Stylist's Beauty Assistant Shannon Peter and Beauty Editor Sam Flowers are bringing you all the beauty news from London Fashion Week AW15 - keep track of their updates here.
As Somerset House closes its London Fashion Week doors for yet another season, we're sad to see our Hyundai fashion chariot drive away into the sunset...thanks for the ride.
There is one key adjective to describe the Burberry AW15 look that secures its position as one of my favourites of the season so far, and that’s "wearable". While the avant garde holds a beloved place in my heart, sometimes you just want something a little more realistic, and that’s exactly what Wendy Rowe served up backstage.
We were given a strict 10-minute time slot to get in and get the info, so Wendy whizzed us through the look at record speed. The eyes were romantic and poetic; a smudgy line of black kohl – “nothing too solid” – with a little bit of Storm Green pencil. Wendy promises that this is the perfect tone to open up any eye, no matter the colour.
She then used Burberry’s new cream eyeshadows (out later this year) to build up a puff of soft velvety smoke – nothing too dramatic, just the perfect amount. A little contour and a pat of new Burberry Kisses in Nude Beige and the girls - including Stylist favourites Sam Rollinson and Edie Campbell - were good to go. Well, right after a mani using the new ready-to-wear nail polish collection of camo tones which were made available to buy straight after the show. Simple, easy and attainable, I want to be a Burberry girl. SP
This may look like an authentic '60s style apartment, complete with retro style furniture and muted brown soft furnishings - home to a hard done-by housewife - but in reality, it was Day 4 of London Fashion Week and I was walking along the Erdem AW15 runway. Always one to create a spectacle, it was quickly evident that this season, Erdem has a story to tell.
We started piecing together the clues backstage. Hairstylist Anthony Turner for Bumble and Bumble explained, "It’s the same twisted Erdem woman, but this season, there’s something a little Hitchcock heroine about her." She’s an eccentric, a collector, a slightly off-'60s housewife. So in hair terms, that meant a low-parted, neat ponytail caught at the nape of the neck, with a little dash of oddity created by pulling the hair out in places, “as if she’s had one too many and passed out" - this is post nap hair at its best.
Make-up artist Val Garland arrived on the scene shortly after, hardly flustered at all considering she had just whizzed over from Antonio Berardi. She spoke of that same Hitchcock feel, a woman that was "slightly batty, having landed on hard times." She used liquid liner on the upper lash and a little smudged kohl on the inner water line – all set against a backdrop of polished perfect skin.
So the Erdem woman? As far as I can tell, she’s a polished, preened lady that has come a bit undone. Beautiful and strange in equal parts, what’s not to love about that? SP
Over in the hair enclave, hair stylist Anthony Turner was holding court for L'Oreal Proffessionel cracking jokes...
Q: What do you call a pile of cats.
A: A miaow-tain.
It had him in stitches anyway.
Once we turned back to the subject at hand, Turner explained that he took inspiration from the embroidered thistles he'd seen on the skirts in the collection, "we're creating a character; she's a Scottish angsty teen that fled the Highlands and landed in London." Outside Topshop, of course. Where else would an angsty teen hang out?
To get this voluminous, dry, windswept look, Turner spritzed hair with a cocktail of L'Oreal Proffessionel Tec Ni Art Pli and Full Volume Mousse, blow dried upside down, scrunching for texture and flipped hair back on itself finishing with a dusting of Wild Stylers Prepage de Chignon for a matte effect.
It was a tale of three products over in the make-up department too, as Hannah Murray created a 'ruddy rouge' on the cheek by dappling Topshop Make-Up Cheek Jelly in Museum onto the apples, blending a little Lipstick in Mink on top and adding a pop of Lip Bullet in Joyride to the centre for a wind-bitten flush. Apply the same to the lips and - hey presto - you could be mistaken for Stella Tennant roaming the Scottish Wilds.
The '70s retrospective continues with all things beauty pointing to the era of Woodstock and flower power.
Matthew Williamson was no exception, with Mark Hampton creating loose waves and clipping back a halo of matte hair for a hippy, free-spirited look.
Lisa Potter Dixon, Benefit's consistently upbeat and delightful make-up artist, ran with Williamson's zodiac inspiration and drew a graphic symbol-style liner on the girls' eyes, following the natural crease and meeting the ends of the brows. The kit: bad girl liner, a brown cream shadow and boing concealer. SP
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, what a bittersweet love affair I have with you. Yes, you offer us some of the most alluring of beauty looks season after season, but the 7.30am call time is killer.
However, as soon as I hunted down the location, I knew it would be worth the lost sleep. Welcome to London's newest station, somewhere between Kings Cross and St Pancras... Preen by Thornton Bregazzi.
Head down the escalators and you find the catwalk, a shiny, white tiled underground tube station. It would be amazing if the rest of TFL scrubbed up this well.
Backstage there was breakfast for all the bleary-eyed models, dressers, hair stylists, make-up artists and, of course, beauty press.
Mac make-up artist Val Garland's inspiration lexicon never fails to enchant. For this show it's all about "Laura Ashley, Farrah Fawcett, Biba-esque, '70s style, cashmere and velvet, Karen Elson dreamy eyed painted femininity." What's not to like? Her palette consisted of rusty reds and woodland browns all to compliment the floral collection. Smoky eye, rouge lip and outdoorsy cheek: perfection.
The hair was a laborious process: L'Oreal Paris hairstylist Syd Hayes rag rolled strands around a wide pin to create a massive '70s style crimp, ready to pull out and back brush 15 minutes before showtime. It's all about the '70s disco roller girl vibe.
With the clubbing references at JW Anderson and the post-party Kate Moss feel at Holly Fulton, we're beginning to sense that AW15 is officially the party season. SP
House of Holland
Last backstage of the day found me wandering around a disused car park at 7pm on a dark Saturday night somewhere north of Oxford Circus. Without a backstage entrance clearly marked it was anyone's guess how to actually get in. Luckily I bumped into Sam Rollinson (supermodel and fellow Yorkshire girl) just as it was beginning to feel a bit creepy and we worked it out together while she regaled me with a story of a 2am kebab. But that's for another time.
Once inside Sam was promptly whisked straight into make-up while I hunted down the pros to get the low-down on the look. Make-up artist Isamaya French (heading up the look for Mac) explained it was all about the eyes, "Henry wanted a punk edge to contrast against the shiny, uptown hair," she told me whilst wielding the key product, a pot of Mac Chromaline Cream Liner in Black, "it's a little bit kinky, sexy but it simple and unfussy, it shouldn't take long and is meant to look like each girl did it herself."
Proof? Here's Sam, ready to pose for a picture just five minutes after we walked in. SF
Talk about a one minute wonder. Backstage at JW Anderson, hair stylist Anthony Turner had loads of time to chat. That's because he'd finished the hair with two hours to kill.
"With this kind of hair the quicker you do it the better it looks," he explained, "she's the kind of girl who goes clubbing on a Friday night but doesn't come home until Monday. She's nipped into the toilet, whipped her hair up out of her face and is straight back on the dance floor." Turner drenched hair in L'Oreal Proffessionel Force Full Mousse, scraped it back into a pony and blasted it with a hair dryer to create some frizz before securing with a black plastic comb he'd bought from a pound shop. Quick, cheap and easy. SF
At Emilia Wickstead, one of our favourite backstage spaces, make-up artist Emma O'Byrne for Sisley was channelling a kind of Margot Tenenbaum geek chic for her look, meaning naturally beautiful skin (with a little helping hand from SisleyYouth) and a super faint smudge of kohl to the eye.
A nude nail may not be the most groundbreaking of revelations to find at the manicure station, but Soigne's Creme au Buerre lent a pared-back sophistication to the elegant pastel-hued collection. Plus we got to marvel over the rest of the brand's beautiful collection. SP
From the natural, to the supernatural, it was hair fakery galore at Sibling. Some girls wore orange mohawks, others pink punk rocker wigs.
Then, at Julien MacDonald, there was some real glamour as make-up artist extraordinaire Val Garland explained she took "a tough Berlin chicness and relocated it into the world of Julien MacDonald". So that meant gloss: shiny translucent lids and a full lacquer burgundy lip. Could this mark a departure from 'no make-up make-up'? Hair stylist Syd Hayes reflected the elements of gloss by slicking back the sides of each girl's hair with handfuls of hair gel. A nightmare to wash out, but a dream to look at.
And the prize for most dreamy show space of London Fashion Week so far goes to... Markus Lupfer and his enchanted woodland fairytale scene. I could have spent the rest of the day in that dreamland if I didn't have places to be.
With a brief of 'modern day fairytale heroine' to play with, Bobbi Brown's Lucy Burt roughed up the brows (grooming was so last season, don't you know?), pinched a touch of Pot Rouge in Chocolate Cherry and Raspberry onto the cheeks and patted lips with a matte cherry lip colour for a bitten feel.
But the real highlight of the look? The lashes. Burt clogged them with Bobbi Brown Smokey Eye mascara tapping onto the ends for a real clumpy feel, but then she wiggled her mascara brush into a pot of inky gel eyeliner and applied an extra coat of cobalt blue that made the girls' eyes stand out, no matter what their colour. And long haired girls, make this your style of the season - a nonchalant, super loose low ponytail, as created by Bumble and Bumble's Ali Pirzadeh.
Holly Fulton certainly got me in the party mood. The name on everyone's lips... Kate Moss. That post-night out party girl vibe, glamour with a bit of grit. Or as Andrew Gallimore likes to put it "prim but improper". The make-up look had a fresh flush with pastel cheeks, eyes and lips (Smoke Petal taken from Mac's Fall15 lip palette) with lashings of Haute & Naughty Too Black Waterproof Mascara.
James Pecis fashioned fake fringes for a 00s clubber feel and each of the girls wore a graphic, art deco inspired hair clip, that Holly Fulton designed herself. Could this mark the return of the old school barrette like we saw in New York? I, for one, sure hope so. SP
Our lovely driver Mark picked me up in our fashion week Hyundai iX35 to help blitz through the shows at record speed, and to save my feet.
Stylist's fashion and beauty teams are reporting from the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris at Stylist.co.uk/fashion-week