NY Fashion week is just around the corner, and I decided to take a closer look at the talent that works tirelessly to put together the shows every season! Beauty trends, like fashion trends, often start on the runway. Designers have some say in the makeup and hair that appears in their shows, but the credit is mostly due to the masterminds who work backstage to get all the models properly made up before they go in front of the camera.

Rick DiCecca has worked for the world’s biggest beauty brands: Lancome, Chanel, Estee Lauder, and is currently global makeup artist for the ARTISTRY® brand. His experience spans product development to training and education, and runway to red carpet. He has collaborated with industry arbiters and counts many models and celebrities as clients and friends — Heidi Klum, Iman, Aerin Lauder, Liu Wen and Teresa Palmer.

So, as you can see, I was excited to have none other than world-renowned makeup artist Rick DiCecca give us some insight on what it takes to be the lead makeup artist at NYFW.

Rick, please tell me a little bit about yourself and how and why you became interested in beauty?

“With 20+ years in the industry as a makeup artist, my story went a little like this… Upon graduating, and later earning a degree in graphic design, good friends and a good dose of curiosity led me to cosmetology school, where I fell in love with the craft. It gave me the same creative satisfaction that architecture and art had. However, what really made me fall in love was the satisfaction I got from teaching real women with real lives how to feel more confident through the transformation aspect of makeup. Makeup is a lot more than just makeup; it has the power to heal.”

*I know NYFW is coming up soon, and you will be running the beauty team for the designer Pamela Roland. When do you typically begin getting ready for Fashion Week?

“I’d say it takes 4–6 months usually right after the last show. However, I’m always looking out for new trends, new inspirations, and new ideas. I keep an eye on fashion and beauty blogs, makeup magazines, Allure magazine, etc. I observe trends while sitting on the train or traveling and typically look out for eye and lip trends; the creative process never ends.”

*How do you select the team of artists you would like to work with?

“It has progressed since working with Metamorphosis New York but an ongoing process nonetheless. I have looked out for each artist that takes my class; I pay attention to their craft, the way their kits look, how hygienic they are with their brushes and makeup, as well as how well they listen and share. You can see a reoccurring pattern in the artists that continue to get chosen, you can see that these artists breathe and live makeup and take advantage of any opportunity to work on their craft. I need artists with a professional level of skill and responsibility; it’s my reputation that is on the line. I, without a doubt, can trust Metamorphosis New York’s Master Trainers and artists Danielle Nafte, Juliana Fink and Dayna Manaco with taking the lead of the rest of the team backstage at a show. I’m confident in them. The process starts early on, and from the moment I meet them.”

*Once you have put together your ideal beauty team, tell us how you “prepare” them for the event.

“I teach them to be prepared for anything. In my last class, I had “backstage at fashion week”, where I had the artists switch models mid look and leave their stations to work on a different model and a different workstation. That’s the stuff that happens backstage, so I want them prepared. But, I always tell them to trust their instinct and practice what they have learned, and everything will be just fine!”

*Rick, maybe you could give us a slight glimpse of what happens when you first meet with the designer and begin putting together the looks, as well as the products the designer and you envision.

“It’s a collaborative process. The meetings are different between each season, depending on the season and trends. Spring and fall trends are so different; you’ll notice in the spring, trends are softer the makeup is more natural almost bare looking, whereas during the fall season, the pallet is dark, more luxurious, fabrics are heavier, fur, embellishments, feather and so the makeup is somewhat a reflection of that.

Meeting with Pamella Roland, I can tell you architecture and art heavily inspire her, and her clothes translate the color and designs of the art she is inspired by. So, it’s my job to make her vision come alive with the seasons, trends and the colors that bring her inspiration and vision. We have to make everything work in the right way.”

*How do you find inspiration to create the gorgeous looks that make it down the runway?

“Inspiration comes from everywhere. However, I trust Pamella Roland’s ability to choose the looks that inspire her. After all, she is a woman, and she is fluent in the world of fashion. She won’t endorse anything she doesn’t like or see fit for her creations. But going back to keeping up with the season’s trends, color pallets, and the inspiration behind the clothes, you see what fits well with the designer’s vision.”

*Now the day arrives… what happens backstage before the show begins?

“I like to start the day off by giving a pep talk to my team of artists. I demonstrate the look to my team and as soon as models start arriving, it’s a go go go from there. Throughout this process, the ARTISTRY® PR staff have helped me navigate through the numerous backstage interviews and press with beauty editors and bloggers. Once the makeup on models is completed, my assistants and I check for any last minute touch-ups before they hit the runway, give the team the go-ahead, and before you know it, the show is over!”

*Can you maybe tell us about some obstacles that can or have happened to you and how you overcome them?

“Timing! Timing is the biggest struggle at any show. Between the hair and nail team, my artists must be comfortable enough to jump in as the models are midst getting their hair done. Sometimes, we are working on top of each other to make sure that everyone is running on time. We have a tight system to make sure this goes smoothly, but the ultimate goal is to have the models fully ready by show-time.”

By the end of the interview, I found myself feeling a bit inspired. Truthfully, I hung up the line with a feeling of ultimate inspiration that had me wanting to up my makeup game and transform every woman around me.