Backstage Makeup Breakdown: Marc Jacobs Fall 2009 at NY Fashion Week

After a decade, François Nars finally returned to the runway at the Marc Jacobs Fall 2009 show.

Drawing inspiration from the New York night club scene of the 1970s and ’80s and the works of Sprouse, St. Laurent, and Halston, Nars took into consideration each model’s individual beauty and created 65 different makeup looks on the 65 models. Each model has a separate edgy look, reminiscent of the past but still very modern. “We are doing quite an eclectic look,” he said. The inspiration for diversity came from Nars’ book XRAY. “Marc wanted to keep that feeling,” said Nars, “the variety of looks, the same way we do the campaigns for NARS.”


For many of the models, porcelain skin was a key component, allowing the black eyes and bright colors to pop. The cheeks are also perfectly contoured for a strong, theatrical look.


Focusing on an edgy, night clubbing look, a strong cat eye and bold color were a major theme. Black eyeshadow was used as a base before cobalt blues, deep greens, bright purples, reds, fuchsias and glitter were added on top. “There is a wide variety of color,” said Nars, “it’s whatever looks good on the girl.”

Product Recs: NARS Single Eyeshadows in Nightlife Collection


When it comes to the lips, we see the perfectly defined red lip, soft nude lip and the 80s frosty dark lip.


Just like the makeup, each of the models had a tailor-made style. Lead hairstylist Guido Palau from Redken created the ’80s punk rock dos, frizzed out Mohawks, twisted updos, teased Afros, slicked-backed crops and towering beehives with lots of gel and hair spray.

Images: WWD and NARS.

Phyllis Li is the Founder and Editor-in-chief of Makeup For Life, one of the top 50 beauty blogs that focuses on celebrity makeup breakdowns, product reviews, makeup tutorials and all things beauty. Having lived and traveled in North America, Europe and Asia, she was exposed to different techniques and products at an early age and hopes to put a global perspective towards beauty. Phyllis won the Best Content Award by Total Beauty in 2008 and has been featured in various publications and websites including ELLE,, Yahoo Shine!, AOL Stylelist, Nylon Korea, VOGUE China, Ming Pao Daily (Canada) and Shanghai Weekly. In 2010, she was appointed one of the nine Real Women Ambassadors in the United States to take part in the Latisse® Wishes Challenge, working with Hollywood celebrity Kathy Ireland and raised over $400,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation to grant wishes for approximately 54 children. In 2012, she teamed up with luxury skincare brand TATCHA and released a limited-edition 3-Piece Set of her favorite beauty products. Phyllis currently lives in Chicago, US. She is a regular contributor to Shanghai Daily's StyleHai Magazine and a member of the Glam Beauty Network.


  1. wow, I’m not loving these looks at all! Nars has great makeup, but sometimes his color usage looks too bruised, even for high fashion.

    Anyhow, I tagged you Phyllis for “What You’re Using Now” :)

  2. The girl in the second photo with the red lips looks IDENTICAL to Uma Thurman, anyone agree with me here?

    I love the looks, so over the top and fascinating to look at. Obviously not to wear to Chili’s for dinner.

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