Backstage at YSL: No Lip, Please

Rigidness has no place backstage at a fashion show. Why? Because nothing ever goes as planned there, and the universal rule is that the closer it is to showtime, the more radical the shift in direction will be. Take, for example, this week's Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2011 show in Paris, where models were all set to walk the runway with deep, velvety purple lips, when it was suddenly decided to wipe off the dark hue and replace it with a sheer peachy-pink gloss. Why the sudden change? Turns out once they saw how the shade looked under the runway lights during rehearsal, it came across as too intense on some models. So poof went the violet lip, and with it the dramatic, vampy mood. In its place: the quiet beauty of a refined ingénue. Oh what a difference one lipstick can make. Once the deep lips vanished, the focus shifted to beautiful skin and strong brows, using all YSL products. Teint Radiance foundation and Natural Radiant Loose Powder created porcelain-like skin, while Touche Éclat was dabbed on the inner corners of the eyes, cheekbones, and brow bones for highlight. Eyes were softly defined with brown shadow (Eyeshadow Duo in No. 1 Heavenly Beige-Astral Brown) and brown mascara (Volume Effets Faux Cils in No. 2 Rich Brown), then brows were pumped up and slightly darkened with pencil and powder. And it took a mix of three lip colors—Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in No. 10 Beige Tribute, Rouge Pur Couture Lipstick in No. 36 Coral Legend (out this fall), and Golden Gloss in No. 11 Golden Whisper—to create the fleshy pink lips. To complete the polished look, hairstylist extraordinaire and Redken creative consultant Guido slicked the hair back into a low bun using Velvet Gelatine 07 gel, then gave it a masculine spin by adding a deep side part and large, sideburn-like wisps by the ears. "The look is inspired by a French Twiggy," said Guido. "It's slightly tomboyish and very cool." And a fascinating evolution from where it all began.
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