London Designers are Channeling Amy Winehouse For Spring

Sharpen your eyeliner and toss out your hair brush.
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Sharpen your eyeliner and toss out your hair brush.

So it's not just Amy Winehouse's music that lives on. Turns out, her beauty signature—heavy winged eyeliner, a beehive bouffant—is going to be a big deal for spring, at least if London designers have anything to do with it. (And even Marc Jacobs was already on to the trend in New York, although his models went for mega-lashes instead of liner.)

No, it's not a natural look. Yes, it's a bit hard-looking. But it doesn't have to be. I think you can definitely modify things for real life, either by thinning out the liner or choosing a softer colour... or with your hair, doing a modest bump at the crown instead of going for gold. The overall message is a return to '50s and '60s beauty, and as a life-long fan of that flicky liner (and as someone who desperately needs the body-building powers of backcombing), I'm happy with this development. Let's take a look!

Statement Eyeliner at Jonathan Saunders

So the inspiration here was apparently "1950s housewife on South Beach." I'm not really sure what that means, but here's the front view:


Wowza! That's a lotta liner. Check out the side view to see the flick. It's a sharp, thick, slightly curved "V" that finishes in a point at the brow.


I'm not suggesting you try this at home... but if you're feeling brave, it was all done using M.A.C Blacktrack Fluidline eyeliner applied with an angled brush. A really good tip for this is to not worry about making the line totally perfect on your first go—if you mess up the pointy area, you can actually wipe it into the perfect angle using a face wipe and/or some foundation on a clean, angled brush.

Brown Cat Eyes at Matthew Williamson

Okay, thankfully the look was a lot softer here. I think what's interesting is that it was done with pretty much the same shape but in a paler colour.


Pretty gorgeous, no? And totally wearable for us civilians. Here's another view:


No word yet on what makeup was used (or who did it), but I'll update this post as soon as I find out. It looks like a bronze with a slight iridescent quality. Loving the bouncy hair as well!

The makeup's by Lisa Eldridge and she has a great vid on her site about this look. The liner is a custom blend of shades from a Japanese brand called Suqqu. (Shimmery chocolate brown with orange to get a “mustard rust.")

Edgy liner at Richard Nicoll

Here's a slightly different take on the liner trend:


Yeah, it's probably not something you want to wear to the office.

Now let's check out how designers paid tribute to Amy's hair.

Mini-Beehives at Christopher Kane

The goal here was to create "a childlike haze of fine hair." (Wow, and that's what I try to get rid of every morning.)


This was done by twisting the hair into loose knots at the nape of the neck (I'm guessing they were placed so as to achieve height at the crown without having to backcomb). Then hairstylist Anthony Turner pulled strands forward from the back with the fingers. (To set: TIGI Catwalk Session Series Salt Spray and Your Highness Root Boost for a matte finish.)

Again, probably too messy for the street, but you might want to try backcombing your next updo. Just lift each section straight up and make three short, quick strokes downward with a paddle brush (like the Mason Pearson). Make sure to leave the uppermost section of hair untouched so that you have a smooth top layer to place on top of the backcombed bits.

Bouffant Hair at Mulberry

The exaggerated crown was a major thing at Mulberry, too, although the models all wore their hair down:


Again, I'm waiting on intel re: how the look was achieved, but don't write off this look completely just yet. See how this model's version is WAY more wearable?


Not saying I'd copy this look for a regular day with my street clothes, but for the right occasion and with the right dress? LOVE.

Final PRO TIP: You probably don't want to be doing both of these things at once—big liner, big hair—because that's maybe just a little too much Amy for anyone.

Tell me:

Do you like the Amy Winehouse beauty look?
Which of these interpretations is your fave?
Are you a pro at flicking out your liner or do you need to practice?