As much as I love checking out all the beauty looks that celebrities are wearing, it's the runway—not the red carpet—where most trends are really born. (And before that, it's often the street. Welcome to the beauty circle of life.)
Now that New York Fashion Week has come to a close, I've had some time to reflect on all the beauty ideas emerging for spring—although of course, we don't have to wait that long. We can start wearing them right now! And honestly? This is one of the most eclectic and creative seasons in memory, and I'm super-excited about all of these looks.
I've narrowed it down to 10 key trends that you should start looking out for. Some may seem extreme in their runway form (hello, Rodarte!), but remember that everything is exaggerated to the extreme on the catwalk.
From bright shadow colours to natural nail art, here's your New York beauty briefing:
1. Bare-Faced Beauty
Marc Jacobs sent his models out with NO makeup, save for concealer and lip balm. And I have to laugh, because only in fashion could the makeup artist decide he's not going to work, and still get paid!
But the broader message here is that real skin is IN. In seasons past it was all about matte or dewy, but always perfected with foundation, concealer and powder. Now, it's more about being real. And I think that's a great trend to embrace. (Certainly, it's more achievable!)
Besides MJ, this look was also seen at 3.1 Phillip Lim and Alexander Wang. At those shows, the makeup played with light and contour so that the skin was bare, but still sculpted. A great product that I like for this trend is the new NARS Contour Blush... it's very tone-on-tone.
Also note that many a show this season featured ZERO mascara. Can't say I'm excited about that one...
2. Graphic Liner
Graphic liner isn't a new trend—it's been around for a few seasons now—but it's still going super-strong. This year, it's appearing not only in the expected basic black (at Cushnie et Ochs), but also a rainbow of colours, and even white (at Nanette Lepore).
I can't say I recall seeing graphic liner in white before, but it's a pretty cool way to try out a bolder eye without committing to an actual colour. You wouldn't need to go as extreme as shown here—just a skinny flick of liner along the upper lash line would be perfect. Or if you're feeling bolder, get inspired by the gorgeous graphic blue cat eyes at Honor. Dior has a new liquid liner in the most amazing hot pink, purple and blue shades that would be great for this!
Something else to note are the shapes themselves. They're getting thicker and bolder. Even in black at Cushnie et Ochs, the liner dipped down at the inner tear ducts, went right up to the crease, and extended out diagonally to the outer edges of the brows. So maybe if you're not comfortable with white or colour, you could try gettin' a bit bolder with the shape in black. The Benefit They're Real Push-Up Liner is good for covering large surface areas.
3. Nearly-Naked Nails
Nail art may not be dead just yet, but it definitely took a backseat to nearly-naked nails this season. I think the definitive manicure was at DKNY, where models wore a couple different sheer polishes underneath a matte top coat. The effect is SO chic. Somehow, the matte elevates the manicure so it feels like a deliberate choice—not like you just couldn't be bothered to groom your nails.
I would definitely recommend investing in a matte top coat this season. (Dolce & Gabbana's is by far the most luxe!) Combine it not with your brightly-coloured polishes, but your sheer nude and barely-there pink ones. Think "mannequin hands" and you can't go wrong.
4. Bold Brows
In past seasons, there's usually been a key lip trend—you might recall the crazes for orange, hot pink or classic red. This time, the focus has truly shifted north, up to the eyelids and brows. (But not so much the lashes, which is... interesting.)
I'm a major bold brow convert, so I'm really happy that they continue to be key on the face. (That Katy Perry video had me worried for a minute.) Rodarte's faux piercings and Badgley Mischka's bright colours were the two most important brow looks this time; the latter would be super-fun to imitate for the right occasion. I would try Stila's waterproof eyeliner in Peacock or Jade; it's on the drier side, similar to a brow pencil, so is less likely to move around.
For day-to-day real life, however, I'd look to the Cushnie et Ochs brow—natural but bold—for a more wearable interpretation. Can't wait to tell you about the Maybelline product they used, Brow Drama, which comes out next month!
5. Face Jewellery
Okay, this one is NOT for the office. But we're continuing to see designers play with little appliqués and embellishments—I'll just call it "face jewellery." Two examples are the metallic stars shown here at A Détacher, and of course, the Rodarte "piercings" fall into this category, too.
Chanel was actually the first out of the gates with this trend, as they came out with little double-C logo stickers a couple years ago that were both on the runway and for sale at Chanel counters. Alas, they were limited-edition...
These things are "out there" beauty looks for sure, but I think we're going to start seeing more tiny decorative details to incorporate in our makeup. Sephora's velvet eyeliner appliqués are sort of along these lines, but who knows, beauty brands might come out with tiny crystals, stars or other such things in the future! They would be wicked cool for holiday parties.
6. Bold Eye Colour
You've probably sensed this one coming. After we all explored every shade known to woman on our lips in the last few years, it only made sense to start playing with colour on the eyelids.
Like I said, this one isn't so much about lashes, or even the lash lines. It's about broad sweeps of colour over most (or all) of the lids. I loved the bright blue executions at Dannijo, Delpozo and Honor, although they're not for the faint-hearted. Make Up For Ever's Aqua Matic pencils (formerly Aqua Shadow) are great for getting budge-proof colour on the lids, and what I would use to achieve these looks. The Iridescent Turquoise would be ah-maz-ing.
- Dannijo Spring 2015 makeup
- Honor Spring 2015 makeup
- Derek Lam Spring 2015 makeup
- Delpozo Spring 2015 makeup
7. Negative Space Nail Art
Related to the naked nail trend is a new movement in nail art. It's all about incorporating bare nails—"negative space"—into the nail art design. Whereas in nail art's infancy, you had to fiddle around with multiple colours, these designs feature one, maximum two nail polish colours. So it's a heck of a lot easier to achieve, and I think it looks cooler as well.
Some of the common themes included painting the half moons (at Delpozo), or leaving them bare and painting the rest of the nail (at Charlotte Ronson). At Clover Canyon, the half moons were emphasized by taking nail polish away (using a dotting tool and then going over the line with a brush dipped in acetone).
Things got even simpler at Dion Lee, where just a simple stripe of metallic went up one side of a bare nail. And at Sophie Theallet, it was the tips that got adorned in a double row of colour against a bare nail bed. Basically, anything goes, as long as there's some bare nail showing.
- Delpozo Spring 2015 nails
- Sophie Theallet Spring 2015 nails
- Dion Lee Spring 2015 nails
- Charlotte Ronson Spring 2015 nails
- Clover Canyon Spring 2015 nails
8. Knotted Hair
Knots showed up in various forms on the runway, from sculptural ponytails at Carolina Herrera to half-back 'wet-look' adornments at Thakoon. But by far the prettiest version—the one we'd all actually wear in real life—was above, at Zero + Maria Cornejo.
The message here is to play with knots and loops in your hairstyles. It doesn't have to be complicated, but think about not pulling the hair all the way through, whether it's a tiny section detail, half-up hair or a ponytail.
9. Matte, Stained Lips
On the celebrity front, I've been banging on about shiny, goopy lip textures for a while now—I don't like them. So these Spring 2015 shows give me hope, because I'm not seeing much at all here in terms of sheen. The lips had a distinctively matte, stained quality across the board.
Also check out Altuzarra, where the look was more doll-like, in a soft pink, and had the perfect no-shine texture.
10. Pompadour Hairstyles
I've been calling this hairstyle "the swoop" and "volume at the part." You could also call it a pompadour, of sorts.
Anyway, designers like Zac Posen, above, Peter Som, Suno and Proenza Schouler all showcased it—albeit with wet textures that I think we can safely leave to the catwalk only.
I would definitely think about trying this; all you basically need to do is flip your hair onto the opposite side and use a good can of hairspray such as John Frieda's to make it hold. See here for my real-life interpretation of this style and a step-by-step.
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What do you think of these New York Fashion Week trends?
Which ones are you the most/least excited about?