Yes, London Fashion Week was a
whirlwind of amazing outfits but TBH we're still reeling over the makeup looks (we are the beauty dept, after all). Industry leaders Val Garland, Pat McGrath, and Guido Palau brandished their makeup brushes and blowdryers backstage at all of our favorite shows and now we can't wait to try every concept.
Morning-after makeup popped up at several shows, including Shrimps, Ryan Lo, Christopher Kane, and Sophia Webster, who all followed the call of the disco ball with glitter and glimmer. The up-all-night theme continued at Topshop, Erdem, and Clio Peppiatt, where hairstylists used products to give locks a lived-in, sweaty sheen. Perfect for a night in your dancing shoes, then.
A recurring theme that we're particularly pleased about was the celebration of individuality. As legendary hairstylist Sam McKnight said backstage at Roland Mouret, "individuality is key – I don't want an army of girls, I want something modern." Generally, hair and makeup was tailored to each girl, with eyeshadow colors, lipstick, and glittery false eyelashes being selected based on personality and look, opposed to fixed allocation. As makeup artist Lucy Burt put it, "Fashion week has changed so much in the last year; we're dealing with every model as an individual. We’re developing a wardrobe of colors and gradients that suit, so every girl looks beautiful. It’s not just a uniform for every single person". Can we get an 'Amen'?
Here's to next season beauty, where late nights, individuality, and fun reigned supreme. Click through to see our favourite looks from the shows, and how to recreate them.
Topshop Series.001 At Topshop, the wild, heady days of Soho were celebrated with a morning-after look. “The girls at the time were very much pioneers,” lead hairstylist Duffy asserted, speaking of the characters who dominated the West End in the ‘90s. Duffy created a heavy side parting, with the right side of the head getting lived-in waves made with a one-inch curling iron and L'Oréal Professionnel Beach Waves. On the left-hand side, he scraped the hair back tight, using L’Oreal Professionnel Tecni Art PLI Shaper (not available in US, but we like Kenra Shine Spray) for a high-shine effect, and securing behind the ear with a grip. The high-low, off-kilter glamour seen in the hairstyle is also played out in the makeup look. “There’s a slightly slept-in, lived-in look – the greasier the better – and it’s all done with fingers,” head makeup artist Lynsey Alexander explained. “There are two color looks: a pink girl and a turquoise girl. Here, we’re using a lip liner on the eyes to create a pink stain, and pressing in this iridescent powder called Chameleon Glow in Wax + Wane.” To add to the glitz and glamour of the look, “right at the edge of the eye, we’re smudging a dash of glitter, which comes from the Lip Kit. The longer it’s on the face, the better it becomes – it’s quite raw and undone.” This look is all about the eyes, so skin was left as natural as possible with minimum foundation and concealer. “We’re using a combination of the Glow Pot in Polished and Glow Highlighter in Gleam. Brows are handsome and groomed, using a mixture of brow gels. Lips are scrubbed and bare with a bit of balm.”
Clio Peppiatt At Clio Peppiatt there was a lived-in beauty look, as if the girls had been out the night before and their hair and makeup lived to tell the tale. "She still looks effortlessly cool even though she's had a great time," hairstylist Brady Lea explains. "We're prepping the hair with ColorProof CurlyLocks Color Protect Curl Mousse and adding texture to the ends with TextureCharge Color Protect Texture + Finishing Spray, before adding the WickedGood Weightless Shine Spray for greasy roots." For models with Afros and big curls, Lea wanted to work with, rather than against, their natural textures. "We're creating a broken square Afro, and leaving some of the bounce in girl's curls." When recreating this look, everything is in the prep. "Load wet hair with mousse section by section, before tipping your head upside down and giving it a rough dry to get some movement," Lea explains. "Roll your ends round a curling wand, but don't hold it down for too long as you don't want to look too done." Then, finish with shine spray at the roots for a in-at-4am 'do. Kristina Vidic continued the playful look over in makeup, using MAC to "incorporate some elements of the '70s, like Debbie Harry's blusher." Keeping skin fresh, natural and glowing, it was all about the eye this season. "We're using two colors: one is a purple eye and one is a pink eye. The pink eye goes down into the cheeks a little more." To recreate this electric look, you'll need a brush to keep things soft but precise. "We're using brushes for perfection in the blending, a fluffy brush that isn't too big – an eyeshadow blending brush will work. You need control of the color to blend a triangle shape from the eyes down." Next, Kristina put a mascara wand through the lashes for definition, and kept the brows natural. With some girls being given a pinky-red lip instead of eyes, the overall look is vibrant and in keeping with Clio's ultra-feminine collection.
Sophia Webster Sophia Webster's fairytale woodland played out through feminine makeup courtesy of lead artist Sam Bryant. "Ethereal ballerina fairies were the inspiration behind this season's beauty", said Sam, who used lilacs, pinks, and inky greys throughout. Skin was kept dewy with a wash of Revlon ColorStay Foundation, while cheeks were swept with Revlon Insta-Blush in Berry Kiss leading up to the eyes. To enhance the pigment of the apples of the cheeks, they were given a second dab with Revlon Powder Blush in Mauvelous. Brows were kept bushy but simple with strokes of Revlon ColorStay Brow Pencil, leaving eyes to be the scene stealers. Adding to the collection's whimsical fairy theme, Sam used shades three and four from the Revlon ColorStay 16 Hour Eye Shadow Palette in Seductive. Softly applying around the eyes, blending up through the brows and across the temples, a lick of Revlon Mega Multiplier Mascara was brushed through lashes to add definition. Finally, lips were coated in Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lipcolor in new shade Metallic Luster.
Ryan Lo At Ryan Lo, makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench explained "this is the simplest show I've worked on for Ryan. The idea was that the girls are really fresh. We wanted to do something that kept them looking young." While there was a lot of black and white in the collection, Lo is known for his princess-y aesthetic, so a pretty ribbon was placed in the hair. Of course, it wouldn't be Ryan Lo without a flash of pink, and the makeup look reflected that. "The eyes are done with a fake lash that we've dipped in MAC 3D Glitter," Ffrench explained. "We've got some girls with Reflects Very Pink and some with Black." Skin was kept very dewy and lips were given a coat of gloss, so the eyes were the focus. When recreating this look, "get a lash brush and go through with eyelash glue Duo, before dipping them in glitter and applying as usual".
Ashish For Ashish's dark and dreamy show, Ali Pirzadeh at Bumble and bumble brought the darkness of witches and nature to the hair look. For girls with finer hair, he sprayed Bb Prep in damp hair before drying. Next, he braided it into four or five big braids, before holding hair straighteners over to set the shape. Pirzadeh then unravelled the braid for natural-looking waves, before applying Hairdresser's Invisible Dry Oil Finishing Spray to make the locks super shiny. In keeping with Ashish's signature sparkle, glitter was placed in the model's hair so it would shine like the show's disco ball. Over in makeup, Isamaya French continued the reflective theme using MAC. "I wanted to create a black smokey eye that still had some depth; it’s a little bit more cool than a average smokey eye." Using MAC Pro Longwear Liner, Ffrench lined the eyes before bringing it up into the brow for a sloped shape. "Next, we lined the bottom lash line and brought a silver glitter into the inner corner of the eye, with a bigger glitter on black on the bottom and top lash lines". Ffrench kept the skin very clean, using the Extra Dimension Skinfinish Highlighter in Show Gold on cheek bones, forehead and down the nose. Her tip for recreating the otherworldly look at home? "When you use black, you really want to use a soft clean brush over a pencil to blend it out – that way you’re not making the shape bigger as you’re blending it. Also, do the eyes first; that way you can do clean up afterwards."
Erdem "This season, Erdem was very inspired by 1940s jazz composer Duke Ellington," hair stylist Anthony Turner explained. "He had found out that he'd composed a song for the Queen Elizabeth II. In Erdem's mad little world, he thought about what would happen if the Queen of England went to one of Harlem's dance halls in the 1940s." Anthony wanted a modern day take on the 1940 look, avoiding anything too costume-like. To create this look, "work L'Oréal Professionnel Techni Art PLI Shaper, and L'Oréal Professionnel TechniFull Volume Extra Mousse into damp hair, from roots to ends. Once all the product is in, comb a middle parting, and take a front triangle section (as if you're about to cut bangs) and pin that away for later. Dry the main body of hair back really smooth, and secure that in a very low ponytail at the nape of the neck. Then, dry your triangle section at the front forward." Next up is the archetypal '40s style: a rolled fringe. Turner used an inch-thick curling iron to roll the hair under and into the forehead, before backcombing it so it was fluffy and worn-in: "It's a messy roll, not a 3D '50s rockabilly roll." Next, put a bobby pin in it so it's on show, rather than hidden. Finally, Turner wrapped the ponytail around the curling iron in a spiral motion, and tied it with a wire bow for shape. "The models all had to look the same," Turner explained. "So we're blowing everybody out and giving extensions to bobs." The prim and proper look continued over in makeup, with the legendary makeup artist Val Garland creating a Queen meets '40s singer Dorothy Dandridge look. "Because it's the Queen, it's quite 'proper' - like a debutante but with an edge," Garland explained. Using NARS Eye Paint in Black Valley, she drew a thick black graphic line from the middle of the eye outwards, ending in a straight line rather than your classic flick. Brows were brushed through and skin was kept natural skin using NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturiser, finished with balmed lips. In short, it was all about the eyeliner.
Shrimps At Shrimps, the concept behind the collection was a girl who'd been partying the night before and woken up in a field of flowers. Hannah Weiland's SS18 collection was awash with white and green, so makeup artist Lucy Burt wanted to create a pretty but lived-in look. "We’re using MAC Strobe Cream and Prep + Prime Essential Oils to mimic that morning holographic dew," she says. "We want to keep that lovely sense of youthfulness and playfulness within the skin." Some models were given chunky glitter on the lips: "Our take on the “morning after” party look," she says. So, how can we try this youthful, fresh glow at home? "Mix a bit of Strobe Cream in with the oils in the palms of your hands, then press it into the cheek bones. Use a fluffy brush to apply it just across the lid and underneath the brow bone," Burt says.
Roland Mouret Val Garland and her team of makeup artists continued the celebration of real women by "tailoring the look to each girl individually." Lashes were curled before applying False Lashes Maximizer, a clear primer for lashes that wraps around each hair making it thicker. Next, a concealer-like pale pencil was drawn inside the waterline to hide any pink or discoloration. The brows were brushed and made as full as possible, adding depth with Great Brow Kit, a versatile palette with three color ways. Skin was left fresh with a super hydrating moisturizer before the silky MAC Studio Waterweight Foundation was applied. The highlight of the look was the red brick lipstick used on some models. Satin Lipstick in Paramount was applied with a fluffy brush, giving a stained rather than painted look.
Christopher Kane Guido Palau talked us through the look at Christopher Kane, reflecting the overall theme of ladies-who-lunch-gone-rogue."Hairstyles nowadays are generally kind of easy. They’re left natural, they’re air-dried... so how do we update them? We update the products," Palau explained. "That’s what’s so great about the fashion products at Redken: with one spray you can change a simple ponytail into a more fashion-appearing look." First, a center parting was creating using fingers rather than a comb, for more character. Then, loading damp hair with Redken Shine Flash 02 and Redken Control Addict 28 High Control Hairspray, Palau used his fingers to rake locks into a imperfect ponytail. "I had to make each one a little more special, so I added individuality with hair caught over the ear, or the parting falling off-centre slightly." Don't be shy with the amount of product used: "I’m putting tons of product on the hair. It’s very simple, tough, and slightly aggressive. It's a little bit sexy in subversive way, which is reflected in the collection." Lucia Pieroni, makeup artist heading up the look, was of course using Christopher Kane x NARS Chrome Couture collection. "It's very Christopher; it all has that iridescence that he loves," she said backstage. "It's quite fabulous because you can use all of them in varying strengths both day and night. Today, the look is what the prim house wife gets up to in the evenings. She has this remnants of the night before on her skin, so she's quite angelic but really a little bit naughty." For the girls with very pale skin, Pieroni blended the ivory and pink colours from the palette, with pink and peach for medium skinned girls, and blue and the gold for the darker skinned models. "They've all got this highlight over the eyes, and we're using our fingers to apply it – this isn't soft and lovely, it's strong," she explains. Finally a barely-there cat liner is painted on for definition, sans mascara.
J.W. Anderson Lead stylist Anthony Turner was inspired by the witchy characters in artist Mark Ryden's paintings. Girls were given a rough side parting, and hands were used in place of brushes to create a natural fluffy texture through mid lengths and ends. On clean, towel-dried hair, Turner spritzed KMS California Hairplay Seat Salt Spray over roots, blowdrying the side parting close to the scalp to create hold. Next, having pulled hair down whilst drying, KMS Hairplay Makeover Spray was applied through the rest of the hair to create grungey volume. Finally, bobby pins were placed to hold the side parting in place, while KMS Hairstay Firm Working Hairspray tamed fly aways.