Post-Lillehammer Winter Olympics, Nancy Kerrigan told the masses that she was going to Disney World after “winning the hearts of the world” (and not the gold medal…that, of course, went to a pink marabou-clad Oksana Baiul). Ask the backstage beauty crews what they’ll be doing following fashion month and I guarantee you nobody will mention an amusement park. (To be honest, the casts of characters on the circuit are far more entertaining than a parade of princesses—and much better dressed). Here, what three MAC pros are up to now that the Fall 2014 madness has come to a close:
“Laying on the beach in Fiji with my husband, some cocktails, and a pile of books.”
“Trying to come up for air and reacclimate to my time zone before hitting the road to host five consecutive spring Master Class trips all over North America. No rest until summer for me!”
“Snuggling with my cats.”
Ditto to the last response. I’ll also be indulging in more than a disco nap at night and clocking some serious sleep.
During my tenure as a beauty editor, I’ve seen many scrawl a quick flick on the outer corners of the eyes, and I have even attempted the technique on myself (armed with a bottle of makeup remover and pointy Q-tips to fix the amateur imperfections, of course). But I’ve never witnessed someone craft the perfect cat-eye quite like Kakuyasu Uchiide, international artistic director for Shu Uemura. Using the brand’s new liquid liner pen, Calligraph:ink—modeled after a traditional Japanese calligraphy brush—he sculpted a flawless wing. Uchiide studied the art as a child, and he took what he learned in the classroom and under the tutelage of the Mr. Shu Uemura and developed an ultra-precise tool and waterproof formula. “We obsessed over the selection of the [bristles], the length of the handle, the materials—everything,” he said. In addition to a pen, the collection also includes five shadows—ranging from basic beige to bright vermilion—that were inspired by the colors used to accent this ancient form of writing (done almost exclusively in black ink). To emphasize the eyes even further, the cosmetic label partnered with Paperself, the London-based company that specializes in crafting everything from merry-go-rounds to rose gardens in delicate paper lash form, to create two sets of falsies. The first pair boasts the phrase “Love Forever,” while the other features tiny cherubs floating across your fringe. After all, the language of love is a dialect everyone understands.
Available at shuuemura.com
This season, makeup artists reached for all sorts of unconventional beauty tools—dental floss at Anthony Vaccarello, liquid latex at Dior, and feathers at Alexander McQueen—but you’ll never guess where makeup artist Vincent Oquendo nabbed the star-shaped toppings he sprinkled on lids for the March issue of Italian ELLE. While a magician of maquillage never spills his best-kept secrets, he did give me a hint: It’s a sweet-smelling place you go to treat yourself and stray from your diet.
A party at the Trading Museum Comme des Garçons this week in Paris celebrated British milliner Stephen Jones’ second fragrance collaboration with the house: Wisteria Hysteria. “It’s truly the counterpoint,” he said, his first eau being a violet-based scent. “I really wanted to do something that wasn’t a rose perfume or a jasmine perfume, but something a bit more esoteric.” The wisteria growing outside his home in London served as the inspiration, particularly the second flowering of the bloom that occurs in August. “Where before you might have a thousand flowers, it will only produce twenty the second time—but the scent of those is extraordinary,” he explained. “They smell peppery, almost like a carnation, and they’re unbelievably rich.” Combined with the resinous oils that have become a CDG signature, the final aroma is warm but not heady, clean but seductive. The composition was entirely Jones’ vision, a rarity in the fragrance business. “I remember reading a book by Luca Turin where he talks about Sarah Jessica Parker going in with this oil and that oil [for her perfume], and they said to her, ‘You’re doing a white floral, babe.’” The celebrity scent, however, is about churning out hundreds of thousands of bottles for the masses, whereas this is decidedly more niche. “What people want is individuality, that’s why they buy hats. It’s not necessarily the hat itself but the whole experience: They love the box, veiling, and these little bits of finishing.” And if you love the hat honcho’s chapeaux, you’ll particularly enjoy the coffer (a scaled-down hatbox) stuffed with white netting that holds the flacon. The summer breeze that blows the alluring aroma through the milliner’s home may come and go, but this bottle will re-create the olfactory experience year-round.
$165, available at the Trading Museum Comme des Garçons, 54 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré in Paris, alongside an exhibition of fourteen Stephen Jones hats, including the first chapeau he created for the label’s Fall collection in 1985. The fragrance launches stateside in the Comme des Garçons boutique in New York City’s Dover Street Market next week.
Lashes and cornrows—two of the trends we’ve seen time and again this season—were taken to breathtaking extremes backstage. One could say that pushing things to the max was a signature of the late Alexander McQueen: “This was something Alexander really liked—it feels like a classic code of the house,” said Guido Palau. The never-ending plait dreamed up by the mane master and executed by a team of braiders was no doubt “severe,” but the long, flowing extensions that caught the wind on the runway gave the “silhouette a certain softness.”
“It’s futurism mixed with nature,” Pat McGrath said of the two gasp-inducing looks she devised for the show. “We decided to do the owl world in a punk eye makeup way.” Black spiky feathers hand cut and designed by the face painter were painstakingly glued one by one onto the brows and top lashes. “When would I ever make it easy?” she quipped of the dramatic maquillage that took nearly four and a half hours to complete. Her second creation (worn by the majority of the models) played with shading and light in lieu of plumes—using brick red, silver, and gold metallic pigments to lend a “futuristic” feeling to the face. The end result not only incited a frenzy of flashes from photographers (particularly around the catwalkers with those phenomenal “mothlike” eyes), but also perfectly captured the “McQueen world of innocence, romance, and darkness” with a sensitivity and boldness that won’t soon be forgotten.