Catwalk Cut: Backstage Beauty at Katie Gallagher Fall 2013 Tuesday 26 February, 2013

Narnia and frozen beauty make for a romantic hair, makeup and nail combination at Katie Gallagher.

The backstage at Katie Gallagher’s Fall 2013 presentation is so tight, it’s hard to concentrate on what TIGI lead hairstylist Nick Irwin is saying. “There’s a reference to Narnia—a slight Gothic element to the clothes,” he says as people shove their way past him. This would make sense: The designer named her collection “Winter Froze You Away,” referencing the inherent darkness that comes with the chilly season.


“We’re creating dual texture,” he says, noting that the designer’s use of textures in her collection partly influenced this decision. “We also really wanted the hair off the face,” he adds, pointing to the slicked-back crown. He’s first prepping hair along the hairline and crown with Catwalk by TIGI Curlesque Strong Mousse, sectioning hair into 1/2-inch to 1-inch areas at the nape of the neck. He twists these sections around his finger forming tight ropes, which he then pins into a small finger curl set. “We’re spraying theses pinned ropes with Catwalk by TIGI Sleek Mystique Look-Lock Spray and applying heat with a flat iron to hurry the set,” he says.


Once the set cools, Nick brushes out his newly formed ropy curl into a frenzy of dry, “almost brittle” (his words, not mine) texture. To drum up a wet, almost greased feel around the hairline, he adds Catwalk by TIGI Session Series True Wax. As a final detail, Nick secures the hair where “greased meets brittle” with crisscrossed bobby pins, using them as much for their utility as a decoration. A round of backbrushing of the lower half of the hair further beefs up the style, which Nick then “nips” into an elastic about an inch from the bottom.


For the makeup, MAC lead makeup artist Romero Jennings crafts a beautifully sculpted look punctuated with a pop of green and white. “We’re taking from Katie’s idea—that idea that winter is freezing you. She’s becoming a part of the place where she’s lost something she loves,” he says.

The eye is central to the look, and he begins the design with MAC Fascinating Eye Khol on the waterline—a key to the white-heavy look. He blends MAC Coffee Walnut Sculpt Cream (notably a favorite amongst all MAC artists this season) along the tear duct and outer crease and then introduces MAC Pro Pure White Acrylic Paint on the eyelid, extending it to a point on the inner tear duct. Two MAC Eyeshadow hues, Mystery and Blue Calm, bring an element of color to the design, while MAC Blacktrack Fluid Line along the lash line and a few coats of mascara anchor the design and ensure the eye doesn’t become lost amongst all that white noise.


Color Club lead tech Miss Pop gives the crowning touch to this unusual beauty look: long, clear, pointed talons brandishing a pointelle design created with four ombré hues, one of which is a custom-blend for the show. Miss Pop dots the four nail polish shades—a lightest “dove grey,” slightly darker Sheer Disguise, deep charcoal Muse-ical and black Where’s the Soiree (all by Color Club)—darkest near the free edge and lightest near the nail bed. “This is super-user-friendly nail art design because you don’t have to polish with your non-dominant hand,” she says. “All you do is use a dotting tool, dip it in the polish and then dot down the nail, going from dark to light. It’s like a sera painting, where it gently graduates and shows a different color.” It’s breathtakingly gorgeous—an easily replicated look that looks anything but simple.


What aspect of the Katie Gallagher beauty look do you love best? Sound off in the comments!

Karie L. Frost Signature

(All images property of Karie L. Frost/


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