Heavy metals and beauty as armor were big themes at the fall 2014 collections shown during New York Fashion Week. We don't just mean the metaphorical power of a strong red lip, but literally using pigments like war paint and metallic shimmer like chain mail.
The concept was most apparent at Alexander Wang, whose whole collection had a survivalist vibe. The message certainly carried through to the models' hair and makeup, with faces contoured and highlighted to create amplified light and shadow and hair shellacked to the side to look almost like a helmet.
Makeup artist Diane Kendal for Nars Cosmetics said the focus was on "lightness and the shadows between," with the most noticeable feature being the one that wasn't there — eyebrows. Models' eyebrows were bleached out for a futuristic, monochromatic look.
Kendal applied Nars Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer to skin along with the Light Reflecting Setting Powder to create a clean, glowing complexion. On cheeks, she used Nars Copacabana Illuminator and the Matte Multiple in Altai, Vientiane or Cappadoce.
Hairstylist Guido Palau divided the hair with a deep side part, then swept it across the top of the forehead and fixed locks into place with a strong dose of hairspray.
The nails at Ohne Titel echoed a stark, futuristic feel. Keri Blair for MAC Cosmetics used either black or nude polish on models' nails, then outlined each nail bed with a silver or gold metallic mylar stripping tape. A matte topcoat was brushed over the color.
Why stop at the nails? Black fingertips showed up on the models at Thom Browne, who looked as if their fingers had been dipped in an inkpot — similar to singer Lorde's hands during her performance at this year's Grammy Awards.
Paint-dipped fingers may just be the new statement nail. At Creatures of Comfort, models' digits were painted with a high-shine silver — which could be a good look for anyone who's tired of trying to keep polish neatly contained to nails only.
The shimmer and metal trend continued at Donna Karan. Makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury for MAC Cosmetics cited the theme as "a woman out in a New York night," echoing the idea of fun and survival in the urban jungle, seen in a slew of collections for fall.
The eyes were dusted with MAC Pro Platinum Pigment and given that intense depth with MAC Eye Kohl in Phone Number.
And in the few places where there wasn't glitter or metallic shine, there was the feline flick — a cat-eye inspired look drawn on with black liquid eyeliner and a deft hand.
At Rag and Bone, makeup artist Gucci Westman used a black liquid liner from Revlon to create a look that's not the tame kitten eye we saw a few seasons back, but not as ferocious as, say, Amy Winehouse's signature statement eye. The feline flick also made a statement on the Cushnie et Ochs runway, where Tilbury used MAC's Feline Eye Kohl and Blacktrack Fluidline eyeliner.
Michael Kors had what was probably the most wearable beauty look for real life. Models had tousled and romantic updos, flushed cheeks, bushy brows and slightly smudgy brown eyeliner.
It was just the kind of imperfect beauty that makes sense with what Kors called a "Big Sur, Big City" inspired collection. And just the kind of easy-yet-effective beauty that works for a California lifestyle.