August 20 2014

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Flower Power, Backstage At Prabal Gurung


If you’re unfamiliar with Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki’s work, the retina-burning ombré pink lips at Prabal Gurung were likely a bit of a jarring site. But put in the context of the photographer’s vivid images of exotic blooms, the mouths made perfect sense. “It’s like there is an intoxicating flower coming out of her mouth,” makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury said of the different shades of MAC Lipmix she applied in gradation from deep purple to magenta to fuchsia. “Its a play on darkness and light.” Pouts were kept matte to contrast with dewy, highlighted skin and purposely overdrawn at the corners “as though she’s been snogging,” said Tilbury, pointing out that the key to coloring outside the lines is to use a soft, melted pencil without a sharp tip so you “keep from looking like a drag queen.” To further acheive that delicate balance between looking “sensual, but strong and powerful” at the same time, Tilbury swept an elongated stroke of silver gray cream eye shadow across the crease of models’ lids.

Coiffing star Didier Malige was happy to hone in on the strong and powerful end of that dichotomy, slicking back hair into a middle-parted wet look. “The [Prabal Gurung] woman is super confident. She has nothing to hide,” Malige said, prepping strands with Frederic Fekkai Coiff Extra Control Styling Gel and finger-combing it backward before adding a generous helping of its Brilliant Glossing Sheer Shine mist for added glisten. To set the sleek look, Malige spritzed on Fekkai’s Coiff Sheer Hold Hairspray.

The piece de resistance came by way of Jin Soon Choi’s tasteful touch of nail art. Starting with a base coat of Sally Hansen’s Lacy Lilac lacquer, Choi added a centralized stroke of its Loves Me Not, a shimmering aubergine that’s part of Gurung’s latest polish collection for the nail giant (the three piece range hits stores in April). “I’m calling it a slim silhouette–not a reverse French manicure,” Choi clarified. “I hate that!”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Backstage Reviews