M. K. Johnson is Lucire’s first beauty editor and is our Austin, Texas-based writer.
M. K. Johnson re-creates the looks from the catwalks this season with a step-by-step guide with the latest beauty products from Nars, Elizabeth Arden, Merle Norman, Lancôme, Chantecaille, and Jane Iredale
photographed by the author and courtesy manufacturers
I love fall, not just for the changing leaves and the break in the heat, but also for the return to more dramatic make-up looks. Sure, I can rock a bold smoky eye in the summer, or a glossy metallic lid, but it’s just so much work to maintain in the hot weather. Once the heat subsides, however, I started digging out my black liner and jewel-toned eye-shadows.
Looking over my make-up collection this year left me pretty uninspired.
Make-up artists spend so much time helping others with their make-up adventures that we forget to go have some of our own. With autumn around the corner, it’s time to shake things up in my make-up routine. Plus, make-up designs from the autumn–winter 2016–17 fashion shows were so inspiring this year! Yet another reason to try something new. I hit the counters, runway photos in hand (well, on my phone) to get other professionals’ recommendations.
The Process: pictured below are combinations of the products that make-up artists applied on me in store or at the counter, and then finished with my own mascara and lip colour at home. Just to play it safe, I purchase fresh lipstick and mascara when I get my make-up done, or, if I already own the products I like, I use my own.
Nars at Sephora in J. C. Penney Westroads, Omaha, Nebraska
At Sephora, the “rebel eyes” trend is the latest thing. What better place to try a bold look inspired by Ungaro’s metallic smoky eye, and Fendi’s strong use of colour? After looking at several lines, we decided on Nars. I could not stop staring at the Dual Intensity Eyeshadows! They are mesmerizing! Photographs just do not do them justice. Since purchasing, I’ve had great luck using these shadows with water and with other mixing mediums. That makes them some of the most versatile colours in my kit! Best of all, they still pack a punch even when applied dry. (Available at Sephora.com.)
The look: Nars Dual Intensity eye-shadows in Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Desdemona, Pasiphae (all used dry), lip gloss in Chelsea Girls, Larger Than Life Long-Wear eyeliner in Via Veneto; Audacious mascara in Black Moon.
Elizabeth Arden, Younkers Westroads, Omaha, Nebraska I confess, I have a soft spot for Elizabeth Arden. My grandmother sold it for decades at the very counter I got my consultation. It was one of the first lines I represented, too. Elizabeth Arden doesn’t always get the love it deserves for the quality it serves up in colour and skin care. They have some of the best holiday blockbusters around, so your money goes quite a long way at this counter. Fall 2016’s purchase-with-purchase is a fantastic choice for great colour pay-off, long wear and on-trend colour. I’ve been wearing the hell out this kit. Plus, all of Elizabeth Arden’s eye-shadows (and blushes) have vitamins A, C and E to help make my eyelids and cheeks look a bit smoother.
My Elizabeth Arden look was straight out of Francesca Liberatore’s show. Last year, we saw a bolder, brighter version of this in full vivid cobalt blue and emerald green. We also saw the other extreme: smoky, neutral eyes. This year, the look is a bit softer. I love the combination of both, a deep smoky eye design with just a pop of colour on the lid, close to the lashes.
The look: all shadows applied wet. Pure Finish mineral foundation in Pure Finish #2. Flawless Finish Maximum Coverage concealer in Fair. eye-shadows: Sparkling Sable, Electric Teal, and Sunset. Lip colour: Sunset lip gloss. Smoky Eyes pencil in Espresso, eyebrow pencil in Natural Beige. Grand Entrance mascara in Stunning Brown. The colours listed above, while they were in the PWP set (below), are available in the permanent colour collection.
Merle Norman, Westroads Mall, Omaha, Nebraska
Another line that doesn’t get enough love is Merle Norman. This was the first cosmetics line I worked for in the early ’90s, and I still use many of their products. They have a great colour selection, and the cult favourite Miracol mask is still one of my favourite products!
I had in hand both Yigal Azrouel and Prabal Gurung’s runway make-up looks, which featured soft, apricot shades with glowing skin. Both are super-flattering and easy-to-wear looks, so that’s what we decided to go for with the Merle Norman collection.
The Look: eye-shadow in Vanilla Mousse, cheek colour in Sugar Melon, Long-wearing Shadow Stick crayons in Glow and Fortune. Lip gloss in Diamond Diva. Diamond Diva mixed with Glow Shadow Stick used as highlighter. Lip Pencil Plus in Tender Kiss (one of my favourite lip colours at the moment). Black pencil eyeliner and black Wicked Lash mascara. Find the nearest Merle Norman Boutiques at www.merlenorman.com (in the US, Bahrain, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and three locations in the United Arab Emirates).
Lancôme, Von Maur Westroads, Omaha, Nebraska
Lancôme, another line for whom I’ve worked, lured me in with a gorgeous gift-with-purchase (GWP) perfect for recreating the warm metallic smoky eye used in Tadashi Shoji’s show. The Bronze Amore Color Design palette was stunning on its own, but it came with a GWP that worked beautifully with it.
GWP colours. Illuminator: Shimmer Touch Lumière Blush Subtil. eye-shadows: Golden Amande, Café Crème, Nude Parfait, and Kitten Heel. All are sold singly are part of the permanent colour collection. The lipstick in the GWP was Sugared Maple, coincidentally my favourite lipstick while I worked for Lancôme (and for years after I left). It must have been fate to stop by Lancôme’s counter!
Chantecaille, Neiman–Marcus at the Domain, Austin, Texas
I wanted to love every piece of Chantecaille’s new autumn line, the Lion Collection. The collection was created to bring awareness to the work of the Lion Guardians, a conservation group based in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. Five per cent of proceeds from the Lion Collection go to the Lion Guardians. What’s not to love?
As it turns out, I do love the colours, which, according to the make-up artist, were inspired by the coats of lion cubs. I just already own several very similar eye-shadows. The blush on the other hand was gorgeous and not something I already owned. It gave more colour pay-off than I expected and lasted all day.
I decided to try another look similar to the Francesca Liberatore (previously done with Elizabeth Arden) but with slightly warmer, greener colours. In order to re-create the intensity of the look, we went with Iron Ore (deep brown with gold flecks) and Emerald (mossy green with gold shimmer) eye-shadows. We balanced the intensity of the eye make-up with the Cheek Pride blush I mentioned above, and Sunset Lipstick. While these colours have some shimmer, it is not much more than a subtle sheen once applied to the skin. The result is a very smooth, even colour that looks matte without looking flat.
I love the colours in the Lion Collection eye palette and would have bought them in a second if didn’t already own so many similar ones. I recommend the collection highly if these colours are missing from your palette.
Jane Iredale, the Beauty Store, North Austin, Texas
At the Beauty Store, we decided to combine the smoky neutrals at the Diane von Fürstenberg show with the soft metallic of the Tadashi Shoji show’s make-up design. Jane Iredale has the perfect products to not only create the look, but to wear comfortably all day long. Since fall and winter are when I do more aggressive treatments on my skin, it’s a good idea to have a handful of reliably gentle products to use.
The look: Amazing Base SPF 20 Loose Mineral Powder, Eye Shere metallic cream eye-shadow in Brown Silk, and my favourite brown mascara anywhere, Agate Brown Mascara, finishing with Lip Fixation in Desire.
I’m now restocked and inspired for the season. Autumn, I’m ready for my close-up! •
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