I can tell you from the front lines: there is never a dull moment backstage in HMU moments before a runway show starts. Even in the most relaxed of productions, those final moments of touch ups and executing the overall beauty vision are tense, as we are quite literally setting the trends for the future.
For industry insiders like myself, backstage is also the place where we get to preview the looks that will make their way from the runway to the streets come Springtime, and where we really get to see what looks from last season have what it takes to last the long term and what ended up as a #trend.
After this month, having seen the beauty visions across all four major fashion weeks, it’s so hard to pick just one major trend! Designers and their HMU artists went all out this season to express the most individual and signature elements of each brand, and some even threw us a curveball or two: Jeremy Scott, usually noted for colorful, OTT makeup, sent an army of models down the runway in what could be considered a minimalist look… for Jeremy.
There was the overlaying theme of the smoky green eye, present on the classic looks of Julien MacDonald to the ever-smoldering looks in Tom Ford’s presentation. (Off-topic, but expect my opinion on the new colors of his Boys & Girls lipsticks to arrive imminently).
Make Up: From Naturalness to Nuance Pop
The Natural Look still reigns supreme, with a litany of new options for those of us with no time to dedicate to makeup, or who just prefer a more textured, natural look.
Building on this trend is The Color Pop: a natural face with just one color pop at one focal point. Marni, Arthur Arbesser, Nicopanda and Fyodor Golan opted for a bright, vivacious lip on a clean palette of skin.
Also with natural faces were the models of Antonio Marras, Max Mara and Bora Aksu, accented by suctle but bold earth tones.
Missoni and Marc Jacobs chose a soft pastels, while Rodarte, Alice + Olivia chose a pop tone to light up the eyelids.
Philipp Plein showed luminous complexions, while N°21 and Tod’s brought it to the next level with highlighted cheekbones, and Marras threw in a little bit of sun-kissed skin. The name of the game is effet bonne mine, Pretty Birds. The mask Effect is old news.
Beauty tips directly from backstage: Why limit yourself to just one lipstick? Mix more than one tone and add a lip pencil to obtain your perfect personal color. For your eyes, add glitter or metal eyeshadow to the center of the lid or in the inner corner for a healthy dose of glam (inspiration: Halpern, Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani)!
Credit ph: Pinterest, Tom Ford Press Office
Hair: Ponytails, Chignons and Messy Finish
Ballerina up-do (Eudon Choi, Preen, Dion Lee, Fendi, Max Mara, Philipp Plein, Moschino) Clean and neat, it can be high or low, but in any case never exactly on top and always very luminous – that is with a light, glassy finish.
For those of you that do not love a chignon, the hairdo of 2019 is the low ponytail, somewhat messy (Arthur Arbesser and Zambelli) and enriched with an accessory (Erika Cavallini, Preen). Do you love wearing your hair down?
Messy lengths are more and more popular and the textures are more and more voluminous, so even when the overall effect is sleek, or even wavy, let those strands fly free (Fay, Elisabetta Franchi, Alberta Ferretti, Preen and Jil Sanders).
Beauty tips directly from backstage: To give your strands a little body, always use a brush and hair dryer. For last-minute dos, dry shampoo and fixing spray are a must recommended by the experts.
Credit ph: GHD for Preen, Compagnia della Bellezza, Pinterest
Nails: Graphics, Optical Manicure and Geometry
Ironic, fun, never predictable: the nails deserve their time to shine backstage. The prevailing winners were: negative space nail art (Moschino), two-tone or total black nails (Philipp Plein), the inevitable nude (Ermanno Scervino, Roberto Cavalli) or pastel (Elisabetta Franchi).
Beauty tips directly from backstage: For 2019, nails are slightly almond-shaped and never too long or too pointy. To highlight them with a subtle finish, pass a coat of glossy polish over a nude base.
Credit ph: GHD Press Office, Parish Press Office