“It took longer to take my makeup off than it did to put it on,” Karlie Kloss said backstage at Balmain. Minimal was an understatement, as makeup artist Tom Pecheux applied concealer only where needed, curled the lashes, and dusted powder across the tops of foreheads to take down shine. He focused mainly on skin care—massaging a combination of Estée Lauder DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Moisturizer and Revitalizing Supreme Crème into complexions, topping them off with Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher for a dewy finish. “We transformed the makeup room into a spa,” he said. Pecheux picked up his soft touch from several pros around the globe, including Tracie Martyn, Terri Lawton, and Loudna at Joël Ciocco in Paris. “There are three pressure points [we are hitting]: under the eyes, inner corners, and beginning of the brow bone,” the face painter explained. He added that without the pampering the makeup-less models would “give him shit.” However, I didn’t hear any complaints—as most girls seemed to be in a blissful state as they sat back and enjoyed a little TLC.
The hair was equally as easy and organic. Sam McKnight misted strands with water to coax out natural texture and applied Magic Move Light (a non-greasy pomade shipped in from Japan via a former assistant) to create a piece-y effect.” The clothes are so high-octane that the Balmain woman is confident enough not to need any artifice,” he said. For girls with frizzier textures, he held sections taut with his hands and blew them straight, using a blow-dryer. Models lucky enough to have a thick head of hair had the under layers braided and tucked away to eliminate the bulk. As for the total package, Pecheux summed it up quite succinctly: “The rawness of a supermodel is different than the rawness of a regular woman.” Well, that’s certainly the understatement of the season.
“I’m so bored of nice—just over it in a big way,” said the mane man backstage at Rochas, Eugene Souleiman. “[Hairstylists] need to loosen up and live a little.” And loosen up he did, bringing what he referred to as a “couture” sensibility to ready-to-wear hair. The “over-brushed” updos were based off a look he created for Spring 2012 (which featured a fifties egg shape), but this season Souleiman “wanted to make the head and feet do the same thing.” In other words, the Helena Bonham Carter-like styles were designed to flutter like the feather-duster flats and heels. In order to not torture the models’ strands too much, he pinned a teased bun form to the backs of their heads to act as an anchor, then misted all over with Wella Ocean Spritz to lend a “chemically processed” matte finish. Next, he randomly curled pieces with a half-inch curling iron, made tiny braids, and flat-ironed bits before brushing through them and creating a French-twist-like roll in the back (which he would later pull apart). The remaining sections were wrapped around the sides and front, forming a gentle halo of fuzz. Souleiman said of the end result: “It’s chaotic, but it’s beautiful.”
As for makeup artist Lucia Pieroni, she played off the iridescent fabrics and the catwalk music, which began with what sounded like drops of water hitting a hard surface. “It’s like when the Little Mermaid stays out of the sea for too long—she can’t live above ground, so she goes a bit hollow-eyed,” Pieroni said of the dusky tones that were wrapped around eyes. For a dewy base, she prepped skin with Clé de Peau Beauté The Serum, and then applied the deep purple, taupe-y plum, and pink shades from the forthcoming Eye Color Quad in 212 on the lids and lower lash lines, diffusing the pigment with a small blush brush. Cheek Color in 1 (an earthy hue) was dusted lightly along the sides of the face, and lips were slicked with Enriched Lip Luminizer in 226 (launching next Spring). For a “wet” finish, she dabbed Egyptian Magic on cheekbones, lids, and brows to catch the light, similar to the strands of multifaceted, opalescent beads draped twice around models’ necks.
Peter Philips is known as the master of makeup invention, and when it came to the eyelashes at Dries Van Noten, he certainly spun standard string into beauty gold. After evening out complexions with foundation and powdering the skin, he dusted Chanel Soft Touch Eyeshadow in Ivory (a pearl tone with a hint of shimmer) to provide lids with “a bit of depth.” Then he added sparkle to lashes via metallic thread. “You can never find a gold mascara that does this, and [false] lashes look too drag queen-y,” Philips explained. After snipping the delicate cord into small pieces with a pair of manicuring scissors and dotting models’ natural fringe with eyelash glue, he placed the tinsel-like fibers individually with a pair of tweezers. To frame the face and make the eyebrows uniform, Philips traced slightly outside arches using the Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in a shade slightly darker than each girl’s hair color; taking away the curve and replacing it with an elongated and angular shape. Lips were toned down with a touch of base just before showtime.
Sharp side parts inspired by Tamara de Lempicka (an art deco painter with Polish roots) and Loulou de la Falaise (Yves Saint Laurent’s muse) were gilded with a mix of hair wax and gold leaf. Hairstylist Sam McKnight washed hair with Pantene Pro-V Aqua Light Shampoo so that it was free of product or shine that would detract from the graphic stripe. He used a steel tail comb to divide the hair from left to right, then worked Sebastian Mousse Forte through the top section and brushed strands behind the ears with a Mason Pearson. A net was pressed over the crown, hit with a blow-dryer, and set with hairspray. The length was left “raw” and misted with water to revive any natural texture. The end result was a look that would make King Midas proud.
The makeup at Anthony Vaccarello, created by Tom Pecheux, was strangely familiar, harking back to Derek Lam’s show a few weeks ago. The French designer asked for something graphic that played up the outer corners of the eyes, which immediately set off alarm bells in the face painter’s head. “I can’t repeat myself, but I still have to respect what he’s looking for,” Pecheux explained. While the shape was small and rectangular on the runway in New York, the first day of Paris fashion week called for something a bit more dramatic—hence, the larger triangle that floated away from the eye. Pecheux cut a stencil into a plastic sheet protector with an X-Acto knife for each member of his team to insure uniformity. “If you freehand, it’s much more romantic. But this is a fashion cosmetic factory; we have to move fast,” he added.
Pecheux prepped models’ complexions with Estée Lauder Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher, then mixed a drop of Advanced Night Repair (which helps “Velcro” foundation to the skin) with Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup. Pure Color Blush in Sensuous Rose was used to contour the cheeks and worked slightly onto the apple to finish. A pinky-nude hue—Pure Color Envy Lipstick in Insatiable Ivory (launching March 2014)—was slicked onto lips with a brush. The handcrafted stencil was then placed against the face so the tip of the triangle hit the highest point of the crease, lifting the eye upward. Using a stiff eyebrow brush, he filled it in with a black shadow from the Pure Color Eye Shadow Duo in Moons, then layered over top with a brighter shade of cobalt (Pure Color Gelée Powder Eye Shadow in Fire Sapphire)—the end result being a midnight blue that picked up on the touches of navy in the collection. Next, he arched the pigment over the crease and ended it just past the inner corner of the eye. Pecheux filled in brows with a pencil that was a touch darker than each model’s hair color, focusing on the inner corners to bring balance to the face.
Inspired by Vaccarello’s introduction of denim into the line, hairstylist Anthony Turner wanted to create a style that was a bit more “street.” And what better reference point than a street-style snapshot of the designer’s close friend Anja Rubik? “We looked at a picture where she was pushing her hands through her hair” he recalled. “So I thought, Why don’t we try to interpret that?” For hold, Turner worked mousse through strands and blew them dry with a few drops of L’Oréal Professionel Mythic Oil and a Mason Pearson brush for smoothness. To get a “poker-straight” finish, he ran a flat iron over top. For a bit of lift in front, True Grip Texturizing Powder was sprinkled in at the roots and back-combed about two inches from the forehead using a rattail comb. He misted all over with Infinium hair spray to polish off the look. “I wanted to maintain the confidence and sexiness that is the Anthony Vaccarello woman but introduce a sportier element,” Turner elaborated. Mission accomplished.
This season, makeup artist Linda Cantello categorized the Armani woman as “delicate” and the “antithesis of the Prada lady,” which, funnily enough, was one of the few other shows to employ a bold use color on the lids for Spring 2014. The face painter’s approach, however, was less about women in revolt and more focused on creating a “passive” femininity on the runway. And while the underlying theme of the collection was Jardin Majorelle, she grappled with the choice between purple and green (not blue, which would have been too obvious a choice) to pick up on the amethyst and anemonelike tones in the clothes. In the end, a gentle wash of emerald won out. “Mr. Armani was very specific that it shouldn’t be too green—he wanted it to have a diaphanous, photo-transparent [quality],” she explained.
After priming skin with a BB cream to eliminate redness or any lingering effects of summer (i.e., a tan), she used Giorgio Armani Beauty Maestro Foundation to create the “pale perfection” requested by the designer. Complexions were then dusted with powder for a matte—but still luminous—finish. The alluring malachite shade wrapped around lids was a combination of sea foam and slightly deeper jade pigments (inspired by a Sarah Moon image from the seventies that was pinned to Cantello’s mirror). For translucency and the “essence of speed,” she mixed the eye shadow with Fluid Sheer in 2, the lightest hue in the range of radiance boosters. The formula was initially applied with a brush along the crease, outer corners, and lower lash lines, but Cantello used her finger to blend it out and down. To cancel dark shadows, a concealer was dotted on the inner corners of the eyes and a light stain was tapped onto lips to make the girls “look more healthy than dead.”
In contrast to the gentle makeup, the hair by Franco Gobbi was a bit more aggressive. There was certainly an eighties reference, illustrated by the side-swept waves (similar to the swoop seen at Emilio Pucci), and the length was pinned up off the neck to resemble an undercut. To finish, strands were misted with hair spray to lock in the fluffy texture. While I’m not entirely sold on this particular swoosh, Cantello’s gauzy shadow makes being green look absolutely gorgeous.