The annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show took place this week, and forget the lingerie—I'm much more interested in how the Angels styled themselves for the after-party!
For as long as this blog has existed, I've droned on about how much I admire the VS models' beauty esthetic, which usually involves some combination of fresh skin, flushed cheeks, glossy lips, long lashes and luscious hair. This event was no exception, with some of the prettiest looks of 2014 gracing the red... er, pink carpet. (I'm also now convinced that everyone should be surrounded by pink walls, always. How flattering is this backdrop, huh?!)
Here are all the night's hair and makeup looks, starting with the models and then moving on to celebs like Taylor Swift, Olivia Palermo and more...
My God, this hair! The colour, the length, the texture—I want it all. Also love Karlie's flushed cheeks, dewy skin and pinky-berry lips (too bad about the cold sore). Even the false lashes are pretty decent. But what do we think of her brows, guys? They're very, very natural—much more unruly than ever before—and I'm actually in favour. You?
Holiday beauty tip: Recreate these waves with an iron like the T3 SinglePass Whirl. And put down the tweezers!
I'm also blown away by Alessandra, who wore her hair straight and centre-parted, with the subtlest tone-on-tone highlights. See how they're concentrated around her face to add a glow and the illusion of width? Such a clever way to use colour. She's also rocking au naturel brows, plus pink lips and cheeks. We usually see Alessandra in a more neutral/nude makeup palette (and with her colouring, you'd think that would be best), but these shades are surprisingly flattering.
Holiday beauty tip: Use a straightener like my fave Chi Ceramic Flat Iron to get this sleek hair finish. Try Sonia Kashuk's Enchanted lip stain for a similarly pinky gloss, and try slightly overdrawing it on the Cupid's bow.
Sometimes, the VS models change it up and wear their hair tied back and sleek, like Candice. (I suppose when you have such well-proportioned features, why not show them off?) With the drama of the hair and the low-cut dress, she doesn't need to try too hard with the makeup, keeping the focus on her sparkling blue eyes with some subtle false lashes, black liquid liner and a beautiful shimmer highlight at the inner corners.
Holiday beauty tip: Add some RMS Beauty Living Luminizer at the inner corners of your eyes for a pretty, shimmering highlight.
Gorgeous as she is, I'm a little underwhelmed by Lily's beauty look here... or it might just be because she's not smiling. I do love her simple updo (definitely the right choice for her long, cutaway gown) and the natural skin texture. This is kinda like model makeup 101. They can get away with so much less of it than most of us!
Holiday beauty tip: Try a lighter-weight foundation to let your real skin show through. I like Make Up For Ever Face & Body Liquid Makeup, which is very thin, sheer and buildable.
Look, Behati is totally channelling Gisele's signature hair colour and texture. Even though I'm more a fan of brushed-out textures and blunter ends these days, this is still sexy as hell. Again, we've got natural brows and a natural skin texture—the makeup statement being rock 'n' roll liner in the waterlines, with the same flushed lips and cheeks as Alessandra.
And now, let's move on to see how the non-model guests did their beauty, starting with Taylor...
Too much! As per usual, Taylor went heavy on the lips AND the eyes, and it's so different to the low-key Victoria's Secret beauty we were just talking about. Yes, I get that they are models, so can get away with less, but Taylor's look still feels way overdone. Isn't Karlie her BFF? Couldn't she get some tips? I think if she wanted the red lip, we needed a cleaner eye, eg. just a thin swipe of liquid liner.
Holiday beauty tip: The old rule about choosing to emphasize lips or eyes, not both, is still relevant. Just choosing one feature is easier and more effortless-looking.
I don't care too much for the eye makeup (it's a tad heavy), but Olivia's hair, yet again, is spectacular. It seems blonder than we just saw it at the British Fashion Awards... did she lighten it? I'm somewhat fascinated by the extreme bedhead texture going on here. Suddenly, wind-blown hair is not a problem but a deliberate part of a look!
Holiday beauty tip: Flip your head upside down and shake your hair with your fingers. Voilà, instant bedhead style.
Oh, man. This pink blush is way too heavy—and yet, I'm absolutely loving how pink looks on Ellie's colouring. On the lips, too. The false lashes are a bit overpowering, and as I mentioned the other day, I'm unclear on the brow situation. Why are they being overdrawn in that rounded shape?
Holiday beauty tip: You don't have to go this strong to get the flattering glow of a pink cheek and lip combo. I love Lipstick Queen Oxymoron Open Secret (with a layer of gloss on top of the lips).
Hmm, I'm not sure this is quite the right foundation shade for Daisy—it seems a bit too pink? Otherwise, love the idea of a rosy-goldy shimmer on the lids to match the lips. And the loose, touchable waves with the strapless dress.
Holiday beauty tip: Copy this eye look with a wash of Bobbi Brown Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow in Rose Gold.
Millie, step away from the spray tanner. I'm pretty sure that's what's happening here, and I think she's gone way too dark. Her skin would look so much fresher au naturel, and it would also show off the red lipstick and her eye colour a lot better.
Holiday beauty tip: Instead of a spray tan, try going for a more ethereal, luminous glow. Chanel Le Blanc is an illuminating base that creates a lit-from-within look underneath your makeup.
Well, I'm sure those of you who noticed Mollie's unnaturally yellow complexion at the British Fashion Awards will be more pleased this time around. Thankfully, her face matches her neck now, and there's no sign of the heavy contouring. In fact, her skin looks pretty amazing here—fresh yet matte. Alas, I think her hair is too blonde for her skin tone.
Holiday beauty tip: My favourite skin perfector right now is Joe Fresh Universal CC Cream, which you can apply over or under makeup to subtly mattify, diffuse the light and hide pores and imperfections. It really works!
Rochelle looks super-pretty and festive here, combining two of my fave holiday makeup ideas: a bright red matte lipstick, and a shimmery rose gold shadow. Makes for an interesting contrast of textures, and the latter is a great way to add another dimension to the makeup without the heaviness of a smoky eye.
Holiday beauty tip: Try NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Dragon Girl for a similar blue-toned matte red.
I'm torn on Rosie here. On the one hand, I love the colour peach for her skin tone, hair and eyes. But like Ellie, she's been way too heavy-handed with the blush application. I also think her brow pencil could be a better match, and I wouldn't have drawn the shape so arched—the trend is towards straighter brows now. But I do love the hair flipped to one side, with height at the top.
Holiday beauty tip: The "swoosh" hairstyle, achieved by flipping the hair over on its opposite side, is a quickie way to get glamour and volume. For a peachy blush like this, try new Benefit Majorette.
I'm afraid this is what they call a scrolldown fug. There is so very much here to digest with Vanessa, and none of it is positive. (And yet... I live for makeup looks like this. So fascinating to me how they even happen.) Extreme contouring and highlighting, purple and pink Ombré lips, reverse purple smoky eyes, and eyelashes too over-the-top for even a Kardashian. How did she not stop at one of these elements? I'm in awe of how the makeup just kept getting piled on and on and on...
Holiday beauty tip: Avoid, avoid, avoid.
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Have Your Say
What do you think of the Victoria's Secret models' beauty looks? What about the other guests? Anything here you want to copy for holiday party season?