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Couture Cuts And Cat-Eyes, Backstage At Armani Privé

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Aside from that showstopping, crystal-encrusted lip moment backstage at Dior, there has been a collective focus due north of models’ mouths at the couture shows this week, as designers are requesting luxe lids with regularity. And historically, no one loves a well-defined eye quite like Giorgio Armani, who actually came up with the flicked banana liner at his presentation yesterday on his own. “Mr. Armani always has his idea of how things should be, and then we work on it together,” explains the Italian house’s international makeup artist, Linda Cantello. “It’s a very contemporary couture look—sort of a mash-up of the eighties, the nineties, and a little of the fifties,” she continued of the beauty story here, which revolved around a palette of white, red, and black.

Such a stark approach requires perfect skin, according to Cantello, who started her base by massaging Armani’s brand-new Crema Nera Extrema, a lavish salve that uses extracts from the hardy South African survival plant Reviscentalis to quench and plump parched complexions, into the face. Following that up with a layer of Giorgio Armani Maestro foundation, Cantello etched on a graphic eye through the crease, which she paired with garnet lips—the result of a mix of the brand’s new matte Lip Maestro and the juicy, high-shine Flash Lacquer gloss, due out in April. “The one thing I hate is penciled-in lips,” Cantello pointed out of the rigid effect of precisely lining lips, relishing instead the myriad options now available to her, like glosses and balms in matte and shiny finishes. “In a show context, everything is perfect—but out there in the real world, you need to look at the woman and not the makeup.”

“Perfect,” it turns out, is a good way to describe hairstylist Franco Gobbi’s “urban tribal girl” coifs, which relied on laminated strands that were tucked and twisted into quasi-short cuts that dispensed all notions of volume in favor of a sleek, graphic texture with segmented, wet bangs created from flipped-over lengths. “She travels the world, east to west, and wherever she goes, she picks up little elements along the way,” he explained of Mr. Armani’s couture woman, who favored an “ethnic Mexican wrap” hairstyle that was prepped with Moroccanoil Oil Treatment to add glisten before being set with Sebastian Shaper Fierce Hairspray and tucked beneath a bevy of caps. Just because the season’s cuts are short, Gobbi notes, it doesn’t mean hair shouldn’t have texture. “Wet or dry, it [adds] a really chic touch.”

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