The makeup artists backstage at runway shows don’t necessarily dislike contouring; they just don’t agree that you need layers upon layers of makeup to do it. “All the models love to have a bit of contour,” said makeup artist Tom Pecheux backstage at Balmain, “but we want it very blended, not stripes of makeup that look like a mille-feuille on your face.” And if you look at the fresh yet chiseled faces that came down the Balmain runway today, it’s clear Pecheux has the magic touch—and a really great trick for seamless contouring.
The makeup look at Balmain was made up of warm, “sunset colors,” as Pecheux called them, chosen to mimic the rich caramel colors of the clothes. That meant a rich brown cream spread all over the models’ lids (M.A.C. Cream Colour Base in Mid-Tone Sepia), brown mascara, and orange lipstick pressed on top of a pink-y beige to create a rich, caramel-tone lip color.
But most of the work was done on sculpting the cheekbones and bronzing the skin. Pecheux started by tapping a pearly luminizing cream onto the high points of the cheekbones and blending a warm, matte brown cream along the hollows, massaging both products into the skin so they were almost undetectable. Then came the bronzer: Using a shimmery powder formula, Pecheux began to brush the pigment very low on the cheeks, just below the apples. “I like to start very low and brush upward; that way you blend the bronzer with the contouring cream and the highlighter so it doesn’t end up looking like three different colors next to each other. Instead, you get a much more natural finish.” After blending and blending, Pecheux then took whatever bronzer was left on his brush and did a light dusting over the whole face for an allover glow. The models were in the makeup chair for all of ten minutes, with no tedious baking or crazy clown contouring—just fresh, beautiful, glowing skin and some seriously enviable cheekbones.
For more on makeup, watch: