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Trend Track: Fall 2016 Backstage Beauty

Sephora’s top merchants deconstruct the key backstage beauty trends from the fall runway shows.

Leopard print, capes and a pronounced lingerie influence were some of the strongest fashion themes to emerge from the fall runway shows. But whither beauty?

In a time when social media influencers and celebrities are as likely to create must-have trends as a superstar makeup artist or hair stylist, is the runway still relevant? Absolutely, says Artemis Patrick, senior vice president of merchandising at Sephora. “Runway remains the purest form of cutting-edge and first-to-market inspiration,” she says, “and tends to bring out the most sophisticated and aspirational aspect in the industry.”

This season was no exception, says Patrick, who cites a decided shift in makeup. “It was definitely darker and bolder than in seasons past, and was applied with an interesting sense of self-expression,” she says. “Makeup looks were powerful and artistic, with eye and lip taking center stage. Cheek and skin were downplayed, which feels fresh after so much action in highlighting and contouring.”

Here, Patrick and her team reveal their standout runway moments and how they plan to capitalize on them in-store.

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Hair Trend: Natural Texture
“We’ve been seeing natural texture play out in various ways for the past few seasons. This movement toward celebrating individual beauty is really powerful because it signals the move toward a more inclusive beauty both on the runway and in real life. Over the past
12 months, we’ve seen real innovation in this space—from gel-oil formulations that provide treatment and styling benefits to stylers that enhance one’s natural texture.” —Jessica Phillips Perez, Director of Merchandising, Hair

Hair Trend: Easy, Messy Knots
“This is about effortless hair and working with natural texture. It’s also art imitating life in a way as it totally fits the macro-‘ath-leisure’ trend happening right now.” —Jessica Phillips Perez

Hair Trend: Braids
“Braids are everywhere! They can be as easy or complicated as the skill level of the braider. They can also be tailored to the look, such as the little romantic braids we saw at Rachel Zoe and the boxer braids seen at Creatures of Comfort. In the store, this has been playing out in a major way. Kim Kardashian rocked the boxer braids at the shows and in an instant they blew up on the street. They work well on second- or third- day hair, or with a good volume powder, salt or texture spray.” —Jessica Phillips Perez

Skin Care Trend: Clean Prepped Skin for a Glowy & Luminious Complexion
“Brands creating looks through skin care rather than makeup is a trend we’re seeing on the runways; for example, creating dewy, glowing skin from watery creams instead of luminizers. We’re also seeing skin care brands leverage their fashion week activities primarily via social media, which leads to increased search and sales.” —Cindy Deily, Senior Director, Merchandising, Skin Care

Makeup Trend: Modern Gothic/Grunge Lip
“Our client is becoming more and more experimental with her lip choices, and we are starting to see unusual colors like lavender, blue, brown and black rise in popularity. Whether it is deep, dark berry or the blackest black, we think a moody lip has never looked better. A Goth lip is the new power tie.” —Averyl Andrews, Senior Merchant, Color

Makeup Trend: The Reinvented Smoky Eye
“This reinvented smoky eye is a startling contrast to the popularity of the bold, precise cat eye we’ve seen in the past few years. By reinvented, I mean that eye looks are starting to feel more rebellious, messier and smokier, which will be a fresh new direction for our client. In 2016, we are anticipate kohls and kajals will start to build in importance, and interest in liquid eyeliner may start to wane. We are also loving the many interpretations of brown, charcoal and black-matte shadow application.” —Averyl Andrews

Makeup Trend: A Clean, Matte Complexion
“After a year of intense strobing and highlighting, a simple matte face feels refreshing and modern. We have seen traction in matte foundations and no-makeup makeup for a while now, but this new approach of a flawless canvas with a lack of color on cheeks, felt starker than in seasons past. It’s flawless, but not luminous.” —Beth Hayes, VP/DMM, Sephora Collection