The best makeup at fashion week

That cringe-y scene in Devil Wears Prada where Miranda explains how Andy has come to be wearing her lumpy ‘curulean’ blue sweater… remember it? Well, fashion week is kind of like RUNWAY, but for makeup trends…

Paris is where shit really gets started, but on home soil at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Australia, our artists are world-class, often working their magic in the major cities – New York, London, Milan and Paris – then coming home to use their skill to not only localise what is happening on the world stage, but also help us plan exactly what we will be putting on our faces in the not too distant future.

And because at TOMBOY Beauty, we’ve made it our mission to push boundaries and not do what everyone else is doing, our coverage from fashion week had an inherent editorial edge. We stepped away from grainy runway images and poorly lit-backstage pics (because, do you even care?) and created the likes of this, this, and this.

But what we’re most proud of is a series of mini-short films documenting our picks of the top fashion week makeup looks.

Here, TB editor Chloe Brinklow gives a candid BTS look at the makeup and what went down fo’ realz at #MBFWA. Warning: It’s not as glamorous, or by-the-book as you might think.

“It’s my eighth fashion week, but only the first repping, shooting and reporting for TOMBOY Beauty, because we’re still just a 4-month old baby. After a quick team briefing in the media centre (with TB’s insanely talented cinematographer, Ryan or more affectionately ‘Baz,’ and our incredible intern, Issy), we head backstage for Bec & Bridge.

Bec & Bridge:

It’s frantic. A lot of model’s have been held up at an earlier show so the artist’s are working really fast. The look feels very lived in… A day-old eye, with really fresh skin. The sort of makeup I’d apply when I feel like trying, but not too hard. I look over Kellie Stratton’s shoulder who is the makeup director for M.A.C Cosmetics, as she is placing Gold Glitter on the corner of girl’s pre-lined eyes with a 219 brush. “I wanted the girls to look effortless, sexy and cool,” she says.

I spot Freya, whose makeup is finished. And after a little, (okay, actually a lot of begging with a certain member of the backstage crew who will remain unnamed), we are granted two minutes to shoot what we need. Ignoring requests to keep Freya inside the dressing area, we take her to Bay 25, a cool tunnel-like setting, that designer Georgia Alice actually showed in the day before. Freya delivers on every take. Despite the tricky light and potential for getting in a lot of trouble.

Christopher Esber:

Next, is Christopher Esber. The show is off-site at One Hot Yoga in Potts Point. We jump in a cab to cross the city. When we arrive, we’re too late for backstage, so we attend the presentation. It’s really tricky to do front-of-house and back-of-house. As a beauty editor, If I have to choose, I favour backstage. More access. More info. Better images!

Esber’s designs are masculine with a feminine ease, which I’m/we’re all about. “It’s that ‘90s muse, with really raw skin, a dusty cheek, brushed up brows and no mascara,” Makeup Director for MAC Cosmetics, Victoria Baron tells me post-show. The skin is kept as close to real skin as possible, with a light-on cocktail of Fix+ Spray, Softening Lotion, Face + Body Foundation and Studio Finish Concealer, where needed. There’s two eye-looks, one almost bare created with M.A.C Paint Pot in Camel Coat as worn by Matilda Dodds (who was a good sport and stayed after the show for filming, thanks legend!). The other was much more metallic created with M.A.C Pigment Pot in Platinum.

Bianca Spender:

Next up at Bianca Spender, every girl had her own look. “We are just embracing their personalities and who they are and creating a look around it,” says Victoria Baron who also directed the makeup here. “The skin is kept really raw and each girl is given an element so that there are a few surprises down the catwalk”.

My friend Emma is a stylist and raved about Katie B after shooting her a week before for a Sunday Style editorial, so when I spot her across the room dressed and wearing a matte red lip (it’s Lady Danger, if you’re wondering), I thought the stars had aligned. Unfortunately, the same backstage grinch who wouldn’t let us shoot anywhere but the dressing area at Bec & Bridge had the same rule here. The area in question is by all definitions ugly, poorly lit, and cramped. So, we kidnapped Katie B (quite literally, as caught in a series of stills throughout the film), lead her to Bay 25 and had her back in one piece, less than 3 minutes later. I feel like you can sense the chaos in my favourite section of the series.”


Models: Freya Sombroek @ Vivien’s, Matilda Dods @ IMG, Katie Braatvedt @ Priscillas.

Words and Creative Direction: Chloe Brinklow

Film: Ryan Barry Cotter

Sound: James Lee

Makeup: Kellie Stratton and Victoria Barron X M.A.C Cosmetics

Assistant: Issy Fayle