Fresh Off the Runway: How to Recreate Beauty Looks From Couture Runways

by Chinea Rodriguez


Twice a year editors and influencers flock to Paris and escape the hustle of the streets to watch couturiers send pure magic down the runways. The couture shows are usually the most magical moments on the fashion calendar from Dior to Valentino to Chanel, who always put on the most extravagant presentation regardless of the season under the guidance of the late Karl Lagerfeld. Hours upon hours of beading, lace, sequins, and feathers crafted into couture confections in the ateliers. 

If you can’t score an invite to the actual shows, runway slideshows and videos online will suffice. For those of us who don’t have access to our favorite house’s atelier and all the couture pieces inside, you can still pull plenty of inspiration from the makeup at the shows. Whether you opt for a pared-down version or an all-out statement, there were so many beauty looks worth recreating. From the graphic glitter eyeshadow to the punk liner at Valentino, we reached out to London based makeup artist Wendy Asumadu for tips on copying elements from our favorite shows. So even if you can’t afford couture you can still look the part.


Guo Pei – A Twist on Blue Eyeshadow 

The designer paired ethereal dresses with powdered faces, painted pigments over the eyes and washes of color over the lid. What caught our eye was this powdery blue eyeshadow that went all the way into the brow bone. For this Wendy recommends this affordable Revolution Pro Regeneration Palette in Trends Mischief Mattes, she says “It has the perfect shade of blue for this look and the actual product blends so beautifully on the eye.”




Valentino – Graphic Glitter Lids

Pierpaolo Piccioli paired bold, bright and voluminous gowns with an even bolder eye look, one-upping the feathery, petal-like eyelashes from last season. Naturally, makeup legend Pat McGrath was behind the fresh skin, bare hydrated skin and lips, brow grazing glitter liner and exaggerated cat-eye. To get the glittery look, Wendy suggests using a pea-sized amount of Glitter Fix Gel by Moon Glow as the base and layering loose glitter on top, her favorites are from Glitter Palace




Elie Saab – Smokey Cat-Eye 

What could be better paired with the rich jewel tones and velvety fabrics of this collection than a bold smokey eye? The makeup artists behind the look put a twist on the old classic by smoking it out to an exaggerated wing using warm-toned browns instead of black. To achieve this look Wendy suggests the new Anastasia Beverly Hills x Jackie Aina, “The browns in the palette are so warm so perfect for all skin tones.”




Viktor & Rolf – Punk Liner

Like their couture gowns, the bold, punk-inspired liner at the show isn’t for the faint-hearted. They paired big, bold hair and shoulders with even bolder liner and shadow in black and silver. To try a variation of this look with similar colors Wendy suggests NYX Professional Makeup Epic Ink Liner, “[it’s] so versatile and has amazing holding power since its waterproof.” She continues, “For the silver I’d use Sleek i-Lust Palette. It has different tones of silver that you can play around with to compliment all skin types.” Try sweeping the silver all over the lid and playing with graphic liner shapes, for a great alternative try this pigmented shadow.




Ronald van der Kemp – Graphic Colors

Van der Kemp took matching to a new level when he paired patterns on his couture looks with similar graphic eye looks. The one that caught our eye was this modern art-inspired eye with turquoise and yellow. If you want to get a similar look or try painting the lid with pared-down graphic shapes like a line above the crease or an exaggerated cat-eye shape, you’ll need a good pigment. Wendy suggests Depixym Emulsions, “Their holding power is fantastic so it would be perfect for such colorful look.” But pigmented eyeshadows or pigments with a good primer as the base will do the trick as well. 

Of course, the biggest tip for pulling off couture looks or even couture lite looks is confidence. “If you want to do more bold makeup but have some fears, start really small.” Wendy says, “Start with a yellow eyeliner from Fenty Beauty and a nude gloss by Kiko. Then when you start to feel more confident, just go for it!”




Images: Vogue Runway, Wendy Asumadu


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