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(Skin Deep)

c.2013 New York Times News Service

NEW YORK It has become commonplace to see fashion bloggers in the front row of runway shows, whether it's Man Repeller's Leandra Medine at Yigal Azrouel, Tavi Gevinson at Rodarte or Bryanboy at D&G.

And now the beauty bloggers are barging backstage.

''In the three years I've been doing Fashion Week, beauty blogs have exploded," said Denise Kreft, the beauty director at the public relations agency BPCM in Chelsea.

Not that their authors are exactly wreaking havoc on the seating chart.

''Sit?" asked Samantha Flowers, 28, the deputy beauty editor of Stylist, a website in London. "Far from the glamour of the front row, we're in amongst the crowded space backstage. We're the ones looking bedraggled from constantly getting in the way. Hair dryers are blasted in our faces."

During Fashion Week, beauty bloggers are part of a "roving backstage circus," said Emily Weiss, 27, founder of Into the Gloss in NoHo, one of the more well-regarded blogs. "Fashion people are always like: 'Where are you? I haven't seen you all week.' Well, I'm backstage three hours before the show starts. It's where we see everything close up."

It's also where people like makeup artists Pat McGrath or Tom Pecheux, and their counterparts in hair, are the celebrities, rather than Anna Wintour or the Hollywood starlets who congregate at the front of the house.

''You're there to talk to a key stylist for two to five minutes and nail down the details of the look: inspiration, key products, special techniques," said Dina Fierro, 34, who lives on the Lower East Side and blogs at eye4style.

Beauty bloggers tend to display a certain disdain for muted, natural runway looks. Over-the-top colors and intricate hairstyles thrill them; they speak breathlessly of an orange-lined eye at Derek Lam or jeweled brows at Chanel.

''I'm finding what the trends are and how my readers can recreate it," said Janna Mandell of My Beauty Binge, who is 38 and lives in San Anselmo, Calif.

The cosmetics industry has been happy to welcome this new wave of makeup enthusiasts. Heather Park, the director for digital media at NARS cosmetics, said: "When you've been in the industry for a while it can be easy to get jaded about the experience of Fashion Week. Bloggers are truly there as a labor of love."

But there is also money to be made. Some blogs get hundreds of thousands of unique visitors a month, and their creators have drawn advertising from mainstream brands like L'Oreal, as well as endorsements and sponsorship deals.

''Beauty is one of the most searched-for topics for women on the Internet," said Karen Robinovitz, a founder and the chief creative officer of Digital Brand Architects, an agency in Chelsea that manages several beauty blogs.

Cosmetics can seem a more accessible topic, perhaps, than couture.

''Anybody can wear green eye shadow, regardless of body shape, body size or skin color, and you don't have to have a lot of money," said Alexis Wolfer, 28, who blogs at the Beauty Bean in Los Angeles. "Beauty blogging is more a matter of trustworthiness rather than creativity."

And just as she would not write about "the construction of an Alexander McQueen gown," she said, readers should be suspicious of "fashion bloggers dabbling in peptides and retinols."

Amber Katz, 32, of Beauty Blogging Junkie in the Flatiron district, emphasized that her chosen subject is not without its challenges.

''I always say that fashion is art and beauty is science," she said. "A roundup of hair dryers I recently wrote covered new nanotechnology in heat tools and was so in-depth, I wound up having to research quantum physics."

Compared with the reputedly snobbish world of clothes, the beauty-blogging field can seem touchy-feely, with Facebook groups dedicated to doling out advice to novices and brand-sponsored cocktail parties celebrating the latest mascara.

''You don't see a lot of cattiness between beauty bloggers," said Fierro of eye4style.

With all this mutual supportiveness and encouragement, perhaps it's not surprising that overcrowding at fashion shows is increasingly a problem that can raise security concerns.

''The first season I covered Fashion Week, I was in Paris shooting backstage and I broke a heel," said Aimee Blaut, 29, of the Formula, a blog in Stockholm and New York. "While I was trying to remedy the situation, a PR person came up to me, a bit perplexed, and was like, 'Who are you?' She then went through her list and checked my backstage pass to make sure I wasn't a crazy lady with a camera."

Indeed, some designers limit access.

''Maybe only five to six members of the media will be allowed backstage, and maybe no bloggers," Fierro said.

Still, that doesn't signify any shortage of them. Lara Eurdolian, 29, who lives in Long Island City, Queens, and blogs at Pretty Connected, said, "You'll get a break between shows and inevitably you'll run into five bloggers you know at Lincoln Center."