MILAN — If there’s a lesson the past 10 days of fashion marathon imparted on the beauty front is that skin care is more important than ever.
Makeup artists during London and Milan Fashion Week proved that the must-have look for fall 2019 is a good complexion, as many of them simply opted for sending natural skin down the runway. Some groomed eyebrows boyishly to toughen up the look, others added accents of extravaganza and pops of bold lipstick to enhance the skin’s glow.
“I think that at the moment there’s a lot of reaction to the idea of a very forced perfection,” said makeup artist Teddy Barber backstage at Marco de Vincenzo crediting social media for imposing standards of perfect beauty. “There’s a little bit of a reaction to that, wearing less foundation, less coverage on the skin, with eyes which look transparent and slightly see-through.”
The barely there makeup choice often simply served to complement notable hairstyles, which touched on retro references — ranging from the Twenties and Fifties to the Nineties — with futuristic appeal.
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“FRESH FEELING” by Eels: Natural complexion took the spotlight both in London and Milan, as seen in shows including JW Anderson, Christopher Kane, Victoria Beckham, Alberta Ferretti, Jil Sander, Prada, MSGM and Roberto Cavalli.
“It’s just about a beautiful skin,” said makeup artist Tom Pecheux at Alberta Ferretti, where he simply evened out the skin with a light, see-through MAC Cosmetics foundation and filled in brows to get a slightly bushy effect. Masculine beauty was also on Lynsey Alexander’s mind at J.W. Anderson, where she used a selection of Kiko products to illuminate and sculpt skin, while at MSGM she worked with MAC Cosmetics products to enhance the glowing effect. “It’s sort of a glamorous sweat: Models look like they’ve been to a spa,” she said while applying MAC Strobe Cream and Prep + Prime stick to brighten and light up the skin. Lucia Pieroni took the glow a step further by tapping the glittery Nars Multi-use Gloss “First Time” on models’ lids at Christopher Kane and the MAC Dazzleshadow Liquid in silver or gold shades at Salvatore Ferragamo. Pat McGrath went down a completely different road, delivering an edgier take on the trend by simply bleaching eyebrows at Prada while Diane Kendal tapped a peony creamy blush on the light base to add a hint of femininity at Roberto Cavalli.
“LUCKY LIPS” by Cliff Richard: Makeup artists at Simone Rocha, Matty Bovan, Chalayan, Salvatore Ferragamo and Antonio Marras added pops of color to the natural skin base by creating statement lips on a selection of models, cleverly refreshing the lineup with surprising effect.
At Simone Rocha, Sam Bryant channeled “indie grungy” vibes with bold, purple lips for nine of the ladies walking the catwalk, including Chloë Sevigny and Lily Cole Born. Specifically, she applied MAC Cosmetics’ Beet lip pencil all over the lips and topped it with Cyber lipstick. At Salvatore Ferragamo, Lucia Pieroni opted for a wider color palette, designing flashy lips with the MAC Liptensity lip pencils in shades ranging from burgundy to orange red and pink. “It’s quite individual, [we picked the colors based on] what they’re wearing and them. It was a very instinctive and spontaneous [process],” said Pieroni. Tom Pecheaux went for a smudged effect at Antonio Marras, layering MAC Powder Kiss Lipstick in the dark “Double Fudge” tone with pops of red and a hint of blue tapped on the central part of the lips.
“HER ORNAMENT” by The Verve Pipe: At Peter Pilotto, Halpern and Marco de Vincenzo, radiant complexions were complemented with accessory makeup tricks to glam up the beauty looks. Inge Grognard applied colored short feathers on the outside corner of the eyes to echo details of the Peter Pilotto collection, while at Halpern Isamaya Ffrench covered lids with golden foils to channel precious, party vibes. Terry Barber kept the disco theme going in Milan at Marco de Vincenzo using eyelash glue to apply rhinestones across the nose and on cheeks of some models. These recalled the tulle and rhinestones headpieces seen at the show, as accessories influenced hairstyles as well. Cases in point, the hair clips seen at Versace and the range of ornaments James Pecis used at Simone Rocha, including crystal and pearl-embellished barrettes and loopy tiaras.
“BACK TO THE FUTURE” by Diana Ross: Sculpted, artsy and hyper-glossy hairstyles were the real added value of the season. Some hairstyles dusted off iconic retro looks by adding a futuristic touch to them.
At Erdem, Anthony Turner nodded to the Fifties, early-Sixties era with an aerodynamic hairdo he created parting the mane into two sections: The frontal part was back-combed and brought back in an elongated shape to cover a messy bun he knotted on the top of the head to create padding. Turner also worked on a graphic, conceptual style vaguely reminiscent of the Twenties at JW Anderson, where he combed tresses forward and stuck them to the forehead with the gel, before molding wavy shapes with the edge of a tail comb. A middle-parted version of the slick look was seen also at Richard Quinn, while Sam McKnight kept the late Twenties reference at Fendi gel-sculpting a swirl on models’ forehead. James Pecis also referenced that era in the sculptural short bobs he created at Antonio Marras, while the Aldo Coppola Agency conceived a futuristic and intricate short hairstyle at Giorgio Armani. Vaguely recalling cornrows, the mane was divided in smaller wisps, each twisted and shaped in curvilinear patterns before being fixed on the head with bobby pins and finished off with occasional brushstrokes of color paint.
“HERE COME THE NINETIES” by Men Without Hats: Other hairstyles recalled a range of references linked to the Nineties.
Middle-parted, natural manes delivering ease with a finish were key for Redken global creative director Guido Palau, who created the look at Christopher Kane and Alberta Ferretti. “It’s strangely sophisticated and minimal but it has personality. It’s almost like when you have a great cashmere jumper that is expensive but looks understated — I feel this style has that kind of downplay but ultimate luxury,” said Palau.
Slicked-back ponytails with messy strands also made an appearance at Victoria Beckham and Jil Sander, while side-parted gelled styles were favored to deliver an androgynous look at Bottega Veneta, Salvatore Ferragamo and Roberto Cavalli.
Jimmy Paul abundantly applied the GHD Straight & Tame cream and Total Volume foam on wet hair to add heaviness and reduce the volume of the mane at Salvatore Ferragamo. He then combed through the products, created a little bit of volume on the front and dried tresses with a diffuser for a boyish, imperfect result. At Roberto Cavalli, Paul Hanlon had the same approach but added a slight movement to the tresses on the back using an iron or temporary tying braids.
Grungier styles were also seen at Versace as well as at Mary Katrantzou, where Anthony Turner conceived a messy side-part dragged over on the forehead and fastened with a bobby pin. He also applied blue, pink, orange and rainbow-hued extensions in a haphazard way to mimic “a homemade” effect.