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Smoky Eyes, Glossy Red Lips, And Braided Chignons At Sophie Théallet Spring 2011

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Designer Sophie Théallet’s Spring 2011 collection channeled the independent spirit and unconventional brand of beauty that distinguished late Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, with a rich color palette ranging from ivory to blood red, soft black, burgundy, pottery-ready brown, and midnight blue. Some of the pieces, such as an embroidered, flutter-sleeve top, nodded to traditional Mexican garb (such as the ubiquitous peasant blouse), while others referenced more romantic fare through the usage of ’50s-ready drop-waist silhouettes, lace overlays that recalled mid-20th century Latin American fashions, and tiered ruffle skirts with column-like cuts.

In keeping with the motif, NARS makeup artist Lena Koro opted for a glamorous look consisting of smoky eyes and glossy red lips, which she says was inspired by Costa Rican-born singer Chavela Vargas, who gained acclaim for her renditions of Mexican ranchera classics (among them “La Llorona”), which manage to convey passion and tenderness despite the coarse, gravelly, sometimes masculine nature of her vocals. A raven-haired beauty with dark, brooding eyes, Vargas was known in the ’50s and ’60s for her penchant for dressing men’s suits, smoking cigars, and heavy drinking. Kahlo’s long-time lover, Vargas dedicated a particularly soul-stirring rendition of “La Llorona” to Kahlo upon her passing.

To create the look, Koro started by applying NARS Pure Radiant Tinted Moisturizer (new for Spring 2011) and NARS Deep Throat Blush on models’ visages, keeping the coverage at a minimum. On eyes, Koro applied the NARS Calanque Trio Eyeshadow (new for Spring 2011); as well as the darker, sooty brown shade in the NARS Cordura Duo Eyeshadow; and the steel gray shade in the NARS Tzarine Duo Eyeshadow. She then lined eyes with the black side of the NARS Okinawa Trio Eyeshadow (new for Holiday 2010) and coated lashes with the NARS Larger Than Life Lengthening & Volumizing Mascara.

Rather than cancelling lips, as is so typically done when smoky eyes are in play, Koro created a deliciously red pout, applying the NARS Vesuvio Pure Matte Lipstick, a burgundy-tinged shade, and adding a vinyl-like sheen with the clear NARS Triple X Lip Gloss.

A braided hairstyle seemed apropos for a Frida Kahlo-inspired collection, but Aveda lead stylist Antoinette Beenders infused the look with more drama by creating a twisted braided chignon with tons of height along the back.

To create the look, Benders prepped damp hair with Aveda Smooth Infusion Style-Prep Smoother and using a fine-tooth comb, created a center part, proceeding to blow dry hair straight. Next, she brushed the hair back and tied it into a high pony at the crown, spraying it with Aveda Air Control Hair Spray. The ponytail was then braided and, to give it some texture, Benders massaged the braided hairs with her fingers, adding more spritzes of Aveda Control Force Hair Spray.

Next, to create the twist, Benders attached a black taffeta headband around the base of the braid, attaching it to the crown of the head with hairpins. Beenders then folded the braid in half in an upward motion, looping it to create a vertical braided chignon. Securing the look with hairpins, she then set it with Aveda Control Force Firm Hold Hair Spray.

More pics below!

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