Though beauty often takes center stage in magazine editorials, makeup artists will all tell you the same thing during fashion week: they're there to support the designer's vision. Eight times out of 10, that means giving models a restrained makeover with the goal of enhancing their already-glowing, young-person faces. The remaining 20 percent of the time, makeup artists get to go balls to the wall. And thank god for that. Scroll on for a look at the riskiest beauty looks of New York Fashion Week, explained in their creators' own words.
Marc Jacobs by François Nars for Nars
"[It] has a very underground, very New York, very Alice Cooper kind of feeling. Very hard rock. It's very monochrome. The eyes have different shapes, and we used cream black eye shadow, lip pencil in black, powder, all different kinds of products. We bleached all the eyebrows, so the girls look almost like they're wearing a mask. At the same time they look beautiful, in our way — that's always the main idea."
Rodarte by James Kaliardos for Nars
"We're doing a tough but ethereal look, either matching the girl's skin tone or, if they're blonde, we're sort of whitening it even more. Highlighted cheek, highlighted eye, and then a dark, dark, dark lip. It's the Train Bleu Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, which has been in the collection for a while but it's just so strong and graphic and makes a statement about what kind of lifestyle you have and what kind of woman you are. It's nice that they're kind of tougher this season... A girl wants to be pretty, but you don't want to be a pushover.
"The lip is really dark and really matte, and it's hard to get the shape correct, because when you do your lips really dark they almost look smaller and shrunken — more like a silent movie actress, and you don't really want to look like that. You want to look like today. So you gotta draw your lips to [their] full extent."
Gypsy Sport by Erin Parsons for Maybelline
"[Rio Uribe, the designer] wanted a heart-shaped lip, and I wanted to do something different, so we ended up doing the heart on the bottom and bringing it upward. It's Color Jolt Intense Lip Paint in Red-dy Or Not. Then the new clear lip gloss on top — it's really heavy, so it creates a lacquer. You can see it from a million miles away. [Laughing] The eye has a bit of a sleepy effect, being so thick, and then it comes to not really a point, but a bit of a rounded end."
Altuzarra by Tom Pecheux for Mac Cosmetics
"Foundation, bit of eyebrow, bit of contour. That's it. Eight girls in the show will have very graphic eyes. It's very streetwear, very Picasso. I went to see the [Picasso sculpture] exhibition the day before it closed, at the MoMA. The guy was so, so brilliant, so creative. Joseph [Altuzarra] lit the fire — he showed me references of pictures that he found of eyes that were done in eyeliner, but everything was very well done and had proper lines, very sharp, very neat, very impeccable, both eyes the same. We were like, 'Yeah, I like that but I think it should be a little bit more organic, a little bit more arty.'"
Opening Ceremony by Yadim for Maybelline
"What Carol and Humberto told me is that they really want the girls to feel like they were in a rush or a kind of time warp. We have a makeup moment, but not in the most cosmetic way. It's all about transformation. We got this amazing theatrical glitter — it's silver, but it has a rainbow holograph [look]. We basically just applied it to certain parts of the models' faces. You think of speed, you think about blur, and it's going to give that effect on the runway. [The skin] is very natural, very beautiful. Obviously if they have a blemish we'll cover it up. I've been using this all week, the Brow Drama Pomade Crayon. It's for the brows, but we're actually using it on the eyes as a kind of taupe-y contour. Then we used it on the cheek for a bit of a contour. Then we used this highlighter, the Master Strobe Illuminating Face Stick. It's my new obsession. [Ed note: it launches in June.] It gives this amazing dewdrop skin. Then curl the lashes, and that's it. We did use a blush, just so they have that flush like when it's cold out."
Brother Vellies by Helen Phillips for Sephora Pro
"There are about seven looks, some girls will double or triple up. We're basically doing perfect skin, then they have these metallic almost dripped metal accents to make them look otherworldly. Some have it on their lashes, some have it on the middle of their lip, some have it in the corner of their eye, across their lid."
Eckhaus Latta by Deanna Melluso for Make Up For Ever
"Eckhaus Latta doesn't really do inspiration, but we decided to do an undone eye. It's very painterly, like you were doing it yourself. To do that, we used the Make Up For Ever Flash Color Stick in leaf green and then in grey — we're doing two looks. It's just an undone eye, going through the crease of your eye in a back and forth motion and bleeding it out with your finger. This green is really nice and yummy and deep."