Fashion Week

London Fashion Week Beauty blog: Smoky eyes for SS15

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Stylist Team
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Chrissie Hynde-inspired hair and smoky eyes at Tom Ford.

Stylist's Beauty Editor Sam Flowers and Beauty Assistant Shannon Peter are reporting on the SS15 beauty trends, insider gossip and expert tips from backstage at London Fashion Week

Bye, bye LFW (and our city zipper)

Five days, 37 shows and countless bottles of coconut water later, the Stylist Beauty Team can finally hang up their press passes and put down their notebooks as the final models hit the last of the London Fashion Week catwalks.

We couldn’t have done it without our lovely driver Zara (as a part-time yoga teacher she managed to keep us calm amidst the mania) and our Hyundai i10 City Car, the perfect sized car for zipping round the city, for fitting in the smallest spaces that those big cars couldn’t manage and for topping up the rapidly depleting phone battery between shows. We’re going to miss these wheels.

A smoky eye for spring?

According to Tom Ford. And that pretty much means yes.

The ever-fabulous Charlotte Tilbury was on hand tonight to create the elongated oval smoky shapes encircling models eyes, "Tom talked about Chrissie Hinde, Debbie Harry, those sexy rock chick eyes but wanted them to be a little more glamorous, a little more polished."

Using two new cream eyeshadows launching in spring (so new there were only two lab samples floating around for every make-up artist to use between them) Charlotte blended a sparkling black shade with a khaki shade, smudging them under and around the eye topping with "lashings and lashings of mascara, darlings."

How much do you wish this was your dressing table? Backstage at Tom Ford:

Matthew Williamson's '70s 'do

With copious appearances of 'undone', 'dishevelled' and 'sporty, dual-textured' on the London Fashion Week runway, we were starting to wonder when a bit of old school glamour was going to make an appearance this season. And as if he could read our mind, Mark Hampton showed up and created the bounciest '70s blowdry at Matthew Williamson. "Sexy, vivacious but with a slight second-day texture," he explained, all thanks to the lineup of Prep Mousse and 3D volumizer on his dressing table.

Step backstage at Matthew Williamson to see him create the look for the SS15 runway:

PREEN: Fake freckles and crimped warrior hair

Backstage at Preen and Val Garland was interpreting her brief of "Masai Warriors meet sporty athletics". Her response? "Let's get freckled!"

Creating a girl that looked as though she had stepped out fresh from the gym, rosy flush and all, Garland used a combination of brown toned pencils, from coffee to mahogany and a dirty blonde shade called Stone, to dot the models' faces.

MORE: Val Garland reveals Gisele's trick to looking young backstage at Preen

The hair, courtesy of Syd Hayes for L'Oreal Paris, had a Masai warrior feel to it as well, with crimped textures to replicate feathers found in tribal dress. Hayes twisted a tight 'Croydon-facelift pony' into a twisted loose end bun that somewhat resembled a tempura prawn:

A little break between shows meant time for a visit to Hersheson's braid bar at the Topshop Beauty Pit Stop for a pretty, bridesmaid-esque up-do:

HENRY HOLLAND: '70s groupie

The brief for Henry Holland's girls: '70s groupie (yes, '70s is the inspiration for the second time today - see Antipodium below), still partying on from the night before. And for Lucia Pica, this meant glitter. And tonnes of it. She packed eyelids with Mac's silver glitter, concentrating on the centre and diffusing in the inner and outer corners to give that slightly worn in, rock 'n' roll vibe.

Sophy Robson took a similar approach with the nails, painting on a bright almost Barbie pink, overlayed with a mismatch of glittery shades.

JOSEPH: East meet northwest

"Squeeze, feel the muscle burn" - we thought we had accidentally stumbled onto the set of a new workout DVD instead of the backstage at Joseph, but this was hair extraordinaire Eugene Souleiman, on behalf of Wella Professionals, giving the creation of a beautiful hair look his all.

On the runway, the pony looks simple and undone, but backstage, the true craftsmanship behind the creation was revealed. Souleiman was channelling a Scouse Geisha vibe, as he took a circle section of hair at the back of the head and wrapped it with elastic as tightly as possible. "Nice bit of exercise here," he joked, before pulling the remaining hair back to hide the elastic. Relentless spritzing of hairspray, a bit of combing and drying using a diffuser and the result was a sleek pony that looked as though it was being pulled away from the head. But Souleiman being Souleiman, he wasn't satisfied until he had pulled out sections at the back to give the pony that undone, slept-in look.

Sharon Dowsett, Maybelline's make-up director, claims she has Eugene to thank for her make-up look too. She tried various looks but something wasn't right, and then Eugene had a lightbulb moment - "you should do a Scouse brow!" And that's exactly what she did, albeit "less desperate Scouse wife and more Kate Middleton on her wedding day," she explained.

JULIEN MACDONALD: Lids awash with golden sunshine, courtesy of Val Garland, using L'Oreal:

ANTIPODIUM: Quick and dirty

Dirty isn't a word we'd usually wish to describe our make-up but after seeing the girls backstage at Antipodium, we're seeing grubby textures and slightly-off tones in a whole new light.

An injured Terry Barber (incident with a dog, don't ask) working for Mac had '70s suburbia in mind. Armed with dirty peach and stale grey tones he created a look that "reminds him of his mum". Charming, we thought, but he explained, "in the '70s, it was as though women thought this dusky shade of blue was the only eyeshadow."

As he talked us through the look, words like "mouldy", "stale", "ill" and "dirty" rolled off his tongue. Not the usual adjectives you'd expect for an SS15 beauty look, but he explained: "We're starting to use colours you'd usually describe with negative connotations, shades not typically beautiful but for this season, it's these colours that are far more chic."

And good news, we won't need to hone our make-up brush skills come summer, as it will be all about naive application: big bulky brushes and lipstick smudged on with the finger. Easy and time-saving - we're in!

An impressive leather-effect mani at Antipodium, by Imarninails:

Quick pit stop inbetween shows to refuel on blueberry pancakes at The Delaunay:

Perfectly dewy skin and peachy-toned eyes from Sisley Parisusa at Emilia Wickstead


Channelling the timeless elegance of Grace Kelly and the rebellious, cool, careless attitude of the punk era, the beauty at Daks references the most unlikely of combinations - and one we can't wait to recreate ourselves.

First up: make-up and Maria Comparetto for Mac, with a picture of Grace Kelly skipping through April rain showers in her mind, went about recreating that fresh-faced sophistication the actress was known for. A miracle-working mix of Mac Strobe Cream and Care Blend Essentials created the dewy, almost silicone-like texture to the skin and then Mac’s not-yet-released Pearl Varnish gave the inner corners of the eye a glossy highlight. As a nod to the '50s, eyes were winged with a little slick of liner, and then lipgloss was preserved for just the cupid’s bow, giving the lips a natural, dewy highlight.

Meanwhile, Luke Hersheson was hard at work un-doing the polished Grace Kelly make-up, adding a bit of mussed-up punk rebellion to the hair for Teddy boy quiffs with a "nesty, flywaway texture". Working handfuls of L’Oreal Professionnel Techni Art Mousse through the hair, he then rough dried it in, backcombed the front sections and pinned up the back, in a series of twists and turns too quick to fully comprehend. It looked like some sort of slept-in braid but as Hersheson himself explained, “don’t read too much into the back, you can’t tell what’s going on and that’s the point!”