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LOS ANGELES — It was a jungle inside the main tent at fashion week here, where Smashbox Cosmetics and Sephora presented Exotica, a runway show completely focused on beauty trends instead of clothes.

Held on the opening night of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at Smashbox Studios Oct. 16, Exotica bowed with a bronzed dancer looking like a blooming bird of paradise, sporting a mohawk of peacock plumage, exaggerated false lashes and a smattering of colorful crystals around her eyes.

“We took the trends in beauty we found were most impactful and put those on the runway,” said Julie Redfern, beauty editor and editorial manager of Sephora, who collaborated on the look with Smashbox lead artist Karl Giant. “I took inspiration from the birds, animals, plants, bugs and foliage found in the rain forest” said Giant. The Rainforest Palette by Smashbox is being sold exclusively at Sephora, with proceeds benefiting the Rainforest Foundation.

Glittery swirls on eyes and cheekbones with nest-like lashes and Jonathan Antin’s green and orange hairpieces in models’ inflated updos stole the show, but it wasn’t all about outrageous looks. Clean skin with cherubic peach cheeks and matte rosy lips reflected more real-life trends. For Smashbox chief creative officer Davis Factor, the event — flanked between two designer runway shows — was a promotional opportunity too good to pass up. “There are so many dimensions to cross-branding,” he said. “It is so important to support fashion with our brand, because makeup and fashion go together.”

Other trends on the runway during fashion week here, which ended Oct. 21, ranged from sultry to subtle. There was the youthful and innocent look of baby pink cheeks and violet-swept eyes at Saja, by Uzo for Nars, and a bronzed Seventies beach glow at Yana K. Key makeup artist Denika Bedrossian for MAC Cosmetics gave models a wash of loose golden powder across the face and a juicy peach gloss on the lips to achieve the sun-kissed Seventies look. There was also a nod to Sixties sirens. Key makeup artist on the Sherri Bodell show, Sharon Gault, used Du Wop cosmetics to devise a look for Bodell’s “Ingenue” collection that was, according to Gault, “Very Brigitte Bardot goes to the French Riviera.” And, a minimal face gave an air of sophistication at the Juan Carlos Obando show where top makeup artist Anthea King for Two Faced cosmetics gave models clean matte skin with subtle shades of pink and rose on the eyes and lips.

This story first appeared in the October 28, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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