It’s day two of my fashion-week-month marathon and thus far I’ve learnt that a faux-fur coat, pleather trousers and high-heel ankle boots do not cut it in temperatures of minus 16. In fact anything short of an electric-blanketed onesie are pretty futile in curbing the delightful combo of chilblains and chapped lips. Luckily for me, backstage was a different story with a balmy procession of hotness that emanated from the models (Kendal, Jourdan and vintage catwalks queens such as Kirsty Hume were all in attendance) as well as the make-up looks, the most prolific of which was the smoky eye. But this was not just any smoky eye, this was a modern-as-you-like, anyone-can-do-it smoky eye and it’s done like this:
The sexy smoulder at DVF
The fabulous Ms Furstenburg doesn’t do grunge and a good job it is too otherwise we wouldn’t have witnessed the make-up legend that is Pat McGrath demonstrating what she does best – namely make-up that will make any man wilt at your feet. “This look is all about the smoky eye and although it’s very seductive, it’s an effortless seduction that anyone can recreate,” she divulged backstage. Her weapons of mass seduction? An ammo of Max Factor khol pencils in black and brown to define the lashline, followed by a swoosh of metallic and brown eyeshadows from the not-yet-out ‘Smoky Eye Drama Kit’ and lashings of mascara.
The gothic haze at Alexander Wang
Things were getting spooky over at Alexander Wang where make-up maestro Diane Kendal described the look as ‘slightly gothic, heavy-metal kids’. The result was a worn-in, ‘nocturnal’ eye which she achieved by applying a grey khol around the lash-line, blending it with a cream shadow, smudging with a Q-tip before applying some gloss to the outer corner and some brown shadow under the eye for a slept-in feel.
The Scandi smoke at Altuzarra
Over at Altuzarra our favourite Frenchman, Tom Pecheux, was taking inspiration from the Baltic weather by recreating an ‘Ingrid Bergman’ semi-smoky eye. Using a beautiful yet-to-be launched palette from MAC Cosmetics, he set about applying grey shadow to the outer half of the eye, a burnt orange shadow to the inner half, and a dab of purple-y gloss over the point at which they join for a monochromatic ‘cold, natural beauty’.
The morning-after smudge at Victoria Beckham
“She’s a regular girl who’s been up all night and still has the remains of her make-up on,” divulged Pat McGrath backstage at VB. “It’s definitely a sexy look but is also really easy to do. I started by lining the waterline with black khol before adding a bit of burgundy eyeshadow close to the lashline and smudging out so it becomes a diffuse wash of subtle colour.”
The fuzzy feline at Derek Lam
This look goes to prove that smoky can still look sharp as Tom Pecheux got graphic with some taupe MAC eyeshadow. “The starting point of this look is natural make-up that we’ve just dialed up a notch to bring the focus back to the eyes and to give it some strength.” Tom set about applying eyeshadow over the top lid and winging it out slightly at the outer corner. He did the same to the bottom lashline but instead left the first third of the eye make-up free. He then curled the lashes (put the mascara away girls) and dabbed the lips with a touch of MAC’s Lip Erase. And voila – it’s smoky but not as we know it.
The eyes may have taken centre stage so far but for me the highlight was getting my hands on these MAC Cosmetic prototypes which I spied backstage at Prabal Gurung. From the amazingly-textured ‘Studio Waterweight Foundation’ to the amazingly-pigmented ‘Retro Matte Liquid Lipsticks’ you’ll have to wait until AW15 to get your hands on them (I know, I know…). But at least you can say you saw it here first…!