A mishmash of the best beauty looks of the Parisian fashion week

Text: Maria Meintani

Having admired the emblematic outfits presented on the Parisian catwalks, it’s now time to have a more detailed look on the beauty part of the Fall 2013 couture collections!


Based on the perfect duo’s tactic when designing, as Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli love drawing inspiration from Valentino’s archives, the look of the models for the house’s Haute Couture 2013 collection maintained the usual style we’re used to seeing, enriched with some modern twists. “It’s very Valentino”, Guido Palau said, who was asked to come up with “a new way to do something similar”. That given, he couldn’t leave braids out of the game, so he used a thin, interwoven headband pinned across the head and behind the ears, ending in two tight twists joined at the back of the neck. A few spritzes of Redken Forceful 23 Super Strength Finishing Spray were also used to provide a light hold. According to Palau, “It’s very important to get a beautiful head shape for the profile”. And that, he did.

The aforementioned hairstyle offered the perfect frame for a Renaissance-like skin, created by Pat McGrath. “We’re perfecting a very natural beauty. It’s actually less makeup than we would do for ready-to-wear, and no less beautiful for it”, she explained, using shimmering beige tones across the lids, a swipe of brown mascara just at the root of lashes and a creamy blush applied to both cheeks and lips. The nails of the models were painted in high-gloss black tones, working pretty well with their whole appearance.



Having worked with Gaultier for a long time, Odile Gilbert reveals that “he loves hair”, given the green light to create some of the most impressive hairstyles on the runway. “What I love about Jean Paul, because I’ve worked with a lot of designers, is that he always wants a certain sense of humour in the hair”, she said. The latest show for his Haute Couture line was consisted of four different looks, varying from towering chignons to donut-shaped topknots. The element that stole the thunder, however, was definitely the “cheetah paw print”, which was spray-painted onto sleek French twists with stencils. “I did it before for John, for his first Couture collection at Dior, but in a totally different way”, she admitted, with a certain tone of nostalgia colouring her voice. “For me, Jean Paul is like Galliano; he has a vision”. Touché!

On the contrary, Lloyd Simmonds’s suggestion for the makeup was way simpler. Only one “face” was used to accompany those four different hairstyles, having a touch of Fellini’s women and their flair for black liner. Rich brown shadows extended the eyes while the inside of lids was painted with white kohl in order to make them pop out. The outline was created with an onyx pigment traced around both the upper and lower lash lines. “He said he wanted the makeup to be very Couture”, Simmonds explained of Gaultier’s vision. “Instead of one shade of brown shadow, there are six shades of brown shadow; you just spend more time”.



In just one year of being the head designer of Dior house, Raf Simons has managed to offer us some real masterpieces. The same applies to the look of his models every season, as he seems to work perfectly along with Pat McGrath and Guido Palau, resulting in some very impressive and unexpected looks in each show.The Swarovski crystal-studded lips have become a regular now, with McGrath revealing that “What people don’t know is that when we do shows, we really have to find the right woman”. And it’s kinda true actually, as not every model can pull off those dazzling mouths! “She’s steeped in Diorness, but also very futuristic”, Palau pointed out about the character they have managed to build. “Raf doesn’t want to re-create the couture era. According to Palau, “he’s very forward thinking”. And we guess he has proven him right.



It’s “not up and old, but up and young”, said hairstylist Guido Palau, talking about the high buns he crafted usingRedken Thickening Lotion 06 on tresses that he tied and twisted in an imperfect way, aiming to elongate the neck of the models. “It’s very different for Donatella, because her hair is always down”, Redken creative consultant Guido Palau pointed out. “There are a lot of punky bits for a rock ‘n’ roll feeling, it’s not Madame-y”, he continued. “It’s Donatella’s chignon”.

Of course, looking at the star of the show- Naomi Campbell that is- one can understand that her smoothed, straight hairstyle made her stand out from the rest of the models-not that she wouldn’t anyways. However, Campbell did get the same makeup look by Pat McGrath, which was based to Man Ray’s iconic Tears photo from the Thirties, in which a model’s blackened eyelashes were well-defined with mascara. “She [Donatella] was saying it’s all about a fresh version of that”, said McGrath. “Donatella was obsessed with top and bottom lashes”. The skin was left clean and plain as the rest of the collection was already sparkling enough.



The winning team of Karl Lagerfeld, Sam McKnight and Peter Philips worked wonders again. Just like Karl’s designs do, the accompanying hair and makeup looks are based exclusively on his sketches. “Literally he draws with makeup”,  Philips said of Lagerfeld’s habits to use lip pencils and powders instead of pens and crayons. “He also made a really strong eyebrow” so Philips opted for a “smoky brow” instead of a smoky eye, applying the darker brown shades from Chanel’s forthcoming Les 4 Ombres eye shadow quad in Mystere. “It looks a bit futuristic with the set and the theme of the show”, Philips continued, describing the impressive build-out inside the Grand Palais as a “destroyed movie theater with elements of sci-fi”.The usual Philips’s lack of nail color was apparent as well, allowing the new hot trend to steal the thunder; Knuckle rings encircled the models’ fingers, creating a whole new form of art.

Another touch of bling was given to the hairstyles as well, as Sam McKnight chose crystal-encrusted demi-lunesto sit above themodels’ long ponytails.”It’s a Grace Jones flat-top”, McKnight said of the front half of the dual-sectioned updo, which in some cases resembled the 1950s rockabilly style, “with a huge element of Karl in there as well. Using just models’ natural hair—no extensions, the coiffeur admitted that he had chosen the labor-intensive path. “Wigs are easy; this is very difficult”.



Val Garland chose to actually interpret the China references that coloured Giambattista Valli’s Fall Couture collection. “It’s all about porcelain figurines —patterns on porcelain and crockery—so I wanted the skin to feel very alabaster, to make the models look like they’ve got super-skin”, the makeup artist said, inadvertently coining the perfect descriptor for the impossibly flawless, paled-out complexions that were heavy on the highlights and not much else. “You’ve got to use a serum first,” she advised of the kind of beautifully bare effect she was after (info: she used Josie Maran’s Argan Oil as a base for MAC Mineralize Foundation). A dazzling effect was created on the cheeks/nose/Cupid’s bow using a combo of MAC Cream Colour Base in Shell, Luna, and Pearl. “It’s not too innocent”, Garland stressed, focusing on creating an architectural brow instead, which extended toward the temples to give the face structure.

The hairstyle was kept humble as well, with Orlando Pita’s half-up, half-down hairdos reminding us of a classic schoolgirl style. “He sees everything”, Pita said of Valli. The sleek, porcelain theme was aided by some spritzes of Osis Session Finish Extreme Hold Hairspray, for a really sheer effect on the hair. Then, eight of the catwalkers were chosen to be adorned with a series of gold and pewter coronets above the forehead, resulting in a very royal attire.