After seasons of statement make-up, it takes a sharp eye to distinguish between the subtleties of finishes for the complexion for spring/summer 2015. That’s not to say that make-up artists aren’t employing plenty of techniques to prettify the skin. Be it using lipstick on the cheeks as blusher or adding highlighter to evoke a wet-look finish, their ingenuity knows no bounds. Many of the now-established trends such as contouring take on new life, while there’s a subtle shift in the color palette from pink to peach, and the polar opposites of pallor and sun-kissed complexions are still competing. The result? It’s a season of familiarity meets fresh thinking.

Make-up artists across fashion capitals concur – the skin texture of the season is velvet. Featuring a light, creamy consistency with a hint of luster to ensure the face doesn’t look flat, the result is skin that looks sophisticated and polished without being overworked. Whether acting as the main attraction or the ideal canvas, velvet skin comes in myriad guises. At DAKS, make-up artist Maria Comparetto channels a “modern Grace Kelly in April showers, silvery and wet,” by working oils into the skin before blending in foundation for an elegant finish. Powders are buffed over the complexion to create a “warm haze” at Peter Pilotto, where Lucia Pica creates “effortless raw beauty with a porcelain veil,” while at Roland Mouret, Val Garland aims to capture “optimism, freshness, and reality” with a perfectly even application of smooth base. And at Carolina Herrera, “sophisticated beauty” that’s “classic Carolina” is the look by Diane Kendal, who uses concealer and illuminating powder to create her velvet finish that still lets lips be the focal point.


As blush on the apples of the cheeks is replaced by a sweep along cheekbones, the shade in favor turns to peach. Make-up artists are ingenious in creating the fruity hue. “Hippie surfers with sun-kissed faces” cruise the catwalk at Jeremy Scott, where Kabuki applies orange paint stick across cheeks and bridge of nose, while at Creatures of the Wind, James Boehmer uses golden bronze lipstick to generate an “effortless, tomboyish, post-summer glow.” Inspired by Picnic at Hanging Rock, Val Garland uses semi-metallic cream at Erdem to add apricot highlights to eyes and cheeks for a haunting luminosity, while the “Miami Twist” theme at Pascal Millet keeps the look warm but relaxed. For Lela Rose, the Kevyn Aucoin team dusts powder across cheeks and tip of the nose for a “feminine monochrome” finish.


Riding high on cheekbones and sweeping up over the temples, iridescent flashes of sheer metallic highlights, from silver to gold, instantly give the face new definition and an injection of glamour. At Houghton, Maud Laceppe creates a sexy, dewy look that says “just out of bed on a steamy NYC morning” thanks to a delicate dusting of golden bronzing powder high on the cheeks, while the “leftover make-up” theme continues at Anthony Vaccarello, where a sweep of sheer copper is worked up the temples by Tom Pecheux, enhancing speckles of black glitter added under the eyes for a slept- or danced-in effect. Other trends to watch for: less angular contouring, honey tan complexions, wet shine, and whimsical face adornment.

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