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July 26 2014

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Summer Down Under: The Top Ten Beauty Looks from Fashion Week Australia

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Photo: Clockwise from top left, Getty Images at Michael Lo Sordo; Getty Images at Lisa Ho; Getty Images at Shakuhachi; Getty Images at Watson X Watson; Xiaohan Shen at We Are Handsome

Considering the endless spells of dry heat, Australian summers typically beget beauty routines that mainly consist of sunblock and lashings of waterproof mascara; it’s no surprise, then, that fashion week Australia always runs the risk of favoring a “no makeup” makeup look over more complex trends. What we saw this week was anything but, however, thanks to a thriving creative spirit and the imported face-painting stylings of British makeup maverick Val Garland. “What I love about Australians is that they have no fear and are willing to give it a go. They’re very enthusiastic, and you feel like everyone is so happy to be here,” said Garland, who made a surprise cameo at the shows this season. Here, we round up the ten best backstage moments from the week that was.

Lisa Ho
Lisa Ho’s woman never lacks sensuality, and Val Garland gave it to her in spades, courtesy of a dark, lacquered lip—”Like an oil slick,” she said of the precise texture—and gloriously glossy skin. Bodies were given that quintessential Bondi glow with the cult-favorite gradual tanning product Summer by Beauty Department, while ghd hair director and session stylist Alan White added “a power element” to strands via a segmented hair parting and a dual texture that was accented with tinted extensions in midnight blue. By cutting the extensions two inches beneath models’ own hair, White aimed to “create chicness, not a color statement,” he explained.

Watson x Watson
If you were in the market for a true-blue Aussie beach experience, you didn’t need to look any further than Watson x Watson, Somer and Liberty Watson’s young upstart line. “It’s when you go to the beach and your hair soaks up the elements like salt and it grows in texture,” Redken hair director Philip Barwick explained of the saturated strands that were pulled back into a half-up bun. “The shape comes from when you get out of the water and brush it off your face and the ends of the hair are blown out and windy.” The makeup here was similarly summery, inspired by the pink zinc that was a popular staple for eighties-era teen queens. To prevent the look from becoming too juvenile, Maybelline artists added a touch of glamour via bronzed contours and a clean base.

We Are Handsome
“[It] references the relationship that Guy Bourdin and Charles Jourdan had,” stylist Jolyon Mason explained of the direction for the swimwear label’s presentation, which manifested itself into a preference for the photographer’s beloved jewel-toned smoky eyes, high-blush contours, and shiny red lips. Fluffy seventies disco hair and tanned limbs, courtesy of St. Tropez, rounded out the homage, which got a small dose of the here and now via crazy and colorful nail decals from Rock Beauty London.

Michael Lo Sordo
Michael Lo Sordo loves geometry. The designer (who was recently nominated as a finalist for the Australian Woolmark Prize) kept his hair-and-makeup look sleek, simple, and contoured for Spring but asked his face-painting team to add a few, er, points of interest: blue triangles were painted onto models’ temples to serve as “futuristic beauty spots,” rather than architectural cat-eyes, as was the case when a similar technique was employed backstage at Erdem for Fall 2012.

Shakuhachi
At first glance, the beauty look at Shakuhachi was a little Givenchy Spring 2012, but makeup artist Natasha Severino’s references had nothing to do with the underwater theme Riccardo Tisci honed three seasons ago. “My brief was ‘techno chic,’ ” she explained backstage. “There were a lot of metallics and prints in the collection, and the silhouettes were almost raver. We wanted something to offset the metallic fabrics and shoes, so we decided to go with a white pigment powder overlaid with a glitter.” To add a touch of “glitz,” Severino stuck a single Swarovski Crystal underneath the lower lash line to provide an “extra ping” as models walked down the runway.

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