Low-key looks to lift your mood

Images of models in make-up

Words: Leila Petersen | Images: Getty

When it comes to spring and summer, we often think of makeup as more fun. Maybe it’s the bright sun hitting our beds earlier or the scent of all the blooming flowers in the air. Either way, we're in the mood to pop on some electric shades and perhaps even give glitter a go. But since bright and bold OTT looks may seem overly positive and ostentatious for now, many of us are looking for an understated approach that still feels fresh enough for the new season, without all the fuss. Luckily, emerging trends are pointing to beauty without spectacle, with hair and makeup artists sending models out in low-key but impactful creations. So whether you’re in the market for easy-on-the-eye makeup or just a simple colour swap, take a look at our edit of the best runway beauty looks spotted on runways.

Images of model in glowing skin

Clear glowing complexions pared with barely there makeup have become a fashion week fixture. And while mega hydrating skincare (i.e. moisture-boosting moisturisers, serums and primers), sheer coverage and polished brows form the backbone of this minimalist look, this season sees radiant complexions reaching new dewy dimensions. This is partly due to the fact that models for Stella McCartney and Victoria Beckham first received express facial massages before backstage beauty teams worked their magic, resulting in skin that glowed with health and hydration. Proof that looking effortlessly fresh-faced is still the beauty (and wellness) holy grail.

Backstage Beauty Bite: Keep your complexion looking fresh and radiant throughout the day by regularly spritzing your face with a facial mist.

images of models with brows

The good news is that brows are still very much a focal point. This time around, it’s less about achieving the perfect arch and more about creating a natural-looking brushed-up brow. All that's required for the look is a brow pencil or powder, drawing in light strokes of hair where needed. A brow brush or spoolie to brush up the brows and a setting gel to tame and keep them in place and voila – brows that are on point.

Backstage Beauty Bite: Use a light flicking motion when filling in your brows as this results in a natural-looking fuller brow.

images of models with XL lashes

Lashes screamed to be looked at this season as models paraded the most impactful eye looks loaded with heavy mascara. Artists amped up their models’ flutter by combining multiple layers of mascara with false lashes. This created a voluminous and slightly clumpy makeup look that looked both sophisticated and cool. How to wear these dramatic lashes? With the dewiest complexion and lips that are not too loud, of course.

Backstage Beauty Bite: To prevent smudging, smearing and flaking, coat your lashes with an eyelash primer before you apply mascara.

images of models in nude makeup

Thanks to designers such as Tom Ford, Elie Saab and Max Mara, warm earthy makeup shades are back on the fashion week map. From dimensional smoked-out eyes to soft monotone nudes worn on lips and cheeks, shifting your makeup shades into neutral gear will guarantee looks that ooze understated elegance.

Backstage Beauty Bite: Accompanying your neutral makeup with warmed, bronzed skin ensures your complexion looks sun-kissed and radiant.

images of models with red lips

Models and showgoers alike illustrated the transformational power of red lipstick and a dozen different ways to wear it – from a sheer raspberry tint to a lacquered crimson. At Prabul Gurung’s spring show, matte, cherry-red lips, clean skin and bold brows resulted in a look that’s more cool and less classic, while Louis Vuitton served up heavily lined crimson pouts that were steeped in shine, showcasing the instant skin-brightening effect of this iconic shade.

Backstage Beauty Bite: Create a smooth canvas for your colour and make sure to prep your lips first by gently exfoliating and applying a balm.

images of models with nails

We're all for crystal-encrusted and bright printed nail art that's been making a statement for the past few seasons, but when we spotted the super double-tipped French mani at Kith, our hearts skipped a beat. Yes, the French manicure is back, but the 2020 version is anything but traditional. Think minimalist white tips and ultra-glossy bases, new tip styles such as heart shapes, double Frenches and asymmetrical placement.

Backstage Beauty Bite: For an even more modern update, file nails in an almond shape.

models in pastel makeup

Pastels are more exciting than ever on the beauty front, thanks to some unexpected applications and ranges of shades. From sweet, solid washes across the entire lid to sorbet-rimmed eyelids and baby pink blush to a lilac lip, pastel hues are ultra-wearable and can be dressed down for subtle day looks or seriously dressed up for date nights.

Backstage Beauty Bite: Pair shimmery pastel shades with black eyeliner and loads of mascara to define the eyes and make them pop even more.

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