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Backstage Beauty at London Fashion Week Fall 2017: Everything You Need to Know

Beauty looks during the fall season in London spanned from natural and simple to edgy and cool. See what the makeup artists and hair stylists had in mind for the shows.

Beauty looks during the fall season in London spanned from natural and simple to edgy and cool. See what the makeup artists and hair stylists had in mind for the autumn shows.

At Burberry, beauty looks were influenced by artist and sculptor Henry Moore, and makeup artist Wendy Rowe aimed to highlight models’ natural individuality.

Details at Burberry RTW Fall 2017
Details at Burberry fall 2017. Aitor Rosás/WWD

“We focused on the true element of the true person,” said Rowe, who worked with products from The Runway Edit, a makeup capsule collection. “Like the sculptures, we wanted them to be real. You need to feel the element of truth. I need to feel the skin. I need to see the skin. It’s about really working with the shadows and the highlights on the face and the fresh glow brings it out.”

She prepped skin with Fresh Glow Luminous Fluid Base as a moisturizer for a youthful, radiant glow. She used a Face Contour pen lightly and applied it under cheeks and jawline for a slightly sculpted look. She added Fresh Glow Foundation to balance skin tone followed by Cashmere Concealer or Sheer Concealer, if models needed it. She used a Nude powder for a matte finish. She focused on each model individually — depending on skin type and tone. “You know every girl is an individual,” said Rowe. “So some girls need this and some girls will need that. I just want it to feel more like monotone and natural. Some girls have [this] pinky tone in their eye. We want to keep that. We don’t want to erase that. If it’s not there we will put it in.”

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For eyes, she applied a Fresh Glow Highlighting Luminous Pen at the inner corners as well as the middle of lids, then used Effortless Kohl Eyeliner and gently applied it across the waterline. She added a dab of Eye Color Silk on the bottom of the lash line, meanwhile eyebrows were brushed. Lips were treated with a nude contour and it was used to shine and shadow lips.

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Meanwhile, Sam McKnight and his team tailored hair looks on 78 male and female models — where both sexes were treated with the same textured hair and a sporty vibe.

For hair on women, McKnight called the style “athletic architecture” and described it as structured but minimal. “This is the first time I’ve ever done a structure for Burberry,” said McKnight. “So it’s quite controlled. So in that control, I thought I’d keep the girls looking quite athletic so their hair looked damp and to look like they’ve almost done sports and had a shower and pulled it back themselves.”

Details at Burberry RTW Fall 2017
Details at Burberry fall 2017. Aitor Rosás/WWD

Hair was fashioned into a ponytail and McKnight made sure it was not too wet and not really brushed. He used a mixture of Kiehl’s serum, L’Oréal mousse and some Bumble and bumble prep and worked with the models’ varied hair types.

For curly tresses, he used more Kiehl’s serum, for fine hair he used Bb prep. He finished the look with his new versatile hair spray — called Hair by Sam McKnight — which he unveiled and used for the first time at the show, and he said it will roll out in due course. “It’s modern hairspray because it’s a multitasking curling, blow-drying or straightening or finishing for volume,” he said of his product. “So we’ve kind of formulated it so it can get you through any situation and at the end of that it’s not greasy and it’s not heavy. It brushes out ready for the next look so it’s basically what we’ve been doing for the last 200 years distilled.

“You would get a smooth shiny finish,” he added. “But if I did it section by section, you’d get lots of volume. If I spray it then straighten it, it will hold a shine. If we use a curling iron, it will give you that hold as well. So we’ve formulated it to do what I’ve been wanting to do for years.”

GALLERY: Backstage at Burberry February 2017 >>


J.W. Anderson
J.W. Anderson’s girl was a natural beauty with clean, matte skin and cool hair.

Backstage at JW Anderson RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at J.W. Anderson RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“The inspiration is a real girl,” said Mark Carrasquillo, who worked with Nars cosmetics. “Literally from the shower to the catwalk.”

He prepped skin with a moisturizer and dabbed a bit of Nars soft matte complete concealer for a dried-down matte finish, which was applied under the eye or around the nose. He didn’t want to put too much powder on the models — to keep their look as real as possible. “The idea is using very little product and then apply it in a wise way so it makes it look like their real skin so you don’t see any bumps,” said Carrasquillo. “The idea is making their skin seamless.”

“This year, she’s going out with her mates,” said hairstylist Anthony Turner of Anderson’s muse. “She’s very optimistic. She’s very upbeat and it’s fun. It’s the same texture as last season — it’s very blown out.”

Working with L’Oréal Professionnel products, Turner wanted to keep tresses feeling very resilient. For this effect, he took a section from the front of the hair and blow dried it to achieve a cool scrunch. He wanted to twist things a bit for what he called a basic-but-unusual look. Turner blow dried hair to get strands smooth and secured the left hand side tightly with a long piece of elastic to create a low, side ponytail.

GALLERY: Backstage at J.W. Anderson RTW Fall 2017 >>


Simone Rocha
At Simone Rocha, natural beauty was the focus as models were done up to look makeup-free.

Simone Rocha RTW fall 2017. Aitor Rosás/WWD

“I wanted to achieve a natural look,” said Sam Bryant, who worked with MAC Cosmetics. “It’s about enhancing what they’ve got, so it doesn’t look like they have a makeup on. It’s making them look like they naturally have that beauty.”

She applied Moisture Infusion Serum and massaged on Timecheck Lotion. She used Studio Finish Palette to even out skin tome. For eyes, she blended lipsticks for a mushroom pink hue. Following the same tone, she brushed cream blush on cheeks for a flesh-toned color. Using a half red lip liner, she smudged it on lips and feathered it out.

Using Sebastian Professional products, hairstylist James Pecis looked to a range of references for hair such as protection, camouflage with elements of nature, along with a strong military silhouette with softness.

Hair was sectioned out and pulled back into two ponytails with the left side pulled halfway up and the right side resting at the nape of the neck. Pecis used Drynamic, shaper zero and mousse forte.


Gareth Pugh
Gareth Pugh’s girl was a bionic beauty with healthy skin and unusual waves.

Gareth Pugh RTW Fall 2017
Gareth Pugh RTW fall 2017. Aitor Rosás/WWD

“Gareth was inspired by two things: a knight and a playwright called John Van Druten,” said Val Garland, working with MAC Cosmetics. “She has such a vision. It is like bionic beauty. She is more than human. It’s that kind of thing.”

Skin was key for Garland, who said she wanted beautiful, fabulous skin. She used Charged Water Face + Body Lotion before applying Face + Body Foundation with her fingertips. She pressed Prep +Prime Essential Oil Stick onto cheeks.

For the eyes, she buffed in Black Black Chrome to the eyebrow. She incorporated retro matte lip tints over for a blackened green effect, meanwhile, blue lip mix was added to the top for a blackened blue effect. She lined lips with Marine Ultra Chromoline pencil and coated Blue lip mix over for an exaggerated effect.

“It’s quite funny because when you are looking at it from distance, you’ll think, ‘Oh, interesting! They’ve got black, glossy eyes'” said Garland. “But, as they walk down the catwalk and when the lights hit them, they’ll be like ‘What the hell is that?’ because we won’t see their eyes moving.” She took a cue from a sunbathing goggles and worked with Pugh to fashion a similar aesthetic for the show.

For hair, John Vial, who worked with Revlon products, used tons of hairspray to achieve a contrast between supershiny and really wet for a dry, aired texture. He used mousse as a base then used a netted hair doughnut, followed by lots of hairspray. Hair was pushed in and dried with a hairdryer. The outcome he said was “really weird” shapes and waves. He used Revlon Professional Style Masters products including PhotoFinisher 2, Styling Mousse Modular and Glamourama shine finisher.

“She’s fierce, strong and powerful,” said Vial. “She’s quite tough not girly girly. For some of the models, we’ve tried to make it slightly squarer. Essentially, a square is quite masculine and round is softer and more feminine. So she’s kind of a warrior and she’s not afraid. She’s like a modern girl.”


Versus Versace
Versus Versace’s woman was a tough girl with bold eyes and punky hair.

Backstage at Versus Versace RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Versus Versace RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“She’s a very cool girl,” said Lucia Pieroni of the muse. “She’s tough and her eye makeup is very bold and graphic to match.”

Working with Maybelline products, Pieroni aimed for a superstraight, horizontal bolt of bright color across the eyelids. She used Color Sensational Loaded Bold and used lipsticks as an eye shadow which was applied across the entire eyelid creating a sharp straight line which faded at the end and smudged. As a base, Dream Satin Liquid Foundation was used followed by Master Contour under cheekbones. She utilized a Master Strobe Stick to give it a bit of luminosity. She painted Color Drama Lipstick in nude hues on lips.

For hair, Paul Hanlon was inspired by pinky hairdos with a Sixties Mod feel. “We wanted the girls to feel very tough and rebellious,” said Hanlon. “Taking into consideration the setting of the show and the music with the clothes we felt the hair had to have a more harder, tougher attitude. We wanted it to feel that the girls were the kind of girls that you were slightly intimidated by, but also at the same time, intrigued by. The hair had to feel very processed and textured, almost overprocessed.”

Hanlon used Tigi Bedhead Queen and Tigi Catwalk sea salt spray for texture. He divided hair on the top of the head — in a horseshoe section — then brushed hair through to make sure it didn’t have root lift. Hair was sprayed with L’Oréal Elnett, then strands were straightened with a flattening iron. Elsewhere, hair was pressed at the roots with the help of hairspray. He brought the top section forward over one eye, then with his hands, he created bespoke hair shapes.

Meanwhile, the boys were prepped using Tigi Bedhead Queen and dried with a diffuser. He sprayed L’Oréal Elnett over dry hair and utilized a wig cap for more flatness. He finished the look with Redken 23 Hairspray then crafted individual styles for models.

GALLERY: Backstage at Versus Versace RTW Fall 2017 >>


Peter Pilotto
The beauty look backstage at Peter Pilotto was simple and polished.

Backstage at Peter Pilotto RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Peter Pilotto RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“She is quite a bourgeoise this season,” said hairstylist Anthony Turner, using L’Oréal Professionnel products. “She is a little bit more mature. She is a woman who hangs around in art galleries. She is very worldly. She goes for an excursion to these far and wonderful places and collects all these artifacts. She is a bit of a hoarder in that sense as well.”

Turner kept tresses simple and very polished with a salon-friendly finish. He used L’Oréal Professionnel Tecni ART pli shaper and dried through models’ hair to keep a natural bent. He dried the roots from the front to the back for height and blow dried hair with his fingers to look a bit undone. He finished the look with Mythic Oil for shine.

Makeup artist Val Garland, who worked with MAC Cosmetics, called Peter Pilotto’s woman a nomad. “The girl of today is much traveled,” said Garland. “She is multimixing the ideas and trends. That’s my interpretation. She’s rich and well traveled. Of course, she is rude and gorgeously beautiful.” Garland kept the look simple and used balm on lips and brushed up models’ eyebrows. For skin, she used Timecheck Lotion to hydrate and Face and Body Foundation to even the tone, while Studio Finish Concealer was used as needed. She applied Virgin Isle cream color base on cheeks.

GALLERY: Backstage at Peter Pilotto RTW Fall 2017 >>


Mary Katrantzou
Taking cue from Mary Katrantzou’s inspiration of Disney’s “Fantasia” and film noir, makeup artist Lynsey Alexander bleached eyebrows and focused on ethereal light skin. Using MAC Cosmetics, she prepped skin with Studio Waterweight Over Strobe Crème and Studio Finish Pro Conceal and Correct for a highlighted effect. She applied Invisible Powder and Groundwork Paintpot for contouring. For eyes, she a sweep of pastels and applied it under the eyebrow.

Backstage at Mary Katrantzou RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Mary Katrantzou RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“It’s quite organic,” said Alexander, “And that’s the sort of playful element of the makeup, because when you bleach a brow it can look quite serious and quite stark, so it’s this juxtaposition of this slightly, otherworldly face with this lovely, quite beautiful and innocent playful color.”

“The inspiration is kind of fantasia noir so you have these two contrasts,” said hairstylist Indira Schauwecker, who worked with Toni & Guy and Label.m products. “So one is dreamy and the other one is more aggressive and stronger.”

She worked with a strong middle part and used hair spray for a cartoon feel with a strong wave. She used various mousses — depending on texture. For models with thicker hair, she used a strong volume mousse, while she utilized volume mouse on medium textured hair. Meanwhile, for fine hair, she applied volume foam. Schauwecker finished the look with Label.m’s blow-out spray for bounce and movement and blow dried hair for a nice and smooth feel.

GALLERY: Backstage at Mary Katrantzou RTW Fall 2017 >>


The beauty look at Erdem was youthful, fresh and natural.

Backstage at Erdem RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Erdem RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“There’s always different vibes for every season for Erdem,” said hairstylist Anthony Turner. “Normally, the idea of Erdem’s woman is dark and creepy and a bit nightmarish. She drowned last season. Now, it’s the idea of wiping the slate clean. It’s about being light, not dark anymore. Very light. She’s young. She’s fresh. She’s modern.”

“It’s very much about East meets West,” he added. “His two great-grandmothers — one was from Turkey on the Syrian border — and she was one of the first feminists of her generation in that part of the world. The other great-grandmother is from Europe. Although they have never, ever met, he said it would be lovely if those two could meet for a cup of tea somewhere. So they can talk about how things have changed now.”

For hair, he wanted tresses to look clean. He applied Mythic Oil on damp hair and blow dried strands until they were smooth. “The idea is making this virgin hair so it like looks pure, light and easy,” said Turner. He used a sharp center part and hair was blow dried and clipped by the ears and secured with a hair band at the nape of the neck. For models with shorter hair, he had tresses tucked behind ears.

Val Garland, who worked with Nars cosmetics, said natural brows and beautiful skin were key for Erdem’s fall show. “It was all about the sort of boy brow beauty,” said Garland. “So essentially the look is all about the brows but also with that, the skin is very important, so it takes quite a bit of time prepping the skin.”

For skin, she applied foundation and concealers and also applied the same treatment to eyes and lips. Brows were treated with a brow gel and brow pencils, using tiny strokes to achieve the look of a real brow. For eyes, she kept it clean and simple and curled lashes. She said that she was faking the no-lash look as the designer wanted the models to look like boys. She added hints of mascara at the root of the eyelid. For lips, she wanted a look without the shine resulting in a velvet matte finish.

GALLERY: Backstage at Erdem RTW Fall 2017 >>


Christopher Kane
The beauty look at Christopher Kane was a polished girl that had a bit of boyish charm.

Backstage at Christopher Kane RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Christopher Kane RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

For hair, the focus was cleanliness and lightness. Guido Palau, who worked with Redken, prepped hair with diamond oil shampoo and let hair dry naturally. He used wind blowing to get texture and applied pressure-washed hair wax. He used Redken Control Addict 28 hairspray to achieve a boyish style and flipped models’ hair to get a little sideburn, then tucked hair behind the ears.

Meanwhile for makeup — Lucia Pieroni, who worked with Nars — is following the same mannish suit. “We are doing a beautifully polished, natural, little bit masculine and a little bit boyish,” said Pieroni. “It’s all about gorgeous luminous skin and a little bit of a bushy, quite strong brow.”

Details at Christopher Kane RTW Fall 2017
Details at Christopher Kane RTW fall 2017. Aitor Rosás/WWD

With a focus on a masculine brow, Pieroni created their own eyebrow shape, and brushed up brows for a bushy, squarish shape. For models with a high arch, she used Brow Perfector, Brow Defining Cream and Matte Eyeshadow to extend the brow and fill in the shape.

She prepped skin with foundation and added optimal brightening concentrate for a luminescent and glowing look. For eyes, she swept Dual-Intensity eyeshadow with her finger and blended for a twinkly highlight effect. She curled lashes and kept lips natural with a bit of balm and dabbed nude lipstick.

GALLERY: Backstage at Christopher Kane RTW Fall 2017 >>


Julien Macdonald
For hair, it was all about girls with cool haircuts. Hair had an edge with a Seventies, Patti Smith vibe.

Backstage at Julien MacDonald RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Julien MacDonald RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

“Julien’s woman, as you all know, is always a sexy, powerful, bold woman,” said Syd Hayes, who worked with L’Oréal Paris products. “We are still trying to keep her cool. I’m not trying to make her into glamorous pussycat dolls type of woman. I’m trying to give her an edge and kind of coolness and a Patti Smith vibe.”

Hayes wanted to give a rawness and a structure to tresses. To create this texture, he applied L’Oréal Paris Elvive shampoo to give the hair more shine and keep strands light and not heavy. He applied L’Oréal Paris Studio Pro Boost It Volume Mousse as a base to prep the hair while using a barrel curling tong to put the movement back into the hair. He utilized various sizes of barrel tongs and styled manes with waves rather than ringlets to look like an undone wavy curl. He finished the look with L’Oréal Paris Elnett Precious Oil hairspray for a bit of shine. Using a center part for all the models, Hayes kept it quite shaggy around the face and added lots of layers.

Backstage at Julien MacDonald RTW Fall 2017
Backstage at Julien MacDonald RTW fall 2017. Kuba Dabrowski/WWD

Meanwhile, for makeup, Val Garland, working with L’Oréal Paris products, went for a kohl-heavy black, smoky eye, illuminated skin and a nude lips.

Nails were kept very clean and natural and were given what manicurist Marian Newman called a “Matrix manicure,” where a line was drawn under the nail on the skin, using a silver marker pen.

GALLERY: Backstage at Julien Macdonald RTW Fall 2017 >>


The Mulberry girl was simple with eye makeup either kept natural or boldly hued.

Backstage at Mulberry RTW fall 2017.

“She’s a very natural girl,” said hairstylist Gary Gill. “Very minimal and very clean.” Hair was low maintenance and was kept simple. Keeping in line with a unfussy aesthetic, he used gels for models with wet hair to achieve a broken, hard texture.

Inge Grognard calls the Mulberry woman edgy. For makeup, she concentrated on the color palette of the collection. Eyes were the main focus for Gill, who kept the look opaque and not glossy. Some models were kept natural. For others, she outlined eyes using eyeliners in hues of purple, dark purple, green camel and rust. She kept skin lightly powdered and added a bit of highlight.

GALLERY: Backstage at Mulberry RTW Fall 2017 >>