"We approached it like any other collection," Raf Simons' longtime makeup collaborator Peter Philips said of the beauty look backstage at Jil Sander—the designer's last show as the house's creative director. And while Philips' handiwork abided by a set of codes that has long reigned here, nodding to midcentury themes updated with modern touches, it was more than just any other collection, as anyone who was in attendance at today's show can attest.
Creating a matte pale base using either Chanel Vitalumière Aqua Ultra-Light Skin Perfecting Makeup or its Perfection Lumière Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup, depending on each model's complexion, Philips curled lashes and redrew bleached brows when needed before focusing his attention on a "soft, rose-petal" pink lip.
Tracing a finite line around pouts with Chanel Lip Pencil in #32 Pivoine so that the resulting color was "very graphic, not retro," Philips proceeded to fill in lips with its Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in L'Élégante. "There is no sheen, so you just see pure color," he said of the intensity that a matte-finish mouth adds to the equation.
Redken creative consultant Guido Palau stayed apace with Philips' general direction, crafting "the most couture ponytail" he's done all season. "You get the feeling of a Hitchcock woman," Palau elaborated, prepping short, side parts and long blunt-cut extensions with Redken Satinwear 02 Ultimate Blow-Dry Lotion before brushing hair backward and pulling it over ears for a hint of fifties-era modesty. "It makes it look very done," he explained of the technique, spritzing the style with Forceful 23 Strong-Hold Finishing Spray to impart a "lacquered" effect.
While Palau tweeted that things got "emotional" before the show started, he was slightly more stoic in person. "There are all these flowers in glass cases, which I'm sure will be read into slightly," he said of the almost tragically beautiful set design. But his initial feeling was shared by every single person who had the pleasure of witnessing Simons' last dance here; maybe it was the two pre-presentation espressos I had backstage, but my knees were shaking just a little bit when Simons took his final bow.