5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

Elie Saab - Haute Couture SS12 makeup

Time for a break from all the red carpet coverage—did you know that Paris Couture Week just wrapped? It’s like the little teaser enroute to the main event (Ready to Wear, which kicks off in New York next Thursday). Except with couture, everything is entirely hand-made and there is an inverse relationship between how much it costs (upwards of $25,000 per piece) and how often you can realistically wear it (I don’t know about you, but my social life just doesn’t have a role for ginormous floral headpieces).

But… surprise! The hair and makeup was a whole other story. Usually it’s a spectacle—as over-the-top attention-grabbing as the clothes—but this time around, I’d actually wear these looks, and that’s saying something. Think pretty lashes, faux bobs, bronzey eyes and smudgy liner. Come and get inspired…

So let’s start with Givenchy. When it comes to piercings, this nose ring is THE piece to invest in this season.

Givenchy Haute Couture SS12 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

Just kidding! Obviously I can only endorse the 25-pound earrings. Maybe that’s why this model looks so pale.

Okay, let’s be serious now. SERIOUS BEAUTY BIDNESS COMING UP.

Look #1: The faux bob at Dior

Christian Dior Haute Couture SS12 hair 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

For me this was easily the prettiest show, mostly because of the hair, but the makeup (by Pat McGrath) was obvi not too shabby either. Hair first: Orlando Pita prepped it with a liquid hair plumper before combing it into a deep side part and curling the ends under. I actually wrote a post in 2010 with a quickie faux bob how-to, so head on over here if you need more deets. I love that one, giant, bouncy curl at the front—so pretty.

(To copy the makeup, do some wingy black liquid liner, tons of mascara and some rosy pink cheeks and lips. Check out this post if you need help perfecting your cat-eye lining technique.)

Look #2: Blue kohl liner at Chanel

Chanel Haute Couture SS12 makeup 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

For this show, Karl Lagerfeld’s direction to Chanel creative director Peter Philips was BLUE, but in a way that the models “don’t look like stewardesses.” Enter kohl liner, in navy instead of the more common black. I’ve been in the habit of using a regular navy eyeliner on the lower waterlines only, but this is completely different, and I think I likey. It’s a much thicker line, it goes all the way around the eye and it’s slightly smudgy. Totes appropriate for evening.

The prodz used were Le Crayon Khol Intense Eye Pencil in Marine and Le Crayon Yeux Precision Eye Pencil in Blue Aerien, along with Illusion d’Ombre Long Wear Luminous Eyeshadow in Apparition (a grey-blue) through the crease and Destination (a silver-blue) along the brow bone and at the inner corners.

Look #3: Sleek, straight, half-up hair at Stephane Rolland

Stephane Rolland Haute Couture SS12 hair 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

I know, I know, this hair isn’t exactly groundbreaking. But after seasons of textured, tousled ‘dos, they did finally throw us straight-haired peeps a bone, and for that I say thank you. Can you believe this is couture?

Anyway, I’m guilty of constantly wearing my long, straight hair in the most boring side-parted style evah, but just pulling back the front section like this is très appealing in a same-but-different kind of way. Just make sure you’ve blow-dried it sleek but with a bit of volume, and maybe flat-ironed the ends. Then, create a part on either side of the section you want to pull back, and comb it back so it’s tight to the head. I’ve got no idea what they used to secure the sections at this show, but I’m a fan of these:

Goody Jenna Barrettes 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

They’re the Jenna barrettes from Goody, and a backstage fave.

Look #4: Bronze smokies at Versace

Versace Haute Couture SS12 makeup 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

Oh, Lindsay Wixson, how I’ve missed you. (I Cannot.Wait for NYFW to start.) Anyhoo, this was another Pat McGrath achievement, and typical Versace in that it’s glam, glam, glam.

I don’t have a how-to for this one, so I can’t tell you which prodz she used, but let’s take note of a couple of things. First, the shading—there’s a brown shadow over the entire lid, but then a deep, dark hue extends up toward the outer edges of the brows and underneath the lower lashes. Note the rounded shape. Finally—obviously—the gold shimmer at the inner corners makes the entire look. There’s so much happening with the eye makeup that you want to go easy with lips and cheeks, and consider just pulling your hair back into a sleek pony.

Look #5: Spiky lashes at Elie Saab

Elie Saab Haute Couture SS12 makeup 5 runway beauty looks from Paris Couture Week that actually work for real life (hooray!)

HELLO lashes. Clearly, that whole trend I’ve been talking about (you know, chunky, spidery lashes) isn’t going anywhere. Here, it looks like individual lashes were adhered to the upper and lower lids for a slightly wider-spaced and spiky look. Suck it Kardashians, because these are the kind of falsies that I could get behind. The effect is sort of doll-like yet still very natural, especially with the full brows.

The lipstick is also worth noting. I love it in this pic—it’s an unapologetic bubblegum pink—but in some of the runway shots, it read pretty frosty. Proceed with caution.

Tell me:

Which of these couture looks is your fave?
Any that you might you actually try in real life?
Have you ever tried a faux bob, used kohl liner or done individual false lashes?


Liz Stanley
Thursday, February 2/2012 at 1:49 pm

Omg!!! The bad skin in look 4 totes distracts from the look! I looove the faux bob, the lashes, and blue kohl liner…will try all!


Thursday, February 2/2012 at 8:29 pm

The bronze smokey eye is stunning, I just love it!! Like Liz, I noticed the model’s skin…but found it kind of refreshing that the model wasn’t perfect…especially because I think she looks great!


Thursday, February 2/2012 at 8:30 pm

P.S. Yay for full brows!! All the models have ‘em.


Friday, February 3/2012 at 2:36 am

The Elie Saab look is beautiful, the model looks like an asian Natalie Portman there.


Friday, February 3/2012 at 4:28 am

I really love the Dior makeup, have you seen the nail polish the models were wearing? Love it a lot.
As for Versache eyes, I like wearing such look for a night out :)


Friday, February 3/2012 at 12:22 pm

Love #1 & 2 (never thought I’d like blue eyeliner… again).

But sorry, the “clumps of visible spider legs” effect on the lower lashes of #5 freak me out. People would bad-stare in real life.


Saturday, February 4/2012 at 1:28 pm

Loving these looks, esp the Lindsey Wixon Versace eyes. All models have nice full brows, although a little extra tweezing and trimming wouldn’t hurt.


Saturday, February 4/2012 at 11:06 pm

I am in love with the spiky lashes! :)


Sunday, February 5/2012 at 5:46 pm

Those Goody pins are amaze. My lob isn’t quite long enough to get all my hair into a high-ish ponytail so I use them to catch the stray hairs. The gold one blends in really well with my hair (or at least I think it does…it’s on the back of my head so it’s hard to say!) and I’ve used a tortoiseshell-y one to sweep my bangs off my face. They always stay in place.

Love the first pic – her skin is amaze. Love that rosy cheek/dark lash combo.


Friday, February 10/2012 at 3:38 pm

I loved Lindsey Wixon, and now I love her even more! It’s nice to know the models also have to deal with the same problems we do! And she is still stunning! Suddenly, I feel so much better about my skin!

I also love the brows! This is one step further than full brows. They seem a little undone. I LIKE IT!

My one critique would be some of the models’ lips screaming for some moisturizing.

For once, what I get out of this isn’t new looks I’m eager to try! No it’s slighly more self-confidence and mostly, increased faith in the beauty world!


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