Australian Fashion Week

The $19 Product Behind The Bold Eye Looks At Fashion Week

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The runways of Afterpay Australian Fashion Week this year have catalysed our cultural obsession with barefaced beauty. The Maggie Marilyn looks redefined the terms of natural makeup, with a skincare-led approach and minimal use of makeup. 
At Erik Yvon, whispers were exchanged front row, remarking on the glassy, glowing cheekbones on the runway, while Ngali featured an earth-toned palette of neutral makeup that aimed to add depth, rather than distract, from the natural beauty of the show’s cast. 
Juxtaposed against the halo glow of lacquered complexions, the presence of strong eye looks this season feels revolutionary. Alemais emulated David Bowie’s iconic Ziggy Stardust makeup, painting a glittery red star onto models' eyes. Meanwhile, faces mapped out with a galactic splay of sparkling diamantes and ultramarine black holes made of crystals were seen at Youssef Akbar. 
Youkhana carved out inky hollows where an inner corner highlight would usually reside. And at Asiyam, the winged eye makeup was a subtle nod to traditional kajal and the history of modest fashion in the Middle East. 
Wynn Hamlyn was led by a speed racer narrative with liner swooped under their eyes and dragged back to the temples, and metallic-hued brows that appeared to slide right off the model’s faces.  

How To Master The Bold Eye Makeup Seen At Fashion Week

But we’re aware that simply coveting a look isn’t enough; it’s the doing of the thing where we tend to come undone. 
According to Sean Brady (the head of makeup direction at Asiyam and Wynn Hamlyn), recreating the modern and bold eye makeup seen on both runways is neither difficult nor expensive. “I wanted to do the modern version of a [traditional] kohl eye, but with a modern sensibility,” explained Brady when we spoke to him backstage before the Asiyam show. 
“It has a real strength, the eye,” Brady insisted. “Even though the garments are hyper-feminine, I want them to feel really strong — because the two can go hand in hand; they’re not separate from one another.”
As for Wynn Hamlyn, the only direction was onwards. Hosted on a go-karting track, Brady “used the MECCA Zoom Shadow Sticks, $19, (aptly named) to create a look of momentum,” he said in a post-show release. 
“I wanted to build on this and depict an element of speed and movement [with the makeup], whilst also reflecting the brand's modernity and [the] use of colour that exists within the collection.”

How To Use Eyeshadow Sticks

Brady swears by the original MECCA MAX Zoom Shadow Stick, $19, and the MECCA MAX Zoom Shadow Stick Matte, $19, if you’re planning on tackling a louder look.
The $19 product was essential for nailing both looks and made application “really easy, really velvety, really smooth”, as they can be brushed and buffed easily after application. 
I’m also a big fan of the Zoom shadow sticks — and the subtle rose and taupe shades in the matte collection have saved me on rushed mornings when I need to look presentable in a flash. Plus, the creamy texture and playful crayon-esque applicator make engaging with makeup a more fun experience on the days when you have a little more time to get creative with your eye looks. 
We like smearing a healthy amount of the shimmering olive or matte khaki shadow stick all over our lids and smudging the edges with our fingers for a result that’s a far less intimidating take on the darker hues typically associated with a smokey eye. 
Though, if you’re up for the challenge, we suspect the matte Zoom Shadow Sticks in black, navy and espresso would look fab lightly rimmed around eyes, too. Just remember to diffuse any solid lines with a light buffing of a fluffy brush. A multi-purpose product that's affordable and expert-approved? Sign us up.
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