Fashion Week

Wacky to wearable: Fashion Week's greatest beauty looks

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Shannon Peter
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Whether making a fierce impact or a subtle but brilliant statement, the catwalks have schooled us in two beauty extremes.

From eccentric maximalism to fresh-faced minimalism, see the beauty highlights from the shows in Paris, Milan, London and New York.


    Following that amazing gold lip at Prada and the silver shadow at Antonio Marras, metallics seem to be having a moment.

    Pat McGrath’s geometric silver eyes at Maison Margiela were part sci-fi, part Bowie and 100% beautiful.  


    Marian Newman, the fairy godmother of nails, created incredible tiny rabbits on the models’ thumbs at Manish Arora.

    The mini works of art were a marvel to behold but may hamper everyday tasks.


    Val Garland’s sparkly sockets at Valli were exciting and outlandish, yet remarkably subtle on an otherwise bare face.

    I’ll be trying the lilac and the pink for next summer’s festivals. 


    Camo’s pastel punk mohawks at Haider Ackermann reminded me of the sight I see in the mirror each morning. Except this took a lot more time to create. 

    Now for my pick of the most wearable beauty in Paris...


    Kenzo's caramel-coloured, super glossy lip got all the beauty editors talking this season.

    An update of a '90s classic, the product was a bespoke colour mixed backstage - try Mac’s Beachstock lipstick overlaid with clear lip gloss to recreate the look.


    Hair with a ‘just washed’ fluffy texture was everywhere this season and nowhere did it better than Dries Van Noten, where longer hair had a deep side part and was whipped up into a loose 1940s style quiff.

  • ACNE

    There’s nothing more classic and wearable than a red lip.

    Team with a completely bare face for a chic way to make a statement, as make-up artist Dick Page did at Acne.


    Faking freckles isn't a new practice at the shows, but in real life, it's still an underused beauty trick.

    For those who are wary of drawing on beauty marks, Lucia Pieroni shared her top tip: “Use three different tones of eyebrow pencil for a more realistic smattering.”


    Milan gave us glamour, even in its most kooky looks.

    Prada is always the show that gets the beauty set most excited, mainly because the brand pulls in only the best for its hair and make-up team.

    This season Pat McGrath gave each girl a gold mouth (I tried it, and liked it... But would I dare to leave my bathroom with it on? No.) To top off the off-beat beauty, Guido cut tiny baby hair fringes into the hairlines of each of the models.


    Lucia Pieroni coated the models' eyelids with swipes of bold cobalt blue, cyan, yellow or white for Missoni.

    It has a fun, rebellious feel, but even on the sunniest day, it's not a look I'd brave for the office.


    Tom Pecheux's graphic orange and green eye paint at Max Mara proved brights are big for spring, but I'll definitely be trying a more pared back take for real life.


    Now for Milan's wearable looks.

    Plum is on the beauty agenda for spring/summer 16 in the guise of this soft, smoky eye created by Jessica Nedza.

    She smudged plum shadow across the eyelid and lined the upper and lower lashes with black kohl, again smudged, to create a lived-in finish.


    Pink and silver eyeshadow shouldn't work - but as Tom Pecheux's look at Marras proves, it totally does.

    Apply your shadows in subtle washes and you won't go wrong. 

  • ETRO

    Charlotte Tilbury's smouldering glossy bronze eye for the Etro show was so easy to recreate - just arm yourself with bronze cream shadows and dab a little clear gloss over the top for the super sheen finish.

    Plus, the messy chignon buns James Pecis whipped up might just be the most desirable low maintenance up-do since the ponytail. 


    Val Garland used baby oil for this ultra glossy pearlescent skin. Beautiful on the catwalk but in real life, it has breakout written all over it.

    More wearable was the wet-look hair Toni & Guy's Mark Hampton created using the brand's Sea Salt spray and Spray Mousse (see more on the insider blog). Ideal for holidays when you're going from beach to dinner and want a slightly messy-on-purpose look.


    If Guido and Christopher Kane have anything to do with it, we'll be heading to B&Q for our hair accessories come spring.


    This may not work for a trip to Tesco, but I'm adding it to my 'festival beauty inspiration' Pinterest board.


    Syd Hayes adorned the models' heads with glossy fake long fringes. Then immediately took to them haphazardly with scissors.

    The result had a punky edge on the catwalk, but also brought to mind dodgy self-haircuts as a child.


    And the wackiest beauty look of London Fashion Week came, as you'd expect, courtesy of Gareth Pugh.

    The incredible masks were a marvel to behold - sinister, yet oddly alluring. Though in real life, anything that involves wearing a pair of tights over your head will definitely seem as more bank robber than beautiful.


    London offered up plenty of everyday beauty inspiration too.

    I wasn't so sure green and orange eyeshadow would work, but after seeing the incredible job Andrew Gallimore did on the colourful glazed eyelids at Holly Fulton, they're on my shopping list for spring.


    Oh, to have James Pecis as your hair stylist.

    The messy French braids he created backstage at Simone Rocha were so beautiful I've been practicing my plaiting skills ever since.


    If you're a fan of a dark red lip in autumn, you'll find it just as relevant when spring rolls around, thanks to the gorgeous oxblood red lips Wendy Rowe created for Burberry.


    The unofficial beauty ban on blue eyeshadow was lifted by Lucia Pieroni at Jonathan Saunders.

    She made cobalt oh so modern again by applying a precise, slightly cat-eyed ring around the eye.


    What was so alluring about the beauty look at Sophia Webster's presentation? EVERYTHING!

    Most notably Lisa-Potter Dixon's twinkling glittery eyes, along with the sea-drenched skin, courtesy of St Tropez's tanning expert Jules Heptonstall.


    New York set the beauty bar high by kicking off a month of shows with some truly spectacular face furniture courtesy of Pat McGrath's pearl and lace encrusted faces at Givenchy.


    Glitter at Nicopanda created a veil of glistening iridescence over the models' skin, giving an almost sci-fi feel.

    Take it down a notch and apply the glitter purely across the eyes for a more wearable look. 


    A backlash against contouring, Inge Grognord covered the models' faces with various stripes of contour cream, concealer and highlighters - stopping before the all important blending stage. 


    In a catwalk environment, these silver strips sculpted onto the faces of models are beautifully alluring, but we couldn't help be reminded of that episode of Friends where Ben tricks Ross into rolling an ink covered coin down the centre of his face. 


    Known for his quirky approach to catwalk make-up, lead make-up artist Kabuki painted fake graphic lashes around the eyes and finished off with a neon orange lip.


    New York also excels in pared back hair and make-up.

    Dick Page gave the models a realistic bronze glow by buffing a mixture of matte bronzer and loose translucent powder (a genius trick to make the finish more luminous) over cheeks.

    Even in the dim-lit backstage space the models' skin looked like it was being bathed in sunlight. 


    Muted fuchsia lips with a soft liner were a masterpiece by Gucci Westman at Marchesa.


    “Diane in the 70s” was hair stylist Orlando Pita's inspiration at the DVF show.

    That meant big bouncy curls and floral hair slides made by a craftsman in Ibiza, no less.  


    We're used to seeing embellished faces at Rodarte (remember those eyebrow rings from SS15?) but this season the adornment moved from the faces to the hair as Odile Gilbert flanked finished the wavy look with not one but two floral metal barrettes. 


    Diane Kendal's broken blue liner gave a subtle pop of colour to an otherwise pared back look.

    Simply line the top lash line from outside corner to middle, and bottom lash line from middle to inside corner, and when eyes close, the lines join up.

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Shannon Peter