Deconstructed 18th-century opulence inspired the beauty look backstage at Nicole Miller.
Makeup was created by MAC lead artist James Kaliardos, who said he took a cue from the collection for a face that alluded to both French aristocracy and a modern-day rebel. “It’s [Marie Antoinette] as a punky rebel, but using mauve tones,” he said. “They are about to storm Versailles and take her away to the chamber, and she’s put on her lips as a last-ditch effort to say, ‘Eat cake.’” Kaliardos used a mauve cream shadow called Cultivating Chic across the eyelid and a “French gray” tone, March Mist, beneath the eye line. “I’ve been waiting for a color like that for years,” said Kaliardos of the still-unreleased MAC shade. He then used MAC Haute & Naughty mascaras on the top lashes. On the cheeks, Kaliardos applied a cream blush in a warm coral shade, Keep it Loose, lightly with his fingertips.
Lips, clearly a focus of the look, were given a velvet fuchsia treatment, achieved by first lining, then filling them with Vino lip pencil. For a “luscious” effect, Kaliardos slightly exaggerated the lip shape before applying Violetta lipstick and a matte finish. “She threw on her violet lip and said, ‘Screw you,’ said Kaliardos of the girl behind the look.
On faces he used Skin Mineralize Moisture SPF15 Foundation, as well as a sprinkling of the gilded, opalescent Lily White pigment on temples, cheekbones, bridges of the nose and cupids bows. “We are dusting the face with gold so skin has some shine,” he said.
Hair, styled by Kevin Ryan for Rsession Tools, also paid homage to a modern take on castle life, with a psuedo-classic braided updo and plenty of texture. “I wanted it to be romantic but not horribly cheap, not romance novel,” he said.
Ryan began by prepping hair with a volumizing tonic, then braided it from one side of the back of the head, wrapping it around the crown as he went, leaving a “big lump” of hair in the middle. Once he curved the braid and pinned it into place, he used forceps to weave in bits of hair, creating a “diffused” effect. “It is a little bit of a lived-in updo,” said Ryan, who purposely left wispy flyaways in the look. “There is a Versailles feel, but it’s running,” he said. “It’s a busy Marie Antoinette, a little bit rock ’n’ roll.”
Nails featured a new gold glitter shade, The 444, launched specifically for fashion week, paired with a darker glittering shade called The Black Knight.
“There’s a lot of texture, like broken chandeliers, mazes and gilded gold is what I think of,” said Katie Jane Hughes, who created the sparkling ombré nail for Butter London, referencing “the women storming the castle” for the look. “These were very, very strong women, but they also didn’t have much, so it’s that beautiful gold nail with that black on the top that looks like they’ve worked to get where they got.”
Hughes first applied a layer of The 444, then the The Black Knight at the tip, using her finger to push it back, for the diffused effect. For a bit of added contrast, she layered on more of the darker shade at the tip. “Your fingertip will blend glitter better than anything else, because it won’t pull the glitter, it will just move the base,” said Hughes.