A model prepares at Tommy Hilfiger Women's Spring 2016 during New York Fashion Week: The Shows  at Pier 36 on September 14, 2015 in New York City.We hear a lot about models, fashion and beauty trends, amazing show venues and street style during Fashion Month but have you ever wondered what it is like to work at fashion week? We get to see countless beauty experts’ work parade down the runway but we don’t get to see all of the prep going on backstage. We asked a makeup artist Benjamin Ruiz, hairstylist Kenna and manicurist Naomi González-Longstaff, about what it is like working at the shows and about some of their most memorable looks.

(Related: The 5 Milan Fashion Week Beauty Trends You Can Wear in Real Life)

Read on to find out more:

Makeup Artist: Benjamin Ruiz, Director of Global Creative Artistry, Laura Mercier

Q. How many shows do you work on during NYFW? And how many per day?

A. Currently, I do about one to two shows per season. However, I have worked on as many as five to six shows in a season and I’ve done three shows in one day before!

Q. How long do you have on average to do models’ makeup?

A. Honestly, it really depends. We like to refer to it as a “hurry up and wait” situation–you are constantly waiting for models to show up since they are coming from different shows. Even when you have the models in your chair, they are constantly getting pulled away for a light test, runway test or something else, so you really have to pick your battles and focus on what is most important in the look. It’s not like a photo shoot, where you have much more time to create the look. If I were to put a number to it, I’d say I typically have about 20-30 minutes with the model. If no one is bothering me or the model, I get the luxury of a little more time.

Q. What was the most complicated makeup look? 

A. The most complicated makeup look I’ve ever created was for an Oscar de la Renta show I worked on years ago. The look was classic 1940’s/1950’s, with defined eye liner, red lips and thick brows. We took a more graphic approach to the look and it had to be beautifully executed. The red lips were supposed to be slightly exaggerated, so the lip liner was overdrawn with an emphasis on the Cupid’s bow. The brow hairs had to be done basically one at a time, since they wanted them to look separate and standing up. The look was especially difficult because you need symmetry when doing liner looks. So, even though you may have one model that the liner looks great on, that liner might not look as good on the next model, because every model has different eye shapes. You have to modify the liner look specifically to that model so that there is unity.

Q. What was your favorite?

A. My favorite look is a more recent look that Talia Sparrow created for Jenny Packham’s 2016 Bridal Show this past year using Laura Mercier products. It was A Midsummer Night’s Dream-inspired look that was so ethereal and angelic. I loved it because there was a certain purity and innocence to the makeup that I thought enhanced the look of the clothing. The cheeks were really flushed with color, as if the bride was running late to her own wedding. There was also a soft smudginess around the lower lash line and the skin was incredibly glowing.

Q. What has been the weirdest/most unique thing you’ve used to create a beauty look?

A. I once used blue sharpie on the eye brows. It was truly the weirdest, most bizarre thing I’ve done but we couldn’t find anything else that blue that would work. The look was very structural and futuristic, almost alien-like.

Q. What is something that people would be surprised to know about your job during NYFW?

A. There is no place or time for privacy when you are working at NYFW. While I am doing makeup, I have someone sitting next to me painting the toenails and fingernails–I’ve once had someone sitting between my legs while painting the nails. Then there is someone right next to you doing the hair. It becomes very Cirque de Soleil with all of us working around one model–it’s quite chaotic.

Q. What are the essential products in your tool kit?

A. Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage–it’s a staple in my kit. I need to have it at every show and it has so many uses, whether it’s perfecting the skin or covering up a model’s tattoo. I often refer to it as “Photoshop in a compact”–it is my must-have product.

Recently, my other must-have is Laura Mercier Foundation Primer – Radiance. Everyone wants to have glowy skin nowadays–the designers want the models to have it, celebrities want it–and this product will truly help you achieve that. You can mix it with foundation, use it alone, highlight with it–it’s an incredible multitasker and a product I can’t live without.

Click the next page to see what it is like for a hairstylist and manicurist at Fashion Week.

Hairstylist: Kenna, Lead Stylist, evo Hair Care

Q: How many shows do you work on during NYFW? And how many per day?

A: I did one show this season as the hair director for evo at the Tome show.

Q. How long do you have on average to do models’ hair?

A: Three hours [for all models]! 30 girls is normal.

Q: What was the most complicated hairstyle? 

A: Strangely, the most complicated hairstyles are the simplest ones. With 30-40 models with so many different hair textures arriving at the show and having all their hair look “un-done” is sometimes the most complicated.

Q: What has been the weirdest/most unique thing you’ve used to create a hairstyle?

A: We often use olive oil during shows on hair for shine. Now, I can turn to evo’s Love Perpetua Shine Drops or Love Touch Shine Spray. Working on a Victor & Rolf show in Paris S/S 2009, we used hundreds of tubes of lip gloss to create the look. It took the poor models 10+ washes to get it out! We were not very popular with the girls.

Q: What is something that people would be surprised to know about your job during fashion week?

A: That after the six months of preparation and planning, we only have three hours to get 30-40 models ready. [That includes] hair, makeup, fittings and runway run through.

Q: What are the essential products in your tool kit?

A: Essential to my kit this S/S 2016 season is evo Gangsta Grip. It is perfect for creating wet looks and getting the hold and control I need. My evo brushes travel with me and my full kit of products.

(Related: London Fashion Week Street Style Is Way Better Than NYFW Street Style, and No One Is Surprised)

Manicurist: Naomi González-Longstaff, Serge Normant at John Frieda Resident House And Celebrity Manicurist

Q: How many shows do you work on during NYFW? And how many per day?

A: I usually work five to eight shows during NYFW. Sometimes I can lead one show a day or sometimes it can be five shows in a day. It’s very hectic but that energy is what keeps me going! It’s a nail high :) In London, I headed 27 shows with almost eight shows per day; this is where my assistant is an extension of me.

Q. How long do you have on average to do models’ nails?

A: Models nails take an average between five to seven minutes if it is a natural nail manicure, single coat polish application. If nail art is being used on nails, then add an additional three to four minutes. If feet are also being prepped and polished, we add 10 minutes. It is crucial for the shows that the models nails are completely ready by first look, meaning DRIED nails so it doesn’t interfere or smudge on garments. If a designer wants a fun length, then we pre-design nail tips at my studio and apply them to models. This usually is an eight minute application on hands because all the tips are designed and sized prior to the show.

Q: What was the most complicated manicure? 

A: My most complicated manicure, had to be during Miami Swim Week. We did a gorgeous sun-kissed look using a glitter-based nail polish to give the nail a glistening look. However, there was some strong winds and the polish kept mixing with the sand particles! This was environmental complications more than design however, the look turned out beautiful.

Q. What was your favorite manicure?

A. My favorite nail look was this season’s was MarchesaZOYA created a custom coral for the collection and it was perfection–beautiful, classic, and simply stunning.

Q. What has been the weirdest/most unique thing you’ve used to create a manicure?

A: The most unique resource I used was eye shadow for the Isabel Garcia London show last year. The designer wanted a rose gold and we did not have the color available, so I wiped out eye shadow and created this beautiful true rose gold. The stylist called this nail look “Quiet Rose Gold for Isabelle Garcia,” the color went perfect with the collection.

Q: What is something that people would be surprised to know about your job during fashion week?

A: That I polish nails under tables and sitting on the floor is my office during NYFW.

Q: What are the essential products in your tool kit?

A: My essentials are the following: ZOYA Remove Plus Nail Polish RemoverZOYA Naked Manicure System, ZOYA Fast DropsEssie Back to Bright Nail Cleanser (it brightens nails and it is great prep for french manicures), Essie Cuticle Pen, my LaVaque thumb palette to help blend colors together, baby wipes, mini first aid kits, hand sanitizer, barbicide to sterilize my implement in between models, NARS concealer palette to help if a model has a scratch on hands or feet, Herban Essentials Lavender Towelettes and CND Solar Speed Spray.

(Photo: Grant Lamos IV/Getty Images)