Mac Cosmetics

House of Holland

Picture of House of Holland's Makeup at LFW AW 07LONDON A/W 07
You can rely on London Fashion Week to deliver makeup that flies a more maverick flag. Indeed, this season M·A·C artists kept looks right within the remit of street credibility yet, cannily balanced this with an overview of wearability that kept things on the beautiful side of subversive. Witness the "punky early Eighties Japan " vibe that directed Sam Bryant towards graphic black liner and plum shadow at Betty Jackson. In each case, both shows demonstrated just how M·A·C artists can work with a mainstream label in London yet still push the creative beauty boundary with makeup that's far from simply "safe".
Following on from New York, colour and eye liner played key rolls in emerging trends, and it was refreshingly rare that labels opted for "no makeup makeup" (Marios Schwab and Sinha Stanic were about it), choosing instead to go for one bold gesture on the face, from statement brows to striking lips or a graphic liner. The resultant makeups struck a note of unpredictability that was distinctly "London " (this fashion capital never does "boring"), yet were still more translatable than they were theatrical (Gareth Pugh and Manish Arora shows aside).

The makeup that Terry Barber devised for House of Holland summed up everything that good London Fashion Week makeup should be. Namely, a dose of don't-give-a-damn urbanity ("It's not meant to be that luxe or expensive, to me its' about a girl who's fallen out of a club on a Sunday morning" said Barber), forward-thinking attitude ("It's more futuristic and sci-fi, computer-generated and Warhol-esque") and an aesthetic that perfectly straddles vulgarity and refinement ("It's taking vulgar and making it chic"). The almost too matte, almost too bright fluoro pink lip stood as a stunning accessory, bright and all the more beautiful for its bare skin backdrop. "What makes something like this new is that it's worn on a totally bare face," explained Barber. "It would look trashy if you put a luxury foundation on there first."

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Roksanda Ilincic

Picture of Roksanda Ilincic's Makeup at LFW AW 07ADORN-ABLE
M·A·C artists were into striking a playful makeup chord in London Fashion Week. Take lip colours: after the grey-eyed glamour that dominated New York catwalks, London's loud mouths were equally punchy, powerful and precisely applied. There was opaque marshmallow (M·A·C Lipstick in Snob) at Roksanda IIincic and Todd Lynn, day-glo pink at House of Holland, electric tangerine at Peter Jensen, dazzling coral at Danielle Scutt and magenta at Hamish Morrow. And colour didn't stop at the lips. At Jonathan Saunders, Miranda Joyce thought "primary, artistic, finger-painted, shocking!" with eyebrows fuzzed over with hot pink or yellow, at Gharani Strok, Petros Petrohillios was in an Eighties mood with matte lavender-washed lids and peachy contoured cheeks and at Roksanda IIincic, Val Garland was into "taking a ladylike idea and having fun with it" as she combined minty eyeshadow and black dots "to make a youthful, clubby moment in eye liner."

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Sinha Stanic

Picture of Sinha Stanic's Makeup at LFW AW 07 BOLD AND BARE
A degree of toughness and nonchalance is intrinsic to London 's beauty ethos both on, and off, the catwalk, Hence there is always a certain "bare faced" following to London Fashion Week, with designers eschewing too much makeup in a bid to "keep it real" in the most literal sense. Fall '07 proves no exception, but these pale, pared-back faces weren't devoid of makeup. While skin was as bare as possible (moisturizer with Select Cover-Up was the preferred combination), there was serious work put into this minimalism. At Nicole Farhi, Val Garland used no less than five different eye and lip pencils to dapple faces in freckles before patting Vintage Rose Cream Colour Base onto cheeks with a fan brush. M·A·C Nudes and Shapers collection of contouring and shading powders were key at Preen (for the shadowy eyes) and Sinha Stanic (where Nude gave the cheek "a slight bloom," said Sharon Dowsett), making face-shaping come to form. And while Marios Schwab couldn't have looked less worked, the mahogany slashed brow at Giles was grippingly precise, showcasing how a strident makeup gesture works best on a creamy canvas.

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