Every year, the month of May brings to Sydney a flurry of creativity from both the fashion and beauty industries at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week. For the hair and makeup directors, it's a chance to push boundaries and capture the spirit of the collections with carefully constructed beauty looks.
As the week is predominantly dedicated to showcasing the resort season, you can always rely on beauty to capture a true holiday mood. And this year was no different. From heat-flushed cheeks to wet-look waves, the hair and makeup was modern and experimental while remaining accessible. Following our coverage of all the womenswear shows, here are our key takeaway beauty trends.
Experimental eye makeup was a firm feature on the catwalks this week. M.A.C makeup director Nicole Thompson, used pastel eyeshadow at Alice McCall and Bec + Bridge, where she applied it deliberately in the corner of the eyes and behind the lashes only.
Deconstructed eyeshadow was also seen at St.George Nextgen courtesy of Hayley Dutton for Rimmel London. "We've got a concentration of colour on the outer and inner corners of the eyes and then a light open section in the middle," she told BD.
The 60s and 70s played a big part in inspiring many of the eye looks with Brigitte Bardot and Jane Birkin being name-checked. Lancôme makeup director Lara Srokowski, who said herself that eyeliner took centre stage at this year's Fashion Week, favoured her signature architectural eyeliner at Thurley and Carla Zampatti.
By that we mean, "the look you get after a couple of days on holiday when you're the best version of yourself," as summarised by makeup director Claire Thompson at Lee Mathews. She determined this was a "creamy complexion" rather than the previously favoured dewy skin.
Models' skin was cleansed, prepped and primed by the likes of Dermalogica, Neutrogena and Minenssey, to provide elevated hydration and glow.
Elsewhere, there was oil being applied under and over foundation for added luster, courtesy of Srokowski at Aje, Tigerlily and Bassike. Multiple primers and oils were also applied backstage at Bec + Bridge so that skin looked like it had been "stained and bronzed by the sun".
Products for holiday skin: M.A.C Prep + Prime Essential Oils, Lancôme Absolue Precious Oil, Max Factor Miracle Glow Pro Illuminator, Dermalogica Prisma Protect SPF 15, NEUTROGENA® Deep Clean Cleansing Oils, Ella Baché Botanical Skin Treatment Oil, Aussie Bombshell Gradual Tan.
Wet-Look hair has long been associated with high fashion, but this week it was used to conjure a post-swim, pre-cocktail moment in a far flung holiday destination. This was most apparent at Michael Lo Sordo, courtesy of ghd hair director Richard Kavanagh, who used a combination of the brand's combs, brushes and tools to achieve his look. This theme also lent itself perfectly to the centre part that was favoured at most shows, with textured mid-length and ends tucked behind the ear.
Katy Reeve for TONI&GUY at St.George Nextgen and Nathan Gormon for KEVIN.MURPHY at Lee Mathews even ensured their braids and up-styles were rid of flyaways with a hint of dampness.
The new nude lip
Nude lips were the order of the day at both P.E Nation and Bec + Bridge via looks created by M.A.C using the brand's new Strip Down nude lipstick collection. Following its Fashion Week debut, the shade Smoked Almond has already been hailed by likes of POPSUGAR as the new Velvet Teddy.
Srokowski and Thompson both noted the importance of keeping nude lips looking hydrated over the course of the week. "We don't want [lips] to be too matte, we want them to look healthy so have added a little bit of lip conditioner at the end," Thompson told us.
Botticelli and historical hair
A less literal take on wet-look locks were the Boticelli-inspired braids and embellishments seen in full-force at Karla Spetic and Double Rainbouu. Backstage at the latter, KMS hair director Ali Homles made the most of this theme by adding in hip-length hair extensions, as well as braids tied with colourful thread. While at Karla Spetic Redken hair director Ben Martin used stitching to create invisible pulls in the hair, to which he also tied pearls. "We want those to look like they've attached themselves to the hair when the mermaids emerge from the water," he told BD before the show.