How to make the ‘bad taste’ beauty trend work in real life

If red lippy is about as bright as your make-up usually gets, prepare to shake things up, because backstage at the autumn/winter shows there was an absolute explosion of colour – and it was all about the eyes.

From electric blue and hazmat orange liner to scarlet eyeshadow and mascara in shades we didn’t even know existed, these were seriously bold looks.

Models backstage at Lulu Guinness AW18 (GHD/PA)

“The existence of colour on the face now isn’t about coordination or it ‘matching’ the clothes,” says MAC make-up artist Terry Barber.

“It just works as a detail in itself…and is a make-up choice that’s very knowing, in the sense that it’s purposefully a bit ‘wrong’, but not weird.

“The new way to wear colour is borderline bad taste, but it still looks beautiful.”

Dries Van Noten AW18 (Sam McKnight/PA)

So how do you take these crazy catwalk creations and make them tasteful?

The key is taking saturated hues and applying them in a more subtle way, so that you get all the colour payoff and none of the weirdness.

Here’s how to make three colourful catwalk-inspired looks work for you…

Palmer Harding AW18 (Escentual/PA)

1. Hot lines

Palmer Harding AW18 (Escentual/PA)

“Clean, simple, wearable” is how MAC make-up artist Lucy Bridge described the look at Eudon Choi.

We’re not sure that thick yellow and red rings of eyeliner count as wearable in our book, but the colours sure are beautiful, and there were creamy, saturated liner looks at Kenzo (bright yellow), Dior (deep red) and Palmer Harding (electric blue) as well.

To tone down this out-there look, take a highly pigmented cream eyeliner and apply it right on the lash line in a neat, sharp flick rather than a thick floating line.

On the catwalks, models’ lashes were left bare, but complementing your bright liner with lots of black mascara helps diffuse the colour slightly.


Morphe Gel Liner Vitamin Sea, Cult Beauty


Dior Diorshow On Stage Liner Matte Yellow, Escentual


Shiseido Kajal InkArtist Rose Pagoda, Escentual

2. Lash clash

At Dries Van Noten, make-up artist Peter Phillips gave models huge false eyelashes in no less than eight different colours, including neon yellow, dark green, violet and brick red.

Dries Van Noten AW18 (Sam McKnight/PA)

Coloured mascara has been having a renaissance lately (yet another Nineties throwback) so you have a whole rainbow of options, but for beginners royal blue and forest green are your best bet.

Keep the rest of your eye make-up neutral and let your lashes do the talking.


NYX Worth the Hype Volumizing & Lengthening Mascara Blue, Cult Beauty


YSL Mascara Vinyl Couture I’m The Excitement,

3. Cloud colour

It was all about Eighties inspiration at the Lulu Guinness and Ashley Williams shows, where pinky-red powder acted as both blusher and eyeshadow, buffed from the eyelids to the cheeks.

If you’re used to pale peach blusher this look might be a bit scary, and if you’ve got red undertones in your skin it’s best avoided, but a red-toned smoky can be really flattering.

Lulu Guinness AW18 (GHD/PA)

Experiment with a palette, starting with lighter shades and building up to brick red or burgundy on the outer corner of your eye.

Again, on the catwalks this was a bare lashes look but a couple of coats of your favourite black mascara will add definition.


Revolution Re-Loaded Palette Newtrals 2, Superdrug

(Huda Beauty/PA)

Huda Beauty Obsessions Precious Stones Eyeshadow Palette Ruby, FeelUnique

- Press Association

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