The haute couture shows are about so much more than showing off magnificent dresses that will be worn by Academy Award nominees and the .00001 percent. It's also about inventive beauty looks! We've rounded up the best of the best, all of which are winners in one way or another. And way cheaper than a ball gown.
Chanel paired its fanciest dresses with the chillest of braids — a deflated Free People-style plait so relaxed that you wouldn't even know it's a braid from the front. But then, in a surprise twist, it evolves into a tight, miniature braid. A marvelous sneak attack.
Prettiest Wood Nymph
Valentino, you kill us. The beauty look at the house's couture show as all about bare skin, moisturized lips and the most delightful twisted updo dotted with wildflowers. Seriously, is it spring yet? No? Please?
Most Baffling Magic Trick
Dior pulled some fascinating hair wizardry at its couture show in Paris, looping some accessories into the models' own hair and then attaching extensions for a segmented ponytail. This one demands a second look.
Best Grunge Eyes
At Giambattista Valli, Versace, Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexandre Vauthier, the consensus seemed to be that haute couture ought to be tempered with a rock and roll eye. While Vauthier showed a traditional take on a smoky eye, Versace and Gaultier went messier, with graphic black liner falling into the creases of the models' oily lids. Valli was more subdued, with a silvery gray haze of shadow setting off an otherwise natural look.
We're getting sleepy just looking at backstage photos from Stéphane Rolland's show. Not because it's boring, but we can practically feel the weight of these false lashes pressing down on our lids. Marilyn Monroe is said to have drawn on a shadow at the lower corner of her eye to create the illusion of heavy lashes; with extensions like these, you don't even need to pretend.
Most Tastefully Playful
Similar to the exaggerated lid at Versace, the beauty look at Armani Privé centered on a graphic arch bending around the models' eyes. But unlike at Versace, Armani's beauty team kept their application light and ethereal, to the point that you could easily miss the details on the runway. Up close, though, the mix of white, pastel blue and gold is fantastic — especially when you have two-tone eyes to match.