How do you create a make-up look that says its wearer has lived? Not lived in the life or death sense of the word, but in the more abstract “has squeezed every drop of potential out of the evening” or “lived the night to the fullest” sense of the word.

Creating such a look is no easy task. After all, we’re describing something in the past tense: an evening has been had, a night has been enjoyed. How do you convey that idea on a Paris fashion week catwalk, but still maintain an air of polish?

This is how Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder created the look for Anthony Vaccarello’s fall 2012 runway.

The background to the makeup look.

That the look is for a woman at the end of a great night, we know. But who is this woman?

She is the perceived epitome of the world-wise, spirited and sexy woman: the Parisian belle. Close your eyes and you can imagine her; her rolled Rs and sexy Ls, her scent, her tastes, her look. This is, of course, an ideal, but fashion plays to ideals.

As Tom Pecheux, the make-up look’s creator, explained to us: “people all over the world consdier Parisian women to be elegant. They think that Parisian women don’t wear any make up during the day but that at night [they do and] everything becomes romantic, and that Paris [becomes] a very sexy city.” It’s from this idea of the Parisian woman enjoying a Parisian night that Pecheux created a look that encompassed other ideals of the “dream girl”, his dream girl, a dream girl who “feels confident, who is rich and who is pretty sexy.”

So far, it’s hard not to be smitten with her.

The look for the Parisian at the end of the night.

To capture the essence of such a woman, Pecheux created a makeup look dominated by the eyes. As anyone who has ever walked Paris’ streets will have noted, it’s for good reason that he did so: Parisian women know how to do their eye makeup. In fact, they know how to do it so well that I’ve long suspected that at a particular age each and everyone of them is shipped off to a makeup school where they’re taught to do finish their eyes in a way that makes grown men weak at the knees. Pecheux doesn’t necessarily disagree – “for me, the eyes represent the Parisian woman, it’s her signature.”

anthony vaccarello beauty look
Joan Smalls’ makeup at Anthony Vaccarello. Image courtesy Estee Lauder.

The base of the eye makeup is a smokey eye. I’m assuming the technique to create smokey eyes needs no introduction, but if you would like a run through then our recent tutorial on dark blue smokey eyes will point you in the right direction. Where the look for Anthony Vaccarello’s catwalk differs from a stock-standard smokey eye is that Pecheux created “lines with the black” that move out from the smokey eye “and at the end [he] put a little bit of green” to give the idea that “it’s running, it’s fading. So we kind of do it perfect to begin with, but at the end I am going to stick my finger in it – not to destroy it, but to slightly damage it. To make the makeup look like it has been sitting there for a couple of hours and that the night was good.”

Atypically, the smokey effect also calls on a burgundy coloured eyeshadow to be used inside the eyes and on the inside corner. This particular colour use does two things: first it gives the look the overall feeling of being from the end of the night – to put none too fine a point on it, the burgundy eyeshadow replicates (but elegantly) the red eyes that go hand in hand with any epic night. Second, and more importantly, the burgundy eyeshadow adds a three-dimensional quality to the smokey eyes. As Pecheux explained to us, “if you do only black the look is a little bit heavy on the eyes.”

The eyes are completed by two things. One, lots of mascara. The emphasis there is on lots – as Pecheux said backstage “mascara is a girl’s best friend – and make up arists’ too.” Two, “a touch of gloss on the eyelid for an overall glamorous, imperfect, ‘lived-in’ look.”

anthony vaccarello beauty look
Joan Smalls’ makeup at Anthony Vaccarello. Image courtesy Estee Lauder.

With the eyes complete, the rest of the look is rather natural.

The makeup on the skin is intended to have the generalised Parisian “I’m not wearing anything” finish. Of course not wearing anything and glamor aren’t always one in the same thing, so Pecheux relied on a foundation that gave the skin a polished look – but “nothing opaque, [you still want to] see every pore [and] keep it as transparent as possible.”

The lips were also kept natural, using a “lipstick that isn’t matt, but has a satin finish.”

The overall look was completed with a dark green nail polish that was styled by Christina Conrad for Estée Lauder. “The skin is very natural and fresh, so this deep shade gives a strong Winter spirit and a nice finishing touch. The shade is very dark, almost black, and the glow of the light reflects the green shade. I love the sophisticated rebel and offbeat spirit of this green shade. It’s very light and metallic finish gives the shade a beautiful glow.”

Of course, the final look, particularly the eyes, is a dramatic one. One that isn’t so over the top that it couldn’t be worn on the streets, but as Pecheux admits it’s a “pushed” look, after all “it is for a runway.”

The products used.

Face chart Anthony Vaccarello
Face chart from Anthony Vaccarello. Courtesy Estee Lauder.

As the Parisian makeup look was created by Tom Pecheux for Estée Lauder, it should come as no surprise that the latter brand’s products were used. They were:

Eyes: Pure Color Five Color EyeShadow Palette in Enchanted Berries – Berry shade (#4)
Pure Color EyeShadow Duo in Moons – Black shade
Double Wear Stay-in-Place Eye Pencil in Onyx
Sumptuous Extreme Lash Multiplying Volume Mascara

Lips: Pure Color Long Lasting Lipstick in Vanilla Truffle
Lucidity Translucent Loose Powder – to matte lips

Cheeks: New Limited Edition Pure Color Illuminating Powder Gelée – From the Bronze Goddess Capri Collection – Or
Bronze Goddess Soft Shimmer Bronzer – for contour

Face: Double Wear Light Stay-in-Place Makeup SPF 10
Double Wear Stay-in-Place Flawless Wear Concealer SPF 10

Brows: Artist’s Brow Pencil Double Groomer

Skin: Idealist Pore Minimizing Skin Refinisher
DayWear Advanced Multi-Protection Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15

Nails by Christina Conrad for Estée Lauder
New Pure Color Nail Lacquer – Launching Fall 2012

To get more of a sense of how the makeup looked close-up, head to our gallery from backstage at Anthony Vaccarello by following that link.

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