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The Envy-Inducing Beauty Of “La Parisienne,” Backstage at Anthony Vaccarello

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“What is amazing with Anthony [Vaccarello] is that in two seasons, he created his woman,” Estée Lauder creative director of makeup Tom Pecheux said backstage at the designer’s Spring show. And for most admirers of Vaccarello’s work, that woman is Anja Rubik in the pelvic bone-baring white-gown-heard-round-the-world from the Met ball this year. There was some of that here (see Rubik’s show-closing black gown), but as Pecheux rightly pointed out, while some designers are “showing a dream that is unreachable,” Vaccarello’s clothes are much more wearable this season—some of them, at least. So too was the makeup. Gone was the molten, burgundy-tinged black smoky eye from Fall; in its place, something much more natural. “It’s more like the girl hanging out by the pool, not coming out of the club,” Pecheux suggested—or, rather, the reflection of the light off a pool, an optical phenomenon that inspired his color palette of washed-out blues and iridescent grays that created “La Parisienne,” the kind of face-painting effort that is barely perceptible yet striking.

Fittingly, French-born Estée Lauder face Constance Jablonski was in Pecheux’s chair as he administered a massage using his trusty tub of Estée Lauder Revitalizing Supreme Global Anti-Aging Crème and its Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher that he topped with a finger-patted application of Lauder’s Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup and Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer to create a base. Brushing its Pure Color Blush in Blushing Nude upward underneath cheekbones, “so the color fades into the cheek” and contours while providing a flush, Pecheux toiled over eyes, which he lined with a forthcoming aqua shade of Estée Lauder Pure Color Intense Kajal Eyeliner, which was blended out for just a trace of blue and topped with its as-yet-unreleased Pure Color Stay-On Shadow Paint in Sinister and Steel. A dab of its Pure Color Gloss in Opulent Opal added a light-reflecting effect meant to mimic the middle section of Vaccarello’s collection, which included “materials that looked like liquid,” according to Pecheux. Swiping glossy brown pigment on the inside lashes and a richer black color on the outer corners with Lauder’s Sumptuous Two Tone Mascara, Pecheux brushed up brows and created what he likes to call “the French kiss,” a nude mouth slicked with its Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Vanilla Truffle, a honey-hued neutral, and accented with the slightly darker Barely Nude only in the center of pouts.

Anthony Turner sculpted “very French hair” in complement. “It’s confident in a very understated way,” he elaborated of strands that were spritzed with L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni.Art Volume Architect, finger-combed in back and dried with a large round brush in the front to get a little volume. “It’s cool but not grungy,” he continued of the sweeping side parts that he let fall over Cara Delevingne and Arizona Muse’s right eyes. “We’ve always done vampy hair here so it’s nice to do something that’s wearable,” Turner surmised of the coifs—which was a true enough sentiment. Delevingne’s hair, we could easily sport; the dress she wore in look 17, however, maybe a little less so.

Photo: Courtesy of Estée Lauder

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