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A Pearl Per Girl—Plus Makeup That Shines—Backstage At Chanel

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Everything that comes out of the house of Chanel starts with Karl Lagerfeld—his sketches, his ideas, even where he walks. “The inspiration was actually the floor in Karl’s new studio, which is a metallic parquet,” Peter Philips explained of the beauty look for the Spring show. “The one key word [Karl] used was shine,” the Chanel creative director of makeup continued, pointing out that the direction got him thinking about skin textures and color consistency, which led him where these conversations often do: to Chanel’s incomparable Illusion d’Ombre Long-Wear Luminous Eyeshadow.

The soufflé-like cream pigment that can be worn sheer or built up for more opacity debuted in a brand-new color today, a forthcoming platinum hue that Philips blended all the way up to brows, which were elongated a bit for proportion with its Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencils. “I actually applied the mascara first,” Philips pointed out of Chanel’s Inimitable Intense wand in Noir, which went on in one swipe after skin was prepped with its Vitalumiere Satin Smoothing Fluid Makeup, left to dry, and then reapplied three times for added drama. “It’s kind of heavy-handed but in this kind of big venue, we need to do something that can be seen,” Philips elaborated, duly tracing lids with a thick etching of its Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long-Lasting Eyeliner in Ebene while lining the inner rims with its Le Crayon Kohl in Graphite, a dark gray. The shine theme was revisited on lips, which Philips treated to a quick slick of Chanel Rouge Allure Luminous Satin Lipcolor in Gracile, a soft pink, and then promptly lacquered with its Lèvres Scintillantes Glossimer in Plaisir, a sheer peach. “We’re going to oil them up a little bit, too,” Philips added of models’ exposed limbs, which his team greased down right before they hit the runway for an extra glisten.

In what was perhaps the greatest testament to Spring’s dominating neutral nail trend, Philips eschewed more statement colors, which are often customary here, in favor of the most classic polish protocol there is: the French manicure. “We’re using Ballerina and Eastern Light,” he explained, big-upping the full-coverage white varnish that will launch as part of his as-yet-unreleased Hong Kong mini collection.

Hairstylist Sam McKnight also takes much of his direction from Lagerfeld—as well as the designer’s go-to accessories maven, Maison Michel creative director Laetitia Crahay. “Laetitia always brings a box [to fittings],” McKnight explained of the CC-logo pearl baubles that he strung up with elastic and tied into models’ low-slung, middle-parted knots. “It started out that all the girls would be wearing these Perspex hats, but they’ve gone less,” the hair hero continued of the oversized toppers that only a few models, Stella Tennant and Kasia Struss among them, ended up carrying, not wearing, on the extra long catwalk in the Grand Palais. As a result, McKnight was charged with creating an easy style, “kind of like the girls did it themselves,” that he prepped with Frédéric Fekkai COIFF Lifting and Texturizing Spray for “a little bite” before fashioning a messy DIY bun. “Even if the story is soft, Karl always likes to add something graphic,” he pointed out of the subtle touch of hair jewelry—”and everyone loves a Chanel pearl.” Truth.

Photo: Luca Cannonieri/Gorunway.com

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