July 22 2014

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22 posts tagged "Aaron De Mey"

The Downtown Way to Wear the Color of the Year



“Simplistic” and “realistic” were two of the adjectives that face painter Aaron de Mey used to describe the makeup look he created for Opening Ceremony’s Fall 2014 collection. Those words, however, don’t exactly lend themselves to Pantone’s color of the year, Radiant Orchid—but that’s exactly what De Mey reached for to create the Antwerpen flush seen on the runway. “We wanted to do something that felt natural, youthful, and almost naive, so Aaron felt like the cheeks were a perfect way to play it,” said codesigner of the label, Humberto Leon. As for why De Mey employed the purple hue instead of your traditional pink or peach: “It’s refreshing, brighter, and a bit more direct,” he explained. The trick is to use a cream formula, like the Sephora + Pantone Universe Ravishing Dew Cream Blush applied at the show, and blend out the edges with concealer or foundation. “This makes the color feel like it’s coming from underneath the skin rather than on top,” he said. As for the placement, the pro noted wearing your blush high and central helps hide dark circles (and honestly, who doesn’t need help in that area?). The idea to use this punchy pigment on the apples instead of the spot that initially comes to mind (the lips) was also “less obvious and more surprising,” added Leon—kind of like the dripping chocolate wall (developed in tandem with chocolatiers and Princeton scientists) that inspired many a memorable NYFW Instagram moment.

To try the shade on for size, visit the Sephora + Pantone Universe Pop-Up Green House located in the Big Screen Plaza on West 29th Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., March 27-29.

Photo: Getty; Courtesy of Sephora

Twin Peaks Meets Blue Velvet, Backstage at Kenzo


kenzo“We’re taking a classic look and twisting it—a bit like a David Lynch film,” explained mane master Anthony Turner. Inspired by the collaboration between the designers (Carol Lim and Humberto Leon) and the famed director on the sculptural set and music for today’s show, the backstage pro crafted a “Twin Peaks ponytail.” After making a strong center part and securing the hair at the back of the head, he wrapped the band with extensions and “hacked off” the ends with scissors or “men’s clippers,” forming a blunt, severe line. To cancel any flyaways, L’Oréal Professionnel Mythic Oil was smoothed on top.

Another Lynch film, Blue Velvet, obviously served as a reference for face painter Aaron de Mey. He used MAC Chromaline in Marine Ultra on the upper rims, a shade he described as “Yves Klein blue.” His reason for selecting such a vibrant hue: “The [runway] is dark and tough, so this gives it an elevation and illumination.” As for the “fifties” wing shape, it was reminiscent of Sherilyn Fenn’s signature cat-eye in the aforementioned nineties series, de Mey explained. The finishing touch that channeled the cinematic theme were models’ flocked navy nails, whose fuzzy texture and color recalled—what else?—Isabella Rossellini’s crushed velvet robe.


White Out


Spring Beauty Trends

Alongside the plethora of colors used at many shows for Spring 2014 (Chanel, Céline, and Prada, to name just three), there were several designers that opted for a clean slate. (And no, I’m not talking about the bevy of “raw” hair and makeup looks that were also popular this season.) Instead, I’m referring to graphic bands of white drawn across models’ lids by Aaron de Mey at Kenzo, the alabaster pencil Tom Pecheux used instead of shadow (in order to “avoid flakes on the lashes”) to create a modern mod look at Ralph Lauren, and the combo of cream and powder he dusted on eyes at Altuzarra. Using the right tool to apply is also key to pulling off this color: For a subtle wash of white (as seen at Altuzarra), use a large, soft brush to blend, explained Pecheux. “If you use something very hard, [the color] is going to be very opaque and you will look like a panda,” he added. And while those rings might look adorable on cuddly bears, they definitely don’t have the same effect on people.

To see all of Spring’s top backstage trends, read our Beauty Moments feature.

Photos: Ivan Lattuada /; Yannis Vlamos /

Life Aquatic, Backstage At Kenzo


kenzoMessages against overfishing were abundant at Kenzo—with No Fish No Nothing scrawled across the doors of the La Cité du Cinéma and a sweatshirt in the collection. The idea was also reflected in the iridescent fabrics (with a sheen similar to that of scales), sunglasses with fish-eye-like baubles that wrapped around ears, an “aquatic sound system” in middle of the catwalk that jolted with every beat, and a floor-to-ceiling waterfall that served as the backdrop for the runway.

To reflect the marine movement, makeup artist Aaron de Mey mimicked the “crest of a wave” by drawing a graphic band of MAC Acrylic Paint in White across the tops of lashes with an angled brush, abruptly ending the line at the outer corners. “It looks like zinc on the lids—[providing] the reverse effect of classic sixties eyeliner,” he said. In addition to oceanic inspiration, de Mey cited Black Flag (a punk band hailing from Hermosa Beach, California): “I experimented with black, but it was too heavy and literal—punk is a feeling of being opposite to everyone else, and the blunt shape makes it feel more aggressive.” The rest of the face was kept bare, applying concealer only where necessary and dabbing a heavy cream on the tops of cheekbones, chin, and down the bridge of the nose to lend a dewy finish.

To give strands an underwater—yet androgynous—feel, hairstylist Anthony Turner blew them dry using mousse and his fingers for texture, then made a boyish side part and slicked the top section back behind one ear with a wet-look gel. “It’s almost how a boy would grease the side of his hair,” he explained. And in lieu of schools of fish, a gang of tough L.A. girls (similar to the idea at Prada, but with a far more West Coast vibe) served as the pro’s muse. Turner left the length dry, but used a curling iron to create ridges and marks—his interpretation of how women in the street “badly tong” their hair. He topped everything off with a liberal amount of L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium hair spray for added shine and control.

Press-on tips designed by Naomi Yasuda were based with MAC Nail Lacquer in Nocturnelle (an ebony hue) and streaked with Vestral White using a skinny liner brush. The abstract art not only picked up on the patterns at the beginning of the show, but popped against the cobalt, fuchsia, acid yellow, and sea foam green colors splashed across dresses, blazers, midriff-baring tops, minis, and floppy beach hats. If taking a stand looks like this, I’m ready to join the cause.

“Futuristic Maharaja” Eyes And “Skater Boy” Strands, Backstage At Kenzo


Black cat-eyes—thin flicks of dark pencil drawn across the upper lash line—are a pretty standard maneuver for makeup artists hoping to incite a feeling of classic glamour. But what if you want to accentuate the lids while steering clear of that feeling entirely? “It’s all about the under eye,” according to Aaron de Mey, who used an elongated uptick of MAC Eye Kohl in Smoulder underneath the lower lash line, inside the water line, and in the root of the lashes to get the reverse effect at Kenzo—or a “punky” vibe, as he put it.

“It’s very futuristic maharaja,” de Mey said of the look, citing references ranging from Stanley Kubrick to India as he topped his hand-scrawled stroke with MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon to intensify the darkness of the pigment and its Fluidline in Blacktrack, which was used on the outer corners only to define the straight shape. “It looks strong, direct, and purposeful,” he continued of the graphic element that contrasted with Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s incredibly rich, colorful collection—as well as skin that de Mey described as “icy” as he used a blend of its Cream Colour Base in Pearl and its Iridescent Powder in Silver Dusk to create dimension on the high planes of the face. Slicking MAC Gloss Texture across lids for a high-shine finish, de Mey concentrated a small dose of it on the center of mouths as well, which had been made slightly smaller with a finger-pressing of foundation around the edges. “It’s like the girls were sucking on ice,” he explained of the technique—which wasn’t too hard to imagine, considering the subarctic chill backstage at La Samaritaine.

“There’s a lot going on,” Anthony Turner confirmed of the bounty of prints and patterns in the clothes, not to mention the large enameled Delfina Delettrez Fendi-designed earrings that dangled from models’ ears. “We wanted to make sure we brought the girls back into the young Kenzo world,” he elaborated of the “cool, downtown, nonchalant” hair he fashioned by coating strands with Moroccanoil Curl Defining Mousse, drying them with his fingers, and then carving out messy side parts. “I was inspired by skater boys—you know, how they put too much product in their hair,” he continued, slathering lengths with its Intense Curl Cream before tucking them behind the ears and simulating a soft, piece-y frizz around the hairline and the crown, so the style felt more organic. “I live in New York,” Turner declared. “I know what this looks like.”

Photo: Luca Cannonieri /