Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos… and the beauty don’ts (Kardashians, I’m looking at you guys)

Malin Akerman at Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2012

Where you sit at Fashion Week is kind of a big deal. If you’re lucky enough to be seated in the front row, that means you are either a Very Important Editor or a celebrity. (Or both, in the case of Anna Wintour.) Just to give you an idea of my ranking, I think when I was at ELLE Canada and attended New York Fashion Week, I was somewhere between row four and Siberia.

I was okay with it.

Anyway, what’s interesting about fashion shows it that there’s just as much action in the front row as on the runway. And unlike red carpet events, where you tend to get a “grown-up prom” type of look (as celebrity hairstylist Danilo called it when I interviewed him today), Fashion Week REALLY raises the style stakes. Let’s take a look at the celebs who attended in New York and London, and see what they’re made of.

DO: Show off your pregnancy glow, like Beyoncé at Rodarte.

Beyonce Knowles at Rodarte Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

I know she always looked good, but did Beyoncé always GLOW like this? Her skin is crazy gorgeous. I’m not sure about the hair (I don’t love the reverse Ombré) and I’m even less sure about the outfit. However, it’s amazing how good skin can make you care less about all of these other things.

DON’T: Wear evening hair and makeup, like Kim Kardashian at Vera Wang.

Kim Kardashian at Vera Wang Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

Good grief! I’m having a hard time understanding why Kim is wearing an evening gown and this much makeup for a daytime fashion show. I’m seriously concerned for her—are these the early signs of some kind of addiction where she can never let us see her with natural-looking makeup?

DO: Try a modern retro look, like Malin Akerman at Tommy Hilfiger.

Malin Akerman at Tommy Hilfiger Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

I love this look so much. So much! Especially the hair, which I’ve just discovered CAN BE DONE AT HOME with a new styling tool by Rowenta. It’s called the Versa Style and there’s a way to use it to get these exact waves, which I think are so much more interesting than the usual boring curls just at the bottom of the hair. I like the makeup too—together it’s sort of a modern retro look that is perfect for fall.

DON’T: Use a chalky lipstick, like Kourtney Kardashian at Alice + Olivia.

Kourtney Kardashian at Alice + Olivia Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

Now here is a perfect example of the wrong nude lip. There are good nudes and there are bad nudes, and this is definitely too pale and chalky to be flattering on Kourtney’s complexion. Her lips basically fade right into her face, and between them and the lashes I don’t even know where to look. Shame, because otherwise this would be cute.

DO: Go for peachy lips ‘n cheeks, like Mandy Moore at Jenny Packham.

Mandy Moore at Jenny Packham Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

Longtime Mandy Moore fan here. (Because she is the woman of 1,000 hairstyles.) It looks like she’s been dipping into Benefit’s Cha Cha Tint, which is a gorgeous coral lip and cheek stain that I reviewed back in June.

DON’T: Try to look older with your makeup, like Taylor Swift at Rodarte.

Taylor Swift at Rodarte Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

But we’ve discussed this before, of course. I kind of like what Taylor did with her hair (hey—at least it’s not EXACTLY the same as usual), but I just feel like this makeup is too much for a 21-year-old. (Heck! It’s too much for a 41-year-old.) Take a cue from Mandy, please, and tone it down.

DO: Try the new silvery eyeshadow trend, like Kristen Stewart at Mulberry.

Kristen Stewart at Mulberry Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

Kristen currently has hair extensions for a movie (Snow White) and I think they look kind of amazing, even though I’m generally anti-hair extensions. There’s something about the contrast of all that dark hair with her porcelain skin and the silvery grey smoked-out eye makeup. Stunning.

DON’T: Do the Middleton sisters eyeliner thing, like Pippa Middleton at Temperley London.

Pippa Middleton at Temperley London Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

Okay. What is UP with the Middletons and their eyeliner habits? Both of them are drawing all the way around in a dark, harsh line that closes off the eyes. I’m starting to think they got permanent tattoos. If not, then I want to run after them with a smudger brush and a bottle of eye makeup remover.

DO: Rock “London hair,” like Sienna Miller at Burberry Prorsum.

Sienna Miller at Burberry Prorsum Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

You know how I have a haircuts folder on my computer? This is going straight in there (along with the dozen other Sienna pics I use as inspiration). I’ve decided to grow my hair out for a while and would love it to look like this—parted in the middle, long layers around the face and that cool, model-esque texture where it has loads of volume but it’s still straight and not at all “done”-looking. Yes, I covet this very much.

DON’T: Emulate ANYTHING about Pamela Anderson at Vivienne Westwood.

Pamela Anderson at Vivienne Westwood Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

So much has gone wrong here, I don’t think I need to go into the details. Except: if you ever feel like your brows are too thick, pull this photo out and stare at it. This is what happens when you go too tweezer-happy.

DO: Look simple and chic, like Rosario Dawson at Temperley London.

Rosario Dawson at Temperley London Spring 2012 Front row at Fashion Week: The beauty dos... and the beauty donts (Kardashians, Im looking at you guys)

So that Fashion Week I attended in New York? Rosario was my major celeb sighting. It was at Calvin Klein, and the paps went crazy when she walked in. Girl knows how to pose! And the thing I admire about Rosario (even if it’s kinda boring from a beauty perspective) is that she can look so amazing with the most uncomplicated hair and makeup. Sigh.

Tell me:

Have you ever attended a fashion show?
Which of these celebs had the best Fashion Week beauty?
Who needs to brush up on their beauty (and fashion) skillz?


Thursday, September 22/2011 at 9:33 pm

oh my lord. closet reader here. i need sienna’s hair! i’ve been looking for a good hair cut as i’ve been growing out my hair and it’s in that sort of hangy-long stage. i am seriously taking this picture to my hairdresser! but i might have to re-dye it too, as i don’t know if i can get away with my roots with this haircut!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:42 pm

You and me both! It’s going to take me at least 6 months to get there but I’m obsessed with this cut. Wishing my bangs would hurry up and grow out!


Thursday, September 22/2011 at 9:39 pm

I don’t understand Pippa’s appeal. I don’t find her pretty at all. Boring hair. Boring makeup. Boring style. ZZZZZZZ


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:43 pm

Preach, sister. Do not understand the Pippa hype AT ALL.


Liz Stanley
Thursday, September 22/2011 at 10:03 pm

Mandy Moore is a pretty girl but terribly boring. Doesn’t look like she even has eyelashes. Yawn.


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:44 pm

Fair enough… but she’s got more style than Pippa right? Right?!?


Liz Stanley
Thursday, September 22/2011 at 10:09 pm

Also yay for kim k finally laying off the bronzer! And I love love love kourtney’s eyebrows. She is gorge and has way better style than kim, although I agree with you assessment here.


Elaine R
Friday, September 23/2011 at 12:52 am

oh dear god. the kardashians need an eyelash intervention. nothing about those eyelashes is attractive. oh god.


Saturday, September 24/2011 at 8:14 pm

Intervention! Eyelashes should NOT reach your eyebrows!


Friday, September 23/2011 at 10:28 am

How stoned does K-Stew look.
I actually really like Taylor’s look here! So fresh faced – very ‘indie’ as the term would have it over here. Beyonce’s hair is AWFUL. I hate the two-toned look, its so trashy when done like this!!!! I mean, if it blended down into dark, it would be nicer, but you can so tell the top layer is blonde and the bottom is brown. Bleugh. Rosario Dawson is STUNNING, in a truly unfair way. I AM SO JEALOUS OF YOU BEING AT FASHION WEEK (month, fortnight, WATEVA) and I will make it there one day!

Huge fan, hyper-hair-colour-aware Thomas xx


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:48 pm

I KNOW you will make it to NYFW, friend!
I’m sorta coming around to Taylor looking indie here… although did you see the head to toe with that dress? I think I know what she was going for but it was a bit of an #indiefail. Beyonce’s whole vibe is sort of borderline tackorella (have you seen her House of Dereon or whatever it is clothing line??) so I feel like she gets away with a lot. Rosario is pretty much untouchable at this point.


Elaine K
Friday, September 23/2011 at 11:35 am

Woah Mandy Moore has aged! She looks so much like Diane Lane here. Both of them are beautiful of course, but she looks much older than her years here.

Regarding the they wear false bottom lashes now too??! Very scary. I can only imagine how strange they look in real life!

And finally, as much as she would probably like to think it herself, Pippa can’t really be compared to the others (and I don’t mean on this site because its all about the makeup and not the celeb status but in magazines, etc) She can’t compete against the actresses and reality stars where their only job is to look good. They hire makeup artists, stylists, and take it very, very seriously I imagine. She needs to get a lesson on eyebrows from her sister too!

Did anyone see the photos Gwyneth released of her getting ready? You can see all her makeup bottles!!


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:51 pm

Do you think? I feel like it’s just her serious expression. She’s still only 27 and I think her skin looks great.
I’m pretty sure the Kardashians use falsies on the top and bottom. Talk about overkill!


Elaine A (TOBeautyReviews)
Friday, September 23/2011 at 12:11 pm

OMG Pam Anderson all sorts of wrong!!!!

I’ve been to a fashion show once in the spring, but nothing with celebrities :P

Kristen Stewart’s look is great although that’s an unflattering pose she was caught in!

My favorite looks from your picks are Malin Akerman and Many Moore. However I cannot stop staring at the Kardashian sister’s freaky lashes!


Friday, September 23/2011 at 1:39 pm

Not loving B’s reverse ombre either though I gotta say I don’t really hate it either. Extension color risks don’t inspire much out of me. Love Malin’s look but that eyeliner corner thing that so many are doing looks too close to eye boogers for me.
Now Kourtney looks like a 1950′s South Beach housewife. I agree Mandy Moore = nothing. Don’t get me wrong I like her and much prefer her style than the hair and lashextensioned, tanned, filled lipped, siliconed chicks but nothing much going on..And I also agree where are they eyelashes?
Agree with Thomas, Taylor’s looking fresh , pretty, retro-ey without looking costumey and looks her.Her makeup would actually be perfection to me if whoever did it would have sprayed some fix + spray after the powder or simply laid off the powder to begin with.
I lust after shiny black hair like Kstew’s. For the ladies lusting after Sienna’s remember those are extension too.
Someone needs to get Pamela Anderson on one of those makeunder shows. You know where they’ll throw all her slutty clothes in the trash, tone down her bleach a bit and tone down her makeup a lot. Because just in case nobody else remembers she was a lovely girl


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:54 pm

Yes agree about Taylor’s skin – if she laid off the powder it would be SO much better.
Okay, and you just burst my bubble about Sienna having extensions. Really?? Because I NEED to be able to achieve that.


Tuesday, October 4/2011 at 8:35 am

Oh yeah I’m positive. I’m a licensed cosmotologist( currently working in another field). But the studying and dissecting hair never goes away. Also I too have a folder of inspiring hair and have a photo taken of Sienna last winter with a very short haircut. I wasthisclose to getting the cut but changed my mind at the last minute. I’ll send it to you if you like.
The thing is this style would totally be doable on her if she let it grow just as it would on you assuming you have medium textured hair that is fairly thick and no more than slightly wavy. Bleaching will help a lot with the volume and I believe you already do that. To get the look without extensions and you’ve got the length and cut, just apply mousse through finger combed only hair and blow dry upside down.Let cool upside down and spray under layers. When you fiip back up it will be too big but should fall to place nicely. Piece up the ends a bit with wax and then leave it alone.


Friday, September 23/2011 at 2:10 pm

Right the Don’ts:
- Middleton sisters eyeliner – The black liner doesn’t do their hazel/green eyes justice. They should do a reddish, coppery-brown to make the eyes pop .

- Pam – I really like her. She has a kind heart, and has worked her ass off. Maybe so hard that she hasn’t realized that the grunge makeup doesn’t translate so well for Fall 2011 season. Is she not aware its all about the brows and mouth?


ana p
Friday, September 23/2011 at 3:28 pm

Yes, HOW does Sienna do it with the hair? The volume at the roots, yet carefree straightness I love and always try and achieve. Advice?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:57 pm

Well according to Denise above they’re extensions. I’m crushed. And then of course I had to google that and guess what I found? (Scroll down to last pic.)


Friday, September 23/2011 at 3:56 pm

OMG! Kristian Stewart looks awesome! I want hair like that. I totally regret the blondish highlights I put in my brown hair this summer. Is it wrong that I’m eying up black hair dye now?


Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Monday, October 3/2011 at 4:58 pm

No! Not wrong! In fact I prefer brown hair with lowlights instead of highlights. It’s more natural looking – check out this article from the spring:


Friday, September 23/2011 at 6:50 pm

Good god why does Kristin Stewart ALWAYS look like she has been drugged, that girl needs to open here freaking eyes and smile. Can not stand her.


Wednesday, September 28/2011 at 4:17 pm

THE BEST tool for creating waves is the “Hot Tools Ceramic Tourmaline Deep Waver”. I have tried everything, and this really creates that perfect mermaid wave or if you want a more retro look just brush them out for perfectly smooth luscious waves!


Bri C
Friday, February 3/2012 at 9:06 pm

This is an older post, but I came across it and just have to ask: How is the “modern retro look” sported by Malin Akerman different from the look Taylor Swift has? I’m not a fashion-anything, so I’m not trying to be snobby. I just don’t see the difference. Is it just our own knowledge of age? Or is it the occasion to which these women are wearing these styles?


Saturday, February 4/2012 at 6:34 pm

Pesonally, i loved kourtney lips!! it has this nude,but gloss to it that makes it look so chic and girly! i love love lovee te nude lips look on her, but the kardashian lashes :/ not so much, when did exotic lashes become cute…???


Saturday, February 11/2012 at 1:27 am

Agree with everything but the Swifty comment, I looooved Taylor’s look here!


Leave a Comment

Sites that link to this post