Before Kookai’s spectacular Autumn/Winter 2015 collection, Couturing headed behind the scenes to see what beauty look Napoleon Perdis and L’Oreal Profesionnel had created for the show. Sleek hair and bronze skin awaited us backstage, in a fun, buzzing, and surprisingly calm atmosphere. Effortless yet sophisticated, the hair and makeup were the perfect complements to the “Vegas” collection, completing the Kookai image without taking away from the gorgeous clothes.
Napoleon Perdis National Creative Team makeup artist, Shev Kelly, explained the makeup was inspired by the modern, working woman. “She’s the CEO by day and the life of the party at night… She wears her makeup all day and then goes out straight after work”. This certainly translated well with the strong, yet utterly feminine looks that were later shown on the Kookai runway.
Shev succinctly summarised the makeup look, saying, “it’s golden, it’s sun-kissed, and it’s luminous”. The glowy skin was created with a number of key products. The brand-new Light Switch Luminizer Palette, a cream highlighting product, lent dewiness and brought light to the face. Loose Eye Dust in Honey Child was then dusted on top of the cheekbones and down the centre of the face for the bronzed goddess vibe. A simple, low-maintenance lip balanced the vibrant skin, with a mixture of DeVine Goddess Lipstick in Electra and AutoPilot Lip Service giving a translucent, pink colour.
The eyes were restrained but sexy, with a wash of peach-gold across the lid and a charcoal shadow smudged close to the lashline. It was, of course, finished with Napoleon Perdis’ signature false lashes; as the makeup legend himself says, “fluttery will get you everywhere”.
Shev stressed the importance of hydrating the skin before applying any makeup. The Napoleon Perdis team invested time in prepping the models’ faces, first applying a mixture of hydrating serum and primer during a relaxing facial massage, which improves circulation, helping to even the complexion and skin tone. A combination of hydrating milks, primers and lip balms were then all applied to the face to ready it for the makeup.
With the makeup featuring nude and bronze tones, this look is, indeed, wonderfully versatile and wearable. You can pair it with any outfit, at any time of day, all the while looking polished without being over-done. This was proved at the show, where each model wore exactly the same makeup (save foundation, obviously) and no colours needed to be adjusted, despite the difference between the models’ skin tones. Simply put, this makeup can be worn by everyone, for every occasion.
The slick hairdos at Kookai were taken care of by L’Oreal Professionnel. Headed up by Artistic Director, Joe Cotroneo, two hairstyles were created for the show. The shared focal point of these hairstyles was a left-hand side part, the first style being a simple, straight style worn loose, and the second featuring a sleek ponytail adorned with an intricate braid.
Joe explained how the hair complemented the new Kookai collection. “We’ve created this look because it really goes well with the Vegas collection, where the lines are quite simple… there’s a lot of tailoring, so we want the hair to reflect that clean, simple line.”
To prep the hair, Tecni.Art Volume Lift Spray Mousse was applied to the roots, then the hair was blow-dried and ironed straight. In order to give the hair a workable texture, Techni.Art Wild Stylers ‘Scruff Me’, a soft styling gel, was applied through the hair. Drying with a soft, natural finish – and not stiff like traditional gels – this product gave a finish that was slick, but not harsh. The crisp, modern braid was achieved by plaiting in a figure-8 motion, taken only halfway down the pony, giving it some motion as it was marched down the runway.
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Images by Jacob Medina