Christopher Bailey’s Burberry woman has a fairly consistent beauty look. Perfect dewy skin, sepia-toned lids, a nude-rose mouth, and some well-placed highlighted contours are par for the course here, and somehow, the winning combination doesn’t get old—even when it’s given a slightly more specific direction. “He wanted a girl who had been going out in the town all week and then retreated to her country estate for the weekend,” Bailey’s trusted face painter Wendy Rowe said of the “field and country” theme of the designer’s Fall collection. “She loves the excitement of city life, but she’s not afraid to get her hands dirty in the country.” So how does this translate in makeup terms? With a wind-blown flush and a modern update on the smoky eye, according to Rowe.
Using a palette of Burberry Eyeshadows that corresponded with the colors in Bailey’s clothes, Rowe traced its Dark Sable along the upper lashline to create depth before blending its Midnight Brown across the lid and pressing Mulberry, a burnt berry, into the crease. A few purposeful swipes of its Gold Trench defined the lower lashes. “There are no hard lines, none of the usual heaviness on the lid,” Rowe explained of the beautifully slept-in, diffused halo of neutral tones. The cold snap of a Yorkshire morning played across the cheeks courtesy of Burberry Blush in Earthy, and a mix of the brand’s Mocha Glow and Sepia Pink Lipsticks gave mouths a sumptuous, velvety finish.
Neil Moodie followed suit, “undressing” the hair rather than ramping it up. “She had a big blow-dry to start the week, but by the time she’s reached the country, it’s come undone and the waves have dropped,” the hairstylist elaborated, coating damp tresses with Bumble and Bumble’s Prep and its Thickening Spray before diffusing heat throughout the lengths and breaking up the ends with his fingers. A large curling iron added loose texture at random, while Bumble’s Brilliantine shine cream created additional separation and an expensive-looking sheen.
The ponytail is having a strong showing for Fall. After backstage turns in New York at Anna Sui, Marc by Marc Jacobs, The Row, and Jason Wu, the simple style has been equally big in London, making appearances at Erdem and Jonathan Saunders. But the updo may have had its most fiery moment last night at Giles.
“[He's] capturing decaying decadence, something beautiful that has been destroyed by fire,” Paul Hanlon explained backstage of Deacon’s inspiration for Fall, which saw a series of the burnt fabrics from the runway revisited in the hair, courtesy of ribbons that had been cut from the same cloth—cream iterations for blondes and black for brunettes. “With couturelike dresses, the hair couldn’t be too theatrical, but the scorched ribbons connected this pure, innocent hair to each look,” Hanlon continued, coating strands with a combination of Toni & Guy’s Label M Leave-in Conditioner and its Sleek Blow Out Creme to weigh hair down while adding shine and separation. Tucking front sections behind the ears to impart a slight bend as they dried, Hanlon gathered lengths at the nape of the neck before securing with the custom-made accessories. “The trick to mess up the ponytail is to pull the band down and then push it back up,” Hanlon said, ensuring his signature undone doneness was in full effect. “It creates a bagginess.”
Lucia Pieroni found Giles’ muse on the set of Sleepy Hollow—”or maybe she has consumption?” the makeup artist joked. “She’s definitely looking worse for the wear. She’s smoked too many cigarettes and drunk too much booze—a tragic beauty.” Cue the requisite undereye bags, hollow-looking lids, and shiny skin, which Pieroni achieved with a healthy amount of MAC Strobe Cream and a blend of its multi-use cream pigments in Groundwork and Harvest, which were applied to eyes and lips to impart a “bruised” hue.
Makeup artist Andrew Gallimore plotted the face at Erdem amid a flurry of buzzwords: robotic, androgynous, futuristic, intelligent, architectural. But it wasn’t until Mr. Moralioglu talked about creating a “trick of the eye” that Gallimore’s look fell into place. “He said it, and I thought of this floating flick in the socket. It’s not on the lashline, it’s not a 1950′s line—it’s got a robotic, modern feel to it. And it’s minimal—when there’s so much going on with the clothes, this is just a touch of something different,” he said, drawing a sideways triangle using MAC Fluidline in Blacktrack onto a perfected canvas of MAC Strobe Cream, Studio Sculpt Foundation, and its Prep + Prime Transparent Finishing Powder. A slick of MAC Lip Conditioner SPF15 kept mouths moisturized but discreet.
More glossy polish came courtesy of St. Tropez’ resident skin-finishing expert, Nichola Joss, who used the shades of amethyst that shot through the collection as an excuse to break out a bottle of St. Tropez Violet Skin Illuminator, which added an almost unearthly, incandescent hue to the exposed limbs in the show. Even the nails weren’t quite of this world. Erdem was very specific about the shade he was after—an androgynous but vibrant blue courtesy of Nail Girls Electric Blue 12, a custom color that will be available for purchase come August.
As for the hair, Marc Trinder used Moralioglu’s hodgepodge of references to arrive at the “bow-tail”—a “super-luxe, polished ponytail with a tiny, girly bow,” he elaborated backstage. Damp hair was prepped with Charles Worthington Sensitive Ultra Soothing Detangler Spray, worked into a center part, and then glossed up using its Hair Elixir. After smoothing the mid-lengths with hands that had been coated with Charles Worthington Front Row Heat Defence Spray, strands were flat-ironed and gathered at the nape of the neck. A fine black ribbon softened the sleek lines, with a drop more of the Hair Elixir to banish flyaways.
Let it be known: Christopher Kane doesn’t wait for hairdressers to create a look for his shows. “It’s my way or the highway when it comes to hair,” he joked backstage at his Fall presentation yesterday. “I don’t want some big beehive or loads of roses sticking out,” Kane continued. “It’s got to be a laid-back, cool, and modern [style] that lets the clothes do the talking.” Enter hairstylist Anthony Turner, who was charged with the task of delivering on Kane’s directive—and continuing Paul Hanlon’s “skinny hair” trend in the process.
Looking for “great texture rather than volume,” Anthony slathered strands with a mixture of water and TIGI Catwalk Root Boost, allowing it to dry naturally into coarse bends with a gentle center parting. Its Dry Shampoo added a matte finish. “She’s grungy but not oily,” Turner insisted of Kane’s woman this season. To ensure that the weight had been sufficiently removed from model’s lengths, Anthony braided under sections of hair, pinning them to the scalp to thin things out before tucking front pieces behind the ears for a casual-cool finish. “She’s a really youthful, nonchalant girl, listening to Nirvana,” he concluded. “She doesn’t care too much.”
Lucia Pieroni’s take on this polished grunge girl was all about skin. “It’s moisturizer, serum, tinted moisturizer, and illuminator,” the makeup artist explained, debuting a host of NARS Fall launches for the brand’s first LFW appearance. Starting with a mixture of its NARSskin Aqua Gel Oil-Free Luminous Moisturizer and its Optimum Brightening Concentrate, she continued building a luminous veil of coverage with its newly launched Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer SPF30. Highlighted, slightly contoured cheeks and brow bones were the work of an oldie but goodie from François Nars’ coffers, his Multiple in Copacabana. “I wanted a strong but natural brow,” Pieroni explained, putting the focal point of an otherwise pared-down look in models’ arches using NARS Eyshadows in Bali, Blondie, and Bengali. “It’s straight, long, and extended,” she said of the brow shape, which was brushed on to look intentionally bigger and darker without being dense or drawn in. To accent the boyish beauty look, Pieroni added a slick of NARS lipstick in Cruising across mouths, a pretty pink-blue nude.
Peter Gray secured himself a place in Spring 2012′s hair hall of fame when he fashioned faux undercuts backstage at Paul Smith last season to help create the illusion of “cool, English rock chicks who shaved their heads for the summer.” Yesterday, the hairstylist was up to his old tricks, devising another optical illusion backstage at Smith’s Fall show, where there was a reason models’ faces looked particularly taut on the runway: “It’s a pulley system for cheekbones,” Gray said, taking a fine section of hair from above each ear and pulling it tight against the scalp before securing in the back of the head with a few spritzes of Moroccanoil Luminous Hairspray and a piece of elastic. A back-combed top section that Gray fashioned into a side-parted, soft bouffant ultimately hid the flattened panels from view. “It forms a secret winch, tugging on the skin for an instant facelift effect,” he explained, pointing out that the technique is “one step on from the tight ponytail.” It sure beats Botox.