In addition to to providing some awesome people-watching opportunities, the Spring 2012 shows are the place to be to preview what hair and makeup trends will be hot next year. This season the looks were all over the board: Soft and feminine, dark and edgy, theatrical, natural. One thing they all had in common was how absolutely gorgeous they were. Just like this Van Gogh-inspired smoky eye at Rodarte, each of the 10 looks in this slideshow are both breathtaking and unique.
One word we heard over and over again when describing hair was "feminine." Spring hairstyles will veer more towards soft, touchable looks that radiate with femininity. At the Jill Stuart show, Odile Gilbert for Krastase created textured, slightly messy waves that gave off an "innocent and youthful" vibe.
Don't expect bright colors to go away anytime soon. We saw everything from vivid blue lips to electric orange nails backstage. Our favorite color trend had to be the goldenrod gazes at Chris Benz; Lancme lead makeup artist Daniel Martin combined sea foam and mint green shadows to create a greenish-gold wash of color on the lids. While not for every skin tone, true gold is much easier to wear than last season's banana yellows.
While slicked-back styles are nothing new, this season's take on the trend is all about leaving hair loose and natural looking. Instead of shellacked, crunchy textured locks, Pantene celebrity stylist Danilo left models' hair at Cushnie et Ochs looking like, well, hair. "I like using products, but I don't like to see products in the hair," he said. To create this look, he skipped the heavy gels and instead used a smoothing balm that he worked into the hair using his hands. He then lightly spritzed strands with a spray gel, pulling it back to create the sleek look.
We've all been taught that when it comes to makeup, you need to blend, blend, blend! Not so this season as makeup artists experimented with two-toned eyeshadow. At Peter Som, Tom Pecheux for MAC applied a soft purple wash of color to lids, then used a brush to create a hard, amethyst line in the crease. He finished the look by lining the bottom lashline with dark purple liner for added definition.
Nails ran the gamut from demure to ostentatious, with warm, shimmery nudes replacing last season's greige and milky neutrals. On the nail art front, we saw lots of gradiated colors, including this "pretty poison" manicure at Jen Kao. CND's Wanda Ruiz used an airbrush tool to create this effect, but says you can get the look at home by painting nails with a black polish. Quickly add a coat of bright color to the tips and, while its still wet, apply a top coat. This will cause the bright hue to bleed into the black, creating the ombr effect.
Sunny skin is in for spring! To create this sun-drenched look at Timo Weiland, Nars director of global artistry James Boehmer used a mix of bronzer and blush to contour models' cheekbones. He then applied copper shadow at the temples and browbone, blending it into the bronzer to create a C-shape of sun-burnt color.
What started as a retro-tinged nod to mod has turned into a full-blown eyeliner epidemic as the cat-eye continues its total eyelid domination. At Badgley Mischka, Tom Pecheux for MAC used an Elizabeth-Taylor-as-Virginia-Woolf inspiration to create this slightly whacked-out liner look. He applied a touch of silver shadow on the lid and used a metallic green, cream-to-powder pigment as a liner, elongating it and extending it out to the brows for that exaggerated cat-eye effect.
In a nod back to simplicity, we saw a bevy of center parts at the spring shows, a definite departure from last seasons deep side-parts. At Rebecca Minkoff, Tresemm celebrity stylist Jeanie Syfu was inspired by Diane Keaton in the movie Manhattan. To get this fluffy, romantic style, she applied a root boosting spray and then divided hair into four sections, twisting each section around an elastic to make four corkscrews. She then secured and set the corkscrews by diffusing with a blowdryer for 20 minutes, then waited for it to cool, undid each section and brushed through with a paddle brush.
In sharp contrast to all that wacky color, it was nice to see fresh, clean makeup at DKNY. Maybelline global makeup artist Charlotte Willer created makeup that was "about the simplicity of beauty--fresh, sun-kissed and glowing." She prepped skin with a light layer of foundation, then used a mix of bronzer and blush to create a glow. The temples, tops of cheeks and eyelids got a wash of bronzer, while rosy blush was swirled on the middle of the cheeks. She added a luminizing, light beige shadow to the lids and browbone, then applied a glossy pink flush to lips. Groomed brows completed the look.
Carrying on with the bold color trend, saturated lips continue to dominate for spring, with pink and orange leading the pop-art pack. At Betsey Johnson, Sarah Lucero for Stila created a "Malibu" pink pout using a creamy, long-wear liquid lip color, finishing it off with a swipe of sparkling gloss to add sparkle and dimension.