Being backstage at LFW can be a bit of a bizarre experience for a beauty fan – while a make-up maverick like Val Garland will often be a mere few inches away, she’ll often be applying a look that is so avant-garde that it becomes a work of living art, seemingly without any application in real life.
This is where talking to the artists helps: once they’ve broken the look down, you realise that the model sporting a face covered in sequins and shards of perspex actually can be your Saturday night make-up-spiration. Here’s the direction Garland/McGrath/etc. think make-up should be moving in based on their SS17 make-up looks… //
SHINE / Shine was the dominant theme at most the shows, and it was everywhere – aside from on lips. At Peter Pilotto, Val Garland stroked oil on the face with a fan brush to mimic the sheen of perspiring while travelling. At Gareth Pugh, Garland went for a triple whammy and did glossy eyes using MAC’s Studio Eye Gloss, face sheen with a mineralised powder AND glitter on lips/as an accent on some models. At Mary Katrantzou, Lynsey Alexander went for a combination of Studio Eye Gloss and Strobe Cream to add glow.
TAKE HOME TIP / Add a dollop of highlighter into your foundation for a juicier complexion.
… GLOSS MADE AN APPEARANCE ON NAILS TOO / Marion Newman was behind most my favourite nail looks and, in her words, ‘crystal-clear nails are emerging as the story of the season.’
TAKE HOME TIP / This is the easiest one to copy – just apply two coats of a shiny top coat (try Seche Vite) to bare nails. If you’re a bit more experimental, Newman suggests grabbing some Elegant Touch clear tips and sticking them onto the ends of a manicured nail.
NO BRONZER / The best thing about a glossy, gleaming face coming into fashion? Contouring is over. Hallelujah. To avoid looking sickly, up the ante on your natural flush by focussing on healthy eating and exercise. If you’re not inclined to do either, a facial massage should send a little blood into your cheeks to make up for the lack of brown stuff.
TAKE HOME TIP / If you can’t bear no bronzer at all, dab a cream or liquid one onto your cheeks and tap into skin with fingers or blend with a foundation brush.
… OR MASCARA / This one hit me hard, but given that it was almost ubiquitous, I felt I had to include it. No mascara, none. This is not an entirely new development: back in 2015, there was a mini movement in this direction within the industry. It was understandably shunned by make-up wearers the country over, but I wonder if it’ll have more success this time round? A lack of it does add a certain insouciance, especially if you adhere to the next rule…
TAKE HOME TIP / If you’re doing this, focus on perfecting your brows a bit – they’ll lift the face and make the absence of mascara less noticeable.
LOTS OF EYELINER / Eyeliner was the main make-up thing going on at tonnes of shows, most notably at Ashley Williams (make-up by Isamaya Ffrench) and Sophia Webster (make-up by Val Garland).
TAKE HOME TIP / Wear it in preferably blacker than black, or deep brown at a pinch. Use Kohl. Let it get smudgy.
LOUD LIPS / ‘Stamped on’ was the terminology Lynsey Alexander used to describe the above lips she created for Mary Katrantzou. Bright, bold lips were also seen at Thom Brown and DKNY – all adhering to Alexander’s golden rule: ‘to keep things modern, you need to pare back the rest of the make-up entirely – no bronzer, no blush, no mascara – let the lips be the main feature.’
TAKE HOME TIP / Matte works best for this one as it looks more modern. Make sure your lips are in good condition first by rolling a cotton bud coated in lip balm over them to gently exfoliate and moisturise.