On the Spring 2009 runways, hair and makeup revolved around bright colors, 80's-inspired trends, and a "natural" look. Lush, full eyebrows made a comeback at Charlotte Ronson and DKNY (so put down those tweezers and allow the hairs to grow out naturally); moody smokey eyes and dramatic eyeliner created a sexy bedroom eye at Jason Wu and Nina Ricci; the "no makeup" look ruled the BCBG runway; and a retro 60's look was the focus at Rosa Cha and Yves St. Laurent. False, thick eyelashes were everywhere, hair was tousled and sexy or in loose updos, eyes and lips were awash in gold, violet, orange, and crimson, skin was gorgeous, lip gloss was rendered obsolete.
Here are five easy-to-copy trends from the shows - and some Chic Steals suggestions for the frugal fashionista to get the same look for a smaller investment (under $20 per item, to be exact):
THE 2009 SMOKY EYE
Smoky eyes never really leave, but the 2009 version is lighter and softer. Though still anchored by thick black lashes and inky liner, shadows are muted and run the gamut from shimmery golden bronze to matte translucent gray. To take the guesswork out of creating the perfect eye, opt for a smoky eye kit with powders perfectly matched for optimal blending ability like Physician's Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner, Smoky Collection ($10.95). Tailored to specific eye color, each palette is custom-created to add drama and depth to green, hazel, blue, or brown eyes. Pair with pencil liner for the ultimate bedroom effect; we like Almay Blendable Eye Pencil in Black ($7.49). Smudge slightly outwards for a softer look. Finish with a coat (or 3) of thickening mascara - try Cover Girl Lash Blast Mascara $6.79) in Black Royale (black with platinum shimmer).
CHIC TIP: Show off your new smoky eye with a sleek and twisted Narciso Rodriguez-style updo; having your hair off your face spotlights your fabulous makeup, and keeps the look romantic & fresh - instead of edgy and hard. HAIR HOW TO: Start with slightly dirty hair (it hasn't been washed for 12-24 hours), and into 6 or more sections at the front. Part the rest of your hair in the center and pull back into a French twist or a bun at the back of your head. Twist front hair sections back and around your hairline, adding each new section in as you get to it. Secure under each twist with bobby pins, and do the same for the ends at the back of your head. Finish with a strong-hold, shine-imparting hairspray to keep everything in place, such as Paul Mitchell Freeze and Shine Super Spray Firm-Hold Finishing Spray ($10).
BRIGHT COLOR POPS
The runways were awash this season in rainbow shades of color: Zac Posen, Temperley, and Erin Fetherston chose deep purples; Gucci and Giorgio Armani gravitated towards an ocean-inspired turquoise eye; tangerine lids were seen at Rodarte; bright strawberry and tomato lipstick ruled at Nina Ricci and Louis Vuitton. Though intense and bold, the colors can be easily translated for everyday wear by following these simple rules: Lest you wish to channel Mimi from the Drew Carey Show, accent only one feature at a time with bright color.
To re-create those deep cerulean eyes, choose a long-lasting and deeply-pigmented formula, like Ben Nye Lumiere Grande Color Eye Shadow ($9) in Cosmic Blue and Turquoise, layering it over black liquid liner for mermaid-like eyes. Another deeply-pigmented formula, such as M.A.C. Eye Shadow in Orange, ($14.50) can be applied lightly with a brush to achieve a tangerine-colored eye, or applied heavily for a bright orange a la the Proenza Schouler models. Revlon Matte Lipstick in Strawberry Suede ($7) can help create that gorge matte tomato lip like Moschino Cheap and Chic, and you can also pick up Revlon's Really Red at the same time since they are Buy 1 Get 1 Free at Ulta.com.
CHIC TIP: For that sexy, big hair accompanying the sirens at Gucci, try Nexxus Phyto Organics Maxify Volumizing Mousse ($12) massaged into the roots of towel-dried hair, blown out with a diffuser attachment, and then sprayed with a smoothing serum to add shine.
THE NO MAKEUP LOOK
Many models looked fabulously "au naturelle", but in a way that was anything but spartan. The flawless skin at Donna Karan showcased lush, natural eyebrows that were merely trimmed; the models at Anna Sui sported a ruggedly bronze look, as if they had been hiking outdoors all day. With so much emphasis on looking natural, this is a look that works perfectly off the runway as well.
What could be better than the same foundation they used at Lanvin & Oscar de la Renta? It's just under $10 and as close as Drugstore.com: MAX Factor ColorGenius Foundation with Minerals. Layer it on over a moisturizer, serum, or a primer with smoothing compounds in it; we like Caudalie Beauty Elixir ($15) for smoothing, tightening pores, and providing an instant burst of radiance. (It can also be applied over your makeup to freshen up throughout the day.) For the bronzed gypsy look like at Anna Sui and 3.1 Phillip Lim, try award-winning MeetMark Pro Bronzing Powder ($8); add more to your basket and get free shipping with orders of $35 and the code MARKFS35. An eyeshadow sheet like In a Wink Instant Eyeshadow Sheets ($6) in Glow Bronze adds depth; plus, it's a perfect application every time.
CHIC TIP: Keep tresses smooth & shiny with Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Weightless Anti-Frizz Leave-In Serum ($5.99). Even if you don't have time for a blow out, after brushing straight with a paddle brush, apply the serum and follow with a layer of light-hold hairspray.
At some shows, regally-gilded lids and cheeks ruled in subtle, shining shades, while at the other extreme were icy shades layered over pale pink blush and shimmery white eyeliner, creating an slick, ethereal look. Either can work well as is for both day and night; office or on the town; and both are easy to re-create. DSquared2 combined muted gold shadows smudged around the eye; Oscar de la Renta and Missoni gilded eyelids in full. To re-create either look, try L'Oreal HIP High Intensity Pigments Concentrated Shadow Duo in Dynamic 828 (Gold & Olive), $7. For a softer version, take your cue from Peter Som, where makeup artists highlighted just the inner corners of the eye with the shimmery shadow, and softened the look with chocolate brown mascara.
To re-create the icy look seen at Prada, Balenciaga, and Emporio Armani, layer an iridescent glow over pale pink powder blush on the cheekbones; try E.L.F. Mineral Glow in Shimmer ($8). For a wide awake eye, use Sephora Slim Pencil in White 222 ($5) to line all the way around, or just highlight the inner corners and under the brow for a more subtle interpretation. For the crowing touch, it's all about a metallic nail color. If you're in the mood for gold, try ULTA Nail Lacquer in Gold Digger ($5). Gravitating towards silver? Revlon Nail Enamel in Silver Screen.
CHIC TIP: Both gilded and the icy eyes & cheeks look best with everything else toned down. Try a subtle pink or nude lip; for added sheen and depth, layer iridescent highlighter over the lipstick on your Cupid's bow. Further emphasize sleek makeup a la Cynthia Rowley or Prada: with tight ponytails and smooth chignons. When pulling hair back, use a fine-toothed comb to smooth, and then finish with a spray of shine-enhancing setting gel or hairspray. If there are any flyaways, a toothbrush loaded with hairpray on it is your best friend.
Retro-style cateye eyeliner, lush lashes, nude lips, and shades of pink are back. Thanks to a prevalence of pinks and nudes (and despite the black liner), hair felt soft and youthful. At Rosa Cha the eyes were lined with pale pink liner and dark mascara; Yves St. Laurent models sported hard bouffants reminiscent of the sixties, and at Rag & Bone eyes were full-on rimmed with black.
A beautiful pastel cheek can be created easily with Mark Flip For It Spring Color Kit ($20) in Tokyo...the bonus is that it comes with a shade perfect for that slightly-pink, girly lip, and purple shades that can be wet down and used as a softer eyeliner. If the deepest, darkest black liner is what you're looking for, try waterproof E.L.F. Liquid Liner in Black ($1) and wing it out for a cateye effect; build up a heavy line and then smudge it like the models at Lanvin, or rim around the eye completely like at Rag & Bone. (Love Mark makeup? Add $25 worth of product to your bag - and use 2SHIP2009 to receive $2 shipping.) When going full-on black with your eye makeup, keep the rest of the face soft and romantic as a counterpoint to the dramatic eyes. Line the outside of lips with Cargo The Reverse Lipliner ($14) and fill in with the liner and a touch of lipbalm for the ultimate nude lip. Finish off with a pair of dark false eyelishes to recreate that perfect sixties look. False eyelashes not your thing? Try collagen-infused Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Mascara ($5.99) for something similarly doe-eyed.
CHIC TIP: To mimic the voluminous updos seen at Yves St. Laurent and the soft buns at Carolina Herrara, soft-hold hairspray is a must. Begin by teasing the undermost layers of hair to create a mound of faux volume. Smooth over the topmost layer, twist up into either a French knot or a bun, and spray everything with the hairspray, accessorizing with a thin headband for the YSL look. Or simply let loose strands fall from your bun for a pretty, feminine interpretation.
- Carly J. Cais, Contributing Editor
(photos: Greg Kessler - style.com; Dan & Corine Lecca - harpersbazaar.com; Mark Leibowitz - glamour.com; Fabio Pettinari - Marie Claire; Sean Cunningham - harpersbazaar.com)
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