With barely-there make-up ruling the runways this season, it presents a frightening prospect for the average woman. Samantha Hamilton-Rushforth breaks out the make-up remover and gives it a shot…
I blame Stella McCartney. If she’d sent models gliding down the runway with contoured cheekbones and a heavy covering of foundation I wouldn’t be sat at my desk with a naked face, dodging relentless “are you feeling OK?” glances from my sympathetic co-workers. You see, in the name of beauty I have, ironically, abandoned my entire make-up routine.
Taking my cues from the drastically diluted display of war-paint this season, my eyelash extensions have been reluctantly removed, concealer disregarded and eyebrows left unbrushed with the hopes of mimicking the low-maintenance ‘raw beauty’ look at the likes of Balmain, Chloé and Bottega Veneta. Don’t get me wrong; generally I’m not a full-face of make-up kind of girl, but there’s still an unquestionable vulnerability about revealing your real face sans slap.
When I divulged my task to the rest of the team they responded with encouraging buzzwords like “liberating” and “refreshing”. But having spent the day feeling like I’d left the house without a bra on, I became aware and self-conscious of my barefaced flaws more than ever.
In my eagerness to practise what I preach I had forgotten one very important factor in the barefaced conundrum: the women I’m taking my inspiration from aren’t your average Janes, they’re supermodels. Girls paid to be pretty, girls that have access to some of the best beauty technicians in the business, 24/7.
Which brings me back to Stella. Stepping backstage at the S/S14 show you would have found Pat McGrath and her crew applying a smattering of make-up, but look stage right and there sits a new crowd that have been frequently popping up at shows, including Sportsmax and Pucci. They are the facialists.
The fairy godmothers for your skin, they comprise of a mix of holistically and scientifically trained miracle-workers who can turn even the most undernourished facade into a perfect canvas. Used by those in the know, they ensure your skin won’t fade back to its former self at the stroke of midnight and guarantee to erase all signs that you’ve led anything less than a vegan, indoor, Buddhist lifestyle.
Not having weekly, let alone daily, access to such gurus I spent my painstakingly long, barefaced day with my hair wrapped in a cocoon around my face shielding the dark shadows, acne scars and uneven skin tone.
The next morning I sprinted into the bathroom and savoured every minute of my make-up routine. It was heavenly, like having a double cheeseburger after a ruthless juice detox. Settling back into my desk that day with heavier than usual coverage, including a bright red lip (I may have been overcompensating), I clicked on to the beauty reports for A/W14, looking for any comforting cosmetic trends that would kick this fresh-faced wave to the curb. But, while reading make-up artist Aaron de Mey’s summary of next season’s top trends to try, my eyes stopped on the words: “You want to go for a very bare-skinned look, almost anti-cosmetic.” Sorry Aaron, next season, you can count me out.
What I have learnt from my make-up free adventure:
• There are way too many mirrors in the EW offices
• It’s much easier to fall into bed without worrying about mascara pillow stains
• I really should start wearing red lipstick more often