Facial awareness: Autumn make-up looks

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The new season isn't just about clothes – plenty of beauty trends appeared on the catwalks, too. Harriet Walker highlights the biggest make-up looks for autumn



Fresh Forties


A long with pencil skirts, falling collars and shoulder pads, make-up took a distinctly Roaring Forties direction for autumn. Ladylike red lips sat atop flawless complexions at Diane von Furstenberg, where models also sported rough chignons, while scarlet lips were teamed with side partings at Sonia Rykiel.

But, just like the clothing on the catwalks, Forties beauty was given a futuristic spin, with skin left natural, even glossy in some cases, and complexions given a certain freshness: make-up artists referenced Land Girls rather than powdered grandees, with plenty of natural radiance and rosy cheeks shining through.

Henry Holland's girlish models in their crochet knits embodied the modern update of the look, with hair swept back into loose, rough-dried ponytails.

Skin needs nothing more than a layer of Topshop's powder foundation, for an even and matte finish, and an oh-so-light dusting of blush in rose pink – apply this slightly below the cheekbone to avoid too cartoonish a look. Keep well-plucked brows ruthlessly tamed with a slick of MAC's brow gel and try Lancôme's new Doll Eyes mascara for a clean and subtle flutter.

The red lip is slightly more mature this season, so eschew bright pillarbox shades for a richer oxblood.

"Smudge your foundation or concealer around the lipline to ensure you have a clean line when applying your lipstick," advises Lori Taylor, make-up artist at Smashbox Cosmetics.

Shade 1 from Kate Moss's new range for Rimmel is brilliantly vivid and gives a matte finish without drying your lips.

The Red Lip

"Start by powdering the lip and make sure your liner is as close to your lip shade as possible. Then fill the lip with one coat of your red lipstick and blot with tissue. Apply a second coat and, with a flat line brush, use concealer to sharpen edges around the lip."

Lori Taylor, Smashbox Cosmetics

Land Girl Hair

"To get the 'Land Girl' look, use tongs or straighteners on dry hair. Hair-spray sections and roll into 'barrel curls' – these are pinned away from your head, similar to the effect rollers give. Once all of the hair is up into 'barrels', spray once more all over with hairspray. Leave them to cool and set and then take out and brush through lightly."

Nick Irwin, Creative Director at TIGI

Metallics

After a bright and breezy summer season inspired by the Seventies, autumn beauty moves into the darker end of the decade, with heavy metal showing up on eyelids, fingernails, cheekbones, lips and even hair. Bronze, pewter and gold conjure a glam rock aesthetic and this season, the emphasis is more on rock than it is on glamour.

Models at Roberto Cavalli had layers of different shimmering metallic shadow worked right up to their brows, while straggly wet-look hair was brushed through with flecks of gold. At Chanel, meanwhile, there was an apocalyptic feel, with silver shades worked onto nude skin for an almost robotic feel, as well as the classic smoky eye reinvented with oodles of reflective sparkle. The label has also released yet another batch of soon-to-be cult nail varnishes in holographic metal shades.

For smoky metallic eyes, choose shadow with thick pigment and a creamy texture for extra coverage; the key here is that it looks daubed on. "I would advise starting from a light shade and intensifying little by little to suit how deep and how smoky you would like it," says beauty guru Laura Mercier. "The more you line into the centre of the eye, the more dramatic the look will become."

Try refreshing cheeks with a sweep of pale gold eyeshadow to add shimmer. Shu Uemura's glittering gold lipstick can be applied liberally for a more extreme look or dotted on your cupid's bow for subtle emphasis, while Nuxe's gold hair oil will add a little shimmer up top as well. The important thing is to keep skin clear and fresh-looking, so don't trowl on the foundation – the look is more Robocop than roller-disco.

The Metallic Eye

"For the perfect metallic eye, begin with a sheer base on the lid and up on the brow arch to create a highlight. Then run a loose line very close to the base of your lashes, the full length of the eye, or the outer third only. Smudge away until there are no hard lines, only density of pigment and a horizon effect going from dark to light. For further drama, add my Black Ebony Eye Liner in between the lashes on the top lid."

Laura Mercier, make-up artist

Minimal Grunge

There's a downbeat vibe to the autumn collections, which came through in clothing as sombre colours with a hint of gothic grunge. In make-up, meanwhile, it translates as simply doing very little – the catwalks full of nude-faced models. This is by turns thrillingly liberating for the woman looking to ditch the suitcase full of products she has to drag round with her all day, but also terrifying for the rest of us, who are not convinced we look human without an impermeable layer of slap.

Help comes in the form of two hero products: Smashbox's anti-shine primer, a light, skin-smoothing gel which absorbs oil from your T-zone; and Bobbi Brown's Corrector, a solid concealer which, when applied with a brush, fades spots instantly. If your skin needs a further helping hand, however, look no further than Topshop's Glow highlighter, which gives cheekbones both dewiness and brightness, while hiding redness and blemishes.

The minimal make-up looks on the catwalk were underscored by a nonchalant grunginess, rather than a fresh-faced naivety, so your flawless base needs to be framed by heavy features that ooze a bit of attitude.

The return of the strong brow is a chance to create a bit of drama, whether you're happy pencilling in Brooke Shields-esque brows or would rather just take them a shade darker. There were thick brows aplenty at Acne and Alexander Wang, where barely-there make-up perfectly matched the urban sleekness of both labels' aesthetics.

If you're nervous about going to such lengths, simply extending the line of your brow a little towards your temple will highlight your cheekbones and add some definition to your face.

"Your brow's own natural line should be your guide," says Bobbi Brown make-up artist Hannah Martin. "Don't try to 'create' a line – believe it or not, we're all born with the brow shape that best suits our face."

The final touch should be a sweep of subtly iridescent eyeshadow in a natural colour (pink or gold shades are most flattering, but some of the more directional takes on the catwalk used yellow or even faint mushroom hues), a smear of natural lipbalm and very, very lo-fi hair. A loose ponytail at the nape or a band pushed back into mussed hair works best. At Balmain, hair was so studiedly minimal that hairbands were practically falling out of the half-finished ponytails.

The Strong Brow

"Use a brow pencil to draw in the line, in a shade that matches the brow colour. Fill with a light feathery stroke, then go over the line with a powdered eye shadow that matches the hair colour closely. Using a stiff, flat, angled brow brush, stroke the shadow lightly from the inner corner of the brow along the entire length to fill it. To finish, stroke colour along the upper edge of the brow to accentuate and give 'lift' to the eye area."

Hannah Martin, Bobbi Brown

The Fashion Nail

"Special effect polishes and metallics are big in nails this season and I also love a matte topcoat combined with a glossy finish. The contrast of textures looks so modern and stylish. The inspiration for my new autumn collection came from some of the fabrics I've seen in the designer collections – the Dolce & Gabbana star print, for example, and the Missoni fabric inspired my answer to the Aztec Navarro trend in nail art."

Sophy Robson, nail artist

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