Betsey Johnson Beauty Fall 2011

Just last week I did an account of Betsey Johnson’s Fall 2011 collection from New York Fashion Week, but I decided as I had waffled on enough and should probably do a separate post on the beauty trends I spied, so voila, here it is! I was really inspired by the beauty and hair trends this year by Betsey, and it’s not normally something that grabs my attention. This year I felt it was a real move towards the editorial, and the striking look we see in the ‘He Loves Me Not’ part, aka. the Black Tag high end line, is very reminiscent of Pat McGrath's high end looks for say Dior. So I’ll discuss and display photos for make up, then hair, then nails.

Make Up

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Both hair and make up have a very 1920s flapper esque look, and unlike Betsey’s normal shows, the make up is full on bold and daring! In fact Betsey herself described it as, ‘Betsey goes flapper’ with hair and makeup, as the Stylist write ‘that brimmed with the same kind of whimsical confidence found in the retro-fabulous clothing’. The make up was created by Charlotte Willer of Maybelline, and she applied contrasting shades to create a masquerade mask of sultry blue and gold blocking across the eyes, with bold vamp red lips to match the strong statement eyes. "I'm working with the same palette of colours Betsey wears, and making it even more bold and full of colour-if you can believe it!" said Willer.

HOW TO GET THE LOOK MAKEUP: As thanks to Stylist. All the shades are by Maybelline but I plan on trying it myself, and own absolutely no Maybelline shades, but this is particularly because I don’t agree with their ethics…and probably a separate post altogtether! Anyway if you’re using  Maybelline, Willer used Eye Studio Colour Plush Silk Eyeshadow in ‘Sapphire Stylist’ (not released until September) across the lid and out toward the temples in a colour block, creating that masquerade mask shape, you could use some tape to help with this, before highlighting with a dusting of gold on the inner corners. To finish the look apply lashings of Falsies Mascara and get those vampish lips with ‘Red Haute’ lipstick, which again, isn’t released until September.


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But it’s perhaps the Betsey’s hair designs that really set the catwalk alight and it was by far one of the most innovative and creative style of fashion week. Was this real hair though? Well no, the look was in fact achieved with acrylic wigs which were cut to blunt, angled in a way to suit each model, and is again a 1920s esque design. This was then spray-painted in a gradation of gold so as to fake a permanent brilliant shine line. Then the fun, beautiful element, where lace fabric was held over the gold and spray-painted black, to leave the most stunning, gorgeous effect.

And for the second part, ‘He Loves Me’, the Betsey wigs were achieved by twisting “little rubber bands at the base of hair strands so that the hair pops and moves just like Betsey's extensions," said Peter Gray, for Redken, who adds that “the whole look adds levity to the show, you can't help but smile when you see the playfulness of the whole vision." I think this was definitely achieved!

HOW TO GET THE LOOK FOR HAIR: As thanks again to Stylist for this information. All the products for this look were created by Redken. Firstly, the black acrylic wigs were flat-ironed for a sleek texture before strands were snipped into a blunt bang and angled bob, to suit every single models face. Isn’t that just the perfect finishing touch? Next gold spray-paint was applied in gradation down the back of the bob to create a high-shine illusion, you know, like when the sun hits the back of your head. Gray then aligned sheer black lace fabric straight over the gold paint, spraying black paint over it to leave the ornamental imprint of lace. This perfectly matched the beautiful lace and luxe fabrics that were seen in the black tag line collection. To finish and set the look, hairspray No. 12 made for moveable hold that swayed, while Lacquer No. 18 and the yet-to-debut Shine Spray created a glasslike finish.


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The nails are usually ignored at a Betsey show, but this year’s was really interesting. Nonie Creme, Founding Creative Director of butter London, custom-blended a brassy gold bronze shade to complement the gold tone found in the hair especially for the Betsey show. The shade is named ‘Wallis’, after the 1920s socialite Wallis Warfield, whose love affair with Prince Edward VIII prompted the Duke of Windsor to abdicate his throne in order to marry the American. Interestingly the final burnished-olive nail colour we see above was actually plan B. As Creme told Stylist , "Betsey asked for some grunge, so we first got crazy and dipped nails in black paint and let it run down the hands. But then after 10 or so glasses of Champagne, we decided it was overkill. Betsey asked for 'grunge fairy tale,' so we went with a dressed-up shade to accent the gold in the models' hair, and to represent the more sophisticated tone of the collection…the theme is the inherent naughtiness that comes from a Betsey girl…when you watch the catwalk, you will be surprised; the Betsey girl is now definitely high fashion; she's vampier and sophisticated, and getting her sex on.” Creme is spot on here, as like I said in my previous post, the emergence of Betsey’s under $100 line means that Betsey can finally become more elaborate and editorial in her designs than ever before, and she can really start to push those boundaries that she was perhaps slightly limited to before.

HOW TO GET THE LOOK FOR NAILS: The colour she created is predominantly gold and green, and to get this look now (if you can’t wait for the shade to be released!), Creme suggests starting with an empty bottle and starting with a lot less of the darker hues than you may actually need. Mix in black, gold, green, and grey, until you have found the perfect mix.

So what do you think of the beauty, hair and nail trends seen in the Betsey collection? I’m so excited by how her whole look is going more high fashion, and I am definitely going to try all the looks out. What do you think? Would you like to see my version?!



  1. Wow, I love that hair! And the nails are such a pretty colour too!

  2. Her shoes are amazing. I agree with you, I think she took a step up this season. And I love it. I am sitting her hoping that I can get a wig like theirs or something. I love the spray painted designs on the wigs. That is so cool! And the nail polish color is really wow. Gorgeous!

  3. OMG I love the lace look on their hair!! How unique!! xx

  4. @ Hayley- I know, the hair is just so stunning, and the nails are such an interesting shade.

    @ Emily Anne- yes me too! I seriously want to buy a wig and try and do this look myself! And yes it's a huge step up, she's becoming a lot more high end, and she's finally being seen as a proper designer!

    @ The Fashion Teller- I know it's just SO stunning, very unique indeed!



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