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The Face(s) of NY Fashion Week

Images + Post By: | September 19, 2011No Comment

There’s something NYFW was trying to sell me, but I’m not buying. Your face does not have to be a blank beige backup singer to your boldly colored ensemble.  Your make up does not have to be an understudy to your outfit. Your head does not have to sit on top of your body and clap at your clothes.

Luckily, there were a few designers who managed to incorporate color above AND below the neck. One of my favorite aspects of mainstream fashion coverage is the Beauty sections on Vogue.com. You can find out what tools and products were used, plus some technique tips. So I scoured these sections to come up with some fresh ideas for face. (There will be no red lip coverage here. Anna Sui said red lips look good on everybody. I agree, and also I’m over it.)

Let’s start with Nanette Lepore. Her collection featured solid bright colors and simple bold prints with brilliant orange, pink, and frosty lavender lips. Very popsicle chic. Into it!

The award, though, for top mouth of New York Fashion Week goes to Prabal Guring. Innovative, striking, sexual! The black powder at the opening of the mouth adds texture and depth (both visual and conceptual). These lips were truly a beacon in a storm of bland. I will definitely be adding this low-lighting technique to my lip résumé (although I’m unsure how it will hold up against the rim of a glass).

Rodarte wins best all around face. The midnight blue smokey eye was stunning. Adult, alluring, amazing. I am very about blue right now, and I appreciate this update to a classic look. Sometimes elevating your style for a new season is a simple as shifting your neutral. If you were working with black and greys, maybe you slide over to blues and re-set your zero there.

The keys to achieving the look are depth of pigment on the lid (you need more than one color) and applying shadow under the eye.  Pulling off shadow on the lower lid–and always mascara, always—is a summit of femininity all fabulous bitches should scale. Stand up there and look around. Isn’t it glorious?

But that wasn’t all. I’m a cheek gurl, and Rodarte gave it to me. Granted I like my cheeks on a hundred thousand trillion and they didn’t give me all that, but their peaches and lavenders were very very very pretty. For balance, the lip was simple without being bare. Here’s the look on open and closed eyes:

Derek Lam was a different story, but still a beautiful one. His girls wore golden lids. There’s a certain strength and openness with a sweep of a single color across the whole lid. The color was dense enough to make a statement, but a light enough shade that the lids didn’t look heavy.

Peter Som offered another soft take on eyes. Ordinarily one fills in one’s crease diffusely, blending the dark color into the lid color. Or conversely, you might use a dark color to make an angular shape like an enlarged cat eye. Som did something else. His models had an arc of purple almost from the nose bridge across the entire crease. So so good. This was balanced by a stroke of deep color on the lash line. Prim and proper.

For some reason I was drawn to study the S/S make up more than the clothes. Maybe because I know the cold is coming and I won’t have an opportunity to wear short, sheer, slinky things for a very long time. I can early, though, on these up and coming make up trends.

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