Autumn/Winter 2016 Beauty: The 10 Trends That Will Transform Your Look
Gone is the traditional idea of a trend. For the last few seasons, there has been a gradual uprising of sorts occurring backstage, and it culminated in the breadth of makeup and hair looks we saw on the autumn / winter 2016 catwalks. Individuality, more and more, is being expressed and celebrated—whether it’s embracing the natural texture of models’ hair or letting them choose the lipstick shade they wear (as was the case at the Sophia Webster presentation in London)—uniqueness is being applauded. At Michael Kors, makeup artist Dick Page said, “It’s about individuality: there is no one consistent element on each girl; they stand on their own, that makes them cool.” That’s not to say there were no themes this season, but how you interpret each is totally up to you.
This autumn, it’s also about finding the looks that translate best for you from catwalk to curb. “Women demand easy, accessible beauty looks that stay on,” says Terry Barber, Director of Makeup Artistry at MAC. The key? Play up one area. “Aim for one element to have max beautification—move away from a full face; it’s too mannequin for the modern woman.” This laissez-faire approach to our beauty look is something we can totally get on board with, thanks to our increasingly squeezed schedules. And it’s not just makeup that is having this easy, cool-girl, do-over. When it comes to hair, embracing your natural texture and movement is key, and thankfully the hairstyles are super easy, too. Ponytails will reign supreme (we couldn’t move backstage without seeing the swish of a ‘tail), and if you’re having a bad hair day, then disguise it with hair jewellery—arguably autumn’s most frivolous beauty trend.
Keep scrolling for your rundown of A/W 16’s biggest looks, and then interpret as you please…
Tough yet beautiful, this look focuses wholly on a deep, dark lip, be it burgundy, oxblood, chestnut, purple and even black—as with the shade, the finish is also down to you. At Gareth Pugh, Val Garland amped up the lips with a vinyl slick of plump clear gloss. While at Edun in New York there was only a hint of sheen and a soft-focus edge.
Top Tip: Use a cotton bud to soften the edges of your lipstick. If you want to take down the shine on a lipstick blot with a single ply of tissue, or, to make it seriously matte, dust with a little translucent powder. Otherwise, load up with MAC Lipglass (£15) in clear for an intense vinyl finish.
Proenza Schouler. Roksanda Ilincic.
The autumn catwalks would not be complete without a visit from a red lip or two. This season, the look is completely and utterly modern in its aesthetic (read: no liner flicks to take it to the typical retro place). At Proenza Schouler, Diane Kendal applied a flash of almost-neon orange-red to bare, polished faces.
Pucci. Monique Lhuillier.
The '90s are still having a moment, but the attention this season has travelled up to the eyes. There is a return this season to that super–pin-thin piercing black line that was so popular 20 years ago. A tight sliver of black inside the waterline narrows and intensifies the eye. It's a look look that we spied at Emilio Pucci, Preen and Monique Lhullier.
If the last thing you want is to make your eyes appear smaller, then look to another '90s eye trend making a comeback—the under-eye liner. A smudge of kohl under the eye immediately gives your makeup look a rock and roll edge, like you’ve been out partying until the early hours. Look to Alberta Ferretti, where Diane Kendal described the look as “girls in the morning after a night out,” and Chloé, where Aaron de Mey described the women as “slightly tough, without being extreme.” Think tough yet soft.
When it comes to makeup, embellishment is often filed away under “festival,” but this winter, a touch of sparkle will brighten up the dreariest of days. And it wasn’t just the more niche designers experimenting with all that glitters—at Burberry, Wendy Rowe was light-dappling around models’ eyes with glitter (yes, a Burberry glitter pot is imminent). “The secret to wearing glitter? Be haphazard, let it drop down a bit.” At Holly Fulton, Sam Bryant was using MAC Mixing Medium Shine (£16) to fix silver leaf onto eyelids before brushing it away to look like broken shards of glass.
While over at Markus Lupfer, makeup artist Lucy Burt was using Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm (£3) to fix gold glitter onto the eyelids for a “sexy, sheeny night eye.”
J.W. Anderson. Proenza Schouler.
The default complexion for autumn/winter is velvet, seen at numerous shows including Proenza Schouler, Erdem and J.W.Anderson. But if you prefer a dewier finish, then look no further than the shower-fresh skin trend we spied at Peter Pilotto, Calvin Klein and John Galliano. This look is less about makeup and more about skin prep, more creams and concealer than foundations and finishing powders.
Peter Pilotto. Calvin Klein. John Galliano.
Flawless complexions are doused in a moist veil like you’ve just emerged post-shower from a session at Barry’s Bootcamp or a spa day and your skin is looking fresh, plump and glowing.
Top Tip: To fake shower-fresh skin, give your skin a really good massage with your fingers to get the blood flowing. Use MAC's Cream Colour Base (£16) in Shell to fake that moist, post-shower glow.
At Dior, they were worn with a full-on lip, while at Jason Wu and Eudon Choi the lashes took centre stage. At Eudon Choi, makeup artist Adam de Cruz and his team applied a coat of mascara before painstakingly pinching parts of the lashes together with fingers or tweezers for that clumped effect.
Top Tip: If you don’t fancy taking tweezers to your lashes, then really load up with numerous coats of mascara, wiggling the wand horizontally as you go from root to tip, and let them dry. Then go back in with the tip of your wand and apply more mascara to gently and precisely clump your lashes.
Imaxtree. Getty/Victor VIRGILE/Contributor.
Ashley Williams. Dolce & Gabbana.
At Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen and Ashley Williams, the hair teams piled on brooch- and necklace-like jewelled accessories with wild abandon. Chanel's models wore brooches and strings of pearls adorned in their hair. In other words, hair jewellery will be big news next season.
Guido said of the hair at Victoria Beckham, “This look is an elevated, modern version of a simple style that women really want to wear. It’s polished but there’s also a genuine sense of ease to it too.”
He blow-dried the hair using a hairdryer and his fingers before using the Ghd Curve Soft Curl Tong (£120) to add a faint bend throughout the ends.
Lela Rose. Diesel.
But as with every trend, it's up to you how you wear it. To get the sleek, smooth and shiny look as seen at Lela Rose and Diesel, use a pintail comb to create a precise parting, before smoothing with a high-shine pomade like The Body Shop Coconut Oil Hair Shine (£6).
Sacai. Shiatzy Chen.
Twisted topknots are back, but the serious flyaways and added heavy dark eye makeup means they're tougher and less girly this time around.
Top Tip: Once you have your topknot secured, mist your palms with hairspray and gently rub them over your hair, especially near the hairline, to bring out your natural baby hairs.
Want to know more about next season? Head over to Who What Wear for the nine biggest A/W 16 fashion trends.
Opening Image: Imaxtree