Looking back to the 1950’s when the red lip trend was universally popular, in particular during the reign of Hollywood glamour and the iconic ‘femme fatale’ era, it is clear that red has almost sculpted the identity of a woman. Red is a classic shade that constantly re-visits the catwalk, yet always in different ways. Simultaneously a signifier of empowerment and an expression of femininity in a woman, even if you may not yet be brave enough to wear red, the colour has always at some point called out to you, – could I wear it, should I wear it?

This season there is a red for all skins, all personalities, and all ages.  Crimson red, raspberry red, wine stained red, blood red, the key word is ‘Red’, yet there is a point of difference this season with the shape of the lip being a touch more emphasized and ‘blown out’, giving a fresh, contemporary edge to this look.  Textures are being played with; this season’s red is about taking a formal shade and wearing it in an informal manner, owning the red rather than the red wearing you! So while one may have seen red many times before, its impact this time round is different, a somewhat more appropriate tone rather than one that is sexually aggressive or overpowering. Red has so many personalities, gothic yet couture, rockabilly yet sensual and elegant, the second point of difference between this current red and the previous seasons is that now we have no right and no wrong; it’s an embracement of red without being too serious, always keeping it quite playful.  Finding that ideal red lipstick that works with your skin and perks your features up can be a struggle, which led to my eyes being drawn to Shiseido for this season’s ‘reworking the classics’ trend.  Artistic Director of the Japanese brand, Dick Page, (signed to Jed Root, Inc agency) has worked on creating a strong line of red lipsticks making the search for the ‘perfect red’ a touch simpler.

Through seasons of exploring backstage beauty and gathering what leading artists such as Dick Pageand Pat McGrath really use on models, has given me an understanding of what these artists desire in a red lipstick: a very specific shade and the perfect texture.  That the shade of the red is perfect but the texture is hard to work with, or the texture is on point and easy to work but the consistency is too transparent are both feedback points that regularly pop up from artists during fashion week.

This led Dick Page deciding to design Shiseido’s ‘perfect rouge’ lipsticks, showcasing ideal shades in all hues of red with that easy-to-work consistency; all of which makes this trend a little more achievable.

Well-executed, flawless skin tends to be lost and overpowered by colour, but the back to basics trend highlights the beauty of minimalism; this is about minimal make up resulting in maximum impact. Velvet cushion effect skin, pulling from a warmer colour palette which is inspired by caramel, toffee, and latte tones; think more fox browns, and just that feeling of autumn being visually present. The neutrality of this look almost has a 90’s feel to it, it’s feminine, and as Edward Bess says, it’s ‘naturally seductive’. Skin is the focus and the ultimate accessory, with highlights in the correct places, soft contours with warm matte tones below the cheek bones to enhance the structure of the natural face; this is the kind of look your boyfriend will appreciate!

At Marc Jacobs, François Nars created an intellectual, worn-out underground look in his make up look for the models. Jacob’s collection shades were in neutral tones and the make up remained simplistic. Nars used the tips of his fingers instead of brushes, to give that unintentional feel to the look.  Lineless, blown out, blended, with unspecific and unidentifiable shapes; this trend is about not being able to see where the make up starts or where the finish line is.  This season we are playing and flirting with a notion of luxury, poetically soft shading and blending. This trend is up to you to freestyle and take control of, but be sure to magically blend the products and colours almost in to nothing, to the point you can just about see it, but you can’t identify it.  Everything is soft focus, even out of focus, like a halo of shades on the face. If I had to compare a fabric to this look, it would be silk chiffon. Mellowness, escapism and the unspecific capture the vibe of this trend.

Although Nars cosmetics were renowned for their Laguna and Casino bronzer, beauty has for some time now stripped back, and the line ‘less is more’ has become the byword. Thus the new invention from Nars is his ‘multiple bronzers’ where the textures are like velvet intended to be used on the face as a warm sculptor/bronzer. Upon application the actual bronzer is no longer visible but leaves you looking like the models at the Marc Jacobs show – healthy and fresh.

Words by Maryam Asadi



François Nars, Inc, Jed Root, Shiseido,