Backstage with Lancôme at Chris Benz Fall 2012
Fashion designers and makeup artists often derive inspiration from films, so that career-making roles like Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Rita Hayworth as Gilda, Jodie Foster as Iris in Taxi Driver, Michelle Pfeiffer as Scarface‘s Elvira Hancock, and Uma Thurman as Pulp Fiction‘s Mia Wallace are often invoked backstage as models are fitted into ensembles, their manes coiffed and their faces painted to channel some derivation of an iconic cinematic character’s signifying look. Rarely, however, do designers reference film characters that, however memorable, steer away from their respective era’s standards of idyllic beauty, regal glamour, demure sex appeal, or stoic poise. And yet that’s precisely what up-and-coming American designer Chris Benz did when envisioning his Fall 2012 show — instead of the femme fatales and Stepford Wives of the silver screen, Benz trumpeted the quirky beauty and unbridled verve of Dolly Parton‘s character in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Liza Minnelli‘s role in Cabaret.
In a beauty paradigm, the fusion of these two cinematic characters was manifested via towering, voluminous, curly, Marie Antoinette-goes-country wigs that mimicked the shape of Parton’s hair look in the 1982 comedy and ’20s-flavored, slightly dirty-looking, sparkly makeup that channeled the seedy but vibrant, decadent cabarets of Weimar-era Berlin (Cabaret‘s setting).
Makeup artist Daniel Martin commandeered the Lancôme team backstage at the Chris Benz Fall 2012 show, envisioning a look that involved cancelling out models’ brows by using Elmer’s glue sticks (yes, you heard right!) and creating an ombré effect along the lid through an assortment of silver and gray eyeshadows.
The first step, however, was preparing models’ skin by tending to their dehydrated skin. Thanks to the Intraceuticals team, models were treated to mini facials before any makeup was applied to their complexions. First, their faces were cleansed using a Clarisonic Mia brush and the Intraceuticals Rejuvenate Cleansing Gel. Next, the Intraceuticals Daily Serum was massaged onto their skin, enriching the skin with vitamins A, C and E, a soothing green tea complex, and a moisturizing and smoothing hyaluronic acid complex. Last, the Intraceuticals Moisture Binding Cream was worked into the skin to seal in moisture, diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, refine overall texture, brighten tone, and protect the skin with a rich antioxidant complex.
Once the mini facials were completed, the Lancôme makeup artists began working their own magic. First, they applied the Lancôme Teint Idole Ultra Foundation and the Effarneces Waterproof Protective Undereye Concealer to yield a radiant canvas. Next, they prepped lids by applying the Lancôme Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolour Base, a creamy, crease-proof primer.
To contour the face, Martin relied on the Blush Subtil Palette in Nectar Lace (a new trio for Fall 2012 that includes a sculpting shade, highlighter, and cheek color). The Lancôme team, then,contoured the face with the darker shade in the palette, and highlighted the cheekbones, ridge of the nose, and jawline with the illuminating shade. The cheek color included in the palette, however, had a more unorthodox use — it was applied to models’ pouts.
Lips, then, were coated with the new Lancôme Rouge in Love in Sweet Embrace 307, a dainty creamy pink hue, and infused with a top tone of the peachy pink cheek color in the aforementioned blush palette. The Rouge in Love lipstick was applied without too much precision – rolling the lipstick right over the pout in lieu of using lip brushes. In fact, Martin said the only time he used a tool when preparing the lip was when he applied the cheek color pigment since its powdery quality necessitated such a process. To finish the pout, Martin topped off the lip colors with a bit of the Lancôme Juicy Tubes Ultra Shiny Lipgloss in Pure, a clear shade, to add a nice sheen.
If the lip look for the Chris Benz Fall 2012 show was understated, the eye shadow certainly wasn’t. To create the quirky eye look, Martin and his team started by cancelling out the eyebrows using Elmer’s glue sticks, literally rolling the white paste atop the brows so as to almost erase them (side note: this is a trick often used by drag queens so as to not have to fully shave their brows). Next, to create the desired ombré effect, they applied the Lancôme All That Glitters Color Design eyeshadow, a pale, slightly dirty-looking silver shade to lids, going up and to the brow with the color. After doing so, they used a new silver shade from the Chris Benz for Lancôme eyeshadow palette (available Fall 2012) and crushed the color, dabbing damp eyeshadow brushes atop the eyeshadow pieces, thereby breaking down the tone so that it readers a bit whiter. Next, they curled lashes with the Lancôme Lash Curler and brushed on two coats of the Lancôme Hypnôse Drama Mascara in Excessive Black, allowing the color to clump a bit so that it read slightly messy. The overall effect was a bit off-kilter and slightly seedy, yet sexy and enticing in its own unique way — much like Minnelli’s Cabaret character who, of course, rocked her own metallic silver shadows.
Because Benz’s garments were so structured, too, the deliberate haphazard quality of the makeup created a sense of balance.
Models’ nails, meanwhile, were coated with one of three shades, available exclusively at Nordstrom: Lancôme Vernis in Love Gris Angore 407, a cool, grayish lavender; Lancôme Vernis in Love Chocolate Mordore 270, a rich, reddish brown; or Lancôme Vernis in Love in Noir Caviar, a creamy gray shade. The twist: some nails had a matte finish while others were given a glossy top coat. Specifically, a mattifying top coat was brushed atop those nails coated with Noir Caviar or Gris Angore, while a regular top coat was layered over nails with the Chocolate Mordore shade.
Take a look at our video interview with Daniel Martin for more details on the look (and a sneak peek at some of the Fall 2012 releases) and check out more backstage pics after the jump.