Most people go to Fashion Week to look at the dresses. I go there to gaze in wondrous fascination at all the gorgeous makeup and hairstyles, grilling designers, stylists and models for the inside track on these feats of sheer artistry that give the clothes a personality, a cultural or historical grounding. And anyway, recreating a lip look or eye effect is far more do-able than pulling off the clothes anyway, right? If you feel the way I do, here are 5 of the best beauty looks from the just-concluded New York Fashion Week Fall 2013. Which is your favourite?
Alice + Olivia
This is the one look I really, really want to try out for myself. It’s so fairytale perfect… the dewy skin, shimmery eyes, dark red lips and Heidi-style braids. Inspired by the romance of Renaissance makeup, Stila’s Sarah Lucero gold leafed the eyes at Alice + Olivia to make them stand out against the buttery skin. She used a damp brush to paint on Stila’s In the Light Eye Shadow Palette and Metal-Eyes Foil Finish Shadow in Bronze (though you can use any shimmery gold eye shadow) for a rich-looking gold that changed in the light as the models moved. The dark lips were courtesy Stila’s upcoming Stay All Day Lip Vinyl Gloss in Merlot – which you can recreate by using an oxblood red lipstick and topping it with a black cherry or purple wine lip gloss.
As for the hair, Moroccanoil’s Artistic Director Antonio Corral Calero played off the collection’s street-style aesthetic with messy milkmaid braids: he braided the models’ real hair and wrapped it around the back of their heads, then took a fistful of clip-in extensions, braided them and pinned the ends to the real hair. It took just minutes and looked so very pretty! He also did long, loose chignons that were loosely tied with forward falling strands. Girls who wore ball gowns also got real red-rose wreaths. Sigh!
Hairstylist Odile Gilbert (for John Frieda), describes the loose, half-up braids she created at Rodarte as “rocker princess, with a cool, undone texture.” She wrapped small sections of hair around a two-inch curling iron for subtle bends, brushed through the waves and connected braids from each side of the head with a rose made of the models’ own hair. For some models, the look was topped off with barbed wire headbands.
As for makeup, the inspiration was California beaches, so James Kaliardos (for NARS) wanted the models to look like their mascara had melted off. He achieved this effect by applying two different shades of brown on the eyes, then using gel liner dotted on with a mascara wand and smudging.
A cat eye has become somewhat of a Sui signature – and one that CoverGirl makeup artist Pat McGrath is happy to reinvent again and again. This time, taking inspiration from the films of Goddard and girls like Brigitte Bardot, she used a jet black eye pencil to draw an exaggerated, winged line along the top lashline, increasing the width as she worked her way outwards. Then she filled it in with black liquid liner, adding white eyeliner to the corners for a 60s-inspired graphic effect. Underneath the lower lashes was an equally cool detail – black dots of liquid liner (à la Twiggy) and a thick white line in the inner rims. The top and bottom lashes were coated with tons of black mascara. Nude lips and creamy pink blush finished the look.
In the meantime, hairstylist Garren gave Jessica Stam a bowl cut just hours before the show to inculcate Sui’s French Wave cinema inspiration. To simulate short hair for the rest of the girls, he took the hair up, teased it and folded it under into a pageboy.
Marc by Marc Jacobs
While I would never dream of wearing my hair with so much frizz-evoking mammothness, the 1940′s uptown girl effect definitely gets full points for drama. Redken Creative Consultant Guido Palau misted dry strands with a volumising spray, parted the hair on the side, then set it in small pin curls. Once they’d cooled, he removed the pins, broke up the spirals with his fingers, back-brushed with a boar bristle brush and used a bobby pin to keep the riotous curls off the face.
A popping red look countered the hair volume, with Shiseido’s Dick Page mixed the brand’s Lacquer Rouge in Sanguine and Drama to create the dramatic shade. He balanced the loud lips by keeping the rest of the face light and velvety, brushing up the brows and dusting lids with a soft sable shadow.
Diane Von Furstenberg
MAC makeup artist James Kaliardos described the DVF face as a ”life of the party look” and this is one that I see myself wearing for truly kick-ass impact in the evening. And the best part? It needs only one product – the MAC Chromatographic Pencil in Process Magenta – to pull it off. Kaliardos filled the entire lip with this matte magenta pencil, slightly overdrawing the middle to enhance the mouth’s natural shape. Then he added a dab of emollient balm to soften the finish. That, plus a little foundation, a dab of highlighter in the tear ducts, and a few coats of black mascara… simple!