Paris Fashion Week: Beauty Highlights

The most impressive looks of the PFW

Text: Maria Meintani


One more Fashion Week has come to an end. The action on the runways of the French fashion metropolis will be paused for a while. In the meantime, you could take a look at the beauty highlights of the PFW that I’ve gathered for you.



There’s a reason why Chanel shows take place every year at Paris’ Grand Palais, as the voluminous venue makes a great pair with our much loved French fashion house.

Given that, an accentuated make-up was essential for the show. Peter Philips explains: “We wanted something that is beautiful close by, but that you can read from a distance”, giving us the idea behind the fall makeup look that he and Karl Lagerfeld conceived. According to Philips, the idea of using glitter “just came up” and I think we can guess why: As we got to see, most of the outfits of the collection were embellished with metallic details, matching beautifully with the giant illuminated globe that was placed in the centre of the catwalk. A great scenery, if you ask me.

Moving on to the beauty part, there was literally nobody who couldn’t notice the model’s sparkling eyes while they were walking on the runway. The corners of the eyes and the lashes as well, were trimmed with pieces of sequins placed on them, making the models look as if they were part of a fairytale, a sense that Chanel adores to impart. “We actually applied extra glue in the lashes so they get more faceted and catch in the light”, Philips revealed. He also used his Le Crayon Khôl eye liner in Noir underneath the lower lashes, drawing a long line that gave emphasis to the eyes and distinguished them from the whole space like setting. “It’s a combination between a technical solution and an aesthetic solution”, he said of the graphic element. On the skin, he used Chanel Perfection Lumière Long-Wear Flawless Fluid Makeup, adding a touch of the Poudre Universelle Libre, in order to create a contrast between the matte skin and the sparkling lids. Philips went on adding a bit of blush, using one of  Chanel’s forthcoming cream blushes that will be launched later this year, and also pouted the matching Rouge Coco Shine lipstick in «Deep berry-rose Instinct» on the lips of the girls.

The hairstyle was created by Sam McKnight with sleek, center-parted hair, something done according to the graphic elements of the catwalk as well. He prepped the hair with Frédéric Fekkai Full Volume Mousse and Magic Move, in order to give a little texture – “the white one, which is the creamiest one”, he said. Then, he tucked the hair into overcoats, blazers, and dresses, creating an illusion of a short-hair head. Lagerfeld has always had a soft spot for the kind of short cuts, often surrounding himself with cropped-haired muses like Saskia de Brauw and Stella Tennant.



Val Garland was in charge of the make-up at Valli’s backstage. She came up with a quite innovative idea to usethe MAC Pro Eye Gloss in Mother of Pearl, for which she said: “It’s a bit of nothing, but it’s also everything”, explaining the “cellophane simplicity” she achieved by dipping a brush into the flat pot of product and swiping a strip from the outside of models’ eyes toward their temples and along the cupid’s bow of their lips. “We were actually going to do a red lip here, but it made the collection look ordinary” she revealed, so she decided to go for something a bit more quirky. “It’s got a good stick on it, so it doesn’t move”, Garland continued of the gloss, which worked perfectly with the kind of  stiffened, “ no-hair-out-of-place” hairstyle Orlando Pita created for Valli’s show.


Isabel Marant

Tom Pecheux, creative make-up artist of Estée Lauder, said he drew inspiration for the beauty look at Isabel Marant show from the impeccable French woman as viewed by people around the world. “I’ve known Marant for a long time; I do a lot of her campaigns, and it’s a really good connection between Isabel and me -and me and Estée Lauder”, he explained.

Wanting to create an effortless, chic, French look, he wanted the skin to look flawless “but not too made-up”. In order to achieve that, Pecheux focused most of his energy on a pre-makeup facial treatment. “The massage takes 25 minutes, the makeup takes five minutes”, he joked, creating small, circular motions with a mixture of Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex and Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher.  He then used the Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup, adding a thin layer of the Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder in Transparent for a “matte satin” finish.  He went on using a mixture of Lauder’s Pure Color Blush in Sensuous Rose and Blushing Nude to contour the face before “flattening” eyes with a touch of the light beige shade in its Pure ColorEyeShadow Duo in Vanilla Pods. To give the lids an uplifted look, he applied a stroke of shimmering grey shadow from its forthcoming Pure Color Instant Intense EyeShadow Trio in Smoked Chrome, right onto the lash line, to catch the light as models walked. “We’re doing everything but mascara”, he laughed while we was curling the lashes, right before pouting the lips with two shades of nude lipstick in order to make them look fuller. For the finishing touch, he used the Lauder’s Artist’s Brow Pencil/Double Groomer to fix the eyebrows of the girls. “In France, you think of the eyebrows” he said. “It’s our version of the British rose”.

Hairstylist Paul Hanlon claims to be a big fan of Marant, after having worked with her for her Spring collection. He gave everyone extensions, not to lengthen but to thicken the hair, before applying Frédéric Fekkai Full Volume Mousse to add a subtle texture. “[Marant] wanted the hair to look more conditioned than it has” Hanlon said, layering in its Silky Straight Ironless Smooth Finish Serum. “Like a young Carla Bruni or Jane Birkin -not so rock ‘n’ roll”, he explained of the barely perceptible shift in focus. Creating a centred parting on the hair, Hanlon proceeded to run lengths through a curling iron, just once, to create a very soft wave that he spritzed with a bit of water and shook out to “lighten the richness”.




“It’s strong but individual,” Pat McGrath explained of the four different looks she created for Elbaz’s fall catwalk. “There’s a brow, a lip, a very graphic eye, and a smoky eye” she pointed out, explaining that Elbaz chose the lips based on specific show looks and then McGrath just “mixed [things] up” after that. That deep, matte, fuchsia-laced sanguine mouth was the standout, though, if anything because it marked yet another appearance of the season’s statement lip, which has been overwhelmingly matte. “It just has been that way. People want that sophistication. And with the skin…” McGrath continued, referencing the similarly powdered complexions that have made dewy finishes look downright outdated. “Fashion’s about extremes”, she surmised.

According to Guido Palau, “The clothes are quite ornate, so he (Elbaz) didn’t want it to look too bourgeois”. The hairstyles were pretty easy, giving us a feeling that the models had pulled their hair back themselves. However, Kati Nescher and SuviKoponen, the show’s opener and closer, had a festive headpiece on top. All girls’ hair were prepped with Redken Shine Flash 02 Glistening Mist to create a damp texture, before applying a touch of the forthcoming Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine serum. Palau did not want to use extensions on the models. “The girls with the short hair are staying short”, he said, motioning to Catherine McNeil, Karlie Kloss, and Saskia de Brauw.



Christian Dior

Pat McGrath revealed that the idea behind the look she created for Dior, was “The ultimate Dior woman, seen through a futuristic eye” (hint: Raf Simon’s eye). “He wanted to play with the mouths and make them smaller,” McGrath said, explaining the faded lips she created using a deep fuchsia stain that was blurred around the edges with a finger-pressing of foundation for a “blooming rose” effect. “There’s a nod to the fifties”, she continued of the collection. What a better way to translate that, than into makeup terms? With a classic cat-eye in an unexpected color and shape, shown here in liquid silver, which was not only drawn across the upper lashes into a flick, but also beneath the lower lash line, and in a small stroke on the inside corner toward the crease as well. “It pronounced the eyes more and gave them a new elegance”, McGrath said of the technique.

The ‘50s inspired the hairstyles as well. Guido Palau said: “Raf wanted more of an uptown woman who was caught in the rain, but we didn’t want it to feel old”. So, he used Redken Control Addict 28 High Control Hairspray and its forthcoming Diamond Oil Shatterproof Shine serum, in order to make the hair look both ‘50s–like and 2013 wet styled. “I still wanted it to feel elegant”, he noted.