Elsewhere in the country, springtime means longer days, warmer temperatures and pollen, pollen everywhere. While these things happen in Louisiana, too, we’re blessed with some lagniappe: crawfish boils, Abita Strawberry and festival season’s kickoff. From New Orleans’ Jazz Fest and Baton Rouge’s Red Stick Food Fest to Rayne’s Frog Festival and Madisonville’s Dragon Boat festival, there’s always a reason to party in the spring…and that celebratory spirit is exactly what inspired our spring/summer 2017 lookbook. Read on to learn more about our inspiration and get festival style tips from the pros.
The dream team and their vision
“The whole concept is built around festival season,” says Andi Eaton, the shoot’s creative director. “The lookbook follows three girlfriends as they spend a weekend attending the festivals or just hanging out. All of them have completely different styles, but they share a love for the music, food and beautiful weather of New Orleans.”
If this down to earth approach sounds like a departure from the overly styled, conceptual-to-the-point-of-being-unwearable hair shoots that are common in the industry, that’s because it is. Our team eschewed heavy heat styling and product usage, instead focusing on bringing out the models’ unique textures and features.
“Hair was loose and no big deal,” says lead hair stylist Chris Guidry. “The makeup was soft and natural, almost like they did it themselves.”
Wash-and-wear hair takes center stage
In a time when more and more people are ditching the daily blow-dry routine and requesting flattering, low-maintenance cuts, these effortless looks “just seem a little more authentic,” says Guidry, who worked with Paul Eastin, Courtney Bradberry and Tatum Neill on hair. Water, retexturizing gel, thickening tonic and volumizing tonic were the stand-out products, and models’ looks included braids, a hairpiece and a low-key take on finger waves.
“[These unstyled looks] are very anti-hairdresser, very anti-industry, but they’re the reality at the same time,” Guidry says. “We’re a lot more focused on what is going on around us as opposed to just creating hair. No one wants to walk around with a bright yellow mohawk… We don’t want staged, phony images. It’s a different direction than what hairdressers have used in the past.”
The new girl(s)
Another note of realness? The team tapped two actual Paris Parker clients and an employee for the shoot. Eaton highlighted each girl’s individual style with an eye toward making the final looks relatable.
“We want people to be inspired for their own style and think the girl in the photo is someone they could be like,” says Eaton, who pulled wardrobe from Stonefree Boutique in New Orleans’ South Market District.
One girl has a tomboy-chic style (“She loves overalls, a loose-fitting style, and her cropped, natural hair style reflects that too,” Eaton says) and another is a bit more glam, with fashionable rose-hued hair. The third girl sports a 1970s hippie style. “She has long, center parted hair, braids and all sorts of fun, different hairstyles,” Eaton says.
Power pops: eye and lip accent colors that stay all day
To complement these looks, makeup artist Sasha Ahart drew inspiration from the vibrant, colorful city of New Orleans itself.
“I totally got to feed off the colors of the city and use them on my models,” Ahart says. “Because everything was so undone for hair, I used the makeup to give it that really fun feel.”
Ahart kept the faces fresh–sun protection, sweeps of highlighter and bronzer–and added in pops of bright blue, hot pinks, oranges and corals. Her minimal-but-fun makeup approach is a good blueprint for festival faces. The color bursts weren’t just pretty–they were strategically applied to endure a day of biking, walking and eating po-boys in the sun.
The secret? It’s all in the placement.
“I used accents, not a full ton of makeup all over the face,” she says. “Stick with an accent color, whether it be eyeliner running across the lash line, as opposed to the entire eye being covered. or an ombre lip with a pop of color in the center, faded out to a lighter color.”
Ahart also layered the accent colors to give them additional staying power–essential during hot, humid Louisiana summers, when a thunderstorm drenching is only a misplaced umbrella away.
“Any time you want the makeup to last, I suggest using a pencil, an eyeliner or lip liner, and going over it with the coordinating eye shadow or lip color,” she says. “If you have multiple layers, when the first layer wear away, you still have another bit of color underneath.”
Which means more time dancing by the main stage and less time worrying about touch-ups. It also means the skin’s natural beauty and radiance are brought to the forefront–not buried under layers of contour and concealer.
“The makeup is about helping create the glow within naturally beautiful skin,” Eaton says. “The trend in beauty right now is moving toward fantastic self care and less about what you’re applying topically.”
Proper hydration, adequate sleep, a fantastic skin care regime like Aveda’s new Tulasara routine—all these self-care mechanisms have the added benefit of bolstering your skin’s glow, Eaton says.
And when it comes to self care, let’s not overlook the importance of good friends, food, music, sunlight and movement–which all are part of the festival experience, too. We hope these looks inspired you—and we’ll see you at the fests!