Backstage beauty: amp up your make-up look

By Katie Wright

Perusing the faces of models on the autumn/winter catwalks, it feels like the make-up perfectly reflects the mood of the season right now – and don’t forget, these shows took place some seven months ago.

As our social lives get back on track, and sales of colour cosmetics rebound after the lockdown slump, the overarching AW21 theme of wearable glamour suits the sense of cautious optimism so many of us are feeling at the moment.

This season’s key make-up trends don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, they offer a modern, sophisticated take on timeless classics…

Feline flick

Black winged eyeliner was everywhere during fashion month. Razor-sharp feline flicks were painted with precision at Chanel, Schiaparelli, Valentino, Erdem and more. The only question is: how dramatic do you want to go?

To create a major feline moment, you’ll need a jet black liquid liner – and a steady hand. For a more subtle alternative, use a sharp liner pencil to add a flick at the outer corner of the eye – this look helps to elongate small or round eyes.

beauty43nars powermatte lip pigment spin me
Nars Powermatte Lip Pigment Spin Me, £23, available from Boots. PA Photo/Handout.

Bold lips

Scarlet lips never go out of style, of course. But this season, why not try a darker berry hue inspired by the saturated shades seen at Molly Goddard, Bibhu Mohapatra and Erdem.

Matte cherry red, burgundy or merlot tones look beautiful with a dewy complexion, nude eye make-up and lots of black mascara.

beauty2 dior mono couleur couture high colour eyeshadow
Dior Mono Couleur Couture High-colour Eyeshadow 098 Black Bow, £27.50, available from Dior. PA Photo/Handout.

Smoky eyes

When we talk about ‘smoky eye’ make-up, we usually mean a variety of eyeshadow shades blended together. But this season’s most stunning eye looks, as seen at Dior and Chanel, are literally smoke coloured.

Black eyeshadow might be a bit daunting, but the beauty of a charcoal hue is it suits all eye colours; you just need to tailor the application (if you have small eyes don’t go too heavy), blend it out so there are no heavy lines, and finish with volumising mascara (or false lashes).

Cool shimmer

Metallic eye make-up was another big trend, and while the two-tone, glittering gold and silver look at Prada (meaning one colour on each eyelid) might not be for everyone, the subtle shimmer at Mark Fast feels fresh and flattering.

How to find your perfect metallic match? Choose a soft eyeliner or liquid shadow in a cool tone (like icy pastel blue, frosted pink or mint) that contrasts with your eye colour.

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