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Better Off Red Backstage At Ralph Lauren

Saturday, 30 July 2011

The Fall shows have put the brakes on the statement lip’s rise to runway fame. In New York, mouths have more often than not been painted with a mix of clear balm and concealer to put the spotlight on an uptick in graphic, smoky eyes. The only pout colors to speak of have been a recurring shade of rosy brown (Rodarte, Carolina Herrera) and classic red, which had its strongest showing at Diane von Furstenberg. Until, that is, Ralph Lauren decided to overhaul his usual backstage beauty game and give the crimson pigment a go yesterday.

“I’ve been working with Ralph for over ten years and I think this is the first time,” said makeup artist Tom Pecheux of the pout color’s rare appearance at Lauren’s show. “One of the things that really turned me on were these amazing shoes that had red lacquered heels,” Pecheux said of the impetus to incorporate a bold, similarly hued lip. “I told [Ralph] we don’t have that many choices. If we keep them fresh and gorgeous the way we do usually, they’re going to look a bit nude, and naked—and he agreed.”

With Lauren on board, Pecheux dusted on a “veil” of shimmering gray pigment from an Eyeshadow Duo in his forthcoming Modern Mercury collection for Estée Lauder, adding mascara to the outer corners of the top lashes only to give an almond shape to the eye. “We did everything much as we always do,” Pecheux noted of the light-handed technique with which he and his team were instituting the darker-than-usual palette, so even his blush application appeared see-through. “The thing that’s important is to apply it on the apple but slightly lower down, so you get rid of the sporty look,” the face painter said of the pinkish peach flush he was placing below cheekbones. “It becomes more womanly,” he said of the placement. “When you’re a teenager, you have a little bit of baby fat, so you bring the blush higher on the bone structure. But when you get older, there is a gravity—whatever was too high is now dropping. This keeps it from being too girly,” he continued of the brushed-on layers of MAC Cosmetics blush in Fleur Power, a bright pink, and Estée Lauder Silky Powder Blush in Radiant Peach, a warm apricot.

It was this precise mixing of colors that allowed Pecheux to paint on a vibrant lip without the whole thing coming off too clownish. “When you bring in more peach, the colors fit together,” he said of his rosy cheeks and the dominant scarlet pout he slicked across models’ mouths using Estée Lauder’s new Pure Color Lipstick in Wildfire.

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