AW17 Fashion Month closed on Tuesday, and as always it was Paris that had the final say in all things stylish. The City of Light has a knack for somehow keeping things traditional while adding the kind of twist that makes us wish we’d thought of it- whether it’s a subtle colour clash, hair that’s simultaneously polished yet undone or, you know, a giant rocket at Chanel. It’s the little things. We spent a day with ASOS beauty and Paul+Joe on the closing evening of Paris Fashion Week to get to the nitty gritty of what makes French girls tick.
Forget tightlining- the liner forecast is heavy, sultry and layered. Paul+Joe Beauté lead makeup artist Nami Yoshida smudged the brand’s Waterproof Eyeliner in Roasted Chestnut around the whole eye before adding depth and definition on the top lid and outer corners with the darker brown Liquid Eyeline r, £18. Whether you’re mixing up colours, textures or liner shapes, ‘less is more’ is no longer. The look isn’t pure grunge, however, as edgy, sweet and arty makeup additions manage to both soften and ‘punk up’ makeup that could otherwise be a bit obvious. A case in point is pink...
Think pink and your brain could well default to Barbie, but bear with me. Pink eyes sound even more risky on the makeup front, but a strategically placed flash of fuschia can elevate an otherwise simple look to one that’s sharp, unexpected and weirdly nonchalant. This was the strategy backstage at Paul+Joe, where Nami conspired with show stylist Harry and designer Sophie to create an eye look that clashed with the red in the clothing collection, in a good way. Starting with the Paul+Joe Concealer Pen to bounce back any natural redness around the eye, Nami and her team then applied Cream Cheek Colour in Punk Rock to the corner of the eye, building up the colour until it was a bright pink. Peppy pink was also spied on lips at H&M Studio and Paskal this week, proving that Paris, and the rest of the world, is ready to reclaim a Disney princess hue, add an acidic edge and wear it in unexpected ways. Which brings us to the next backstage staple...
If you’re filing gloss under syrupy, pre-teen makeup, it’s time to reassess all things high shine, not to mention rethink where you’re applying it. From gleamy cheekbones to sheeny lids, it was gloss galore in Paris, and Paul+Joe was no exception, where Eye Gloss was mixed with Lip Treatment Balm and Cream Cheek Colour before being applied up to the eye crease. The result was, in Nami’s words, ‘polished yet casual’, and when combined with liner and pink detailing as above, the finish had a 60s/70s vibe. Using gloss strategically and sparingly, sometimes in an offbeat way, is the approach du jour.
‘Put it anywhere’ products
You may already have figured this what with the blusher on the eyes trick, but just because makeup is labelled for a certain facial feature, you needn’t stick to the beauty boundaries. In another cosmetic about turn, Nami used lipstick in Grapevine on models’ cheeks, which along with the lip balm and gloss on lids, demonstrated that the French approach is nothing if not resourceful. Obviously not every blusher or lipstick will work when used elsewhere- it’s a question of judging the tone and texture and going from there. If you have a good feeling about it, proceed with flair. Extra points if you achieve Paul+Joe levels of dewiness- base your look on gels, creams and balms.
Crimping made cool
Devil may care hair that’s still kind of shiny and sexy is what the French do best, and while many models at Paris Fashion week showcased natural texture with very little intervention, where hair was styled, it was either set off with a headband or on the boho spectrum, but in a rippling, modern guise. At Paul+Joe hair was worn loose for the most part, in classic centre partings with waves beginning at the top of the ear. When I say wave, I don’t mean the beach or ringlet variety- hairstylist Teji Utsumi veered close to the crimping border, but lengths were brushed out to soften and thus update the “crimp” from its 90s cousin.
Lastly hair was tucked behind the ears for a kind of geek chic/ Game of Thrones/swinging 70s effect. You can’t pin those Frenchies down, that’s for sure. To get the look have a play with Babyliss Boutique Salon Deep Waves Tool , £50. Think of it as an adult update of that white and yellow one we all used to have with interchangeable plates (zig zag fringe anyone?!). Trust the Paris lot to make school disco hair relevent.
Wondering what French women make a beeline for at the pharmacy? Here are some popular skincare picks on the other side of the Channel…
Follow Anna on Instagram @annyhunter , ASOS Beauty @asos_beauty and Paul+Joe Beaute @paulandjoe_beaute