Behind all the pretty faces at Fashion Week is makeup artist extraordinaire Nico Guilis. A face-painting fan from a young age, she went from prepping her friends for dates to primping top models for shows such as Marc Jacobs and Heatherette and fashion spreads for Vogue
. This season, the likes of Diane von Furstenberg, Michael Kors, and Phillip Lim are keeping Guilis busy. We tracked her down under the tents to hear about backstage behavior, beauty secrets, and what shows she’s looking forward to.
SAMANTHA GILEWICZWhat first attracted you to makeup artistry?
I started painting when I was nine, my mom was a makeup artist, and she opened her own studio when I was 11. I was obsessed with having her teach me and used to say, It’s just like my painting…but on the face! By my teens, I was addicted to the Style Network
and making my friends over and then photographing them all done up. It became my thing. I was getting calls for prom makeup and prepping my friends for their dates. I was freelance even before I graduated high school… Who knew?What is a runway show like from your behind-the-scenes perspective?
A runway show is a bunch of artists all catching up since we saw each other last season. Then the models show up and it goes from zero to sixty in a matter of minutes. It’s the craziest rush! You hear the music start and then you run out to watch the show. It’s this insane sense of satisfaction—We are carrying out someone’s creative vision.Do you have any supermodel-worthy beauty secrets?
Drink a ton of water, don’t fall asleep with makeup on, protect your skin from the sun, and just keep it simple…the less product the better.What has been your favorite show to work on so far, and who would you love to still work with?
Marc Jacobs last season was such an amazing show to be a part of. I was working under Dick Page who is an incredible artist. I think I cried when the show started—it was so beautiful. Also, at Heatherette one year, Liza Minelli was backstage and I thought that was just the bees knees… She is so dramatic and fabulous! I would love love love to work on the Chanel show. Something about seeing those double C's just puts a smile on my face. And I would love to work with the Olsen twins. They are so much more posh than any model.What shows are you looking forward to this season?
I get excited to see what comes out of Paris because everything from the makeup to the hair to the clothing is all pushed to the next level. The French really don’t hold back artistically and creatively. Look at John Galliano’s collection for Christian Dior last season… It left me speechless.nicog.com