Derek Lam Spring 2012 Backstage Beauty

Orlando Pita is one of the most talented, affable hair stylists and his signature curly mane is the perfect refection of that (very fun, but impeccably maintained!) When I spoke with him about the look he created for Derek Lam's Spring 2012 show, he told me that he started off by considering the designer's inspiration, the architect Richard Neutra. Neutra's clean and simple lines led him to the ponytail. He added that he's a fan of the ponytail because of its versatility. "It's universal and works from day, with jeans, to night, with a ball gown." I wondered whether he considers the particular ponytail he created for Lam ideal for one or the other and he noted that it works for both because with such a severe ponytail, where your hair is very tightly pulled back, "the key is confidence."

Derek Lam

With hair so stringently pulled away from the face, makeup is particularly important and this season Tom Pecheux once again worked with Estee Lauder products to create a gorgeous look that included the use of one product that is sure to be a hot seller when it launches in January 2012, limited edition Pure Color Gloss in Citron Kiss. A gold-tinted gloss, it's the perfect lip finisher if you're looking for something that's natural, but stands out a bit more than your run-of-the-mill pale pink or clear gloss. For Lam's show, Pecheux told me that he didn't layer it on top of a lipstick, but that in "real life" one could easily do so. He also shared with me that the second key product for the look at Lam was the limited edition Gelee Bronzer, also launching in January. He suggests using it on the face, on the décolletage, on the shoulders — anywhere where you want a glowing, healthy finish with the "sexiness of the red carpet."

When describing how he came to the final look, Pecheux, like Pita, told me that he started by considering Lam's inspiration. Neutra worked extensively in California, Pecheux noted, so he wanted to infuse that 50s Californian chic architecture look with Lam's signature minimalist, feminine aesthetic, while adding a touch of "urban New York."

Want to mimic the look? Here's everything Pecheux used:

Eyes: Limited edition Pure Color EyeShadow Palette – Yellow shade (#5) used – launching January 2012, limited edition Pure Color Cyber Eyes Collection – launching November 2011, Pure Color Gelée Powder EyeShadow in Cyber Copper, Pure Color Gelée Powder EyeShadow in Cyber Green, Pure Color Intense Kajal EyeLiner in Blackened Olive, Sumptuous Extreme Mascara in Extreme Copper

Lips: Limited edition Pure Color Gloss in Citron Kiss – launching January 2012

Cheeks: Pure Color Blush tested backstage– launching February 2012, limited edition Gelée Bronzer tested backstage – launching January 2012

Face: Foundation tested backstage– launching March 2012, Double Wear Concealer Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10, Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder

Skin: Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex, Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15

As for nails, Estee Lauder worked once again with backstage nail superstar Jin Soon who opted to use Pure Color Nail Lacquer in Nude Attitude (only available overseas).

images: Sharon Feiereisen and IMAXtree