How to Wear Runway Make-up Trends – Part 2


The one trend that seems to be emerging this Spring/Summer 2017, is a sporty minimalism and simplicity. Even on the runway, where the outrageous and sometimes outlandish is the norm, the make-up looks have moments of individuality and uniqueness, but they’re not overloaded with a lot of peripheral distractions.

Take for example, the look above. Her eyes and the juxtaposition of vibrant opposing cool and warm colours clashing against each other is the main focus–the rest is a blank canvas.

Her skin and lips are left looking bare, her brows are unfilled and simply brushed upwards. There’s a hint of a liquid black tight-line along her upper lash line with the faintest flick of a tail at the outer corner, and a single coat of mascara on uncurled eyelashes. A shimmery white-gold highlight is placed in her eyes’ inner corners and carefully lined along the upper lash line and subtly along the first third of her lower water line, it’s also patted down the centre, over top of the cobalt blue shadow. The warm but bright, coral pink coloured shadow fans out from the outer center of the upper lid and is wrapped underneath her lower lash line. The eyeshadow colours are placed against each other and layered fairly heavily, but none of it is blended together (except along her lower lash line). If you blended this look, it would turn into a muddy mess and the effect would be ruined.

Factors to consider:

  • This looks beautiful in a photo shoot, but does it translate to real life? As I mentioned in my previous post on runway trends, you need the personality to pull off a full-blown runway make-up look. You don’t need to be a 5’11 model, you don’t need to be conventionally pretty, or a size zero, you just need the personality and confidence. And it takes the whole package. What do I mean by “whole package”? I mean, look above at the colours used on the model. They work, not only because she has that confident “I look awesomely beautiful” stare, but because the colours mimic the colours she’s wearing. They are a direct reference: the eyeshadow matches her clothing and therefore, it doesn’t look like it’s coming from out of nowhere.
  • If you’re wearing a look like this, keep your other make-up clean and simple. No blush, no highlight (other than the eyes), no bronzer (although it looks like her temples and forehead were bronzed, it could be just her natural colour too–that’s the beauty of this look), or contouring, no bright lipstick or gloss–keep lips matte and neutral; you can simply wear a non-glossy colourless lip balm. If you need to wear foundation, use the minimal amount needed (like the size of the model’s stud earring or less) and/or just use a drop of concealer where you need it most, such as around the cheeks, nose and under the eyes. Keep it softly matte by applying setting powder afterwards. Or skip the foundation completely and just use setting powder. It should look like you’re not wearing any foundation or concealer at all, i.e. avoid looking caked on.
  • Keep accessories to the minimum or skip them entirely. Notice how she’s wearing only the tiniest of nose rings and stud earrings? From a distance, you can’t even see them–just the bright colours on her eyes. Her hair is pulled back, but it’s not perfectly pulled back in a slick bun: you can see tiny soft tendrils of hair around her hairline. It’s meant to give her the sporty and imperfect “I just wanted to pull my hair back off my face” look.
  • You need a lot of space between your upper lash line to your brows to achieve this look. This model has a lot of surface area to work with–it looks like more than 2.5 inches, so the make-up artist who created this look had the freedom to let loose with the colours. I’m not saying you can’t do it if you don’t have a lot of real estate in your upper eyelid area, but you’ll have to modify it completely. Instead of working the shadow past the crease and almost touching the browbone, apply it along your lashline almost like a thick liner. Again, don’t blend the warm and the cool eyeshadow colours together; leave a line of demarcation so that they meet, but don’t overlap, or it will look muddled. The addition of highlight is important because it adds dimension on what could otherwise be a vibrant but flat look.
  • How do you apply eyeshadow like this on the lid? Do not apply it by using the windshield-wiper method. You’ll get a ton of fall-out and it will not give you this effect. If it’s cream eyeshadows you’re using, it’s much easier to get this kind of layered effect, but most women experience creasing with cream eyeshadows, and I think powder eyeshadows is the way to go if you’re trying to achieve this look. If you’re using powder and a brush, load the brush with the colour, tap the excess, then pat and press the colour onto the lid and skin, layer by layer until you have the desired vibrancy you’re going for. Pull back if you think it’s too much, or go full-bore if you want to make a statement.

Finally, adjust the look depending on where, what time of day, and what type of event you’re wearing it to. Have fun with it, remember your make-up should enhance who you are, not deceive (unless it’s Halloween or a costume party you’re attending), and practice makes perfect!


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