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Backstage beauty from runway to real way

By Karen Tina Harrison for Bright Smile Beautiful You

Our first reaction to fashion shows: “Who can wear that?” Our second: “How can I make this work for me?” Here, top beauty pros share shortcuts for making fall runways’ makeup and hair looks your very own.

The Look: Brown-Eyed Girls

Runway: Heavily shadowed eyes in deep, earthy pigments reigned the runways. Renowned makeup artists Pat McGrath devised the chocolate velvety eye makeup at Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Valentino and Anna Sui. McGrath created a dramatic, deep wash of brown that surrounded eyes, while heavily pigmented-tones on lashes and a light highlighter at the brow imparted depth. McGrath calls her brown-on-brown design “a monotone eye that’s beautiful and poetic.”  

Real way: Lighten up. Go for softer, taupe-infused browns, says McGrath, who also suggests using chocolate liner and tobacco-toned mascara. Sweep a bronze shadow across the lids, and brush a bit at the lower corners for more depth. For a softer finish, follow with a wash of silver-infused brown from corner to crease.

The Look: Heavy Brows

Runway: Catwalkers sported 1960s-influenced style statement brows. Pat McGrath’s super-strong contoured version accented faces at Prada, Versace, Gucci and Calvin Klein. Fall brows are defined, penciled, arched, and most of all, neat. Dark and heavy is out — that’s the difference between now and the retro look.

Real way: Just as in the “Mad Men” era, eyebrow pencil creates the illusion of perfect arches. Today’s brow pencil — even for brunettes — is a softer taupe, honey or blonde hue that adds form, not severity. Keys: A light touch, penciling atop your arch, blending with your pencil’s brush. The new brow is wide; go easy with the tweezer on both ends. Under the arch allow your brow to look more bulbous.

The Look: Lip Service

Runway: No matter the lacquer, fall’s expressive lips were on full display. Whether nude and glossy or glam and red, the overall effect was bee-stung and romantic. For the Christian Dior and Dolce & Gabbana shows, McGrath painted pouts in currant-stains and amped up the gloss.

Real way: Get McGrath’s lip look with a deep berry lip stain, plus a liberal application of gloss. You can also sub with blush red lipstick. Stroke on and blot until lips appear naturally stained by berries. Top with a clear gloss or balm. For Saturday night, top with a finger-pat of red glitter in the center, as McGrath did at Givenchy.

The Look: Asymmetrical Tresses

Runway: Catwalk ‘dos were one-sided: Whether ponied, bunned, or loose, runway hair everywhere was parted low on one side and often slicked down. At Calvin Klein and DKNY, ponytails were hitched below one ear; at Carolina Herrera, deeply side-parted, neatly brushed tresses lent models a ladylike finishing school look.

Real way: “A chic side part paired with a low ponytail is classic and elegant,” says celebrity stylist Frederic Fekkai. To find your ideal side part, use Fekkai’s tip:  “It’s right above your eyebrow arch.” Smooth hair with a glossing cream that also imparts shine and fasten at the nape of the neck. “To look sexy and slightly undone, pull a few strands of hair loose in front,” suggests Fekkai.

The Look: Going Greige

Runway: Greige — gray plus beige — is the nailcolor news this season. Greige fingertips fluttered in shows as diverse as Oscar de la Renta, Vera Wang, Marc Jacobs and Tommy Hilfiger. “Greige polish is the new red — a classic,” says Jin Soon Choi of Jin Soon Natural Hand and Foot Spa in New York.

Real way: “There’s a greige for everyone,” says Choi. “Matte-finish, rock-colored dark greige is fierce. Lighter greige with a gold or silver shimmer is feminine,” she says. Your most flattering shade will contrast with your skin tone. Choose a light, mushroom-like hue for dark skin; deeper slates look best with lighter skin tones.  

Karen Tina Harrison was the beauty director of Sassy Magazine, and has consulted for a variety of beauty companies. She covers lifestyle topics for publications including The New York Times, Glamour and About.com. 

Copyright (c) 2010 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.


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