As we bid farewell to New York Fashion Week's Spring 2019 season and look ahead to the European shows, we're also reflecting on the show-stealing, stunningly creative beauty looks we spotted on the runways. This season, the backstage hair, makeup and nail pros outdid themselves with game-changing displays of artistic talent we'll be plastering all over vision boards into the foreseeable future.
Ahead, we've rounded up six of the recurring beauty themes that captured our attention and took our breath away on the New York runways this season.
After several seasons of restrained minimalism, Spring 2019 was a return to more-is-more form. Lite-Brite neon makeup accents abounded, with models at Christian Siriano, Alice + Olivia, Chromat, Zero + Maria Cornejo and Ulla Johnson wearing slime-green eyeliner, safety orange shadow, hot-pink mascara and electric Cheeto-colored lipstick.
Canary-Yellow Eye Makeup
If any one color stood out most from multiple runways, it was canary yellow, which showed up in the form of matte, opaque eye shadow at Rodarte, Marc Jacobs, Anna Sui and Mansur Gavriel, often paired with pinks or reds elsewhere on the face to lend a grounding effect.
Nothing-Natural-About-It Hair Color
But it wasn't just the makeup that saw its share of color play; this season was brimming with unexpected punk-y neons and vintage pastels for hair, too. At Lanyu, The Blonds and Alice + Olivia, certain models wore vibrant hair extensions (in purples, yellows and highlighter greens) woven into braids and tied into messy knotted ponytails. At Marc Jacobs, the "egg" inspired ovular hairstyles by Redken hairstylist Guido were made all the more otherworldly as the result of elaborate dye jobs by Redken colorist Josh Wood. He and his team transformed the strands of 37 models into an array of spectacular hues, from pastel turquoise to fiery red to muted grey to inky navy; the one constant amidst all the various tones was that none could be mistaken for naturally occurring ones.
One trend that did invoke nature, however, appeared across multiple runways, in completely different iterations: flowers and vegetation as hair accessories. At Rodarte, hairstylist Odile Gilbert (for TreSemmé) piled fresh roses that had been dyed to coordinate with the clothing onto models' heads, in some cases weaving them into updos and braids for a messy but romantic effect. Select models at Mansur Gavriel wore a subtler version of blooms, with different types of minuscule buds being placed randomly throughout strands, as if sprouting directly from their heads.
There was a lot going on at Rihanna's Savage x Fenty presentation, but amidst all the dancing and lingerie, several of the models — including Gigi and Bella Hadid and Paloma Elsesser — also wore (faux) tropical flowers as accents to their hairstyles created by hairstylist Yusef (for Oribe and Dyson). And finally, greenery made a more tongue-in-cheek appearance on the Gypsy Sport runway, where the hair was studded with individual leaves, speared with palm fronds and wrapped in vegetation, depending on each model's look.
Cheeky playfulness abounded elsewhere on the runways, too: Finger painting and arts-n-crafts-inspired looks appeared more than once on the makeup front. At Jeremy Scott, lead makeup artist Kabuki (for MAC) used loose pink glitter to create a reflective, foil-like lip. Models at Lanyu, Pyer Moss and Eckhaus Latta each wore variations of makeup-as-art-projects, from smatterings of paint-like splatters to color-blocked eyeliner that appeared as if it could have been done in colored pencil.
When it came to nails, the dominant Spring 2019 trend was a more-is-more approach, which meant designs that went bold with colors, textures and even accessorizing. Nail jewelry had somewhat of a moment: Rodarte's models wore metallic manicures studded with gems, a look created by Eichi Matsunaga (for Morgan Taylor), while those who walked in Chromat's show displayed dangly chains and pendants falling from the tip. In a particularly impressive undertaking, nail artist Eda Levenson, aka Lady Fancy Nails, collaborated with her sister Anna Levenson (who is a jewelry designer) to affix bling to each individual nail.
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