x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Katie Trotter: Velvet beyond the wardrobe

The new autumn-winter make-up offers a more grown-up look.

Lindsey Wixson walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2013-2014 fashion show in New York City. Photo by Victor VIRGILE / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Lindsey Wixson walks the runway at the Oscar De La Renta Ready to Wear Fall/Winter 2013-2014 fashion show in New York City. Photo by Victor VIRGILE / Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Runway make-up looks are not necessarily meant to be emulated - unless you wish to pop to the mall with matte black nails, a Ziggy Stardust eye and wet-look hair. If you do, I fully applaud your dogged ­determination.

The thing about runway beauty trends is that they are somewhat exaggerated - invented for the camera lens and theatrics. Just like we don't wear an Alexander McQueen Japanese kimono to the office, we tend to use elements of the trend, rather than the whole look.

Although autumn/winter 2013/14 didn't disappoint with the weird and wonderful, there was a definite shift towards a more wearable, grown-up, ladylike aesthetic. Last season's barefaced dewy skin and simple brush of mascara are out; in comes a flawless, velvety-finish skin with berry matte lips.

The key to groomed, velvety skin is in its careful prepping. After years of watching make-up artists slather a good-quality serum on models before beginning even the most complex of looks (because of dehydrated skin from all the flying), I now follow suit. The best that I have come across is Avène Soothing Hydrating Serum - make sure to pat it on rather than rub, so that the product is pushed right into the cells, leaving the skin nicely plumped. A foundation primer, something most of us miss out on, is also a great way to create an even base and will help make-up last longer.

What you're looking for in a matte foundation is a lightness - an almost silky finish. Start with a medium-to-full-coverage foundation and always apply with a brush. Giorgio Armani Designer Lift Foundation will give the right effect without the heaviness. If budget is a concern, Clarins Oil-Free Ever Matte Foundation won't dry the skin and looks pleasingly light. Follow with the Bobbi Brown Creamy Concealer Kit, which will cover your dark circles and areas around the nose where skin may be redder.

Finally, load a large powder brush with loose or pressed powder and sweep over the face, paying close attention to chin, forehead and nose. Illamasqua Powder Foundation, the mainstay of film and theatre make-up artists, will correct skin tone, and leave a shine-free look that lasts. Nars Light-Reflecting Loose Setting Powder will also give a matte, velvety finish without looking overdone.

Lips (as seen at Nina Ricci, Marni and Oscar de la Renta) are the star of the show. As with most matte lipsticks, lips needs to be in great condition, as any dryness is magnified.

Start by plumping the lips for a fuller look, then trace around the outer rims of your lips with a light sweep of lip pencil. Next, use a lip brush to fill in your lips with a dark pink berry colour and then blot with a tissue to tone down.

Without a doubt, the best deep berry red that I have found is Illamasqua in Salacious. The texture is incredibly smooth, although maybe a tiny bit on the drier side (a little lip balm will fix this). The Rimmel Matte by Kate Moss lipsticks are great alternative for budget buyers.

Eye make-up, in general, is a tricky one in the heat, as it has the tendency to cake and melt, falling into the eye crease as soon as we step outside. So try to use a specific primer made for the eyes that will act as an adhesive, before applying eyeshadow. Your base colour should be neutral - Estée Lauder's Double Wear in Ivory Lace is perfect for fairer skin or, for darker tones, a cream-colour base from Mac is a good option. Then, with a slightly darker shade (taupe works perfectly with a berry lip), apply just above the socket line, and blend outward.

The world of beauty is a befuddling one, even more so than fashion perhaps, because of our somewhat warped perceptions of beauty. Yet, if we so choose, make-up is really just a tool for reinvention. So take what you wish and look at a new way to experiment and enjoy personal style.

ktrotter@thenational.ae