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Backstage at Anna Sui: Pre-Raphaelites Enter the Modern Era

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Anna Sui

The models who walked down the runway looked as if they’d just stepped out of a painting produced by William Holman Hunt or John Everett Millais, both founders of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (an artistic movement in Victorian England). Makeup master Pat McGrath put a slight twist on the theme by injecting “psychedelic pastels” and adding a touch of sparkle for a bit of “Anna Sui magic.” While the majority of models received the rosy treatment, there were three—Hanne Gaby Odiele, Julia Nobis, and Janice Alida—who wore a pop of punchy acidic blue on their lids.

McGrath started by evening out the skin with foundation and concealer, then applied CoverGirl Clean Glow Blush in Roses on the cheeks, lids, and along the lower lash line. She topped that with a slightly deeper pink shade, Simply Ageless Sculpting Blush in Lush Berry (a cream formula). To add a subtle luminescence, the face painter dabbed a gold highlighter (available in January 2014) on the tops of cheekbones and inner corners of the eyes, and finished with a light dusting of glitter on the center of the lid. After lashes were coated with rich black mascara, she used Lipslicks Smoochies Lip Balm in Luv Bug to lend a sheer stain to lips. The process remained the same for the trio with the brighter shadow, only this time McGrath swapped out the blush on the eyes for a theatrical paint, running the color into the inner corners and just up past the crease. (Try Flamed Out Shadow Pot in Sapphire Flare for a similar effect.) For more definition, black mascara was also added to the bottom lashes.

Hairstylist Garren set out to combine two contrasting ideas: rock ‘n’ roll and romanticism. After strands were lengthened with extensions, he made a center part. “If I made a side part, it would turn into a disco [look],” he said. (For models with shorter cuts, he pulled the top half up into a small knot and added extensions to the back and sides.) Next, he sectioned the hair and made waves by clamping a triple-barrel iron at an angle about a half-inch from the root down to the ends, starting at the bottom layers and working his way up to the surface. To lend an undone, airy finish, he used a wide-tooth comb to brush through and open up the waves. Paired with the beaded headpieces and floral crowns, the total package was dreamy but not at all dated.

Photos: GoRunway.com

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