How New York Fashion Week Is Breaking All the Makeup Rules
There's a certain handful of designers who we always expect to send provocative, norm-defying beauty looks down the runway—Thom Browne, for example, who tends to favor the weird and horror-inspired, or Jeremy Scott, who likes things colorful, kitschy, and wild.
But the most-fascinating shakeups we've charted over the past few days at fashion week are definitely subtler but, in a way, just as subversive. While personal preferences for how much and what kind of makeup to wear obviously vary from person to person, there is somewhat of a standard formula for makeup that we've always stuck to. Things like using eye shadow on your eyelids only or never using lip gloss anywhere but your lips. Or, always wearing an array of products at the same time, resulting in a very polished "done" face. Even the "no-makeup" look that everyone kept talking about last season requires a full face of… makeup!
Which is why it's been so refreshing to see this amazing "less is more" approach really take hold on the S/S 16 runways. Most looks we've seen have been minimalist in aesthetic and the products they require, which is kind of revolutionary: We've seen models with completely bare skin (no foundation) over and over again, not to mention bare lashes. (Seriously, is mascara even a thing anymore?) Makeup artists are using products in ways we never thought of, like putting lip gloss everywhere and adding a velveteen texture to lips with the help of eye shadow. Basically, we can have more fun with makeup while simultaneously cutting our routine in half. It's pretty much a win-win.
Keep scrolling to see the NYFW beauty trends that are inspiring us to reconsider everything.
This season, "no-makeup makeup" has (finally) evolved into just "no makeup." Makeup artists at shows like Jason Wu (seen above), Thakoon, and Opening Ceremony opted to let the models' natural complexion shine, either through a light tint of foundation or nothing but concealer when necessary.
We've been so focused on eye color for so long that we forgot to consider the surprising appeal of a clear gloss. Nars lead artist James Boehmer used it heavy-handedly at Opening Ceremony (seen above), applying the brand's Triple X Lipgloss ($26) everywhere from the models' cheekbones to their eyelids. (The same gloss adorned the eyelids of catwalkers at Thakoon, as well.)
But don't start swearing off eye shadow just yet. Boehmer pulled a switcharoo and used rosebud-colored eye shadow (set to be released next year) on the models' pouts, providing a velvety sheen he said could also be achieved with Nars' Fervor Dual-Intensity Blush ($45). Makeup artists at Jason Wu and Tanya Taylor took the same approach.
Proof that an army of products just isn't necessary? This head-turning look at 3.1 Phillip Lim, which somehow only requires two. Nars's Francelle Daly just applied a light wash of the brand's soon-to-be released Skin Tint, as well as Eye Paint ($25) in Solomon Islands for a small pop of color that made all the difference. Aside from brushing up the eyebrows, Daly didn't use anything else—no mascara, highlighter, or any kind of powder. (Oh, fine—she used some clear lip balm, too.)
Yes, washing off every bit of makeup before bed is ideal, but we won't deny that worn-in makeup can also look pretty cool. Rather than aiming to send perfection down the runway, makeup artists at shows like Ryan Roche and Jonathan Simkhai (seen above) encouraged a bit of smudging and creasing around the eyes.
Step away from the powder—over-mattifying (and contouring!) your skin now seems a little dated. In fact, it appears that we've reached peak strobe, as makeup artists stopped at nothing to achieve a sleek, heavily illuminated complexion. At Opening Ceremony, Boehmer even added a dot of lip gloss just above the lip. ("I want it to look like she's perspiring a little," he said backstage.) At Tanya Taylor, seen above, lead artist Uzo applied a heavy stripe of highlighter (Nars's Illuminator, $30, in Copacabana) along the cheekbone, above a similar line of blush, and blended them with a brush—the result was a romantic porcelain glow.
Which rule are you most excited to break? Tell us in the comments below!