I spy with my little eye: Beauty spotting at London Fashion Week

Left, graphic eyes at Erdem; right,a model presents a creation from Canadian-born designer Mark Fast. Pictures: AFP

Rachel Marie Walsh played beauty spy backstage at London Fashion Week

London Fashion Week beauty was somewhat polarised this week, a pairing of the super-studied with the consciously unkempt. I know which Instagram addicts will be steering towards but it is nice to see fashion making room for those who feel like letting their hair down or simply don’t care.

Ombré Lips at Matty Bovan

Matty Bovan is a beauty junkie, constantly changing up his own hair and makeup shades, if not his Bowie-white foundation. He cites his glamorous mum Plum, who sat at the end of my row in towering Charlotte Olympia slingbacks at Friday’s show, as an early beauty inspiration (the mother of a little boy is a filmstar in a world without critics, as Allison Pearson wrote). Matty styled her for Dazed last summer with a dark liner and bold colour, which may be behind the ombré lip Miranda Joyce did backstage. The artist (who also did David Beckham’s emerald body-art for his current LOVE cover) used MAC Lip Pencil, €17.50, in ‘Night Moth’ all over the lip, piled neon-coral MAC Pigment, €22, in the centre and sealed the lot with lashings of MAC Lipglass, €19.50. The skin was natural and the black liquid liner saver for fine upper-lash definition, very subtle and classic.

There were more of the choppy, ‘baby’ fringes we saw at Prada in September here, this time cut into messy black bobs by stylist Syd Hayes for Babyliss. Wigs or temporary fringes may be the best things to pop on if you want to try the whole look as most of us will regret the DIY version long-term.

Graphic, Feline Eyes at Erdem

“Royal meets The Vatican. A futuristic velvety-graphic eye, also inspired by Felini and Hitchcock,” was artist Val Garland’s complex description of her dramatic eyes for Erdem this week. Nars Kohliner in ‘Minorque,’€25, Larger Than Life Long-wear Eyeliner in ‘Via Veneto,’ € 25, and the darker half of the brand’s Duo Eyeshadow Palette in ‘Pandora’,€34, combined to make what looked like a return to the classic cat’s eye, this time with a sharper edge. The rest of the face was kept simple, just moisturiser, SPF primer, concealer and powder on the skin, with brows neatly defined by gel and pencil.

Mussed-up Party Makeup at Richard Malone

Richard Malone’s collection was inspired by a multi-generational family party, with full faces of Illamasqua makeup looking slightly undone. A nude lip, the brown satin of Illamasqua Glamore Lipstick in ‘Buff,’ €24, clearly started out lined and classic but was a little smudged by the time models hit the catwalk. Artist Pablo Rodriguez did flawless skin with Illamasqua Beyond Veil Primer, €41, for hydration and luminosity, and Powder Foundation, €37, for a flaw-blurring, velvety finish, but mussed thing up further with what he called ‘semi-colon eyes.’ These involved a pretty free-form attempt at kohl liner, with smudgy, broken lines from inner to outer corners giving way to mascara-clumped lashes.

Fifties Pin-Ups at Mark Fast

Things were more photo-perfect at Mark Fast, where Tigi’s European Sessions Director Maria Kovacs created some stunning “Fifties pin-up hair.” Starting with crowns of pin-curls, she prepped models’ hair with a volume spray and blow-dried it away from the face, then tonged the front section of hair, pinning it up in curls to cool and set. A spritz of Tigi’s ‘Full of It’ Volume Finishing Spray, €17.45 at lookfantastic.com, kept things in place and she unpinned a few sections to give it some bounce on the catwalk. Models with longer hair had their lengths rolled and pinned under to create the look of a bob.

Pablo Rodriguez of Illamasqua gave models a ‘living doll’ look with neat black liquid-liner and lashings of mascara on top and bottom lashes. He also did Barbie-pink cheeks, eyes and lips. Try Ilamasqua Powder Eye Shadow in ‘Can Can,’ €20, Cream Blush in ‘Laid,’ €27, and Lipstick in ‘Plunge,’ €24.

Trend Least Likely to Take: Post-Gym Hair Frizzy, sweaty, post-workout hair is perhaps autumn’s least likely trend so far, it looks both distressed and distressing.

Mary Katrantzou’s models seemed to have neglected their heads for days, with gelled roots slicked to the scalp and front sections plastered across their foreheads. Chiao Shen, head stylist at Jamie Wei Huang, backcombed curled hair from the fringe right down to the tips, creating veritable haystacks. At Toga, stylists intentionally created ‘hat hair,’ with wispy bits and wet-look ‘baby’ fringes pressed to the face.

AlexaChung stylist Alex Brownsell even rubbed a balloon over the hairline to create static before pulling the lot into a simple ponytail and setting it with L’Oréal Professionnel Infinium Soft Hold Hairspray, €17.64 at feelunique.com. Her inspiration? “It’s a girl who’s grown up in a cult and broken out to navigate her own style. We’re adding a bit of post-apocalyptic static energy.” Sure. Windswept women take heart, in autumn your ‘bad hair day’ turns officially ‘effortless chic’.

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