One of the joys of covering LFW is that I have two amazing girls who work with me for the duration – Team LLG, as we call ourselves. This means we can ostensibly be in three different places at once, covering the simultaneous On and Off schedule shows, as well as popping backstage beforehand to get the lowdown on the beauty looks being created. So, here’s Briony’s take on how to achieve the really lovely look at Burberry Beauty, which she gleaned after an adventure backstage with the very impressive looking LLG Access All Areas pass…)
“At London Fashion Week for AW11 back in February, Sasha and I went backstage to learn about the beauty looks straight from the mouths of the pros to report back for our very lovely LLG readers. But since most are primarily appropriate for the grey skies of winter (and we’re currently enjoying being able to wear pink lipstick and yellow nails), we’re saving them until they’re more seasonally appropriate.
But here’s one that we think works perfectly year round: the ‘no makeup’ makeup look.
Ah yes, that holy grail of makeup looks – the one which makes us look flawless and glowing and like we’ve had a full 8 hours sleep (ha!); that makes us look that way entirely naturally (so we can pretend we wake up looking like that). The reality, of course, being that the ‘no makeup’ look is often harder to master – and takes longer to do – than a full face of makeup (ie. where you’re not trying to pretend that you’re not actually wearing any makeup).
The ‘look’: flawless, but not ‘made-up’
Well, given this perpetual quest to look ‘natural’ in our makeup, we may have just struck gold backstage at Burberry’s A/W ’11 show (did you all know that the brand now does beauty? And oh, how lovely it is?).
Here, makeup artist Wendy Rowe made the models look as if they’d woken up, put nothing but moisturiser on their faces, raked their hair back, and gone for a walk in the windy English countryside – coming in from the cold with flushed cheeks and a dewy sheen.
The key to such a look is all about three things: 1) products (sheer and blendable); 2) shades (very close to your skintone in the case of base, only a few shades darker in the case of contouring/eyes); 3) application (buff and blend like a pro so there are no obvious edges).
So here’s how to do it:
Base: Choose a foundation that is sheer and slightly dewy (rather than matte), but that’s also fairly long-wearing (you don’t want all your hard work sliding off before you’ve even had lunch), and in a shade as close to, or only one shade darker than your own skin tone – Wendy used Burberry Luminous Fluid, which looks perfect and natural. If you apply it with fingers (clean, obviously) then finish by buffing in light circular motions with a foundation brush (or a short, soft stippling brush), and if you apply it with a foundation brush (short, feathery, circular strokes), then lightly massage in with your fingertips when done – you want everything to be imperceptible to the naked eye, which means to obvious edges or brush strokes. Conceal where needed using the smallest brush possible, and again soften slightly by patting edges with fingertips afterwards.
Eyes: Gently contour the eyelids with a very light taupe shade such as Burberry Sheer Eye Shadow in Almond or MAC Shadow Pot in Kid (nothing darker – it should be just a hint of shadow to contour the eyes, rather than a bold statement) – using a soft fluffy brush. Work it into the socket and blend until their are no perceivable edges to the shadow. Using a thinner brush, bring the same shade under the eyes as though you are doing a smoky eye. Line just along the roots of the lashes with a light bronze or brown soft pencil liner, and coat lashes in a single coat of dark brown mascara.
Brows: Brush brows and fill in any gaps with brow powder, using an angled brush and light, feathery strokes to frame the face. The secret to looking ‘done’ but natural, but the step women most commonly skip (actually I just made that up, but it’s probably true…).
Contouring: Lightly contour under the cheekbones, around the temples and ever so slightly down the centre of the nose with a matte (that means no shimmery pigment) bronzer that is only a few shades darker than your skin tone. It sounds obvious, but one of the most common mistakes women make is using a bronzer and foundation too dark for their skin. If unsure, go to a beauty counter to get professionally matched. Dab a tiny amount of liquid illuminator (with a dewy, rather than disco ball sparkly finish) along the cheekbones, around the the brow. Blend with a foundation brush until it disappears into your skin. Finish with a light sweep of dusty rose powder blush on the apples of the cheeks, blended until no edges remain.
Lips: Finish with a slick of lip balm, or a sheer nude lipstick pressed into the lips with the finger (so that it’s more or a balmy tiny than an obvious colour). MAC Hue or Burberry Lip Mist in 02 are excellent.
The final look
DO try this at home and report back to us!
– Words and photos by Liberty London Girl’s Editorial Associate, Briony Whitehouse