Beauty Makeup

Backstage Beauty: Couture Week Makeup

By Sophia Hussain

Every Couture Week in Paris features some backstage chaos where fresh-faced models are getting their hair done (and re-done), nails manicured and makeup applied to their faces and bodies before they debut their dramatic looks on the catwalk. After these models leave the catwalk, they often strut into the hoards of street style photographers lingering around after the show, waiting to snap the beauties still wearing their full makeup looks.

We’ve selected some of the key looks seen on the runways, and figured out how to get them using only organic makeup-wearing haute couture is optional.


Fresh, Flawless Foundation

As seen at Valentino

Valentino has become THE hottest couture label, best known for expertly using the most delicate laces and exquisite fabrics to create fresh, feminine fashion. To wear Valentino, models were given looks that were just as fresh and feminine, which featured flawless faces. Revealing beautiful skin with a barely there neutral base has never been easier: there are plenty of options out there. Start with a gentle exfoliator like Green People  Age Defy scrub, then make sure you moisturise with something easy on the skin, like Dr Alkaitis  Day Cream. Finally, buff Lily Lolo Mineral Foundation to the entire face to create an even-toned complexion. We also like Alima pure matt finish foundation, which  has amazing coverage that is totally buildable. You can brush a little bit on for light coverage or build it up to super full coverage that’s not at all cakey.

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Bold Blue Eyeshadow

As seen on the Versace catwalk

While most models were given pale or nude makeup to complement their couture looks, Ms Donatella Versace was having none of it and stuck with what she does best: full on Italian glamour. The bold blue eyes with a dramatic cat-flick towards the edge that she gave her models were the ideal accent for the rock-chick chic she showed on her couture runway this season. Get the look organically with Kjaer Weis eyeshadow in Blue Wonder or Alima’s Blue Operative from their Cloak and Dagger collection.

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Illuminating Makeup

As seen at: Dior

Backstage beauty for the Dior runway featured a nude look with silvery eyeshadow and powdery pink lips. For luminous skin that emits an ethereal glow, apply Josie Maran Argan Illuminizer to the cheeks, brow bone, and eyelids, or mix it with foundation for a radiance boost to the entire face. Get the lipstick look from Green People Lipstick in Candyfloss–it’s the UK’s first certified organic lipstick and tastes yummy, like peppermint. As for the white or yellow frosted shadows that we saw lighting up the eyes of models no matter what their skintone, try Alima  Pure Luminous Shimmer mineral based shadow in Glow.

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Doe Eyes and Defined Brows

As seen at Chanel and Versace

The full skirts and cropped jackets that defined the New Look of the 1950s are back, and so are the bold eyes and cat-eye liner flicks that were the hottest makeup trend at the time. Get a clean cat eye by using a liquid liner to draw a thin line with the tip of the applicator from the outer quarter corner of the base of the lashes, then gradually thicken the line by carefully shifting to using the side, not the tip, of the pen. When you come to the end of the lash base, flick the line up slightly and continue it until the edge is about the same length as the the outer corner of your eyebrow.

And speaking of eyebrows–having full brows looks more youthful and frames the face perfectly.  Apply a few strokes of Tromborg Brow Pencil in the same direction of the eyebrow hair growth, then use the brilliant brush cap to disperse the hue to finish off with groomed brows.

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Pale Lips

As seen at Chanel, Elie Saab, Alexis Mabille, Giambattista Valle, Rami al Ali and more

Delicate lip colours were all over the runways, so we thought it would be a good idea to include a huge selection of pinks here. The most common shades were light–think peony and blush rather than beige nudes–with a matt finish.  Lavera does several pastel pinks–the one that most perfectly matches what we saw at couture week was Matt ‘n’ Pink, but try Frosty Pink or Pastel Pink too. Another brand we love is Ilia, whose In My Room also imitates the same shade seen on many catwalks this season.

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Sophia Hussain

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