but the products from his eponymous brand have been meticulously trialled at fashion shows and shoots. So, if you seek bouncy locks likes those on the catwalk, opt for the NEW and *exclusive* Cool Girl Volume Cleanse. Supercharged with fermented rice water, it’s enriched with a dual action volumising and thickening active ingredient that penetrates your hair cortex for long-lasting thickness. Pssst – there's a complementing conditioner and treatment mask too.   


Charlotte Tilbury 

A veteran of innumerable fashion shows, Charlotte Tilbury’s Magic Cream was originally developed when the MUA began mixing her own ‘magic moisturiser’ backstage to transform the look of models’ tired, dehydrated skin. It quickly became a must-have moisturiser thanks its unique blend of oils and actives which boasted some serious hydration powers, helping to plump-out the appearance of fine lines and creating the perfect canvas for make up. SHOP ALL CHARLOTTE TILBURY >>> 

Westman Atelier 

Gucci Westman is another famous face often seen backstage: after years of experience working in the industry, the make up maestro created her own cosmetics collection after she struggled to fill her kit with products that boasted skin-loving ingredients but are high performing. It’s why her line marries plant-based actives with cutting-edge science to enhance, calm and balance the complexion. You might also notice that a lot of the brand’s favourites are in stick format, including the iconic Westman Atelier's Cheeks Blush. Wondering why? Gucci learnt how to do make up using stick-shaped products, and finds them easy and intuitive to use – important when amongst the chaos at fashion week. 


Pat McGrath Labs

Hailed as the mother of make up, Pat McGrath is one of the world’s most celebrated British artists to ever grace the faces of catwalks, magazines and campaigns alike. Did you know she’s the conceptual genius behind beauty runway looks for Prada, Dior, Burberry, Givenchy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Versace (to name a few)? And one product you’ll always find in the MUA’s backstage kit is the essential Skin Fetish: Sublime Perfection Primer. A flood of hyaluronic acid instantly refreshes parched skin to leave it plumped and perfectly smoothed to create a well-prepped base. Let the artistry begin...   


Patrick Ta 

Last, but by no means least, on our list is PATRICK TA. Launched by one of Hollywood’s biggest celebrity make up artists back in 2019, the brand is reflective of what its founder learnt during their years backstage and on shoots. Known for bestowing celebrities with the dewiest complexions, the replenishing Glow Dewy Face Mist enables us all to recreate that signature catwalk glow. Delivering a dose of dew, this spray is glass skin in a bottle – delivering a dew-boosting finish to any look. 

Alice Barnett
Writer and expert
View Alice Barnett's profile
Alice is one of Cult Beauty’s Senior Copywriters. An avid charity shop hunter, gig goer and theatre enthusiast (seriously, she’s seen everything in the West End at least twice), Alice is never without a nourishing lip balm or her handbag-sized hairbrush. Complete with an unwavering obsession with hair masks and SPF – which must be at least factor 50 – she swears by daily application of Thank You Farmer’s Water Sun Cream SPF 50. When she’s not playing defence for the Cult Beauty Netball Team, she’s probably dog-watching with friends in East London’s Victoria Park.