From bold to barely-there, the looks for Spring 2018 ran the gamut from New York to London to Milan to Paris. There were cat-eyes tailored to every lid shape and lifestyle; sequins, crystals, and glitter born to be captured on KiraKira; and gleaming cheekbones that could rival the Bat-Signal. Even nails got in on the athleisure movement that has steadily staked its claim on catwalks over the past few seasons, while backstage pros breathed new life into classic ponytails and crimson pouts behind the scenes. Here, we packed a month’s worth of runway trends into one, experimental week guaranteed to jumpstart your beauty routine.
Monday: Just wing it
Why ease into things when you can get down to business with a fierce feline flick done in basic black or a punky “neon pastel” (as seen at Missoni)? The key to showing liquid liner who’s boss: Start at the bottom and work your way up. Diane Kendal, the makeup artist behind the couture-inspired cat-eyes at Marc Jacobs, traced along each model’s inner rim and lower lashes before extending the line up towards the tail-end of the brow. Then, she joined the wing to tear duct to complete the shape. “If I start on top, I get a bit lost,” explained Kendal, who perfected the graphic eye with thin Muji cotton buds (a pro favorite) dipped in makeup remover.
For a simpler approach that doesn’t necessarily require a steady hand, do as Yadim did backstage at Jason Wu and use a flat, damp brush to apply a “pinky print” of military green shadow to your outer corners. Or coat the joint of a plastic straw with MAC’s Pro Longwear Fluidline in Blacktrack like makeup artists at Lanvin, and stamp it on the outer portion of your lid for a foolproof—and very funky—wing.
Tuesday: Pony up
Backstage pros proved you can teach an old pony new tricks. Strands were bound with black and neon elastic at both Alberta Ferretti and Fenty x Puma, while tails were with looped with logo-covered silk scarves at Lanvin. Mane master Anthony Turner got creative by folding ponies into “origami bows” and securing them in place with scraps of kimono-inspired fabric at Rochas. Sam McKnight even used a vacuum (yes, really) to encapsulate tails in clear Perspex at Chanel. But perhaps the easiest way to transition a simple tail from treadmill to swinging soiree came courtesy of McKnight at Dries Van Noten. After slicing a deep side part and pulling the length into a low pony, the hairstylist adhered a glittering strip of Swarovski crystals to hair with toupee tape.
Wednesday: Push through hump day with highlighter
The bad girl herself is partly to blame for the bling-y cheekbones that practically blinded unsuspecting show-goers all over the globe this season. After sporting skin swathed with her ultra-shiny Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter in Trophy Wife at the launch of Fenty Beauty in Brooklyn, Rihanna tasked makeup artist James Kaliardos with crafting a similarly strobed look for the Fenty x Puma show during NYFW. The face painter swirled multiple shades of RiRi’s new shimmery powder in a C-shape from brows to the tops of cheekbones for a multifaceted finish reminiscent of a summer sunset. Backstage at Kenzo, makeup artist Thomas de Kluyver created “Japanese, sci-fi surfer girls” by layering MAC’s Cream Colour Base in Luna or Improper Copper with Extra Dimension Blush in Just a Pinch for a “two-tone” effect that looked mesmerizing on every model in the diverse lineup.
For a subtler sheen, try applying a clear balm—like Glass Gloss, a multi-use formula Joyce Bonnelli debuted from her forthcoming line (Joyce Bonnelli Cosmétiques) behind the scenes at Ben Taverniti Unravel Project—to the high points of your face. Or use MAC’s new Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour Metallics in Metrochome in lieu of bronzer like Tom Pecheux at Brandon Maxwell. To truly take highlighter to new heights, swap standard powders and creams for glitter—a move made by Sil Bruinsma at Thom Browne’s otherworldly extravaganza in Paris. “The glitter is very fine, so we didn’t use any type of adhesive,” said the pro of the finely milled sparkles pressed over MAC’s dewy Studio Waterweight Foundation. “You can just dab it on with your fingertips and it stays.”
Thursday: Be on red alert
Crimson will forever be a beauty classic, but instead of creamy bullets that can slip and slide, multiple makeup artists reached for budge-proof liquid lipsticks that stayed put long after models took their final laps on the runway. And after seeing the same formula—MAC’s Retro Matte Liquid Lipcolour—pop up behind the scenes in multiple cities, shades like Feels So Grand, Quite the Standout, Carnivorous are your best bets if you’re overwhelmed by the seemingly limitless options.
Tom Pecheux slicked a matte, geranium color across lips with a brush at both Max Mara and Philosophy di Lorenzo Serafini, let it dry, then blurred the perimeter with a Q-tip. (For more luster, he added a clear gloss to pouts at Philosophy.) “It leaves a stain and almost becomes part of your lips,” said the Pecheux of the “liquid-suede” finish. Inge Grognard devised an “edgy” ombré effect for Shayne Oliver’s debut at Helmut Lang, while Diane Kendal kept things “soft” and “fresh” at Sonia Rykiel with L’Oréal Paris’ Infallible Lip Paint. For those who would rather not keep up with the Kardashians, Grognard and Kendal offered the same piece of advice: Stay true to your natural lip shape—don’t overdraw. “It’s not about round, sexy lips,” added Grognard.
Friday: Make yourself blush
Blush might just be the easiest way to look healthy, happy, and approachable…which is probably why the icy fashion crowd hasn’t always embraced a friendly flush on the runway. This season, however, optimism is very much in despite the tumultuous state of the world. “It’s the new party makeup—it’s positive and fun,” said Pat McGrath of the shimmery pink lids and cheeks she created at Valentino by layering VR Nectar shadow from the Mothership II Palette in Sublime, Skin Fetish highlighter, and a secret ingredient “that’s coming soon.” Dick Page gave girls a “real” glow using a “mix of lipsticks” at Jacquemus, while Lisa Butler tapped Kjaer Weis Cream Blush in Embrace on both lips and cheeks at Isabel Marant. Behind the scenes at Nina Ricci, Janeen Witherspoon fanned Bobbi Brown’s Pot Rouge in universally flattering Chocolate Cherry across models’ faces, then “bumped up” the color on deeper skin tones using Make Up For Ever HD Blush in 515 (a vivid tangerine). But no matter which shade you choose, try the application technique Alex Box employed at Issey Miyake to craft a fresh-from-the-cold flush: Rub liquid or cream blush between the fleshy part of both palms and press them onto the apples. “You can’t go wrong,” said Box. “The hearts of your thumbs are the same size as your cheeks.”
Saturday: Light up the night
The fact that KiraKira became a fashion must-have among everyone from editors to makeup artists during the Spring 2018 season is no coincidence, as the slew of sparkling maquillage seen everywhere from New York to Paris practically begged to be captured on the twinkling app. Whether you make a single Swarovski crystal your new beauty calling card (as seen on a handful of models at Givenchy), or outline eyes with gems (like makeup artist Peter Philips did at Dries Van Noten) for a “touch of Vegas campiness,” now is your time to shine. Amp up basic lip balm by pressing silver glitter particles across your pout (spotted at Shrimps), bedazzle your ear instead of splurging on a diamond-encrusted cuff (as seen at Gucci), or send a starburst-like stripe of shimmery pigment down the center of lids like Pat McGrath at Anna Sui. The only rule that applies when you’re putting on the glitz: Make it “memorable,” said backstage pro Michele Magnani at Stella Jean. That, and capture your look for posterity…and Instagram.
Sunday: Make sweatpants your mani inspo
Lazy Sundays were practically made for sweats, but thanks to manicurists, you can still sport your favorite track pants to that boardroom meeting on Monday. Alicia Torello branded ring fingers with the Champion logo at Kith, while Jin Soon sent straight or diagonal bands of black or periwinkle blue inspired by ’80s streetwear down pointer fingers at Tibi. And thanks to Rita Remark, models showed their team spirit via a “letterman manicures” at Monse. The polish pro used a skinny eyeliner brush and Essie’s Blanc to paint graphic lines (like those seen on the glossy basketball court where the show took place) onto fingers and toes. Then, she capped off models’ thumbs with the letter M, but you can personalize your paint job with your own initials. Leave it to Céline, however, to make the athleisure look feel extra luxe via gilded racing stripes. Recreate the look minus a trip to the corner nail salon (or a steady hand) with metallic masking tape, which leaves you with even more time to binge-watch Netflix in bed.