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Fall Runway Beauty is About Looking More Badass Than You Are

Bust out that black eyeliner and forget about covering up your undereye circles.
Photo: Antonello Trio/Getty Images

Photo: Antonello Trio/Getty Images

By day three of New York Fashion Week, we'd already seen enough manicures in shades of blood red and black to nominate Hot Topic as a trend of the week; hours later, Alexander Wang's legion of young badasses stormed the runway wearing miniskirts, thick leather collars and coats printed with marijuana leaves. The runway, of course, was the floor of St. Bartholomew's in Midtown. If you're going to go big on teen rebellion, always bring the church into it.

Season to season, "tough" is a descriptor that gets tossed around a lot in the hair and makeup area backstage at New York Fashion Week. Maybe it was the bitter cold sweeping the city, or perhaps it was the angst that this presidential election cycle has stirred up on both sides of the party line, but an outwardly aggressive approach to beauty seemed spot-on for the moment. At Wang and Public School, that translated to weary, hollowed-out eyes fit for a young woman who's spent the night partying — or maybe just reading up on Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt. At the former, makeup artist Diane Kendal applied Nars's aptly named Dark Angel Velvet Shadow Stick on the eyelid, contour and lower lash line, wiping it off with moisturizer for a "really worn-in" feel; at Public School, Maybelline's Grace Lee emphasized the models' dark circles to create a look inspired by "a wanted woman in a lawless land." Lawless, or threatened by laws seeking to restrict women's access to reproductive care? Either, really.

Adam Selman, directly referencing pot-smoking teens, was a classicist about bad girl beauty this season: his models hit the runway with black liner ringing their eyes. At Rodarte, makeup artist James Kaliardos tempered Kate and Laura Mulleavy's romantic collection with a dark lip and black mascara combed through the models' brows. (As he explained, "A girl wants to be pretty, but you don't want to be a pushover.") Creatures of the Wind, too, showed a deep red lip with strong liner.

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Point is, if you're feeling dangerous during this bleak post-holiday stretch of winter, don't keep it inside. Put it on your face. Now click through below for the best of fashion week's tough girl beauty thus far.