Lips were saturated in a rainbow of brights for spring, with shades ranging from retina-searing orange-red to fuchsia and cherry. At Luca Luca, Revlon global artistic director Gucci Westman combined three Super Lustrous Lipsticks (Fuchsia Fusion, Berry Haute and Lilac Pastelle) to get the perfect shade of magenta that was inspired by the designer’s colour palette of pastels, electric blue and fuchsia. Eyes and lips took centre-stage at Yves Saint Laurent, where CoverGirl global creative design director Pat McGrath crafted bold graphic eyes with brown eyeliner and paired them with cherry red lips (YSL Rouge Volupté No. 17) topped with gold shimmer (YSL Touche Brilliance No. 2) for a metallic, three-dimensional effect. At Prabal Gurung, makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury, working for MAC, created a multi-tonal fuchsia lip that called to mind “An orchid bursting from within.” The makeup artist applied a blunt-tipped MAC Pro Chromagraphic Pencil in Process Magenta slightly outside of the lipline to create a “just-kissed effect.” Tilbury added depth by mixing three lip shades in black, burgundy and fuchsia and applied to the centre of the lips, blending slightly outwards.
Frosty tones of iridescent white and shimmering silver lit up models’ eyes this season. At 3.1 Phillip Lim, NARS national makeup artist Francelle punctuated mostly bare, glowing faces with dramatic arcs of silver going from the outer crease to the inner corners of the eyes using NARS Single Eyeshadow in Night Life. “It’s inner rebel mixed with sophisticated youth and the idea of geometry combined with light and air,” said Francelle. “There is fragility with soft glowing skin and strength with a powerful, metallic round crease.” To reflect the underwater fantasyland designer Karl Lagerfeld created at Chanel, creative director of makeup Peter Philips washed eyelids in pearly white using two luminous shades of Illusion D’Ombre Eyeshadow – Fantasme and Emerveillé. Philips grounded the ethereal look with soft slate liner, Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Ebène, on the upper lids and finished with mascara. At Ralph Lauren, Pecheux crafted elegant, English Rose-inspired faces with rosy cheeks and lips and a simple eye swept with matte white eyeshadow from lashline to the browbone.
After seasons of being bleached away, brows are back in full force. Arches were the focal point of at Altuzarra, where Pecheux, working for MAC, created a thick set of black brows (for both blonde and brunette models alike) that evoked “Elizabeth Taylor at the gym”. At Thakoon, makeup artist Diane Kendal, working for NARS, crafted a similar look with straight eyebrows set against luminous skin. Kendal used NARS Matte Eyeshadow in Bali (a dark taupe) to shade in models’ arches. François Nars anchored heavy false lashes at the showgirl-themed Marc Jacobs show with super-strong brows. Nars applied matte black eyeshadow (NARS Eyeshadow Duo in Pandora) to create a far-from-natural-looking set. “The girls would be staring into the eyes of the audience, so we decided to focus on the eyes,” said Nars. “To create a frame around them, we made [the brows] very dark.”
The cat’s eyes that were big last fall resurfaced for spring, but makeup artists continued to find new ways to reinvent them. At L.A.M.B., models sported daringly thick, graphic liner focussed on the bottom lashline. “A dark, dramatically lined eye is the focal point – a modern take on kohl,” said Maybelline’s Willer. The artist lined the outer half of the lid and the entire lower lashline with Maybelline Eye Studio Master Drama Cream Pencil in Midnight Master, extending the line out toward the temple and in toward the inner corner of the eye, so it pointed slightly downwards. In Milan, Giorgio Armani international makeup artist Linda Cantello applied not one, but two graphic slashes of black liner on models at the Armani show. Cantello lined the upper lashes with Smooth Silk Eye Pencil No. 4 in Black, added a layer of bronze shadow and then retraced the line with Maestro Eyeliner No. 1 in Black to add depth. She then traced a second line starting from the inner crease to the middle, leaving it blank, and continued to the outer corner of the eye. At Jonathan Saunders, makeup artist Lucia Pieroni, working for MAC, was inspired by a 1950s housewife as she drew black winged liner going almost up to the brows. A similar look surfaced at Kanye West, where makeup artist Val Garland, working for MAC, created a “Super-sophisticated, sexy woman” with swooping black liner going up to the temples. Garland applied MAC Pro Black Crème Liner above the lashes and smudged through with a brush. She re-traced the line again to define with an elongated flick and added MAC Cream Color Base in Shell to the inner corners of the eyes to highlight.
At more avant-garde shows, models sported ever-more imaginative nail art. Inspired by Fred Butler’s aquatic-themed collection, nail stylist Marian Newman created shimmering, multi-coloured Minx nails complete with fins and gills in the form of textured foil around the nail bed. Newman struck again at Alexander McQueen, where she riffed on the under-the-sea theme and created textured ivory and pink Minx nails layered with swirling silver and gold that evoked the insides of seashells. Texture was also on the mind of CND nail artist Candice Manacchio, who crafted “Lucite Lace” manicures with clear tips and hand-detailed white lace latticework. On the colour enamel front, neutral shades in nude, pale pink and beige were the biggest story, but there were pops of colour, too: including cherry red, as seen at Christian Dior and Jason Wu, coral at Milly and deep burgundy at Donna Karan.
SHIMMERING SMOKEY EYES
The go-to sultry eye look, the smokey eye, was amped up this season with hits of metallic, glitter and shine. Taking inspiration from Rodarte’s Van Gogh-themed collection, makeup artist James Kaliardos, working for NARS, created a striking, deep blue metallic eye. “It’s a really beautiful, round smokey eye with gradations of blue,” said Kaliardos. The makeup pro used three shades of blue: the navy blue NARS Dark Rite Soft Touch Shadow Pencil, the sparkling deep blue Night Flight Eyeshadow and the shimmering teal Tropic Eyeshadow, to create a dimensional effect. “It’s like ‘Starry Night’ and then there’s this beautiful lavender lip,” he said. At DSquared2 in Milan, Tilbury crafted two “rock n’ roll girl” smokey eye looks: a slept-in black eye layered with MAC Gloss Texture for added shine, and a ‘Glam Rock’ eye done with smudgy black pencil and gold cream shadow and layered with MAC Pro Gold Glitter for extra edge. CoverGirl’s McGrath went for a punk-meets-art deco vibe at Gucci, swiping on CoverGirl Liquiline Blast all around the eyes, coating lids with SmokyShadowBlast in Onyx Smoke, and then patting on shimmery black shadow followed by loose black glitter.
A sporty athleticism inspired makeup artists at spring shows to create super-bronzed, just-back-from-the beach complexions. At L’Wren Scott, Lancôme artistic makeup director Aaron De Mey channeled luxurious ladies who vacationed in the heyday of the French Riviera by prepping complexions with the brand’s Teint Miracle Foundation and blending copious amounts of Star Bronzer in Bronze Solaire across the cheeks, nose and chin. Shiseido’s Dick Page was inspired by Michael Kors’s African-journey-themed collection in creating his bronzed-goddess look. He chose one of two shades of Bronzer in either Dawn Light or Desert Rose to suit the models’ skin, ensuring it was one shade darker than their natural skin tone. He dusted the entire face, including the forehead, tip of the nose and chin, down the neck. Meanwhile, at Band of Outsiders, Page mixed two shades of Shiseido Accentuating Color Stick in Rouge Flush and Glistening Flush and applied the mixture onto cheeks with a wet sponge. He further blended with a blush brush, concentrating on the cheeks and bridge of the nose for a “slightly sunburned effect.”
After several seasons of shine-free skin, dewy, luminous complexions made a comeback on spring runways. Highlighters and iridescent powders were makeup artist must-haves backstage to bring a candlelit glow. At The Row, Estée Lauder creative makeup director Tom Pecheux relied on Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator to prep models’ faces and give a satiny feel before applying foundation. Shiseido artistic director for makeup, Dick Page, blended a trio of Shiseido Luminizing Satin Face Colors in glimmering white and gold under the eyes and soft rose on the cheeks to create a “soft halo” effect at Marc by Marc Jacobs. At BCBG, Maybelline global makeup artist Charlotte Willer took inspiration from a woman who just stepped out of the shower after a long workout. Willer applied Fit Me! Foundation with her fingers for a sheer look and used a light hand with powder, focusing only on the T-zone to avoid a matte effect. She finished the look by dabbing a touch of lipbalm onto the eyelids to evoke a “healthy glow.”