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Backstage at Jason Wu’s SS21 NYFW Runway Show

The fresh hair and makeup for Wu’s Tulum-inspired presentation offered New Yorkers a stylish moment of escape

New York City has once again demonstrated its resilience in the wake of tragedy, frustration, and chaos. New York Fashion Week is a two-week flurry of emerging trends, celebrity cameos, stylish parties, and of course, months of hard work resulting in an adrenaline pumping runway show. NYFW has a different vibe this year. With most designers presenting their spring/summer 2021 collections digitally with online presentations, live broadcasts, and runway shows available for streaming on YouTube, the thought of racing to Spring Studios in the rain (it is always raining during NYFW) to make a fashion show only to realize the show isn’t starting for another 20 minutes feels like an odd fever dream.

But, New York City is allowing a limited number of live, in-person runway shows and presentations throughout NYFW, while abiding by the correct safety guidelines and taking the necessary precautions. MONSE, Rebecca Minkoff, and Bronx and Banco are among the few designers who will present live shows on the outdoor terrace at Spring Studios.

Fashion designer Jason Wu presented his spring/summer 2021 runway show on Sunday at Spring Studio’s rooftop terrace to just 30 socially-distanced attendees. The Tulum-inspired wooden boardwalk runway was surrounded by lush greenery and relaxed beachy-chic chairs for the lucky attendees. The colorful bohemian runway show was opened by LGBTQ+ activist Indya Moore. Other models who walked the runway included Grace Elizabeth, Indira Scott, and Hanne Gaby Odiele.

Maybelline New York for Jason Wu

Wu tapped Erin Parsons, Lead Makeup Artist for Maybelline New York, to create the model’s beauty looks for his holiday-inspired runway show. Parsons embraced the sun-kissed look by incorporating faux freckles using minimal product. “When you’re on vacation you don’t really wear much makeup. We applied Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Coffee Edition in Espresso Enthusiast and Chai Genius since the models had to wear masks following application, and we knew that the makeup would not move,” Parsons says of the makeup looks.

Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Coffee Edition

To complement the laidback makeup look, Wu opted for approachable hair that could be edited for each model depending on their hair type. Hair stylist Holli Smith used the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer Professional Edition and the Dyson Corrale™ hair straightener to create each model’s hairstyle whether they have short, long, straight, curly, or wavy hair. “We thought best for some of the girls to get an easy, dry low ponytail with their own hair textures to expose the neckline of the clothing. Others will keep their hair down in a messy but soft texture and the people with short hair and haircuts will be the best version of their own look,” Smith explains.

Below, Parsons and Smith broke down the makeup and hair looks seen on Jason Wu’s runway so you can recreate the tropical styles no matter where you are.


Parsons began by applying Maybelline New York Super Stay Full Coverage Foundation to even out the skin. Then, she layered Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush in Nude Burn and Maybelline New York City Bronzer to the top of the cheekbones and nose for a natural, vacation-inspired glow. Sun kissed faux-freckles were applied in a fleckeling motion with Maybelline New York SuperStay Matte Ink Coffee Edition in Espresso Enthusiast and Chai Genius. Parsons dipped a flat bristle brush into the product and flecked them onto models’ faces.

Maybelline New York Cheek Heat Gel-Cream Blush


To groom the brows, Maybelline New York Brow Ultra Slim Defining Pencil was used to fill in arches and brush brow hairs upwards, creating that fluffy, feathered look. Top lashes were coated with Maybelline New York Great Lash Mascara in Clear, leaving lashes separated and subtle.

Maybelline New York Brow Ultra Slim Defining Pencil


For a very natural lip, Parsons reached for a NYFW backstage staple, Maybelline New York Baby Lips Repairing Lip Balm in Quenched.

Maybelline New York Baby Lips Repairing Lip Balm


Do not brush hair. For straighter or wavy hair, add the AZ Intense Volume Mist to top of head to create a bit of hold and volume and push the product into the hair without scrunching or messing the hair too much. Dry with the Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer Professional Edition’s diffuser attachment on low power and medium temperature to protect the texture you’re creating and by letting the diffuser do the work for you, you can create a piece-y texture with root volume. Add the spray into rest of hair and diffuse.

For textures like curl or coiled texture, using the mixture of both AZ Smooth Serum and AZ Elixir Nourishing Oil (thicker hair more oil drops to serum and fiber hair less serum so product combo is lightweight) is a good way to use product for all hair texture needs. Rubbing the product into hand together then apply fingertips of product into midshaft, re-rubbing the left over product again in hand to fingertips to apply to ends and then what is lightly left in hands, rub and use the rest of product left in hand to top of hair. This allows even distribution.

Dyson Supersonic™ hair dryer Professional Edition’s diffuser attachment

After wavy and straighter hair is dry, leave it. It is best to go over thicker or more stubborn hair once or twice with the Dyson Corrale™ hair straightener at 330 degrees or up to 410 degrees. Afterwards, shake out the hair a bit and finish with AZ Amplify Texture Spray. This will create a dryer hair texture but with slight tousled touches.

To pull back the hair, grab the hair together without brushing, pull it behind the ears, keeping all the natural unevenness and texture as much as possible. Take a strong elastic band and tie the hair in a very low, simple ponytail placed so the pony will lay closest to your body between shoulder blades.