We’re spending the month skulking around backstage at some of the hottest (and coolest) shows in New York, London, Milan, and Paris to bring you the best beauty looks, new products, and gossipy tidbits that we pick up in our travels.
Ciao bellas! Now that Milan is in full swing, check out some of our favorite looks. The European shows never disappoint beauty-wise, and this season is no exception so far. From the Fendi fur-hawks to Prada's drenched damsels, click through to see what's going on backstage in Italy this week.
Hair (Luigi Murenu): Now here’s an interesting (albeit slightly severe) twist on the half-up hairstyle! Murenu snipped the ends blunt and flat-ironed the hair straight, then slicked both sides back and let the center fold over top, like a hair flap. (Never ever thought we’d pair those two words to describe anything!)
Makeup (Pat McGrath): Bleached out brows and nude flesh-tone lips made way for one hell of a BAM! eye moment. McGrath created the hypnotizing dramatic brownish burgundy winged out smoky eye with a metallic oxblood shadow layered over a chocolate-colored pencil to give it a bold but (not too strong) base.
Hair (Guido Palau for Redken): Stringy strands never looked so sexy. “We wanted the models to look womanly and nonchalant with this dripping wet hair that looks like they’re fresh out of the shower, or maybe were caught out in the rain,” says Palau, Redken’s Creative Consultant. He achieved that ‘it-looks-sopping-wet-but-it’s-really-not’ look with Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam mousse throughout and Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine just on the ends (to add an extra shot of sheen).
Makeup (Pat McGrath): A full face of makeup doesn’t look so in-your-face when all of the key components are turned into stains. Smoky eyes were created with a greasy-like gray paint, a matte raspberry hue was pressed into the lips with the pads of McGrath’s fingers then wiped away, and the heavily-mascaraed lashes were long and straight—almost like a torrential downpour had drenched them. (Which makes perfect sense in conjunction with the hair.)
Nails (Alessandra Carlino): Team Prada wanted to keep the manicures simple, so they applied our new favorite peachy-nude hue—Starkers by Leighton Denny—to every girl’s nails.
Hair (Sam McKnight for Pantene): When does a plain schoolgirl French braid (held together with Pantene Pro-V Deep Moisture Soufflé) become extra fun? When McKnight masterfully plopped purple-tinted fox fur-hawks right on top, in a way that it simultaneously stood at attention while seductively falling into the face.
Makeup (Peter Philips for Chanel): Pretty in punk with flat matte skin, big bold brows and a rich grape lip (inspired by 20’s French actress Alice Prin a.k.a. Kiki de Montparnsse). Philips expertly painted each model’s pouts with Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Lipstick in La Provocante and a lip brush to sculpt a razor sharp Cupid’s bow and picture-perfect edges.
Nails (Peter Philips for Chanel): Matchy-matchy! Models sported blackberry-color manicures that perfectly matched their mouths, courtesy of Chanel Vendetta #483.
Hair (James Pecis for Moroccanoil): Pecis molded stunning S-waves on some models by weaving hair around oversize bobby pins in a figure eight, securing the ends with hair clips, and setting the style with a burst of Moroccanoil hairspray and a flatiron, and on others by wrapping small sections of hair up into Bantu knots. Time-consuming, but quite clever!
Makeup (Benjamin Puckey for MAC Cosmetics): Pretty party girls with shiny ballet slipper pink lips and smudgy smoky eyes with a slight sheen (courtesy of MAC’s on-shelves-soon eye gloss). (Sleeping in your makeup could probably give you a similar result, though you’d probably have to conceal a few pimples in the morning!)
Nails (Keri Blair for MAC Cosmetics): Blair is fast becoming the master of mixing lacquer. She custom-blended two forthcoming metallic shades—gold Visual Art and silver Fierce Elegance—for a gorgeous putty pewter hue that we can’t wait to DIY.
Hair (Guido Palau for Redken): When asked to describe this wet-looking (but totally not) French twist in a single sentence, Palau concluded: “It’s romantic and easy while still being a little bit tough.” Redken Full Frame 07 mousse was used before rough-drying to boost volume and help mold a slightly rigged texture, then the style was set with a blast of Redken Control Addict 28 hairspray.
Makeup (Lloyd Simmonds for MAC Cosmetics): Fluttering lash-tastic lids (created with a mascara and half-band of falsies on the outer corners of each eye) and skin sculpted to pure perfection with shimmery highlight to add a little intensity.
Nails (Keri Blair for MAC Cosmetics): Blair mixed two MAC Nail Lacquers—Delicate (a sheer pink) and Coffee Break (a dark brown)—together to create a soft and shiny pinkish taupe shade that she calls ‘Pure Innocence.’ And here’s the kicker: She also added a pinch of MAC Vanilla Pigment (that’s typically used as an eyeshadow) to the nail polish. “It’s a little something extra that just gives it a little sparkle and light reflection,” she said.
Hair (Luigi Murenu): Very natural with minimal effort. Murenu inserted a deep, slightly diagonal side part before blowing the hair straight, swooping it all the way across the forehead, and tucking it behind the ears. Easy-peasy.
Makeup (Tom Pecheux for MAC Cosmetics): Mostly natural with a focus on the eye translated to perfectly matte skin and absolutely no lipstick, and thick winged out eyeliner topped off with copious layers of mascara on the upper and lower lashes. Why? “When you’re wearing such beautiful clothes, you really don’t even need a lot of makeup,” said Pecheux.