August 22 2014

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The Madonna, “Not That Madonna,” Backstage At Dolce & Gabbana


Pat McGrath has had a few highly publicized peroxide moments here in Milan—at Gucci, Prada, and Versace, specifically. But the queen of the bleached brow is well aware of when blocked-out arches work, and when they don’t. “With Sicilian women, the framing of the brow is everything,” she said of the permanent backstage muse at Dolce & Gabbana, where she had a full color team on hand to re-dye models’ brows, even though high-profile catwalkers like Natasha Poly preferred to apply the darkening creams themselves. (McGrath had previously made a point to tell the girls not to re-dye their brows, a move that could only be construed as her intention to stay the bleaching course, but she made an exception for Dolce & Gabbana, where authentic “iconic beauty,” as she called it, is essential.)

“Stefano and Domenico wanted the faces looking light,” McGrath explained of the “purity” that she was after at the show. This meant a finger application of Dolce & Gabbana The Makeup Creamy Foundation to really work the blendable formula into the skin and a warm, neutral eye. Lining the inner rims of lids with the house’s Crayon Intense eyeliner in Nude, McGrath used earthen shades from its Smooth Eye Colour Quads in Desert and Nude to create depth. A slight dusting of tan blush around the outer corners toward the temple and a few strokes of Dolce & Gabbana’s Secret Eyes Mascara in Coffee helped to “really shape the eyes.” Finishing touches included a combination of its Classic Cream Lipstick in Mandorla, a pale golden peach, and Petal, a similar shade with a lavender hue, and a pretty pink blush that was applied to the apples of cheeks to give models like the afternoon’s closer, Constance Jablonski, an unreal glow.

“It’s very Italian,” Guido Palau explained of the collection and its corresponding beauty look, which borrowed the clothes’ religious iconography references in the form of beaded hair pieces that corresponded to the embellished earrrings the designers made for the occasion. “It’s very Madonna,” Palau continued of the middle-parted, low knots that he decorated with a series of adorned combs, barrettes, and headbands. “Not that Madonna—Jesus’ mother,” he clarified (although with all the sheer lace on the runway, you could say that both women were well represented). Prepping strands with Redken Body Full Instant Bodifier Volumizing Foam to give them some grip to hold the bevy of accessories, Palau refrained from adding his token spritz of finishing spray, opting instead to coat his hands in Redken’s All Soft Argan-6 Oil while he worked. “It needs to be sensual, not hard,” he emphasized of the look.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /

Backstage Reviews