Beauty Runway Round-Up

With the Paris shows having recently finished, it’s time for the Fall ’09 runway Beauty rundown. 

If there was one strong theme that strode off the catwalks this season just finished, it was that Cool Rules. It’s just as much about what you don’t do, as what you emphasise. Case in point – again it was a season with very little blush, it was all about cheek contour at almost every show. Mascara was rarely used, and lashes were not really the focal point. 

What was happening was a strong, single element, but boy did that change! Orange lips, black lips, grey lips, berry lips (even green in one very directional London show, but that’s what London is for, right?) At Alexander McQueen red lips went ridiculously oversized so they looked like fake plastic lips (suspiciously similar to the oversized red lip Inge Grognard created for A.F Vandevorst last season). 

Smoky eyes came out to play in London, New York, Paris and Milan, but it was often paired with a glossy texture and almost always with an undone mouth (and you all know how to do that, right?  It’s concealer patted on with a finger. If you find conventional concealers too dry, try MAC Lip Erase). 

Dramatic 50’s flick eyeliner arrived in style at Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel and Valentino. At Lanvin and Dolce and Gabbana a wine red or cherry lip was patted on with a finger to work with the insouciance that has categorized this season of major economic uncertainty. It’s all about gleaming skin, and not trying too hard. 

A round up of the major looks: 

Tough Beauty – Lanvin, Michael Kors

 

Michael Kors
Michael Kors

Warrior women at their best. At Lanvin it was a cherry lip that gave the look its structure, and at Michael Kors Dick Page constructed a beautiful smoky eye. As Michael Kors said “When times get tough, New York women get tougher!”

 Gray lips – Doo.Ri, Tuleh

This is a tough one for regular women to wear and it’s the logical progression from the gray nail trend we’ve been having this season. It’s in the air and if it’s on your mind, MAC do an amazing lip pencil called Stone, or you can pat on their Black LipMix but be warned! Go easy on it. It’s a short step from directional to dead. 

Contour

This is major, major, major. I can’t remember the last time I used pretty blush on a show. It’s either contouring with bronzer (a matte one please), or a brown gray powder, like MAC’s Taupe. They also do a great range of powders called Sculpt and Shade for this purpose, and these were heavily used at the shows. (MAC are the biggest sponsors of the shows around the world, which is why you see their products everywhere at this time).

Scary 80’s

 

Sessilee Lopez, oh Lord, what happened??
Sessilee Lopez, oh Lord, what happened??

I have to talk about it, even though it pains me. Gucci, Alessandro del Acqua, Issa and (shudder, this show gave me the heebie jeebies), Marc Jacobs. I’m talking the full magilla – colored contour, winged eyeshadow to the temples, bright glossy lipsticks, strong brows, lots of base, the full 9 yards. 

When done properly this is a fierce, ruling look, but in the wrong hands (sorry Sessilee Lopez, I’m talking to you!)picture), it really is frighten-the-children, flat-out scary. And when the most beautiful women in the world look like aging drag queens, this is a look regular women want to avoid like the plague. A hint – if you are going to go there, keep the base minimal and fresh so the focus is on your major lips and eyes, and not on your Dynasty-like base. Krystal Carrington, beauty icon? Not so much. 

 

Gorgeous makeup at the Chloe show
Gorgeous makeup at the Chloe show

 

 

I do have to give an honorable mention to the Chloe show, where Charlotte Tilbury created glowing, bronzey early 80’s winged eyes. What’s particularly interesting about this show is it’s such a departure from their signature natural no-makeup look. So if they’re doing proper makeup at Chloe, chances are good you will be too in the coming months.  But ladies, let’s do it right!

Return of the 1990’s

I hear you all gasp! Not possible? Oh yes, it’s come around again. But this time it’s taking the good elements and leaving the unattractive bits behind. No chocolate lip liner in a big old  nasty ring around the mouth. None of those bad overdrawn lips, or dead person brown muddy lipstick. It’s about taking

Matthew Williamson
Matthew Williamson

1990’s elements – like lipliner and tawny tones – and adding modern textures and finishes.

Cases in point – Diane Kendal’s lovely makeup for Proenza Schouler. Brown cream eyeshadow all around the eye, a soft pink cream on cheeks (one of the few shows that did blush, and it was a welcome relief from all those razor sharp cheekbones), no mascara and lips patted down with concealer. The Matthew Williamson show had  a similar last decade ethos.

 And at the Graham Black show in London where Kay Montano did a shiny brown eye using Satin Taupe, and heralded the return of MAC Underworld lipstick which I believe was last gracing our lips right about when we were rocking out to Smells Like Teen Spirit. It’s Grunge, but not as we know it.

Current Obsession: Mad Men

I just can’t get enough of this American series set in an ad agency in New York, in 1960. From the enigmatic title character Donald Draper and the complex, interwoven relationships shared by their wives and secretaries (or “chickens” as they are so charmingly referred to in an episode) to the vision of a vanished world on the cusp of extinction, it’s pretty much perfect television.

 From a beauty and styling point of view it’s spot-on as well – the lipstick is that amazing, Technicolor orange red beloved by Grace Kelly and the nails are all perfectly manicured in that long, elongated 60’s oval shape. The sets are a sea of Dacron and you can almost hear those man-made fibres squeaking as they walk around.

 A word of warning – if you’re trying to give up smoking this ain’t the show for you since pretty much every character in every scene is smoking or drinking something. (Morning meeting? Let’s have a scotch! At the doctor’s office? You can both smoke there! Ooh, after 3pm? It must be Cocktail Hour.) Good times!

madmen

The Great Escape

Growing up in Sydney, Australia in the 70’s and 80’s was like living in a big glamour deprivation tank. It was the land of acid wash stretch jeans and scrunchies, in a time before mullet hair was even remotely ironic (hello Jason Donovan, I’m talking to you!) and a fluoro pink sweatshirt with a screenprinted koala on it was considered the height of chic. Even Kylie Minogue was daggy in those days, playing a teenage mechanic on Neighbours.neighbours1 And anyone who’s seen the Locomotion video knows she didn’t get fabulous until long after she left those sunny shores.

From when I first started getting pocket money I started buying makeup (baby blue Aziza eyeshadow of course, to go with my blue eyes, naturally!) By the time I was fourteen I was just a little bit obsessed with fashion, wallpapering my room with the supermodels at the dawn of their era. I yearned for a life where people pronounced ‘Chanel’ in the French way, not ‘Channel’, where the women were 8 feet tall with perfect whiplash hair and clad in skintight, dominatrix Versace. A world where white leather cowboy boots Did. Not. Exist.

So after doing an Arts degree at Sydney University, I left for London where I worked in marketing and fashion PR. turlongtonBut eventually the siren call of makeup became too strong to resist, and on returning to Sydney I decided to pursue makeup as a career.

Over the next few years I assisted in Sydney and Paris, and moved to London in 2007. Long having been an admirer of her work, I was lucky enough to be taken on as first assistant to the amazing Kay Montano whose extraordinary makeup skills and brilliant sense of humour make going to work every day a pleasure. And sometimes at work, surrounded by couture as I prepare a long-legged Russian beauty for the camera, I have to pinch myself and realise that those fuzzy koala sweatshirts are a long way away.


R.I.P Scott Barnes Beauty

It was a sad, sad day when I found out that Scott Barnes Cosmetics was no more. This was such a great range, one of my all time faves across the board.

To understand the range, you have to understand the creator – Scott Barnes is an American makeup artist who is best known for creating J.Lo’s signature glow. Remember Jenny from the Block when everyone was talking about her, the bronzed Latina goddess, and it felt like the whole world was non-stop J.Lo crazy? That was Scott who was making her look like a million dollars, and making every normal woman (even if you were 5 ft 3 with blonde hair, blue eyes and a bum that is flatter than the proverbial pancake, ahem!) feel like you would pay anything, anything to be a lush caramel and honey toned beauty for a day. Then Ms Lopez sacked Scott and spent quite a few months in the beauty wilderness, looking like an aging tranny in various unflattering shades of fuchsia lipstick and not quite right foundation, and then she and Scott made up again and she went back to looking like the fierce pop diva that we all love.

j-lo400

In 2004 he launched his own cosmetics line, which had gorgeous blushes in peaches, pinks and caramels, amazing bronzers (obviously), great brushes and lovely eyeshadows and eyeliner pencils. If you managed to get your paws on some of his fab products, hold ‘em tightly because sadly the line is no more. I believe that he will be re-launching the line sometime this year, including the cult favourite body makeup and shimmer cream, Body Bling.

Until then, I have found where Scott’s secret personal stash of products is going to be sold – it’s the Beauty Closet in LA, and the lovely Shannon who runs this website is fantastic to deal with, and even better! She ships all over the world. But you’ll need to be quick because once they’re gone, there is no more.chic-palette

My Top 5 Scott Barnes Beauty Products

  1. Eye Ices – shimmery little pigment powders of deliciousness for high shine eyes.
  2. Chic Palette blush – in Posh, Samba and Honey – three different shade palettes of trio blush in pink, peach or apricot to make every girl look radiant.
  3. Lip Slick in Provocative – peachy nude gloss, because, well it is J.Lo.
  4. Illumineye Eye Shadows in Chocolate and Maharishi – tawny browns, are you sensing a theme here?
  5. Body Bling – for perfectly bronzed, glowing limbs. Apparently this is the formula Scott cooked up that meant he could instantly bronze Jennifer quickly for a job, and it would wash straight off afterwards, with no waiting around for self-tanner to activate.

The. Best. Red. Lipstick. Ever.

No really.

MAC's Ruby Woo
MAC's Ruby Woo

Why is this little red bullet of perfection so good? I love it for its dense matte color, and the perfect blend of orange and blue so that it looks amazing on every skin tone. I’ve seen it working on a shoot on seven different people, from the English blue-eyed beauty of Karl Lagerfeld’s muse Amanda Harlech to the olive gorgeousness that is Yasmin Le Bon. How many other red lipsticks can say that, huh?

If you’re looking for glossy it’s not that guy, although you can soup it up with a clear or red gloss to take it to a whole other place, where Michelle Pfeiffer waits for Al Pacino in a smoky bar. But I love it with a bit of MAC Cherry or Redd pencil underneath – real siren lips at their best.

Sick of waiting to find out what it is? It’s (drumroll please!) MAC’s Ruby Woo, the classy older sister to MAC’s brash Lady Danger which is also great, but younger and edgier as it’s more on the orange side. (The fabulous London makeup artist Andrew Gallimore used Lady Danger on Lily Allen who loved it.)

But back to our star, Miss Ruby Woo? Well you can take her anywhere.

 

Mac Redd Lip Pencil
Mac Redd Lip Pencil