London Fashion Week AW18 Beauty Report

Sunday, February 18th 2018 0

With MAC Cosmetics, NARS and Bobbi Brown

Here are some of my favourite photos and finds from a weekend backstage at London Fashion Week. This season was all about empowering women and reviving the bold statements made in the 80's.

Ryan Lo  

Isamaya Ffrench using MAC Cosmetics

This was definitely one of my more memorable fashion week beauty stops because our models were mannequins. Isamaya taught us the importance and strength of Duo Adhesive because make-up was applied to the mannequins but they had to come back completely clean.

Clean and simple, the look was 2 sets of No.7 eyelashes and lots of MAC Glitter in Red.

Ryan Lo AW18 MAC Isamaya Ffrench

Ryan Lo AW18 MAC Isamaya Ffrench

sketch london toilet

Marian Newman using CND Vinylux

Marian said that the nails for this show were all about creating juxtapositions. The cleanliness of the nail drew regal influences, think Princess Anne or Princess Margaret, where the colours themselves were completely eccentric.

Ryan Lo AW18 CND MArian Newman

Though she created several nail looks, there was a holographic theme throughout and each pattern contained stars in some context. One of my favourite looks was this iridescent pastel nail, and I also loved what she called ‘the cuff’, a nude nail with a rose gold accent.

Ryan Lo AW18 CND MArian Newman

Ryan Lo AW18 CND MArian Newman

“You don’t have to stick to what people tell you to stick to. Wear whatever makes you happy regardless of the season.”

Ryan Lo AW18 CND MArian Newman

J W Anderson

Aaron de Mey using NARS Cosmetics

Aaron wanted to create a series of baby Brooke Shields for this show. He said that statement eyebrows were the key for this look, with nothing too overtly cosmetic. Brows were pushed up in a way that was quite boyish and almost handsome looking.

NARS JW Anderson AW18

Aaron felt that the current brow trend was very precise. We see so much on Instagram adding concealer below and above the lines to create that very angled shape; he want this to be anti- that. Instead, he used the brand new Brow Perfectors to add natural looking definition, launching this autumn.

NARS JW Anderson AW18

NARS JW Anderson AW18

For skin, he used foundation for the very first time: the new Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation. The aim was to create a velvety, clear complexion, taking away any under eye circles and any high colouring.

NARS JW Anderson AW18

One of the artists on the team, @EmelieFritzdorf, had the most immaculately organised kit. I was mesmerised.

NARS JW Anderson AW18

She said she found a store in New York called The Container Store and got lots of great boxes for her kit, plus she has a label maker for everything.

NARS JW Anderson AW18

Toga

Sada Ito using NARS Cosmetics

Barely there beauty was the statement from Sada Ito, NARS Global Artistry Director. “The make-up look this season is fresh, polished skin with a strong eyebrow. It’s all about confidence!”

NARS JW Anderson AW18

Take note of this make-up kit featuring two new NARS palettes, Mahe eyeshadow quad and Silver Screen eyeshadow quad, both launching this autumn. (Can both be seen bottom right.)

NARS quad mahe silver screen

Lulu Guinness

Sam Chapman and Nicola Chapman of Pixiwoo with Amy Conway for Bobbi Brown Cosmetics

Putting Sam, Nic, Amy and Bobbi Brown into a creative equation is just mind blowing for me because I love all four of them. I was so excited to see this look because this show is the very first that Bobbi Brown as a brand have done since Bobbi herself has left them.

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

Arriving to a red colour-pop explosion, I was delighted to see such a bold make-up look for Lulu Guinness. Inspired by 80’s party girls and a disco revival, the look was a vibrant glam inspired by the likes of Desperately Seeking Susan.

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

Talking me through the look, Nicola noted how much she loves the Bobbi Brown skincare range and said that thorough skincare prep was essential. “The Hydrating Face Cream is a great moisturiser for make-up to sit on top of. It makes your foundation sit beautifully.”

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

On the eyes and cheeks, the team took an Art Stick in Sunset Orange. They created a kind of spotlight smoky eye look, adding redness to the inner and outer corners of the eye and leaving the middle bare, even pressing some concealer to the centres of the eyes to emphasise that naked space.

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

Art Sticks are almost like a lipstick consistency but in a chubby pencil form (one of my favourite ever BB products, just saying) so to set this in place the team took blush in Apricot all around the red areas. The girls said this look was “sore but loved” and wanted it to say “I’ve had a great time.”

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

Naturally I wanted to look in Sam and Nic’s kit, and what was this in Sam’s brush bag? This little green Real Techniques brush was small and domed. It looks like it could make a great concealer brush or smaller detail brush for complexions.

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

Zoe Irwin using GHD Hair

Emulating the 80’s and the trend for perms, Zoe used the GHD Creative Curl Wand to make tight, bouncy curls for each model.

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

Zoe told us that back in the day, techniques were different for building volume with curls. “People used to twist it all forward to give exaggerated height and width, moving all the way to the crown.” Zoe twisted sections of hair before wrapping it around the wand, a technique she said would help to give longevity to your curls.

Bobbi Brown Lulu Guinness Pixiwoo AW18

The key to creating a long lasting style? “People make the mistake of using too much hairspray as their main hold. Prep the hair with product at the beginning and dry it into the hair, then mist lightly with hairspray from a distance.”

After going backstage, I went to see the presentation itself. I loved the positive messages Lulu had left to be found in small places!

Lulu Guinness AW18

Lulu Guinness AW18

Halpern

Isamaya Ffrench using MAC Cosmetics

One of my favourite looks from the week, walking backstage at Halpern was like wandering into an iridescent unicorn wonderland. The inspiration was a late 70’s, early 80’s glam rock girl, capturing the sparkly iridescence of the clothing.

halpern aw18 isamaya ffrench mac cosmetics

Isamaya used MAC Cosmetics Extra Dimension Skinfinish powders all over the eyes and cheeks as a base for each look. If you’ve never tried these, they’re beautiful as highlighters or mixed into blusher as they give a very luminous finish but with a sheer texture.

halpern aw18 isamaya ffrench mac cosmetics

halpern aw18 isamaya ffrench mac cosmetics

In addition to luminous eyes, skin was super glowing thanks to a brand new and unreleased complexion product, Dazzle Drops. If you know the MAC Lustre Drops, super pigmented and almost metallic in finish, these are almost similar but with a bit more sparkle to them. Each model wore Studio Waterweight Foundation with some Lustre Drops mixed into it to give exaggerated glow.

MAC Cosmetics Dazzle Drops

There were around different colour ways for this look in the show, however Isamaya said that they did not use any strict rules to create this ethereal look, they simply went with what they felt looked nice. I caught up with Lesley from MAC backstage and she showed me a few of the different colour configurations she had used.

halpern aw18 isamaya ffrench mac cosmetics

halpern aw18 isamaya ffrench mac cosmetics 

Robbie using OPI

Using OPI nail varnish in Girl Without Limits, Robbie created a dirty pink, blunt square nail for this show. He said that the team wanted something that wasn’t quite bright pink and wasn’t quite baby pink but sat somewhere in between.

OPI Girl Gone Wild

These “ghetto” nails gave a nod to the set of the show, which was set in a graffitied lair in Soho with pink plastic everywhere to look like a crime scene. The nails are jarring against this backdrop, and the texture has an infinite shine like the clothes and the make-up.

halpern aw18

Gareth Pugh

Val Garland using MAC Cosmetics

Gareth Pugh was the show I was most excited for this season, because every element of his show is part of such a story. Val said that Gareth was inspired by an old Dior campaign she had done the make-up for many years ago, featuring sweaty, oily skin. Think car mechanics and dirty girls.

Gareth Pugh AW18 Val Garland

Gareth Pugh AW18 Val Garland

To create this bold look, each artist used their own techniques and product. Val mapped hers out with some Chromacake, built texture with a Paint Stick, then went back in again with some gloss so that the whole thing looked like glass.

Gareth Pugh AW18 Val Garland

Also spotted backstage: new and upcoming MAC Fix + Matte. I feel like this will fly from the shelves when it launches!

Gareth Pugh AW18 Val Garland

Marian Newman using CND Vinylux

Marian told us that she loves working with Gareth and has done so for around 8 years. Unlike lots of designers who start from scratch with new ideas each season, she loves that Gareth evolves an original idea and moves it onwards and onwards. This season, she tells us that clothes are incredibly strong and powerful, creating an exaggerated silhouette with larger shoulders than ever seen before. This collection is for a “business woman who’s a bit slutty in the evening, maybe even a dominatrix”.

Gareth Pugh AW18 Marian Newman CND

Her nail vibe for this show was a disconnected tip. With several different styles, this was all about merging textures and disconnections.

Gareth Pugh AW18 Marian Newman CND

This lacquered black was my favourite, created by moulding gel into shapes and painting over it with black. To take it from “runway to real way” as Marian put it, you can create a similar effect using black bin bags. “Take a wet polish or adhesive and crumple it up. It won’t last long, but it will last for a night out.”

Gareth Pugh AW18 Marian Newman CND

There was some leopard print in the collection so Gareth wanted this in the nails with the idea “let’s make it cool again.” These nails were matte and each different nail in this show had a different texture: glossy, bitty, chunky glitter, gloop, you name it.

Gareth Pugh AW18 Marian Newman CND

Ashley Williams

Thomas de Kluyver using MAC Cosmetics

 Thomas was very inspired by the equality movements we are seeing so much of today, creating an 80’s inspired look that captured how women felt during this time. Rather than hiding behind a mask, he felt that women in the 80’s used make-up to feel empowered and to free an onstage persona. Siouxie Sioux was one of his key reference points. “This is make-up you’re wearing to feel amazing.”

ashley williams aw18 thomas de kluyver mac cosmetics

The base was white to create a fluorescent skin finish, with Red Brick eyeshadow all over the eyes, blending into Peony Petal pink blush on the cheeks. “It might not necessarily be for every day but I love pink and red together. There’s something elegant about it even though it’s punk.”

ashley williams aw18 thomas de kluyver mac cosmetics

For a more theatrical make-up look, Thomas prefers the MAC Beauty Blender sponges over fingers because it helps to create a very even application.

ashley williams aw18 thomas de kluyver mac cosmetics

Also spotted backstage: Rachel and Dominic from MAC <3 the dream team.

ashley williams aw18 thomas de kluyver mac cosmetics

This was probably my favourite fashion week to date, with lots of artists mentioning powerful women as their muses. It felt like a really positive and inspiring weekend.

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