The wealth of backstage makeup hacks to be had at fashion week

The magic of fashion shows, when they're really good, is seeing a designer's clear vision resulting in beautiful, moving clothes. But the theatrics of it all is so important, too. In particular, the makeup.

There were bleached brows that looked almost frostbritten at Alexander McQueen back in 2015, a red velvet shadow that matched Gigi Hadid's red velvet blazer at Tom Ford last season and, of course, the feather eyelashes at Valentino couture last year.

Breathtaking.

This year at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia there has been a certain pared-back prettiness to many of the looks. "No makeup" makeup (and also, actually no makeup), "glass skin" and flushed cheeks reigned, with pops of brights and neons keeping things fun.

Backstage at the Aje show during Australian Fashion Week. Credit:Christopher Pearce

Lara Srokowski, make-up director for Lancome who did the makeup for Aje, Tigerlily and more this week, says "beautiful skin" is a stand-out from the looks seen on the runway this year. Whether this was the sunkissed skin at P.E Nation and Bec & Bridge or the pretty pink cheeks at We Are Kindred and Lee Mathews.

Fresh faces at We Are Kindred.Credit:AAP

In fact, there was actually no makeup (or at least foundation) at the Christopher Esber, Matteau and Hansen & Gretel shows. Skin prep was performed by the week's skincare partner, Dermalogica, with models treated to the brand's ten-minute express facial, the UltraCalmingTM FaceFitSM, to calm and hydrate their skin before the show.

Because the thing is: the secret to beautiful skin? Unfortunately, it is doing the work. If you can't have a facial before going to work (which is, well, most of us non-model types!) you're going to need a pre-event regime which includes products for hydrating and plumping.

"A lot of skincare prep [is involved] to get skin that looks like glass, the 'no makeup makeup' look," says Srokowski.

Srokowski is a big fan of Lancome’s Advanced Génifique serum and she goes through bottles of it backstage (so take heart if you've left prep to the last minute). Srowkowski loves customising products for better results (and skin) too. Try mixing a serum into foundation or an illuminator into moisturiser to create a more lightweight and glossy texture and finish.

Makeup artist Mia Hawkswell, who worked on several influencers attending Fashion Week this year, including Montarna McDonald, also recommends using a mask like Sisley Black Rose mask – an excellent hydrator – to prime your skin before applying makeup.

Srowkowski recommends adding a clear lip gloss on the high points of face and layering a serum on top of that for a high gleam, yet natural, look.

Dual-purpose products were essential backstage at P.E Nation. Makeup artists matched models' lipstick to their lids, creating a glossy eye balm that fit into the high energy and colourful show. (Also: something to remember if you forget your makeup kit and only have one lipstick in the bottom of your handbag.)

The pops of neon eyeshadow at Bec & Bridge were day brighteners too. To try it at home without giving yourself a fright, just apply a dab of highly pigmented colour into the corner of your eyes.

Another fun and very relatable trend? Lived-in liner. At Alice McCall there was '60s baby-doll vibe with smudgy eyeliner and individual false eyelashes. You could also get the look by doing as Drew Barrymore apparently does and applying your eyeliner before bed …

WHAT TO BUY THIS WEEK

Your weekly recommendation for a late-night shopping trip …

Aceology Anti-Aging Gold Modeling Mask, $79

Aceology Beauty Anti-Aging Gold Modeling Mask.

You might have seen this mask pop up on Instagram with your friends and influencers of choice getting their science on mixing up "modeling masks" and then applying the gel onto their face for it to turn into super creepy rubber mask. Modeling masks have long been a professional Korean beauty treatment and Australian brand Aceology Beauty has made them more mainstream with its two-step sachet masks. You mix "sachet 1" (gold gel) and "sachet 2" (collagen powder) together in a bowl and then apply to your face and leave for 30 minutes. It looks mildly horrifying. But the combination of active ingredients and botanicals like adenosine, witch hazel, hyaluronic acid, anti-ageing peptides and collagen will make your skin glow once you've peeled it off (which is also extremely satisfying to do and maybe my new hobby). aceology.com

Skin Deep, our weekly beauty column, is not sponsored. All product recommendations are genuine endorsements.

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