Happy Labor Day! Tradition dictates this is the official transition from summer to fall, and since New York Fashion Week begins September 6th, it certainly feels like we should be putting away all things summer and breaking out the fall wardrobe and transitioning from summer makeup to fall’s palette. But not everyone is a slave to the fashion calendar (nor can she afford to be!), and not everyone lives in a place where the climate works with you to make the transition feel natural. Here at ColorOn HQ in South Florida, “fall” is more a label than an actual season, and we shift to falls colors and clothing to be au courant (and because the tourists start arriving next month and REALLY descend upon us in November for the beginning of the “social season”).
All this build-up is to say that you don’t have to abandon everything about your summer look as the leaves prepare to turn in those places where leaves turn colors. A perfect example is the hairstyle we’re featuring in today’s post: the topknot. It’s an updo you see on the runway in some form year-round. In fact, these images come from celebrity events and previous Fashion Weeks during all four seasons. And when it comes to the makeup worn with a hairstyle that put so much focus upon the eyes and face, you have plenty of options – from casual to red carpet. Since casual is a bit of a no-brainer, let’s examine how to incorporate the topknot into more “formal” makeup looks…
GWEN STEFANI: The multi-hyphenate rock star turned fashion designer, who will be performing with her band No Doubt at the kick-off of the NFL season Wednesday night along with Mariah Carey (who could have guessed THAT 17 years ago listening to “Just a Girl”? Certainly not Mrs. Rossdale herself!), has mastered the art of the messy topknot-as-red-carpet-chic and made it a major part of her look. She debuted it in her “formal wardrobe” in November of last year at the Museum for Contemporary Art (MOCA) Gala in Los Angeles wearing this black Carven gown – and earlier in the day, she wore essentially the same topknot with more random pieces pulled out for the premiere of her Harajuku Mini for Target collection at the Jim Henson Studios, were she wore a very casual jacket-and-cropped-pant suit from her own L.A.M.B. collection.
To balance out the highly controlled messiness of this “evening” topknot, her makeup is very precise and glamorous. To duplicate her look, start with ColorOn’s Platinum and Pearls from the Metallics Variety Kit, blending it from the inner corners of the eye across the lid and browbone, and all the way out to the tail of the brow. Take an eyeliner brush and dip it in the creamy metallic shadow remaining on the cover film, and apply a bit more to the inner corners, and draw a thin line below the lower lashes. Then take ColorOn’s Smooth Black Star Gold Shimmer loose mineral pigment, a dark black/brown and gold shimmer, and use either with a wet or dry eyeliner brush to draw a cat’s eye swoop of liner along the upper lash line, extending it just past the outer edge of the eye and flicking it upward.
Line the upper and lower inner rims of the eyes with a bronzed brown kohl liner. Gwen is wearing a strip of false eyelashes, and if you have the skills, go for it! Otherwise, black mascara on the upper and lower lashes, then apply additional coats to the outer half of the upper lashes, allowing them to dry between coats. Gwen wears very sculpted, brows with a high arch, bleached to a light brown to complement her platinum mane, and filled lightly for that retro look she cultivates. She’d be a BrowPro Full Light.
Add Gwen’s signature red statement lip in a cool tone since your eye makeup is comprised of silver and platinum (no doubt Gwen’s is a L’Oreal lippie, since she’s a spokesperson), and you’re very good to go. To maintain a red lip like this, experts always recommend you choose a matching lip liner, line the lips precisely along the natural borders and then fill them in completely, apply your lipstick with a brush – again for precision – blot, and then apply another coat of lipstick. And just to make note – Gwen’s still working this look brilliantly, as evidenced by No Doubt’s performances on Good Morning America and the Teen Choice Awards in July.
CARA DELEVINGNE: One of Burberry’s favorite mannequins, the gorgeous Cara Delevingne’s eyes are absolutely arresting, and are always the feature the makeup artists play up. Leave off the makeup, don’t style her hair, and put her in Burberry’s most casual Wellies and a plain mac, and you still can’t hide how gorgeous she is. Pull her hair into a pretty topknot and give her a smoky eye, and you get THIS. Wow.
To recreate Cara’s eye makeup, start with ColorOn’s Gypsy from the Metallics Variety Kit, but confine the application to the lid and crease, leaving the brow bone bare or if you choose the whole application, blending what’s on the brow bone down to a barely there application that just perfects the area. Blend the deeper mocha shadow from the inner corner of the lid outward beyond the eyelid and toward the temple. Then take an eyeliner brush and drip it first in the mocha shadow remaining on the cover film and starting at that outermost point, draw it back and under the lower lashes, stopping under the pupil. Clean the eyeliner brush (or use another), then dip it in the metallic white shadow on the cover film and apply it lightly to the inner lower corner of the eye and under the lower lash line out toward the pupil, blending well so that it’s just a shimmering glow, not a heavy application.
Grab a black kohl eyeliner pencil and trace a thin line along the upper lash line, widening it only slightly as you reach the outer corner of your eyelid and giving it a little flick upward. This isn’t meant to be big a dramatic like Gwen’s cat’s eyeliner; this should be more of an enhancement to your lashes and barely noticeable. Use the same black kohl to line the upper and lower inner rims, and apply black mascara to the upper and lower lashes.
Cara has dark and dramatic brows to go with those penetrating eyes, which are kept close to natural and grow very straight and at a slight upward angle, but with no arch. However, they’re obviously groomed and brushed into place, and very glossy. If you have very straight brows like Cara, see a professional for a shaping – they could look like this! And then you can maintain them by cleaning up the strays as they grow in. For the rest of us, if you have sparse or thinner brows but want brows this full and dark to achieve the same intensity, you’ll need BrowPro in Full Dark – but you will end up with an arch!
JULIANNE HOUGH: Dancer/singer/actress Julianne Hough, here at the Los Angeles premiere of the Tom Cruise vehicle Rock of Ages earlier this year, combines the artfully disheveled topknot with a sexy, floor-length Kaufman Franco designer gown. Again with the versatility!
In order for this version to reach the needed level of formality, Julianne’s makeup needed the same sort of metallic “oomph” Gwen employed. To get the same effect, start with ColorOn’s 14 Karat from the Metallics Variety Kit, using a full application and then dipping an eyeliner brush into the creamy gold shadow left on the cover film to apply it under the lower lashes from the inner corner all the way out and up to meet the application on your eyelids. It should look like a wash of golden shadows all around the eye. Julianne has the type of eye where the eyelid is not visible when the eyes are open (something even those with deep-set eyes eventually deal with as well as the eyes age), so her makeup artist opted for strip lashes and skipped mascara on the lower lashes altogether. If you’re as uncomfortable applying faux lashes as we are (and even the experts aren’t magicians; we see pictures all the time from red carpet events where we pull in for the extreme close up on an image to examine the makeup and can see the false lashes breaking free and making a run for it), curl your lashes and apply multiple coats of mascara to the upper lashes only. Just be sure to comb them while wet, and let them dry between coats.
Julianne has very blonde brows to match her pale lashes and blonde hair, so her MUA also grooms and fills her brows. Julianne has a nice rounded arch, and wears her brows neither too thin or too thick, leaving her bright blue eyes center stage, so to speak. She’s a BrowPro Medium Light.
With all that golden glowing going on, Julianne’s statement lip needs a neutral-to-warm undertone, and this pretty coral/melon shade plays well this the neon citrus shade of her gown, especially with its satin, almost matte texture and very precise application.
ELIZABETH OLSEN: Actress Elizabeth Olsen, whom we hope we no longer have to qualify as “the younger sister of actresses-turned-CFDA-winning fashion designers, Olsen twins Ashley and Mary-Kate,” shows how this summery hairstyle transitions well to the fall makeup palette’s strong berry-toned lip. Her topknot has a more controlled, formal feeling, so her makeup needn’t compensate as much, especially since she’s wearing a very ornate Alexander McQueen knee-length halter dress with a pleated, tiered lace neckline, a ruffled skirt with a sheer panel, and a gold embellished waistband atop heavily beaded and embellished black velvet wedges by the same designer.
Start with ColorOn’s Ibiza from the Eye Envy Smoky Kit, our neutral smoky eye that can be worn day or night depending on how heavily you apply. In this case, blend it well for a very subtle bit of smoky, and use a small domed eye shadow brush or an eyeliner brush to draw a well-blended but substantial line under the lower lashes with the creamy taupe and brown shadows left on the cover film.
Like all of the other actresses, Elizabeth is wearing faux lash strips. Attempt bravely, or curl your lashes and apply black mascara to the upper and lower lashes, adding at least a second coat to your upper lashes after they’ve dried.
Like her sisters, Elizabeth leaves her blonde but surprisingly heavy brows relatively untouched. They seem to simply be brushed, trimmed and fixed.
For a deep berry lip like this, the same application process is recommended as for the red lip, substituting a wine or deep berry liner and a cool-toned satin-finish lipstick in a wine, deep berry, dark fuchsia…
All of the colors mentioned in the blog can be chosen and combined – along with BrowPro into a Custom Kit, or you can buy the Variety Kit in which they’re featured. Either way, same price. Need a tutorial? Watch the video on the website for application tips and tricks.
We hope you’ve enjoyed your long holiday weekend, or if you’ve had to work, we hope it was a productive time. As we mentioned before, both the start of New York Fashion Week and the MTV Video Music Awards fall on September 6th – we’ll have more makeup to talk about than we’ll know what to do with!
And how right were we on that Lindsay Lohan reference at the end of the Kate Middleton post two weeks ago? She just keeps making it too easy to pick on her, and frankly, we need more of a challenge if we’re going to actually get snarky. Something shiny will probably grab our attention before too long