Okay, I'm just going to say it: beauty at Canadian fashion weeks, Montreal and Toronto, is not about setting trends. As much as it might irk rah-rah Canucks, we look to the shows in Paris and NYC for that. For Catherine Laniel, Creative Director of Makeup for Montreal Fashion Week, Canadian backstage beauty is about doing what works for our designers and what works for our market, which is pretty conservative outside Montreal and Toronto.
So why should we care about fashion-week beauty on home ground? We should care because the beauty sponsors for both weeks are drugstore brands who supply the hair and makeup products for every look. And, except maybe for the occasional avant-garde request, those looks are current, wearable, pretty, and proof that you don't need to put yourself in the poorhouse to look your best. Hello.
According to Catherine, the makeup for Andy ThÃª Anh's spring collection was supposed to have been quite bare and natural. Just before the show, though, the designer's love of glamour proved too strong to resist, so false lashes and a little colour boost at the outer corners of the eyes amped things up. (Keep that in mind if you need to do a quick glam-up yourself after work.)
Denis Binet, Creative Director of Hair for Montreal Fashion Week and Consulting Stylist for Pantene, kept hair sleek, controlled and entirely without volume, a look he and Andy felt worked best with the structure, style, fabric and mood of the collection. "I also like to know what the show music will be and what time of day the model would wear the clothes," Denis says. This model has short hair; it was brushed flat against her head and nape, and bobby-pinned discreetly but securely behind her ears to keep the hair at the sides of the head neat. For longer-haired models, Denis created a controlled ripple effect by using a flat iron to clamp the hair from one side for a few seconds at the nape, then from the other side under the first clamp mark, then one more time on the other side under the second clamp mark.
Beauty list (CoverGirl except for the falsies and the white shimmer at the inner corners of the eyes; Pantene for hair):
- TruBlend foundation and concealer as needed ("Most of the models have such great skin already," says Catherine)
- TruBlend Microminerals Powder
- Ben Nye Lumiere Luxe Powder in a shimmery white at inner corners of the eyes (you can get a similar look with MAC Pigment in Frozen White)
- Exact Eyelights Eye-Brightening Eyeshadow in # 715 Majestic Hazel (the champagne shade from lashes to browbone, the taupey brown second shade in the crease and along lower lashlines)
- Eye Enhancers Eyeshadow from the Blast collection in #450 Indigo Impact at outer corners of eyes and crease
- Quo Eye Lashes #807 ("Andy loves these lashes; they're instant-glam for your eyes," says Catherine)
- LashBlast Mascara in #800 Very Black
- Cheekers Blush in #130 Iced Cappucino, applied high on the cheekbones for a sophisticated look (colour on the apples of the cheeks is more about looking young and fresh; the higher up you place it, the more chic it is)
- TruShine Lipcolor in #470 Nude Shine ("It's the one we use the most, our all-time favourite")
- Wetslicks Lipgloss in #415 Crush
- Boundless Color Nail Polish in #573 Blue You
- Pantene Classic Total Control Gel ("I applied a lot to dry hair, then blasted it with the blow dryer as I brushed the hair flat against the head through to the ends," says Denis)
- Pantene Ice Shine Maximum Shine hairspray ("We use Ice Shine for all the shows because it reflects all the light.")
If you have naturally fine, straight hair, this will be an easy look for you to achieve. If you have slightly more unruly hair, you might want to try Pantene Extra Straight shampoo, conditioner and comb-in cream to get hair as straight as you can, then hit the gel.
Okay, so this seems like a long list and like it'll take forever to do. But some practice will make you such a pro at this look that you'll zip through to the finish in no time before you hit your own real-life runway.
CoverGirl and Pantene are available at drug, grocery and mass-market stores; Ben Nye is available at select makeup boutiques; Quo is available in Canada at Shoppers Drug Mart. Image courtesy of Jimmy Hamelin.