My absolute favourite is the simplest yet it does have something very modern about it: a very sharp cat eye winged black liner embellished with opulent glitter. The rest of the face is kept rather nude. Seen at Haider Ackermann [Paris] "Stephane Marais, working with MAC Cosmetics, focused on models’ eyes, over which he painted dark wings speckled with black glitter, for texture and “sophistication.”
It worked especially well with the interesting fringe hairstyles and the monochrome.
My second favourite was the innovative gold accents at Dries Van Noten [Paris.] I just love the gold eyebrows and hair parting! I wish this would go mainstream! Elegant and quirky (a most rare combination.)
“I could have gone for gold fake lashes and just cut them, but it was too clean,” he explained, calling the threads a bit more “live” and “vibrant.”
Models’ eyebrows were enhanced, and their eyelids got a dab of Chanel Ombre Essentielle in Ivory.
Another inventive yet almost transferable look was seen at the Anthony Vaccarello show [Paris], where Tom Pecheux used a small stencil to help craft a triangle shape over eyes. It seems to work better on some eye shapes rather than others though! I'm thinking, a good twist to a winged liner if you have hooded lids... Otherwise, it takes on a rather 'speccy' aura.
In a similar vein, makeup artist Lucia Pieroni emphasized dewy skin and dark eyes for Missoni’s show [Milan] with semi rimmed eyeliner. Eyes were rimmed in MAC Blacktrack Fluidline. “It's slightly Japanese in its essence and has a rounded-down shape," explained Pieroni. To finish, Silver Glitter eyeliner was applied with the finger over the lid and brow bone. A nude lip was finger-pressed with MAC Have a Lovely Day.
Now, we mustn't completely ignore the wealth of natural looks, for it should be acknowledged when sometimes the effect is truly dramatic. The standout for me was Oscar de la Renta [New York]. “We definitely know she has money,” said Gucci Westman when explaining the look backstage at Oscar de la Renta. Working with Revlon, Westman focused on crafting makeup that was simply pretty. For the face, Westman wanted it to appear luminous. To create the glowing canvas, she used Illuminace Cream Shadow in Not Just Nudes and Skinlights Face Illuminator in Nude. Mixing Powder Blush in Softspoken Pink and Matte Haute Pink she created a soft peachy flush on the cheeks.
The eyes were a mix of both violet and pale pink, which was placed close to the lashes and under the lid. “It has a bit of a Fifties feel,” said Westman. Finishing with a glossy lip, she mixed Super Lustrous Matte in Smoked Peach with Lip Butter in Pink Lemonade and Juicy Papaya. To top it off, she coated the lips with Super Lustrous Lip Gloss in Snow Pink. “She’s elegant and polished,” said Westman. “A little Victorian.”
It's worth noting the abundance of corals and oranges, which are always pretty, albeit predictable. There was a purple lip at Marchesa which was complimented by feathers in the hair. Galliano, Fendi and DSquared all chose bright orange lips. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury for MAC Cosmetics created a tropical, sun-kissed goddess at Dsquared2. Using a squared lip brush to create a refined edge, Tilbury lined lips in What a Blast lip pencil and filled in with Morange lipstick.
At Tom Ford the makeup was bland but it was fun to get a glimpse of the makeup table and spot some rogue brands including Boots Botanics and Real Techniques (anyone else chime in with your own eye spy please!) It was headed by Charlotte Tilbury.
Finally there were some breakaway trends which should be mentioned. Manish Arora and Vivienne Westwood were dependable for some novel makeup; Manish Arora with some beadwork and Vivienne Westwood with some ghoulish Halloween faces. In their ways, fairly typical.
More unexpectedly, Chanel mirrored their art gallery show theme with some very arty paint like eyes.
Inspired by a fabric in the collection that looked like a Benjamin Moore swatch card, makeup artist Peter Philips wanted to mimic the effect on the eyes. Using what he described as “finger paints” and the Chanel #21 brush, Philips painted an out-of-order rainbow of colorful brushstrokes all over the models’ eyes in lavender, red, yellow, green, pink, and blue. He even made a frame for his paintings, filling in the brows with black pencil, coating lashes in black mascara, lining the eyes top and bottom in inky black paint, and painting the nails in Chanel nail polish in Black Satin. “The black base acts like a frame, then next to that we can do all the playful colors on the eyes,” he explained. But Philips's playfulness came with rules: He and his team had to follow certain guidelines to keep the eyes from smearing or getting muddied. “The different colors don’t touch, and I won’t put more than two colors in the inner corners,” said Philips, who blotted the paints with a tissue to ensure they didn’t run. “And if I use a lot of lavender, I won’t use much green, or if I use coral, I won't do pink. I want it to contrast.”
Rick Owens had conflicting reactions to his radical game changer. Eschewing lithe, white models, he instead chose a black sorority step show. The women looked very angry and intimidating. Opinions varied from praising the image as strong and beautiful, to ugly and aggressive. I am sure it made the audience sit up though! My feeling is to concur with this rather scathing assessment. I am instead encouraged by more prosaic evidence of inclusion, such as the news that Christian Louboutin's trademark nude shoes will be available in all sorts of skin shades.
*Images and italicised text taken from WWD, Allure.