Fall/Winter 2016 Runway Makeup Trend Report

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By Juliet Lee / 2nd September, 2016

From dark gothic lips to whimsical glitter, sharp graphic lines to soft and diffused makeup, Autumn/Winter 2016 is all about playing with polarities.

Although the idea of makeup as embellishment to the face is not an entirely new idea, this season’s makeup is less about ‘pretty’ and more about ‘art’ – self-expression and experimentation.

As much a trend as an anti-trend, designers are also increasingly focused on individuality: makeup is tweaked and tailored to each model’s features and personalities. The takeaway? Go ahead and experiment with this season’s trends – just do it your way!


1. Dark & Bold Lips

nars-rodarte-aw16-beauty-lookA woman who wears a dark lip radiates power and allure. Whether matte or glossy, deep vampy lips dominated the fall/winter shows in omnipresent blood-black, plum, deep purple, burgundy and black. Pick your poison.

As if ‘stamped on,’ the painstaking precision in defining the lip line is offset with a clean visage and almost-bare eyes.

Velvet matte blood-red lips provide a deep contrast to an otherwise romantic makeup at Rodarte for an “ethereal tough girl” look that complements the ruffled leather, lace and mesh in the collection.

Christian Dior blackcurrent lip Creatures of the Wind two toned lip

Glossy black currant lips and spidery lashes evokes goth glam at Christian Dior; while red and black two tone lips at Creatures of the Wind gives the look dimension and a dose of attitude.

Ultra matte black lips are balanced with glossy skin to match the goth-inspired athleisure wear at FENTY X PUMA to channel “Addam’s Family [going to] the gym.”

Fenty x Puma black lipHow to wear in real life: With such a poignant statement, keep the rest of the look simple. Don’t forget a light sweep of pale pink or light rose blush for a healthy flush in order to avoid looking washed-out.

Delicate fabrics like romantic lace and mesh would juxtapose nicely with the inherent toughness of a bold, dark lip.


2. Grown-up Glitter

At the A/W 2016 shows, nobody could miss the dazzling glitter makeup on the models that gave off a playful and crafty vibe. Application is controlled and intentional, not in the haphazard way a child would handle glitter. 

Fausto Puglisi envisions “a girl who has been out dancing all night in LA”, applying silver glitter on the smoked-out outer corners of the models’ eyes.

Glitter tears in iridescent gold and navy at Burberry matched the rich green and intricate embellishment in the collection.

Fausto Puglisi glitter    burberry glitter tears 2

Models at Charlotte Olympia channeled 1930s Hollywood screen sirens, shimmering pink glitter lips added some extra pizzazz to the sultry, all-black ensembles, like thigh high dresses, cross-front one pieces and suits – ‘It’s like a really cool gang of beautiful people have gone to a cabaret club.’


Bring your graphic eye to the next level with lustrous gold and green glitter for a rock-‘n’-roll vibe, as seen at Emanuel Ungaro.

Giambattista Valli employs a minimal-yet-impactful “Parisian girl” approach in the form of a simple slash of silver glitter liner under the brow bone – to highlight the fact that “every girl has a silver lining”.

Kelidoscope (1)     Razor-Valli

How to wear in real life: This party-friendly look is easily achievable with intensely pigmented sparkly eye shadow, glitter eye liner or glitter pigment. Alternatively, you can apply a sticky, clear gloss on your skin/eyes/lips and sprinkle cosmetic glitter on top (any other type of glitter may scratch your skin or eyes, ouch).

Glitter makeup would look equally captivating whether you are wearing a fancy cocktail dress or a tee and leather jacket.


3) Techno bright

A kaleidoscope of psychedelic colors seem to have exploded all over the runways this season, inspired by the 1980s, raves and festival culture. Right here is festival makeup #goals.

Four different eye makeup looks were created at Marques’ Almedia, where a thick streak of hyper-bright color is painted on the lower eyelid in electric blue, yellow, orange or magenta; an “East London girl getting a DJ gig in Ibiza.”

Kelidoscope  33e1395927135b171b370f8f7328ccf7

The look at Fendi was inspired by the “idea of a posh girl going to Burning Man,” which manifested into a myriad of high-voltage shades painted onto eyelids in blazing hues of aqua green, purple and magenta, paired with an equally bright tangerine pout.Fendi flourescent makeup

Jeremy Scott gave “pin-up girls… a pop twist”: bright teal floating eye liner above the crease, swipes of magenta lipstick and crystal studded stars on the cheeks serve an an updated take on retro.

Jeremy Scott florescent makeupHow to wear in real life: Break the rules – you can wear color on the eyes and lips. Whether its just a hint of bright eye shadow or liner on the lids to all out rainbow crazy, this look is all about bringing out your inner artist – happy painting!

Fluorescent eyes and lips makes a grand statement all on its own, so keep your outfit clean, effortless and in a monochromatic palette. The look is perfect for a night out in your choice of evening dress; but you can also elevate your everyday athleisure wear and cozy winter knits with a surprising jolt of vibrant color.


4) Flawless & Natural

An antidote to the statement-making beauty looks, natural makeup and flawless skin is a refreshing sight and is forever a runway mainstay.

This season, however, emphasis is placed on a smudged, stained and diffused application for a lived-in appeal. This came in the form of worn-in kohl, blurry mineral shadows, sweeps of blush, copper toned smoky eyes and seamlessly buffed foundation that melts into the skin. The focus is on showing real-skin textures, the appeal lies within the fact that you can see the skin beneath the makeup.   Tanya Taylor natural makeupIn accord with its fashion-meets-nature theme, models at Tanya Taylor were given an organic beauty look with transparent foundation, glossy lids, matte flushed cheeks and rosy stained lips to match the collection’s wild floral prints and autumnal toned tartan.

Lustrous copper smokey eyes and perfect skin exuded refinement for the Upper East Side girls at Carolina Herrera in their chiffon gowns and feminine silhouettes.

Carolina Herrera natural smokey eye

Immaculate skin and rosy flushes on the lips and cheeks evoked classic romanticism, fitting of the princess fairy tale theme at Dolce & Gabbana.

Dolce & Gabbana natural

At Vivienne Tam, wind-swept pink cheeks evoked the purity and authenticity of indigenous culture-blending ikat print and rich embroidery.

Vivienne tam pink cheeks

How to wear in real life: the most wearable trend yet, just make sure to blend, blend, blend!


5) Super Graphic Liner

Artistic, bold and structural, the proliferation of graphic liner looks on the runways are decidedly anti-commercial, favoring unconventional lines.

Blending 60s and punk influences, graphic black flicks were created with with wet-look liner, complete with thick lashes and impeccable skin to make up ‘proper’ girls and their late-night-alter-ego at Topshop Unique.

Topshop unique graphic liner

Asymmetrical lines and curves around the eyes channel “street, graphic, sculptural Picasso” at Altuzarra. Graphic lines complemented the patchwork of antique Indian textiles and Moroccan and Turkish folk garb that adorn the cultured vampire-sophisticate, whom have accumulated an eclectic collection of clothing from centuries’ worth of travel and experiences.

 MTM2NzYyOTM0NzQ2NDI0OTI3  altuzarra graphic liner

60s makeup reinterpreted, dramatic thick liner and lashes lends a graphic element to the clothes at Ryan Lo, inspired by busy floral patterns on Hong Kong style pajamas and bed sheets.

Ryan Lo graphic liner

At Kenzo, futuristic winged liner with 3D silver glitter nods to the charming playfulness of the Sailor Moon anime that inspired the Japanese-schoolgirl-esque white puff-sleeved blouses, A-line skirts as well as leather nautical jackets. Kenzo Paris graphic liner

How to wear in real life: Ditch the usual cat eye and go avant-garde with sharp lines, curves, angular blocks and unique patterns sketched on using gel or liquid eyeliner; for an eye-catching look that is truly your own. 

Graphic eyes are even more striking when worn with a minimalist outfit in architectural silhouettes; as well as provides a structural contrast to soft, ruffled and feminine pieces.

A Detacher graphic line