Every fashion show is sponsored by a slew of beauty brands—whether it's Redken or Revlon—and that brand determines the majority of the pots, tubes, and brushes you'll find backstage. There are, however, a stable of universal products that we spotted on every makeup artist's table—no sponsorship necessary. Most of them hailed from French pharmacies, almost all of them had foreign names, and every single one is on our shopping list.
Bioderma Crealine H20 Ultra Mild Non-Rinse Face and Eyes Cleanser ($20)
This makeup remover is the stuff of dreams. Though it looks and smells like water, the formula can remove everything from matte lipstick to waterproof mascara. Dip a Q-Tip into the top of the bottle for the perfect tool with which to shape your liquid eyeliner.
Bioron Homeoplasmine Ointment ($24)
Homeoplasmine is actually medicinal. An antiseptic full of plant extracts, it's supposed to help with everything from burns and scratches to colds, but backstage it's used like a lip balm. There was such a huge demand for natural this season, like at Reed Krakoff, that this was the only thing to touch most models' lips because it offers texture without major shine.
Embryolisse Lait Crème Concentre ($26)
Embryolisse is the beauty world's go-to lotion. At Proenza Schouler, makeup artist Diane Kendal used brown eyeliner and eye shadow on the models' eyelids, only to wipe most of it off and smudge Embryolisse on top of the residue for a slight, almost dirty, glow. In real life, you can use this exceptionally hydrating cream on your face and body.
Evian Face Spray ($14)
Because natural was so in for spring, makeup artists spent an unprecedented amount of time prepping the models' skin before applying product. That meant face sprays, moisturizer, and lots of brightening serums (particularly Nars' Brightening Serum ($61). Evian dominated in the spray category. The artists would use it to dampen the models' faces before applying any creams for maximum absorption.
Elizabeth Arden 8-Hour Cream ($19.50)
This old-school cream is the key to that runway glossiness. It made its way onto eyes, cheekbones, and lips backstage last week. Use it more conservatively in real life, but don't be afraid to mix it with your favourite eye shadow for that glossy eye we raved about earlier this summer.
Lucas Papaw Ointment ($30)
Like Homeoplasmine, this Australian formula was originally whipped up 100 years ago to heal burns, scratches, and scars. Now it's the go-to lip balm for the country's surfers and luxury makeup artists alike. The fermented papaya at its core has even been shown to help with eczema.
L'Oreal Elnett Hairspray ($15)
This is neither foreign nor makeup-related, but the backstage teams are so keen on using this legendary hairspray to set the models' hair that some go to great lengths to disguise their brand treachery and wrap the gold cans in black electric tape.