Makeup looks for fall include better grunge

At the recent N.Y. runway shows, makeup looks for fall included a better grunge and a crazy eye.

New York TimesFebruary 20, 2013 

— As with the clothes, makeup at fashion shows is increasingly a smorgasbord, rather than one look being in or out. Still, several strong themes emerged from the New York fall 2013 collections.

Grown-up grunge

With its basic theme of anti-glamour, the grunge revival that has lasted several seasons now has been tricky for beauty. “There is this thought to try and give grunge more polish, maybe for a more considered woman,” said James Kaliardos, a makeup artist who works with brands like Maybelline, M.A.C and NARS. “Last season, a lot of brands paid me a lot of money just to put moisturizer on the cheeks,” he said with a wry chuckle.

“The paler skin is very Oscar Wilde but also baroque,” said James Boehmer, director of global artistry at NARS, who was behind the evening look at Carmen Marc Valvo. (“It’s not for Sunday brunch,” he said.) To make it more flattering, Boehmer highlighted cheekbones with NARS Copacabana and Luxor iridescent multiple sticks. At the Creatures of the Wind show, he did matte complexions: a sharp contrast with rose-gold lids.

Lips tended to be plummy or the color of wilting roses. In one novel application, at Kenneth Cole, Romy Soleimani, a lead artist at M.A.C, brushed on the brand’s popular Ruby Woo lipstick, but then deepened corners with black liner pencil.

At Derek Lam, Tom Pecheux for Estee Lauder used his finger to dab on Pure Color Vivid Shine Lipstick in Burnished Bronze and Pure Color High Intensity Lip Lacquer in Electric Wine. “The heat of your finger almost melts and stains the lip this way, instead of sitting like a layer,” he said. (Both products will arrive at counters in August.) Then, he added touches of true black to the center of the lip. (Attention goth girls: Don’t go too brown, as Claire Danes did at the Screen Actors Guild Awards; it can create a deadening effect.)

Pecheux added light metallic shades to the center of the eye and blended outward, but skipped liner and mascara altogether. “I wanted it to have a flattening effect, almost like some Asian eyes,” he said.

Look, Ma, no makeup

For those with a no-nonsense sensibility, there were several shows to admire. At Helmut Lang, Hannah Murray for NARS focused on creamy skin (tinted moisturizer and a sweep of Orgasm blush), with bold brows on the brunettes and barely defined arches on blondes. Eyes had a subtle sheen imparted by NARS velvet gloss lip pencil in Cythere (a soft gold) applied with flesh-toned eye shadows. The barely there monochromatic result felt schoolgirlish.

Similarly, at Alexander Wang, Diane Kendal, also for NARS, used neutral contouring, or “shade and light” as she called it. Kendal lined the upper lash line and deepened the crease with Lhasa gray shadow. “It’s strong with a hooded eye,” Kendal said of the masculine look.

Even nails were kept to “an androgynous short length,” said Jan Arnold, a founder of CND, which supplied the nude color, Impossibly Plush, used on them.

At the Prabal Gurung show, Charlotte Tilbury dabbed on lip balm, brushed brows upward and blended M.A.C paint stick in deep brown across the lid and onto the brow bone. But the pinker, flushed cheek gave faces a more feminine finish.

At DKNY, Charlotte Willer for Maybelline was going for “pure and simple,” she said, which meant a thin application of BB Cream and filled-in brows following along the natural arch. She skipped liner and mascara, which seemed to be an emerging trend this season. “I think it may be the reaction to all those false lashes,” she said. “We’re in reverse mode.”

The crazy eye

Brash blue, graphic definition, enough glitter to conjure early-aughts Mariah Carey. This is the stuff of Fashion Week fantasies (and social media eye candy), when reality can go out the window.

“It is fun to really create a look,” said Kendal, working for NARS backstage at Thakoon. She went for a “winter night” concept that looked more van Gogh “Starry Night,” with a bright blue base (NARS Outremer eye shadow and Ubangi eye paint, which will be out in the fall) and lashings of sparkle on top (gold in the inner corners and rose-gold in the center). She also passed on mascara. “It feels more modern this way,” she said. Instead, to define the eye, she applied thin black liner right at the lash base.

Kendal created a similar look, minus glitter, for Lancome at Jason Wu: a brilliant cobalt hue with a shape that extended beyond the outer corners of the eye.

At Rag & Bone, Gucci Westman for Revlon suggested a minimalist take on the Swinging ’60s, outlining the eye crease with black liner and coloring mouths light purplish pink. The lipstick shade was named, appropriately, Supermodel.

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