Backstage at Chris Benz Spring 2013 — Makeup Inspired By Japanese Horror Films
Admittedly, as a seasoned cinematic scaredy cat, I’ve never watched a Japanese horror film — heck, I’ve barely watched some of the classic American scary flicks that have become synonymous with the genre on a national scale (and yes, that includes Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist). New York-based fashion designer Chris Benz, however, has watched enough Japanese horror movies to know that, in many of them, the spooky female characters are depicted as having pale, almost translucent skin, while the skin under their eyes and all over the cheeks features a hair-raising, eerie reddish pink color, as if blood had risen to the skin’s surface. Inspired by Japanese horror flicks like Isola, then, Benz created a collection that blurred the line between the bone-chilling and the beautiful, the frightening and the fanciful. And, to complete the effect, he relied on the Lancôme team to create a makeup look that would at once captivate and repulse viewers, making them look away only to steal another glance at the disturbing yet somehow arresting visions before them. Daniel Martin, key makeup artist for Lancôme at the Chris Benz Spring 2013 show, says the look was rather minimalist, with rather sheer skin, a muted lip, and a bright punch of color on the eyes and cheekbones.
To give the models mini-facials before commencing the makeup routine, the Lancôme team applied the new Lancôme Génifique Eye Light-Pearl, which illuminates the area under the eyes, and then followed with the new Lancôme Bienfait Aqua Vital Lotion, an oil-free moisturizer that restores skin to its optimal moisture balance. To give the skin natural-looking coverage, the makeup team relied on the Lancôme Effacernes Waterproof Corrective Under Eye Concealer and then applied the Giorgio Armani Maestro Foundation, which boasts a slightly dewy finish that revitalizes the skin.
Next, Martin and the Lancôme team reached for the bright pink hue in the Lancôme Blush in Love in Pommettes D’Amour compact (available in Spring 2013), a square-shaped, two-toned powder cheek color palette that contains a tiny coral square shade at the center, surrounded by a peony pink frame, applying the pink blush all along the cheeks, on the lids, and along the brow bone using a double-ended brush, stopping beneath the brow. The color, then, extended from the brow to below the cheekbones, covering about half of the face on either side. Next, they applied the Lancôme Color Design Infinité 24H Eye Shadow in Perpetual Pink, using fingers to blend the light pinks shade along the inside of the eyes, just along the inner corners. Adding to the eerie effect, the Lancôme Le Crayon Khôl in Blanc was applied to the inside rim of eyes to make them look wider and spookier. Brows were kept bare and, rather than mascara, meanwhile, they used the Lancôme Modèle Sourcils Brow Groomer in Naturel on curled lashes to give them definition without drawing attention away from the pink eye color.
To complete the look, makeup artists applied the Lancôme Baume in Love in Coral Electric (available Spring 2013), a near-fluorescent coral hue that looks extremely sheer on lips.
The hair look for the Chris Benz Spring 2013 show, meanwhile, had a very woodsy texture, which was created by dividing models’ tresses into section and then braiding the hair in each section, then running a hot iron along the length of each braided section so as to seal in the curl achieved, and finally releasing the hair from the braids so as to create a squiggly, erratic, almost frizzy type of wave.
Check out some photos from backstage and don’t miss my interview with Daniel Martin!