Everyone's panties are in a twist about how Chanel sent models down the runway last week in French manicures. (French! Manicures! I kid you not.)
But we're going to get to that (obviously controversial) subject matter in just a moment, because first I want to talk about the makeup and the hair. I think we can at least all agree that it's an improvement upon the bedazzled brows Chanel did for fall 2012. Remember those? Now they were scary.
And yet, there was a point to them still. A super exaggerated point, but it was a clear case of beauty foreshadowing. What Chanel was trying to tell us was that brows are getting stronger and bolder and straighter, which... AHEM... was exactly what I said in this recent post. See? It's like reading the beauty tea leaves.
Now, listen up: the tea leaves this time around (for makeup) are saying it's all about the eyeshadow. And specifically colour (silver), texture (high-shine) and placement (all the way around the eyes and up to the brows).
Go on, have another look:
Apparently this was inspired by Karl Lagerfeld's FLOOR. Yeah. I presume it's silver and shiny, because those were the keywords transmitted to creative director of makeup Peter Philips (a.k.a. Prophet Pete). Then, as per usual, he goes on to translate Karl-speak into something incredible and amazing and totally trendsetting.
I like this better than the blue eye makeup trend, don't you?
Also: if you caught a glimpse of the Chanel fall/winter couture look, then this makeup will be sort of familiar—although this time it's waaay amped up on the shine.
Of course, it's achieved via a new Illusion d’Ombre shade—those wonderful long-wearing cream shadows in a pot—called Platine Précieux. (Not out until March 2013, I'm afraid.) But before that was applied, Pete did three coats (!!) of Inimitable Waterproof Mascara in Black, and traced quite a heavy line with the Stylo Yeux Waterproof in Ebène. The inner rims got enhanced with Le Crayon Khol in Graphite.
On the skin, no blush (taking a cue from these designers?), just Vitalumiere foundation and the tiniest bit of powder on the T-zone... because that shine thing was supposed to apply to skin as well. The lips, too: they're glossed up with Levres Scintillantes in Plaisir on top of Rouge Allure in Gracile.
(Side note: Is Chanel trying to tell us something about lipstick? It's been what, four shows now where they've just done a barely there pink lip? Hmmm...)
Anyway, here's another shot where you can really see how thick the eyeliner is:
Drama! Also check that eyeshadow placement, yo. It's going all the way over to the nose!
The side view is also pretty interesting:
It's certainly a commitment... but I do like how it ends in a "v" at the outer corners. Something different from that rounded Pat McGrath signature shape that's been happening elsewhere a lot. (Here's an example.) And certainly easier to DIY in silver versus a matte black.
Now, moving on from makeup, let's talk hair. Let's talk about the low bun. Let's talk about how I do this all the time at home unintentionally when I'm looping my hair in an elastic to get it off my back. Except I don't have pearl baubles in my elastics. (No fair!)
Anyway, don't mind the hairnets—those are just a backstage thing—and instead focus on these loose, casual, low knots with centre-parted hair at the front:
Sam McKnight went deliberately casual (“kind of like the girls did it themselves"), which I like because it's that dressy makeup/casual hair mix that always looks cool. Seriously, all he did to prep the hair was mist it with a texturizing spray from Frédéric Fekkai. Then he just divided the hair into three sections, and criss-crossed the outer two as if he was about to start a braid, before securing it in an elastic. To finish, the tail just got rolled up and pinned.
We could DO THIS, people!
And now we come to the most important statement of all. I present... the return of the French manicure:
Are you in shock?
I know some peeps were very, very confused and upset. For the record, I'm neither. Not to say "I told you so," but I kind of did. A couple times, actually. Like when Topshop did its F/W '12 show back in the spring, and they were the first brand to take the plunge with the French mani. I warned you here too.
And like I said then, it really shouldn't come as THAT much of a surprise that the pendulum is swinging all the way over to this type of nail look. The world went so crazy over nail art and unconventional colours that the only place to go from there was to scale it all back with a completely nude nail (which incidentally is also a big look coming out of the S/S '13 shows—that and white). It's like a palette cleanse.
And the classic French is the most palette-cleansing nude nail of all! (Need I mention the brows again? They like to make big statements.) Seriously, only Chanel could make these kind of nails cool again. They speak, we listen.
The colours they used were Ballerina (a sheer pink) and a new shade coming out in February called Eastern Light. But you know, you probably already have the supplies at home.
Will you be embracing the French manicure?
What about this extreme eyeshadow look, or the low bun?
Do you think this is a sign that the nail art craze is waning? (And is that a good thing or a bad thing?)