A View To A Killer Look — The All-Seeing Nails And Dramatic Cat Eyes At Libertine Fall 2016
If there’s one show during New York Fashion Week in which you’re guaranteed to see refreshingly over-the-top, unconventional, larger-than-life nails and show-stopping makeup, it’s Libertine. For the brand’s Fall 2016 runway show, Libertine designer Johnson Hartig again joined forced with CND to reveal laboriously created nail looks that quite literally had all eyes on them. As for the makeup, Libertine enlisted the help of buzz-y makeup brand Too Cool For School, with artist Robert Greene leading the team backstage.
Hartig’s collection was inspired by Nikki de Saint Phalle’s Tarot Garden, a destination in Tuscany filled with larger-than-life sculptures based on Tarot card symbology. With names like The High Priestess, The Emperor, and the Magician, these sculptures — made out of steel, wire mesh, ceramic, and hand-cut glass mosaics — form a magical alternate universe filled with joyful colors and textures.
The anti-establishment quality of Nikki de Saint Phalle’s work, along with the current sociopolitical climate and the similar disenchantment of ’60s youths, informed a riotously colorful collection that seemed to convey the current frustration harbored towards establishment politics and traditional norms — in fact, the runway show concluded with models holding signs that read “Joint the Revolution” and “Bernie 4 Eva.” Fur-trimmed coats adorned with oversize sequins and embroidered eye patches were paired with sequined tights and fuzzy sandals. Floor-length coats featured surrealist landscape-inspired prints with ’60s-flavored rainbows that lent them a psychedelic vibe. Flower child slogans were reinvented so that sweaters and coats featured phrases like “Love Don’t Fight” in bold block letters. Cigarette pants, coats, and dresses were embellished with playful symbols — from eyes to hearts, paisley swirls, birds, and hands with red fingernails — many of them created via the careful positioning of studs and colored crystals and others woven into patches and then embroidered onto garments. The vibrant colors, textural juxtapositions, surrealist motifs, and rebellious attitude of the Libertine Fall 2016 collection all served as inspiration for the intricate nail art look.
To complement the beaded eye embellishments seen throughout the collection, the CND team hand-sculpted 180 eyes in an assortment of sized, using RETENTION+ Liquid & Powder to create the almond-shaped outline of each eye, the round center pupil, and the playful lashes above the curved top edge. The nails were then painted with SHELLAC Brand 14+ Day Nail Color and VINYLUX Weekly Polish, relying on red, green, blue, orange, and pink hues and both black and white accents. As if that weren’t enough, 60 of the pupils were embellished with LED-lit Swarovski crystals so that they literally twinkled on the runway. Now, that‘s called having a vision!
While the prize was on the eyes, the CND team also created another elaborate nail look for the runway, painting 180 nails using matte pastel shades, then embellishing them with fluffy adornments in taupe, white, and camel tones as a nod to the clothing’s faux fur trimmings and the fringed accessories used to style the collection.
The makeup, meanwhile, meant to evoke the “3 a.m. girl,” the one who parties hard and turns heads wherever she goes. to that end, makeup artist Robert Greene prioritized a smoky highlighted lid and bold, graphic, ’60s inspired eyeliner, keeping the face bare and lips neutral.
To create the look, Greene started out by prepping the skin with the Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream, then subtly illuminated the high points of the face by applying the Dinoplatz Pearl Bay Invasion Highlighter in Baby Pink Clam to the cheekbones, down the center of the nose, and along the inner corners of eyes.
Next, Greene established the foundation for his eye look, starting by curling lashes and applying the Glam Rock Urban Shadow in Devil Blue all over the lower lid, blending the eyeshadow upward into the crease and up to the brow bone, buffing the shade until the color looked seamless and there were no visible edges. To make the eyes look bigger and add a hint of shimmer, he then highlighted the inner corners of the eyes with the highlighter shade in the Too Cool For School Dinoplatz Triceratops Multi-Face Palette.
To create the bold liner look, he used the Too Cool For School Glam Rock Extreme Color Eyes in Ecstasy Black, drawing a strong line, starting at the tear duct and extending the line all the way to the outer corners of the eyes, keeping the color close to the lashline and finishing with a dramatic angled flick at the outer corners. Next, to thicken the line, he traced a heavy diagonal line back toward the inner corners of the eyes, making sure to cover half of the eyelid. Once he’d outlined the perfect shape, he filled it in with liner. Last, he applied black liner below the lower lash line, starting at the center of the eyes, below the iris, and extending the color to the outer corners of the eyes. He finished the look by connecting the liner at the outer corners of the eyes.
From the clothing to the makeup and nails, then, the Libertine show was all about eyes as the prize!