It’s fall fashion week season around the world, and celebrity makeup artist Suresh helps translate fall beauty trends from New York Fashion Week to try at home now.
Story by Suresh, a New York-based celebrity makeup artist and creative consultant at Suresh Beauty Co.
The Fall/Winter 2014 shows just wrapped at New York Fashion Week and what a season it was! Over-the-top glamour, streamlined minimalism and a return to cool NYC dressing. Reoccurring fashion trends included uncomplicated silhouettes, detailed fabrics and structured outerwear. White, black, navy, and varying shades of grey were very visible.
I don’t work the shows very often these days but I do enjoy attending them. Many of my colleagues work the makeup, hair, and nails at the shows, so I get all the backstage scoop, inspiration ideas, behind-the-scenes photos, etc.
As an artist, I’m always drawn to the more creative makeup looks. The runway is a place of fantasy, and in my opinion, the makeup should be fantasy, too.
Here are some of my picks of the most inventive makeup looks this season.
1. Alexander Wang
The show: Alexander Wang brings downtown cool to a whole new level. The collection this season was almost warrior-like with high-tech fabrics and performance wear incorporated into the clothes. The makeup was definitely one of the more extremes look this season. Lead makeup artist Diane Kendal created stark, ultra-bare faces to contrast the structured hair. Eyebrows were bleached completely so they disappeared into the skin, which was lightly veiled in sheer foundation, while cheekbones and eye creases were contoured with bronzer and a slight sheen was added to high points of face.
Translate the Trend: Bleaching eyebrows to this extreme can be scary! It doesn’t translate to everyday life so well. Lightening up the brows just a shade or two, however, opens up the face. On a recent photo shoot for Harper’s Bazaar, makeup legend Topolino and I bleached supermodel Carolyn Murphy’s brows just about 2 shades up from their natural color. This lightened and brightened up her face tremendously. Use a bleach kit like Jolene and only leave it on for 2-3 minutes. Just be sure to adjust eye makeup coloring to be a touch lighter, too.
Photos: Getty Images/ Stan Honda
2. Bibhu Mohapatra
The Show: Indian-American designer Bibhu Mohapatra brought Tibet to New York this season. With lots of white, black and silver, the collection was truly opulent. To play up the clothes, lead makeup artist Yadim created a metallic trio on the eyes. Burnt red shadow was blended up to full brows, bright green along the lower lash line and vivid gold in the inner corners. Skin was kept light with a sheer foundation and lips were topped with clear gloss.
Translate the Trend: It’s hard to wear metallic eyeshadow up to your eyebrows without it looking a bit dated. To emulate a similar look, I recommend keeping the shadow blended just into the outer crease. Skip the green and just dab a bit of soft gold in the inner corners to create a more approachable eye makeup look.
Photos: Getty Images & Imaxtree/Andrea Adriani
3. Jason Wu
The Show: Jason Wu has become famous for creating ultra-chic clothes for today’s sophisticated woman, but this season he took a bit of a departure. The collection was primarily black. Lots of coats and suits made a dark statement on the runway, punctuated with sheer black dresses that were minimal on the trimmings.
Lead makeup artist, Diane Kendal, created a soft and wearable face. Brows took center stage as they were filled in to the max and straightened off to create a more angular face. A lightweight foundation evened out the skin and a light touch of blush kept the cheeks rosy. Foundation was mixed with lip balm to keep the lips neutral.
Translate the Trend: Overly strong brows can be difficult to pull off in everyday life, especially if you’re going to mess with the shape of them. Aside from the brows, this look is quite user-friendly. I’d say just keep the brows to your natural arch, fill them in just a bit more than usual to create a bold statement and fill lips in with a sheer mauve gloss. Colourless lips in real life read “hello, I’m tired and feeling dead today.” Not cute.
Photos: Getty Images
4. Marc Jacobs
The Show: As one of the most anticipated shows of the season, Marc Jacobs waits until the last day of Fashion Week to shock us into fashion orgasm. This season, he took us to the clouds. The collection was soft, sumptuous, over-sized, and truly luxurious. Very zen.
Lead makeup artist Francois Nars showed a structured but soft eye by bleaching the brows and heavily defining the crease. Gray shadow faded onto the eye and both lash lines were brightened with a touch of soft white. Silvery lip gloss accentuated the lips.
Translate the Trend: As I mentioned before, bleaching the brows can be tricky so only try this out if you want to be daring. To recreate a similar eye, keep the crease color a bit less structured and add a few more coats of mascara. A touch of soft pink blush and bronzer will take this look from “fashion zombie” to “everyday gorgeous.
Photos: Getty Images & Imaxtree/Matteo Scarpellini
5. Rolando Santana
The Show: Rolando Santana’s evolution has been a beautiful one to watch. Each season, the collections grow stronger with a definite point-of-view. This season, Rolando took us downtown where a chic, dark girl lives and parties. A lot of black, body conscious architectural shapes walked down the runway. A mélange of textures were seamlessly folded into one garment without seeming obvious.
Lead makeup artist Romero Jennings created a grungy and cool look for the models. Skin was perfected with a light foundation and cheekbones were contoured with bronzer. Elongated black eyeshadow was pulled up towards the temples, silver glitter was brushed onto eyelids, and eyebrows were exaggerated. This girl is ready for a night out!
Translate the Trend: This look can easily be paired down and dissected for everyday wear. Swap out the black eyeshadow for a rich brown and contain it to the outer crease only. Skip the glitter if you’re not a sparkle girl or dab just a touch of it in the inner eye. Fill in brows but don’t overdo it. Et voila! You’re so nouveau grunge.
Photos: Getty Images/Thomas Iannaccone
6. Thom Browne
The Show: Easily the most avante garde show of New York Fashion Week, Mr. Browne is an insanely creative mind and takes us on a true journey. This season, he took us to a possessed Catholic church full of wicked characters. Gold, black, and gray dominated the runways in a myriad of amazing textures. Lead makeup artist Sil Bruinsma created eerie looks which included khaki gray eyes that looked very ghost-like. Faces were whited out, brows were very elongated, and lips were pale. The look complemented the extreme white hair and exaggerated silhouettes of the couture-like clothes.
Translate the Trend: The only thing you could really walk away with from this look (without looking like a fashion ghost) is the grayish khaki eyeshadow. Even that takes a bit of balance to get correctly as it can be very sad looking if misplaced on the eye. I say it’s best to leave this look to fantasy and not try it at home.
Here are a few more runway looks that were designed to stay on the runway:
Photos: Getty Images/Imaxtree
Suresh is a New York City-based celebrity makeup artist and creative consultant who has worked with Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Elle, Glamour and countless other fabulous publications and clients. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.