Youthful rebellion was on the beauty agenda at 3.1 Phillip Lim yesterday. Think “disco, punk rock, Debbie Harry.” With the Blondie front woman as muse, makeup artist Lisa Butler sculpted cheeks with darker shades of foundation to contrast with models’ skin and really worked Nars Cosmetics’ Multiples in Riviera (a shimmering rose) and Luxor (an icy highlighter) on cheekbones and eyelids. A flat pink lip courtesy of Nars Pure Matte Lipstick in Bangkok, due out in the Fall, and requisite slashings of mascara and black eyeliner completed the homage. Hairstylist Odile Gilbert’s coifs channeled the New Wave icon, too, with middle parts and voluminous, fluffy texture courtesy of Phyto Professional Intense Volume Mousse. Our favorite element of the whole scene, however, was a nod to one of Harry’s very early hairstyles, a feathered cropped ‘do that Gilbert called an “umbrella.” “All of the shorter-haired girls are getting them,” she said, rolling sections of hair toward her and curling the ends up with a round brush before setting them with heat from the blow-dryer. We have six months to get up the courage to go that short so we can properly rock this glorified, wispy bowl cut next season.
The colored hair streaks that Didier Malige created backstage at Proenza Schouler last season have been seriously influential, turning up on runways from Milan and Paris to Brazil, not to mention in countless editorial spreads and at red-carpet events. But apparently, the hairstylist hadn’t noticed. “I just heard,” he said modestly when we asked him if he knew his handiwork had such staying power. While there was no purple or turquoise dye in his arsenal last night, he didn’t stray too far from the surfer-chic styles that were such a hit for Spring. “We’re doing ‘urban surfer girls’ for Fall—surfers in the winter who are off duty,” he explained, coating models’ hair with a combination of Frédéric Fekkai’s Coiff Oceanique Tousled Wave Spray and Coiff Bouffant Lifting/Texturizing Spray Gel before drying it, using his fingers to comb and twist for texture. Makeup artist Diane Kendal worked off an image of Kristen McMenamy in the early nineties, which meant a sculpted cheek (one that Kendal created using MAC’s Studio Finish Concealer in varying shades to contrast with models’ natural skin color), a greasy brown eye, and two different strong lips. Blondes got a deep aubergine shade courtesy of MAC’s Smoked Purple lipstick, while brunettes sported Charred Red, a deep crimson color that Kendal mixed with a black eye shadow for a burnt effect. Don’t be surprised if everyone starts biting off the technique come September.
It wasn’t necessarily an intentional homage, but the similarity was undeniable. At last night’s Threeasfour show, hairstylist Ashley Javier’s matted-down finger waves and side-swept updos encased by a fishnet stocking cap screamed Alexander McQueen circa Spring 2009. Javier explained that he chose the graphic style to incorporate the curvature and snakelike patterns of the collection into the hair, and his tribute was more of an evolution of the technique that McQueen dreamed up with coif master Paul Hanlon and makeup artist Peter Philips in Paris two years ago than a direct rip-off. Javier crimped models’ entire heads to create volume and texture and then brushed all the hair over to one side, coating it with Kérastase Double Force hair spray and gathering it into what he described as a “neck rest” rather than a bun. The netting kept the S shapes from the back twist and the front tendrils that he would later pull out—as well as Andrea Helgadottir’s Egyptian-inspired eye—visible to make the connection from the face to the clothes. It worked well on the runway at Milk yesterday, and it was a moving reminder of the genius from whence it came.
Despite last season’s brow heroics, in which blocked-out arches and fuller-framed styles made repeat catwalk appearances on both sides of the Atlantic, we haven’t seen much of either look in New York this week. Until yesterday, that is, when both Narciso Rodriguez and The Row’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen decided to put the focus back on forehead fringe. Rodriguez left the task of creating something “perfect and strong” in the hands of makeup artist Dick Page, who prefers a cream or a wax when it comes to catching each individual brow hair. “You don’t want to mess with them too much,” he said, pointing out that bleaching or over-grooming can do more harm than good when you’re trying to create simplicity and sleekness. Page used a brush to personally apply a combination of Shiseido’s Accentuating Cream Eyeliner in Black and White to each model. At The Row, makeup artist Aaron De Mey also took the task onto himself, relying on Lancôme’s Le Crayon Poudre powder pencils to “naturally strengthen” each model’s face. “Never did they say, make the girls look like us,” De Mey’s coiffing partner, Jimmy Paul, said of the inspiration the Olsens gave both men (Paul was charged with re-creating a “downtown cool girl” in the form of matte texture and piece-y-ness), but close followers of the sisters’ style will definitely recognize this newfound part of their personal beauty regime living large on the runway.
As readers of this blog have already gleaned (see Rodarte post below), certain members of the face painting community are launching an anti-blush campaign this season. Makeup artist Dick Page is not one of them, however. When we ran into him backstage at Marc by Marc Jacobs yesterday, he was jovially applying a mix of peachy bronze powders to models’ cheeks, asking them to “smile” in order to find the perfect point of application. At Michael Kors this morning, the scenario was much the same, with Page actually reserving the right to paint each girl’s cheeks himself with Shiseido’s Luminizing Satin Face Color in Tea Rose and Shell—”the facial structure’s different on each girl, so I want to make sure the highlights and contours are right.” We told him of the rouge-free movement afoot and asked him his feelings on the matter. “You can quote me on this: Fuck that,” adding that a little cheek color really helps animate the face as a whole. Which camp will you be a part of come September?