When you think of fashion week, your mind may automatically jump to clothes. While it’s true that clothing is undoubtedly the focus, as more and more beauty brands have gotten involved in fashion week, beauty has become an increasingly important aspect for designers to consider. Beauty can help designers express their vision and either complement or contrast clothing to reinforce their message. And just as the clothes presented define future trends, so do the beauty looks we see at fashion week.
From backstage at New York Fashion Week this season, I watched beauty trends emerge before my eyes. While some beauty looks like French manicures and sleek buns seemed to cement themselves more into the zeitgeist, newer trends like goth-inspired glamor and metallic accents felt like they’d burst onto the scene. Read on for the best beauty trends I saw this season at New York Fashion Week—as well as some of the key products used to create them.
Clearly, Wednesday-core is here to stay—and you can say goodbye to the “clean girl” aesthetic that dominated 2022. We’re going full goth this year, baby. Rodarte leaned into the trend with a graphic liner and black lipstick. “We’re doing gothic fairies… more gothic than fairies,” Nars head of makeup James Calliardo told Who What Wear. “For this show, we really wanted to do strong and bold makeup, linear eyeliner eyes with a dark black or blue lip.”
While Rodarte may have been the most overt example of gothic glamour, Adeam and Sandy Liang also leaned into the deep pout trend. In Adeam’s case, shaggy hair and face jewelry also proved to be the focus of the look.
After many years of many people categorizing French manicures as tacky, they are now ubiquitous in fashion. This season, French tips get a makeover: Are they bolder, more playful and dare we say better than ever?
From her mosaic French nails at PatBo to gold tips at LoveShackFancy, Kiss brand ambassador Gina Edwards says French is here to stay. “The French are still on fire,” he said. “Everybody didn’t want to go near it, and now, it’s so explosive.”
At Proenza Schouler, Jin Soon Choi opted for a different take on French with a matte black gradient edge. “This collection is about portraits of women,” Choi told Who What Wear. “We decided to do a black ombre.” This nail perfectly brought out the modern femininity portrayed in the clothes.
Silver, gold, rose gold—metals they are in. From full faces painted with heavy metals to strategic flecks of glitter, expect to start treating makeup like jewelry for your face.
Shows like Thom Browne and Prabal Gurung took a more overt approach to this trend with splashes of metal standing out. “The classic look for everyone is this golden, heavenly, beautiful [look],” said top makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench. “The characters are actually asteroids.”
Other shows were more subdued, like the silvery moon highlights seen on Sandy Liang. “The look is inspired by sweet, yet soulful energy,” said international makeup artist Marcelo Gutierrez with Ilia Beauty. “They have this icy, lit eye. It’s a sweet rock and roll look.”
When it came to lips this season, the theme was ROYGBV—any color in the rainbow was fair game. From two-tone lips at Kim Shui to blue lips and black lips at Rodarte, we’ve seen just about every combination possible.
Even the classic red has been revamped this season. At Alice+Olivia, the theme was Americana, but Elyse Reneau, executive director of global beauty at Too Faced, took it to the next level. “I was thinking Marilyn Monroe, that real red lip, the bombshell lip,” she said. The result? What she calls “cherry syrup lips,” a super-glossy red she says looks like “Dorothy’s slippers.”
TikTok’s favorite hairstyle isn’t going anywhere. Slicked-back buns are still the name of the game, with sleek styles being by far the most prevalent hairstyle on the catwalks this season. This season’s ballet buns are sleek and neat, with glamorous examples seen on PatBo, Christian Siriano and Jason Wu.
At Christian Siriano, classic buns got floral touches. “We were inspired by the handmade floral touches found throughout the collection to echo this in the hair creating a rose-like twist, with a ‘stem’ of hair weaving around the crown of the head, meeting the rose-like bun. back,” says Lacy Redway, Unilever stylist and celebrity hair artist for Tresemmé.
At Jason Wu, Jimmy Paul, hairstylist and Olaplex ambassador, paid homage to the ’90s with sleek parted buns. These buns held the perfect tension between masculine and feminine, seamlessly completing the collection.
Braids are nothing new, but this season, we’ve seen them get a makeover. From floor-length braids at Head of State to more sculptural iterations at Ulla Johnson and Tia Adeola, braids are entering their whimsical era.
At the Head of State, Oribe global design principal artist Kien Hoang created braids that reflect the collection’s intention to convey designer Taofeek Abijako’s father’s migration journey from Lagos, Nigeria. Hoang chose sculptural braids with references to Lagos to create a line.
The Head of State wasn’t the only show to take hair inspiration from a certain place or moment in time — Tia Adeola did the same. “This season, we’re taking inspiration from Atlanta’s iconic ’90s style, adding extra length and shine to our models’ tresses with long extensions and bold gel-sculpted curls,” says Mike Martinez of Cutler Salon with Bread Beauty. “The models chosen embody this look perfectly and we are thrilled to pay homage to the film Black BAPS style while incorporating our own unique twists.”
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