The Backstage Beauty Game Changer You'll Love – LFW Insider

Forget everything you’ve learned about make-up application over the last few seasons.

Nadine Leopold, backstage at Roland Mouret

A beauty game changer has arrived via London Fashion Week. Say goodbye to hours of contouring and product mixing to achieve the perfect amount of polish (Amen to that). If Val Garland and Sam McKnight’s work backstage at Roland Mouret’s AW18 show is anything to go by, less is definitely more next season.

Mouret’s inspiration for his AW18 collection was Irvin Kersner’s 1970s cult film Eyes Of Laura Mars, “portraying a type of voyeurism; a male gaze towards a modern woman, in control of her own image”. This sweeping influence translated into a much-celebrated collection full of seemingly strong contradictions, featuring baroque jacquard, lurex georgette and velvet corduroy. In terms of beauty, the muse became an offshoot of Faye Dunaway’s central character in the film. “Mouret wanted it to be inspired by Dunaway, but it’s an altered version,” explains MAC Pro make-up artist Val Garland backstage at The National Theatre in London where the show was being held. “It’s very faded and pulled back like she could have almost done it herself. If we’d have done it exactly the same as it was in the film, it would have felt too retro.” As for application, Garland and team applied a sheen on the eye “to make it look a little bit faded”. And a hint of mascara to give it a touch of finish. “We used a black pencil and I did what I call an invisible line close to the lash line with a proper gel liner. Then I took a ‘V’ through the socket inside and blend it back over, so it basically ends up looking not like black, but like a grey wash. Then I get a bit of lip balm and dab it in the centre and rub it in so you get that look of having your make-up on all day and almost need to reapply it, but it’s become very much a part of her.”


Hair stylist Sam McKnight also looked to Laura Mars as his muse. “It’s not literally interpreted, there’s a bit of a wave in the front, a bit of texture, there’s some girls with straight hair, chignons, it depends on their hair type and how they are. It’s not a uniform look. I’d say it’s more natural than done, but it’s done in a natural way. It’s sexy, natural, gorgeous hair. It’s not raw, it’s a little more polished than that.”

The good news is that in real life a “smudged cat eye” and “naturally done hair” are easy to achieve with minimum effort. While this may be backstage beauty, any trend that translates into less time spent primping and more time for everything else will guarantee this trend will become a real-life favourite.

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