Fashion Week AW16 : The 20 Hottest Makeup Looks

Those of you who follow Mascara Wars over on social media will know that we go into overdrive during fashion week, and that’s when our Instagram feed really comes into its own. When else are we dished up an array of literally HUNDREDS of stunning and innovative makeup looks from the world’s top artists, dished up in conjunction with the world’s greatest designers and hair stylists day after day for weeks on end?!

As much as we’d love to report  every look, as we said, there are HUNDREDS, and frankly not enough hours in the day. But we try to share with you the most beautiful, the most original, the most jaw-dropping, the most technically impressive, the absolute best of the bunch. And you guys lap them up. So from all those presented over the season, let us present, in further detail our absolute pick of the crop. The best of the best from New York, London, Paris and Milan. Dig in!)

1. Zero And Maria Cornejo

Key Artist; Dick Page

“I wanted to create a flushed look, to make it appear as if the girls had been outside skiing or running in the snow,” was Dick Page’s description for this dreamy, evocative look.

The results were the innocent, frostbitten faces created with a smattering of Shiseido’s upcoming lipstick Rouge Rouge in Red Queen smudged into the fullness of cheeks, the temples and across the nose. “You want it to look as if the colour came out of the skin” he said, blending a touch of foundation on top of the rosy areas for a truly natural look.

fashion-week-makeup-zac-posen-diane-kendal (Copy)2. Zac Posen

Key Artist; Diane Kendal

A real noticeable “trend” if it can be called that (it could also simply be called progress) was the amount of looks hitting the catwalk that had been tweaked to suit the individual colouring and features of the girl wearing them. Evident more so than ever at Zac Posen where Posen himself asked for a makeup that “highlights each girl individ­ually, as her own star.”

After casting 25 incredible and wonderfully diverse models, Diane Kendal gave him just that, creating a tailored look for each. Lighter skin tones sported pale pink lipstick, while models with darker skin tones were given vampish purple and chestnut red lips. Some girls rocked a strong brow, others just polished skin with highlights in MAC Strobe Cream. “It’s not one singular look for the girls because that’s not how the world is,” said Posen. “I think it’s important at certain moments to come back to the idea that there is a person inside there.”

fashion-week-makeup-victoria-beckham-pat-mcgrath (Copy)3. Victoria Beckham

Key Artist; Pat McGrath

As the seasons go by, the collaboration between Victoria Beckham and Pat McGrath is throwing out favourite makeup looks time after time, with a perfectly modern take on beauty. Soft, sophisticated pops of colour came this season in the form of sheer ochre and khaki cream shadows, perfectly punctuated by two models sporting a deep red lip (a blend of Max Factor’s Marilyn Monroe Lipstick in Sunset Red and Lipfinity Long Lasting Lipstick in Always Elegant) described by Pat McGrath as “russet with a hit of burgundy.” I want this shade on my face immediately!

fashion-week-makeup-desigual-gordon-espinet (Copy)4. Desigual

Key Artist; Gordon Espinet

“Vintage glamour but with a modern twist” was the soundbite attributed to the glossy, terracotta eyes from MAC’s Gordon Espinet at Desigual. “Rather than a dark smoky eye, we did a red smoky eye…we really wanted something that was a little bit more cool, a little bit more young, a little bit more modern.” The gorgeous eye shade was created with a mix of shades from MAC’s upcoming Trend Palette and a soon to be released burgundy eye gloss, with a smudging of Costa Riche Eye Kohl through the waterline. A seriously standout look on those blue or green eyes.

fashion-week-makeup-altuzarra-tom-pecheux (Copy)5. Altuzarra

Key Artist; Tom Pecheux

“Foundation, bit of eyebrow, bit of contour. That’s it.” That and the fact that eight girls in the show rocked awesome bespoke graphic eyelines described by Tom Pecheux as being, “very streetwear, very Picasso.”

In a behind the scenes look into the creative process he revealed, “I went to see the Picasso sculpture exhibition the day before it closed, at the MoMA. The guy was so, so brilliant, so creative. Joseph (Altuzarra) lit the fire, he showed me references of pictures that he found of eyes that were done in eyeliner, but everything was… very sharp, very neat, impeccable, both eyes the same. We were like, ‘Yeah, I like that but I think it should be a little bit more organic, a little bit more arty.” And with a little help from MAC’s Retroblack Fluidline Pen, the sculptural,Picasso inspired liner was born

fashion-week-makeup-mel-arter-huishan-zhang (Copy)6. Huishan Zhang

Key Artist; Mel Arter

It was hard to find much backstage info on this look, created by the wonderful Mel Arter, but it was so, so beautiful in the images I stumbled across online I couldn’t fail to include it! The collection itself was inspired by the designer’s childhood memory of the fragile, patterned mugs that sat on “every desk in China,” which in turn inspired the collection’s delicate floral prints and lead to these ornamental eye details in a hand mixed shade of liquid gold. So pretty!

fashion-week-makeup-mary-katrantzou-lynsey-alexander (Copy)7. Mary Katrantzou

Key Artist; Lynsey Alexander

“We took the hearts in the collection and interpreted them into the makeup with a cupid’s bow lip,” said Lynsey Alexander of the perky, heart shaped mouths echoing the cowboy shirt motifs at Mary Katrantzou.

The cupid’s bow itself, set against a canvas of new absolute favourite and backstage lifeblood, MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation, was created using Burgundy Lip Pencil and Retro Matte Liquid Lip Colour in Dance With Me, giving the girls that killer super-matte beetroot pout.

fashion-week-makeup-markus-lupfer-lucy-burt (Copy)8. Markus Lupfer

Key Artist; Lucy Burt

There’s always plenty of glitter sprinkled about the beautiful faces of fashion week, but I never tire of seeing the bazillion (I counted) different ways its applied. At Markus Lupfer, Lucy Burt patted Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm onto the eyelids before pressing on flecks of chunky gold and bronze glitter, and little else. ‘These girls are all part of the same gang but they have their own individual quirks, so we’re creating different shapes and styles with the glitter,’ she explained.

fashion-week-makeup-charlotte-olympia-val-garland (Copy)9. Charlotte Olympia

Key Artist; Val Garland

…And at the other end of the glitter spectrum, we have the “Hollywood heroines gone cabaret” from Val Garland at Charlotte Olympia.

Garland gifted us with an array of full-on 30s screen sirens painted up with a mixture of sparkling lips, smokey, multi-toned glittery eyes, and dark vampish pouts.  ‘It’s like a really cool gang of beautiful people have gone to a cabaret club.” Garland explained. A perfect mash-up!

fashion-week-makeup-AF-Vandehorst-Inge-Grognard (Copy)10. AF Vandevorst

Key Artist; Inge Grognard

An absolute hands down favourite of myself and seemingly everyone I showed it to was this unbelievably simple but unique and hugely effective pigment spattered look from Mascara Wars current obsession Inge Grognard!

The captivating look was inspired by “something flying over and dropping explosions of colour…. The collection is a mixture of feminine and masculine with bright red and blue leather…this inspired me,” she explained of the Holi-powder pigments she applied to each girl with a pipette. Simple as that.

fashion-week-makeup-prada-pat-mcgrath (Copy)11. Prada

Key Artist; Pat McGrath

“You can’t get more independent than a red lip,” said Pat McGrath of the custom red she created for the “independent, world-traveling women” on the runway at Prada.

Mixing together three different shades to create a “rich, matte shade with lots of dimension” she applied the finished concoction with her go-t0 technique for bullet-proof, does-not-budge lip colour. First lips were prepped with foundation, followed by a layer of concealer, and a light dusting of translucent powder, “Only then,” said McGrath, “are you ready to do your colour.” An indestructible lipstick technique that rumour has it lasts up to SIX HOURS?! Cheers Pat!

fashion-week-makeup-maxmara-tom-pecheux (Copy)12. MaxMara

Key Artist; Tom Pecheux

“I wanted to celebrate their individuality, so I invited them to be a part of the make-up process and asked them to choose their favourite shade of red lipstick,” said Pecheux of the “a red for every woman” look at Max Mara. Yet again we saw a move towards embracing the true individuality of each model, leading to a gorgeous array of looks for the girls rocking a variety of rich, glossy lip colors in MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lipstick in either Dance With Me, Lady Be Good, Feel So Grand, or High Drama. After letting the opaque formula set, lips were topped with a generous layer of clear gloss to really make them pop.

fashion-week-makeup-just-cavalli-miranda-joyce (Copy)13. Just Cavalli

Key Artist; Miranda Joyce

The glitter was back in full effect at Just Cavalli, this time with a serious injection of rock n roll attitude. I was lucky enough to be working on the team with Miranda Joyce, where beer swigging bad girls and 70s rock chicks in leopard print and fishnets were given doe-eyed graphic eye shapes, set against raw skin and filled with a custom of blend of MAC glitters in shades of pink and lime green. References ranging from Angie Bowie to glam rock groupies were in full swing to dazzling effect under those runway lights!

fashion-week-makeup-isola-marras-michele-magnani (Copy)14. Isola Marras

Key Artist; Michele Magnani

Throwing us a curveball of mega colour for winter, and why the heck not, was Michele Magnani at Isola Marras. For a show full of fun, sun and flowers Magnani created a variety of looks using the full spectrum of Mac Chromaline products in pencils and cream colour for a rainbow of looks in oranges, blues, purples and pinks, set against a backdrop of the more traditional rosy glow and lip stain of winter makeups. An awesome combo!

valentino (Copy)16. Valentino

Key Artist; Pat McGrath

As seems to be becoming a new tradition at Fashion week, we’re treated to a sneak peak at an upcoming Pat McGrath Labs product at one of the season’s shows, and this time it was a serious BEAUTY. Just look at the sublime highlights on that skin!!!

The mystery iridescent powder was swept across the face and body of each ballerina-inspired girl at Valentino to the most stunning effect. Looks like I might have to get on the waiting list for this one ASAP!

fashion-week-makeup-val-garland-giambatista-valli (Copy)16. Giambatista Valli

Key Artist; Val Garland

Gotta love those backstage soundbites, and at Giambatista Valli, Val Garland gave us the ‘High Line Lift’! Never mind your regular brow highlighter, the Giambatista girls accented their brows with a slick of rainbow glitter , directly on the brow line.  Set against an otherwise fresh and natural makeup, the twinkling highlight added not just an element of sparkle but also served to lift and shape those brows. Just don’t go highlighting your whole face with glitter just yet guys, this one is for brows only… What am I saying?! Do what you want! Glitter everywhere!!

fashion-week-makeup-sally-branka-mugler (Copy)17. Mugler

Key Artist; Sally Branka

The setting desert sun was a gorgeously evocative backdrop projected behind the girls walking the sandy-hued runway at Mugler, and Sally Branka used that same sun as inspiration for beautifully delicate eye details.

Each girl received a wash of taupe across the eye, but some received an extra special, painterly sweep of burnt orange, for a subtle yet strikingly effective Savannah sunset eye.

fashion-week-makeup-pat-mcgrath-yohji-yamamoto (Copy)18. Yohji Yamamoto

Key Artist; Pat McGrath

Where do I begin with this one? I barely even know how to describe it! The eye-popping 3D black lips have split opinions amongst those I’ve heard discussing them, some love the look, some aren’t so sure, but we cannot deny it’s unlike any we’ve seen before, and those 3D lips really do mess with my eyes!

It’s gothic,  doll-like – almost puppet like, at once creepy and cartoonish, and described my McGrath as simply “black on black” so giving nothing away! The inspiration remains a mystery, but a seriously standout look all the same!

fashion-week-makeup-lynsey-alexander-kenzo (Copy)19. Kenzo

Key Artist; Lynsey Alexander

You’ve gotta love the sheer variety of references that show up backstage at fashion week, over at Kenzo we had the adorable manga stylings of Sailor Moon given as inspiration!

Lynsey Alexander took that reference and ran with it, interpreting those huge manga eyes into a punk graphic eyeliner, finished with a delicate pop of glitter. “It’s definitely not a feline eye. It’s a punky, twisted, wrong eyeliner,” she said, and we LOVE it!

fashion-week-makeup-alex-box-issey-miyake (Copy)20. Issey Miyake

Key Artist; Alex Box

Alex Box took the galaxy inspired collection at Iseey Miyake and used it to create a look known as “interstellar strobing”. Taking inspiration from prisms and shards of light, Alex applied holographic plastic in a bespoke design to high points of the face against ethereal, pearlescent skin.

I can safely say that this makeup came to life under the show lights like none I’ve ever seen before. The shards would be rendered invisible against the skin until the model turned her head, and a flash of opalescent green gold would shine out and disappear. A magical, beautiful and truly unique look.

Ready to take your strobing interstellar guys? Keep me posted!





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