Backstage Survival Kit: London Fashion Week

Our fabulous make up artist friend, Leah Elliston of Smudge Style is in London for fashion week. Leah will be backstage, helping create signature looks for the various collections. Here are some of Leah’s favourite products to use during the week of shows.

essential_kit1When it comes to traveling for fashion week a precisely pared down kit is of utmost importance. Dragging around a heavy bag is neither practical or necessary, since as an assistant any show specific products and colours will be provided. Therefore I pack the most essential items to get me through a hectic week backstage:

  • Well prepped skin cannot be underestimated. To remove makeup, Bioderma is my favourite. It’s really gentle but gets rid of everything. 
  • Shu Uemura Depsea Water Mist is the best for instant hydration before applying moisturizer. 
  • Embryolisse is another cult classic. This super emollient French moisturizer plumps, smooths, and primes the skin. 
  • Homeoplasmine is the best on any extra dry areas like lips. It’s similar to Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Cream but with a lighter less oily texture.  
  • For skin, the majority of the time I stick to either MAC Face & Body or Armani Luminous Silk. Both give a gorgeous glowy complexion.  
  • Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat is a main stay for brightening and concealing under the eyes. 
  • I prefer the Shu Uemura eye lash curler, especially my gold plated special edition version. 
  • I pack tons of neutral MAC eyeshadows–mattes, frosts, cools, warms, light, medium, and dark shades. These are all I need to do eyebrows, eyes, and contouring for any skin tone. 
  • My double palette is half for lipsticks, and the other side is cream blush and shadow. I have yet to fill this palette up as I’m having a difficult time with my decision making process!
  • Of course, without my brushes I would be lost. I never check them in my luggage they always go in my carry on. My brushes are truly the most valued item in my kit, some I’ve had for over 10 years. I have quite a few from MAC, some Makeup Forever, and I can’t live without my Japanese Hakuhodo and Shu Uemura brushes.


Follow my backstage adventures during fashion week at @SmudgeStyle
Visit Leah’s blog at 


Images courtesy of Leah Elliston & London Fashion Week