Risky Business: Fall's Daring Beauty Trends
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Risky-Business-Intro1 of 11
Bright Smoky Eyes2 of 11
Real-life tweak: "Keep the bottom color much closer to the eye and away from the inner eye area," said Gregory Arlt, director of makeup artistry for MAC Cosmetics and my "modification guru" for the looks.
Road-test results: I swept a wide band of Maybelline Eye Studio shadow in a shimmery navy—muted but still bright—on my top lids with a small shadow brush, then a thinner swoosh just under the eye, skipping the splash of green altogether. "Ohhhh," cooed my fashion publicist friend approvingly. Success!
Terra Cotta Shades3 of 11
Real-life tweak: Relegate true-brown shades to one feature—the eyes or the lips, instructed Arlt, and choose complementary peachy hues for the rest of the face.
Road-test results: I applied two coats of MAC Lipstick in Photo, which was used at the Rodarte show. Then I swept Lancôme Maison Lancôme soft peach-pink blush onto my eyes and cheeks, and added a light coat of mascara. "I like the brown because it's unexpected," said my business partner. "It's hippie-goth."
Dramatic Pastels4 of 11
Real-life tweak: "Either do the orange eye full-blown or the Pepto-pink lip full-blown—but not both," said Arlt. "And instead of gloss on the eye, go for a metallic peachy gold, and keep the color to the lid only."
Road-test results: I opted for the lips—applying a coat of Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupté in 7 Lingerie Pink—paired with a frosty peach eye color, MAC Seaside Cream Colour Base. The result was an arty baby-doll face that felt a little too done for me. "Your face looks like a fruit salad," noted my husband. Not something you want to hear.
Bold Pink Blush5 of 11
Real-life tweak: "I wouldn't modify the color, but I might modify its placement," said Arlt. "At the show, it was all the way up to the temple and down onto the lower cheek area. You're going to want to focus it instead on the upper cheekbone."
Road-test results: I loaded up on Cargo Blush in Mallorca, concentrating on the apples of my cheeks. With a single coat of black mascara and a little pink on my lips, I felt a bit like a rosy-cheeked ventriloquist doll. But when my lunch date said, "You have the skin of a 21-year-old," I knew I was no dummy!
Icy Green Eyes6 of 11
Real-life tweak: Stop the shadow just short of the brow, and "keep the color concentrated on the lid, bringing it up into the crease," suggested Arlt.
Road-test results: Using Clinique Lid Smoothie in Cute-Cucumber (a low-shimmer olive green), I coated the lower part of my lids with my fingertip, then worked it upward until it faded out close to where my brows start, and topped off the look with a light coat of mascara. "Cool and alien-ish," said a friend. It could be worse, I thought.
All-Over Nude Face7 of 11
Real-life tweak: Add a light, shimmery eye shadow, a brown mascara and trade out the foundation on the mouth for a nude gloss, advised Arlt about this blanched look.
Road-test results: I usually relegate foundation to my T-zone, so the all-over application of my Nars Sheer Glow already felt like a leap. But the end look (mono-colored, pore-less skin) had me wondering why I don't put forth the effort every day. Still, after adding a nude-toned gloss and a hint of brown mascara, I worried that I still only looked half alive.
Spider Lashes8 of 11
Real-life tweak: To tone down the piece-y effect, Arlt suggested using two coats of mascara, letting the first coat dry before applying the second. "I would guess there were around four coats of mascara used for the Lanvin show," he added.
Road-test results: Using two coats of Diorshow Backstage Mascara in black, I meticulously coated both sets of lashes before embarking on a lunch meeting with two 30-something women. "Very cute, very Twiggy," said one, while the other tried not to stare and eventually uttered a limp "nice."
Shimmery White Eyes9 of 11
Real-life tweak: Arlt suggested I ditch the optical white shadow for a flesh-toned hue and skip the white eyeliner altogether.
Road-test results: But because my complexion is pale, I stuck with the stark-white shadow (CoverGirl Smoky Shadow Blast in Onyx/Smoke), concentrating the application on the inner eye area and the section of my upper lid closest to my lash line. After brushing on a major coat of mascara, I felt like the White Witch in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe—icy, glamorous and quite possibly evil... in a good way.
Retro Liner10 of 11
Real-life tweak: "Keep the liner thick, but don't wing it out as dramatically," advised Arlt.
Road-test results: Of all the looks I tried, this one was the most time-consuming to apply, because the liner on both eyes had to match in thickness and shape. After achieving near-symmetry with Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner, I headed to my local CVS, where my bold look elicited a handful of stares. "What do you think of my eyeliner?" I asked a gray-haired woman in line behind me. "I like it," she said with a shrug, "but it's a bit much for the drug store."
Glossy Red Lips11 of 11
Real-life tweak: If you leave out the brows, "this is one look that doesn't need to be toned down," said Arlt, but conceded that there are "reds for chickens" (like me), such as glosses and stains.
Road-test results: I chose Josie Maran Magic Marker Lip Stain in the pinkish-red shade Waltz. The intense stain includes a marker-style applicator on one end and a colored balm on the other, and the effect was similar to the bold mouths on the runway, but without the high-maintenance hassle. In fact, I only had to do one quick touch-up all day.
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